Top smart gadgets of the year | Inside IoT - December, 13th 2019

Inside IoT (Dec 13th, 2019)

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Hello all, 

As the end of 2019 approaches, more and more publications are curating their lists of top IoT devices. I want to know what devices stood out for you this year — even if you haven’t purchased them yet. I remain in awe of the latest Roomba models, although I’m not sure if they would actually get my floors clean. Send me an email at Holly@inside.com and let me know! 

Onto the news: 

1. Waymo — Google’s self-driving car company — now has a presence in the UK after acquiring Latent Logic, an Oxford-based AI company. Latent Logic is known for "imitation learning," which shows machines specific human behavior to mimic. Waymo plans to use this to improve its vehicles’ reactions in complex situations such as roundabouts, unexpected pedestrians and other vehicles skidding in the rain. Waymo’s taxis are currently active in Phoenix, Arizona with no plans to launch in the UK. However, Waymo plans to develop a self-driving taxi service for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. — THE GUARDIAN

2. Among American households with high-speed internet, 68 percent of those aged 55-64 own a Fitbit device, according to a recent study by Parks Associates. Of those polled, 60 percent of the participants over age 65 had a wearable from the same brand, possibly because of a higher interest in health-tracking functions. The study also revealed that 79 percent of those who had Samsung wearables used them for receiving messages, along with 75 percent of Apple Watch owners. — NOTEBOOK CHECK

3. Follow Friday: Carrie MacGillivray is the Group Vice President and IoT Lead at IDC, which provides market intelligence and advisory services for the IT and telecommunications markets.  On her Twitter account, @CMacIoT, she posts about a range of marketing, IoT trends, 5G, and mobile trends.

Recently, she attended an Ericsson event on IoT strategy where Rob Tiffany spoke, and he was a Follow Friday (@RobTiffany) earlier this year. She was also at the AT&T Business Summit and attended a panel with Anderson Cooper. Her thoughts on the Tesla Cybertruck: “The shape reminds me of a shard of glass.” 

4. CRN published its list of the 10 hottest new smart gadgets and devices of 2019, including the Ikea smart blinds and iRobot’s Roomba s9+. The Amazon Dash smart shelf — a smart scale that reorders supplies — made the list, along with Danby Appliances’ Parcel Guard, a connected mailbox made to combat package theft. The list featured Pivo, which is an interactive pod that gives a smartphone’s camera face-tracking and other smart capabilities. There’s also RoomMe, Intellithings’ automation sensor that can adjust the temperature, music or lighting based on who’s in the room. — CRN 

5. Google is adding a new feature to its Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max this week. The update will adjust what is on the screen based on how far away the user is from the monitor. For example, if the user is far away and asks about his or her calendar, the display would appear larger. The new capabilities should be available in the coming days, and users can test their devices by making requests from across the room. — INDUSTRY GLOBAL NEWS 

6. News reports on hackers breaking into users’ Ring cameras are becoming more commonplace, says security writer Lily Hay Newman. In response, device manufacturers are continuously publishing statements reminding users that unique passwords and two-factor authentication can protect accounts. Newman, it seems, supports such moves, adding the companies making and selling these devices have a responsibility to educate users about security and digital privacy. — WIRED

7. Wearables may soon be able to monitor runners while they're training and help them recover from an injury, according to Current Sports Medicine Reports. Researchers are looking at ways to use data from wearable devices as indicators of biomechanical measures, such as ground force that could aid efforts to reduce stress factors. At some point, wearables could use data to guide an athlete through a gradual return to regular activity. — NEWS MEDICAL

8. Researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia have shown that drones can fly between IoT devices and collect data. This could serve as an alternative way to aggregate data from individual sensors and house it in a single device. This could thus help minimize time and maximize productivity in areas with several groups of IoT devices. — THE ENGINEER

9. The Apple Airpods Pro is the fifth most-searched gadget on Google of 2019 in Singapore, even though it’s only been on the market for two months. The Airpods 2 took the ninth spot in the list, while the iPhone 11 was in the top spot. The Apple Series 5 watch was number 10 on the list. — BUSINESS INSIDER

10. CarePredict has launched the CarePredict Tempo Series 3, which monitors an individual’s health and can detect decline in advance, particularly in senior citizens. This wearable device uses sensors, location data, machine learning and gesture recognition to learn an individual’s activity and behavior. The Tempo Series 3 collects information on heartrate and pulse and allows users to communicate with their caregivers via the device. — DEALERSCOPE

Holly A. Phillips has a passion for storytelling and uses her craft to promote brands around the world. She is a Blogging Instructor at the University of Texas at Austin and is always looking for a new adventure. Keep up with her on her blog Thebitterlemon.com or on Twitter at @orangejulius7.

This newsletter was edited by Sheena Vasani, a staff writer at Inside and Inside Dev editor

Copyright © 2020 Inside.com, All rights reserved.

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