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Inside IoT (Dec 7th, 2017)

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America’s top airlines are pushing back on the use of smart luggage, raising concerns that the batteries could explode and start fires. Beginning Jan. 15, American Airlines will require customers who travel with a smart bag to remove the battery. If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be allowed. The ban does not apply to carry-on-luggage stowed in the main cabin. Delta, Alaska, United Continental and Southwest are following suit. “If they are going to ban smart bags, then they should be banning cameras, laptops, and phones being checked in or carried on," said Tomi Pierucci, CEO of Bluesmart, one of the top smart luggage companies. "All of these have at some point caused issues with exploding batteries and yet it is smart bags and Bluesmart that is getting punished for this.” Smart luggage features include USB for charging portable wireless devices, electronic safety locks that can only unlock with an app or fingerprint and built-in WiFi connectivity. — TECHCRUNCH

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Hilton Worldwide is using IoT to bring a homey feel to its hotels. The chain is adding a variety of smart features to its rooms, including thermostats and televisions, all of which can be controlled by mobile phones. Guests would be able to cool a room before they return to it, or set the TV to turn to a specific channel as the home station. “The end goal is that the experience will travel with the guest consistently and seamlessly as they visit various brands in various countries," said Joshua Sloser, Hilton's senior vice president of digital. — SKIFT

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SwipeSense has raised $10.6 million in its effort to get hospital employees to wash their hands. The company puts sensors in drip trays attached to hand sanitizer dispensers and on a card that pairs with an employee ID badge. The sensors are synched with a wireless beacon plugged into a wall. The technology has helped hospitals increase hand washing, which reduces the spread of illness. One hospital that uses SwipeSense reported a 300 percent increase in hand hygiene by staff; another saw a 49 percent drop in hospital-acquired patient infections. — CHICAGO BUSINESS

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Some things technology will never fix . . . 

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Honda and SenseTime have partnered on a five-year joint research and development project that will use artificial intelligence for self-driving cars. Honda is looking to develop scene understanding, risk prediction, and action planning technology. SenseTime's technology focuses on image recognition, especially of moving objects, powered by deep learning technology. The two companies will develop automated driving technologies which will enable complex automated driving in urban areas, according to a statement from Honda. — TECHCRUNCH

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BlackBerry is teaming up with semiconductor company Qualcomm on connected vehicles. BlackBerry will help optimize Qualcomm hardware platforms to work with software that manages the infotainment systems in smart cars. They are also working to optimize other BlackBerry software for use Qualcomm Snapdragon modems. "Today's announcement elevates our relationship as we aim to accelerate the delivery of the next generation platforms that connected vehicles will rely upon," said Sandeep Chennakeshu, president of BlackBerry Technology Solutions. — FORTUNE

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