Otto and Budweiser buys the world the first autonomous trucking round

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Budweiser and Otto just achieved a major feat, completing the world’s first shipment by autonomous truck. Otto announced this accomplishment today by first stating, “We’re not ones to sit around idly. We are driven by an urgency to make our transportation network safer — and more efficient — for drivers and consumers alike.” See Also: Will autonomous vehicles cruise the factories of tomorrow? With complete support from the State of Colorado, Otto shipped 51, 744 cans of Budweiser from Fort Collins, through Denver, ending up in Colorado Springs. Although there was a professional driver in the sleeper berth at the back of the vehicle, monitoring how the vehicle ran, Otto’s system controlled the acceleration, braking, and steering of the truck to transport the beer exit-to-exit without any human intervention ever taking place during the 120-mile journey.  By using cameras, radar, and lidar sensors attached to the vehicle, the truck was able to “see” the Continue reading "Otto and Budweiser buys the world the first autonomous trucking round"

Mo’ drones, mo’ problems that need drone insurance

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The use of drones is evolving from their role in military strikes to support, commercial and recreational roles around the world. These include the use of drones as first responders in Denmark for firefighting, chemical accidents and larger car accidents in urban and over-water environments, shark harvesting in Australia, delivering medical aid in Rwanda and in tests by German lifeguards for sea rescue drowning scenarios. Then there’s the intended drone delivery services planned by online retailers such as Amazon and the bizarre stunt to deliver beef jerky by drone. Not to mention that almost every start-up tech conference will have a low flying drone or two observing the action. It would be fair to say that the potential applications of drones in our daily lives are only limited by our imagination. But as the commercial application of drones expands on an almost daily basis we can see evidence of a legal
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DDoS update: It was the IoT, screwing Dyn, with the faulty traffic cam

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Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are a common problem for network administrators around the world. Websites small and large get targeted by them every day. But this Friday, dozens of major websites were affected by a widespread attack – and this time the Internet of Things is in the spotlight. Friday’s attack– already referred to as the October 2016 Dyn Cyberattack, showing immediately that we need snappier names for these events — affected many popular websites including Twitter, Amazon, Reddit, Netflix, and more. These websites shared one thing in common: they all used a common domain name system (DNS) provider, Dyn. From about 0930 ET until just after 1800 ET, Dyn’s servers were attacked in three DDoS waves. We know now that many of the devices participating in the attack were IoT devices such as smart refrigerators, thermostats, and toasters. A group called “New World Hackers has claimed Continue reading "DDoS update: It was the IoT, screwing Dyn, with the faulty traffic cam"

Will this self-driving military truck threaten army jobs now?

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When you think about autonomous vehicles, a modified Prius or Smart Car might come to mind. Perhaps a Tesla Model 3 or even a fancy Rolls-Royce that costs more than most people spend on their house. Autonomous vehicles come across as safe, easy-going, and nothing to be intimidated by. Well, Ukraine’s KrAZ Spartan will change that perception – real quick.
This giant armored vehicle is anything but soft and pleasant. It’s an intimidating presence both on the road and in the battlefield. No human drivers required. The KrAZ Spartan, which is based off a heavily-modified truck with massive amounts of armor, is capable of moving troops and supplies without any human assistance. Two of these vehicles, nicknamed “Fiona” and “Shrek” are already tearing up the obstacle course in a recent demonstration.
We don’t have all of the details about this vehicle, and most of the press around it has thus far been Continue reading "Will this self-driving military truck threaten army jobs now?"

Could driverless cars save lives during a hurricane?

Driverless car and autonomous driving concept and safety system symbol as a road with cars and one vehicle with human hands and arms waving up to the sky as a metaphor for hands free autopilot.
A recent CityLab report suggests that driverless car technology for evacuations might be a good solution for minimizing loss of life and the amount of destruction that occurs during hurricane season. Referencing the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, the article points out that the level of destruction was much larger in the very poor neighborhoods.  It also discusses how the residents living in the more poverty stricken areas of New Orleans did not have access to transportation before Hurricane Katrina attacked the area. John Renne, director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University, states that evacuation plans are nonexistent for 35 of the nation’s biggest cities; this is a problem. See Also: Will autonomous vehicles cruise the factories of tomorrow? According to the report, Matthew’s floodwaters rendered roads useless, and lethal in some instances, which caused traffic to back up for miles on highways. It Continue reading "Could driverless cars save lives during a hurricane?"

Why artificial intelligence will finally unlock IoT

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According to Gartner, there will be more than 20 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020. Today’s enterprises are already benefitting greatly from a strong, connected workforce, but as Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices move forward, saturating the market, is it possible for them to outpace their own benefits?

After all, while the continuing surge of IoT devices is creating an onslaught of data requiring storage and retention, advancements in the IoT world are still bound by how quickly and efficiently data can be computed, and value extracted. Interestingly, the current resurgence of artificial intelligence (AI) technology may provide an antidote to the flood of data today’s digital world is facing.

With such rapid innovations in both spaces taking place, what can we expect from their converging paths?

Machine learning vs. artificial intelligence

A common question and an important distinction to make in this age of digital transformation is

Dean tang, CEO of ABBYY North America
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Is the Apple Watch now the most accurate wearable?

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The Apple Watch has been touted as the most accurate wrist-based wearable in a new study from the Cleveland Clinic, published in JAMA Cardiology. The study was performed on 50 healthy adults, who wore an electrocardiogram (EKG), Fitbit Charge HR, Apple Watch, Mio Alpha, Basis Peak, and a chest strap for several hours. See Also: Apple Watch sales more than halved so far this summer Participants performed a variety of exercises to test wearable accuracy during rest, walking, and on a treadmill. The study found the chest strap monitor to be the most accurate, at 99 percent success rate. The Apple Watch came second, with a success rate of 90 percent. That might seem like a major slump from 99 percent, but it far surpasses the other wearables tested, which were in the low 80s. As intensity increased, the Cleveland Clinic found that accuracy decreased across the board. That is Continue reading "Is the Apple Watch now the most accurate wearable?"

That connected device already knows your mom’s maiden name

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Since it’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and with the increasing amount of connected homes, systems and trendy devices, consumers need to stay informed about the best security practices, and precautions to take in order to stay safe and keep their information secure. See Also: IoT and Toys: Connected toys require more security This is especially true with new areas like the Internet of Things (IoT) that open up a larger area of information for hackers to potentially steal, leaving consumers vulnerable, says Wombat Security’s CTO Trevor Hawthorn, who offers up some recommendations based on his own personal experience. “As the IoT industry matures, we think we’ll continue to see varying degrees of security and privacy postures within these products,” he says. “Devices made by higher-end, well-funded, and better supported vendors such as Nest, Ring, and Canary that use cloud-backed solutions, to date, have a strong security track record.” Continue reading "That connected device already knows your mom’s maiden name"

Now your GE dishwasher has an Amazon account

Woman Loading Dishwashwasher In Kitchen
GE Appliances, a leader in Wi-Fi-connected appliance technology, just introduced another great innovation that promises to make tasks easier for owners.  GE dishwashers can now be integrated with Dash Replenishment, allowing owners to never run out of dish detergent pods ever again. The firm is “excited” to be the first to offer connected dishwashers with “Dash Replenishment reordering capability,” says Cynthia Fanning, Vice President of Dishwasher Products at GE Appliances. “We know that families are using Dash Replenishment to simplify their lives, and we believe that this is one of the many ways our dishwashers will take the chore out of kitchen cleanup.”

How your dishwashers connect to Amazon

To begin, owners can set up Dash Replenishment through the GE Kitchen app, using their Amazon accounts and choose the dish detergent pods they would like to automatically reorder.  They can enter how many pods they currently have during the Continue reading "Now your GE dishwasher has an Amazon account"

With IoT data, sometimes less is more

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Connected devices may be the biggest security challenge we face over the next several years. Companies are keen to analyze user IoT data to better understand consumer behavior and are sometimes gathering more data than they need for their service. But what are the potential consequences to your customers, and your company, if this personal info is stolen or accidentally released? What happens when a criminal uses this information to stalk someone online?

Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist

Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist, Intel

With so many IoT devices, apps, and services coming to market, more and more personal info is being captured, transmitted, and stored, yet much of this data is unnecessary to support the functionality of the device or service. You may think this is not a big deal, but the more personal data you have, the more resources your company will have to devote to protecting it. If there is a

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Why power is critical to everything in a digital world

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Infrastructure systems around the world are being strained due to unprecedented urbanization, continued globalization, and climate change. In addition, developing countries are struggling to build new infrastructure, while developed countries must replace aging infrastructure.

