Intel moves away from wearables after Basis Peak failure

Young stylish and fashionable man checking his smartwatch in cafe bar. High angle shot. Selective focus. Toned image.
Intel may be in the process of drastically downscaling its wearable division, as it starts to curtail losses in several emerging markets. The chipmaker has reportedly sent emails to staff in the New Devices Group (NDG), providing a brief of the situation. The email didn’t mention job losses, but unnamed sources claim Intel will be downscaling the division. The extent of the downscale is not yet known. See Also: Intel adds more AI brains with Nervana Systems acquisition The firm has had trouble breaking into the wearable market in any capacity. Its efforts with Basis—which it acquired in 2014—haven’t produced results. Earlier this year the company recalled the Basis Peak, after failing to fix overheating issues. To inspire customer confidence, Intel offered a full refund to all Peak owners, costing the company a decent chunk of cash. Efforts to sell processors to wearable manufacturers hasn’t seen much success either, Qualcomm Continue reading "Intel moves away from wearables after Basis Peak failure"

Whose better than New York? No one, says smart city group

new york
New York City has been awarded “Best Smart City 2016” at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. In the last year, New York City has pushed several smart city initiatives to the public and small businesses. The congress noticed the efforts of the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation (MOTI). See Also: Sustainability will be driving the smart city bus by 2020 The Smart and Equitable City plan includes a public Wi-Fi service; a platform for companies to showcase products to the city; a fund for innovators and entrepreneurs; a programme to trial smart tech; and guidelines for the development of smart city applications. “When used effectively, IoT devices—like sensors that capture pollution in the air or lights that turn on when someone is in the room—can produce cost savings, bolster civic engagement, and strengthen public health and safety,” said MOTI’s Director of Innovation, Jeff Merritt to Cities Continue reading "Whose better than New York? No one, says smart city group"

How IoT is making IBM’s Smart Planet smarter


Chris O’Conner, IBM’s General Manager for Internet of Things Offerings, has been involved with connected devices for almost 25 years. As a result, he has a unique view on the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), what it means for the future, and what we can learn from previous generations of technology.

We sat down with him as he prepared for IoT Slam to hear more and what he plans to talk about at the event.

ReadWrite: So as the General Manager for IoT, what does this mean for IBM?

Chris O’Conner: So for us at IBM it’s been a journey of experimenting with the IoT data, all these connected assets, And the early work that we did around Smart Planet. It proved that it was controlled, but the ability to do it in mass wasn’t quite there yet, and now we move to where we are

Chris O’Conner, IBM General Manager for Internet of Things Offerings
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BMW and Baidu break up, cite irreconcilable self-driving differences

Autonomous self-driving car future transportation concept image
BMW and Baidu have ended their two year self-driving partnership, citing “irreconcilable differences” between the two companies. Baidu said it will start to look for a new automaker to take over BMW’s role as manufacturer for its self-driving system. For now, it will use Ford’s Lincoln cars in the United States and BYD, Chery, and BAIC in China. See Also: Mark your calendars: 2021 will be huge for autonomous cars BMW has made a few changes to its self-driving strategy since partnering with Baidu in 2014. It revealed the iNext, a concept self-driving car, which it hopes will be available by 2021. It also partnered with Intel and Mobileye to build a smart, secure self-driving platform. That doesn’t leave Baidu with a lot of room to work, at best it may be able to provide the infotainment to BMW in China.

BMW and Baidu grew apart

Apart from the clear Continue reading "BMW and Baidu break up, cite irreconcilable self-driving differences"

Good robot design needs to be reponsible, not just responsive

Robots have become commonplace in many aspects of life including health care, military and security work. Yet until recently little thought has been given outside of academic circles to the ethics of robots. Silicon Valley Robotics recently launched a Good Robot Design Council — which has launched “5 Laws of Robotics” guidelines for roboticists and academics — on the ethical creation, marketing and use of robots in everyday life. The laws state:
  • Robots should not be designed as weapons.
  • Robots should comply with existing law, including privacy.
  • Robots are products; they should be safe, reliable and not misrepresent their capabilities.
  • Robots are manufactured artifacts; the illusion of emotions and agency should not be used to exploit vulnerable users.
  • It should be possible to find out who is responsible for any robot.

