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Former Dropcam CEO surfaces at Apple: In an irony of sorts, Greg Duffy, the former co-founder and CEO at Dropcam, is now at Apple. Duffy, whose company was purchased by Google (now Alphabet) in 2014, had a lot to say after leaving Nest, including calling Nest CEO Tony Fadell a “tyrant bureaucrat.” Since Fadell had likely learned his tyrant bureaucrat ways during his stint at Apple, Duffy’s decision is somewhat surprising. (The Information)
Ring has raised a lot of money, but what now? Ring raised a $109 million Series D round of funding this week. The round comes less than a year after it raised more than $60 million. It has me wondering how a consumer hardware company can provide the kind of return venture investors are likely expecting after this round. It may sell a lot of doorbells, but the real money will be on recurring revenue from services and an expanding product line. (VentureBeat)
Fog computing looks like low-hanging clouds: My former Gigaom colleague Derrick Harris is back writing about cloud and AI at a new publication, and touches on the concept of fog computing as an architecture for the internet of things. He lays out the results of a new study on the topic and points out how major vendors are trying to prepare for this architectural shift. I stole that headline from his killer last line. (ArchiTECHt)
Acting FTC Chairwoman Maureen K. Ohlhausen may still pursue IoT complaints: The Federal Trade Commission got a new acting chairwoman this week in Maureen K. Ohlhausen, who has served as a commissioner. As such you can find her opinions on two issues near and dear to the IoT. One is her opinion on the case in which the FTC filed a complaint against a connected breathalyzer company saying its product didn’t do what it said it did. The other is her statement on cross-device linking and its effects on privacy. (FTC)
There is no monetization strategy yet for voice: I’m actually okay with this because voice is just a user interface tool like typing on a keyboard or swiping on a touchscreen. However, this report from VoiceLabs shares a lot of good info about voice as a UI. My hunch is a monetization strategy at this point also hurts the burgeoning ecosystem. (VoiceLabs)
Speaking of voice … For a better look at the voice ecosystem check out this post from Greylock Partners’ Sarah Guo, who digs into the reason voice is at a tipping point, agrees with my assessment of Apple’s AirPods, and lays out all the opportunities available to startups in this space. It’s chock full of excellent data and insights. (Greylock Partners)
Amazon has three grocery store tests: Amazon Go, a quick stop, computer vision-powered grocery store where customers can walk in, grab and item, scan it and then go without checking out got a lot of attention a few weeks ago. But did you know that Amazon is also testing a more traditional Big Box store layout and a drive-through concept? Now you do! (The Spoon)
Silicon Labs buys Zentri: Silicon Labs, which makes an assortment of chips for the internet of things (with a heavy emphasis on radios such as Bluetooth and ZigBee), has purchased Zentri. This gets Silicon Labs into the Wi-Fi module business but also gets it above the physical hardware into device management and cloud services. Given how commodified the chip business will become, such a move makes a lot of sense. (Silicon Labs)
The OCF has a new leader: The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) has brought on Joonho Park as Executive Director. Park joins the OCF from Samsung Electronics, where he served as head of standards and technology and headed the Samsung-wide IoT Task Force to globalize Samsung’s IoT business.
Turn your Twitter account into a smart home system: I personally don’t want to use Twitter as a means to control my home automation and connected gadgets, but if you do, this is a good tutorial. (Hackster.io)
An IoT product isn’t like hardware or software: I talk about this a lot when I discuss the need for business models beyond selling a physical product, or the challenges of supporting a connected product when you’re used to shipping hardware. This story by IoT superstar Alexandra Deschamps Sonsino really goes into depth on why IoT is a totally different type of product category and why it matters. (Dataconomy)
Some earnings news: Verizon is getting the hang of this IoT business, seeing its IoT revenue up 60% year over year for the fourth quarter at $243 million. That’s still a tiny bit of its overall sales, though. Comcast saw a boost in its “other” category of earnings thanks to a greater take rate of its Xfinity home product.