Between now and 2030, an estimated minimum of $50 trillion in infrastructure investment is required to fuel global development. Cities such as Amsterdam are addressing these challenges in its Amsterdam Smart City initiative, launched in 2009, which includes 79 projects collaboratively developed by local residents, government, and businesses.

Improving efficiency of services, not just energy

A smart city should improve its quality of life through technology to improve the efficiency of services, especially for efficient transportation, intelligent buildings, and smart power grids. Many projects run on an interconnected platform through wireless devices to enhance a city’s real-time decision-making abilities.

See also: Will microgrids drive IoT in tomorrow’s cities?

These projects can reduce traffic, save energy, and

Shalin Shah, Marketing Manager at Siemens
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IoT isn’t just a connection, it’s a conversation

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The immense hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by businesses, as IDC’s latest research revealed that 31% of companies surveyed have already deployed IoT, with another 43% looking to deploy within the next 12 months. However, a recent study from the IoT Institute shows that only 25% of businesses feel that they have a clear IoT strategy. What this data suggests is that businesses continue to rush into the IoT fray, but that many are doing so without asking the fundamental question of “Why?” See also: To predict the IoT future, it helps to look to the past Without an answer to that critical question, it’s hard to develop a clear business strategy around IoT. Are you pursuing IoT in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs? To introduce new revenue models? Or to deliver new services that enhance your customers’ experiences? Once you
Sanjay Khatri, Head of Platform Product Marketing, Cisco Jasper
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To predict the IoT future, it helps to look to the past

To Predict Future of IoT, it Helps to Look to the Past

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a pretty frothy space these days. Chief among the foam-makers are new network providers of what is broadly known as LPWANs, which are a category of new, low bandwidth connectivity solutions marketed as optimized for IoT.

I think these claims can be disputed by taking a look at how similar technology has fared in the past. These “new” solutions are really dusted-off versions of technology architectures that lost out years ago. If you worked in this space 10 years ago, then left the industry and returned today, you might believe that virtually nothing has changed in that time.

First, some quick history. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a variety of solutions had been introduced to facilitate machine-to-machine networking.  Think of names like CellNet, Hexagram, and Whisper. Today, they are all gone. Why? Although they technically delivered some minimum level

Eric Dresselhuys, Co-Founder and EVP of Global Development, Silver Spring Networks
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Indy driver gains first autonomous vehicle license in U.S.

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Sam Schmidt, who made headlines by breaking speed records in a semi-autonomous modified Corvette Z06 during the Indianapolis 500 earlier this year, is about to receive the first autonomous vehicle restricted driver’s license to be issued in the United States. Schmidt, prior to an accident in 2000 that rendered him quadriplegic, was one of the top Indy Racing League drivers during the late ’90s. His accident while preparing for the 2000 Indy season may have ended his racing career, but it hasn’t kept him from tearing up the track and breaking speed records. Partnering with Arrow Electronics, Sam Schmidt drove a semi-autonomous car an incredible 152 mph without using his arms or legs. This vehicle was fitted with sensors and cameras that enabled him to control the vehicle with his head, breathing, and voice commands while its intelligent on-board computer handled the rest. While that speed might not be a record-breaking pace on the icon Continue reading "Indy driver gains first autonomous vehicle license in U.S."

Can a blockchain-IoT hybrid finally give us smart guns?

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Over the last 20 years, technologists have been working hard to create solutions to the challenges of gun safety. Their efforts have kept pace with the technological developments of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, sensor technology, wearables and IoT. Yet their implementation has been slow, if not stalled to a halt. I wanted to look at the pain points in this trajectory and how and when it could move forward. I also spoke to one person who believes the blockchain could solve some of the back-end structural challenge: Kevin Barnes, founder of the Blocksafe Foundation, who is also a 20-year US Army veteran as well as architect and coder. See also: Blockchain drives $30B Wanxiang’s $30B smart city project But first, let’s delve into guns before we explore the inclusion of the blockchain. In April  this year, President Obama made funding for smart gun research part of his end-of-term efforts.  The smart gun
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Let’s go behind the scenes with Jerky Bot