The laws have been adapted from the EPSRC 2010 “Principles of Robotics”. In Britain a few months ago

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What is 2017’s top wireless router with the fastest speeds?

It seems like every day lately, router manufacturers are coming up with some new buzzword or marketing term to sell you on why their networking appliance is better than the rest, without actually having the real performance to back it up. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Gadget Review to extensively test and review the best wireless routers on shelves today, in order to give you a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know about the best wireless routers of 2017.

How we choose and why you should buy

To create this year’s roundup of the best routers on the market, we’ve run dozens of newer and some not-so-new models through the ringer to find the best of the best. Using a 1GB symmetrical fiber optic line, we pushed our top picks to the absolute limits of what routers could do, testing on a variety of devices including desktops, laptops, smartphones
Continue reading "What is 2017’s top wireless router with the fastest speeds?"

Michigan legislature approves fully autonomous vehicle tests

A package of four bills that allow fully autonomous testing in Michigan were approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate on Thursday. The bills make it legal for fully autonomous cars to drive without a driver inside and open up 122 miles of public road for testing. The legislature also approved a plan to redevelop Willow Run airport into a test site for self-driving vehicles. See Also: Toyota steers millions into University of Michigan AI project Someone must monitor the autonomous car, but they don’t have to be inside. This provides Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing apps with the opportunity to cut the driver and have a few technicians on hand to watch for failures in the system. Michigan has been relaxing laws on self-driving far quicker than other states, with the intention of bringing Silicon Valley dollars and jobs to the Rust Belt.

Many self-driving automakers already Continue reading "Michigan legislature approves fully autonomous vehicle tests"

Boston seaport becoming a testbed for autonomous vehicles

Private parties owning lots in Boston’s Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park have been enabling autonomous vehicle testing on their property for the past year. The land was paved, yet undeveloped. This made it a perfect testbed for autonomous vehicles. This enabled companies working to perfect autonomous car technologies to test their creations in a controlled environment away from normal traffic. Tom Miller, the vice president of Kavanaugh Advisory Group, told the Boston Herald: “We think it’s a great adventure, we think it’s a great idea, and if an opportunity comes and we have a location where we could do it again, we’d do it in a heartbeat.” This opportunity wouldn’t last forever and is already seeing its close. Ground broke recently at the Tide Street site, which put a halt to autonomous testing. Does this mean autonomous vehicle testing is done for in Boston? Not entirely. City and state officials are already Continue reading "Boston seaport becoming a testbed for autonomous vehicles"

IoT and LPWA: Perfect partners in a connected world

3D illustration.

Twenty years ago I was approached by a vending machine company that wanted to remotely monitor and record the temperature of their vending machine compartments to the nearest tenth of a degree. I understand that no one wants a warm soda, but the data the company wanted to record was more granular than necessary to solve their problem. The vending machine only needed to communicate whether it was above or below the recommended serving temperature of 38℉; measuring to the nearest tenth of a degree was overkill. We encoded the vending machine’s data in a much smaller size, which saved the vending machine company money on data rates while still giving the customer a cold soda.

I share this story to highlight a question decision makers for industrial, civic, and commercial Internet of Things (IoT) should be asking themselves: is it worth paying to collect and transmit data that is

Syed Zaeem Hosain, Chief Technology Officer, Aeris
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Smart cities need banks’ data muscle more than governments

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Though governments are vocal smart city champions, some industry pundits say connected cities need the data power of private sectors like banking to evolve. The future of smart cities was explored in a commentary on Payments Source by Hossein Rahnama, CEO of context-aware computing startup Flybits. As Internet of Things (IoT) technology proliferates throughout global cities, there is an accelerating need for smart cities to produce and analyze huge rivers of data. Rahnama says this creates a formidable challenge for local governments who are struggling to handle such large volumes of information and to find ways of paying for the needed technology upgrades. “The very nature of local governments — a collection of loosely connected, heavily siloed departments — should make this a not-so-surprising outcome,” said Rahnama. “The tech required to integrate departments in a way that makes even the most basic features of a smart city possible requires a Continue reading "Smart cities need banks’ data muscle more than governments"

