Internet of Things News of the Week, May 19 2017

  • Posted by admin on May 20, 2017

Here’s a summary of interesting Internet of Things news from the past week. Get this summary in your inbox every Friday when you subscribe to the newsletter.

AT&T’s IoT network is now live: AT&T says its LTE Cat-M network is now available and pricing start at $ 1.50 per month per device. The modems are cheaper than standard LTE modems with prices as low a $ 7.50 each, including a SIM card. Verizon’s Cat-M network launched with pricing of $ 2 per device per month. That’s still a high price to pay for many cheap sensors, but there will be a market for LTE-Cat M. As a reminder these networks offer data speeds between 300 kbps and 1 Mbps, and can have a battery life of up to a decade depending on usage.  (Fierce Wireless)

Penguins and Alexa in the hotel room of the future: If you want to get a glimpse of your future business travel digs, wander over to the First Build site to see the winners of The Hotel Room of Future contest. The winners all reflect a modern design, but they also serve as a marker for what we deem as essential “smart” features. Voice control, including controlling lighting and temperature, are big. (First Build)

Dor gets funds for cheap people tracking: I love sensors that use math to replace a far more expensive device such as a camera. Dor’s people-tracking sensor falls into this category of devices, offering a battery-powered sensor that uses cellular connectivity to communicate the number of people in an establishment. Right now this is used by shops and restaurants eager to understand their foot traffic, but could also be used in far more innovative places, such as for assessing how busy an emergency room is. (PEHub)

IOTAS raises $ 5.3 million: IOTAS, one of several companies trying to build smarter apartments on behalf of property companies, has raised $ 5.3 million from the Oregon Angel Fund and Rogue Venture Partners. I profiled the company a few months ago, and have followed it for years, so I am hoping it can take advantage of this lucrative market. (VC News Daily)

FogHorn Systems gets a bit more money: FogHorn Systems, a company selling analytics at the edge for industrial IoT companies, has extended its funding round to include the newly created Dell Technologies Capital and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. The new funds bring FogHorn’s total Series A to $ 15 million.  (FogHorn)

The lesson to take from WannaCry isn’t about Microsoft: Instead, it’s a warning that when businesses and governments add technology to their operations, they can’t set it and forget it. They have to budget time and resources to patching and ensuring such systems stay secure. We’re also likely to need new models for paying for and implementing computer security given that the desktop and OS model won’t work when computing from multiple vendors is embedded in devices from multiple manufacturers. So what’s next? (Motherboard)

We still haven’t hit bottom when it comes to compromised hospitals: As the WannaCry malware threat spread around the world, spurred by unsecured old XP operating systems in use around hospitals, the focus was on Microsoft and unpatched systems. However, amid the threat, I didn’t hear too much about the fears that CISOs at hospitals seem to have–namely that their connected devices (also running Windows XP) might become compromised and hurt patients. I wrote about this a few weeks ago, and the Harvard Business Review also picked up the threat. It spent a good chunk of space telling CISOs how to prevent an ever larger calamity — namely a loss of life if equipment gets malicious. (Harvard Business Review)

Alexa improves her listening skills: Amazon is offering developers of Alexa Skills the chance to double check the wake word that the device thinks it heard with the cloud. The idea is this double authentication will reduce the random instances of Alexa waking up during a movie or when she wasn’t summoned. (Amazon)

Philips Hue joins the Comcast Xfinity Home lineup: Last week I wrote about Comcast’s ambitions in offering a smart home service offering and why it is a player to watch. This week it added to the number of third-party devices it supports with an integration with Philips Hue lights. You’ll be able to control the lights from your Xfinity Home app and tie them in with your security system. For example, if a motion detector gets set off then your Hue lights might flash on to dissuade a prowler. (CNET)

Ban the ‘Bots: San Francisco has decided that delivery robots are a potential nuisance and San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee proposed a law to ban the beasts. This is a fairly lighthearted story since the threat seems mainly hypothetical and the harm reduced to some sore toes, but it neatly showcases the challenges cities have when it comes to figuring out how to legislate progress.  If San Francisco can’t figure it out, what hope does the rest of Amerca have? (Wired)

IKEA’s new Tradfri lights are pretty pricey: Just ask Ry Crist, the lighting expert at CNET who tried out the bulbs and declared them expensive if you buy the gateway, but a decent deal if you skip the hub and go with a basic three-way or motion detection kit. Also, be sure to listen to my podcast interview with Ikea about the smart home. (CNET)

Another course in cloud economics: After almost a decade of covering cloud computing, I can’t help but devour any interesting studies that come my way. And while almost all connected devices have a cloud component, it’s no longer a large focus of my coverage. However, this blog post that lays out research into the cost of cloud computing and how prices and demand intersect is fascinating. It also helps explain why Amazon Web Services’ Spot market hasn’t taken off. (The Morning Paper)

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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