On net neutrality: Thursday the FCC repealed 2015 rules that enshrined network neutrality into law along partisan lines (the same way the law was enacted originally, albeit with years of conversation and negotiating.) I don’t have much to say beyond what I wrote earlier, so if you want my opinion, my essay from two weeks back is pretty clear. (StaceyonIoT)
Qualcomm is bringing Wi-Fi gesture tech to homes: Qualcomm has signed a deal with a company called Cognitive Systems to bring motion detection to home Wi-Fi networks. Cognitive makes an existing security product called the Aura, which tracks disruptions in Wi-Fi signals to detect motion in the home. Aura WiFi Motion will become part of the Qualcomm Mesh Networking platform, which router makers can use inside their gear. The platform will also connect with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT. Providers using Qualcomm’s mesh chips include eero, Google Wifi, and the Linksys Velop. So look for updates soon.
Dotdot is now out! Dotdot is a relatively new IoT standard created by the ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group. The two organizations launched this at CES in January and then we didn’t hear much about it. But now the two groups say Dotdot will work over Thread’s IP network with essential elements such as the opening of a certification program and the Dotdot Commissioning application available in summer of next year. Could this make the smart home standards muddle easier? Frankly it feels like too little, too late.
One more thing on Dotdot: This was a fun little design article on how Dotdot’s design came to be. It’s old, but I just saw it. (Fast Co)
Alexa could be your maître d’: Amazon’s Echo can be used in office conference rooms and in the home, but what about putting Alexa inside a restaurant? My former colleague Chris Albrecht takes a look at what Alexa could do there. And before you think this is nuts, know that I spoke with a CIO of a major restaurant group who is actively discussing Alexa in the kitchen with Amazon. (The Spoon)
Foxconn brings AI into factories: The startup founded by tech superstar Andrew Ng, who headed up Google and Baidu’s AI efforts, has signed a deal to bring smarter automation to Foxconn’s factories. Ng’s startup, Landing.ai, is training machines to recognize flaws in circuit boards and for other tasks inside the factories. It’s also trying to train humans whose jobs are going to be affected by increasing automation availability. China is becoming less competitive as a hub for low-labour costs, which means some manufacturing is moving. However, with these types of investments, manufacturing can still cost less while China reaps the benefits of investments in AI training data for factories. (Reuters)
Gemalto is in play: This week French security firm Atos made an unsolicited offer for Gemalto, which makes security chips used in payment processing as well as SIM cards and eSIMs. Gemalto rejected the 4.3-billion-euro ($ 5.1 billion) offer, but Atos is not backing off. Gemalto says the deal undervalues the company, which has not performed well in the stock market recently. However, analysts question if the two businesses belong together, specifically wondering what happens to Gemalto’s SIM card business. (Bloomberg)
Amazon sells the Echo in more places: Amazon said late last week that it would sell its Echo devices in more than 80 countries, but what it didn’t say was that Alexa, its assistant, would learn to speak the corresponding local languages. And that missing information gives a hint about Alexa’s future. (VentureBeat)
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