Whether it's buying the latest fitness wristband or a smart toy for the toddler, it can often be like wrestling between the desire to pick up on the latest trend or waiting to see its demand and security issues play out in the news.
And in many cases, there isn’t a whole lot of security information readily available to guide the choice.
The May Intelligence of ThingsTM Tracker covers the latest developments in the space and looks at these IoT security concerns, including how researchers are helping consumers better understand the security of their connected devices – and, in the case of one delivery company, how IoT is putting security fears to rest.
A Look Around the IoT World
The smart home industry is expected to be worth $53 billion by 2020. The proliferation of connected consumer devices creates a tempting target for bad actors, and calls for improved security for those devices. That’s an area that Princeton University researchers are looking to tackle. The team is examining the security and information gathering of different consumer IoT devices. Ultimately, they plan to release an open source tool that enables consumers to monitor and gain insights about their own devices.
That kind of research comes at an important time, as more smart devices roll out into consumers' homes. One such solution consumers can expect to see in the near future would be offered in cars that come equipped with Alibaba’s voice assistant. With the solution, users can send orders to their cars — such as to control the air conditioning — from the comfort of their homes. Volvo, Audi and Daimler have all signed up to implement the solution in their vehicles.
IoT is arriving in consumers' homes in subtler ways as well, with a number of utility companies introducing smart metering. Among them is Mahanagar Gas Limited, which recently worked with Tata Communications to bring 5,000 smart meters to Mumbai.
For all the latest headlines, download the Tracker.
IoT Puts Its Stamp on Speedy eCommerce Delivery
Keeping up with customers’ delivery expectations can leave small retailers scrambling. As a solution to that, one Europe-based company is turning to crowdshipping — paying travelers to carry a delivery with them — for a more cost-effective solution that can allow for same-day delivery not just nationally, but across some borders.
But not every retailer is comfortable handing over goods to a stranger and trusting that they won’t go missing or get damaged en route. And while a traveler may be happy to make an extra buck carrying a package, they want to be sure everything inside is safe and legal.
In this month’s feature story, Marie Le Page, co-founder and U.K. division CEO of LivingPackets, explains how the company assuages those fears through ID vetting and a mix of IoT tech solutions, including specially designed, re-usable packages with weight sensors, interior cameras and other features, and an associated app for detailed tracking and communication with the traveler.
Read the full story in the Tracker.
About The Tracker
The Intelligence of Things Tracker™ showcases companies that are leading the way in all aspects of the Intelligence of Things. Every month, the Tracker looks at what these companies are doing across the ecosystem and in several categories, including personal, home, retail, transportation, wearables, mobile, infrastructure, data and more.