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Posts tagged ‘Internet of things’



Speakers Used As Acoustic Weapons


Commercial speakers are physically able to emit frequencies outside of audible range for humans. At the Defcon security conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, one researcher is warning that this capability has the potential to be weaponized.  It appears that easy to write custom malware that can induce all sorts of embedded speakers to emit inaudible frequencies at high intensity, or blast out audible sounds at high volume. Those aural barrages can potentially harm human hearing, cause tinnitus, or even possibly have psychological effects.

Researcher found that the smart speaker, the headphones, and the parametric speaker were capable of emitting high frequencies that exceeded the average recommended by several academic guidelines. The Bluetooth speaker, the noise-canceling headphones, and the smart speaker again were able to emit low frequencies that exceeded the average recommendations.

Additionally, attacking the smart speaker in particular generated enough heat to start melting its internal components after four or five minutes, permanently damaging the device.

Vasilios Mavroudis, a doctoral researcher at University College London, also found in his research into ultrasonic tracking that most commercial speakers are capable producing at least “near-ultrasonic” frequencies—sounds that are inaudible to humans, but don’t quite technically qualify as ultrasonic—if not more.



The DEF CON 27 IoT Village, organized by security consulting and research firm Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) will highlight the significant challenges of security and privacy within this universe of devices on August 8-10, Eldorado Ballroom at the Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel.

IoT Village is now the premier platform for the IoT hacking community to inform manufacturers and consumers about new vulnerabilities research. The past six years, IoT Village has established a worldwide reputation at DEF CON, the largest gathering for hackers, and has showcased over 50 speakers who have exposed more than 300 vulnerabilities. IoT Village has educated countless attendees and sponsors about the most innovative techniques to both hack and secure IoT.


Travel Trends


Travel companies have added various technologies at every stage of their journey to improve operational efficiencies and meet customers’ expectations, according to data and analytics company GlobalData. Chatbots, offshoots of AI, are especially prevalent in customer service, programmed to resolve simple issues that previously required the mitigation of a real-time agent.

For example, Chan Brothers Travel’s implementation of a Webchat system on its website has helped to relieve the load on its hotlines and is capable of holding up to 65 per cent of the conversation with customers before requiring human intervention. New Zealand’s Oscar chatbot has reportedly enabled the airline to answer 75 per cent of questions in Australasia, freeing up its customer service agents to focus more on handling complex queries.

Internet of things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices connected by electronics in conversation, and the travel industry has emerged as the frontrunner in IoT spending.

Airlines are using IoT to impove all aspects of the passenger experience, from baggage handling to safety monitoring and checking the efficiency of the planes themselves.

Augmented and Virtual reality
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies go well with the travel and tourism sector.

VR, which makes users feel as though they are physically present in a digitally created environment, has seen progressive adoption in the travel and tourism industry, with VR headsets becoming a mainstream consumer product in recent years.

VR applications in the travel industry are numerous. Travel companies such as Thomas Cook, Flight Centre and Virgin Holidays are already experimenting with VR in-store to give potential customers tours of the destinations they’re selling.

Shangri-La Hotels was an early adopter of VR in its marketing efforts, rolling out in 2015 Samsung Gear VR headsets across all its global sales offices and produced 360-degree VR tours for its properties worldwide.

Immersive VR experiences are now touted in Asia’s theme parks,

These technologies, while unlikely to replace tourism completely, have potential to improve and inspire travel experiences. Pokemon Go, an AR game promoted by Niantic to get people moving, was used by many tourism authorities to promote their destinations at the height of its popularity.



The Internet of Things & The Marriot Hotel


Marriott International  has partnered with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Legrand to build a pair of connected “internet of things” hotel rooms in the basement of Marriott’s Bethesda headquarters. The IoT Guestroom Lab, part of Marriott’s 10,000-square-foot Innovation Lab, was designed to explore everything from intuitive lighting to voice-activated room controls to virtual assistants.

The team will analyze feedback to the internet of things rooms over the next three months before taking both down. You can expect to see elements of the technology in hotel rooms in the next five years.

A hotel guest extending a laptop screen to the room’s TV, a desk light with adaptive brightness or a shower that can be turned on by voice. Marriott envisions a customer being able to order a wake-up call via a virtual assistant or to launch a yoga routine on a full-length, digital mirror. 

The room, would be largely controlled by apps and systems that remember a visitor’s preferences and past behaviors. It is powered by three linked networks and could power down automatically when the customer leaves.

Internet of Things & Insurance


Health is an area where Internet of Things devices are already being used to lower insurance premiums for those who agree to wear the devices and to share data with insurance companies.  wearables like FitBit have been tied to several insurance premiums.

 Other areas of consumer related lifestyle data include the use of vehicle telematics devices (devices that enhance navigation, safety and communication features). Those who agree to have these devices integrated with their vehicles can see lower car insurance costs.
Networked smoke detectors for informal settlements, in the townships of South Africa have been developed by the company Lumkani. Lumkani is described as “the world’s first networked heat-detector designed specifically for a slum environment.
Lumkani devices are networked to each other using radio frequency. When a fire is detected, the alarm sounds in all homes within a 40 meter radius. A variable sound is used signal to users when a fire is in a separate dwelling.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips are tracking livestock for insurance, such as the IFFCO-Tokio system. IFFCO-Tokio is piloting a cattle insurance project targeting more than 25,000 poor farmers and their families in the Indian states of Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Orissa.

United States Postal Service & Smart Cites


It has be said that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) could be as the eyes, ears and sensor network for the smart city.

According to a panel at the Smart Cities Summit in Boston, the future of the USPS may revolve around big data, Internet of things and smart cities.

Here is the  How:

  • Trucks and assets drive through cities everyday.
  • These assets could monitor conditions and the environment for things like potholes, potential for blight and infrastructure conditions.
  • Data could be delivered back to cities to enhance services.
  • This data enablement could be a new revenue stream assuming that the Postal Service would be allowed to expand into new services. Regulations prevent the Postal Service from entering non-postal businesses.
  • Jessica Raines, public policy analyst at the USPS’ inspector general office, who recently published research on the partnering possibilities for the USPS and smart cities says “There is a lot of potential in smart cities for the USPS,” said Raines. “Think of how many assets, infrastructure and people we have.”
  • nyc-smart-equitable-city-final

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