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’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 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 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 Daniel dos Santos, head of security research at Vedere, a business unit of Forescout. He’s on the show to discuss why Forescout released 56 new OT vulnerabilities dubbed ICEFALL. He shares the design flaws that led to these vulnerabilities and more importantly, explains what needs to happen if compromised controllers or devices can’t be fixed. He also shares a startling stat about how many industrial customers are actually updating their devices after a vulnerability has been disclosed, and how to encourage more of them to address security flaws. If you want to learn more abut securing critical infrastructure, this is a good place to start.
We start this week’s show with a look at a new surveillance law in Australia that seemingly obliterates a lot of protections around how law enforcement officials can access data and what they can do with it. We also talk about a survey conducted in the U.S. that shows how willing many Americans are to share their data in exchange for cheaper insurance. From there we cover new fundings for Brilliant, Wirepas, and Carbon Robotics. For those eager for an update on Helium’s 5G plans, the Freedom Fi hotspots will hit the market on Sept. 28. We also have updates on new products and features from the maker of Philips Hue devices, Spotify, Google, and Amazon Alexa. We end with a question from David about how to avoid the problems associated with adding new devices or hubs to his smart home network.
Our guest this week is Charles Young, the EVP and COO of Invitation Homes, a company that leases single-family homes. He’s on the show to discuss how Invitation Homes plans to add smart devices to its portfolio of 80,000 homes and to talk about the challenges of managing that many devices. We discuss the future of predictive maintenance across the portfolio, the savings the company has already achieved, and plans for new features such as video doorbells. We also talk about the perceived longevity for different device types in the smart home. And of course, we talk about how the company handles privacy. It’s a fun interview.
Our guest this week is Shaun Cooley, CEO of Mapped, who is on the show explaining why smart buildings are getting more attention lately. We talk about what matters for real estate with the ongoing pandemic (I can no longer bring myself to say Post-COVID, y’all) and a renewed focus on energy savings. For the nerds, we cover technologies and data layers such as Haystack, Brick, and Microsoft’s Real Estate Core for building digital twins. He also shares his thoughts on how buyers are maturing when it comes to evaluating the security of their tech purchases. It seems buyers are asking more questions and better questions, which can only be a good thing. I agree.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Shaun Cooley, CEO of Mapped Sponsors: Very
We have a good idea/bad idea segment this week
Wyze has $110 million in new funding for AI
Home Assistant gets energy monitoring as a feature
This week’s show kicks off with Kevin and I discussing a smart camera vulnerability before digging into what it means when the White House becomes a smart home. We then discuss Wi-Fi 6E and what it means for IoT. Next up: new devices from Signify which makes Philips Hue-branded gear. Then we dig into Google Assistants’ new skills, the Nest/SmartThings integration, and what Google wanted from Fitbit. We discuss a DIY smartwatch, self-learning sensors from Bosch, and Samsung SmartTags, which don’t seem all that smart. We end by answering a listener question about swapping out Hue gear for the Nanoleaf Essentials bulb and also Firewalla devices for Eero services.
Our guest this week is Ran Korber, CEO and co-founder of BreezoMeter, which uses math and public data to track air pollution. Korber joined me to talk about why air pollution matters so much, and how to combine many sources of data to produce real insights. He also talks about how to check his company’s algorithms, as well as how to build a business on shared data. After last summers’ wildfires, I am convinced of the value of good air pollution data, and it was neat to hear how companies are putting it to use. Enjoy the show.
After all that, join our guest Rose Eveleth, journalist, and creator of the Flash Forward podcast for a discussion about the role science fiction writers play in shaping our understanding of technology, We talk about the role fiction should have in setting tech policy, the different types of sci-fi and where stories should help guide our understanding of tech. It’s a deep discussion that ends with a few book recommendations. I hope y’all enjoy it.
Hosts: Kevin Tofel and Stacey Higginbotham Guests: Rose Eveleth, journalist, and creator of the Flash Forward podcast Sponsors: Nutanix and Afero
Tuya’s rapid rise as an IoT platform
Nvidia’s edge news was big for telcos and some IIoT
Here’s a smart take on the smart toilet
My sci-fi may not be your sci-fi
What can science fiction writers teach us about IoT?
Update on 10/24/2019: In the podcast, we mistakenly noted that the new SmartThings integration with Philips Hue bulbs doesn’t require a hub. Because the SmartThings Hub doesn’t support Bluetooth, a Philips Hue bridge is still required.