internet of things Stories April 14, 2016

eddystone

Bluetooth beacons usually only broadcast public one-way signals. By allowing secure and private communication with users, the Eddystone-EID opens up a variety of new use cases for beacons. Along with the new secure open beacon format, Google is announcing a number of new hardware partners that will make compatible devices.

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internet of things Stories February 10, 2016

eddystone

A part of Google’s Internet of Things approach involves placing low-energy Bluetooth beacons in the world that can communicate with smartphones. Starting with version 49, currently in beta, Chrome for Android will be able to read and interact with these beacons. Google has also announced a research pilot that provides gear to university researchers working on IoT.

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internet of things Stories January 20, 2016

nest-learning-thermostat-3rd-generation

Update: Nest has reached out to clarify that the location data mentioned in the report is that of their weather provider’s remote stations and not of customers’ homes. Zip codes sent out to get weather reports are now encrypted. This article has been updated accordingly.

Researchers at Princeton University have discovered that Nest thermostats transmitted unencrypted zip codes of its users. Nest has since fixed the issue. The broader study takes a look at numerous Internet of Things devices from well known manufacturers to determine their safety and find privacy vulnerabilities.

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internet of things Stories January 14, 2016

nest-learning-thermostat-3rd-generation

Nest owners have reported that their smart thermostats have stopped working and as a result many woke up to colder than normal temperature in their house and unresponsive completely dead Nests. The fault lies in a software update (version 5.1.3 or later) that was pushed out to devices in December that drains the battery and ultimately shuts down the device.

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internet of things Stories December 28, 2015

PSA: Google’s ‘Ubiquity’ Internet of Things dev summit will take place in January

The Internet of Things will become an increasingly big deal as all consumer technology becomes connected to the web, and by extension one another. Google has several technologies including Brillo and Weave that take advantage of this ubiquitous computing trend. Announced at Google I/O earlier this year, Google is hosting a developer summit for developers focused around those topics. They announced the speaker list and opened registration today.

internet of things Stories September 3, 2015

Samsung launches next-gen SmartThings Hub with 10-hour backup battery, new app for Android

Samsung’s answer to Apple’s HomeKit, SmartThings got some valuable stage time at IFA in Berlin this morning, with the announcement of a brand new SmartThings Hub. The hardware has been revamped, and no longer needs a connection to the cloud in order to work. What’s more, it’s got a built in backup battery capable of giving you 10 hours use in the event that you have a power cut.  The new Hub is available to order today and was launched alongside a handful of complimentary sensors for tracking water leaks and motion among other things.

Whether you have two smart devices or 200, all you need is one Hub to create a smart home. Like a live-in translator, the Hub communicates with all of your different connected products—regardless of their wireless protocol—so that you can easily monitor and control them from the SmartThings app.

Samsung’s new SmartThings hub has a more powerful processor enabling it to handle video streaming and sensor monitoring tasks without the cloud. With this feature in mind, Sammy also introduced its new Smart Home Monitor which lets users access a continuous vide live-stream and can trigger video recording when something unexpected happens. Only important video is saved for viewing, and early detection enables it to capture the footage before the event.

As well as new hardware, Samsung has released a new app for Android from today. You can organize and control your connected devices by room, view live streaming from cameras and manage the routines right from the app.

SmartThings is compatible with nearly 200 products, including the Amazon Echo, and devices from manufacturers like Bose, D-Link and Honeywell. The SmartThings hub is available to buy from today for $99 from SmartThings.com or Amazon, with sensors priced between $30-$55.

internet of things Stories July 24, 2015

tony-fadell

Nest founder and former Apple iPod lead designer Tony Fadell has intimated in a BBC interview that the decision to make an early version of Google Glass available for public sale may have been a mistake.

He said that while Google has always launched beta versions of its products and gathered feedback from users, there was a very big difference between software and hardware.

If you are only doing services based on electrons, you can iterate quickly, test it, and modify it and get it right. But when you are dealing with actual atoms – hardware – and you have to get manufacturing lines and it takes a year or more to develop that product, you better understand what it is and what it’s trying to do and specifically what it’s not going to do.

Customers have to spend money to buy those atoms. They want something that delivers value or you end up with a real disappointment and you can spoil the market.

He was, however, “very bullish” about the product, and believes it has a big future …  expand full story

internet of things Stories May 21, 2015

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

According to a report this morning from The Information, Google is working on new software built specifically for lower memory devices like smart home products. While current versions of Android are aimed at devices with at least 512 megabytes of memory, this new spinoff of the Android operating system, codenamed “Brillo,” is aimed at low-powered devices with as little as 32 or 64 megabytes of RAM… expand full story

internet of things Stories April 27, 2015

Google Glass head Tony Fadell talks Internet of things, proactive technology in recent essay

Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest and head of Google’s Glass division, recently published an essay at The Wall Street Journal highlighting his thoughts on the future of the Internet:

Today, most technology is reactive. We ask a question and get an answer in return. It’s useful, but it’s also limiting. What if we don’t ask the right question? What if we don’t know we need to ask a question in the first place?

In the future, more conversations will happen proactively. In the case of my water-skiing accident, my smartphone could have combined existing information—including GPS data (on a lake, moving quickly), my medical history (four joint-related surgeries), the temperature of the environment (cold) and flexibility data from my fitness tracker—to predict that I was considering water skiing, calculate the odds of my getting injured, and advise me against it before I even got in the water.

The whole essay is wroth a read, with Fadell telling the story of how he tore a hamstring while water skiing and how a more connected Internet could have prevented it. He doesn’t make any comments on Glass, but he does call out Google’s Project Loon in reference to technologies that will help bring an Internet connection to the 4.4 billion people without one.

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