Inside IoT - February 27th, 2020

Inside IoT (Feb 27th, 2020)

AV 2019 miles report / Apple smart speaker patent / #ThrowbackThursday

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Holly A. Phillips

1. Waymo and other companies operating driverless vehicles in California have published annual reports on the number of miles driven and how often the safety driver had to take control. In accordance with California law, Waymo reported it drove 1.45 million miles in 2019, while Cruise drove 831,040 miles. The human safety driver took over .076 times for every 1,000 miles for Waymo, and .082 times for Cruise. The human safety driver data — the disengagement rate — isn’t the best way to build trust in an autonomous vehicle, Bryant Walker Smith, associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Law, argues, however. Smith said it would be better to release test summaries with detail and context, but no one has done it yet. — CAR AND DRIVER

2. Apple was awarded a patent for a wireless speaker hub for a home theater system, which could put Apple in competition with Bose and Sonos. The hub has seven speakers and a subwoofer that transmits channels through the central hub. Apple’s HomePod is technically a smart speaker, but this hub will be for whole-house audio, as it pairs with other speakers. Images of the patented hub show a living room outfitted with several speakers. — TOMS GUIDE

3. #ThrowbackThursday: In February 2015, Motorola released a new version of its Moto Maker, a tool allowing users to customize a Moto 360 smartwatch. Users could choose the watch casing, the band and the watch face. After releasing two versions of the Moto 360, Motorola backed out of the smartwatch market in 2016, saying there wasn’t enough interest in wearable devices. In 2019, the Moto 360 had a comeback; it's still available for purchase, but its sold by eBuyNow instead of Motorola. — WIRED

4. A team of researchers at Checkmarx discovered significant vulnerabilities with Trifo’s Ironpie M6 smart vacuum that could provide hackers access and control. The vacuum connects to Wi-Fi and has an Android Mobile app. Because of the vulnerabilities, a hacker could update the app to be a malicious version, allowing for remote control. The vacuum has a video feed, and if hacked, an outsider could see video and photos of the home’s interior. — THE JERUSALEM POST

5. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has suspended passenger operations for all driverless shuttles in the US after an Ohio passenger was injured Feb. 20. In that incident, the shuttle stopped short, and the individual fell from the seat. Shuttles are allowed to run without passengers, and there’s no word on when they can accept riders. — WUFT

6. Tokyo Metro is using underground drones to inspect the upper sections of train tunnels. This method is safer and more efficient than setting up scaffolding to get video and photos of the area to determine if repair is needed. The drone is enclosed in a cage to prevent damage and weighs 2.5 pounds. — DIGITAL TRENDS

7. Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a new health-tracking sensor for pets and people. The tracker can detect vital signs through four layers of clothing or thick fur, and it is made of a silicone-water composite. Researchers say this sensor could help turn findings from sniffer dogs into measurable data. — SCIENCE DAILY

8. The startup Tempo has launched a smart home-gym called The Studio, which has a 42-inch display with an integrated Microsoft Azure Kinect sensor kit. The studio is available for pre-order for $2,000 and will begin shipping to the Bay Area this summer, with additional locations later this year. The system monitors performance and posture, focusing on the user’s limbs and joints to help improve the former. — GEAR BRAIN

9. Oppo will illuminate the Mumbai skyline with India’s biggest choreographed drone show, highlighting Oppo’s upcoming Reno 3 Pro. The 10-minute show is open to the public and will also be live-streamed on Oppo’s Facebook and YouTube pages Feb. 27. Each drone light will serve as a single-pixel during the performance. — BEST MEDIA INFO

10. HONOR has updated its line of products to include new IoT devices, such as earbuds and a smartwatch. The new Magic Earbuds have noise-canceling technology, and the smartwatch will be getting new apps. All of the latest products and updates will be available in April. — MOBILE ID WORLD

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 or on Twitter at @orangejulius7.

This newsletter was edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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