Here are interesting news stories from around the world of the Internet of Things this week. Get this summary in your inbox every Friday when you subscribe to the newsletter.
Augury raises $17 million: Listen up! No really, listen up. That’s what Augury’s algorithms allow companies to do. Augury makes software that listens for changes in vibration or other machine noise to predict failure. The company has built a business entirely around data and machine learning, and this funding round was led by a company that provides insurance risk products to industrial companies. As the ability to predict failure and manufacturing problems improves, the nature of risk and insurance will also have to change. (Network World)
Amazon opens the Echo Show: A week before the Echo Show (smart speaker plus video screen) arrives in the home, Amazon announced that it will integrate with various camera makers so a homeowner can see their August Doorbell camera or their Logitech camera on the screen. This is a nice deal since it has been difficult to get video content from one device into a unified app. Maybe this will help make the show the centerpiece of the smart home.
Zigbee vulnerabilities are pretty awful: This post exhaustively documents a recent paper detailing the security holes in the Zigbee Light Link protocol and uses a hack against Philips Hue light bulbs to show how the security problems in the Hue bulbs plus the Zigbee Light Link vulnerabilities could lead to bricking bulbs or even jamming Wi-Fi networks on the 2.4 GHz band. Fun. (Adrian Coyler)
Z-wave gets another smart home win: Japan’s KDDI is launching a connected home suite with several Z-wave-based accessories. This ties back to some momentum for the protocol that Sigma Designs CEO Thinh Tran alluded to in his earnings calls over the last two quarters. As the head of a company making Z-wave chips, he has indicated that the smart home has seen renewed interest in the protocol, especially from cable and telecommunications operators. This is likely one such win.
Telemedicine and device-based medicine need guidelines: Connected devices and AI have tremendous potential in the world of medicine, but before we can fully deploy it, doctors and device makers need to create evidence-based guidelines that can help these programs measure success. In many cases remote monitoring and healthcare have common sense guidelines such as “make sure you have a good video connection.” What doctors need is a standard that looks at the data available and can then determine if they need to ask the patient to come or if they can prescribe remotely. That’s one example, but there are plenty more. Doctors, technologists, insurers and regulators need to get together to craft more specific guidelines if they want remote healthcare to succeed. (Healthcare Dive)
How to use an AWS IoT button: Two weeks ago I wrote about a company making it easy for offices to use Amazon’s Dash buttons to orders services and automate basic tasks, but here is a case study from someone who used an AWS IoT button to notify his office when extra food was available in the break room. The blog post breaks down the steps easily, so even I could follow along. If only I worked in an office. (AWS blog)
Pay attention to this development for APIs: In some ways IoT is basically a bunch of web services cobbled together via APIs, which is why I enjoyed reading about Facebook’s development of GraphQL. The effort is basically a way to access many features from a complex API without making separate API calls for each function. It reduces the back and forth chatter between devices and services. That’s going to be good for users worried about using up computing resources and building services that are too complicated. (Redmonk)
The satellite guys want in on IoT too: Thuraya, a Dubai-based satellite company, has launched an IoT network service for remote IoT implementations. What’s interesting here is that it’s pitched at higher throughput applications such as video transfers. Satellite has typically suffered from being expensive and having “skinny pipes.” Next generation satellites plus partnerships with on-the-ground low-power, wide-area-networks make it a more interesting option for use cases that aggregate data in remote places. (Gulf News)
The Ukraine is like a William Gibson novel: This Wired deep-dive into cyberattacks in the Ukraine is an excellent read. It’s all about profiling life in a country that Russia basically uses as a test battleground for cyber attacks. Spoiler: it’s not pretty. (Wired)
Uber meets carpooling for social good: This story, which includes a profile of a Melbourne app that helps people link up with friends and neighbors going to the same or nearby places, warms my heart. The hope is that carpooling helps reduce traffic congestion while also increasing social connections, which traffic congestion actually diminishes. The result is people are stuck in less traffic and are less lonely. Other solutions to solve traffic congestion focus on the challenge of last-mile package delivery in central business districts. (The Guardian)
The big guide to talking to your home: Wired puts Alexa and The Google Home to the test in a large package of stories that compare the two devices on trivia, discuss what devices to connect to them and even offers a few prank ideas. It’s good to see that rick rolling people may survive the transition from screens to home speakers. (Wired)
I wrote about what Amazon buying Whole Foods could mean for food and the smart kitchen. (StaceyonIoT)