Smart wine bottle is the latest IoT device to go bust

23 Mar 2018

Image: Igor Normann/Shutterstock

This week in the internet of things, a company promising a revolution in wine drinking goes bust, while an IoT company plans to invest in the cannabis business.

Medical internet of things (IoT) technology received a major boost this week with news that Causeway Sensors – a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast – raised £1.2m in an investment led by the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund in syndication with QUBIS and private investors.

Causeway Sensors uses groundbreaking, patented nanotechnology to enable pathogen detection, opening pathways to detect fatal diseases within the healthcare sector.

Kuvée IoT wine bottle start-up goes bust

Many might argue that we don’t need to make every item in the home ‘smart’, but that never stopped companies creating everything from a smart cat flap to a smart water bottle that tells you when to drink.

Now, another victim of the IoT bubble has been revealed as the smart wine bottle start-up Kuvée, which has announced that it is to shut down.

The idea started out as a successful Indiegogo campaign that promised to create bottles to keep wine fresh for up to two months, as well as featuring a digital touchscreen that could tell the customer what to pair the wine with and other suggestions.

But, according to Business Insider, the company announced that because of fires in the Napa Valley region last year, which affected the company’s growth, it has had to pull the plug.

The company is hoping to find a buyer for the technology, but any of the smart sleeves still out there will be rendered useless when its finite stock of cartridges runs out.

IoT company sees the highs in cannabis technology

Internet of Things Inc (ITT) – an IoT accelerator – sees a bright future for a market changing its attitude towards cannabis with news that it is investing C$100,000 in Scorpion Resources, which will soon be renamed Blockstrain Technology.

In an announcement, ITT said Blockstrain will deliver a secure and immutable blockchain platform through IoT to establish global certainty for cannabis strains and their ownership.

“The sector is still in its infancy and, while a lot of focus to date has been on the producers, industry research shows that there is actually more money in the associated ancillary markets,” said ITT CEO Michael Frink.

“We look forward to working with the Blockstrain team in developing cannabis-specific IoT solutions, and we have high expectations for our investments into Blockstrain and Braingrid Corporation, and expect both to bring value to shareholders.”

Norway to build new smart city beside Oslo Airport

The Norwegian government has big plans for a 370-hectare tract of land beside Oslo Airport, with aims to make it the first energy-positive airport city.

According to Dezeen, the Oslo Airport City (OAC) project will involve Haptic Architects and the Nordic Office of Architecture. It will be entirely powered by renewable energy, with excess supply going to nearby cities.

Of course, given its green image, only electric vehicles will be allowed navigate its streets but its developers have promised that anyone living there will be no more than five minutes away from some form of public transport.

IoT dreams will also be fulfilled, with plans for smart street lighting as well as some smart waste and security management systems.

Construction on OAC is expected to begin in the latter end of 2019, with the first buildings completed by 2022. By 2050, it could house as many as 40,000 employees and their families at Oslo Airport.

IoT security spend to hit $1.5bn in 2018

Gartner has conducted an extensive survey of just how much it expects companies to spend in order to bolster their IoT security, and has unsurprisingly found that it will increase substantially on 2017.

Its analysts estimate that it will hit close to $1.5bn by the end of this year, marking a year-on-year increase of around 28pc.

The leap comes after a year or two of massive DDoS attacks using poorly secured IoT devices, similar to what we saw with Mirai and the sharp rise in ransomware attacks last year.

However, Gartner predicts that through 2020, the biggest inhibitor to growth for IoT security will come from a lack of prioritisation and implementation of security best practices and tools in IoT-initiative planning.

“Although IoT security is consistently referred to as a primary concern, most IoT security implementations have been planned, deployed and operated at the business-unit level in cooperation with some IT departments to ensure the IT portions affected by the devices are sufficiently addressed,” said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner.

“However, coordination via common architecture or a consistent security strategy is all but absent, and vendor product and service selection remains largely ad hoc, based upon the device provider’s alliances with partners or the core system that the devices are enhancing or replacing.”

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic