“Hey Siri…” “Alexa…” “Okay Google…” These are just some of the buzzwords and phrases that have entered day-to-day vocabulary as a result of the explosion of smart technology. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are in our cars, in our workplaces and on our bodies. But nowhere is smart technology more prevalent than in our homes. The array of services that are available coupled with the growing number of companies and service providers eager to innovate, should only grow this technology’s market share in the coming years.
I am not at all embarrassed to admit that I love working in my pajamas. A lot of us are working from home now to help flatten the curve, and while social distancing has created a lot of challenges for most people, one of the perks is the ability to socially distance yourself from your hairbrush and roll into the office in your sweatpants. I don’t think I’m alone on this. According to one survey, 60% of office professionals report a better work-life balance when working from home, and 74% of workers would like to telecommute more often after social distancing restrictions are lifted. Not coincidentally, the widescale adoption of telecommuting has resulted in a corresponding uptick in employee monitoring tools.
With great power comes great responsibility. 5G is the next generation of 3GPP technology. Along with having the potential to facilitate the next leap in connectivity, 5G technology supremacy also has the power to define the geopolitics of the next century. As the global battle for 5G dominance plays out, companies are driving hard to secure coveted Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) encompassing 5G technology. The victor will secure substantial revenue and money flow in the form of patent royalties.
Much like humans, bots come in all shapes and sizes. In social media networks, these bots can like what you post and even increase your followers. Companies use bots for all types of things—from booking a ride to giving makeup tutorials. Some bots can even solve your legal problems. Besides saving time and money, bots have the potential to reduce errors and increase a business’s customer base. But what happens when bots spy on users and share personal information? Or when they make racial slurs and offensive comments?
“Pleeeease?!” Buying a quick gift or giving in to your child’s pleas for a new toy is quickly becoming a more serious decision. In the age where toys can happily entertain kids by talking to them, the few precious moments those toys buy parents may not be without risk. It’s possible for anyone within an internet-connected toy’s Bluetooth range to connect to the toy and receive their audio recordings, while being up to 100 feet away. For example, in December 2015, VTech allegedly exposed the personal information of 6.4 million children, which included their names, genders and birthdays. Stealing a child’s personal information is, at the very least, concerning. However internet-connected toys come with an additional danger—localized hacking. Just look at Cayla, an internet-connected fashion doll manufactured and sold by Genesis Toys. My Friend Cayla answers fact-based questions, plays games, reads stories, and even solves math problems. Genesis uses third-party voice-recognition software by U.S.- based company, and the doll requires an iOS/Android application to use the software. The doll’s mobile application researches and supplies Cayla with factual answers to questions, but it also prompts children to set their physical location, parents’ names and school name.
The Internet of Things does not have to be Skynet to threaten us humans; perhaps tired of defeating carbon-based Go and chess masters, Google’s DeepMind pits its AI agents against each other; exactly when will AR and VR be fully embraced; and more …
To the surprise of no one, Instagram is pretty popular; Samsung puts a billion dollars into the Internet of Things; the FCC’s trying to decide if radio noise is a problem; and there’s an approach to virtual reality that won’t make you want to throw up.
AI teaching assistants and the NBA’s interest in VR aside, this week’s roundup has plenty of darker-themed stories, including torture-proof passwords, live-streamed suicide and death while AR gaming.