New Smart Home Technology in 2018

 

Copper Horse’s Ryan Ng takes a look at some of the smart home technology that has taken in his interest in the first part of the year.

 

A few months into 2018 and we are already seeing a lot of new smart home technology, some of which are great ideas and useful devices, but others which are questionable.

 

To kick-start this year we had the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January where lots of new products and concepts were shown off. This included all kinds of tech including cars, TVs, and of course smart home devices. A noticeable trend in a lot of the devices announced is that they are providing support for two of the biggest smart home competitors, Amazon and Google. Providing Alexa and Google Assistant support allows these products to be better integrated into customers’ homes for those who already own an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker, so they can control their devices via voice commands.

 

Another big event which took place this year was Mobile World Congress (MWC) which happened at the end of February. This event not only showed off a load of new smartphones, but it also again showed off a wide range of other technologies including smart home devices.

 

Whilst smart home devices are constantly improving, many are still insecure. Copper Horse provides training for all levels of expertise in designing and implementing security in smart home and Internet of Things products. Our next training course will be in Barcelona in May.

 

Here are some of the latest smart home devices shown off at these events that took my interest:

 

Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant

 

Google has teamed up with Lenovo to create a new product to compete with the Amazon Echo Show which was released in 2017. This smart display is essentially a Google Home speaker with an 8” or 10” display (depending on the model) attached to visually show information when asked. The Smart Display can also be used to perform video calls via the Google Duo application. It is very similar to Amazon’s Echo Show product and it remains to be seen whether users will take to this or prefer a voice-only product.

 

 

Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

 

Samsung showed off its latest smart fridge powered by its virtual assistant Bixby. This refrigerator also acts as a SmartThings hub for all SmartThings enabled home automation devices. It has a huge touch display on the door which allows users to see inside the fridge using internal cameras, make shopping lists, play games, check the weather and more.

 

 

 

Smart Shower System Livin

 

A team from Fitbit and Foxconn have developed a new product in the smart home market called Livin. This is a smart shower system designed to minimise water waste and can be installed within 15 minutes. It features precise temperature controls via a smartphone that allows you to preheat the water before turning the shower on. It also features smart lighting and music playback with a knob for in-shower temperature and music controls.

 

 

 

Laundroid Laundry-Folding Robot

 

A Japanese company called Seven Dreamers showcased their latest model of Laundroid, a product which uses artificial intelligence to sort and fold your clothes. This is one of the more questionable products shown off as I do not expect the average consumer to spend $16,000 on a machine to fold and sort their clothes.

 

 

 

The new smart home technology featured above is only a small selection of products which have recently been announced and there will be many more to come in this year alone. It remains to be seen how successful or secure they’ll be, or most importantly, how useful.

 

Why you and your staff need to skill up on IoT security

David Rogers with training delegates on the Introduction to IoT Security course

There have been a lot of problems with IoT from the outset. A marketing catch-all term, the truth about IoT is that many of these devices have been connected for years and it’s only now that attention is being paid to them by both security researchers and the bad guys. There are whole set of new devices coming to market which incredibly harbour some of the same issues as very old devices, making them very dangerous from a security perspective. Attack techniques have moved on significantly meaning that leaving old vulnerabilities around can be catastrophic. We’ve devised a training course dedicated to helping you understand these risks.

 

IoT is unique in that it is being adopted by nearly every different product and service sector, right across the world. The fast-paced implementation of these solutions is leading to some pretty bad decisions across the technology ecosystem. From internet-connected toys to connected fish tanks, bad configuration, insecure hardware and basic software design errors have created a toxic view of the security of IoT and the products on sale. The scary thing is that in fact we do know how to fix these problems and in a lot of cases the technology and methodologies are out there to address them, we just need to actually do it and do it properly – a secure by default approach to IoT security.

 

Do something now

The ship has already sailed on whether it’s appropriate or not to put security in a product – you have to do it or your product and company will ultimately fail. The time to act is now – get you and your staff skilled up and ensure that your company and products are actually fit for purpose in the IoT age. We’ve teamed up with the IoT Security Foundation to provide an Introduction to IoT Security, with no pre-requisites. Suitable for all levels, sign-up here and help make the world a bit more secure!

 

So what are the benefits of coming on the Introduction to IoT Security course?

You’ll understand the basics of what you need to do about your devices – right from the hardware up the technology stack to ensuring that you’re communicating securely and that the other components such as mobile applications and cloud services are being secured properly too.

 

We’ll share with you cutting edge knowledge from the frontline of IoT developments and we have our own first-hand experience to impart. As well as teaching you how best to secure your products and services, you’ll get some hands-on exposure to well-known IoT hacking techniques, giving you an experience of the attacker’s point of view. We’ll also show you how to implement a vulnerability disclosure policy, monitor your product security and how to get your products and services ready for certification through the IoT Security Foundation.

 

For more: Introduction to IoT Security Training course details.

IoT Security Foundation partners with Copper Horse for IoT Security Training

 

It’s an exciting day. We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be providing training on security for the Internet of Things in conjunction with the IoT Security Foundation. Our first course will be run on the 4th and 5th of July in the home town of Copper Horse Solutions, Windsor in the UK. We firmly believe that things are not going to get better in the IoT space unless positive action is taken on a number of fronts. It is no use just breaking into a product and making a lot of noise about it in the press. That serves one purpose of course and there is a great market for companies to provide those sorts of testing services, but it is not generally constructive.

 

To properly secure internet of things products and services however, there must be security designed in by default. There must be a culture of security within the organisation and there must be a clear understanding of the threat landscape, security usability and what bad and good look like. It is not good enough to pass this off to an external company or a single security engineer – all people involved in creating a product should have security in mind.

 

We’re hoping to play a small part in helping to put companies on the right track when it comes to thinking about security. We have many years experience in dealing with security in the mobile industry from device hardware upwards through the software stack to the network side. We’re looking forward to creating an alumni of pioneers who will make the Internet of Things a more secure and safe place.

 

More details can be found on our training page and also directly on the IoT Security Foundation site.

 

Windsor Castle