#009 – Things Thursday – Interoperability, Voice and Security

We can’t stop talking about voice control and some people have a problem with that. Plus, two things that can help IoT adoption are being addressed: interoperability and security.

  1. Why Is The Home Automation Industry So Obsessed WIth Voice Control? (via FastCoDesign)
    Some good points in this article. Voice control is amethod for communicating, but it’s not the only method or always the preferred method. There could be several other methods that predominate. I think in the future, we will need several. I think things like the Pop Home Switch from Logitech, texting your smart home and other types of access. Give it a read.
  2. A Chip To Protect The Internet Of Things (via IEEE Spectrum)
    This is really cool and needed in the the IoT space. Microchip is making an encrypted chip for Amazon Web Services & users of their IoT platform. This will mean that these devices will be harder to hack. This is the type of thing 2017 needs. More of this!!!
  3. 10 Companies Moving Up In Smart Buildings (via GreenBiz)
    The benefit that I think a lot of users of smart technology don’t initially catch is energy savings. In larger commercial settings, this is one of the main benefits. GreenBiz rounds up a list of 10 companies leading the charge on smart building technology. Keep an eye on these companies and think about how IoT can help you in real estate.
  4. How The Lack Of Interoperability Standards Could Be Killing IoT (via ReadWrite)
    I am very glad to see this article. Standards are the way for things to become adopted. Look at electrical work or the internet even. For these things to survive and thrive, we needed standard ways of doing things. The Internet of Things is definitely an area in desparate need of standards. As a board member of RESO, I’ve seen first hand how standards can help and help an industry thrive. There are too many competing systems in IoT and we are seeing a lag in adoption because of it. If you are interested in standards, check out this article, it’s worth the time.
Hey!!! A Happy Holidays to you!! That’s all for Things Thursday this week. Have questions? Want us to cover something? Let us know. You can follow us on Twitter @crtlabs or Facebook.

Facebook Live Office Hours: Security and the Smart Home

During Facebook Live Office Hours this week, Chris and Chad talk about keeping yourself, and your smart devices, secure. We also discuss a project we’re working on that’s gotten a lot of buzz on social media: our PiAQ, an indoor air quality sensor that runs on a Raspberry Pi.

And remember, if you like our Facebook page, you’ll be notified when we go live for office hours every Friday at 1PM Central. See you next week!

CRTLabs, Security & The Internet of Things

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As you may be aware, CRT & CRTLabs are focused on the Internet of Things and what it means for real estate. There are a couple of areas we are focused on in order to promote security for the consumer and for the device manufacturer. This focus is part of our holistic approach to the Internet of Things. Not only are we working with vendors, universities, NGOs & government agencies to improve the devices on the market, we also want to ensure that consumers and our membership are protected as best as possible. Currently, security can seem like an afterthought for vendors. We want to make sure they are taking it seriously as we educate our membership on the value of these devices.

Partnership with The Online Trust Alliance – Consumer Focused
Last week, NAR released a smart home checklist in partnership with the Online Trust Allianceº. This is a great tool for our members to provide to buyers and sellers. This checklist covers what to consider when it comes to smart home devices as well as some security best practices for routers, gateways and other networking mechanisms. As we move forward in this ‘always connected’ paradigm, having this checklist will only increase in value.

The smart home checklist was released during Cyber Security Month to highlight that when consumers and REALTORS think of cyber security, we need to think not only in the context of the online world, but also in the context of the real world as these smart sensors and nodes come online.

Along with our work on the checklist, CRT’s been reviewing the Online Trust Alliance’s IoT Trust Framework. This document is in its second draft and will be a guide for manufacturers and consumers in this space. Personally, I am interested in its potential as a springboard for a certification for IoT products. Follow Online Trust Alliance on twitter at @otalliance.

Partnership with BuildItSecure.ly – Vendor Focused
Another project focused on security is aimed at educating IoT vendors on its importance. BuilditSecure.ly is a group comprised of information security researchers who are stressing the importance of secure devices and code. You may remember the story about the hacking of the Jeep Cherokee this past summer. That work was done in partnership with a group called I Am the Calvalry who are stressing the importance of security for connected vehicles.

BuildItSecure.ly is an analogue for smart devices. It’s comprised of security researchers from all around the world focused on educating consumers and vendors on the importance of security for these devices. CRT is working to promote their work and partner with them on educating manufacturers to the importance of security.

One of the cool initiatives from BuildItSecure.ly is a program to harden the code for device manufacturers. Using a product called BugCrowd, vendors can offer ‘bug bounties’ on their code to verified info security researchers. This allows for an independent third party to review the code and help improve its security. It also frees up vendor resources and allows them to focus more on the features for their products. Follow BuildItSecure.ly on twitter at @builditsecurely.

What do you think?
As we push ahead in this space, we’d love to hear from you. Are there projects in Iot & Security you’re familiar with? Tweet your thoughts to @crtlabs.

º Note: CRT signed NAR up as a member of the Online Trust Allianace last month