1. Artificial Intelligence and Voice - 2. Revolv shuts down - 3. How to secure your smart home

1. Artificial Intelligence and voice – 2. Revolv shuts down – 3. How to secure your smart home

This week we look at the themes of privacy and security and obsolescence. As we enter into the internet of things and these services working more closely together, we also have to deal with the fact that some of the services we become dependent on can go away. And, will the Atlantic Council and I Am The Calvary’s issue brief encourage vendors to make smart home security a top priority? I hope so!

  1. Terrifyingly Convenient (Via Slate)
    A recent cover story from Slate highlights the convenience of artificial intelligence (AI) products like the Amazon Echo, Siri, Cortana and Facebook M, while also pointing to its challenges. We can control smart home devices, search everything, check weather, add reminders to our calendars and shopping lists, all with our voice. What’s interesting to me here is how quickly AI has become a household item. As the article states, we’ve become willing participants:

    That Silicon Valley’s largest tech companies have effectively humanized their software in this way, with little fanfare and scant resistance, represents a coup of sorts. Once we perceive a virtual assistant as human, or at least humanoid, it becomes an entity with which we can establish humanlike relations.

  2. That Time Tony Fadell Sold Me a Container of Hummus (via Arlo Gilbert on Medium)
    Revolv was one of the smart home hubs I initially covered a couple of years ago on our CRT blog and was one I was most excited to test. Unfortunately, Nest bought them and stopped selling them before I could buy one. They seemed to be the perfect hub for the smart home. Well, last month, Revolv announced that their service would no longer work as of May 15, 2016. What this means is all Revolv hubs will stop working as of that day. No more control of your smart home using these hubs. One thing that’s irked customers is how little notice they were given that something they depend on is being decommissioned. Another is that a device they integrated into their routine and is necessary for the control of their other devices is not obsolete after only about 2 years on the market. The worry is that any smart device you buy could be in this same situation.
  3. 9 Ways to Make Your Smart Home More Secure (via PCMag)
    Stacey Higginbotham covers the work of the Atlantic Council in partnership with I Am The Calvary to help secure the smart home. As the article states, 66% of customers are concerned about the security of smart home devices. I Am The Calvary is a team of Info Security researchers who’ve also worked to secure the auto industry’s onboard computer systems. I’m excited to read the entire report, but the list of ways to secure your smart home is definitely worth reviewing. You can find the issue brief here. By the way, Stacey also has a podcast where she addresses this topic as well. NOTE: I was a guest a few weeks back talking about CRT’s role in this space.

That’s it for this week. What do you think? Have something you’d like us to cover? Let us know in the comments below!!