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IoT news of the week for Feb. 19, 2021

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This DARPA research on IoT security offers some home: DARPA, the defense departments research group, launched a hacking competition last year and the results are better than one might think. Hackers tried to attack a secure IoT chip developed through DARPA’s System Security Integration Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program. Those that succeeded focused on attacks through software, not the hardware itself and most attacks weren’t successful. This is good news, and the next step is for DARPA to build out a secure system on a chip built around the SSITH program and see how it fares against more attackers. (IEEE Spectrum— Stacey Higginbotham

Sigfox has a new CEO: Ludovic Le Moan, the co-founder and CEO of low power WAN provider Sigfox, has stepped down and will be replaced by Jeremy Prince, who has served as the head of Sigfox’s operations in the U.S. Le Moan’s departure comes after accusations of harassment and misconduct from employees at the firm’s French headquarters. Sigfox has also been trying to deal with increased competition in the LPWAN sector and has shifted its business model to try to make Sigfox network connectivity more widely available so customers feel comfortable signing deals. (Enterprise IoT Insights)  — Stacey Higginbotham

Is the future to be found in a connected closet? I recently received a pitch from Powercast, a company pushing wireless power, that jolted me into an entirely new way of thinking by re-imagining the closet as a wireless charging station. The details focused on connected clothing, which is somewhat bizarre since — other than the Levi’s Jacquard jacket — most people don’t have any connected clothing. But it did get me thinking about the benefits of turning one of my closets into a wireless charging station with the ability to leave my family’s smartwatches, Kindles, iPads, phones, and any connected clothing we end up with inside to charge. Like most people, we obviously don’t spend a ton of time in our closets, and the space is contained, which would help with charging efficiency. Plus, putting gadgets in a closet would keep the related clutter out of sight. We’re still a ways off from truly efficient wireless power over any distance, never mind having the necessary chips in everyday devices like fitness trackers or earbuds, but I think jamming a charging station into a closet is a proposition worth evaluating. (Powercast— Stacey Higginbotham

An oldie but goody on what TinyML might mean for technology: First up, this story is almost a year old, but my guest on this week’s podcast wrote it and drew my attention to it during the show. And just because I’m a year late to the article doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it. The crux of Alasdair Allan’s article is that with capable machine learning on microcontrollers, we would need less internet for the internet of things. He imagines a world of distributed intelligence that is both more private and more secure. Go read it. (Medium— Stacey Higginbotham

Why put Wi-Fi on a gun? This article about Russian gunmaker Kalashnikov seeking new markets for its wares by launching a shotgun equipped with a computer, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi is puzzling in the extreme. For example, the gun could sync with your smartphone, but that seems like a bad idea if you’re using the gun for, uh, nefarious purposes. Whereas if you’re using it for hunting, it’s unclear what value it might provide. And if you’re purchasing a cache of guns on behalf of a police force or the armed services, connectivity might be useful for tracking purposes, but you’d want a system that can be managed as a fleet, not one that connects to a smartphone. (Reuters— Stacey Higginbotham

DIY smart home person detection is all the rage: This week, I looked at several ways you can create your own in-home person detection service — all you need is a sub-$ 50 Raspberry Pi, a webcam, and the willingness to follow installation programs. While I suspect it’s the latter requirement that keeps folks from taking this plunge, you’ll learn how to build machine learning models if you do. Even better, other than there being no subscription fee involved? All of the video feeds are processed locally on the Pi, so it’s a more private solution as well. (Stacey On IoT— Kevin C. Tofel

Nothing gets…something for $ 15M? Remember the old Andy Rubin-led company, Essential? It went under in 2017 after introducing just a single smartphone, which was disappointing because Essential had touted a so-called “Ambient OS” for the smart home as a follow-up product. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. But there’s still hope. Last week, Carl Pei, co-founder of the OnePlus smartphone company, got $ 15 million in funding for his new company, which is named Nothing (yes, really!). And this week, Nothing bought what remains of the Essential brand and IP. Oh and that funding was led by GV, formerly known as Google Ventures. So Nothing really could turn out to be something! (9to5 Google— Kevin C. Tofel

Google will soon power Philips Hue bulbs: Signify, maker of Philips Hue smart lighting products, announced this week that it had chosen Google Cloud IoT Core for the products’ back end. Few people likely care about which IoT cloud service provider powers their devices, but this write-up is actually interesting. Signify benchmark tested various providers for device scalability and responsiveness using both virtual and real Hue devices and ultimately chose Google. It’s leaving the current back-end infrastructure in place as it transitions to Google IoT core, so you shouldn’t see any service disruptions. I wonder if they tested the transition? (Google Cloud Blog— Kevin C. Tofel

Everything you want to know about Thread is here: Kudos to Eve, which makes a wide range of smart home devices. This week, the company took to its blog to discuss the benefits that Thread networks and devices will soon bring. But first, it offered a fantastic, easy-to-understand explanation of how Thread networks work. We have touted Thread for some time now, but it’s always good to get another perspective that makes clear why this protocol is so exciting. (EveHome Blog— Kevin C. Tofel

Cisco links its IoT software to AWS: Let’s hear it for end-to-end solutions! Cisco has signed a deal to link its Edge Intelligence software with AWS’s IoT Core service so customers can send their local data directly and easily to Amazon’s cloud. It’s a necessary step in making it easier for customers to send their data to the cloud, and everyone trying to build any kind of IoT hardware, software, or data processing has to sign these deals with Amazon and Microsoft. Occasionally we’ll see these links with IBM or Google. (Network World— Stacey Higginbotham

The post IoT news of the week for Feb. 19, 2021 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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