How Thames Water is pushing through smart metering for a win-win scenario

Thames Water provides 2,600 million litres of tap water to nine million customers every single day. But it won't last - and the operator is turning to the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart metering for the answer.

"Put simply, London is running dry," Stephanie Baker, progressive metering programme manager at Thames, told delegates at the IoT Tech Expo yesterday.

Baker cited the harrowing case of Cape Town as an example of how serious some situations could be. Thames predicts that, at the...

By James Bourne, 20 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, IoT, Smart Homes.

Qualcomm’s Vision Intelligence Platform adds smarts to its new IoT chipsets

Chip manufacturing giant Qualcomm has launched its Vision Intelligence Platform alongside its first two dedicated chipsets for IoT devices.

The new 10nm chipsets, QCS605 and QCS603, can be used for devices such as drones, robotic vacuum cleaners, 360-cameras, and more. Both contain Qualcomm’s latest development in camera and artificial intelligence.

Driving the...

By Ryan Daws, 12 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, IoT, Smart Cities, Smart Homes.

Google Assistant rolls out ‘routines’ and plans deeper integration with hardware — and even telcos

Google Assistant is rolling out its ‘routines’ feature and plans to embed itself deeper into devices — even integrating directly with telcos.

First announced back in October, the routines feature allows several commands to be linked together from a single phrase. For example, saying “Hey Google, I’m home” may switch on your lights, play some music, set a comfortable temperature, and get the kettle boiling.

By Ryan Daws, 23 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Google assimilates Nest once more

Saying goodbye must have been too hard for Google as the company is bringing Nest back under its roof.

Nest was co-founded by former Apple engineers in 2010. Google bought the young startup, whose innovative thermostat became one of the first successful smart home devices, for $3.2 billion (£2.3bn) back in 2014.

Following a major restructuring — when...

By Ryan Daws, 09 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Mozilla updates its Project Things open source IoT gateway

Mozilla has issued an update to its Project Things open source decentralised IoT gateway first announced back in July.

The main part of Project Things is the Linux-based ‘Things Gateway’ software which enables a Raspberry Pi to be set up as a home automation gateway. In the latest version (0.3) of the software — a new rules engine, improved voice support, and a tutorial has been added to help newbies get started.

Other major new features include:

  • Microphone support for issuing voice...

By Ryan Daws, 07 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Google Assistant learns to drive (properly) in expansion to more screens

Google Assistant’s expansion into the car and devices with dedicated screens will soon allow consumers to interact with the AI in more ways than ever.

While the Google Assistant was technically available in Android Auto prior to today’s announcement, it was limited to its older ‘Google Now’ form. The full rollout will feature more powerful features such as home control and deeper access to third-party services.

By Ryan Daws, 09 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

How Amazon, Google and others are investing in AI and digital assistants for smart homes

A large number of tech incumbents including Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft are making quick investment moves in artificial intelligence (AI) and digital assistants for smart homes having realised the potential these technologies can play in the smart home market, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

The report, titled “Digital Assistants and AI in the Home”, evaluates the major drivers in the smart home market, barriers and technological trends related to AI as well as...

By IoT News, 18 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AI, IoT, Smart Homes.

Smart home platform revenue to touch $39.5 billion in 2026, projects Navigant Research

A new Navigant Research report has projected that smart home platform revenue globally will reach $39.5 billion in 2026 from the present worth of only $4.2 billion.

At the time when consumers are getting more and more conscious about smart home technologies, the report analyses the global smart home platform with focus on residential IoT hardware, software, services, and smart home platforms. It also discusses the issues associated with the smart home market including value propositions, market channels, and...

By IoT News, 28 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Not the Internet of Things – but more the ‘internet of intelligence’ for consumers

Although the Internet of Things (IoT) is helping consumers to handle everything via voice command or the click of a button, there is an increased demand for 'internet of intelligence' solutions which can help solve day-to-day tasks more intelligently, recent research has revealed.

The research conducted by Magid, on behalf of CTAM, examined the dynamic behaviour, preferences, expectations and aspirations of connected consumers. According to the research, time is an invaluable aspect for consumers...

By IoT News, 17 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Ring Video Doorbell 2: An evolution of a revolution

Every now and then, a product comes along which shakes up and revolutionises an established category. In our review of the original Ring Video Doorbell, we alluded to it being such a product. We’ve finally got our hands on its successor, and while it’s not as revolutionary as the original, it takes some major steps forward.

If you looked at the spec sheet alone, it would appear little has changed with the second generation...

By Ryan Daws, 03 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Consumers prefer in-person assistance to get smart homes up and running

A survey aiming to understand how consumers would prefer to connect home automation and other smart devices found that they would prefer skilled in-person assistance to online help sources for connecting multiple smart devices in their homes.

