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 Daniel Wroclawski, a senior writer at Consumer Reports, who is on the show to discuss an article he spent two years writing. It’s about how connected appliances collect and share your data. We talk about his conversations (or lack of conversations) with the five big appliance makers about the state of connected device data gathering. We discuss why consumers and manufacturers are excited about connected appliances and then talk about some of their potential downfalls. For example, will your oven features work if you don’t connect it to the internet? Maybe not. We also talk about what we should do in our homes to protect our privacy and what Congress needs to take action on. It’s a good show, especially if you have a connected fridge.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Daniel Wroclawski, a senior writer at Consumer Reports Sponsors: OnLogic and Silicon Labs
The Aqara mmWave sensor can detect falls or light levels and presence.
The IoT has embraced dark design patterns.
Lights with Matter, better Bluetooth buttons, and Z-Wave locks.
Why does your dryer need to be connected to the internet?
Most appliance makers didn’t want to share what data they collect.
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 Matt Rogers, the co-founder and CEO of Mill, a startup using a connected kitchen bin to fight food waste. We talk about the problem of food waste and who will pay $33 a month for the bin and concurrent service. Rogers also explains the math behind the service, and talks about why he chose to use a subscription model to fund the business. He also tells me why this isn’t a composting device, since it’s designed to keep food in the food system, and explains why that is so important. Finally, he shares how challenging it was to build a hardware startup during the pandemic. It’s a fun chat.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Matt Rogers, co-founder and CEO of Mill Sponsor: Akenza
Researchers use Wi-Fi to track movement through walls
Half of us don’t connect our smart appliances
Maybe you don’t need hearing aids just yet?
Why Matt Rogers went from smart thermostats to fighting food waste
Rogers tried to keep manufacturing during the pandemic local
Our guest this week is Elizabeth Parks, president and CMO of Parks Associates, a research firm focused on emerging technologies. Parks discusses how COVID changed the home security market as well as how monitored security providers have moved downmarket while DIY security companies have expanded upward into offering monitored security. All of this jostling has expanded the overall market. We also talk about the coming demand for energy management services as well as trends in new home building. Expect more connected devices! We end with a quick overview of what to expect from the CEDIA Expo happening this week in Dallas. It’s a fun conversation.
Our guest this week is Beth Flippo, CTO at Telegrid, which owns DroneExpress. DroneExpress has built a drone delivery service based on drone and radio technology built by Telegrid for the military. With DroneExpress, Flippo aims to build a business delivering items weighing less than five pounds within a small radius. This month Kroger announced it was trying the service for grocery delivery. We discuss why Teregrid decided to sell a service as opposed to the technology, what niche drone delivery serves, and even how widespread drone delivery could change consumer packaging. We also talk about the limitations of drones and Flippo’s belief that drone delivery could reinvigorate brick and mortar businesses.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Beth Flippo, DroneExpress Sponsor: Very
What will Roku do in the smart home?
Kevin thinks Google’s Fuchsia OS will be good for the IoT
Technology is a tool, but we need to understand its potential uses
Why sell hardware when you can sell a service?
How drone delivery might influence the size of consumer packaged goods
This week’s show has good news for smart device buyers concerned about security. We discuss a new research effort called Your Things that tracks the security of popular smart home devices. We also talk about a new Z-wave hub from Ezlo Innovations, a DIY voice assistant from Picovoice, and rumors about Apple’s new AR glasses and smart tracker. In bummer news, a popular maker board has a vulnerability that the manufacturer has patched. From there we move on to quick news from Amazon, August, and Android. Then we close by answering a question about how to track tools that you may want to lend out to friends.
Our guests this week are Gaye Soykök, who is head of emerging technologies at financial firm Legal & General, and Pilgrim Beart, CEO at DevicePilot. The two have come up with this idea of creating a minimum viable ecosystem for testing connected services. The idea is that most companies can’t do everything needed to pull a good connected service together, so they must create an ecosystem. We talk about how to make that happen, what to look for in partners, and how it ultimately will affect the consumer. It’s a meaty topic.
This week’s podcast kicks off with a discussion about property owners forcing smart apartments on renters. The discussion was sparked by a series of tweets. Kevin and I discovered the name of the company behind the service and cover some of the challenges associated with the proposition. (Here’s a hack of the device on GitHub.) From there we talk about various device and subscription cleanses and new low-power Wi-Fi chips. There’s also a new gateway for the abode security system, a setback for Microsoft’s Cortana and Kevin’s rediscovery of Node-RED. In our voicemail, we answer a question about finding smart lights that are equivalent to 100-watt bulbs.
Our guest this week is Michael Wolf, the creator of the Smart Kitchen Summit and publisher of The Spoon, which covers food tech. We talk first about the state of the smart kitchen and where various appliance manufacturers are in adopting connectivity. He then goes through all the major appliances and explains which features I should look for when I’m shopping for new white goods in the next 18 months or so. We end with a discussion about the Wirecutter’s shocking (to us) review of the June oven. There’s a lot to talk about.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Michael Wolf, the creator of the Smart Kitchen Summit and the publisher of The Spoon Sponsors: FairCom and Afero
Tenants have the right to avoid the smart home
I dumped smart devices and Kevin sumped subscriptions
This week’s guest is Raiford Smith, who joins us from Entergy to discuss his company’s digital transformation. He walks listeners through the process of creating a group to handle the technical demands of building products around data and analytics, and then talks about how to communicate with vendors and business units. It’s a detailed look at this utility’s two-year process to get a grip on the potential inherent in the internet of things. Enjoy.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Raiford Smith, who joins us from Entergy Sponsors: SAS and Auklet
This week’s guest Chris Harrison, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, share his creation of a smarter wall, one that responds to touch and also recognizes electronic activity in the room. We discuss the smart wall, digital paper, how to bring context to the connected home or office, and why you may want to give up on privacy. It’s a fun episode.
Hosts: Stacey Higginbotham and Kevin Tofel Guest: Chris Harrison, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University Sponsors: MachineQ and Twilio