Our guest this week is Steve Hanna, a distinguished engineer at Infineon and the chair of the security working group at the Connectivity Standards Alliance. He’s on the show to tell us more about the need for a voluntary, government cybersecurity mark for devices, and explain why developing such a mark is so difficult. We talk about the FCC’s role in managing the program, the time frame for a mark, and how the government plans to think about keeping up with the always-changing security landscape. We also discuss how Infineon’s customers are changing their views about IoT security labels, and how the mark relates to work done by the Arm’s PSA security standard and the security elements that are part of the Matter standard. It’s a good interview, made better by the fact that Hanna sounds just like Mr. Rogers.
Our guest this week is JJ Lechleiter, SVP and general manager of PTC’s Vuforia business, discussing another kind of wearable — headsets. Lechleiter has been building augmented and mixed reality software for years, and shared whether he thinks the introduction of Apple’s Vision Pro headset will change the adoption of mixed reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality in manufacturing operations. He also shares different use cases where AR and VR are already in use and explains the various reasons one might use one over the other. Lechleiter discusses different headsets already on the market and shares some thoughts about how AI, IoT, and AR will get used in day-to-day manufacturing. It’s a good show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: JJ Lechleiter, of PTC’s Vuforia business Sponsors: Blynk and Particle
Why wouldn’t Apple make a hearing aid?
Is Humane the future tech that moves us beyond the smartphone?
Swarm stops selling its VHF satellite hardware
Can Apple move the needle on mixed reality in manufacturing?
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
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.
Our guest this week is Daniel Wroclawski, a senior writer at Consumer Reports, who is on the show to discuss an article he spent two years writing. It’s about how connected appliances collect and share your data. We talk about his conversations (or lack of conversations) with the five big appliance makers about the state of connected device data gathering. We discuss why consumers and manufacturers are excited about connected appliances and then talk about some of their potential downfalls. For example, will your oven features work if you don’t connect it to the internet? Maybe not. We also talk about what we should do in our homes to protect our privacy and what Congress needs to take action on. It’s a good show, especially if you have a connected fridge.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Daniel Wroclawski, a senior writer at Consumer Reports Sponsors: OnLogic and Silicon Labs
The Aqara mmWave sensor can detect falls or light levels and presence.
The IoT has embraced dark design patterns.
Lights with Matter, better Bluetooth buttons, and Z-Wave locks.
Why does your dryer need to be connected to the internet?
Most appliance makers didn’t want to share what data they collect.
Our guest this week is Robert Pile, the head of real estate strategy at Homma, a company that is building smart homes. The company started out building smart homes but has since switched to building townhomes and multifamily units for rentals thanks to the changing real estate market. Pile talks about the technical challenges of building the infrastructure for smart homes and what types of buyers are choosing their properties. He also discusses the price premium that people are paying to buy or rent a smart home that’s built smart from the first foundation pour. I’m not sure if I’m done with my DIY efforts, but it does sound nice to have everything already smart when you move in. Enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Robert Pile, head of real estate strategy at Homma Sponsors: OnLogic and Silicon Labs
GroundWorx sensors makes water use visible, and reduces it
Could ambient sensing be the key for aging in place?
Home Assistant has a really nice Matter implementation
How much will people pay for a smart home or apartment?
What does the “plumbing” for a smart home look like?
This week’s show is full of both good news and bad news, starting with Google apparently dropping software update support for third-party smart displays. We question Google’s commitment to the smart home, even though the good news from Google is that it has released more capabilities to control new device types — a bit of good news. Then we review Nanoleaf’s Matter-enabled Essentials light bulbs and strips and are a bit worried about what it means for Matter. If you’re putting these bulbs in your smart home, you’ll need the Nanoleaf app and can only control them on one hub ecosystem based on our testing. That’s not what Matter was designed to do! In more bad news, Samsung SmartThings deleted a bunch of hubs on April 5, and we suggest some alternative options if you’d like to switch platforms. Digital privacy rules are getting more attention and I think smart medical device implants represent a tipping point. In generative AI news, Siemens and Microsoft are bringing AI to factories and we explain how they might work, while the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has a request for comment out on auditing AI. You have until June 10 to submit comments. The CSA has announced the launch of Zigbee Pro 2023 with better security features and a new transmission band. Finally, we answer a listener question about bringing smart charging his Tesla with his solar panels.
Our guest this week is Eben Upton, the CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd. and co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Upton explains why Sony Semiconductor has made an undisclosed investment in the Pi Trading company. He also details the end of the supply chain challenges for the PI and says customers should see the shortage of Pis end in the second quarter (which is now). We also talk about why Raspberry Pi won’t get ML accelerators or smarter sensors on the board, what the industrial world is doing with Pis, and when we might see a Pi 5. We close with thoughts on RISC-V and future custom Pi designs. It’s a great interview.
Our guest this week is Chuck Sabin, the head of market development for the Bluetooth SIG. He is on the show to discuss the newly launched Bluetooth standard for Electronic Shelf Labels. We discuss what electronic shelf labels will enable for consumers and retailers, as well as the different services and profiles that the SIG has built into the standard. After extolling the potential benefits for Instacart shoppers, we then talk about smart tags and the concept of ambient IoT. You’ll be hearing that phrase a lot more often. The SIG is working on a standard around smart tags, as well as updating its networked smart lighting standard. You’ll get a good sense of what Bluetooth plans to bring to the IoT, so enjoy the show.
Our guest this week is Nick D’Angelo, director of public affairs for Eaton’s Electrical Sector. He’s on the show to discuss how two new laws are incentivizing consumers and businesses to take steps to modernize the electric grid. We cover the concept of grid modernization and why it’s necessary, the two laws that have the most relevance, and lay out some of the incentive programs that will be available at state and federal levels for things like replacing electric panels and swapping out furnaces for heat pumps. We also talk about how long the process of modernizing the grid will take and then conclude with what else will need to be done. Enjoy the show.