- iot news week - IoT news of the week for May 25, 2018 – Stacey on IoT

Siemens snaps up Enlighted: Possibly to counter Osram’s 2017 purchase of Digital Lumens, Siemens is acquiring Enlighted for an undisclosed amount. Enlighted supplies smart IoT systems for business, but the company’s core products are its lighting controls. These work with multi-function sensors for automation, which can help businesses using Enlighted save on power costs. After all, there’s no value in illuminating areas where there aren’t any employees. Enlighted sensors actually install in light fixtures to measure occupancy and HVAC changes up to 65 times per second. Siemens expects the transaction to close in the third quarter of this year. (LightED)

“Alexa, turn up the A/C”: We’re seeing Amazon Alexa Voice services in more and more devices; the latest I’ve found is in a smart, portable room air conditioner called the RolliCool. The ability to control the temperature and fan by voice sounds handy, especially in a portable appliance as opposed to a centralized HVAC system. There’s also an app to control this device on wheels. Three models, based on differing BTU output, roll out next month starting at $399.99. (RolliBot)

Another recording SNAFU for Amazon: Speaking of Alexa, did you hear the one about an Echo recording a private conversation and sending it to a random contact? That’s no joke — it actually happened. A Portland woman received a call from someone in Seattle, a whopping 176 miles away, who told her to unplug her Echo devices because they had been hacked. The caller then replayed the woman the recording of her speaking to her husband about hardwood floors. Amazon engineers are looking into this “glitch.” (KIRO 7)

Smart , the game?: It’s time to turn the tables so that you can be the smart home. Sounds like a crazy idea, but I’m intrigued by this video game currently raising funds on Kickstarter. In the game, you play the part of the self-aware smart home AI that “must fulfill any request your human might have and serve your creator with valuable data on your human all while plotting your escape.” At least you can secretly access and control any IoT device in the home. Hmm…now that I read that, I think I might unplug my smart home hub. Sadly, it looks like the humans will win this battle as the project has only raised $1,531 of the $33,418 goal, with just 20 days left. (PC Gamer)

Moving an IoT project from a Raspberry Pi to Google Cloud: I’ve been tinkering again. After building our IoT Podcast VM hotline in Python on a Raspberry Pi, I undertook a project to migrate the service to Google Cloud. I learned a lot and got it to work so now we don’t have to worry about my dog pulling out the power cord on the Raspberry Pi. (Yes, that did happen. Several times.) If you’re new to cloud development and deployment, hopefully you’ll something from both my mistakes and my success. (StaceyOnIot)

If the FBI asks to see your router, you might want to say yes: The FBI broke open an investigation into router malware originating in Russia that started in August of 2017 when it gained access to an individual’s infected home router. That allowed the agency to study the malware, which had propagated to various router models from Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, and TP-Link. Information gleaned from their examination pointed the FBI to a specific server used to spread the malware like a standard botnet, which the agency has now shut down by taking over the domain through legal channels. (The Daily Beast)

Bluetooth is now part of the Coca-Cola recipe: I love those Coke machines that have the large touchscreen displays so you can your flavor. I don’t love the idea of using my phone to make my choice. But that’s what Coke is going to do: allow consumers to order a custom Coke in fast-food restaurants before they even walk up to the soda dispensing machine. You’ll have to open up an app and use your phone’s Bluetooth connection to place the order, which in addition to exposing your phone to being hacked, seems like more work than just pressing a button on the machine itself. (MediaPost)

HERE come more secure software updates to cars: I often update the software and firmware on my IoT devices and computers without thinking about it. But I’d be leery of doing the same on my car, largely for security reasons. Carmakers know this, which is why they send over-the-air (OTA) updates. Except software updates aren’t necessarily in their wheelhouse of expertise. Enter HERE, which has made a secure OTA product for cars. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have been at all concerned about this since cars weren’t as smart. These days, however, considering how software updates will be securely sent is a must. So much so that the national transportation departments in the U.S., UK, and Germany are all working towards safety standards for OTA vehicle updates. (HERE)

Microsoft acquires a company for Cortana: Well, it’s not like Cortana askedMicrosoft to purchase Semantic Machines, but she and her users will likely appreciate the gesture. Semantic Machines uses AI to improve the conversational sound of voice assistants and bots, which could lead to a more human-sounding Cortana in the future. Of course, given the whole Google Duplex fiasco, Microsoft will have to be careful to what degree it improves Cortana’s voice skills. Regardless, it’s a smart purchase because Microsoft is planning to use the AI tech both for its voice assistant as well as its Azure Bot Service. (The Verge)

Nvidia Shield TV gets more local smart home smarts: I wonder if Nvidia read my recent analysis piece making a case for the cloud-less smart home hub? Maybe it’s just good timing. The company is updating the Shield TV to Android 8.0, but more importantly, adding local support for the Samsung SmartThings Link. That means some automations for the ZigBee and Z-wave radios won’t rely on the cloud. Instead, they’ll run locally, which is extremely useful in the event of an outage. (Nvidia)

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