IoT news of the week for July 16, 2021 – Stacey on IoT | #ios | #apple | #iossecurity

Why I choose Android phones over Apple phones: This is a silly title, I know, but it’s also accurate as this article breaks down why consumer choice is so essential in technology and how much of that choice is eroded by big companies trying to build walled gardens. Sure, they may justify such gardens by citing ease of use or security, but I firmly believe that you can have both and still provide user choice. Go read this. (Locus)

The smart home has failed another user: We write all the time about the mess that is the current version of the smart home, but this post from Troy Hunt (creator of the Have I Been Pwned? website) is worth sharing. It offers the perspective of a tech-savvy tinkerer who calls for manufacturers to build smart devices that can be locally controlled, work with other platforms, and feature stable, well-documented APIs. While doing so would will help super tech-savvy people, it could also help regular consumers by making connected home products more interoperable, as well as lead to new use cases and help keep devices working if the companies that built them go out of business. (Troy Hunt)

TI introduced some super-fast MCUs: Texas Instruments has launched a new family of microcontroller units (MCUs) aimed at industrial and automotive markets. The new SitaraAM2x MCUs have as many as four ARM-Cortex class cores running at up to 800 MHz. This makes the combined processing power of these MCUs far exceed what we think of when we’re looking at traditional MCUs based on ARM’s M-class cores. (Texas Instruments)

Microsoft is buying another security firm: Props to Microsoft, which is spending more than $500 million to buy RiskIQ, a security company that monitors devices and network traffic. RiskIQ’s cloud-based software monitors IoT device traffic, but this deal is far closer to traditional IT buys when compared to Microsoft’s purchase earlier this year of Refirm Labs or last year’s CyberX buy. In-depth security matters, so Microsoft is trying to pick up assets that let it manage security everywhere it’s needed. Which, frankly, is everywhere. (Bloomberg)

New York City passes a facial recognition ban: Businesses in the Big Apple must now post signs warning customers when their biometric data (facial scans or fingerprint scans) are being taken and can’t sell that data to others. As laws go this one is pretty lame because consumers can’t always choose to avoid a place that’s using facial recognition. What if you show up at a doctor’s appointment and the clinic collects facial scans? Are you really going to turn around and reschedule someplace else? The law is bad for businesses too. As of now, several cities have passed laws relating to facial recognition data, which means now companies have a patchwork of regulations to worry about. (TechCrunch)

Cisco is getting into occupancy tracking for a post-COVID world: Cisco has signed a partnership with a company called Kloudspot to provide more in-depth occupancy tracking using a combination of cameras and RF coming from people’s devices. Cisco’s Meraki products already include access points that can track people via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth as well as cameras. Kloudspot’s camera analytics software will be layered on top of the data coming in from the Meraki gear to provide the analytics. NYC’s laws may be coming way too late. (Kloudspot)

Verizon creates a robotics division: Selling 5G services for large fleets of robots is apparently challenging enough that Verizon is creating its own division to handle the job. It’s true that 5G implementations are complex, and that robots are a perfect example of a device that will benefit from 5G’s large amounts of bandwidth and low latency, but I’m interested in this news because I wonder if carriers will need to create specialized business units to sell and deliver on 5G services within different industries. Or is this Verizon’s effort to build a layer of IT and cloud services on top of its bandwidth offering to avoid being a dumb pipe? (Mobile World Live)

Samsung SmartThings adds an energy-saving feature: Samsung has added an energy monitoring feature to its SmartThings smart home management software that shows the energy consumption of compatible devices in the home and offers tips on how to lower usage. It also can act to turn off devices if people are away from home. For now, the service only works with Samsung appliances, but it will expand to participants in the Works With SmartThings ecosystem over time. I’m all for this, although having the information and then getting basic tips only helps reduce energy usage a little bit. I quickly hit a ceiling when I had a device attached to my breaker box measuring my home’s energy consumption. The news also makes me think that the Matter protocol should probably add a field for devices to report their energy usage, which would make offering this type of service universal across the smart home. Maybe in the 2.0 version of the standard. (Samsung)

The FCC wants to make radar at 60 GHz common: The FCC has started the comment process to make radar using 60 GHz spectrum available to all. Kevin covers the news and why 60GHz is so important for the IoT in this story. (Stacey on IoT)

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