Our guest this week is Jennifer Pattison Tuohy from The Verge. I’ve known Jenn for almost a decade from her work covering the smart home for a variety of publications. She is smart, tries everything she writes about, and has the history in covering technology to see the bigger picture. She’s on the show to talk about where the smart home is today, the state of Matter, and what business models are likely to work for connected home devices. She gives us some insights into some cool things the Connectivity Standards Alliance is planning, her thoughts about smart home infrastructure versus devices, and even shares her current smart home setup. It’s the perfect note on which to end the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Jennifer Pattison Tuohy from The Verge
Our guest this week is Muthu Sabarethinam, VP AI/ML product and services with Honeywell, who is on the show to talk about TinyML. We start off discussing how Honeywell is thinking about using data from equipment to build services, and then segue into talking about how Honeywell might use TinyML located on sensors. Sabarethinam explains the reasons Honeywell wants algorithms that can run directly on a sensor, and how it will help with security, power, and latency. He also shares his thoughts on how companies should package their algorithms to make it easier to deploy TinyML at scale. For perspective, Honeywell supports more than a million sensors in the field that could all use TinyML. We conclude by talking about business models and how customers want to access data. It’s a great show.
This week we didn’t see a ton of news, yet we managed to talk about several big trends in IoT. We started with an update on Amazon’s planned acquisition of iRobot, and Amazon dropping the price by 15%. We explain why and then decided to explain in depth why we need the planned cybersecurity labeling plan for connected devices because so many people asked me why we need this. We then talk about Unabiz creating a partnership with Semtech to bring Sigfox technology into the Semtech network. Then we talk about insurance companies using data gleaned from drones, satellite photos, and IoT devices and how that may hurt consumers, as insurance companies try to cancel policies in risky areas. This is where climate change, the IoT, and data privacy will all intersect in ways that will harm consumers. We then ponder what will happen with Google displays as the company pulls back from its Fuchsia OS, and how a smart home reporter’s broken HVAC system made her realize the limits of the smart home. Finally, we answer a listener question about using a motion detector to make sure kids turn off their lights.
Our guest this week is Adrian Dybwad, CEO and founder of PurpleAir, which makes a line of air quality sensors. As we head into wildfire season here on the West Coast, air quality data is becoming more important for people. For example, I turn regularly to PurpleAir data from the app, its web site, or on my Google display to see if I should go outside for a run or hold off. Dybwad and I talk about why the company was created, and how the air sensors are helping communities lobby for positive policy changes that can improve air quality. We also talk about how to think about connected devices contributing to citizen science, and why having a lot of sensors can mitigate concerns over accuracy. We spend a lot of time on how air quality sensors work and how to place them optimally as well. Enjoy the show.
This week on the show, Kevin and I start off talking about some of the Roku gear I’ve been playing with for the last week. We discuss the gear and the subscription plans and how they compare with what else is on the market, before moving on to talk about Latch laying off 59% of its workforce in preparation for what I suspect will be a pivot from access control to a services business aimed at folks living in luxury apartments. After that, we share some tales of civil disobedience from San Francisco, where activists are placing traffic cones on top of self-driving vehicles to halt them in their tracks. Then we devote the rest of our time to novel sensors and platforms for sensing, starting with research showing that seven days of smart watch data can predict Parkinson’s, and research on a wearable for people with epilepsy that can predict seizures. We also cover funding for Pano, a camera platform that uses computer vision to “see” fires in remote locations, and a sensing platform called Nami raising $10 million in Series A financing. There’s also a new sensing device called the Nano Computer from Nodle that combines a few sensors, an Arm M-0 microcontroller, a Bluetooth radio, and a printed battery in a device that should cost about $3 per device at shipments above 100,000 devices. Finally, we answer a listener question about the Aqara FP2 presence sensor and security.
Our guest this week is Alex Capecelatro, CEO and co-founder of Josh.ai, who returns to the show to talk about Josh.ai adding generative AI to the company’s voice platform. We get a lesson in Josh.ai’s history and why it decided to build a voice interface for the home even after Apple, Amazon, and other big companies launched their own products. Then he explains how Josh.ai added ChatGPT to its platform and the steps it took to help customers understand the limitations of the service. We talk about why it’s useful and how customers are using it so far. Since every company in the smart home space is contemplating the role generative AI will play in their products, this is an essential listen.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Alex Capecelatro, CEO and co-founder of Josh.ai Sponsors: Blynk and Particle
Who is the Roku smart home for?
Latch cleaned house before Jamie Siminoff takes over
The most innovative element in the IoT is new sensing technology
What Josh.ai learned when adding generative AI to its voice platform
Practical thoughts on privacy for voice assistants and generative AI
Our guest this week is Scott Ford, the CEO of Pepper. Pepper recently teamed up with Embedded Insurance to create an add-on cyber insurance policy that Pepper can offer through its partnerships with service providers and consumer device makers. Pepper provides a smart home application and service for other businesses, for example providing a smart home interface for an ISP or providing cloud storage services for a connected camera maker. Much like adding on cloud storage can generate extra revenue, adding cyber insurance or other insurance policies can generate money. So customers of Pepper’s customers may soon get a notification asking if they want to pay $5 for cyber insurance that will offset some of the costs of identity theft, cyberbullying, cyber extortion, and more. Ford talks about the cyber insurance product and about how connected devices are changing the way that insurers market their products, and how they assess risk. Honestly, that risk assessment is both exciting and a little bit scary. Enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Janko Roettgers, creator of the Lowpass newsletter Guest: Scott Ford, the CEO of Pepper Sponsors: Blynk and Particle
Does Roku really want to build a smart home OS or just sell more gear?
