wearable computing

A survey finds fears about privacy and security are holding back IoT adoption.

No IoT Adoption? Security and Privacy Fears may be the Reason

As the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) rages in Las Vegas this week, its tempting to look at the reports about connected devices and wonder when it is, exactly, that the tsunami of smart devices, wearable tech and intelligent appliances will finally wash over us. But it might be even more useful to wonder why – given all the hype- we haven’t been washed out to sea already by the IoT wave. A recent article in Adweek calls attention to one leading theory about why the IoT isn’t gaining traction with everyday consumers: consumer worries about privacy and the security of data. The Adweek article (and groovy infograph) make hay out of a case study by Affinnova, a marketing technology firm that was acquired by Nielsen. The study asked consumers to evaluate “more than 4 million product concept variations and identify the most desired products and functions.” The goal: insight into consumer preferences as well […]

Companies looking to manufacture connected devices have to tackle four main challenges says Exosite CTO Mark Benson.

Have we been wrong about the Internet of Things all along?

I’m just slogging through all the articles I marked “to read” but never got around to during the relax-o-frenzy that is the holiday season. One of the better ones I’ve found comes from the Web site Techbitzz.com. On December 31, they ran a nice and succinct write up that addresses one of the most confusing nomenclature problems in the technology world today: the differences between “machine-to-machine” (or M2M) technology and the “Internet of Things” (or IoT). As the article notes, the tendency these days is to just conflate “M2M” and “IoT” – as if the latter is just a newer, cooler term for the former. But that’s not the case. In fact: the two terms refer to very different things. According to the article: “M2M can be defined in simple terms as, ‘Machines’ (can be a sensor, meter, valve etc)  using network resources (can comprise of core telecom network, back-end […]

Wearable cameras allow individuals to be identified based on their gait, new research suggests.

Wearable Cameras Birth A New Biometric

  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 […]

BitDefender found that communications transmitted from Android devices to Samsung Gear smart watches can be snooped.

BitDefender Finds Phone to Smart Watch Communications easy to Snoop

Researchers from the security firm BitDefender have found that it is possible to snoop on wireless communications sent between smart watches and Android devices to which they are paired. The researchers, led by Liviu Arsene, captured and analyzed raw traffic between the Nexus 4 Android device running Android L Developer Preview and the Samsung Gear Live smart watch. The traffic was captured on the Android device before it was transmitted to the associated smart watch using a baseband co-processor that it standard on most Android devices. According to BitDefender, the wireless traffic is secured using a six digit PIN code. That leaves the device vulnerable to computer-enabled “brute force” attacks that can try the million possible six digit codes in short order. BitDefender noted that the problem exposed wasn’t limited to smart watches. Using baseband co-processors on Android devices to handle encryption is “not a fool-proof security mechanism,” Arsene wrote. Attackers might also be […]

The Internet of Things including wearable computers will be commonplace by 2025, according to a Pew Research survey.

Wellness Apps & Wearables Put You up for Sale | SANS Institute

  The SANS Institute’s Securing the Human blog has a nice, contributed article by Kelli Tarala of Enclave Security on the security and privacy implications of wearable technology. Among Tarala’s conclusions: health and so-called “quantified self” products do much more than gather health data like pulse and blood pressure. Rather: they are omnivores, gobbling up all manner of metadata from users that can be used to buttress health data. That includes who you exercise with, favorite walking- and jogging routes and the times you prefer to work out. Of course, social media activity is also subject to monitoring by these health apps, which often integrate with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to share workout information. [Read more Security Ledger coverage of wearable technology here.] All of this could spell trouble for consumers. To quote Tarala: “there are companies interested in your Quantified Self, but their goals may not be to health related.” […]