Where are all the women in tech? They’re in wearables

While we read about the gender gap in technology almost every day, it’s worth championing a sector that seems to have a strong showing of talented women in tech – the wearables industry. Women have an extensive history in the wearables field: There’s Leah Buechley, inventor of the Lily Pad Arduino; academics like Dr. Rosalind Picard, founder, and director of the Affective Computing research group at the MIT Media Lab; Corinne Vigreux, founder, and COO, TomTom; and Ivy Ross, Vice President, Head of Design/User Experience for all Hardware Products at Google. Then, of course, there are a plethora of wearables companies headed by women including Vinaya, Wearable Experiments, ElektroCouture, Roar for Good and Bellabeat, to name but a few. Women in wearables include academics, entrepreneurs, female directors, designers, and engineers. They all  have been part of setting the wearables agenda and moving the technology
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GE Transportation and Port of LA come together to track that cargo

Port of LA with GE Transport
IoT is connecting objects across the world. A lot of these objects are items that get shipped and has to arrive predictably. Keeping an eye on where cargo is at anytime is important. Yesterday GE Transport announced that they are embarking on a pilot concept with the Port of Los Angeles to leverage GE Predix data and technology capabilities to improve an interesting problem statement at the port. ReadWrite sat down to learn more about this innovative partnership with the CEO of GE Transport, Jamie Miller, and the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, Gene Seroka at the Mind and Machines event in San Francisco.

US Cargo Congestion brings Data Collaboration

Gene Seroka, Port of LA: Consumer spending fuels our economy. US Continue reading "GE Transportation and Port of LA come together to track that cargo"

Totem’s poles to power electric car charging in smart cities

A new bundled energy system was unveiled by Totem Power that aims to give smart cities a suite of location-based energy services through cyborg palm trees. Greentech Media reported on the recent emergence of the Bedford, N.Y.-based startup from stealth mode. Key to Totem’s vision is its 18-foot solar-powered poles festooned with technology to boost smart city energy access and communications. Totem towers include smart lighting, electric vehicle charging, 4G and Wi-Fi communication capabilities powered by solar energy and battery storage. While other firms currently provide all of these services separately, Totem’s platform aims to increase value to smart cities by offering them as a holistic system. “The combination of communications infrastructure and energy infrastructure provides the foundation for smart city services, and provides a platform for long-term growth and evolution of a whole host of capabilities that will become really important for the cities of tomorrow,” said Continue reading "Totem’s poles to power electric car charging in smart cities"

To recharge or not to recharge: a battery of IoT questions


Well, we technologists pretty much have that Internets thing solved. That series of tubes works pretty well. So well in fact that the carriers are busying themselves trying to bring Gigabit to everybody, though nobody really knows what they’re going to do with it (but we all want to be in one of those special cities). I think we got bored. And you know what happens when a bunch of technologists gets bored, we look for another hard problem to solve.

Enter IoT, the Internet of Things. We realized that the Internet, with all of its virtual technology and its climate-controlled data centers, still hadn’t conquered what really matters to all of us – the world we interact with every day – the real world. Now, there’s a set of challenges that’ll keep us technologists engaged for at least another decade.

I suggest the primary real-world challenge with the Internet

Daniel Barnes, Director of Product Management, Synapse
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ARM has prescription for medical devices for chronic conditions

Digital health firm US TrustedCare and ARM, a leader in the semiconductor market, have announced a partnership to build medical devices for people with chronic conditions. The new collaboration will give third-parties access to variety of secure, authenticated, and auditable medical information. US TrustedCare said it will focus on the transition period, as patients recover at home. See Also: SoftBank banks hard into IoT with $32b ARM buyout ARM and US TrustedCare will build firmware, software, and APIs for healthcare and wellness, using existing industry standards. Third-parties will be able to integrate medical management systems seamlessly, according to ARM. “ARM is the most widely deployed processor technology in smartphones and wearables, devices we expect to be the main platform for securely gathering medical data and acquiring a patient’s biometric identity and consent,” said Shiv Ramamurthi, healthcare technology director at ARM. “US TrustedCare is a pioneer in remote monitoring and together Continue reading "ARM has prescription for medical devices for chronic conditions"

Will your connected range think your turkey is too dry?

