Inside IoT - March 2nd, 2020

Inside IoT (Mar 2nd, 2020)

Turkey unleashes killer drones / Coronavirus cancels events / Google addresses Bluetooth issue

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Hello all!

I'm proud to write Inside IoT because IoT touches so many different industries, and when I started writing it eight months ago, I wondered how a single newsletter could capture it all. That's why, every day, I try my best to make Inside IoT as helpful as it can be. But it's hard to completely rely on a free model if you want to survive in media. That's why, to continue delivering you great content that keeps you up to date for your job (or passion!), we'll start charging $100 a year, which comes down to the price of a coffee every week. 

While I will still continue to publish free content, there will be increasingly less free material available. For example, this week, free readers will only receive three newsletters, while paid subscribers will receive all five. At the same time, I'll be adding even MORE content for paid Inside Premium readers. For instance, I’m already working on an issue for Premium readers that will cover all the ways IoT is being used to control Coronavirus. This allows me to spend more time on in-depth coverage, and Premium readers will get it quickly. I will also continue to write up weekly and monthly roundups, timelines and thought-pieces exclusively for Premium readers. These weekly and monthly issues can help you keep up with what you really need to know in a field where it sometimes feels like there's a new gadget every day. Other perks:

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1. Turkey deployed dozens of killer drones to strike Russian-backed Syrian government forces in retaliation for killing 33 Turkish soldiers last week. This marks the first time a country has used a large area of air space for drones. Syria reacted to the Turkish attack by declaring the air space in Idlib as closed. Turkey’s drones shot down two Syrian SU-24 warplanes and destroyed three additional air defense systems. — SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

2. Google has plans to bring new health and fitness features to its Wear OS line, as revealed by a Google customer survey. The survey — from the Google User Experience Research Program — listed several possible features and asked customers how they would feel if any of the features were or were not included in the future Wear OS products. The features listed include blood oxygen tracking, sleep apnea detection, sleep tracking and analysis, smart alarms, stress tracking, workout, and rep detection. New potential features also include calorie-tracking, indoor air quality alerts, and a way to pair Wear OS products with medical devices. — T3

3. The coronavirus continues to spread and it’s already affected the IoT industry by way of global supply chains — financial markets are down 10 percent and any tech company with factories in China is feeling the loss of production — but now many industry events are also being canceled. So far, the Google News Initiative Summit and Facebook’s F8 have been canceled, while Black Hat Asia 2020 has been postponed, due to the fear of attendees and exhibitors getting sick from large groups of travelers. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have also implemented employee travel restrictions because of the virus. — ZDNET

Note: I’m working on a takeover issue on how IoT is being used to help contain the Coronavirus in various parts of the world, which will be available exclusively to Premium readers. 

4. Google is seeking to address Bluetooth connectivity faults with its Google Home Speaker, after a year of users reporting the issue. Users who utilize the Home or Home Mini as a Bluetooth speaker has reported that it cuts out and disconnects between two and 15 minutes, and the user has to force the connection manually. The original post was published on the Google Nest Help Forum Dec. 23, 2018, and just recently got a response from Google, saying the company is “currently investigating for a fix.” Between December 2018 and today, more than 400 other users replied with similar problems. — GOOGLE SUPPORT

5. The University of Newcastle and the Newcastle-based Strategic Group have partnered on a research project for the secure management of IoT devices for agriculture. The project is focused on designing a new system for agriculture businesses to monitor and maintain IoT devices. Farms and agriculture producers use a range of different smart devices to monitor soil moisture and PH levels while drones capture aerial photos of fields. — IOT HUB

6. Calibrex is a new workout gadget that keeps track of reps and sets while also monitoring form. Calibrex attaches to each end of a barbell via magnets and sends real-time feedback to a users’ Bluetooth-connected headphones. The device can detect weight balance, barbell velocity, and rep speed, which is all reported in the accompanying app. — GADGETS AND WEARABLES

7. Amazon Common Software (ACS) is working with Nordic Semiconductor to expedite the development of smart home products. ACS has a single API integration layer that provides pre-validated software and functions for smart home devices. Nordic Semiconductor is working to improve its wireless chips for better integration. — ELECTROPAGES

8. The Humane Society International is working with a drone pilot to assist wildlife search and rescue efforts across Kangaroo Island in South Australia. This will be the first time anyone has used the combination of high-tech infrared and a 180X zoom lens for search and rescue efforts for wildlife. This method will shave off hours, which could save animals in need of immediate help. — THE ISLANDER

9. The University of Toledo was awarded a $474,287 grant by the state of Ohio to buy new equipment related to autonomous vehicles for training students. The grant is part of an $8 million statewide effort to prepare students in fields important to Ohio employers. The grant will fund equipment for autonomous vehicle sensing technology, robotics and vision-based automation systems. — THE BLADE

10. Alabama sen. Cam Ward and rep. Chip Brown are sponsoring a bill that would restrict where drones can fly. Yet not everybody is a fan; the bill is an effort to hide pollution caused by mines, argues political commentator Kyle Whitmire. If passed, the drone laws would go into effect as early as this month. You can follow the latest updates on Whitmire’s Twitter feed @WarOnDumb. — AL.COM

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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