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 Tarun Gupta, the chief product officer at Skylo, a company that is using existing satellite infrastructure to converge satellite and cellular networks. Gupta explains what satellite connectivity is good for in the IoT, and how we can expect convergence between the cellular and satellite networks to occur. He also explains why Apple’s and Qualcomm’s satellite approaches differ from other options out there, and how the latest release of the LTE standard will drive the convergence between cellular and satellite networks. We then discuss the concerns around space trash and whether companies need to own their own constellation of satellites. Enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Tarun Gupta, the chief product officer at Skylo Sponsors: OnLogic and Silicon Labs
Why 6G is ready-made for the industrial IoT
We need a Matter-like standard for devices aimed at aging in place
DoorBird’s new firewall is an interesting approach to security risks
Why satellite connectivity is everywhere this year
These are the best use cases for satellite coverage in IoT
This week we continue discussing privacy and data protection with a focus on the smart home. I’d like to see a feature that lets us turn on privacy as needed on our devices, but Kevin doesn’t think that’s likely. For those who want concrete steps they can take today, Mozilla and the EFF have some suggestions that will appeal to the DIY types. And smart home device makers should be aware that if they focused on privacy, the might sell more gear according to a recent survey. For those worried about security (less about privacy), we discuss network segmentation options. In smaller news on this slow news week, Unabiz will retain the Sigfox brand, the FCC approves roaming satellite broadband via Starlink, and Samsung SmartThings is readying an app update with more features. I also share the devices I connect before I head out of town. In our IoT Podcast Hotline we answer a listener question about the best platforms on which to practice IoT development.
Our guest this week is Vijay Sankaran, the CTO of Johnson Controls. He talks about the reasons we’re adding more sensors to our buildings, and ensuring they work with other with IT systems. He also explains what needs to happen at the edge and what should take place in the cloud, while also laying out the standards we need to make digital twins of smart buildings. On the practical front, he says that customers usually start with modernizing buildings that are more than 10 years old or those that are currently under construction. And the best way to get started is for customers to start tracking carbon consumption by trying to understand how much energy is being used in a building and then understanding what deices are using it. Only after customers understand that, can they work on optimizing their energy usage to reduce consumptions or at least allocate carbon consumption to places or products that generate the most value.
Our guest this week is Willem Sundblad, CEO of Oden Technologies. Oden Technologies is an industrial IoT startup that tries to bridge the gap between operational technology data and IT data. We discuss how its clients are using the software to help track the quality of their batch processes, and how software is helping its customers with supply chain challenges and sustainability goals. Paper manufacturing and plastics companies are facing issues getting enough raw materials with supply chains mucked up, and so are trying to use more recycled materials. But changing inputs means adjusting the process, which can be difficult and lead to poor yields while the manufacturer adjusts the recipe. Oden’s customers are able to tweak their processes for new inputs faster and without as much waste, which is something to be excited about. It’s one of the things I had hoped the IoT was going to enable, and I’m glad to see it happening.
Our guest this week is Bob Marshall, the CEO of Whisker Labs. the company behind the Ting fire detection device. Marshall has been working with sensor data for more than a decade, so we talk about his earlier company and where the idea for Ting came from. We also discuss how to get in business with insurance companies and why Ting has elected to build a subscription business. We also discuss what types of service you need to provide if you do plan to charge a subscription. I like the Ting device, so was excited to chat with Marshall. I hope you enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey and Kevin Tofel Guest: Bob Marshall, CEO of Whisker Labs Sponsors: Somfy and Pantacor
Sanctuary feels like a moonshot, not a startup
Alexa can connect you to medical care
Murder mice humanely with a smarter mouse trap
How Ting built a business built on insurance companies
How Marshall pivoted from weather to fire prevention
Our guest this week is Peter Lewis, who was a co-founder of Cellular One and the originator of the term “Internet of Things.” Lewis coined the term and described the connection between wireless sensors, cellular networks, and the internet, all the way back in 1985 during a speech he gave to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 15th Annual Legislative Weekend in Washington, D.C. This week, you can hear the relevant segment of the speech and he shares why he was so eager to get things connected to the Internet 37 years ago. He also talks about what surprised him as the IoT really gained ground and discusses what he’s doing today. This is a great history lesson that everyone should know.
Our guest this week is Yana Welinder, the CEO and co-founder of Kraftful. She joins us to discuss the new analytics software Kraftful has launched and to broadly discuss best practices for connected device apps. Unsurprisingly, getting a device connected quickly and easily is the most important consideration for most connected device makers, and she’ll discuss how to make that easy. But she also talks about when apps make sense compared with voice interfaces or automated routines. We end our conversation with her take on what the upcoming Matter smart home interoperability protocol might mean for her business and for consumers at large. Enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Togel Guest: Yana Welinder, the CEO and co-founder of Kraftful Sponsors: Rightpoint and Hologram
Smoke detectors have a huge opportunity in the smart home
Using sensors and computer vision to make cities better and beaches cleaner
ARM’s next step should include a plan for RISC-V
If your users can’t connect their device in 10 minutes, they’re gone
Imagining a world where every product has an app is a nightmare
Our guest this week is Simon van der Jagt, CEO of Nowi. Nowi makes an energy harvesting chip that is easier to use in a variety of sensors. We talk about why, before moving to a discussion of plug and forget devices, and what those will entail. The idea is that companies can build energy-harvesting sensors that could last for the life of a road or container or other product, and thus we can forget about them. We also talk about trends in designing chips for the IoT such as sales challenges and the growing demand for highly specific chips that can consume the least amount of power while getting the work done. Enjoy the show.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Simon van der Jagt, CEO of Nowi Sponsors: Rightpoint and Hologram
Our guest this week is Loic Lietar, CEO of Greenwaves Technologies, a chip design firm using the new open-source RISC-V architecture to design a low-power IoT processor. Lietar explains what RISC-V is, how difficult it is to get the industry to adopt a new processor architecture and what RISC-V could mean for the IoT. He also discusses how the economics of open source silicon could change how chips get adopted and designed. You’ll want to tune in.