IoT global round-up: Nokia on 5G, leaky cameras and LingLong DingDong

25 Nov 2016

Connected pins on a board. Image: Shutter_M/Shutterstock

It was a busy week for IoT as Nokia spoke of its intentions to get behind 5G in a big way, while DingDong released the LingLong, a competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Internet of things (IoT) was the technology everyone wanted to talk about this week in Dublin, as one of its biggest events – IoT World Europe – came to town, showcasing some of the up-and-coming start-ups, as well as some of the leading figures in a multibillion-dollar industry.

It is certainly an area of technology that Ireland is rapidly moving towards, with a recent report revealing that by the end of this year, 40pc of businesses based here will be using IoT in some capacity.

But the world is a big place, and in just one week there have been some other announcements and news originating that could take it up yet another level.

Nokia to get behind 5G revolution

Nokia might be trying to get back into the mobile handset game after its rapid decline from superiority, but the Finnish telecoms company is also looking to focus on 5G connectivity in a big way.

Speaking at the Nikkei Global Management Forum in Tokyo, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said that he sees the company working with 5G to place itself in a good position as part of the wider adoption of IoT.

“With [IoT], billions of devices are connected. Everybody, everything is connected. All of those [are] enabled by 5G because when 5G was conceived, the idea was to be able to have a technology that enables many, many things to be connected,” Suri said.

“So I think 5G enables IoT, and IoT brings time back to people like us, consumers. We will get more time. We will get more productivity in our lives. But more importantly, there will be a lot of productivity coming to various kinds of companies in various sectors.”

Suri attributed Nokia’s good standing to the fact that it has 30pc of the 4G market share already, and is dealing with 5G providers who are just beginning to roll out the technology in South Korea and the US.

IoT camera hacked … after 98 seconds

The Mirai botnet that shut down some of the largest websites on the internet was a wake-up call to those working within IoT.

An investigation into how it came about linked it to leaky IoT devices that contributed to the largest DDoS attack ever.

A recent report into what some of the worst devices were from a security perspective shone a bright light on makers of IoT security cameras, as many popular brands were found to be the least protected from botnet attacks.

It may come as no surprise to find that a security researcher has found one particular brand was compromised within the space of just 98 seconds.

Rob Graham’s test showed that outside of a controlled environment, the camera could have unleashed digital hell on an unsuspecting public.

Sigfox raises record $150m

There was cause for celebration from within the French IoT network provider Sigfox, after it sealed a record $150m in Series E funding to accelerate its worldwide coverage.

The five-year-old company now finds its technology in 10m objects across 26 countries, and with this new round of funding, the company can expand its international network to 60 countries by 2018 and reach financial break-even point.

Sigfox also revealed greater ties with major player Salesforce, with plans to integrate the former with Salesforce’s IoT Cloud, merging the two customer bases.

Aside from Salesforce, its latest investors also include Henri Seydoux, Swen CP, Tamer Group and Total.

Google Maps now tracking how busy stores are in real time

A quick Google search of your particular favourite bar or coffee shop will offer a graph showing its busiest times, generated from aggregated data from users, based on their location.

Now, according to ZDNet, the search giant is taking things up a notch – with the ability to provide you with real-time data on how busy a location is, as you are on your way.

The update to the Popular Times feature was perfectly launched ahead of the mad rush that is the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and could help frazzled shoppers navigate what shop to avoid for the next hour.

The service is certainly an indicator as to where location and big data is headed in the years to come.

The DingDong LingLong is released

In what is perhaps one of the best named products in years, the LingLong from DingDong has not been released just for laughs, but threatens to undercut the home assistant market currently dominated by the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

While the LingLong is aimed at going global, the head-spinning estimate that puts the China smart-home technology market at close to $23bn might give it a serious base of power to build from.

The LingLong will be priced in the region of $118 and will provide answers on typical things like the weather and news, while also being able to manage schedules and play media.

Until now, DingDong has been focusing on providing music catalogues to its Chinese customers, according to Wired, but the LingLong will be expanded in the coming months, to work with developers to develop third-party support for a range of services.

It will also need to expand its language selection if it is to go international, as it currently only understands Mandarin and Cantonese.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic