Archive

Archive for the ‘SmartHome’ Category

CIO Review IoT Special Edition, November 2015

November 10, 2015 Leave a comment

cioreview

CIO Review and I have collaborated a few times around the smart home security and IoT space. They kindly asked me to write something for the November IoT Special Edition, published this week.

You can find me at p47, but the whole edition is valuable reading.

http://magazine.cioreview.com/magazines/November2015/IOT/

Advertisements
Categories: IOT, SmartHome Tags:

Smart Home or Dumb Home/Smart Cloud?

November 5, 2015 Leave a comment

q400dAt the end of my street, tucked between some bushes and a tree in someone else’s garden, is a weathered beige box. I’d never noticed it before this week, but it’s become very important to me, because that dirty, unloved box is responsible for whether my smart home automation works, or not.

Yes, that beige box in someone else’s garden is where my home cable connects to the community coax network.

I’ve come to the realization that my smart home is actually pretty dumb on its own – without a connection to internet services, a lot of my clever rules and technology simply fail to work. My doorbell camera doesn’t send me video, my IFTTT rules to work the Hue Lights fail, and I can’t even open my Wink-connected door locks.

Amazon’s Echo is another victim of connectivity – it seems so clever, but when you step back and think about it – it only understands two words/four syllables – Ah-Mah-Zon and for the alternate name, Ah-Lex–Ah. All the other language processing is done in the cloud, so you can “turn off” my home voice recognition just by unplugging the coax in that anonymous roadside box.  Read more…

Categories: SmartHome Tags: ,

Why I want all my lights to be smart…

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

This week Theo Priestley of Forbes posted an interesting article, where he posed a couple of interesting questions:

An average home in the UK can potentially run to over 15 or so light bulbs, but how many would a consumer realistically want to be smartly enabled and connected to the internet ? And again, just what is the value they’re going to receive from controlling them remotely ?

As I sit in my office I have 9 light bulbs around me – I know I’m not in the UK, but I’m British and I don’t remember the UK being particularly starved of bulbs last time I visited. Perhaps Theo meant “light switches” in which case I only have 5 – but the first question he asks is why we want them all to be smart?

My answer is the following – when I get up at 4 am for a flight I don’t want to wake my wife up. I also don’t want to trip over on my way across the room to the light switch. Read more…

Categories: IOT, SmartHome Tags: ,

Smarthome 2015 – 80’s Computing Throwback?

September 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Image C/O Gigaom

With so many competing IOT hubs and ecosystems – how can the dream of the connected home, digital butler experience be realized?

Can you remember personal computing in the 80’s? I was a Commodore 64 kid, I thought it was the best computer ever – why would anyone use anything else?

My classmates generally disagreed though – there was the ZX Spectrum, Tandy, Acorn, Atari, Amiga, BBC Micro (A and B), Amstrad, Apple, and the one kid who’s father had a CPM 80286.

The challenge was, even though we all had much the same goal – play the best games, learn how computers work, maybe write a game of our own – everything was completely different and incompatible – even storage with tape, microdrive, 3″, 3.5″ 5″, 8″ disks – each manufacturer, assured in their own superiority forged ahead creating their own proprietary isolated world. Read more…

Categories: IOT, SmartHome Tags: ,

CES2015 – A festival of insecure, unmanaged IOT devices..

January 16, 2015 1 comment

The Internet of Things (IOT) and “smart devices” were THE big thing at CES this year – the show was flooded with novel gadgets from every manufacturer – from smart connected coffee makers, health tracking devices, fire alarms, home security systems, and even vehicles which some are considering the next “wearable”.

CES behemoth Samsung’s CEO Boo-Keun Yoon spent a significant portion of their keynote reminding us that IOT “is not science fiction anymore. It’s science fact” – something I can attest to with a significant number of their devices in my own home.

Everywhere you looked, there was either an IOT device, something that “IOT’s” your devices, or something that manages them – and of course in the Intel booth, we also devoted a significant portion of our time talking about how to manage and secure them. Read more…

Categories: IOT, SmartHome Tags: , ,

The Connected Home – Introducing the McAfee Little Red Box

November 6, 2012 1 comment

This will be old news to those of you who took the time to visit McAfee Focus 2012 , but for the rest – my team took the opportunity to introduce the concept of the McAfee “Little Red Box” in the Innovation roadshow.

It’s a prototype project that my team has been working on for some time now, and will go some way to answer the need to protect all the connected devices in your home. 

My house is the classic connected home – I have the usual assortment of PCs and laptops that build up over the years, some relegated to the role of photo frame, others scattered around for occasional browsing and email use. There’s also the odd real photo frame (wirelessly connected to a media server of course), and on that topic, numerous Playstations, XBoxs, and other gaming consoles that my family enjoy.

If that wasn’t enough IP connected equipment, you can add into the mix more than one of every Apple device made – iPads, iPhones, Apple TV’s, even an Apple Mini, oh and a few Samsung internet connected TV’s as well.

I often jest that I have an internet-toaster, but I don’t. My wife thought about buying an internet-fridge, but the fact it didn’t support wireless put her off.

I must be forgetting something, as my router DNS server regularly gets maxed out – oh yes, I have Sonos  throughout the house as well, and also a few Apple Airport Express wireless repeaters.

You don’t come to my place if you’re sensitive to EMF… Read more…

Smart power meters easily hacked…

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently Jordan Robertson reported that serious flaws had been found in so-called “Smart” power meters which are being rolled out slowly by the utilities companies.

These meters, designed to help individuals and companies more effectively manage their electricity usage were found to have serious security flaws which could allow hackers not only to tamper with your supply, a new twist on the “Denial of Service” attack, but could also be used to fool the utility provider into thinking you’re using more power than you actually are.