Another week, another selection of stories from the wonderful world of IOT. This week we bring some worrying news for smart home security, and some encouraging news from Samsung and their smart home department. So without further ado, lets dive right in!
KRACKs appear in security
As many of you may have heard already, a huge vulnerability has been discovered in the WPA2 encryption method, which pretty much means that anything using Wi-Fi needs to be patched. Most laptops and smartphones should do this automatically, but IoT devices aren’t quite as robust when dealing with this sort of thing in general. Here at Build Your Smart Home we have been saying for years that security is a major flaw in moving the sector forward, and news such as this will only push those who are already worried about the security of their smart home further away. As such, this new security issue should serve as a fresh warning to device manufacturers that patching their devices should be automatic, or at the very least, easy to do for the consumer. For now, the best thing to do is to update every gadget in your home, and take special care to ensure your IoT devices are patched as soon as possible. If at all unsure, get in touch with the manufacturer and ask if they are patching their device in the wake of the KRACK vulnerability. More on this subject here.
Samsung announce SmartThings Cloud
Where previous Samsung had SmartThings, Samsung Connect and ARTIK, they will soon be spun together to create the SmartThings Cloud platform. This should help deliver more secure and functional hardware, that share the same protocols and nuances. Avoiding and patching situations such as the one noted above should be a lot easier when every device in the range is ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’, so this move by Samsung is a good one for those who use Samsung devices, and hopefully it could spur other companies into taking the same approach. More on this the department merger, here.
Startups are starting to realise the cost of supporting the IoT
In some expected news this week, August, a company who deal in smart locks, have announced they are to be bought by Assa Abloy, who are a Swedish lock company with slightly deeper pockets than themselves. Other companies that are rumoured to be ‘up for sale’ are Canary and Grid Connect, although at this stage, the latter two are just that, rumours. These acquisitions, however, come as no surprise to many smart home fanatics, as the costs of supporting devices at the back end have proved to be a more costly asset than some companies first anticipated. Does this mean that we can expect fewer startups in this field from now on? Not necessarily.
Any company who comes along with a good idea doesn’t have to equate being ‘bought out’ as a failure. On the contrary, companies such as Nest would have been popping the champagne open when Google enquired about a takeover. It does, however, show that to succeed in this space, you do need to garner customers and interest quickly. If you don’t, the costs may swallow you up quicker than you can imagine. For more info, check out this article.
Amazon Cloud Cam
Amazon has decided to enter the security camera game with a device they call Amazon Cloud Cam. It works in much the same way as Google’s Nest Cam, including the need for a subscription service if you want more than 24hrs of footage saved to the cloud, but it does have one little facet to set it apart from the crowd. Wih an Amazon Cloud Cam, you can also link it to something called a ‘Key-in-home-kit’, which will turn your front door into a ‘smart door’. This will allow you access to the property via a smartphone app, and in turn, will allow you to grant access to Amazon delivery drivers (or anyone else you like) when you aren’t home. To check out the camera and whether Amazon Key is available in your area, head over here.