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Inside IoT

Inside IoT (Dec 4th, 2017)

A Walmart executive wants to purchase a sub-$1 sensor, and use millions of them to track people's in-store shopping habits.  Chris Enslin, vice president for digital enterprise solutions at Walmart, said in theory IoT sensors could be on each item the company sells. “Lick-and-stick sensors with probes at our scale are still considered very expensive … I would love a sensor that senses movement, heat, and vibration … preferably running on energy harvesting since batteries typically only last 12 to 18 months … and I would love to get it for pennies,” said Enslin, who heads up a 500-person team working on IoT, robotics, and AI for the giant retailer. It's not entirely clear all the ways the sensors could be used, but Enslin believes that they could be used for predictive maintenance also. — EE TIMES

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Upscale electric car maker Fisker has teamed up with China's Hakim Unique Group on the Orbit. The car is a self-driving electric shuttle, tailor-made for smart cities. A boxy design maximizes passenger space and a digital display informs commuters when the shuttle departs and what its next stop will be. Fisker expects to deliver the first shuttles for purchase by the end of 2018, but so far the company has not stated with which cities it plans to partner. — ENGADGET

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The city of San Diego has launched a $30 million smart streetlight infrastructure project. The city plans to outfit 3,200 lamps with sensors. “I get excited by this type of technology,” said David Graham, deputy chief operating officer for the city of San Diego. “But at the core, we’re delivering services better to the public. And it’s about the people, rather than about the technology." Cities all over the country are looking to install private-sector technology into the public right-of-way to improve parking, traffic, air quality and other concerns. “We will be done by the end of 2018,” said Graham. “We’ll have critical mass, probably half of the network, up by this summer.” — GOV TECH

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LG Electronics has hired a new mobile executive who plans to focus on offering more Internet of Things services. Hwang Jeong-hwan, a researcher who played a key role in developing LG's earlier smartphones and promoting its OLED TVs, replaced sales and marketing expert Juno Cho. Hwang will lead the newly formed Convergence Business Development Center, a division directly under the CEO that will focus on connecting smartphones, TVs, and auto-components to make Internet of Things services backed by artificial intelligence. The company in October opened its smart home platform SmartThinQ to developers. — ZD NET

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Whiskey maker Jim Beam has launched a humorous smart decanter for its popular Kentucky-style bourbon whiskey. The Jim Beam decanter will pour a whiskey drink on command. The device is also voice-activated, although the responses are limited. The answers will always point you back to "it's a good time for a glass of whiskey," or some variation of that response. All answers are voiced by Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s Seventh Generation Master Distiller. The decanter is more of a gag gift. Powered by 3G, the smart capabilities end after about six months, then it becomes a regular decanter. — DIGITAL TRENDS

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