Internet of Things (IoT) market is growing by 15% annually.

Worldwide spending on the Internet of Things is forecast to reach $772.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 15 percent over the $674 billion that will be spent in 2017, according to a new report by International Data Corp.

IDC forecasts worldwide IoT spending to sustain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 percent through the 2017-2021 forecast period, surpassing the $1 trillion mark in 2020 and reaching $1.1 trillion in 2021.

IoT hardware will be the largest technology category in 2018, with $239 billion going largely toward modules and sensors along with some spending on infrastructure and security. Services will be the second largest technology category, IDC said, followed by software and connectivity.

Software spending will be led by application software along with analytics software, IoT platforms, and security software. Software will also be the fastest growing technology segment, with a five-year CAGR of 16.1 percent.

Services spending will also grow at a faster rate than overall spending, with a CAGR of 15.1 percent. It will nearly equal hardware spending by the end of the forecast, the report said.

“By 2021, more than 55 percent of spending on IoT projects will be for software and services,” said Carrie MacGillivray, vice president, Internet of Things and mobility at IDC. “Software creates the foundation upon which IoT applications and use cases can be realized.”

https://www.information-management.com/news/internet-of-things-market-growing-by-15-percent-annually

Google Lens is far from perfect. But it’s much much better than Google Goggles ever was!

Google Lens has gone live or is about to on Pixel phones in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, India and Singapore (in English). Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using it extensively and have had mostly positive results — though not always.

Currently, Lens can read text (e.g., business cards), identify buildings and landmarks (sometimes), provide information on artwork, books and movies (from a poster) and scan barcodes. It can also identify products (much of the time) and capture and keep (in Google Keep) handwritten notes, though it doesn’t turn them into text.

To use Lens, you tap the icon in the lower right of the screen when Google Assistant is invoked. Then you tap the image or object or part of an object you want to scan.

As a barcode scanner, it works nearly every time. In that regard, it’s worthy and a more versatile substitute for Amazon’s app and just as fast or faster in many cases. If there’s no available barcode, it can often correctly identify products from their packaging or labels. It also does very well identifying famous works of art and books.

Google Lens struggled most with buildings and with products that didn’t have any labeling on them. For example (below), it was rather embarrassingly unable to identify an Apple laptop as a computer, and it misidentified Google Home as “aluminum foil.”

When Lens gets it wrong it asks you to let it know. And when it’s uncertain but you affirm its guess, you can get good information.

I tried Lens on numerous well-known buildings in New York, and it was rarely able to identify them. For example, the three buildings below (left to right) are New York City Hall, the World Trade Center and the Oculus transportation hub. (In the first case, if you’re thinking, he tapped the tree and not the building, I took multiple pictures from different angles, and it didn’t get one right.)

I also took lots of pictures of random objects (articles of clothing, shoes, money) and those searches were a bit hit-and-miss, though often, when it missed it was a near-miss.

As these results indicate, Google Lens is far from perfect. But it’s much much better than Google Goggles ever was, and it will improve over time. Google will also add capabilities that expand use cases.

It’s best right now for very specific uses, which Google tries to point out in its blog post. One of the absolute best uses is capturing business cards and turning them into contacts on your phone.

Assuming that Google is committed to Lens and continues investing in it, over time it could become a widely adopted alternative to traditional mobile and voice search. It might eventually also drive considerable mobile commerce.

Some of the CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category, including lighting controls, security systems and this year’s class of home automation hubs.

by Julie Jacobson · November 24, 2017

Each year, specialists in consumer electronics, smart-home, IoT, vehicles, robotics and other technologies review thousands of entries for the CES Innovation Awards. It’s a tedious task and many (most?) of the “winners” never make it to market. Even so, the honorees do at least give us a glimpse into the near-future of technology.

Here we look at some of the CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category, including lighting controls, security systems and this year’s class of home automation hubs. For each one, I share my thoughts about the product and its prospects, including: Do I want it? and Will it make it?

The CES 2018 honorees in the smart-home category include some usual suspects like:

  • Amazon Echo Look
  • Arlo Pro 2 wirefree camera system
  • Nest Thermostat E
  • Ring Spotlight Cam

There are some other recognizable products from the past, like WooHoo from SmartBeings – one of the darlings of CES 2017, and yet another smart thing that tries to do way too much. In that same vein, we have another honoree, Ensembl from Ashley Chloe Inc., that tries to pack every single home-automation, audio, video, lighting and surveillance application into one tiny package.

And then, of course, there are the obligatory home automation hubs that profess to do everything, like Beak/IoT and SmartBeing’s WooHoo — ZigBee, Z-Wave, BLE, AI — and promise to “surely redefine the concept of Smart Living” (Beak) or deliver the “world’s first AI based interactive and affordable Smart Home Hub and Platform” (WooHoo).

Register for the Ultimate CES 2018 Preview Webinar

There are other more interesting and realistic products that we have talked about in Webinars but have not given a thorough writeup, like Samsung Connect Home ProBrilliant Home and Aura Home.

There’s this weird one called Ugo from Otodo, a “smart and soft pebble” that you tap against various surfaces to enact pre-programmed commands. Tap it on the door to unlock it. Knock it on the end table to turn on the light. It’s the “magic wand” accessory for Otodo’s home-automation hub.

In this installment, we look only at home-automation hubs and related smart devices. Later, we’ll take a look at award-winning cameras and other smart-home categories.

SEE THE SLIDESHOW to learn more about the smart-home honorees for CES 2018 Innovations, plus my own opinions on their prospects.

55% Of Consumers See IoT, AI As Risks To Privacy

New connected technologies are continuing to cause serious concerns around privacy and security.

The two are really separate issues, as we continually document here.

For example, consumers have varying degrees of trust, based on who is providing the service, as I wrote about here earlier this week (Cybersecurity Study: 3% Of Consumers See Marketing, Advertising As ‘Trustworthy‘).

The same study that found a low level of trust from marketing and advertising businesses around cybersecurity, also examined privacy.

There are many technologies here and coming soon that pose serious privacy considerations.

These range from chips being embedded into people, which already is being done, to virtual and augmented realities.

The majority of consumers see the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence as a potential threat to their privacy. Here are the percentages of consumers who view each technology as a potential threat to their privacy:

  • 67% — Chips in human skin
  • 55% — Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things
  • 54% — Digital payments
  • 49% — Machine learning
  • 47% — Chatbots, self-driving cars
  • 45% — Drone delivery
  • 42% — Wearable tech
  • 40% — Bitcoin
  • 35% — Augmented reality
  • 32% – -Virtual reality

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/309892/55-of-consumers-see-iot-ai-as-risks-to-privacy.html

Amazon Key’s big privacy test is now in your hands

Amazon Key uses the company’s new Cloud Cam security camera, a smart door lock and the new Key app to grant someone temporary access. A delivery person can unlock your front door using his phone, slide in a package, then lock the door again. The idea is to prevent packages from being stolen from the front stoop or have them get soaked in the rain.

https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-key-launch-privacy-home-deliveries-cloud-cam/?ftag=CAD-03-10aaj8j

Fine dining, with a side of tech

A study published in 2016 in the Journal of Consumer Marketing shows that we mere mortals are highly suggestible. The line between our appreciation of how food looks and enjoyment of how it tastes can become blurred. Researchers discovered that our enjoyment of indulgent foods increases significantly when we take a picture before eating it, and can even boost our experience of consuming “less pleasurable” (by which it means healthy) foods.

I’d suggest that you read this article you if you fancy your tech and a good meal.

https://www.cnet.com/news/chefs-special-fine-dining-with-a-side-of-tech/?ftag=CAD-03-10aaj8j