Things in IoT You Need to Know This Week: September 19 to 23

This week designers hope to bring IoT to Mars, humans find no shortage of ways to misuse NYC’s public street-corner Internet stations, and workers worry about privacy-rights in an IoT world. Plus, we provide the lowdown on how small businesses benefit from IoT, autonomous shopping carts, and more.

Maya Auguston

September 21, 2016

3 Min Read

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Finnish Start-Up Building a Backpack That’s Out of This World

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably know that Mars is the next major frontier of human space travel. IoT technology will likely play a major role in the success of these efforts, and Finnish start-up Tespack is trying to lend a hand by solving one major limitation of IoT technology, namely the need for long-lasting power sources that can endure extreme weather conditions. Doing away with batteries entirely, Tespack is developing a solar-powered backpack that will also use sensors to monitor conditions and astronauts vitals, writes ZDNet.

Someday Soon(-ish) Smart Carts in Walmarts

Walmart is proposing a high-tech solution to a low-tech problem—wrangling shopping carts. The retail mega-chain has taken out a new patent for self-driving shopping carts that would use some combination of sensors, motors, LEDs, and radio beacons to organize themselves, keeping them from piling up in the parking lot. They could also direct shoppers to items they need—and items that Walmart thinks they will want to buy. Per, this technology, if actually manufactured, could help Walmart boost profits, increase efficiency, and better leverage its employees.

NYC Discovers That Offering Free Internet Invites Abuse

New York City made free Internet universally accessible on its streets, proving in the process that no matter how much technology advances, people are still people. Since the beginning of the year, the city has worked with Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to install 400 internet-connected kiosks, which also function as Wi-Fi hubs. Some citizens, however, are putting this new-found connectivity to less than appropriate, yet very predictable, use.

With Arduino, Microsoft Looks to Remain an IoT Leader

Seeking to gain an edge on the competition, Microsoft announced that its Windows 10 IoT Core platform will now support Arduino Wiring, a coding language popular among IoT programmers. The move signals efforts at Microsoft to stay ahead of the curve, something it has failed to do in the past, says TechRepublic. An IoT Institute survey from earlier this year suggests that the company is already one of the top IoT firms.  

An Old Company Learns New Tricks

Self-correcting contact lenses, data collecting sensors in artificial joints, and new methods of continuous production are just a few of the ways Johnson & Johnson, the 130-year-old healthcare manufacturing giant, is using IoT to build smarter products, more efficiently.

Internet of Things’ Big Winners Could Be Small Businesses

With seemingly endless applications for IoT technology in infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, etc. big business appears the obvious beneficiary of the IoT revolution. USA Today argues, however, that it will be small business owners who see the greatest benefits from the technology.

Congress Gets on Board with Smart Office Technology, Sparking Worries about Privacy Rights

IoT-based workplace monitoring has the potential to make businesses more efficient and workers more productive. But as both houses of Congress embrace the technology,  some worry about the potential for intrusive worker surveillance.

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About the Author(s)

Maya Auguston

Maya Auguston graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2014 with an English degree and a keen interest in writing. Currently a freelance writer in the tech space, she has worked on a variety of platforms, from blogging and podcasting to writing scripts for videos. 

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