IoT News of the week for Jan. 26, 2018

Awesome paper on hacking sensors and what it means: I love human ingenuity, not only for building things up, but also because we can figure out novel ways to take things apart. Unfortunately this poses security risks as we combine our physical and IT infrastructures. Yes, security is a mess, but there is an underappreciated weak link in MEMS. MEMS are microelectromechanical systems, or put simply, an analog sensor on top of a digital circuit. Their job is to take signals from the real world and translate it for the digital one. This linkage provides all kinds of opportunities, from disrupting accelerometers with sound waves to reverse engineering the hardware’s signals to track a person, machine, or something else. If you have time, this issue has a TON of great IoT content. (Communications of the ACM)

Apple’s moves on health are exciting: I have so far been unimpressed with Apple’s smart home efforts, but its use of HealthKit and ResearchKit and its efforts to turn the Apple Watch into a quasi-medical device fascinate me. Apple’s closed ecosystem and refusal to give up control meld well in a world where HIPPA regulations can paralyze innovation around information sharing. And yet physicians, patients and even insurers would like a holistic view of a patient without spending hours digging around an incomplete electronic health record. Currently we’re loading more and more responsibility onto the patient for their health care, which means Apple’s consumer background could serve it well as we try to modernize our medicine. (Bloomberg)

Speaking of Apple… I love predicting the future as much as anyone, and I strongly agree with this analyst’s piece arguing that the Apple Watch is a bridge to the future. Even my colleague, Kevin, sees the watch as a way to move to voice anywhere. If you liked my story in September 2016 on how Airpods represent the next generation of computing, then you’ll probably want to read this piece, which goes far deeper into that concept. I will say I’m not sure about the AR glasses bit. My hunch is eye tracking that brings content to the nearest screen in the home or office will win out. (Above Avalon)

Siemens sees consolidation coming in industrial IoT: Much like we have massive platforms built around consumer data in Google, Facebook, and Amazon, the industrial world will see its own consolidation of factory automation platforms. To prepare, Siemens is creating partnerships with big IT players such as Amazon Web Services. The Siemens executive quoted in the article expects there to be only a few big players, which makes life interesting for Emerson, Honeywell, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, and others in that field. (Reuters)

Arundo Analytics raises $ 25M to offer machine learning to big industry: Connecting sensors to the internet means companies can grab lots of data and put it on the cloud. But the real value is taking that data in the cloud and doing something with it. Arundo Analytics has built a machine learning platform for oil and gas, mining, and utilities companies so they can get smarter about their data analytics. Now the phrase “machine learning platform” can mean a lot of different things, so I’m not clear on exactly how much of a competitive advantage Arundo Analytics has or what advantage it offers. Especially since many of these industries already have their own data scientists and spend a lot of effort extracting the most value from the data they have. Heck, BP has a supercomputer in its Houston offices. These may be heavy industries, but they aren’t technologically inept. (Arundo)

Excellent myth-busting on LoRa: The current thinking is that the internet of things will require long-range (LoRa) low-power networks, and several technologies have tried to solve that problem. Senet’s LoRa radios offer just one of many solutions, but they have the caught the eye of big ISPs such as Comcast and Orange. They’ve also been picked up by large industrial clients interested in setting up wireless networks in warehouses, mines, and in remote places. Learn all about the tech with this quick and not-too-technical article. (Electronic Design)

This is the privacy article to share with Luddites: Most of this article focuses on surveillance from cameras, but as we add more sensors, we’re going to expand the “picture” in ways that will become even more intrusive. Either way, when people ask how IoT threatens their privacy, this is a good place to send them. (National Geographic)

Amazon Go is what shopping should be: Or at least this is what my friend Chris Albrecht says after his experience at the first Amazon store, which features cameras tracking what you buy instead of asking you to use a cashier and a checkout lane. (The Spoon)

Researchers in China have developed a low-power machine-learning chip: This story focuses on China’s development as a technology powerhouse, a trend that’s been coming for almost a decade. China came out of nowhere and landed on the Top 500 list of supercomputers, for example. Its R&D investments and patent filings have also been trending up. But this chip sounds amazing. Called Thinker, it offers dynamic processing and memory capabilities optimized for building neural networks and can run for a year on eight AA batteries. Imagine putting that on the edge of an industrial or smart home network. You could power that in a light switch. It changes the game. (MIT Technology Review)

Time to nerd out on databases, y’all: Time series databases are a big deal in the internet of things. Basically, these data sets include a number and the time that number was generated. So it might measure temperature, vibration, open/close, or any number of other things. GE’s Predix has a proprietary time series database, and other open-source efforts have also emerged. But this article dives deep into an increasingly popular time series database called Timescale, explaining the scaling problem it solves and how it does so. This won’t appeal to everyone, but if you build IoT systems, you should probably check it out. (The Next Platform)

Check out the Visa CEO talking about payments and IoT:  His vision is that your devices will be able to make payments using a form of digital credential. What I wonder is how that credential relates to me. For example, if it’s my fridge ordering milk on my behalf, would it charge me or my roommate, if I had one? Could you create a shared account for a house and split costs? Would you want to? The challenge in many of these shared device situations is that the security, management, and payment options are still designed for one user.  (CNBC)

I have so many questions about Mark Benioff’s digital personal assistant. (CNBC)

Want to sponsor this newsletter and the IoT Podcast? Click here to request a media kit.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *