Episode 175: GE slims down and Otis tries Alexa in elevators

This week on the show Kevin and I speculate what digital assets GE will sell and discuss the sad bankruptcy of French smart home company Sen.se. After hitting the sad news, we talked about the latest HomePod feature expected in iOS 12 and the fact that Apple didn’t say much about HomePod in its latest financial results call. We shared a new smart home device for dedicated DIYers from Machinon, discussed Control4’s new intercom function and Lenovo’s application for the FCC to test a smart bulb. Kevin shared his initial thoughts on Lenovo’s Smart Display for Google Assistant and a pro tip for anyone with a connected home. We share another ridiculous IoT idea for the week and answer a question about connecting Wyze, IFTTT and SmartThings to turn on a light.

Kevin’s 10-inch Lenovo Smart Display can play YouTube videos, Netflix and images from his Nest cameras. Image by K. Tofel.

This week’s guest is Chris Smith, vice president of service innovation at Otis Elevator Company. He talks about how Otis connects its elevators, the architecture, and most importantly what it learned in trying to use data to predict failures. In addition to his practical knowledge he also answers everyone’s big question: Does the door close button on an elevator actually work? Enjoy the show.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Chris Smith of Otis Elevator Company
Sponsors: NETGEAR and Afero

  • Is GE’s Predix for sale? And who would buy it?
  • Another smart home company bites the dust
  • The Lenovo Smart Display is really nice!
  • Predicting failure is a subtle art
  • Sure, let’s put Alexa in an elevator


Published by

Stacey Higginbotham

I am a journalist who has covered technology for over a decade at publications such as Fortune, PCMag, Gigaom, The Deal and BusinessWeek.

One thought on “Episode 175: GE slims down and Otis tries Alexa in elevators”

  1. Very cool episode.

    That Lenovo Smart Screen sounds great, but is it not something that can be done with just a simple Tablet? The Smart Screen does look nice though.

    With all the talk you guys have had regarding the Wyze camera, I’m going to get me one of these to watch an area of my house where a motion sensor in my security system keeps going off for no apparent reason that I have found thus far. Do they have a Ghost Mode on the camera?

    Funny, the work that Chris Smith and Otis Elevator is looking to do with madam A brought back thoughts of a video that was on YouTube regarding a spoof of such a thing but in Scotland. The voice of the elevator was America so there was a bit of a translation issue. It’s quite funny but perhaps not entirely appropriate to post here.
    You can find it by searching for:
    “Scottish Elevator – Voice Recognition – ELEVEN !”

    Thanks for the great show!


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