- iot news week - IoT news of the week for August 10, 2018 – Stacey on IoT

Anki’s inexpensive robot is crammed with smarts: Normally I wouldn’t expect much from a $250 robot, so I’m super impressed by the new Anki Vector. Aside from keeping the cute, emotion-based interactions from its prior robot, Cozmo, with Vector, Anki has moved all of the processing power from a smartphone to the robot itself. That includes computer vision and facial recognition, deep learning, natural language processing, mapping, and more. Vector is fully autonomous and always on, with a connection to the cloud for accessing Anki’s knowledge graph. Did I mention all of this is $250? Actually, if you back Vector on Kickstarter before September 7, you can get him for $199. (StaceyOnIoT)

The Feds may require vulnerability disclosure programs: While it would apply the whole software and services industry, the notion that the FTC and DOJ could mandate companies to have Vulnerability Disclosure Programs (VDPs) makes me excited from an perspective. That’s because in light of the sheer amount of data — often personal in nature — that these devices can capture, VDPs are extremely important for products and services. Notably there’s no mandate for bug bounties, which pay people to report bugs, even though that would probably speed up adoption. (CSO Online)

One sale can mean big business for Latch: Stacey covered connected lock startup Latch back in May; it focuses on apartments and condos, where smart locks can be a challenge to install for individual living. And that focus appears to be paying off. The company this week said Toll Brothers, Brookfield Property Partners, RXR Realty, and Related Group of Florida are planning to use Latch technology in upcoming development projects. By outfitting entire buildings with Latch locks, the company can make bulk sales instead of earning them one at a time from individual homeowners. (Bloomberg)

Most hardware makers aren’t making money from hardware: As you may have noticed, when it comes to IoT, certain products have subscription fees and ads. It may be annoying, but it’s the only way many device makers can eke out a profit. They have to price devices low enough to get consumers to purchase them, but then have to recoup expenses through alternative means. (Slate)

Is the IoT the next dot-com bust? I can’t say I agree with everything in this article, but it’s an intriguing read. Essentially the author cautions that both Moore’s Law and Metcalf’s Law will limit growth of IoT, similar to how they negatively impacted the dot-com era. I’d say yes and no. What I think get missed here is that you can’t look at IoT as an industry in and of itself when in reality it’s comprised of a jumble of vertical markets and products. So these laws aren’t universally applicable to the IoT as a whole. (Electronic Design)

DoD restricts GPS devices and wearables: Looks like we’re still in the aftermath of that Strava fiasco from a few months ago. If you recall, Strava “heatmaps” showing where people were exercising revealed the location of various military personnel. The simple fix is for Strava users to disable the data-sharing option, but that’s not good enough for the Department of Defense. This week, the DoD restricted use of all personal and government-issued devices with GPS tracking functions in operational areas to ensure location data isn’t made publicly available. I guess the next Apple Watch won’t be launching with a camouflage band. (Breaking Defense)

The $30 Eufy Genie now supports Alexa calls and messages: Amazon announced back in April that it would allow third-party devices to gain a little parity with its own Echo products by opening up calls and messages on non-Amazon devices. If you have one of the low-cost Eufy Genie devices, you now have this feature, although you’ll need to update the Alexa on your phone or tablet to access it. I figured my Sonos One would let me make Alexa calls, but apparently my device is still on the waiting list. Oh well, at least I can call my one friend, Stacey, on Google Duo. (Android Police)

Google Assistant app gets fine-touch controls: I really like the detailed controls on the Lenovo Smart Display; while I can control devices by voice, I can also fine-tune things via touch. When using voice to set a lamp at 50 percent brightness, for example, I’m shown a percentage slider on the smart display to boost or reduce the light level. Similar controls are now appearing in the Google Assistant app for some, bringing the same touch functionality and a cohesive Home experience to and tablets. If you don’t see these yet, stay tuned for an app update. (Droid Life)

Tesla’s Powerwall battery smartly saves juice before an incoming storm: I had 41 solar panels on my old home and considered getting a Tesla Powerwall to deal with power outages. Unfortunately, I moved before I could make that investment. But if you have a Powerwall, you’ll see that your corresponding mobile app was recently updated and adds a new Storm Watch function. When a storm is on the way, your Powerwall can intelligently stop providing power — assuming you’re still grid-tied or the sun is shining before the storm — so it saves electricity for when you’ll need it most. (Electrek)

Samsung is putting $22B into AI, 5G, and autonomous car chips: Over the next three years, Samsung is spending some of its financial war chest on product development. Will it make its digital assistant Bixby better? Let’s hope so, since Bixby is on deck to be the interface across many Samsung product lines. The investment in 5G is likely more for telecom services, but the money planned for automotive products is surely of interest for the IoT. Samsung says it wants to beef up its chip offerings for self-driving cars. “Bixby, stop the car!” (Samsung)

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