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- Screen Shot 2018 07 13 at 8 - Nice S.p.A acquires Fibaro and other IoT news of the week for July 13, 2018 – Stacey on IoT
Mr. Maciej Fiedler, Chief Executive Officer of Fibar Group S.A. & Mr. Roberto Griffa, Chief Executive Officer of Nice S.p.A. Image courtesy of Fibaro.

Nice S.p.A Fibaro for $73 million: Nice S.p.A, an Italian company that makes smart home management software purchased Fibaro, a Polish maker of a Z-wave-based home automation systems. The deal follows an investment by Nice in Fibaro as well as Nice’s acquisition earlier this year of home security company Abode Systems. With these buys Nice looks like it will end up as the purveyor of higher-end DIY smart home products. Abode has a good reputation among users and Fibaro’s gear is both beautiful and functional. Looks like the smart home M&A fest is still ongoing. (Fibaro)

Siemens and Alibaba team up for industrial The deal announced this week links Siemens’ industrial automation platform, called MindSphere, with Alibaba’s cloud. Siemens had previously worked with Amazon Services and Microsoft Azure. Both have operations in China, but Alibaba’s native cloud operations will help Siemens expand further into the Chinese industrial market. These sorts of partnerships between cloud providers and industrial giants are seen as essential to help drive adoption of the industrial IoT, which is far too complicated for many manufacturing plants and industrial buyers to contemplate without some sort of systems integrator or complete solution. (Reuters)

What is the bare minimum for consumer IoT security? A public interest group is calling upon the consumer IoT industry and the federal government to establish a baseline for consumer connected device security modeled on the already-established Cybersecurity Framework published earlier this year. Public Knowledge is calling for the consumer security framework as a way to protect the internet at large (by reducing DDoS attacks) as well as to ease consumer fears around connected devices. Such a proposal begs the question of what the baseline should be. I would argue in favor of devices that force password changes, have over-the-air updates enabled, have a stated expiration date for security updates, and both provide and support clear policies around consumer use. (Public Knowledge)

How to build privacy legislation: Figuring out a security baseline for connected products is a good thing, but we also have to tackle privacy issues. In the wake of the EU’s GDPR legislation and California passing its own privacy law, The Electronic Frontier Foundation has pulled together a list of things Congress should focus on as it seeks to develop privacy regulations. They include letting consumers know what data companies have on them, the right to extract data, and a few other elements. Obviously, the EFF has its own agenda here, but laying out the primary issues and topics is a necessary step in figuring out how we want to think about privacy in the digital era. (EFF)

Want to read a lot of crazy talks about edge computing and decentralization? Of course you do! The Hot Edge conference took place this week in Boston and the slides for the talks have been posted to the conference site. They include sections on learning at the edge, security, and infrastructure. I’m stoked to start reading these on my next long-distance flight. So far, I’ve enjoyed one dedicated to business models and payment plans that incorporate edge computing. (Hot Edge)

Also from the EFF: Should the government be allowed to shoot down private drones? (EFF)

The industrial IoT is where old tech firms go to revive: This profile on and Adesto (see last week’s newsletter for stories on both) talks about how old-school tech firms are trying to remake themselves for the internet of things, while also explaining how they lost their relevance in their first iterations. Plus, it provides more depth on Adesto’s buy of Echelon, and says that the merged company hopes that within five years, two-thirds of its revenue will come from industrial IoT. But as the history of these two companies show, figuring out what will happen in tech is a crapshoot. (EETimes)

Looks like Ring’s security system has a few home automation downfallsThe Verge reviewed the Ring security system, which sells for $199, and found it easy to install and shy of some key features that hardcore automation folks  would want. The biggest issue with the Ring system is that the sensors won’t work with other home automation systems or hubs, so if you wanted your lights to turn on when the Ring sensor sensed the door opening, you’d have to install another sensor. But it sounds like if a base level of security is your need, you should check this out. (The Verge)

A tale of two startups: This story tracks the fortunes of SimpliSafe, a DIY home security company and BeON, a startup putting home security features into a connected light bulb. The makes the case that Simplisafe succeeded because it had a recurring revenue stream,  while BeOn went out of business because it only sold hardware. I can’t argue with the logic that selling hardware is a tough proposition in IoT, but startups tend to fail for a number of reasons. In BeOn’s case, I’d argue that one problem was education. It was a weird little device, which meant that outside the early adopter category the education users required was probably overwhelming. Additionally, SimpliSafe launched in 009, before IoT was as hyped, which meant it had a market mostly to itself. This can obviously be a problem, but for SimpliSafe it’s innovation was’t really in the connected security system but in a price model that let people buy and drop a professional monitoring service as they needed it. Regardless, it’s a nice story trying to make sense of the smart home. (Boston Globe)

I reviewed a Delta Faucet that talks to Alexa: I found it useful, but not necessary. If you love Alexa and are in the midst of a renovation, then I’d say go for it. (StaceyonIoT)



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