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IoT news of the week for Sept. 10, 2021

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Raspberry Pis are pretty popular in industrial settings: Distributor Farnell recently surveyed 1,500 electronics engineers and discovered that 44% of them were using Raspberry Pis as their industrial single-board computer. Arduino boards came in second in popularity, at 28%, and Texas Instruments’ Beagleboards followed, with 6% of electronics engineers choosing them. Almost a quarter of the respondents used these generic single-board computers as proofs of concept ahead of building a custom device, although 22% used them in production units. A fifth of those using generic SBCs in production are scaling them up to 5,000 units or more. That’s a lot of work done on computers originally designed to teach kids about computing. (I Programmer— Stacey Higginbotham

How to “recycle” your older Raspberry Pis: Every tinkerer or gadget lover has a drawer or box full of old gear that no longer works or is simply no longer useful. Well, now if those boxes or drawers contain Raspberry Pi 3 Model B boards, Pi 3 Model B+ boards, or Pi 4 boards, the owner can send them in for reuse. The program is being touted as recycling, but what will really happen is the reusable boards will be refurbished, repackaged, and then sold for a lower cost, while those that no longer work will be sent to a processing center to get as many useful components off the boards as possible before they get tossed. This is way better than just dumping them in your trash, and my hope is that as companies develop these programs we’ll also see a new emphasis on designing electronics for recyclability and teardown. (ZDNet— Stacey Higginbotham

Comcast’s Notion brand helps an Australian insurer get smart: Notion, a Comcast company that provides smart home sensors and data for insurers, now has its first international agreement, with Honey Insurance, an Australian startup. Honey Insurance plans to provide new customers with smart home sensors valued at AU$ 250 that will help to proactively reduce its number of claims. In exchange for installing and activating the sensors, its customers will receive 8% off their premiums. I’ve written about Notion and how insurers are using smart home devices in the past, but I am excited to see the model spread to more places. (Notion) — Stacey Higginbotham

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Over the past few years, I’ve written a number of times about how smart homes really aren’t that smart yet. In fact, Stacey has put the kibosh on me writing any more on this topic. So that’s why I’m sharing this story. It’s exactly the point I’ve been trying to make: We really don’t yet have all of these disparate smart devices and systems working cohesively in a way that brings more smarts to our homes. Maybe the timing of my prior writing was off. One of the reasons we don’t have a holistic smart home is due to the many different standards and protocols used up to now. This article concludes by suggesting the new Matter protocol will get us to where I’ve been envisioning. (EE Times— Kevin C. Tofel

Battery-powered Wi-Fi for Alexa and AWS devices: It’s not often we hear about battery-powered IoT devices using Wi-Fi. While this wireless networking standard is speedy, it’s also a relative power hog compared to other alternatives that use much less power. InnoPhase this week announced that its Talaria Two models are AWS certified using Wi-Fi for sensor-to-cloud connectivity. The company’s Talaria Two modules include a power-efficient Cortex M3 application processor and a Wi-Fi radio that sips power up to one-eighth of a standard 802.11 radio. The certification also means that battery-powered devices using this model can work with Alexa Skills in the smart home. (InnoPhase— Kevin C. Tofel

Thread arrives on Wemo’s Stage Scene Controller: Back in April, Belkin launched a small, wireless remote to quickly enable pre-configured smart home scenes. The Wemo Stage Scene Controller was promised to have Thread support after the product launch, and now Belkin has delivered on that promise. The HomeKit-supported Stage Scene Controller is the newest Thread-certified product, allowing you to quickly and easily control other Thread-based smart home devices as part of up to nine scenes provided you have a Thread Border Router as part of your HomeKit setup. (Thread Group— Kevin C. Tofel

Some existing Aqara hubs will be Matter-compliant: Add another company to the list of Matter supporters. This week, Aqara announced its M1S and M2 hubs will support the upcoming Matter standard through a software update. These hubs currently use the Zigbee protocol to communicate with the company’s sensors, switches, and outlets. Aqara notes that the software update will become available after Matter officially rolls out in 2022, and it expects a seamless transition from Zigbee to Matter. Normally I don’t fully trust statements about “seamless transitions” but this one makes sense. The Matter protocol was wrangled together by the Zigbee Alliance, now known as the Connectivity Standards Alliance. (HomeKit News— Kevin C. Tofel

A good take on the consolidation in access control: This week, Blackstone Group said it would spend $ 5 billion buying garage door maker Chamberlain. Most of Chamberlain’s products aren’t connected, but the company was early to build out a line of smart devices and had a vision for how connectivity would affect its business. Also this week, lock company Assa Abloy said it would purchase the hardware business of Spectrum Brands, which makes the popular Kwikset and Baldwin locks. This consolidation isn’t driven by connected tech as much as it is by the shifting economics of a post-pandemic world of expensive materials and hard-to-hire employees, but Lee Odess does a good job explaining what’s happening in the world of access control and why these deals matter. (Inside Access Control). — Stacey Higginbotham

The post IoT news of the week for Sept. 10, 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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