This week’s show kicks off with a surprising revelation from Kevin, who has decided to swap out his smart home platform. He explains his choice, which also may represent a theme of sorts, as we see more and more high-end smart home hubs hit the market. We discuss the HOOBS Pro device and the Homey Pro, both of which cram a bunch of different radios into one powerful box. Then we talk about California’s Privacy Protection Agency and its decision to investigate how connected car companies are using consumers’ data. Do connected car companies violate California’s 2018 privacy law? After that we dig into a new report about the troubles facing OT and IT security professionals, and marvel over a water-soluble PCB board that might help address some of the challenges associated with e-waste. The board isn’t destined for large scale production or IoT devices yet, but we applaud any effort to bring more easily recycled electronics to the market. Finally, we hear from Signify’s CEO that the maker of Philips Hue devices is planning a video camera for a home security offering. We close the first segment with a pair of comments from our listeners responding to last week’s question about turning off lights using a sensor.
Our guest this week is Alexis Susset, the CTO of UnaBiz. He’s on the show to explain the value of Low-Power Wide-Area networks and Unabiz’s plans to offer many LPWANs under one roof. He shares how the acquisition of Sigfox’s assets last year helped give Unabiz the credibility it needed to create deals with other LPWAN providers to share their networks. He also does a deep dive into the pros and cons of various available LPWAN technologies such as Sigfox, LoRaWAN, and cellular. Finally, we talk about the rise of satellite networks for IoT devices and whether or not we’ll need any more LPWAN technologies in the near future. Enjoy the 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.
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 Svein-Egil Nielsen, the CTO of Nordic Semiconductor. We talk about the DECT-NR standard for massive IoT, defining both the standard and what we mean when we talk about massive IoT. We also cover use cases for energy harvesting technology and Nielsen gets cagey about Nordic’s plans for energy harvesting technology in Nordic chips. We end with a conversation about TinyML and how Nordic is planning to make its modules ML-ready for developers. It is a fun interview.
Our guest this week is Rob Davies, the chief insurance officer at Vivint. We start the interview by asking what a monitored security company is doing in the insurance sector, and move on to discuss what data might be most useful in building new insurance products. We also talk about how an insurance company might use smart home data to become more proactive about alleviating risk as opposed to paying out once the worst has happened. Davies uses the example of someone who has forgotten to lock their door. With Vivint’s platform, the insurance provider can let the homeowner know their door is unlocked before someone tries to break in. This creates a new relationship between insurers and their clients, and it will be interesting to see how far insurance companies take this idea. Enjoy the show.
Our guest this week is Bryson Bort, CEO and founder of Scythe, a cybersecurity firm. Bort is a former U.S. Army officer and a co-founder of the non-profit ICS Village that addresses security issues in industrial control systems. He is on the show to discuss the risks that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could pose for US enterprises and industrial players. He tackles topics such as how much executives should worry about their OT or IT risks and how should they address any concerns. We also address the age-old divide between OT and IT security and explain why it’s so difficult to reconcile their differences. You’ll learn a lot.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Bryson Bort, CEO and founder of Scythe Sponsors: Somfy and Pantacor
Three tech firms get together to offer free cybersecurity tools
What isn’t vulnerable nowadays?
Are employee-mandated wearables okay if being fit is your job?
How ransomware fits into the invasion of Ukraine
How to shore up your cyber defenses in times of war (and peace)
This week’s guest is Sanjeet Pandit, global head of smart cities and digital transformation at Qualcomm. He’s on the show a week after Qualcomm held a smart cities event where it added new SaaS-based smart city services. We talk about how the pandemic has changed what municipalities want from technology firms, and how they are redefining what it takes to make a city smart. Pandit didn’t answer a lot of my questions about how cities are paying for these services or which ones were deploying some of the more futuristic services such as predictive traffic management, telling me that the cities get to decide when they talk about their deployments. But he assures me that many cities are making investments that go well beyond smart lighting, and I suppose for now, I’ll have to believe him and hope to see what municipalities start making announcements.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Sanjeet Pandit, global head of smart cities at Qualcomm Sponsors: Trek10 and Ayla Networks
Why you want to start your holiday shopping now
Does anyone think an Amazon fridge could be trusted?
Would you trust a tiny open-source version of Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot?
What smart cities want after the pandemic
Several use cases for smart cities that don’t involve lighting!
Our guest this week is Wienke Giezeman, CEO and co-founder of The Things Network. He is here to talk about how to build a business around LoRa networks and give his thoughts on why enterprises might need one. We also talk about consumer LoRa networks and Amazon’s Sidewalk network. Will that ever be an open option? Giezeman shares case studies and a discount code if anyone listening wants to learn more about LoRa at The Things Conference, a weeklong virtual event all about LoRa that starts Jan. 25. That discount code we mention is TTC21-I-KNOW-STACEY. Enjoy the show.
Our guest this week is Om Malik, a venture partner at True Ventures and my former boss. He came on the show to discuss his recent diatribe against the tech media, which he accuses of flipping from fawning over the industry to hating it without much thought. We talk about the lack of nuance in coverage, our more nuanced relationship with technology and what regulation is the only real solution to the problem of tech companies’ overreach. Enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Om Malik, True Ventures Sponsors: DigiCert and Very
Why we’re so excited about Microsoft Azure Sphere
LoRa gets a cloud-based location-tracking capability
Kevin’s pining for local failover options for cloud cameras
Tech isn’t all bad or all good, and we need to cover it that way
Regulations will be essential for ethical technology
Our guest this week is Heather Reed-Fenske, the chief information technology officer at the City of Calgary. She talks about how Calgary has built a sensor network on top of its existing city-wide fiber network. Calgary is using LoRa radios that cost about $45,000, and is layering all kinds of new services on top of the network. She talks about what that has meant for city workers, trees and even concert promoters. We also discuss privacy and how governments should think about deploying smart tech in municipal settings. It’s a fun show.