Internet of Things News of the Week, May 12, 2017

  • Posted by admin on May 12, 2017

Microsoft’s real world image recognition is cool, but scary.

Here’s notable Internet of Things news from the past week.

Microsoft’s IoT Edge is a big step forward for Microsoft: This week at its Build conference, Microsoft showed off a new service called Azure IoT Edge which is essentially a way to offer dumb devices at the edge a bit of the smarts of Microsoft’s Azure cloud and then let the device seamlessly share its information with Azure. This isn’t a new concept, but Microsoft’s embrace of an edge product is. Roughly a year ago, I spoke with Sam George, director of Azure IoT, and he seemed convinced that Microsoft would stick with Azure in the cloud and wouldn’t branch down to the gateways. It seems Microsoft has shifted that position. It’s a good thing. (Microsoft)

Microsoft’s image tracking is pretty freaky: At its Build conference this week Microsoft didn’t just talk about industrial IoT platforms. It also showed off a real-world, real-time image tracking project that could take a camera stream and identify all of the objects in the frame. While the writer of this article imagines us whipping out a phone to use this service to find the last place we left our keys, I think we’d probably just ask Alexa or Cortana where we left our keys and she’d tell us. (Popular Mechanic)

Germany plans to use the blockchain for smart power grids: The idea here is that something large and distributed like the electrical grid might benefit from a decentralized way of tracking how power is moving on and off the grid. The company testing this is using IBM’s Hyperledger-backed blockchain standard. (Coin Telegraph)

Want a lot of data on the smart home? Nielsen has surveyed smart home device buyers to find out who they are and what they buy. The results are a bit surprising in that people are buying more home automation than security, when most surveys indicate that security is the top reason for purchasing smart home devices. The other data such as buyers skewing male (62%) and younger (39% are between the age of 25-34) is less surprising. Also, almost 30% of people surveyed would be interested in some kind of smart carpet that could detect who was walking on it and sound an alarm if it was an intruder. Could I get it in a Berber?  (Nielsen)

Apps are dying: No really. What we think of as an app is no longer the way web services will be built. I’ve argued that the API becomes the app, but this article explains it far better than I ever could. Instead of apps, we will rely on customizable collections of services that do exactly what we need. The applications of this will lead to new architectures and startups. (LinkedIn)

Privacy as a luxury good: I’ve written a bit about this in my prior job at Gigaom, but as we bring in more connected products and sell more of our data — data we may not even be are that we are selling — privacy is no longer a right, but something you pay for. This article does a good job tracking down that loss, but also our cognitive dissonance around the idea. (NYT)

Sensor Fusion is back! The concept of taking a sensor or set of sensors, adding an algorithm and then getting a completely different type of sensor has been around for a while. The concept is called sensor fusion, and this Carnegie Mellon project reminds me of the concept. (Hackster.io)

Bikes will disrupt automobiles: Are you ready to trade your car for a bike? Horace Dediu, an analyst, believes that bikes (especially electric bikes) will disrupt the hegemony of the automobile. He argues that the tech comes first and then the environment will adapt. So we’ll soon see enclosed bikes and more bike lanes, I suppose. As a parent, I guess I’ll wait for that sidecar that can ensure I bring my kids with me. (CNN)

Speaking of transportation … The Citymapper app folks have outfitted a private London bus with all kinds of sensors and cameras to figure out how to rethink bus transport. The idea is to consider the equipment, adapt the routes and even share the data they gather. I’m looking forward to this experiment. (Medium)

Did you know the Internet of Shit now has a column?: Go read it because this person feels the same way I do about Apple’s HomeKit.  (The Verge)

This connected saltshaker is so terrible: I am usually excited when people use connectivity to re-imagine a product so it can work better or add a new function. But in the case of this Bluetooth saltshaker, I am begging folks to take a hard pass. This thing lights up, plays tunes and presumably dispenses salt. Think of it as a dumber Alexa that sits on your dinner table. Eh. (New York Magazine)

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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