Yale Lock to acquire smart lock maker August Home

Yale, a lock manufacturing company owned by the Assa Abloy group acquired smart lock maker August Home. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

August Home Smart Locker

It was in July this year that August Home had raised a big chunk of money in the form of $ 25M Series C which brought the upstart lock maker’s total equity funding to $ 73M. It also formed partnerships with vacation rental companies Airbnb and HomeAway to piggyback the latter’s established relationships with homeowners and hence increase its own share in the smart home market.

August Home’s main products are smart locks and video doorbells. “August Home strengthens our residential smart door strategy with complementary smart locks, expansion into video doorbells and comprehensive solutions for home delivery,” said Thanasis Molokotos, executive vice president ASSA.

By acquiring the fast-growing startup, the Sweden-based Assa Abloy plans to strengthen its smart lock market and August Home proves out to be an appropriate candidate as August’s revenues for 2018 are expected to be around $ 60M. August sells its products through its own website as well as via retailers like Amazon.


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

Walmart partners with August Home to deliver direct to fridges

walmart and august home to deliver straight to your fridge with smart lock

Walmart is working with a smart lock provider to give delivery drivers access to homes while customers are out.

Walmart is to test a new service that lets its delivery drivers put groceries straight into a customer’s refrigerator if they are not home.

The retailer has teamed up with smart lock start-up August Home to let drivers enter a home when the customer is out. The test will take place in Silicon Valley with a number of August Home users who have opted into the service.

In a blog post, Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s vice president of e-commerce strategy and business operations, said that delivery drivers will have a one-time passcode that enables them to unlock the August smart lock if a customer does not answer the door.

Read more: Smart lock manufacturer Schlage announces Amazon Alexa integration

Frictionless deliveries

“As the homeowner, I’m in control of the experience the entire time – the moment the delivery driver rings my doorbell, I receive a smartphone notification that the delivery is occurring and, if I choose, I can watch the delivery take place in real-time,” said Eddleston.

The system will allow drivers to drop off packages in the hallway, carry groceries into the kitchen, and put items in the refrigerator before leaving.

“I’m watching the entire process from start to finish from my home security cameras through the August app. As I watch the delivery associate exit my front door, I even receive confirmation that my door has automatically been locked,” he said.

What might seem novel today could be the standard tomorrow, he added “This may not be for everyone – and certainly not right away – but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future,” he added.

Walmart has posted a video of what the delivery would look like:

The post Walmart partners with August Home to deliver direct to fridges appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Walmart partners with August Home to deliver straight to your fridge

walmart and august home to deliver straight to your fridge with smart lock

Walmart is working with a smart lock provider to give delivery drivers access to homes while customers are out.

Walmart is to test a new service that lets its delivery drivers put groceries straight into a customer’s refrigerator if they are not home.

The retailer has teamed up with smart lock start-up August Home to let drivers enter a home when the customer is out. The test will take place in Silicon Valley with a number of August Home users who have opted into the service.

In a blog post, Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s vice president of e-commerce strategy and business operations, said that delivery drivers will have a one-time passcode that enables them to unlock the August smart lock if a customer does not answer the door.

Read more: Smart lock manufacturer Schlage announces Amazon Alexa integration

Frictionless deliveries

“As the homeowner, I’m in control of the experience the entire time – the moment the delivery driver rings my doorbell, I receive a smartphone notification that the delivery is occurring and, if I choose, I can watch the delivery take place in real-time,” said Eddleston.

The system will allow drivers to drop off packages in the hallway, carry groceries into the kitchen, and put items in the refrigerator before leaving.

“I’m watching the entire process from start to finish from my home security cameras through the August app. As I watch the delivery associate exit my front door, I even receive confirmation that my door has automatically been locked,” he said.

What might seem novel today could be the standard tomorrow, he added “This may not be for everyone – and certainly not right away – but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future,” he added.

