Internet of Things

Your Roomba could be selling maps of your home to Google, Amazon, and Apple


"There's an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared," said Colin Angle, iRobot's CEO. If the idea of a device spying on your flooring plan -- along with other data about your home -- and then selling that info to companies to help them improve their targeted ads seems particularly creepy to you, that's because, well, it is creepy. The privacy policy indeed states iRobot could share the users' personal data with other companies owned by iRobot, third party vendors and affiliates, the government, and "any company transaction, such as a merger, sale of all or a portion of company assets or shares." However, this is not necessarily personal data as protected under data protection law.

Roomba Vacuum Maker IRobot Betting Big on the 'Smart' Home

U.S. News

That data is of the spatial variety: the dimensions of a room as well as distances between sofas, tables, lamps and other home furnishings. To a tech industry eager to push "smart" homes controlled by a variety of Internet-enabled devices, that space is the next frontier.

IIoT Manufacturing, Reliability and Condition Monitoring


Bruce Sinclair's The IoT Inc Business Show podcast has a great interview in his Episode 64: IIoT Manufacturing From the Shop Floor to the Top Floor with Tanja Rueckert of SAP. IIoT or connected manufacturing is literally "connecting" Operational Technology (OT) and Informational Technology (IT), meaning production and core business processes have end-to-end connectivity or what is known as visibility from the shop floor to the top floor. The focus has been primarily on the first aspect, that is, connectivity and merging the operational technology with informational technology and analyzing the business processes in between. The connectivity, or as Tanja calls it, from shop floor to top floor is hitting the nail on the head -- having the operator's visibility extended to maintenance professionals where usage patterns and trends are analyzed to head off issues before they become costly problems or extending the life of the machine.

Top IoT use cases


Fitness wearables: IoT is the key concept powering wearables from fitness trackers to smartwatches, but keeping weekend warriors fit is only the beginning. Supply chain: Inexpensive, low-power IoT devices track location information for all kinds of items, in warehouses, shipping depots and in transit, not to mention monitoring temperature, vibration and container openings for quality control and insurance purposes--especially of valuable or dangerous items, such as drugs or jewelry (but not firearms, at least in the United States). Cities: IoT is a key factor in smart lighting grids and more efficient transportation and parking systems, including smart traffic lights that adapt to traffic conditions in real time. On the one hand, IoT sensors let AI systems experience their environment directly.

What are Smart Cities? Everything you need to know


From traffic information to weather monitoring, the Internet of Things (IoT) is helping revolutionise how we live our lives across a number of industries. By connecting various aspects of the urban landscape to the Internet, local administrators will gain access to countless extra datasets that could help them provide better services for their citizens. The potential benefits provided by smart cities mean that the opportunities to utilise their technology are not limited to any particular areas or locations. For any city looking to embrace IoT technology, there are a number of hurdles to overcome, particularly concerning data analytics and smarter services investment.

Drones, VR and OLED TVs expected to top $1B in U.S. sales this year


Americans' high-tech appetite is even more voracious than anticipated as sales of digital assistants, drones, VR headsets and 4K Ultra HD TVs expected to surpass forecasts. Still, the categories grabbing the biggest share of sales remain smartphones, expected to increase 2% to $55.6 billion, laptops ($28 billion, down 1%), televisions ($18 billion, -2%), and tablets ($16 billion, -8%). Consumers are increasingly opting for 4K Ultra HD televisions, with unit sales expected to increase 59%, amounting to a 45% increase in revenue to $14.6 billion. Consumers are expected to buy 1.3 million drones weighing more than 250 grams.

The Wirecutter's best deals: Google Home and Philips Hue bundles drop by $70


This bundle offers two of our picks, the Google Home Speaker and the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter kit, for $230, an excellent deal. The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit is our pick for the best smart LED light bulbs. Grant Clauser writes, "Philips Hue is not just a smart bulb; it's a whole smart system. This is an excellent deal on these refurbished noise cancelling headphones, which typically cost $350 new.

Microsoft takes on Nest with a Cortana-based thermostat


Microsoft isn't content to let Amazon or Alphabet dictate the future of the smart home. The software giant has unveiled a smart thermostat from Johnson Controls, GLAS, that promises to one-up what you see from the likes of Nest. The slick-looking control packs both a translucent touchscreen and, more importantly, Cortana voice controls -- you don't have to talk to a speaker or your phone to change the temperature. Neither Microsoft nor Johnson Controls has said anything at this point (we're reaching out), but it's safe to say this will cost more than your average home climate controller.

Our favorite affordable smart plug is at a new low price right now


Smart home devices can make everyday tasks easier, leaving more time and energy for other more important aspects of your life. If you're looking for ways to enjoy a slice of the smart home pie without parting with all of your hard-earned money, I highly recommend a smart plug like the TP-Link Smart WiFi Plug. You can control this smart plug from your phone, making it a breeze to fire up your a/c on the way home or turn on lights while you're on vacation (and it's much cheaper than a smart air conditioner or smart light setup). But if you're more concerned with the aesthetics of controlling a device from your phone or home assistant than with reducing your energy consumption, there's a version without the green feature for only $25.

Population increase and the smart city


One thing is for certain when urbanization at this rate occurs, and that is the strain on public services and resources rapidly increases. By 2100 the global population is expected to reach 11 billion people, but we should see this as an exciting opportunity to use the Internet of Things in formatting smart cities. Smart waste management applies the Internet of Things to rapidly improve efficiency. The growth of smart cities should only accelerate over the coming years – their potential is limitless and although they are expensive to plan and implement initially, they will only benefit residents by improving living cost, health, and quality of life.