The Week in Review: IoT

IoT hazards; nano-satellites; Arm and Nvidia.


The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting public comments on “potential safety issues and hazards associated with Internet-connected consumer products.” The agency is concerned about “unexpected operating conditions” with Internet of Things devices, along with hacking that could start fires through a stovetop or grill, and the potential compromising of home safety systems, such as motion detectors and smoke alarms. The commission will hold a public hearing on May 16 in Bethesda, Md., and will accept online comments here through June 15. Written comments may also be submitted by courier, hand delivery, or mail. How quaint!

Myriota of Adelaide, Australia, raised $15 million (U.S. dollars) in Series A funding co-led by Main Sequence Ventures and Blue Sky Venture Capital. Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Singtel Innov8, and Right Click Capital also participated in the round. Founded in 2015, the company is a spinout from the University of South Australia. Myriota plans to offer nano-satellite connectivity for IoT devices.

Siren, which develops fabric with embedded microsensors, took in $3.4 million from DCM, Founders Fund, and Khosla Ventures. Other investors in the startup include Liquid 2 Ventures, Bragiel Brothers, 500 Startups, Plug and Play Tech Center, A-Level Capital, Pascal Levy-Garboua, Leo Chan, and Julie McDermott. Siren developed what it calls Neurofabric, used to make “smart socks.” These Siren Diabetic Socks can detect changes in foot temperature and warn of possible foot ulcers, paired with a mobile application and an online Web portal. The socks are available for pre-order on a subscription basis for $19.95 a month, with five pairs of socks sent to customers. The company recommends wearing the socks every day and replacing them after six months.

Arm is teaming with Nvidia to offer deep learning inferences for use in IoT devices, along with consumer electronics and mobile devices. The open-source Nvidia Deep Learning Accelerator architecture will be integrated with Arm’s Project Trillium machine learning platform. NVDLA is based upon Nvidia’s Xavier artificial intelligence chip. Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said, “Nvidia is engaged in AI in places like drones and robots, but this announcement could enable Nvidia ML tech to be in even smaller IoT devices like home automation and even smartphones. Partnering with Arm doesn’t guarantee Nvidia NVDLA success at the ‘very small edge,’ but increases its chances greatly.”

NXP Semiconductors will work with AliOS, the IoT operating system developed by Alibaba Group, to come up with technology for connected cars in China. AliOS will be paired with NXP’s i.MX applications processors for a smart cockpit featuring multi-screen displays, artificial intelligence-driven interaction, and secure over-the-air software updates.

DevicePilot has upgraded its website with a new engine and user interface. The site also has a “night mode” setting. DevicePilot is a cloud-based software service for locating, managing, and monitoring connected devices at scale.

The IPSO Alliance has merged with the Open Mobile Alliance, transferring its assets, work, and memberships to OMA and establishing a joint organization that will be known as OMA SpecWorks. The IPSO and OMA technical working groups will continue their efforts. Jan Höller, now an OMA SpecWorks board member, said in a statement, “Our work on the Smart Object Guidelines, which were implemented by OMA’s Lightweight M2M effort, first brought our organizations together. With a growing need to formalize the definitions, and with our work increasingly focused on issues relating to the IoT services layer, it quickly became clear that, together, IPSO and OMA could make strong technical progress to define technical specifications for the IoT.”

Market Research
ON World forecasts low-power wide-area networking will be a $56 billion IoT market by 2022. Unlicensed networks, such as LoRa and Sigfox, now represent two-thirds of the almost 100 LPWA network operators in the world, according to the market research firm. Those two networks cover much of Europe and parts of the Asia/Pacific region. Licensed LPWA networks, including LTE-M and narrowband IoT, account for about one-third of the network operators evaluated by ON World, which predicts NB-IoT network operator activity will increase 1,800% in 2018.

Intrinsic ID says it will exhibit next month at the RSA Conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The company will demonstrate its “Authenticate Everything” theme for IoT security at the event, which is April 16-20.

On the other side of the U.S. is the Embedded Systems Conference, April 18-19 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. ESC Boston will run concurrently with the BIOMEDevice conference and exhibition, and along with the Design & Manufacturing New England conference and exhibition.

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