Walmart has posted a video of what the delivery would look like:

The post Walmart partners with August Home to deliver straight to your fridge appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

News of the Week August 25, 2017

Avnet acquires Dragon Innovation: Avnet, the giant systems integrator that handles big budget IT implementations, has been moving steadily into the IoT for the last few years. Its emphasis has been on the maker and prototyping side of the business, as it seeks to understand what the nuts and bolts of IoT entails. It launched hackathons for IoT and purchased the Hackster.io community last year. This week it went another step further with the purchase of Dragon Innovation, a hardware production shop that helps companies bring their IoT hardware visions to life.

OSRAM acquires Digital Lumens: OSRAM, the makers of Sylvania brand of light bulbs, has seen the future for connected lighting, and it’s not in bulbs. It’s in providing services. This week OSRAM said it would purchase Digital Lumens, a nine-year old company that installs sensor networks as part of LED lighting upgrades in commercial buildings. (Fortune)

Andy Rubin sees the future, but is his the right bet? Andy Rubin has guided the creation of the current mobile OS ecosystem perhaps as much as Steve Jobs. As the creator of Android and the Sidekick, an early smart phone, he’s now back with The Essential Phone. His goal is to take us beyond the handheld computer to a true AI. This interview offers an explanation for the creation of a new phone, as a tool that uses context and machine learning to determine when it should interrupt you. Given this context, I can see why Rubin’s Essential effort, which also includes the Essential Home (coming soon),  also needs to take on the home with a new OS designed for our living spaces. That helps it derive even more useful context to build a truly useful AI.  (Bloomberg)

Physics is the key to the next cycle of disruption: Disruption is an overused word in the tech press, but true disruption tends to come from a few places. Changes can be in the economics of building a product or delivering a service, which happens more often than you might think. For example, the internet changed the economics of delivering content while better math has changed the economics of high-priced dedicated sensors. Lower costs can remake an entire industry or even society, but underlying those economic shifts are often changes in our understanding of basic science and materials.  For a reminder of that, plus a sense of what it means to reach the end of the road for silicon chips, check out the paper discussed in this article.   (MIT Technology Review)

Blockchain matters for IoT infrastructure: Many industrial connected systems use proprietary controls and messaging protocols, which can make sharing data between different types of machines and machines from different manufacturers a challenge. The argument for proprietary systems is that are a bit more secure by virtue of both obscurity and because manufacturers have more control over who can access them. But for industrial IoT to scale at a reasonable cost we’re going to need easier access that’s more secure. The solution may be a form of blockchain based technology. (Medium)

This is an MVNO for the IoT: Cubic Telekom, an Irish company that provides software to connect cars and other devices to more than 30 telecom companies worldwide has raised $ 46.5 million in funding from Qualcomm Ventures and Audi’s venture arm. It has signed a deal with U.S. carriers to bring the service to North America soon. (Reuters)

Are doctors buying into wearables? This story about Aetna aiming to give its customers an Apple Watch to help promote better health is unique in that it mentions the hospitals and doctors that would have to validate the Apple Watch as a useful tool for improving health. As many companies going after the connected health market have discovered, you need patients, doctors and insurers all to buy into a solution. That’s a tough sell, but Apple could certainly be credible enough and big enough to make the case. (Engadget)

But what about FitBit? If Apple gets Aetna to sign off on the Apple Watch that’s bad news for FitBit, a lower cost activity tracker that has seen its market share start to slide. But in addition to newer hardware, FitBit is trying to boost its utility to both consumers and to the medical institutions with better detection of health problems such as atrial fibrillation. (Time)

Germany sets rules for self-driving cars: While we here in the U.S. are merely proposing basic cybersecurity rules and worrying if AI will kill us, Germany has taken the very practical step of making some basic ethics rules for self-driving cars. Basically they must be programmed to avoid people. However, they can’t prioritize which people to save if there’s a choice. So the threat to an old lady and young boy would register the same for an autonomous car. Robots don’t need chivalry. They just need instructions. (Reuters)

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Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

News of the Week August 18, 2017

Amazon is working to keep developers happy with the Alexa platform.

