Mozilla’s DIY smart home platform now has a virtual assistant: Mozilla’s Things Gateway has received a major update, with new additions including interactive floorplans, customizable devices, and an experimental smart assistant. Things is a platform that lets users build their own smart home system and control it via a web interface using a Raspberry Pi. The Things assistant lets users give commands in natural language (by typing or speaking), and presents responses in a chat style interface. For example, if someone tells the assistant to turn the dining room light on, it will respond to confirm that it’s been done. The smart assistant is still in an experimental stage so it’s currently turned off by default, but users can enable it through Settings -> Smart Assistant UI.
Arm acquires Treasure Data: Arm has announced that it has acquired data management company Treasure Data for an undisclosed amount. The technology has already been integrated into a new IoT SaaS platform called „Pelion.“ The acquired company will continue to operate as a stand alone independent subsidary. Treasure Data is a global leader in enterprise data management providing the ability to aggregate and translate massive volumes of scattered and siloed data. The company’s technology deals with data from any source – CRM, ecommerce systems, edge, IoT devices, and any third-party data. The result for customers is an ability to derive meaningful and actionable insights from any disparate data mix. The move, of course, is to strengthen Arm’s position in the IoT market, which is regarded as the new frontier of computer tech.
Conrad Marketplace to start soon: The German company Conrad Connect plans to present its new service Conrad Marketplace at the 2018 CES consumer electronics show. Smart home service providers will be able to use the platform to offer up their products. The smart appliances of a household are intended to be linked directly with a corresponding service, so that everyday processes can take place without user intervention. The service is geared towards private customers as well as building managers. Conrad Connect is already ensuring the seamless linking of smart home devices from different manufacturers, so the Marketplace platform will also provide real services in the future.
Tesla plans to release Autopilot 9.0: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been hyping the release of the automaker’s version 9.0 software update, which is expected to include a bunch of improvements from small convenience features to new Autopilot features. Tesla built a new version of its semi-autonomous system, known as Autopilot, in 2016 after a public breakup with the original supplier of the technology. Shortly after unveiling the replacement hardware and software, Musk claimed that the company’s new version — Autopilot 2.0 — would be good enough that a car equipped with it would complete a trip from Los Angeles to New York without a single moment of human interference. Musk also said Tesla would be able to develop the tech fast enough to pull off this demonstration by the end of 2017. Earlier this year, he said the drive would be upcoming.
Germany to get Google room recognition: For weeks there have been reports in the United States that Google’s smart home systems are equipped with a room awareness feature – the feature has now arrived in Germany as well. Users with multiple devices will no longer have to specify in which room Google should turn on the light, for example. Instead, the system automatically recognizes which room the user is in and executes the commands only for devices in the same room.
Tradfri: Ikea’s new smart lights will power up from Apple, Amazon, and Google devices fortune.com
Trend Micro: Security experts warn of lack of IoT security channelpartner.de
LiDAR sensors: Fraunhofer wants to protect children from mowing robots industry-of-things.de
Moscow: On its way to the Smart City thanks to AI wallstreet-online.de
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
Europe’s first data flat rate for IoT business customers has arrived: The „1NCE Lifetime Fee“ by Telekom and 1NCE costs 10 euros as a one-time fee and can be used for 10 years – the average lifespan of an IoT device.
IoT World Solutions Congress: The IoT Solutions World Congress, which is widely recognized as the leading IoT industry event, will take place in Barcelona on October 16-18. Around 250 international experts will present the latest industry trends in lectures. There will be more than 100 panel sessions. Organizer Fira Barcelona expects about „10,000 decision makers and executives from over 70 countries“. The IoTSWC is divided into three workshops dealing with artificial intelligence, startups, and digital twin. Those who want to be there still have a chance to win a ticket:
„Breakthrough of the Smart Home“: A study by the industry association Bitkom reveals that at least 20 million Germans own at least one smart device. Intelligent lighting systems, video surveillance, and voice assistants are the most popular uses of smart devices in Germany. More than a third of respondents also plan to acquire a new networked application over the next 12 months. Bitkom President Achim Berg is certain: „In the future they will be as natural in German households as electricity, light and running water. However, this „breakthrough of the smart home“ is not about „technical games“, but rather about „social changes“. The new technology could, for example, enable older people to lead a self-determined life in their own home.
PROJECT OF THE WEEK
AI to prevent bees from dying: Beekeeper Katharina Schmidt has launched a startup that monitors the health of her bee colony using AI. In a small wooden box at the entrance of the beehive, each animal flying by is filmed and analyzed while entering the hive. The AI system recognizes, for example, whether the bee is infected by a pest or is affected by pesticides and whether it carries pollen. This information is relevant not only to the beekeeper, but also to other entrepreneurs who are indirectly dependent on the bee population – farmers for example. Currently, the team of apic.ai is still working on the technical details of the system, but in the future the complete region around Karlsruhe will be equipped with smart beehives.
„In the event of faults and failures, a system should automatically enter a fixed state. And in this state, there should still be some functionality so that a complete failure of the entire IoT system does not occur directly in the event of a single component failure.“
PhD student Theresa Bettmann is researching a security concept for the Internet of Things at Münster University of Applied Sciences.
No one buys things via Alexa: Some numbers published in a report from „The Information“ reveal that very few owners of Alexa-powered devices use them for shopping. Of about 50 million Alexa users, only about 100,000 reportedly bought something via voice interface more than once. The Amazon Echo and its brethren are mostly used for the expected everyday purposes of listening to music, asking what the weather will be like tomorrow and setting timers.