IoT news of the week for April 6, 2018

  • Posted by admin on April 7, 2018

3M will build its digital transformation on C3’s software: Tom Siebel’s C3 platformas-a-service just won a big customer with 3M. The maker of Post-It notes, Command strips, and a variety of medical supplies will send all of its manufacturing data to C3’s cloud and build applications on the C3 PaaS platform. The news confirms my belief that C3 has built software that can handle data from millions of devices — which is super valuable — and that it adds whatever buzzwords it needs to keep things fresh. C3 started out monitoring the smart grid and evolved to handle IoT. Now it’s pushing its AI chops, and my bet is that if it can work blockchain in there, it will. Despite the confusion, I meet C3 clients all the time, and the underlying tech and product seem legit. I’m just not 100% sure what it is. (C3)

AWS now offers machine learning at the edge: Amazon is now pushing machine learning at the edge by taking its SageMaker machine learning tools and applying them on Amazon’s Greengrass edge computing tool. While you can’t train a model at the edge, you can take models for computer vision, voice recognition, and more and run them on Greengrass on devices with power constraints and intermittent connectivity. Perfect for IoT. (AWS blog)

Alexa for business gets more details: Amazon posted a tutorial on building a private skill for its smart speaker AI, Alexa. The tutorial is for companies that want to put Alexa in their conference rooms or offices and build their own tools for the voice-activated tool. The tutorial is nice, but it doesn’t offer any insights into what is the core problem for voice-controlled UIs in an office: determining access. Unless you want everyone to be able to access your sales data (even a visiting reporter), it seems like the types of skills being built will be limited to things like reserving conference rooms or ordering lunch. (Alexa Developer’s blog)

A smart learning jacket that talks to Alexa: The Ministry of Supply has created a new jacket that heats up at the touch of a button or via a voice command to Alexa. The jacket was pre-sold on Kickstarter and will ship in November. What’s most exciting about the jacket is that it can learn your preferences over time and pre-heat accordingly. This is better than the Ralph Lauren jacket for the Olympics, which also had a heater that could be activated. Now we just have to wait until the winter holidays to see how well it works. (Forbes)

Did you know they are building a smart road in Minnesota? This story came out in February, but I am just seeing it now, thanks to a pavement tech newsletter I somehow subscribed to. A 9-mile stretch of road between downtown Minneapolis and Interstate 494 will be outfitted with transceivers that can let cars receive the signal, phase, and timing of traffic lights. One of the first use cases for the tech is to give snowplows priority in clearing the road. Planning occurs this summer and deployment of the tech will take place later this year. (Traffic Technology Today)

Oh noes! Mirai is back: The Mirai botnet, which took over connected devices (primarily networked DVRs and routers) and used them to commit come of the largest distributed denial-of-service attacks to date, has struck again. Or at least a variant has in the first attack since the botnet was discovered in 2017. Security firm Recorded Future reports that the attack hit companies in the financial sector in January and disrupted customer service for at least one business. (Tech Republic)

Can your smart devices incriminate you? So far, the answer appears to be yes. Your Alexa, Fitbit data, pacemaker data, and more could be used to provide evidence against you in a court of law. Generally the data is gathered after a person has been declared a suspect, but you may want to not only take off your own Fitbit before committing a crime, but also take off the victim’s as well. We’ve touched on this issue in previous newsletters and podcast episodes, but it’s always nice to see a comprehensive overview that includes lawyers debating the issue. (CNET)

World IoT Day is April 9th: I have to be real here. I might celebrate National Pancake Day or International Margarita Day in a semi-ironic way, but World IoT Day is a bit much. That being said, if you are part of a corporate marketing team or want to understand what the heck is happening on Monday when the hashtags start, now you know. (The IoT Council)

Good advice for smart home device buyers: I love the lure of cheap connected devices, but I am really suspicious as to what the agenda is for some of these firms. Is it to capitalize on our private data? Is it to sell a shoddy product that will break within the year? It behooves consumers to think these thoughts since the tech space is still so unregulated. Sometimes a no-name brand isn’t a bargain. In other cases, it can be, such as the $ 20 Wyze camera I like so much. But before I purchased it, I read the terms of service and talked to the founders to get a sense of what they were doing and why the product was so cheap. I recommend, at minimum, that when buying cheap smart home devices, consumers read the terms of service and privacy agreements. (NYT)

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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