In-brief: In our latest Security Ledger podcast, we talk with Luma founder and CEO Paul Judge, a serial entrepreneur (Ciphertrust, Purewire, Pindrop) whose latest venture seeks to bring enterprise-quality wireless to the home market, improving both security and management along the way.
Trend Micro’s Security Intelligence Blog has an interesting post today that looks at the changing demands of networked environments populated by smart “stuff.” Their conclusion: homes and businesses might find increasing need for someone to manage smart devices. “Managing a household full of smart devices calls for the skills of both a multi-user IT administrator and a handyman. Let’s call this role the Administrator of Things (AoT).” As in the early days of business networks, this role is currently ill-defined, Trend notes, with “ordinary users” taking on AoT tasks despite “scant evidence that they are ready for it.” Trend’s Geoff Grindrod doesn’t take a strong position on what the implications of all this complexity. (“This is something that should be looked into,” the report says.) However, he does anticipate friction. “How well people can actually perform (the job of AoT) has a huge impact on their daily lives, which includes the security of their household,” […]
If you didn’t read it on Sunday, The Wall Street Journal sent columnist Christopher Mims to the home of SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson to get a tast of what ‘smart home’ living is like. Mims came away impressed – but also skeptical that the complexity of layering so much technology into our everyday routines is bound to have more bad outcomes than good ones. “Other than people who have very specific reasons to add automation to their homes, I have no idea why anyone would do it, even if the equipment were free…Even when smart-home technology works as advertised, the complexity it adds to everyday life outweighs any convenience it might provide,” he writes. As for the smart home ‘killer app,’ Mims quotes Hawkinson as saying that home security and monitoring seems to be the most promising application of smart home technology right now. Google’s acquisition of DropCam is just […]
The news this week that search giant Google completed its acquisition of smart-home device maker NEST prompting at least one news outlet to proclaim that the “New Internet of Things Wave” has been set in motion. (Umm…new?) But there’s a cautionary note in the business headlines: news that Verizon shuttered its Verizon Home Monitoring service. Matt Hamblen over at Computerworld.com has the news and the confirmation from Verizon, which launched in 2012 and was designed to sink that company’s hooks deeper into wired homes. Verizon provided a common hardware platform for home automation and entertainment systems to plug into and talk to each other. Users could manage devices remotely from their computer, mobile device or from their televisions using FiOS TV. It comprised video surveillance, environmental control and physical security. In commercials, Verizon trumpeted it as the “ultimate 21st century green energy home control.” Verizon charged users $10 a month […]
One of the big challenges to the growth of the “Internet of Things” is access. It goes without saying that, without access to the Internet, almost all of the benefits of connected devices disappear. Your smart phone becomes a dumb phone. Your ‘net connected watch or running shoes or car scream into the void – trying desperately to connect to a network that isn’t there. Here in the U.S., that problem has typically been addressed by routing traffic through 3G or – depending on where you live – 4G wireless networks. However, access to those networks is spotty, especially in the sparsely populated Western U.S. According to a survey by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), much of the Western U.S. is a 3G wasteland, with little or no access to broadband wireless networks. One solution is to tap the loose network of residential broadband subscribers, allowing them to peel […]