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IoT news of the week for February 26, 2021

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2FA? Yay or nay? This list of connected devices is a good place to go to ensure the product you’re about to buy offers two-factor authentication — it even lets you know if the authentication will come via a text or an authentication app or device. You may not need 2FA on, say, a leak sensor, but devices such as cameras or anything that has the ability to tap into your wallet for order fulfillment should probably have more protection than just a single password, especially if that password is the same one you use all over the internet. (Two Factor Auth)

This connected thermometer looks pretty compelling: Chris Young, creator of the Joule sous vide device, is back with a connected thermometer that features multiple temperature sensors. As part of his ongoing effort to help would-be chefs make better-tasting food by getting a keen understanding of how both the inside and outside of the food is cooking, Young has created a company called Combustion Inc. to build the device, which should be out later this summer. Most interestingly, given that the Joule sous vide requires a smartphone to control it, Young plans to ditch the app for the thermometer and its controls, a move with which I wholeheartedly agree! (Geekwire)

Are we getting somewhere on e-waste and planned obsolescence? I was really excited to see France pass a law requiring companies to publish repairability scores associated with their products. The law also prohibits companies from requiring authorized dealers and proprietary software to enact repairs. Finally, it forces device makers to publish expiration dates, after which their devices will no longer receive software updates. France’s goal is to stop planned obsolescence of connected devices. The hope is that devices will become more repairable so they’re able to function longer and fewer end up in landfills. The law could also help make lengthier software support a competitive advantage, especially among eco-conscious buyers. The EU is also looking at adopting similar laws, and if that happens I’d love to see this come to the U.S. (Linklaters)

Vodafone on making environmentally-friendly trackers: The IoT is an e-waste nightmare, but so are those Bluetooth and other low-power trackers if they get put on millions of devices. I’ve spoken with firms that have a recycling program where the trackers are sent back to the shipper for re-use, but this article discusses Vodafone’s use of a different type of battery tech — one that isn’t as toxic — as another way to help mitigate the environmental problems associated with IoT e-waste. The companies making the trackers are also looking at using biodegradable plastic made from fish scales as a material. I’m down for it. (Enterprise IoT Insights)

More people are discussing consent in IoT: I was excited to read this article, which is written by a student who was conducting research into consent and connected devices. It’s worth a skim as it covers most of the big issues and brings up new ones. (It’s a better skim than a read as the author spends a lot of time on the process and doesn’t always stick with the point.) The survey isn’t very in-depth, but frankly, I’m thrilled that people are beginning to focus on the need for broad consent around IoT devices, so I’m plugging it and hoping that the writer matures as his time in academia continues. (Medium)

Do your kids live in a domestic panopticon? Speaking of consent, this is a fascinating article that traces our willingness to surveil our kids in the name of safety to ways in which that willingness may influence the rise of the surveillance state. It starts with a history of the baby monitor and how that led to the Nanny cam, which turned the surveillance of children into the surveillance of domestic workers, and explores how this trend is expanding with new connected devices. It also looks at how these devices can drive neurosis and open up security holes in the home, both of which can render such products counterproductive. As someone who didn’t use a baby monitor and spends little on security-focused devices because of these very reasons, I found her arguments convincing. But I think even if you are a concerned parent buying this gear, it’s a perspective worth considering. (Real Life Mag)

Ember brings on a former Dyson CEO: Ember, the company behind the Ember heated coffee mug (and my mom’s all-time favorite Christmas gift), has named Dyson CEO Jim Rowan as the new CEO of its consumer division. Ember’s current founder and CEO, Clay Alexander, will stay on and transition to become CEO of the Ember Group, where he will focus on strategic issues. I had been thinking of Ember as a one-trick pony, but the company’s goal is to take its heating technology to other verticals, including health care, which is why Rowan is coming on board. This seems like a good get, so I can’t wait to see what Ember does next. (Ember)

Everything you need to know about Thread: Kevin tackled the radio protocol ahead of its use as one of the underlying radio protocols on which Project Connected Home over IP will operate. (Stacey on IoT)

Does boosting connected devices in the home require cheaper gadgets? According to the NPD Group, half of U.S. homes have a smart device, but wealthier households (those with incomes of $ 150,000 or more) have twice the penetration of devices as poorer households (those with incomes of less than $ 45,000). This obviously should come as no surprise. Data also showed that sales of security products rose by 44% last year, driven in part by social unrest. Basically, folks with money are buying devices to protect what they have. My hunch is even at lower price points, adoption of IoT products might not be the top priority in lower-income households. (CE Pro)

The post IoT news of the week for February 26, 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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