- iot news week - IoT News of the week for Sept. 21, 2018 – Stacey on IoT

John Hancock goes all in on wearables for health: We’ve seen a number of insurance companies provide discounts for consumers that adopt devices or wearables. Usually, these are optional programs, but John Hancock is moving towards a mandatory approach. This week, the health care insurer said it will extending its Vitality program to all new and existing policyholders. Through Vitality, insured consumers can earn an Apple Watch for as little as $25 or get a free Fitbit Alta to track steps, record exercise routines, and more, with the being sent to John Hancock for discounts on insurance rates and related health products through companies such as Garmin, REI, and Amazon. (John Hancock)

Withings debuts Steel HR Sport watch: Speaking of wearables, most of them have terrible battery life. Not so with the Withings line of products. That’s because they’re hybrid devices, consisting of mechanical bits (which are used to tell the time) combined with sensors. The new Withings Steel HR Sport launched this week gets 25 days of battery life, even with sleep enabled. It also adds a new, connected GPS feature; a small OLED for notifications and exercise data; and a VO2 Max function that determines your level of fitness. You can grab one now for $200. (Withings)

What are Nest’s health ambitions? Last year, Google reportedly bought Senosis, a Seattle startup focused on using phone sensors to capture unique health data. Turns out it wasn’t Google that made the purchase. Nest, which at the time was still part of Alphabet’s “Other Bets” unit, was the purchaser, a fact that Google went to great lengths to hide. This GeekWire piece paints a fascinating picture as to to why Nest didn’t want its name associated with the deal and how it managed to keep the buy under wraps. But now we’re left wondering: why did Nest want Senosis in the first place? Hmm… (GeekWire)

IoT security threats growing at an alarming rate: Not to be all “doom and gloom,” but if you use any IoT devices, this new security report is a must-read. Kaspersky Lab has seen a tripling of attacks on honeypot IoT devices in its labs over the first six months of 2018 compared to all of the prior year. The report also lists which vendors and devices have been targeted the most, so it’s worth a look to see if you have any devices from those companies. Also of note are the most abused ports and protocols, which may help you button down some holes in your own routers and devices. (Kaspersky Lab)

Amazon wants to eat more of your data on the Go: The checkout-free “magic” of Amazon Go stores will reportedly expand to up to 3,000 locations in the U.S. by 20. If you’re not familiar with Amazon Go, you scan your smartphone when entering the retail , grab your food and other items, and simply walk out. Amazon uses computer vision and sensors to determine what you bought and then dings your connected payment method for the balance due. The convenience factor is off the charts, but do we want Amazon to have even more information about our purchase preferences? (Bloomberg)

Need a bot for your business? Ask Einstein!: Salesforce is getting in on the AI and bot trend with its Einstein Voice Bot platform. The idea is that businesses that want bots for customer-facing applications can easily add them through Salesforce instead of building their own. Einstein Voice Bots will also be compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home products, meaning that there’s a large target audience out there for companies and services. (VentureBeat)

More IIoT funding for ioTium: Add another $13.6 million to the amount raised by ioTium, an industrial IoT platform provider. The Series B round brings its total funding to $22 million. What makes ioTium interesting is its software-defined converged infrastructure approach. It both adds security to and separates IT data from operational technology information as well as adding simple device discovery and provisioning. It’s a different take on IIoT and worth watching. (ioTium)

Arrow Electronics has a new IoT lab and Intel partnership: Smart cities are becoming hot topics and Arrow wants to move into that space. The company is working with the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance to open up the new Colorado Open Lab for Internet of Things (IoT) engineering. This is Arrow’s second lab for IoT; it previously set one up in Hong Kong to learn more about how cities can take advantage of sensors and data. The new Colorado lab is also expected to showcase Ambient Science, a new edge-computing standard that Arrow and Intel partnered on. (Arrow)

Here’s one way to speed up 5G deployments: AT&T is partnering with the City of Los Angeles to smarten up the area. That’s great for the city, but it turns out to be great for AT&T, too, as the public-private partnership will allow the carrier to “deploy [its] network faster” in return. I totally get the quid quo pro approach, but let’s be : 5G isn’t needed for the smart city effort, which includes emergency preparedness and structured monitoring, digital kiosks, and AT&T’s Digital Infrastructure offering. (TechRepublic)

Holy cow: 11 new Alexa devices! While I got to sit in my recliner to write up the , was running around Seattle trying to catch up on all of the newest Echo devices from Amazon. Actually, they were all in one place, at a press event held by Amazon. Still, she worked harder than I did, and has summarized all 11 new Echo product offerings. There’s definitely something for everyone: smart outlets, car accessories, a wall clock (really!), a microwave, an improved Echo hub, and a much more attractive Echo Show, to name just a few items. (StaceyOnIot)

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