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FTC: IoT needs trust of American consumers to reach full potential

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a 55-page study focused on the Internet of Things (IoT), admitting that there are "numerous" and "potentially revolutionary" benefits to consumers - but at major privacy and security risks that must be addressed.

 

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For companies making connected devices, the FTC hopes to see security built directly into devices immediately, instead of waiting to add it in later. Furthermore, it's important to train employees regarding security, so they can take it more seriously while designing - or using - connected technologies.

 

"The only way for the Internet of Things to reach its full potential for innovation is with the trust of American consumers," said Edith Ramirez, FTC Chairwoman, in a press statement. "We believe that by adopting the best practices we've laid out, businesses will be better able to provide consumers the protections they want and allow the benefits of the Internet of Things to be fully realized."

Continue reading 'FTC: IoT needs trust of American consumers to reach full potential' (full post)

Coming to an office near you: multitouch smart coffee table

Ideum has launched its Duet smart coffee table, featuring 42-inch and 46-inch models, running the Microsoft Windows 8 and Google Android operating systems. The table has been designed for use in public spaces, offices, schools, retail stores, and other environments that feature continued use.

 

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The multi-touch input provides increased responsiveness and has been designed to be the "hub of the connected home," giving owners the chance to control all their smart technologies from one location: controlling music, lights, thermostat, security, and other popular IoT-driven solutions.

 

The Duet has the following hardware specs: Intel Core i5-4570R (3.20GHz), Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 8GB DDR RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

Continue reading 'Coming to an office near you: multitouch smart coffee table' (full post)

Connected homes could pose major security concerns to early adopters

The Internet of Things (IoT) captured a lot of headlines during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month, and security will remain a major issue for early adopters. The idea that connected household items can access the Internet provides great opportunity for enhanced services - but provides cybercriminals an access point to compromise new products.

 

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Cybersecurity companies are aware of the great potential of IoT and connected devices, but understand they must scramble to defend an entirely new ecosystem that seems poised to boom.

 

"If people are worried about Facebook and Google storing your data today, wait until you see what is coming with IoT in next 2-5 years," said Ed Montgomery, Marketing Manager at F-Secure, via Tweet.

Business leaders increasingly concerned regarding IoT security

The Internet of Things (IoT) seems like something unavoidable, but business leaders have concerns related to privacy and security, and questionable return on investment. There is great optimism mixed with various concerns that companies have shown while research IoT solutions for their workplace.

 

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As part of its IoT survey, Business Insider found 39 percent of business leaders have "concerns about the privacy and security aspects of the IoT," while 27 percent believe IoT has "questionable ROI." Despite these concerns, 62 percent of executives have plans to adopt IoT-based systems or have already deployed at least one IoT platform.

 

With billions of smart devices powered by IoT expected to invade our homes, apartments, and offices, IoT creators are trying to sort themselves out - and provide a majority-backed platform - before potential fragmentation sinks interest among consumers and business leaders.

Potential downside of smart tech: Humans in less control of our lives

The Internet of Things (IoT) may yield great potential to simplify lives, but there is growing concern that these connected devices could eventually begin to take over our lives. The use of artificial intelligence to help simply - and enhance - new products opens the door to human-like capabilities, but that has increased concern.

 

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"When we're not being tracked, we're more free to experiment, to be our authentic selves, to read new things, to be different kinds of people," said Neil Richards, law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, in a statement published by the San Jose Mercury News. However, connected monitoring opens the door to "menaces our society's foundational commitments to intellectual diversity and eccentric individuality."

 

IoT-based technologies will continue to increase in popularity, as companies expand research and development efforts - but there are numerous concerns that must also be addressed.

Smart tech needs industry collaboration and cooperation to grow

There seems to be no question that the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to be a major business, as more smart products enter the household. However, without industry cooperation from software designers and hardware makers, it could end up being a massive headache for everyone involved.

 

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The number of IoT-related announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month should indicate where the market is quickly moving. If companies don't begin to work together on new standards, such as an open platform that is evenly distributed is necessary, then things may just become a nightmare.

 

"Companies may not care as much about overarching standards so long as the application will meet the needs they have today," said Andy Peebler, managing director of ecommerce and digital marketing at Acquity Group, in a statement to NBC News.

Continue reading 'Smart tech needs industry collaboration and cooperation to grow' (full post)

ARM preparing for connected homes to begin their takeover

ARM believes connected technology being used in our homes and apartments provides great potential, and the technology should take off in 2015. It appears the company is prepared to continue working with its partners and drive towards innovation - and won't shy away from any market that potentially needs hardware to power products.

 

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"We're seeing the intelligence that is enabled by embedded processing really starting to come to the fore and I think it's going to be a really exciting year in 2015 as these ideas develop," said Simon Seagars, CEO of ARM Holdings, in a statement to CNBC. "I think we're seeing a very broad theme developing into more concentrated ideas around smart homes, smart cities, connected cars."

 

Analysts believe connected technology will continue to expand, largely driven by mobile, as product offerings and price points begin to diversify in 2015.

Xiaomi plans to invade the connected home after smartphone domination

Smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi took the phone market by storm, and hopes to transition that success into connected technology. Xiaomi has introduced a "smart module" that its hardware partners can integrate into products sold to consumers.

 

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The module will cost just $3.60 and can be installed in refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and other home products, according to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. There is tremendous potential in smart technologies, and Xiaomi wants to ensure products are created in an effective manner to appease partners and consumers.

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) had a prominent presence during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, and smartphone makers have taken notice. Ideally, Xiaomi and other companies want users to be able to control connected technology via their smartphones.

IoT consumer awareness increased following connected avalanche at CES

Connected products powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) took over the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, and that momentum will only continue, industry analysts predict.

 

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IoT product providers will need to ensure services and connectivity to power these "things" are secure, with proper bandwidth to ensure they function normally. Looking ahead, IoT growth is expected to create upswings in Internet traffic and IP address consumption, according to Akamai Technologies.

 

However, it's now up to manufacturers and supporters to show why connected technology can impact the lives of consumers on a daily basis - and offer products that aren't overly difficult to use.

Continue reading 'IoT consumer awareness increased following connected avalanche at CES' (full post)

Berg Insight predicts massive growth in smart thermostats

Connected technology in apartments and households show great potential as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to mature, with consumers interested in select products more than others. The number of North American and European homes with smart thermostats increased 105 percent up to 3.2 million in 2014, according to Berg Insight.

 

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Most of the growth occurred in North America, which saw 107 percent growth, reaching 2.5 million homes in just one year. Berg Insight believes the North America will continue to see massive growth in smart thermostats, with 24.6 million homes embracing the technology by 2019.

 

Nest, Honeywell and Ecobee currently lead the North American smart thermostat market, with a growing number of manufacturers and vendors joining the market. The ability for homeowners to more accurately track their utilities, and customize temperature controls, will become even more appealing as the technology matures.

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