IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 30th November 2017

This week, self-driving car Waymo racks up 4 million miles on the road, and Shopify has a new app to track your packages in real time.

Self-driving Waymo passes the 4 million mile mark

Waymo, formerly Google’s self-driving car project, now has 4 million self-driven miles to its credit. The distance, which would take a human driver 300 years to cover, represents the collective effort of Waymo’s whole test fleet. The Alphabet-owned company’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans are already being tested on public roads in Arizona – minus a safety driver for human back-up. The recent milestone means Waymo is currently leading the autonomous driving pack – at least where distance travelled is concerned.

Shopify’s Arrive app makes package tracking easy

Online shoppers might like Shopify’s new package tracking tool: ‘Arrive’. The app handily keeps records of all your shipments in one place, wherever you ordered them from – so you can check on your parcels’ whereabouts. It offers map-based location tracking and email account integration so that your shipments can be smoothly added to its list of items to track. You can also get automatic notifications about your parcel’s progress without needing to open the app.

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IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 30th March 2017

This week, Beauty and the Beast’s magic (smart?) home takes a cautionary battering in Wired.com, Chuck the warehouse robot is available to buy and one of Uber’s self-driving test vehicles is involved in a crash in Arizona. Read on for the latest from the connected world.

Beauty and the Beast: A study in the uncanny smart home

Following the smash success of the live-action Beauty and the Beast’s opening weekend, Wired.com have penned a piece which uses the film as a lens through which the pitfalls of the connected home are offered up for our amusement and education. Uncanny though a talking teapot and life-coaching candelabra may be, the article’s main warning is of human error. As we fools in love might be a bit lax with sharing passwords with our significant others, the Beast offers Belle his most powerful and dangerous possession: a mirror that can show the user any person in the world with a simple voice command. Unfortunately, it falls into the wrong hands and leads an angry mob to his doorstep. The lesson? Share ye not your security details or devices.

Call for papers: IoT Slam Internet of Things Conference

Tomorrow is the submission deadline for papers for the IoT Slam Live Internet of Things Conference. The live conference, which will take place on June 21-22, follows the success of four previous virtual events. Session proposals are invited on the subjects of Security and the IoT, Cognitive IoT / Artificial Intelligence, IoT Platforms & DevOps, Enterprise IoT, Blockchain, IoT Infrastructure and Standards & Policy. Submissions will be evaluated according to originality, technical content, relevance, contributions and readability.

The Matrix Voice is AI voice recognition for your Raspberry Pi

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Matrix Labs can offer a voice recognition system for the Raspberry Pi. The Voice (not to be confused with the TV talent show) essentially allows you to create a light show with your voice – almost like creating your own Alexa. It will be on sale soon online for $ 99.

Warehouse robot is a worker’s best buddy

6 River Systems Inc is making their flagship robot ‘Chuck’ (officially a ‘collaborative fulfillment system’) available to buyers. Chuck stands around 4 feet tall and 3 feet long and looks a bit like a pick cart, apparently. It can also guide human workers through their workers by means of a touch screen, which shows the location of an item in a packed warehouse shelf. So the idea is for Chuck to work with humans, not instead of them. Chuck can navigate on its own, track data and feed back to its human counterparts.

New chatbots for Facebook Messenger group chats

Facebook will unveil a new class of chatbot at its F8 conference. The group bots work inside Messenger group chats, and keep users up-to-date with news, sports events and even e-commerce deliveries. You can add a bot to ongoing group chats – for instance, a group of baseball fans might add a bot that will report score changes and real-time news from the game.

Uber self-driving test car crashes in Arizona

More bad news for Uber’s self-driving test this week as one of its Volvo SUVs was involved in a crash in Arizona. No injuries have yet been reported, but there was damage to two other vehicles nearby. The self-driving fleet in Arizona has been temporarily grounded pending an investigation.

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