Smart Home and Smart Cities (IoT)

Posts about Smart Home and Smart Cities (IoT). Subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you don't miss anything.
Tesla Model 3
In order to comply with safety regulations, EVs are required to produce “artificial noise.” (I shall restrain myself from commenting on the wisdom of our lawmakers here.) Tesla is no exception and, because he can, Elon Musk will use the legislated external speakers to do more than make fake car noises — Teslas will now speak. Continue Reading →

AI Was the Star of CES

Sony Atom View CES 2020
A crowd gathered around some guy at CES who had stuck an antenna in a potato and said it was 5G enabled. That was a joke. If he had said that it was an AI-assisted superfood that learned from you every time you ate it, people probably would have placed orders for it. Continue Reading →
Samsung Neon
Have you ever met an “Artificial?” Samsung plans to introduce us to one on next week at CES 2020. At the moment, there is very little information about what Neon is or might be. Samsung has an uninformative twitter account @neondotlife, a teaser website neon.life and not much else. Continue Reading →
Smart Speakers
I have seen a bunch of articles from pundits and reviewers espousing the virtues of one smart speaker over another. The consensus seems to be that the Apple HomePod is the "best sounding" smart speaker. Other honorable mentions go to Sonos, followed by Amazon's Echo Plus (which has the added virtue of smart home control). Let me be as polite as possible: bulls#&t! Continue Reading →
Hi-Res Audio
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), about 75 percent of the recorded music industry’s revenue comes from streaming. Bandwidth keeps getting cheaper and faster. Hardware and software continue to improve at an exponential pace. Surely there is pent-up demand for high resolution audio (hi-res audio). After all, doesn’t everyone want the “best sounding” audio? Continue Reading →
Smart Speakers
Amazon, Google, Apple, and the Zigbee Alliance announced a new partnership called Project Connected Home over IP. It will create a new smart home standard so their products can work together. Sadly, we won’t see a draft specification until late next year. But the good news is that the partnership is announced and there will be a spec and open source materials, too. Continue Reading →

Alexa Is Getting Emotional

C-3P0
A few weeks ago, Amazon announced new developer tools to enable Alexa to speak with emotion, either excited or disappointed across a range of intensities. Amazon said, "Use new Alexa Emotions and speaking styles to create a more natural and intuitive voice experience." Continue Reading →
Star Trek Universal Translator
Fans of Star Trek (The Original Series) will fondly remember the "Universal Translator." While Gene Roddenberry's epic saga was both inspirational and aspirational for some, it set goals for others. How much wireless bandwidth would you need on the Starship Enterprise? How would a medical tricorder work? What kind of storage would you need on Memory Alpha? How did the noise-cancelling for communicators work? Every engineer I know can tell you a story about how he or she was inspired by this amazing 1960s television show. Continue Reading →
iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple soothsayer Ming-Chi Kuo has a track record of accurate predictions. His recent investor note focuses on what the 2020 and 2021 lines of iPhones might look like, and one prediction stands out: Kuo believes that there will be at least one completely wireless iPhone in the 2021 line-up. No Lightning port, no USB-C port, no place to plug in cables of any kind. Continue Reading →
AWS 5G
In engineering parlance, getting closer to the "edge" means bringing computational resources closer to the user. To do that, you need a bunch of stuff to line up. In an ideal world, you'd combine powerful cloud resources and a low-latency high bandwidth network. That's exactly what Amazon and Verizon plan to do. Continue Reading →

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