This week’s guest is Mark Benson, head of engineering at Samsung SmartThings, who joins us to discuss the changes coming to the platform later this year. He lays out why SmartThings is going to end support for some features as it tries to move toward delivering a more intuitive smart home. For example, on the hardware side, your hub will still exist but SmartThings will also put its software on hubs made by other vendors and we’ll see other manufacturers make SmartThings’ branded devices. On the software side, it’s moving from the current Groovy programming environment to an API, which is going to upset some developers and DIY folks. Benson explains why this change is needed and what developers will gain and lose. You’re going to want to listen.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Mark Benson, head of engineering at SmartThings Sponsors: Very and Very
Apple’s using its chips and closed ecosystem to deliver context to devices
This week’s guest is Amir Haleem, the CEO and co-founder of Helium, which operates a network for the IoT. Haleem explains why he’s chosen to build a network using a mixture of cryptocurrency, decentralized hotspots and LoRa devices. On the show, he announces Helium’s new tracker hardware and the launch of the Helium network in Europe. We talk about business models, Europe’s IoT efforts, and whether or not I will get any LoRa sensors that can deliver low-power connectivity at a greater distance from my house. It’s a good show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Chris Albrecht Guest: Amir Haleem, CEO and co-founder of Helium Sponsors: Calix and Very
The Ripple20 vulnerabilities are bad. Here’s how to make it easier to patch
Let’s talk about delivery robots
Philips Hue’s new gear is worth a look
Why low power IoT networks have a business model challenge
Helium didn’t want to get into hardware, but it ultimately caved
Our guest this week is Andrew Farah, CEO of Density, a startup that provides sensors for people tracking. We last chatted more than five years ago and since then he’s built out the company, created a product for commercial real estate and found time to advocate for building IoT products that are anonymous by design. We talk about how companies are using his service and sensors to keep occupancy rates below the legal limits during the pandemic and why sensors are much better than cameras. You’ll enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Andrew Farah, CEO of Density Sponsors: Calix and Very
IBM’s decision to stop selling facial recognition software is a start
This enterprise hub can read 12,000 Bluetooth tags in a minute
Three things that will move the smart home forward
This sensor has 800 components and can tell how many people are in a room
Why we need to build things with anonymity at the forefront
This week’s guest is Lorrie Cranor, director of the CyLab Security and Privacy Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, who is on the show discussing the newly created nutrition-style label researchers created for IoT devices. Researchers tried to convey about 47 relevant pieces of information that relate to a device’s security and privacy qualifications and crammed as many as they could onto an easy-to-read-label that’s designed to fit on a product’s packaging. The label doesn’t convey all 47 elements, but it does capture several key pieces of information about how long a device will get security updates, the types of sensors it has, and how the company treats its data. Other elements are relegated to a deeper privacy fact sheet that a consumer can access via a web site or QR code. Cranor explains the label, the methodology, and asks for help turning the research into something useful for the industry at large. Let’s make it happen.
This week’s guest is Dr. Ben Calhoun, co-founder, and co-CTO at Everactive. I profiled the company a few years back when it had a different name but the same mission — building battery-free sensors that are powered via energy harvesting. The company has sold its steam trap sensor since 2018 and is now launching a vibration sensor. We talk about how to build a sensor that can harvest enough energy to monitor factory conditions, how COVID-19 is changing the demand for industrial IoT, and what changes once plant managers get a continuous stream of data about their operations. It’s a fun show, and you’ll learn all about steam traps!
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Dr. Ben Calhoun, co-founder, and co-CTO at Everactive Sponsors: Very and Edge Impulse
Wyze sold $95 million in gear last year
Microsoft’s really building out an end-to-end IoT infrastructure
Wink is charging me $5 a month so my voice assistants integrate better
Our guest this week is Jason Johnson, the co-founder of August Home. He’s not on the show to discuss the new lock but to talk about his new home and the systems he uses for automation. Like many of us, Johnson went the DIY route and says he spends about five or more hours a week tweaking his set up. He explains why he chose the platforms he uses and how he has routines and automation set up. For those curious about what’s governing the 138 nodes in his home, I encourage you to listen and find out.
Our guest this week is Alex Capecelatro, CEO of Josh.ai, which makes a voice platform for the pro installer market. The company has just raised $11 million in funding, and Capecelatro tells us what he plans to do with that money as well as explains why Josh.ai shifted from making software to building hardware. He also offers perspective on the development of the voice market in the smart home. Josh.ai started in 2015, a few months after Amazon released the Echo speakers, and before Amazon had enabled the smart home features on the Alexa platform. The interview offers a history of voice, IoT hardware, and a hint of the future. Enjoy.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Alex Capecelatro, CEO of Josh.ai Sponsor: Very
Why silicon startups are on the rise
Companies blaming the pandemic
Should you buy the new Blink Mini camera?
Why Josh.ai pivoted from software to hardware
Can a dedicated voice platform for the smart home beat a digital assistant?
My guest this week is Dave Crosby, co-founder and head of marketing at Wyze Labs. We kick off with an explanation of why Wyze has released a scale and the fitness band, which is a bit of a pivot for the smart home device maker. Crosby teases the timing for the outdoor camera and we talk about how low-cost devices could open up a lot of creativity for users. We then discuss how the coronavirus is affecting the business before ending the conversation with the Connected Home over IP standard. Enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guests: Dave Crosby, co-founder and head of marketing at Wyze Labs Sponsors: Calix and Ayla Networks
Everything in the IoT has been touched by the coronavirus
The pros and cons of Google and Apple’s contact tracing plans
Wyze scale is cool, but the band needs work
Low-cost devices could open up the DIY smart home of my dreams
Surgical masks? Thermometers? How Wyze is trying to help with the pandemic
This week’s guest is Alex Kubicek, the CEO of Understory, a startup that began life as an IoT weather sensor company and is now an insurance provider. Kubicek talks about why the company had to build its own gear and bypass the insurance market in order to succeed. He also anticipates where we’re going to see data-driven insurance go next. As a bonus, he offers a detailed account of how hail insurance works in my former home state of Texas. Exciting!
Our guest this week is Josh Datko, founder and chief engineer at embedded security firm Cryptotronix who is here to school us all in IoT security. We start with his advice for consumers, including advice on splitting off a separate IoT network in your home. We then discuss the difference between embedded security and IT security and discuss the importance of security engineers in product design. We end with Datko explaining the difference between secure enclaves, trusted execution environments and other security terms that may mystify you. Enjoy the show.