Here’s a new worry for manufacturing: Have you thought about hacked 3-D printers? I hadn’t either, but researchers at Rutgers and Georgia Tech did because they realized that inserting flaws into 3-D printed parts could be a good way to sabotage everything from a refining process to an airplane. Check out their research on how to secure 3-D printers. (Rutgers)

Silver Spring Networks is building an IoT network in Ireland: The former smart grid startup that has since pivoted to an IoT network company is now building a version of it’s proprietary 802.15.4 network in Ireland. It also signed a deal to expand a smart lighting network in London to 30,000 more street lights.  (Telegeography)

Amazon is paying developers for more than just games:  As the smart speaker competition heats up (and with Apple’s HomePod just around the corner) Amazon is increasing the number of Skills it will pay developers to build. Amazon says it will pay developers based on “engagement” but what that actually means is unclear. Amazon will pay developers building skills in education, food, health and fitness, audio, music, lifestyle and productivity.  No word on fart skills.  (Amazon)

Google just bought a health sensor company: Google has acquired Senosis, a company that uses the sensors on your smart phone to diagnose medical problems. The company made apps such as SpiroCall and HemaApp, which were in the process of getting FDA approval. The HemaApp uses a smartphone camera to detect levels of hemoglobin in blood without a blood test. These sorts of things (new ways of looking at existing sensors or changing the economics of expensive sensors using math) are where the next frontier of innovation lies, so it’s not hard to see why Google might want to snag people who can think in this fashion. I don’t think this is just about health, but also a worldview.  (GeekWire)

The floor is an interface: Microsoft is looking at the future of offices and productivity and it’s not limiting its vision to screens or electronic devices. Instead it’s trying to think what AI and connected objects can do to change the way people work and interact in office environments. If they are eyeing floors, might I suggest they check out Luminous Ventures? (ZDNet)

More money for IoT security: ZingBox, an IoT security company, has raised $ 22 million in a Series B funding round led by Dell Technologies Capital and Tri Ventures. ZingBox makes software that uses heuristics to determine the behavior of devices on a network and figure out if that behavior is normal or aberrant. Reminds me a bit of the claims made by DarkTrace.  (PEHub)

FTC strikes another blow for consumer privacy: I am thrilled that the FTC is aware of the privacy threat the internet of things poses and is willing to step in and fine flagrantly guilty parties. This week it fined Uber for letting employees track where customers were heading when they were using the service. This is actually one of my bigger fears, that someone who works at a connected device company might get mad at me and leak all the pictures of me with bedhead as I take the dog out for a walk. They’d get the pics from my connected doorbell. It shows how creating a culture where users are respected is an important element of building a trusted IoT company. (FTC)

Here’s a new connected car consortium: One day I’ll make a list of all of the connected car standards or information sharing efforts out there, but until then, throw this into the pile. Ericsson and Intel have joined Toyota, NTT Docomo, and Japanese automotive tech company DENSO to form the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium. One thing seemingly in this group’s favor is that it doesn’t seem to rely overly much on the cloud, instead thinking about how to best handle complex tasks at the edge. Given these are devices that can travel at 70 miles per hour, sticking to the edge and lower latency seems smart. (Telecoms.com)

Are smart locks secure? After the bricking of 500 Lockstate locks last week, the media is digging into the concept of connected locks. Personally, they aren’t much less secure than typical locks when faced with a determined person. (Lifehacker)

Are Arduinos for hackers or for commercial products? This article asks the question and between it and the comment debate, I learned a lot about what an Arduino can and cannot do. Makes for an interesting read for anyone who wants to build something to later turn into a product. (Hackaday)

Wink added support for a bunch of new sensors: The majority of this work was done by Flex before Wink was sold to Will.i.am. (Wink)

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis