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IoT news of the week for June 26, 2020

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How IoT can contribute to sustainability goals: The Industrial IoT Consortium has taken a look at the ways connected devices can help reach the UN’s sustainability goals, and I must confess, I wasn’t prepared for this paper to be as good as it is. The way it translates what people mean when they use the phrase digital transformation is incredibly useful, and it calls on companies to align their transformations with the UN’s sustainability goals. The ability to cut energy use or reduce pollution is one of the biggest reasons I’m so excited about the IoT. When you make the invisible visible using sensors and data analytics, you can actually start changing behavior. I’m also aware that many companies would likely focus on optimizing for profits as opposed to environmental good. But this paper has me hoping that some of them might dedicate even a little of their digital transformation efforts to helping the planet. (IIoC— Stacey Higginbotham

Lenovo’s IoT plans will tackle some of the tough stuff: This is a good overview of Chinese computer maker Lenovo’s plan to provide support for enterprise customers as they adopt IoT technologies in the wake of COVID-19. Basically, Lenovo recognizes that companies are buying sensors and deploying them without having much of a plan for maintaining them and getting individual projects to speak to other systems in the building or in the business. So that’s where it wants to focus. Check out the article for more. (ZDNet— Stacey Higginbotham

Want the details on SmartThings’ plan to modernize? I wrote an in-depth explainer on what we know is happening, and why it needs to happen. (StaceyonIoT— Stacey Higginbotham

The WSJ agrees that IoT devices should have expiration dates: As we’ve watched one smart device after another become a useless brick due to the company providing their cloud services shutting down, Stacey has argued that all smart device makers need to provide expiration dates for their products. In fact, she’s been saying this for several years now. Lo and behold, an article from the Wall Street Journal this week saying…the same thing, and highlighting a few examples of now-dead products for good measure. It’s a reminder that we’re not just buying products for our smart homes; we’re also buying the promise of continued service for those products. And it’s time that companies make some type of service commitment plainly available to us before we shell out for both the products and the services that keep them alive. (Wall Street Journal— Kevin C. Tofel

Mercedes rides with Nvidia for a better automotive smart system: I just mentioned that smart devices are typically powered by services that can sometimes shut down. You wouldn’t want that to happen to your car, would you? That’s why I like what Mercedes and Nvidia are teaming up to do. Aside from pairing Nvidia’s chip design prowess, Mercedes says the services for its new smart car platform won’t just get better over time; they’ll be available to second- and third-hand owners of the cars. New features are expected to roll out as software updates over the air, much like those for your smartphone. Maybe you won’t need to replace that smart car as often as the hubs that run your home! (Axios— Kevin C. Tofel

Why do campaign apps have access to so much of our personal data? We often discuss how much personal data we give up with apps and products, so this isn’t a new phenomenon. But the sheer scope of information provided to currently available U.S. presidential campaigns apps shocked me. I don’t want or need a mobile app to help me decide who I should vote for this fall, but if you do, you will definitely want to read this article. If nothing else, check out the graphic showing what the apps have access to on your phone, including Bluetooth pairing, viewing your network connections — even your phone’s identity, which contains very specific identification information. (MIT Technology Review— Kevin C. Tofel

Speaking of privacy, Google’s new ML software keeps all data on-device: I’ve been wishing for more services to run locally instead of in the cloud for years. We’re slowly getting there with smart speakers and hubs. And now, Google is taking us closer to that dream when it comes to machine learning. This week, the company announced that its latest version of ML Kit does all of its processing locally. That means app developers who use ML Kit (and there are 25,000 apps from these folks available today) will not only be able to offer increased app performance, but provide data privacy when using machine learning in their mobile software. (Android Developers Blog— Kevin C. Tofel

Working from home? You can take group video calls on Nest smart displays: Video call usage has skyrocketed over the past few months due to more people working from home. But while Zoom has been the poster child for this, don’t count Google out just yet. This week, the company announced group calls through either Duo or Google Meet on the Nest Hub Max in the U.S. Duo calls support up to 32 people, while Google Meet can handle up to 100. There are also third-party displays gaining this feature. And GSuite customers, who are usually the last to get smart device features, can rejoice, as Google is opening up their accounts for beta access to group calling on the Nest Hub Max. (The Keyword— Kevin C. Tofel

The internet of things has a consent problem: The headline and story are from my monthly IEEE Spectrum column, the gist of which is that connected tech is often surveillance tech, even if it’s not designed to be. And that means manufacturers need to communicate broadly about their devices’ capabilities and ask anyone who purchases them or lives in homes with people who use them if it’s OK to do so. (IEEE Spectrum— Stacey Higginbotham

The FTC will host PrivacyCon 2020 on July 21: For the last half decade, the Federal Trade Commission has hosted a conference focused on privacy. This year’s event will happen virtually on Tuesday, July 21. Past events have featured excellent presentations; this one will focus specifically on medical data collected and stored by mobile apps. I’m hoping that we’ll also get some presentations about the privacy affiliated with connected medical devices as well. (FTC— Stacey Higginbotham

The post IoT news of the week for June 26, 2020 appeared first on Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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