IoT Week News for January 13, 2022 – Stacy on IoT

Here’s what happened in the Internet of Things this week.

Yale sells a new smart safe: In the wake of the legalization of marijuana in various states across the United States, connected lockers are having a moment because parents want to make sure their kids can’t accidentally get their little hands on food, flowers, or whatever else it consists of. The new smart safe from Yale comes in a Bluetooth version (which works with HomeKit) or a Wi-Fi version (which works with Alexa and Google Home), and it can be opened with an app, keyboard, or physical key. The Bluetooth version costs $249.99 and $299.99 for the Wi-Fi version. (Yale)

Check out this roundup of Matter’s devices coming out this year: Jennifer Pattison interviewed The Verge’s Toohey at CES. It’s always great to see a fellow writer in person, and even cooler when they write something useful so you don’t have to, which is why I want to direct you to her list of news from CES, which covers all the Matter news from the show. Make sure to check it out. (the edge)

MachineQ helps keep public restrooms clean in the USMachineQ, Comcast’s low-power wide area network, has expanded a deal to connect bathroom fixtures made by Toto to the Internet. Toto connected devices use MachineQ connectivity and the cloud to connect data from sinks and toilets to software for facility managers. With the tool, facility owners can see how often toilets and sinks are used, how much water they consume as well as track leaks and even how many times someone has stayed in the toilet stall. They can also monitor traffic to determine when the bathroom needs cleaning or repair. I’m all for clean restrooms, but as someone who walked into a crying booth more than once during my younger years, I hope technology doesn’t take up the last of our private space when we’re out and about. (Machine)

Infineon is protecting the rainforest with its sensorsChip company Infineon is working with Rainforest Connection (RFCx) to deploy solar-powered sensors in remote parts of the world. Sensors track sounds nearby and wake up to send an alert when it “hears” the chirps. RFCx has deployed more than 500 of these devices in 30 countries to date, with projects currently active in 25 countries. Now with Infineon it’s adding a CO2 sensor that can “sniff” what’s going on nearby to track other signs of forest health. To date, 10 of these sensors have been deployed in Brazil. This is just a great example of using the Internet of Things to collect data in places and ways that we’ve never done before. (Infineon)

More sensors you can smellSensors that can detect gases and thus draw inferences about contaminants or even fruit ripeness are becoming more cost-effective and adaptable to low-power electronics, so I expect we’ll see them in more places outside of laboratories or sophisticated environmental monitoring systems in the future. Meanwhile, new research from the Australian Research Council’s Center of Excellence for Transformational Optical System boasts of creating a nanowire sensor that can be placed on a chip and detect nitrogen dioxide while generating its own energy from a solar cell. One researcher suggests that nanowire technology could be used to detect other gases such as acetone (useful for detecting if someone is in ketosis). (

Axon wants to create chain of custody for Ring’s doorbell videosAxon, the company behind Tasers and police cameras, has launched an API that camera makers can use to allow homeowners or business owners to share private camera footage with police. With the API, Axon hopes to create a way for ordinary citizens to share their camera data in a secure and auditable way with the police without breaking the chain of custody. I don’t know anything about how to present private camera data so it can be used as evidence in court, but it’s clear reading Axon’s pitch that they want to create a product to allow law enforcement access to private camera data. Axon spends a lot of words emphasizing that consumers need to agree to share their camera data, and that citizens can only share their data through this portal upon request from the police. I’d be very curious to see if any camera makers decide to include these APIs in their apps, and what might happen to their marketing efforts through law enforcement if they don’t. (Axon)

Will Apple’s chip plans affect the Internet of Things? Apple plans to divest Broadcom as the Wi-Fi provider as part of its ongoing effort to control all aspects of the production of its devices. Apple has already eliminated Intel chips from its MacBooks, built its own ARM-based chips in the iPhone, and plans to ditch Qualcomm as a cellular modem. So it’s no surprise that Apple wants to design its own Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chipsets. Apple doesn’t have a huge presence in IoT beyond its TV, watch, and HomePod products, but I couldn’t help but wonder how Apple’s design of its Wi-Fi chips might create a tighter ecosystem for its few connected devices, and if that meant Apple would branch out. To build more products you may use chips. Apple Network routers, anyone? (bloomberg)

Is IKEA about to release an updated air quality sensor? Sharp eyes saw an image of what looked like a new IKEA air quality sensor called Vindstyrka. The sensor will measure particulate matter, humidity, and temperature and will have its own power supply and brightly lit display, and will work with the Dirigera hub as reported. It will also fit into IKEA’s announced smart home plans to focus on home health. (HomeKit Authority)

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