Honoring Dr. Robert (Bob) Heile

Our hearts grew heavy as we learned of the recent passing of Dr. Robert (Bob) Heile but they also filled with joy as we remember his dedication and contributions to the “Internet of Everything” as he used to refer to what we know today as the Internet of Things (IoT). 

With a career spanning many decades over the end of a century and the dawn of another, Bob was a staple of the global communication standards community.  He was steadfast in his 2+ decades leadership of the IEEE 802.15 Working group.  The group that gave us the communication infrastructure for many popular protocols found in products today:  Zigbee, Thread, Wireless HART, Wi-Sun, and many others.    He also led the Zigbee Alliance for over a decade and presided over the development and deployment of its various protocol standards.

Rest in peace Bob.  Your legacy will live on.

Repost: Discussing Privacy and Security Concerns at CONNECTIONS

You can read the original post here: Connected Products: Discussing Privacy and Security Concerns with UEI

Given the continual increase in the number of connected products, how can providers ease consumer concerns associated with data security and privacy?

This has been an ongoing debate within the segments we address. The only long term true solution includes a few parameters:

  • On user data: Data captured should be clearly explained, and repeated for consumer to understand, however, more important is how the data is to be used. Consumer consent should not be on the data, rather on the combination of what data is shared and how it is to be used.
  • Data ownership is a rather gray when it applies to device data – who owns this data. There needs to be differentiation between device diagnostic data and consumer data. The device diagnostic data does carry substantial value in what it can enable. The ownership of this data is unclear at the moment, device manufacturer, service provider/ecosystem owner, or consumer. The most beneficial scenario is when data is owned by device manufacturer, regardless of ecosystem, which allows a well-defined relationship started at the time of purchase.
  • Last but not least, privacy should be built into the architecture, smarter edge devices enabled cloud-less implementations which are effectively private. Expanding on what is possible offline/at edge vs what requires a back-end is going to be very interesting.

How will artificial intelligence (AI) impact the smart home, IoT, and connected entertainment landscapes in 2018 and beyond?

In many positive ways, but with some areas to be aware of / plan for:

  • Our data is biased, our implementation of AI cannot intensify this issue. As the workforce will need to evolve/be trained to adapt to new tools and technologies, we need to implement processes that address/prevent undesirable biases. This is essential in entertainment targeting which affects culture, and security/home care implementations which can have serious issues.
  • That said, AI is going to finally make connected devices smart. We still live in a time where connected devices have simply added to our overload of data, with proper implementation of AI they can finally act as assistants.
  • However, one major obstacle remains in the smart home domain. AI systems are only as smart or complete as the amount of data they have access to. The walled garden approach of ecosystem creators has caused data fragmentation issues, and without proper connection of these data silos, no AI will be able to be properly trained to address the end vision of the smart home. (Unless we believe a home will be dominated by a single brand, which is not the case today.)

Will the rise of DIY solutions significantly impact the traditional security landscape?

Although seemingly counter intuitive, we believe this may actually help. All boats will rise with this tide, and the lower barrier of entry is going to help in sell-through of additional monitoring/professional services.