Homemade Roasted Thanksgiving Day Turkey with all the Sides
There is a lot of preparation that goes into Thanksgiving Day, and oftentimes the amount of focus involved in cooking takes away from the special time with family and friends.  Imagine getting to spend more time relaxing, and less time checking on the turkey. There is more to be thankful for this year, with GE Appliances recently integrating Amazon Alexa skill sets into their smart appliances, right in time for the holidays. Now you could have your own personal sous chef, just by talking to your oven! Whether owners want to preheat the oven or check the internal temperature while food is cooking, all they have to do is speak the command to make it happen.  The Alexa skill created for GE Appliances and Monogram products has a special name: “Geneva.” Introduced in September, GE Appliances is the first to offer Alexa skill to manage a vast range Continue reading "Will your connected range think your turkey is too dry?"

When it comes to encryption, say no to status quo

Internet Security concept with lock and cloud symbol

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if you didn’t have to lock the front door of your business when you went home at night? You’d never have to worry about losing your keys. Or, maybe the property owner could hang onto your keys for you. You would then rely on the building manager to unlock the door for you every morning and to lock up again when you leave.

Obviously, both scenarios are ridiculous and no business would seriously consider either. Yet if that’s true, why do so many businesses allow their IT organizations to operate from day to day without bothering to “lock up” and secure their digital assets, whether they’re housed on premises, or in the cloud?

See also: Dyn DDoS attack sheds light on the growing IoT problem

Make no mistake; the first scenario is exactly what’s happening when IT fails to deploy encryption to protect important

John Skinner, VP Business Development, HyTrust
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How to repair damaged wearables with magnetic ink

As technology introduces more and more options, wearables that monitor various health and wellness factors in individuals are quickly becoming a popular focus in the tech world. Things such as onesies that monitor a baby’s sleeping and sports bras that track workouts are starting to enter the market, but the electronic components can be so fragile, that their practicality comes into question. That is where the University of California, San Diego has stepped in with a major breakthrough in the wearable world that may solve this problem. See Also: What will the wearables of the future look like? A nano-engineering team at the University of California has developed ink made from ground neodymium magnets. When a gadget comprised of this ink is damaged and splits apart, the particles attract one another and repair the gap. During testing, tears up to 3 millimeters long healed themselves in milliseconds. Amay Bandodkar, one Continue reading "How to repair damaged wearables with magnetic ink"

Apple in talks with suppliers to build augmented reality glasses

San Francisco, United States - May 3-, 2013: Woman with Google Glass
Apple has reportedly been in talks with suppliers to test prototype augmented reality glasses, according to Bloomberg. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report states that the executive team are “weighing an expansion” into digital glasses. See Also: Apple picks Blackberry talent for driverless car OS The prototype device connects to an iPhone wirelessly and shows snippets of information from the smartphone in the wearer’s field of vision. We assume it would be similar to Google Glass, but with less clutter on the screen. The firm has not made a decision on the glasses, but CEO Tim Cook has been hinting at an entry into the market in interviews over the past six months. The augmented reality glasses could be an extension of the iPhone experience, similar to how the Apple Watch provides quick access to notifications and more access to fitness details. Google Glass muddied the waters of augmented Continue reading "Apple in talks with suppliers to build augmented reality glasses"

Major Russian banks attacked by powerful IoT devices-focused botnet

Five major Russian banks were targeted late last week by a botnet comprised of 24,000 computer and IoT devices. The attacks came from devices in 30 countries, including the United States, India, and Taiwan. The attacks came in the form of distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS), which sends millions of requests to servers, taking them offline. From there, hackers may be able to compromise systems and steal information, but the five banks have denied any customer information has been stolen. See Also: India inks tech-leveraging smart city pact with Russia Sberbank, Alfa Bank, the Bank of Moscow, Rosbank, and the Moscow Exchange were all targeted in the attack, and websites were forced offline for several hours. The attack started on November 8, and it took two days for systems to normalize. Kaspersky Lab, a Russian security firm, said that at its peak the botnet was sending 660,000 requests per second. The attack is Continue reading "Major Russian banks attacked by powerful IoT devices-focused botnet"