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
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 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.
Our guest this week is Doug Roberson, the chief operating officer at Shelly. We talk about Shelly and its history, as well as the products it offers. Roberson explains Shelly’s focus on relays designed to connect outlets and light switches with sensors and other devices to manage electrical consumption in homes and businesses. He talks about how enterprises are using Shelly’s products and what consumers can do with them. He also gives us a tutorial on connecting your dryer to the internet to detect when your clothes are done. We end with an update on Matter and a sneak peek at coming Shelly products, including a water shut-off device. Enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Doug Roberson, the chief operating officer at Shelly Sponsors: Computex and Blues Wireless
Latch has a bunch of issues. Will Siminoff solve them?
Google Assistant was missing at Google I/O
When smart cameras can see everything, which laws do police enforce?
We recommend Shelly gear often, what is this company?
Shelly’s U.S. business has an enterprise, integrator, and DIY audience
Our guest this show is Jonathan Beri, who is the founder and CEO of Golioth, a platform to link hardware to the cloud. Golioth recently raised $4.6 million in a tough funding environment, so we talk a bit about what Beri plans to do with the money. But the bulk of our conversation touches on the changes happening in the embedded world as connectivity gets added to more devices. Beri provides historical context to help explain why the embedded world and OT staff have been so slow to adopt the Internet of things, and then expresses his hopes that the phrase IoT will simply fade into the background as connectivity becomes assumed. Before we can get to that place, he explains what vendors, developers and buyers need to think about from security to business processes. It’s a good show.