Josh.ai brings generative AI to smart homes, and it’s nice
Nanoleaf’s 4-D screen mirror tech is pretty cool
Why your smart camera maker may soon offer you insurance
How connected devices change the way insurance is sold … and priced
This week’s guest is Ran Roth, CEO and co-founder of Sensibo, a maker of smart HVAC controllers. The add-on devices connect to window units, mini splits and other A/C and heating units that use IR controllers. We talk about smart energy and the road the company has taken since its founding in 2014. But most of our conversation focuses on how Sensibo is using ChatGPT to improve the user experience with its devices. Roth also hints at other potential use cases for ChatGPT that are less intuitive, and explains how he thinks the availability of large language models will help companies that have access to them use their data more easily. He likens it to the shift that Amazon’s cloud computing had on innovation after AWS launched cloud computing (EC2) in 2006. He then talks about what he’s learned so far and the concerns people have around AI and privacy. It’s a good show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Ran Roth, CEO and co-founder of Sensibo Sponsors: Blynk and Particle
As expected, Google’s Pixel tablet isn’t a major improvement for the smart home
Better energy harvesting from Dracula sucks more power from light
Broadcom’s chips could lead to smartphones with Zigbee or Thread
How Sensibo is using ChatGPT to parse a lot of data
What Sensibo has learned about using generative AI
Our guest this week is Thierry Klein, president, Bell Labs solutions research, at Nokia Bell Labs, who is on the show to talk about building an LTE network on the moon. We talk about why Nokia is building a network on the moon and what we can learn from it for the IoT. Klein also explains the challenges of the moon environment, such as temperature, vibrations (rocket launches are tough on delicate electronics), and radiation. Plus, with no one around to configure the network or reboot it if there are problems, Nokia has had to figure out ways to automatically configure and operate the equipment. All of this will help when bringing connectivity to remote areas such as mines or oil rigs. It’s a really fun show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Thierry Klein, at Nokia Bell Labs Sponsors: Blynk and Particle
Check out DeviceScript if you want a modern IoT programming language
Now, there’s even less privacy in prisons thanks to the IoT
This in-ear device detects fainting before it happens
Our guest this week is Micha Anthenor Benoliel, the CEO and co-founder of Nodle, a decentralized wireless network created using Bluetooth. He’s on the show to talk about the newly launched app that will let folks turn any old Android phone into a Nodle hotspot. If you’re wondering about the value of a dedicated device for a short-range Bluetooth hotspot, Benoliel explains why companies or consumers might want to run this network, even if their device isn’t traveling out in the world. We also talk about enterprise customers on the Nodle network and why those customers ditched LPWANs or cellular for BLE. He also talks about the role of cryptocurrency in decentralized wireless and discusses how the crypto winter affected Nodle. It’s a good show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Micha Anthenor Benoliel, CEO and co-founder of Nodle Sponsors: Particle and Kudelski IoT
The Apple Vision Pro isn’t for all-day or even mobile computing
Apple also updated Siri and some home control widgets
How to prepare for wildfire and smoke season
Why the world needs a decentralized Bluetooth network
Will the crypto winter stop Nodle’s blockchain-based decentralized network?
Our guest this week is Nate Williams, founder and managing partner at Union Labs VC. He’s on the show to answer my questions about the current fundraising environment for startups. We talk about what it takes to raise an early round of funding, and why venture capital firms are reluctant to invest in new companies while they try to figure out what their existing investments need. He also mentions that Union Labs is raising a second fund, and discusses what areas he’s excited about. We then discuss the hype around generative AI and what he’s looking for in AI investments. We end with our thinking about the current state of smart home investments. Enjoy the show.
This week’s show is live from Dallas as I attend the Parks Associates Connections smart home event, so I start out discussing some of the themes I’ve seen so far, including the growing importance of data privacy, local processing and generative AI. We also talk about the five-year-anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU and evaluate its impact so far (it’s not as bad as you think). On the security front, we evaluate Samsung’s plans for IoT security with its Knox Matrix vision and talk about its similarities to the security design for the Matter smart home interoperability standard. Microsoft’s Build event is also this week, and the company’s newly launched Fabric data service and unified data lake products are worth watching for enterprises and industrial customers trying to aggregate and use IoT data. Then we cover some smaller news items such as new Matter products from Yeelight, Govee, and Yale. There’s also a new smart outlet with a sensor-packed outlet cover that has been funded via Kickstarter, which our audience might be interested in. Finally, we answer a listener question about good Zigbee-based light bulbs.
Our guest this week is Paul Williams, chief product officer of Nice North America, who last appeared on the show two and half years ago when he was at Savant. We start off talking about Matter. Williams says that so far the roll out has been slower than expected which has obviously affected adoption, but he hasn’t lost hope for the standard. He also explains how Matter might affect professional integrators. During our conversation on generative AI he discusses how Nice is using AI currently and where he’d like it to go with generative AI. However, he cautions that privacy of consumer data and corporate data is a real concern when using generative AI, so he’s looking for more conversations about how providers deal with that. We close with a discussion about the economy and how it affects professional integrators and the adoption of smart home devices. Enjoy the show.