Amazon ships more U.S. smart home devices than any other company and says Alexa is now compatible with 140,000 devices, far beyond the Echo and Fire TV. But privacy advocates are concerned by all the data these devices collect, and are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to block Amazon’s latest smart home expansion.
Chapters:1:41 First to market 4:27 Acquiring iRobot 7:41 How it uses the data 9:45 Privacy concerns 11:33 Ambient home of the future
After acquiring video doorbell maker Ring in 2018 and mesh WiFi system Eero a year later, Amazon’s now looking to buy Roomba smart vacuum maker iRobot. In a rare move, the FTC is asking for more information before approving the $1.7 billion deal. Ahead of Amazon’s annual smart home event, we talked to Amazon’s VP of privacy to find out what really happens to all the data collected by its devices – and sat down with the head of smart home to hear the strategy behind Amazon’s race to dominate the internet of things.
Airtags: The size of Mentos or a Lifesaver? A redesigned super-slim iMac? Lost-item trackers called AirTags? An Apple TV remote that doesn’t suck? New iPad Pros with M1 chips? Apple announced a hodgepodge of updates at a spring event. WSJ’s Joanna Stern has the rundown. Photo Illustration: Adele Morgan
Science Staff Writer Kelly Servick discusses how physicians have sifted through torrents of scientific results to arrive at treatments for SARS-CoV-2.
Sarah also talks with Wesley Reinhart, of Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Institute for Computational and Data Science, about why we should be building smart cities from smart materials, such as metamaterials that help solar panels chase the Sun, and living materials like self-healing concrete that keep buildings in good shape.
Currently, smartwatches provide information such as heart rate, sleep time and activity patterns. In the future, this could be augmented with new classes of wearable devices that monitor, for example, concentrations of cortisol for tracking stress (using electronic epidermal tattoos), biomarkers of inflammation and levels of blood O2 (microneedle patches), skin temperature (electronic textiles), blood pressure (smart rings), concentration of ions (wristbands), intraocular pressure (smart contact lenses), the presence of airborne pathogens and breathing anomalies (face masks), and the concentration of therapeutic drugs (on-teeth sensors)2,10,12,13,14,15,16. Such emerging low-cost wearable sensing technologies, monitoring both physical parameters and biochemical markers, could be used to identify symptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases in future pandemics. The devices could also be used to remotely monitor the recovery of individuals undergoing treatment or self-isolating at home.
At this year’s virtual tech megashow, gadgets to protect you from Covid-19 are all the rage. But do you need a connected mask and a personal air purifier? What about a doorbell that takes your temperature? WSJ’s Joanna Stern checks out this new gear—from her basement. Photo illustration: Preston Jessee for The Wall Street Journal
Jeff Bakalar speaks with BioLite, a company that has invented a smart firepit that actually lets you adjust the intensity of the flame and reduces smoke. The camping-focused device also has a full line of cooking accessories and can burn charcoal or wood. And yeah, it can charge your phone too.
FirePit plus all its accessories in one awesome bundle. The BioLite FirePit is an award-winning smokeless firepit that burns standard firewood or charcoal depending on your needs. Patented airflow system injects oxygen to burn off smoke before it has a chance to escape the fire while the X-Ray Mesh body gives you a full view into your flames. Included grill grate works with charcoal to transform your pit into a hibachi-style grill.
iOhouse has built a luxurious fully off-grid living space for people who value privacy, design and nature, called the Space.
All the utilities you need are integrated and completely autonomous, including water, electricity, heating and Wi-Fi. A smart device is all that is required to monitor and manage your living experience.
The SPACE offers you the most advanced conveniences of modern life with the smallest ecological footprint. Our model has been constructed only with the best premium materials and we genuinely believe this is the future of modern living.