These technologies will shape 2017

By Beata Green, HeadChannel Ltd.

With a small device that fits into your pocket, you can have the world at your feet.  2016 did not revolutionise the world and you should not expect 2017 to do so either, but modern technology gives more possibilities than ever to more people than ever. If you want to make the most of 2017, get familiar with technologies that will probably influence the near future. Continue reading

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The fundamental advantage of IoT

Internet Connection

By Christian Johan Smith, TrackR

I grew up in Selden, Kansas, in a family of wheat farmers. Manually harvesting wheat was an extremely tedious and laborious work, involving cutting and bundling by hand. However, this changed in the dawn of 19th century United States which saw the Industrial Revolution introduce new machines that automated tasks such as harvesting wheat. This gave farmers the opportunity to learn new skills and pursue other careers.  

Connected technologies have similarly changed the lives of people as they did a few generations ago. The way we live, work, and interact with our world has progressively modified as technologies have been integrated into all our lives. While we may be unaware of this, the number of connected devices surrounding us continually increase at an exponential rate. This layer of connected objects has been coined the “Internet of Things” (IoT). Continue reading

How to secure your smarthome gadgets

smarthome nest thermostat

The holiday season is a big time for consumer electronics and smarthome gadget sales. With so many advances and innovations that we saw in the Internet of Things in 2016, there’s a likely chance that one of those connected devices has found its way into your home, or that of one of your loved ones, this Christmas.

But while IoT devices make our homes more efficient, drive energy saving and reduce costs, you should also take note that IoT devices are a source of security headaches. A huge number of smarthome gadgets are developed without sound development practices and end up being used for evil purposes. Continue reading

Are we ready for fully automated retail?

People walk by the Amazon Go brick-and-mortar grocery store without lines or checkout counters, in Seattle Washington, U.S. December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Redmond - RTSUU23

People walk by the Amazon Go brick-and-mortar grocery store without lines or checkout counters, in Seattle Washington, U.S. December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Redmond – RTSUU23

Amazon recently announced Go, the technology that will make checkout lines and cash registers a thing of the past. Go will purportedly enable customers to walk into the store, pick up the items they need and just walk out, something that presently amounts to shoplifting.

The company uses computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion to perform complicated tasks that were previously in the exclusive domain of human brain and senses. Continue reading

What Bruce Schneier teaches us about IoT and cybersecurity

Bruce Schneier, cybersecurity expert, cryptologist

As if I haven’t said it a million times, IoT security is critical.

But just when I thought I had it all figured out, somebody comes along and sheds new light on this very important topic in a different way.

At a November 16 hearing held by the Congress Committee on Energy and Commerce in light of the devastating October 21 Dyn DDoS attack, famous cryptologist and computer security expert Bruce Schneier offered a new perspective on IoT security, which makes it easier for everyone to understand the criticality of the issue. Continue reading

How technology can prevent food shortage crises

agriculture plants

We’re being warned for years that the world is heading toward a food shortage crisis. The UN predicts that food production must double by 2050 to meet the needs of the planet’s steadily increasing population. Meanwhile, resources and land are becoming more scarce, and global warming is making things worse.

In fact, this is nothing new. Humanity has been dealing with food shortage since its dawn, and at every turn, it has found a solution to overcome the challenges. Agriculture was humankind’s first response to food shortage in an era where it relied on hunting for sustenance. Continue reading

How the IoT industry will self-regulate its security

iot security

Following last week’s DDoS attack against Dyn, which was carried out through a huge IoT botnet, there’s a general sense of worry about IoT security—or rather insecurity—destabilizing the internet or bringing it to a total collapse.

All sorts of apocalyptic and dystopian scenarios are being spinned out by different writers (including myself) about how IoT security is running out of hand and turning into an uncontrollable problem. There are fears that DDoS attacks will continue to rise in number and magnitude; large portions of internet-connected devices will fall within the control of APT and hacker groups, and they will censor what suits them and bring down sites that are against their interests. The internet will lose its fundamental value. We will recede to the dark ages of pre-internet. Continue reading