- iot news week - IoT news of the week for July 27, 2018 – Stacey on IoT

Lenovo’s Smart Display arrives: At the January 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, Stacey and I were both wowed by Lenovo’s Smart Display. If a Home and an 8- or 10-inch touchscreen tablet went on a Tinder date, this would be the likely outcome. The device is ideal for the kitchen or bedroom to play music, watch videos, control your smart home by voice, or connect with that one friend who actually uses Duo for video calls. It’s also the first product to use ’s Android Things platform. Expect to pay $199 or $249, depending on the screen size, with availability starting today. (Cordcutters)

Ayla Networks has a new CEO: Ayla, a company that helps companies connect their devices to the internet and manage them, has hired a new CEO. Jonathan Cobb has been promoted from chief operating officer to CEO, while David Friedman, current CEO and co-founder, will take on a new role as executive chairman and chief strategy officer . Ayla has hired a new chief financial officer and a new VP of global marketing.  The executive shuffle lends credence to rumors I’ve heard that Ayla is preparing for an initial public offering. Ayla is in its eighth year and has raised at least $124 million from venture firms. It’s most recent round was $60 million raised in November of last year. –SH

Alexa adds ESP (but not the kind you think): Amazon has made Alexa’s “Echo-Spatial Perception” feature, also known as ESP, available to third-party Echo products. ESP is the function that lets the Echo closest to you respond, so that you’re not hearing Alexa from another device in another room. Until now, this was an Amazon-only feature, meaning only the Echo products made by Amazon could use it. Now, all Alexa-enabled devices have ESP due to Amazon implementing it in the cloud. (CNet)

IBM Watson needs to see a data doctor: As smart as Watson was on Jeopardy, the artificial intelligence from IBM might not be up to snuff when it comes to diagnosing illness treatments. Internal IBM documents reportedly indicate that Watson made “multiple examples of unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations” for cancer patients. Of course, any machine learning success is tied directly to the data input used for training and in this case, the IBM documents say that’s why Watson gave bad output: The learning model used hypothetical, instead of real, patient cases. Another example of the old “garbage in, garbage out” theory. (Stat)

Qualcomm spent $2B not to expand in After months of trying to acquire NXP, Qualcomm’s $44 deal has fallen through as China’s regulators aren’t allowing it. As a result, the company will have to pay NXP a $2 termination fee that was negotiated previously, in the acquisition agreement. Qualcomm’s chips are in routers, , and tablets, but it wanted NXP to expand into embedded systems such as automobiles and IoT devices. Now Qualcomm will have to rely on its acquisition of CSR to build out a more IoT-centric portfolio. (Bloomberg)

If you can’t beat ‘em, spin off your smarts: Ford has become the latest automaker to spin off its self-driving vehicle unit, hoping to push the accelerator on business opportunity while also boosting value. Indeed, Ford has committed $4 billion through 2023 to its self-driving smarts efforts and has reportedly been seeking additional investors for the unit. Why the need to jump-start autonomous vehicle ? Because with a target date of 2021, Ford is a few years behind GM Cruise, Uber, and Alphabet Waymo when it comes to getting self-driving cars on the road. (Reuters)

Facial recognition that keeps privacy in mind is worth $28M: Let’s be honest: When you hear about facial recognition technology, it likely makes you nervous. And it should. As more smart cameras are deployed, who wants to not only be watched all the but visually recognized, too? That’s why I’m following AnyVision closely. The company doesn’t make cameras, but instead builds recognition algorithms that fuzz out all faces in a frame so that a human looking at the video can’t determine who is who. But if a specific person is being looked for, the software can still detect if they’re in frame. AnyVision just raised $28 million in a Series A funding round led by Bosch. (TechCrunch)

TP-Link has products to match its new mesh router: A few weeks back on the IoT Podcast , we noted that TP-Link debuted its new Deco M9 router, which doubles as a smart home hub. Now, the company is following up with products you can add to that system. The $139 Kasa Outdoor Camera and $39 (per pair) Kasa Smart Plugs joined the lineup this week. Aside from the typical features expected in these products, I like how both work with your choice of either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant right out of the box. Stacey has used the Kasa plugs and found them reliable, but she does have concerns about TP-Link’s commitment to security updates. (BetaNews)

What the heck is an IIoT endpoint anyway? I suppose it all depends on who you ask, but if you’re looking for a good definition of an “endpoint,” this Sans Institute white paper is probably one of the best and most all-encompassing explanations I’ve ever read. And it’s an important definition to understand because most Industrial IoT efforts use their networks as the control point for device security when perhaps this should be moved down the stack to actual endpoints. (Sans Institute [PDF])

The Intelligent Edge is another good concept to know: If white papers aren’t your thing (I don’t blame you), then this cute but informative animated video might do the trick. In it, Microsoft Chief Technology Office Kevin Scott explains what the Intelligent Edge is and why it’s important. Of course, Microsoft is more than happy to tout and sell you its Azure Edge products, which is really why the company put this information together, but the video is so understandable and well done that I’ll give them a pass on the marketing. (Microsoft)

Fantastic Voyage in the IoT age: If only we could put minute little sensors into our bodies to help monitor and track our biological internals. Oh, wait — we can! MIT researchers designed and built little robots the size of a human egg cell that can store tracking data without any batteries, which keeps them . Instead, the circuitry is powered by a photodiode. There’s no data transmission, so you’ll have to wait until the little chips pass through and out your body before getting results. Then again, that’s better than shrinking people to fit into a little submersible to surf around your bloodstream. (MIT News)

While politicians are talking, hackers are hacking: Earlier this month, many of us tuned in to the Helsinki summit between President Trump and President Putin. But not China — or at least, not certain hackers in China. During the summit, attacks on IoT devices in Finland spiked 2,800%, with intrusion attempts mostly from China. The apparent intent was to collect audio and video information. Guess they don’t trust hearing from the “fake news” media. (Defense One)

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