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.
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 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
Our guest this week is Michelle Mindala-Freeman, who is the head of marketing and member services at the Connectivity Standards Alliance. She’s here to explain why the CSA is launching a new standards working group for health and wellness. We talk about what types of companies should be involved, what sorts of use cases the CSA hopes to deliver and why now is the right time to make such a standardization effort happen. Given that helping people age in place is one of the more compelling reasons to install smart home devices, the CSA is likely to find members willing to work on the problem. I also ask what other problems the CSA might try to solve. Enjoy the show.
Our guest this week is Jaser Faruq, Senior Vice President, Innovation at Schneider Electric, who is on the show to discuss why his company is betting big on smart home technology to manage energy consumption, storage and generation. We talk about the three reasons energy management is such an important feature for smart homes, and what it will take to get consumers to adopt it. We also talk about what role utilities will play in the development of a smarter grid and how long it will take before this becomes more mainstream. It’s an important topic, especially for those of y’all considering the purchase of an electric vehicle. Enjoy the show.
Our guest this week is Kevin Fu, who is a professor of electrical and computer science at Northeastern University, and the former acting director of medical device cybersecurity for the Food and Drug Administration. I’ve followed his efforts to hack physical sensors for years, and was excited when he started focusing on medical device security for the FDA. On the show, he discusses new federal legislation that will require companies to get an FDA review of their medical device’s cybersecurity before it goes on the market. This is a first for the U.S. in terms of requiring some sort of cybersecurity review before a product is released, and it might become an inspiration for legislation in other industries going forward. We also talk about how to regulate AI in healthcare and more. Enjoy the show.
Our guest this week is Matt Rogers, the co-founder and CEO of Mill, a startup using a connected kitchen bin to fight food waste. We talk about the problem of food waste and who will pay $33 a month for the bin and concurrent service. Rogers also explains the math behind the service, and talks about why he chose to use a subscription model to fund the business. He also tells me why this isn’t a composting device, since it’s designed to keep food in the food system, and explains why that is so important. Finally, he shares how challenging it was to build a hardware startup during the pandemic. It’s a fun chat.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Matt Rogers, co-founder and CEO of Mill Sponsor: Akenza
Researchers use Wi-Fi to track movement through walls
Half of us don’t connect our smart appliances
Maybe you don’t need hearing aids just yet?
Why Matt Rogers went from smart thermostats to fighting food waste
Rogers tried to keep manufacturing during the pandemic local