Episode 214: Goodbye Anki, hello connected pets

This week Kevin and I mourn the end of Anki, the company behind Kevin’s beloved Vector robot. We also talk about the upcoming Google I/O, privacy expectations in apartments with connected devices and AT&T’s nationwide NB-IoT network. From there we discuss Congressional hearings on device security here and abroad in the U.K. In our quick news bits we talk about a $2,000 pool camera to detect drownings, the evolutions of Mozilla’s Project Things, Alexa speaking Spanish in the U.S., and Ford enabling Amazon Key for its 2017 and newer vehicles. Kevin found two good resources for the pro set. The first is a booklet on using a Raspberry Pi for computer vision and the second is a guide to using Microsoft’s IoT Hub. In this week’s voicemail, we deliver bad news to a gentleman searching for a way to help his parents avoid killing their garden.

Whistle, the company behind a connected dog collar is part of Mars’ new Kinship business.

Our guest this week touches on a topic many of our listeners will love — pets!  Leonid Sudakov is the CEO of Kinship, a newly created business of Mars Petcare. Sudakov comes on the show to talk about the newly created business he’s running that combines connected gadgets and data analytics to understand the secret lives of our pets. He talks about what Kinship is looking for in partners and how technology can help people communicate with our companion animals.

Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel
Guest: Leonid Sudakov is the CEO of Kinship
Sponsors: Software AG and IoT World

  • Residents in Manhattan are suing over a connected door lock
  • AT&T’s NB-IoT pricing is very compelling
  • Would you buy a $2,000 device to prevent drowning?
  • Connected collars and data analysis will give pets a voice
  • Are we ready for telemedicine for pets?


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 214: Goodbye Anki, hello connected pets”

  1. Per the soil moisture question here is what I’ve personally tried.
    Davis station https://smile.amazon.com/Davis-Complete-Wireless-Moisture-Temperature/dp/B00MYTLM84
    Expensive but works $466 to $600 for hub and 4 sensors pairs. Plus you need base / weather station for it to talk to plus more if you want it to upload to cloud services so another $500 – $1000 depending on models
    But it still is pretty much working 7 years later.

    Ambient Weather WS-8482 $87
    Way cheaper. base plus up to 7 $29 soil moisture sensors
    is less than the Davis base unit with only 2 temp/moisture pairs. But some of the sensors seems to not work all that well while others track closely to the Davis units. So might still be cheaper even if you have to toss some of the sensors.

    Wireless Tags outdoor sensors and Plantlink are both completely worthless for more than telling when being watered.

    Though if you are using Rachio to water an area (no pots) then checking the soil a few times with a cheap manual $10 meter to get it dialed end might make the soil monitoring unneeded since the Rachio takes weather and soil type into account and adjusts as needed.

    Details / long version with screen grabs can be seen here https://automation.rmrr42.com/2019/05/monitoring-soil-moisture.html

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