In brief: Google’s decision not to patch a security hole in versions of Android used by hundreds of millions of consumers is a bad omen for the Internet of Things and will likely push some Android users to alternative versions of the operating system.
Wearable technology is a burgeoning category, and products like Google Glass and smart watches are just the beginning. As with mobile phones, on-board cameras are sure to be de rigueur. But, as this article over at The Verge notes, those cameras will present new challenges (for privacy) and new opportunities (for security). Specifically: cameras coupled with your body seem to create new kinds of opportunities to uniquely identify you. One example: gait biometrics. The Verge notes recent research published by Professor Shmuel Peleg and Yedid Hoshen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Those researchers created a way to identify first-person filmmakers based on the signature wobble of their cameras. The identity of the user can be determined “quite reliably from a few seconds of video,” the researchers write in their paper. [Interested in biometrics and wearables? Check out our article “Are Wearables the Future of Authentication?“] “The idea of distinguishing one person from […]
One of the main players in the Internet of Things communications space, The ZigBee Alliance, announced that it has merged six existing standards covering everything from building automation to healthcare to form a single standard:ZigBee 3.0. The announcement, last week, comes as ZigBee looks to compete with other emerging IoT standards. It says ZigBee 3.0 will provide interoperability among a wide range of smart devices that communicate based on its technology, laying the ground work for an expansion of IoT technologies. The new standard is being tested. According to the Alliance, the initial release of ZigBee 3.0 includes ZigBee Home Automation, ZigBee Light Link, ZigBee Building Automation, ZigBee Retail Services, ZigBee Health Care, and ZigBee Telecommunication services. The switch will impact tens of millions of devices already using ZigBee standards. However, the transition to ZigBee 3.0 will be gradual, as devices designed to use some of its constituent standards eventually transition to the unified […]
The web site Buzzfeed has a scoop today about a stealthy deployment of beacon technology in Manhattan that has some privacy experts concerned. According to the exclusive report, by Buzzfeed’s Joseph Bernstein and Jeremy Singer-Vine, Titan a media company that sells ad space in more than 5,000 phone kiosk panels in New York City’s five boroughs, has installed about 500 beacons on its ad panels. The company went forward with the deployment with the blessing of New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), but without any public input, Buzzfeed reported. Beacons are wireless devices that interact with mobile phones and other portable electronics. They’re used to provide location-specific data and interactions, such as advertisements linked to nearby businesses or to track the movements of an individual within a defined space (such as a show floor). In the case of the phone booth beacons, Titan and Sbordone, the company that provides the display […]
Steve Lawson at IDG News Service has an interesting article that notes AT&T’s certification of the U-blox SARA-U260 model, which is dubbed “the world’s smallest 3G module.” The 16 x 26 millimeter device is seen as a harbinger of the kind of low power device that will greatly expand the Internet of Things. The SARA-U260 is designed to transmit small amounts of data over 3G networks and could enable a new generation of even smaller and smarter devices – from Smartmeters to wearable technology to connected cars. The U260 has features that support applications from voice calling to auto industry telematics to retail point-of-sale terminals and handheld devices, according to U-blox. It uses A-GPS (Assisted Global Positioning System) and a technology called CellLocate that uses nearby cellular towers to triangulate a location in situations where GPS isn’t available. 3G and 2G networks are being replaced by 4G and even 5G networks for most consumer smart phones. But the technology still works great […]