Chef's Cut Jerky-David Ortiz
Sometimes we sit back at ReadWrite, take in the overwhelming opportunities and challenges of this thing we call the Internet of Things and realize sometimes we just want to have a little fun while we discover something awesome. Enter JerkyBot:
We had a debate on this here at ReadWrite. There’s no way this is real. A flying chopping board? A jerky drone? David Ortiz? Come on now. Ok, it looks cool, I said, let’s get it up on Facebook. Millions of hits later — what can I say, people love jerky on demand — we wanted to know more. A few months ago, the viral video geniuses at Thinkmodo got a call from the jerky pros at Chef’s Cut. “They challenged us to come up with a fun and original viral video concept that would get people talking about the brand online,” said Thinkmodo co-founder Michael Krivicka. “A few beers later, Continue reading "Let’s go behind the scenes with Jerky Bot"

Could IoT nanoswarms be coming soon?

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Long-time players of ’80s role-playing game Cyberpunk 2020 and the more recent Eclipse Phase are acutely aware of the potential uses and risks that come from swarms of intelligently-connected nano-scale machines. In science-fiction worlds commonly depicted in these games, as well as an entire genre of movies, books, and video games, nanoswarms are old hat. But, what if nanotechnology could deliver these incredible small, wirelessly-connected machines? How would they communicate? What practical purpose would they serve in a real-world scenario? As it turns out, there are scientists and researchers working developing this very type of technology. Devices that measure little more than 100-times the size of a single strand of human DNA that can navigate through, and transmit data from, your bloodstream. This makes it an incredible useful technology for medical research and care. Patients would benefit from having real-time analysis of their body down to the smallest level. Tests that Continue reading "Could IoT nanoswarms be coming soon?"

Is the self-driving car just too much for Apple?

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Earlier reports of a potential shift in focus at Apple’s self-driving car division, from hardware to software and services, have been confirmed by anonymous sources speaking to the Associated Press. While the article doesn’t declare the iCar—the name chosen by most onlookers for Apple’s car—dead, it does suggest the iPhone maker is more open to collaboration with automakers. See Also: Did Apple miss the mark on innovation this week? The division has seen a few key changes and talent hires in the past 12 months. Apple veteran Bob Mansfield has taken over operations and Dan Dodge, the founder of operating system QNX, joined sometime in the past six months. QNX is the operating system that powers a considerable amount of car infotainment systems. Apple is keen to expand in that area, after unveiling CarPlay last year. AP’s source gives the impression the team wasn’t worried about the difficulty of building Continue reading "Is the self-driving car just too much for Apple?"

Customers love fitness trackers, but smartwatches? Not so much.

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A trend is starting to appear, fitness trackers sales continue to rise, while smartwatches start to dwindle. IDC’s second quarter wearable sales report continues the trend, revealing a 48 percent rise in basic wearables and a 27 percent decline in smart wearables. Fitbit retained the top spot in the wearables market. It sold 5.7 million fitness trackers in Q2, a 28 percent year-on-year (YOY) growth. Xiaomi also retained its second place, but only had 2.5 percent growth YOY. See Also: Report says Rio athletes want more out of their wearables Apple, the only company in the top five that only sells ‘smart wearables’, noticed a significant decline in wearable sales. Sales dropped from 3.6 million in the same quarter last year to 1.6 million this year, a 56 percent downturn. Similar declines seem to be happening across the board for smart wearable manufacturers. None of the Continue reading "Customers love fitness trackers, but smartwatches? Not so much."

Did Apple miss the mark on innovation this week?

An apple with and iPhone headset plugged into it.
Apple whipped the smartphone world into frenzy this week when it announced the iPhone 7 would no longer carry a standard headphone jack. In addition to that news Apple unveiled AirPods, two truly wireless earbuds that retail for $159 this October. AirPods look as if someone simply snipped off the wires to its current earbuds. It’s actually a pretty bold move but to put things mildly, people have concerns.

There has been no shortage of backlash this week. Do a simple search for “remove headphone jack” and you can read criticism from just about every tech and business media outlet, in all its glory. If you really want to blow your hair back, take in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s post on Apple’s headphone jack fiasco, “Analog: the last defense against DRM.” The 48-hour coverage conversation about Continue reading "Did Apple miss the mark on innovation this week?"