IoT News of the Week for November 19, 2021 - Stacey on IoT

Cupertino, November 19, 2021

Samsung SmartThings adds energy monitoring for the whole house: There seems to be a kind of gold rush in monitoring electricity. The latest prospector is Samsung SmartThings, which this week announced three new partnerships to bring energy monitoring to customers around the house. The company says products and services from Copper Labs, Eyedro and Wattbuy are now integrated with the SmartThings platform to allow smart home owners to track electricity consumption and choose renewable energy suppliers. While this is a good start, it doesn't allow SmartThings to see individual device power consumption. I suspect we will see this feature added over time through other products and services. (Samsung SmartThings) - Kevin C. Tofel

Take your Starbucks and go: Amazon's "go in and out to pay" strategy has another testing company. This week, Starbucks announced that it is testing the Amazon Go payment system at a location in New York. Customers can order their food and drinks through the Starbucks app, then arrive at the location and scan a code from their Amazon Shopping app to enter the store. While they are there, they may have other items automatically added to the bill thanks to the Amazon Go system, which consists of in-room cameras. And when they leave, the fees are automatically applied to their credit card. I may no longer have caffeine today, but I'm still not sold on a surveillance model for shopping and payments, no matter how convenient. (Starbucks) - Kevin C. Tofel

MediaTek brings Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 to IoT: You may not be familiar with MediaTek, but it quickly dethroned Qualcomm as the global leader in smartphone chips. He also has a hand in IoT. This week, the company announced a pair of new chips that will bring Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 to IoT devices. However, they are not for battery powered sensors. Expect to see new silicon and enhanced wireless technology that supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz signals in the larger products that are connected, such as webcams and smart speakers. Indeed, the new silicone supports voice assistants and permanent voice detection. Personally, I would be happy to see them in the webcam segment, which still has new products using the 2.4 GHz bands that do not play nicely with many mesh networks. (ArsTechnica) - Kevin C. Tofel

Alexa's conversation mode is here and it's complex: After we announced it last year, Alexa's talk mode is now launching on Echo Show 10. If you have this smart speaker, you may not see (or hear) any changes right away, as the software update to activate it several more launches per week. However, once Echo is updated, you can add Alexa to a conversation by saying the word wake-up once. Then you and more people can have a conversation with Amazon's smart speaker to ask more questions, control devices, or just talk about your day, I suppose. After your chat is over, the phrase "Leave this conversation" brings Alexa back to standard wake-up mode. Although it seems like a simple feature to add, there is quite a bit of engineering involved in using multiple sensors and a twisted neural network, which this story explains for nerds like me. (Amazon) - Kevin C. Tofel

Check out an advanced HomeKit app that is quite useful: Kevin recently tried the Controller app for HomeKit, which offers a lot of advanced features for users of the Apple smart home ecosystem. The app has a free and a paid version and adds features such as storing QR codes, allowing users to see all their cameras on a single screen, allowing users to control multiple aspects of a device and more. To find out all the things Kevin used him for, check out his review. (Stacey on IoT) - Stacey Higginbotham

Bsquare is moving from consulting to a SaaS model with an IoT platform: If last week's Oracle study is to be believed, then the industrial and business world accepts IoT platforms built as a service much more than custom deployment. Seeing this trend and wanting to change its business model, Bsquare, an IoT consulting firm focused on consulting, launched SquareOne, a product designed to manage hundreds of thousands of connected devices through software and a cloud. The SquareOne platform works on Android, Windows. Linux and embedded devices, which allows customers to control and manage the wide range of connected devices in their deployment. (Square) - Stacey Higginbotham

Will wireless charging in the smart home come soon? It is worth watching. Ossia, a wireless power company near me in the Seattle area, has signed an agreement with Archos, a manufacturer of tablets, smartphones and air purifiers, to install OSsia's over-the-air wireless charging technology. in a future line of smart home devices. and wearable. This charging style is different from the Qi standard, which requires a person to place their phone on an approved charging cradle. Ossia claims that it can charge nearby devices simply by sending energy through the air. This has been theoretically possible for some time, but the people in the middle are frying. Ossia says its solution doesn't hurt, and the story offers an explanation of the technology. The devices are expected next year, so I'm looking forward to testing this to see how much power it offers and where we can best use it. (Ars Technica) - Stacey Higginbotham

Our industrial security is still pretty bad: This report is largely a summary of Claroty's experience in finding errors, but also presents some worrying trends in the world of OT vulnerabilities. Such as statistics that 71% of the vulnerabilities discovered by Claroty's researchers were network vulnerabilities that could be triggered remotely. There is also talk of ways to address the slow pace of industrial corrections. (Claroty) - Stacey Higginbotham

Golioth's hardware-focused IoT cloud is now widely available: A little over a year ago I made the profile of Golioth, a cloud designed for people who build hardware. The point is, most cloud engineers ignore hardware needs when designing hardware and cloud integrations, which can force hardware engineers to compromise on their designs. For a company that intends to sell a million devices, this type of compromise can be costly in terms of material list or can even force compromises with radios and battery life. Golioth wants to put hardware first and has launched its GA with support for more than 100 hardware components and the Zephyr real-time operating system. (Golioth) - Stacey Higginbotham

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