CXOtoday News Desk: Consumers will increasingly use digital personal assistants to interact with consumer services in the connected home, says Gartner. Gartner predicts that, by 2019, in at least 25 percent of households in developed economies, the digital assistants on smartphones and other devices will serve as the primary interface to connected home services.
“In the not-too-distant future, users will no longer have to contend with multiple apps; instead, they will literally talk to digital personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant,” said Mark O’Neill, research director at Gartner. “Some of these personal assistants are cloud-based and already beginning to leverage smart machine technology.”
Digital personal assistants show the potential to satisfy wants and needs by delivering experiences that connect services, configure devices and even order and deliver products. Personalized, context-aware information can also be presented as it is wanted or needed — for example, suggestions for restaurants near planned meetings, or recommended temperature settings for the home to optimize energy consumption and comfort in line with the weather. Cont'd...
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Andy Greenberg for WIRED: The Privacy Software Tor has aided everything from drug dealing marketplaces to whistleblowing websites in evading surveillance on the darknet. Now that same software can be applied to a far more personal form of security: keeping hackers out of your toaster.
On Wednesday, the privacy-focused non-profit Guardian Project, a partner of the Tor Project that maintains and develops the Tor anonymity network, announced a new technique it’s developed to apply Tor’s layers of encryption and network stealth to protecting so-called “Internet of things” or “smart home” devices. That growing class of gadgets, ranging from refrigerators to lightbulbs to security cameras, are connected to the Internet to make possible new forms of remote management and automation. They also, as the security research community has repeatedly demonstrated, enable a new breed of over-the-Internet attacks, such as the rash of hackers harassing infants via baby monitors or the potential for hackers tosteal your Gmail password from your fridge. Cont'd...
Meghan Ottolini for CRN: Could robotics provide solutions that would help the Internet of Things to go mainstream? iRobot CEO Colin Angle believers IoT-integrated robots can solve issues around IoT device mapping and maintenance. “In order for the Internet of Things to work, we need maps,” Angle said. “We need to understand where all these devices are. We need to maintain them, and a robot can do that on its own every day.”
Angle used the example of the simple Roomba robot, which quickly learns where walls meet and furniture lies. “While it’s doing that, why not build a map?” Angle proposed.
That way, as the Roomba cleans, it can also test whether connected lights are still operative. That type of robot can also be used to turn lights on and off depending on room usage to save energy. Cont'd...
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DAVID CURRY for ReadWrite: Almost every product in the house now has a smart alternative, Nest revolutionized the thermostat and smoke detector, August built a smartphone connected door lock, and Samsung launched a smart fridge.
Even with the abundance of smart alternatives, Lux Research says there is still disconnect between the consumer and manufacturer. Price is the most obvious issue, despite manufacturers lowering prices in the past year, they are still too high for consumers that aren’t fully invested in the usefulness of smart home devices.
Lux Research also argues that retrofitting may have helped major smart home firms like Nest and Samsung keep customers on board. Some, after purchasing first generation tech, decided not to purchase the second generation, either due to cost or lack of additional features.
“Current prices [for smart home appliances] are three times higher and will have to be lower for manufacturers to push smart appliances for mass adoption,” said Jessica Hernández, Lux Research Associate and lead author of the report. “Also, businesses can benefit by focusing on retrofit technologies as a bridge for smart appliance adoption, drawing in products such as refrigerators and air conditioners that have a long life cycle.” Cont'd...
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