For the survey, entitled “The Future of the Digital Experience: Connected Service Edition”, CSG International, through an independent research firm, polled more than 2000 consumers across five nations including the US, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and...

By IoT News, 30 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Amazon trying to make smart home simpler with updates, says IHS Markit

With Amazon announcing several new Alexa-related products and integrations, it is part of their plan to make the smart home simpler, according to Blake Kozak, principal analyst at IHS Markit.

While admitting the updates will be ‘disappointing for enthusiasts’ being aimed at a less tech-savvy market, the moves do relate to their competition in the space, including SmartThings and Sonos, added Kozak.

“In the short-term, although Sonos is expected to release a digital assistant agnostic speaker...

By IoT News, 03 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Hybrid 3D printing: The next level of flexible wearables manufacturing

It’s 5pm, and it’s time to call it a day. You turn your computer off, but remember that you still need to send a couple of emails. You fold your new laptop a few times, much like you’d fold a piece of paper, and put in your bag. As you do, you don’t even notice the flexible, clear patch on your hand that locks and unlocks office doors and ensures that the lights are off when you’re not there. And it takes care that the AC is off, saving you the trouble of remembering these...

By Richard Van Hooijdonk, 03 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes, Wearables.

Google is preparing an Amazon Echo Show competitor

Perhaps it was only a matter of time, but rumours indicate Google is preparing to launch a competitor to the Amazon Echo Show.

TechCrunch reports hearing from multiple sources that Google is building a smart home device with a screen. Like with the Echo Show, this would allow the device to display useful information visually such as the weather forecast.

Amazon has left itself somewhat vulnerable in this space with the Echo Show often seen as having the right idea, but with a lackluster execution.

By Ryan Daws, 29 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

Nest goes after Ring and home security players with latest updates

Nest, the Alphabet-owned smart home automation provider, has issued a variety of roadmap and product updates around home security.

Among the products, as part of an overall home security solution, is a secure alarm system, an outdoor security camera, as well as a video doorbell system.

The move is the “next phase” of Nest’s strategy to “create the thoughtful home,” in the words of CEO Marwan Fawaz. “Today we’re disrupting yet another product industry: home...

By James Bourne, 21 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Security, Smart Homes.

Itron acquires Silver Spring Networks in “intelligent strategic move”

Itron, an energy and water resource management provider, has announced the acquisition of Silver Spring Networks (SSN) for approximately $830 million (£615.6m).

Silver Spring Networks is a San Jose, California-based provider of IoT connectivity platforms and solutions to utilities and cities. With its widespread global network in the smart utility and smart city sectors, the company has generated more than 20% of its revenues via its primarily recurring managed services and SaaS solutions, which is...

By IoT News, 19 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Homes.

UK announces plan to integrate IoT devices with the grid

The UK government has announced its plan to integrate IoT devices with the national grid to improve sustainability and reduce consumer energy costs.

By working alongside manufacturers, the UK government is aiming to create standards for a smarter and more flexible energy system. This could mean some devices are switched on when costs are at their lowest, and others switched off when the grid is under stress.

Examples include a smart washing machine which switches on when electricity is...

By Ryan Daws, 25 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Smart Cities, Smart Homes.

Silicon Labs deploys the first Bluetooth Mesh solution for IoT developers

Just days after we reported on the announcement of Bluetooth Mesh, Silicon Labs has become the first to introduce a comprehensive suite of software and hardware which supports the new specification.

As we noted in our previous article, Bluetooth Mesh has all the right ingredients to enable Bluetooth to become a key wireless standard due to its low-power, ubiquitousness, and now with extended...

By Ryan Daws, 20 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development, IoT, Smart Homes, Standards.

FBI posts a warning to parents about IoT gadgets

The FBI has posted a ‘consumer notice’ to consumers with children about the dangers of IoT gadgets.

Anyone who follows the computing industry will be aware of the dangers of insecure IoT devices. Some of the potential threats are external of the home, such as devices being hijacked to carry out attacks. Others can be internal and pose a danger to your family’s privacy, such as a hacked webcam.

The FBI makes the following recommendations:

  • Research for any known reported security issues online to include, but not limited to:

  • Only connect and use toys in environments with trusted and secured Wi-Fi Internet...

By Ryan Daws, 19 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Security, Smart Homes.

Bluetooth ups its IoT cred with mesh networking

In the ongoing fight to become a dominant wireless standard for the IoT, an update to Bluetooth has provided mesh networking capabilities.

"By adding support for mesh networking, the Bluetooth member community is continuing a long history of focused innovation to help new, up-and-coming markets flourish," said Mark Powell, executive director for Bluetooth SIG, Inc. "In the same way the connected device market experienced rapid growth after the introduction of 

By Ryan Daws, 18 July 2017, 1 comment. Categories: IoT, Smart Cities, Smart Homes, Standards.