IoT (Internet of Things)

The Tiny Connected Tetra Dishwasher

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The Tiny Connected Tetra Dishwasher

The Tetra is the kind of unusual home appliance one only tends to see at CES 2018-- a compact countertop number able to not only wash a handful of dishes, but also... cook seafood?

Developed by connected water heater maker Heatworks and design firm frog, the Tetra is designed to handle the dishwashing needs of 2-person household. As such, it is large enough to hold 10 plates or 12 pint glasses. It promises to use less water than handwashing, without the need to wait for enough dishes dishes to fill a larger dishwasher.

“Our research indicates that although the average household is comprised of 2.58 people, the modern dishwasher holds place settings for 13 or more,” Heatworks says. “This makes people believe that they either need to handwash their few dirty dishes-- which wastes 10 times more water than using a dishwasher-- or wait for a fill load to run a cycle. With Tetra, we hope to change people's mindset.”

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Apple Watch Controls Whirlpool Appliances

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Apple Watch Controls Whirlpool Appliances

Whirlpool announces what it claims is a first at CES 2018-- connected appliances from the company get Apple Watch compatibility, taking their capabilities "to new heights."

This means customers will be able to control over 20 ovens, washers and dryers via the smartwatch. Controls including checking on current oven status and commands during an active cycle, controlling the wash options of a washer active cycle, and controlling and checking whether a dryer started a cycle.

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Philips Presents Hue E14 Candle

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Philips Presents Hue E14 Candle

Philips Lighting announces the Hue E14-- a candle light bulb compatible with the Hue app-controlled lighting system, available in both colour and white ambiance versions.

The E14 fits in a wide range of household lighting fixtures (up to 80% of sockets used across the world, the company claims), and offers identical functionality to other Hue products. It is a 40W equivalent bulb with 470 lumens brightness. Customers need to pair the candle bulb with the Hue Bridge accessory before control through the companion smartphone app.

Control features such as custom lighting colours, schedules and geo-fencing, as well as simple on/off switching. Philips says candle light bulbs are mainly used in decorative lamps for the bedroom, and the white ambiance bulb has dimming features promising better sleep.

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MIT Plans Chip For Speech Recognition

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MIT Plans Chip For Speech Recognition

Voice-based control is becoming increasingly important in connected devices-- leading MIT researchers to develop a low-power chip designed specifically for automatic speech recognition.

According to the researchers, a smartphone running speech-recognition software uses around 1W of power. In comparison, the chip requires between 0.2 and 10 milliwatts, depending on the number of words it has to recognise, leading to power savings of 90-99%. This means it can bring about voice-based control in wearables, as well as the power-constrained devices making the Internet of Things (IoT).

The chip uses a simple "voice activation detection" circuit to monitor ambient noise and determine whether it is speech. If the answer is yes, the chip fires up a more complex speech-recognition circuit. It also can compress data and evaluate a small audio section within onboard memory in order to keep energy consumption low.

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LG Expands IoT Ecosystem at IFA 2016

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LG Expands IoT Ecosystem at IFA 2016

LG presents more smart home devices at IFA 2016-- including a fridge equipped with a massive 29-inch touchscreen, the Amazon Alexa-capable SmartThinQ hub and a variety of IoT accessories.

The result of the Open Partnership, Open Platform and Open Connectivity strategy, the SmartThinQ hub features the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, if in initially limited form. Pressing a button on the hub allows one to add something to their schedule, play music or check the weather, with no actual control of ThinQ appliance as yet.

Such limited integration is weird, since as the name suggests the SmartThinQ hub acts as a controller for ThinQ appliances. LG presented a number of new ThinQ accessories IFA, including a Lightbulb, Plug and Motion Sensor.

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Durmet Presents Infidelity-Detecting Mattress

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Durmet Presents Infidelity-Detecting Mattress

Customers going through trust issues with their spouses or partners might soon find a solution for such woes-- the Smarttress, a connected mattress maker Durmet describes as "the first mattress that detects deception."

Such detection comes through 24 sensors embedded in the springs able to tell not only when the bed is being "used," but also the parts involved. Should it detect "someone is using your bed in a questionable way" the Smarttress pushes an alert to a companion app. Obviously.

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Security for the IoT – Is There a Role for Standards?

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Security for the IoT – Is There a Role for Standards?

by Alan Grau, President and co-founder of Icon Labs

From the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to Embedded World in Germany, the IoT is moving beyond market hype and early deployments to broader deployments. For better or for worse, the IoT is here to stay.

Companies are launching IoT products, services and platforms at an astonishing rate.  Secure vulnerabilities are being introduced at an equally brisk pace.

In July of 2014, HP Labs did a study of 10 popular IoT devices and found that the security was shockingly bad. The researchers studied 10 devices, looking at the end-to-end security capabilities of these devices including privacy protection, authorization, encryption, user interface protection, and code security.

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MediaTek Announces HomeKit Support

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MediaTek Announces HomeKit Support

MediaTek is the next chip designer after Broadcom, Marvell and Texas Instrument to support Apple HomeKit, with a pair of software development kits (SDKs) handling the iOS-based home device control framework.

"By adding HomeKit support, MediaTek takes another step in our mission to connect the world's next billion people," the company says. "Customers have been looking for innovative, simple and secure technologies that power their home and our new SDKs with HomeKit support delivers that to them."

The SDKs support two MediaTek SoCs, the MT7688 and MT7687. The MT6788 is a Linux-powered SoC designed for high-performance applications such as wireless speakers and webcams, while the MT7687 is a low-power wifi SoC ideal for home appliances such as garage doors, power switches and thermostats.

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50 Billion Connected Things

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50 Billion Connected Things

by Andy Marken

“A live, freshly-cut nerve is infinitely more sensitive. So I'll just drill into a healthy tooth until I reach the pulp. Unless, of course, you can tell me that it's safe,” says Laurence Olivier as Christian Szell in Marathon Man, a Paramount film, 1976

The world of IoT (Internet of Things) is so big, has so much potential it will never happen!

Sorry to burst your bubble or let you sigh with relief but … sorry.

How could I be so right and so many really smart people at IDC, ABI, HIS, Gartner, Cisco, Ericsson, Apple, Samsung, HP, Ford, Audi, Google, Facebook, you name it, be so wrong?

After all, depending on whose numbers you believe, it’s going to be a connection of 30-50B things and will rack up about $1.9T in sales.

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