Collaborating Authors

Internet of Things

New Alexa skill development tools reduce pain points between businesses and customers


Amazon today announced the general availability of Multi-Capability Skills for Alexa, a way to combine smart home and custom Alexa apps into single, unified voice apps. Starting this week, developers can publish and maintain an Alexa app that enables both internet of things and third-party features for their devices, extending built-in smart home commands with custom voice interaction models to support nearly any feature without forcing customers to enable and invoke two separate apps. Before the advent of Multi-Capability Skills, Alexa developers had to publish and maintain multiple apps to enable custom features: a smart home app to leverage built-in smart home capabilities and a custom app to support capabilities not included in the Alexa smart home API. Now, they don't -- and customers don't have to remember two different app names. In this way, Multi-Capability Skills make it easier for developers to create better Alexa experiences.

How to Curtail Oversensing in the Home

Communications of the ACM

Future homes will employ potentially hundreds of Internet of Things (IoT) devices whose sensors may inadvertently leak sensitive information. A previous Communications Inside Risks column ("The Future of the Internet of Things," Feb. 2017) discusses how the expected scale of the IoT introduces threats that require considerations and mitigations.2 Future homes are an IoT hotspot that will be particularly at risk. Sensitive information such as passwords, identification, and financial transactions are abundant in the home--as are sensor systems such as digital assistants, smartphones, and interactive home appliances that may unintentionally capture this sensitive information. IoT device manufacturers should employ sensor sensor permissioning systems to limit applications access to only sensor data required for operation, reducing the risk that malicious applications may gain sensitive information. For example, a simple notepad application should not have microphone access.

Detecting/Preventing Infections, and Moving Instruction Online

Communications of the ACM

As of March 17th, 2020, more than 188,297 people have been infected with COVID-19. How can technology aid in curtailing the spread of infectious diseases that have the potential to create panic and infirm thousands of people? The Internet of Things (IoT), a network of interconnected systems and advances in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and connectivity, can help by providing an early warning system to curb the spread of infectious diseases. China's efforts to control the coronavirus have meant many residents stayed at home and factories just shut down. That had an unintended effect: less air pollution.

This smart fragrance diffuser is a fantastic Memorial Day sale purchase


The way your home smells matters. Not only can a bad scent deter anyone from entering, but it can also affect your mood, productivity, and wellbeing. A positive olfactory experience is just as important as style and aesthetics for happy, healthy home life. So, if you take a deep breath and don't like what you smell, it's time to do something about it. You could get plug-ins or candles, but they can often be sickly sweet-smelling – not to mention dangerous for kids and pets.

DIH Webinar: Artificial Intelligence for Smart Cities - Shaping Europe's digital future - European Commission


While several Member States have or are in the process of developing their AI strategies, smart cities and communities could well be the main beneficiaries of AI. With the increasing use of digital devices, sensors and Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities have seen a tremendous growth in data generated, including real-time and Big Data. This wealth of data, combined with machine and deep learning, can recognise patterns, help predict events, allow for more personalised services, optimise the use of resources as well as strengthen evidence-based analytical capability for policy-making and implementation. In order however, to benefit from the possibilities of AI at local level, there is a need for large amounts of high quality data, with relevance in the urban context (economic, urban, geographical, technical, climatic, health, etc.). Smart cities and communities are however, not yet fully exploiting the value of data and AI.

Council Post: Why Now Is The Time For Industry To Unlock The Full Potential Of IoT


When British technologist Kevin Ashton coined the phrase "internet of things" (IoT) in 1999, the world was only just getting acquainted with the nascent network of networks and how to access and use its many applications. In the more than two decades since, it has grown increasingly difficult to imagine a world in which our economies and communities were not supported and connected via the World Wide Web and the devices we use to access it. The number of firms that have incorporated IoT technologies into their businesses grew from 13% in 2014 to about 25% globally in 2019. In countries such as the United States, Germany, France and China, the rate of IoT adoption among enterprise-size commercial organizations exceeded 85%, according to a 2019 survey by Microsoft. And recent analyses from IDC predicted there will be 41.6 billion internet-connected devices by 2025, as worldwide commercial and consumer spending on IoT will exceed $1 trillion within the next three years.

Zombie Solar Cells, Sidewalk Labs, Shadow IoT Devices, China's Satellites Constellation for IoT, 5G Assembly Lines, Pandemic effect on AI and Robots..


Our zombie solar cells could power indoor devices without sunlight by Marina Freitag, Newcastle University Internet connected devices need power. That either means connecting them to the grid, which limits what we can use them for, or using batteries. To avoid this, my colleagues and I are helping develop a new type of smart solar cell that can adapt to the amount of available light. Last week, that all died. Sidewalk Labs canceled the Quayside project on May 7.

Hive's smart home devices finally work with HomeKit


The UK-based smart home company Hive finally works with HomeKit, 9to5Mac reports. A handful of Hive devices -- Hive Active Heating, Hive Active Lights and Hive Active Plugs -- can now be controlled via Apple's Home app, and customers can use HomeKit to control the smart home gadgets across Siri-compatible devices. There are a few caveats. You'll need the newer Hive Hub, and if your Hive Active Heating is connected to a hot water supply, HomeKit won't be able to control it. HomeKit support is not available for the Hive Wired Thermostat.

Part 4: IoT Platforms


An IoT platform is a multi-layer technology that enables straightforward provisioning, management and automation of connected devices with Internet of Things universe. It fills the gap between the hardware and the application. IoT platform provides a set of ready-to-use features for developers, which speeds up the development and provides cross device compatibility. Basically, IoT platform was originated in the form of IoT middleware. The primary task of this IoT middleware was to provide a link between the hardware and application layers.

The Top PropTech Trends: 6 Technologies Disrupting The Property And Real Estate Industry


No industry is immune to technological advances, but real estate is one niche that has been traditionally slower to adopt new trends. PropTech is booming and changing the way we buy, sell, and interact with our properties. I have recently been to ProbTech events to deliver keynotes, and more and more companies in the industry are asking for my advice on tech transformation. So, with this post, I would like to share the key trends every real estate professional and property manager needs to be aware of. The real estate and property management industries are uniquely positioned to benefit from big data.