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Blockchain-based Bluetooth connections are coming: Nodle.io, a startup that is trying to build a Bluetooth-based network for the internet of things, has raised $1.5 million. The fundraising isn’t as important as the fact that the company now has partners who are signing up to install its peer-to-peer communications sharing inside their apps. Nodle’s technology is a distributed ledger that tracks users who let applications leverage their smartphones’ Bluetooth connections to provide a smidgen of network connectivity for the internet of things. (I described Nodle’s technology and plans in more detail in a profile a few months ago). But along with this funding, the company now has application developers who are putting Nodle’s software into their apps.
That means a tracking device such as Chipolo or Tile could put Nodle’s software in its app and share Bluetooth connectivity with others on Nodle’s network. Doing so provides greater coverage than if, say, Tile only relied on its own users. Mischa Benoliel, the CEO of Nodle, says that in addition to tracking devices, transportation companies are interested in the technology. For example, if a bike-sharing company used Nodle in its app, and Nodle’s network grew large enough, it might be able to rely on Bluetooth instead of GPS to track its bikes.
Some concrete ideas for industrial IoT security: This article is one of the few to offer practical tips for developing secure, connected industrial devices. It discusses the four types of people who should be involved in the design process (including the operations manager), and lays out ways to keep a security focus that can work for the people designing a board all the way up the app software team. It’s a really good read. (EETimes)
The ACLU is fighting against surveillance on public transportation: The organization is trying to pass an ordinance that will force Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the commuter system that serves San Francisco and certain adjacent regions, to involve citizens in any effort to increase surveillance on buses and trains. The ACLU proposed language and then held a meeting to vote on the proposal on Thursday night. I find this worthwhile both because the language used to try to legislate how surveillance tech might be adopted by cities is worth seeing, and because I wonder if citizens will win. We’ll see. (ACLU of Northern California)
Trump’s tariffs could hurt IoT startups: While there are plenty of large businesses that are concerned about President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs, I’ve heard an earful about them from the CEOs at IoT startups building physical products. This article focuses on comments made by the CEO of a smart switch that launched last week, but rest assured, he isn’t alone. I’m hearing from companies large and small that they have to figure out how to change their manufacturing plans to adapt to the potential for tariffs, and some are worried that such a switch will kill their business. (Bloomberg)
Someone wants to spend $3B building Wakanda: I don’t know about this, y’all. The government of Ethiopia is working with a developer called HubCity Live to build a connected city in an area called Bahir Dar in the state of Amhara. The goal is to build a city modeled on the fictional Wakanda, from the “Black Panther” comics and movie. How they plan to do this without vibranium is beyond me, but it sounds cool. Unfortunately there’s no word about data management plans, citizen privacy, or other relevant information, so I won’t hold my breath. (Silicon Republic)
Honeywell’s home security and automation business is big! As it works through the process of spinning out its home automation and security business, Honeywell is sharing some big numbers. The proposed spin-out will be called Resideo, and according to Mike Nefkens, current president and CEO of Honeywell Homes and future CEO of Resideo, the Honeywell products are already in 150 million homes, with 15 million more being added each year. I can’t wait for the filings so I can see if they break out how many of those homes are “smart.” (Seeking Alpha)
BreezoMeter raised $7.75 million: I’ve been a fan of this company since meeting the founder at SXSW in 2016. BreezoMeter is using sensors and math to create detailed air quality reports while requiring fewer on-the-ground sensors. I profiled it two years back, and am glad to see the company is continuing to grow. (BreezoMeter)
Aclima scales up its air quality sensor reach: On the other side of the air quality sensor effort is Aclima, which puts air quality sensors on Google’s StreetView vehicles so it can gather ground-level data all around cities to track air quality. It’s a different approach, and this week’s news that Google will put Aclima sensors on all of its vehicles after conducting a limited test in California is a big move for the company. If you’re interested in learning more about Aclima, I interviewed the CEO last year on the podcast. (Fast Company)
Vodaphone is expanding its NB-IoT network: Specifically, the telecom is doubling that network by 2019, but it doesn’t offer any indication as to whether that means it’s doubling in terms of people/devices covered, countries, or if it’s just about turning on NB-IoT capability in more towers. It does say that it currently has 74 million NB-IoT connections across its network. (Total Telecom)