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TiTAN AI Robot uses facial and speech recognition to read your emotions and make suitable recommendations

By Zenobia Hegde

TiTAN AI Robot from TiTAN Platform™, a smart content and device company, not only responds to verbal requests (What’s the weather forecast? Did the Cubs win? Play Bob Dylan! Turn on the house lights!) but also gets visual (showing your calendar for the day, home security cameras, your BFF on a video call,streaming content and more). In addition, it can interpret your moods through facial and speech recognition and will make movie, music and food recommendations accordingly.

Key features include a voice assistant, video and audio streaming, voice calling, app monitoring, search, visual display, and connectivity to smart home “Internet of Things” (IoT) solutions such as digitally controlled lights, thermostat and home security systems. The device also includes a swivel base that allows it to follow user movement and offers multiple colour designs for personalisation.

In addition, the TiTAN AI Robot can be used to access and control the company’s new TiTAN Core all-in-one smart home and entertainment hubs. These whole-house gateways enable consumers to manage smart home systems as well as retrieve videos, music, podcasts, e-books, games, VR and other digital content from a single device for the first time, bringing never-before-possible simplicity to the connected home.

“TiTAN AI is helping us rethink how we use devices through smart interaction,” said Brian Eble, president/CMO, Titan Platform US. “The ability of the Titan AI to understand our moods and behaviours is a real game changer in the industry, providing recommendations on music, movies, devices and more to reflect our current lifestyle.”

TiTAN AI Robot will be available at shop.titanplatform.us and at select retailers in Q2 2018.

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IoT botnets will force governments to regulate IoT device manufacturers

By Zenobia Hegde

As IoT botnet attacks continue to grow in size and effectiveness in 2018, the damage they cause will force the IoT manufacturing industry to add stronger security to their products or eventually result in governments addressing IoT security with regulation, according to researchers at WatchGuard Technologies.

“The Mirai botnet showed the world just how powerful an army of IoT devices can be to launch successful, record-breaking DDoS attacks against popular websites like Twitter, Reddit and Netflix,” said Corey Nachreiner, CTO at WatchGuard Technologies.

While the number of IoT devices with weak or non-existent security, both in development and deployment, continues to grow, attackers have already started improving on the Mirai source code, which will mean larger and stronger botnets in 2018. For example, the Reaper botnet actively exploits common vulnerabilities in IoT devices to gain access to the devices instead of relying on a hard-coded credential list.

“Potential IoT device regulations will most likely affect manufacturers of consumer-grade IoT devices first, since the end users of these products don’t have the knowledge to secure their own devices,” says Nachreiner. “These regulations will probably mirror similar liability-oriented regulations in other industries, where the manufacturer is held at least partially accountable for flaws in their products.”

See the of WatchGuard predictions videos here.

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Western Digital Empowers Consumers to Take Control of Their Digital Content

By IoT – Internet of Things

Western Digital Corporation, a global data storage technology and solutions leader, recently launched My Cloud™ Home, a new personal cloud storage solution that empowers consumers to take control of their often-scattered digital content. With the My Cloud Home solution, consumers can easily aggregate all their photos, videos and files from their smart phones, computers, USB […]

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Face authentication and the future of security

By Zenobia Hegde

Apple’s iPhone X has given us a glimpse into the future of personal data security. By 2020 we’ll see billions of smart devices being used as mobile face authentication systems, albeit with varying degrees of security. The stuff of science fiction for years, face recognition will surpass other legacy biometric login solutions,such as fingerprint and iris scans, because of a new generation of AI-driven algorithms, says Kevin Alan Tussy, CEO of FaceTec.

The face recognition space had never received more attention than after the launch of Face ID, but with the internet now home to dozens of spoof videos fooling Face ID with twins, relatives and even olives for eyes, the expensive hardware solution has left many questioning if this is just another missed opportunity to replace passwords.

Face Recognition is a biometric method of identifying an authorised user by comparing the user’s face to the biometric data stored in the original enrolment. Once a positive match is made and the user’s liveness is confirmed the system grants account access.

A step up in security, Face Authentication (Identification + Liveness Detection), offers important and distinct security benefits: no PIN or password memorisation is required, there is no shared secret that can be stolen from a server, and the certainty the correct user is logging in is very high.

Apple’s embrace of Face ID has elevated face recognition into the public consciousness, and when compared to mobile fingerprint recognition, face recognition is far superior in terms of accuracy. According to Apple, their new face scanning technology is 20-times more secure than the fingerprint recognition currently used in the iPhone 8 (Touch ID) and Samsung S8. Using your face to unlock your phone is, of course, a great step forward, but is that all a face biometric can do? Not by a long shot.

While the goal of every new biometric has been to replace passwords, none have succeeded because most rely on special hardware that lacks liveness detection. Liveness detection, the key attribute of Authentication, verifies the correct user is actually present and alive at the time of login.

True 3D face authentication requires: identity verification plus depth sensing plus liveness detection. This means photos or videos cannot spoof the system, nor animated images like those created by CrazyTalk; and even 3D representations of a user like projections on foam heads, custom masks, and wax figures are rebuffed.

With the average price of a smartphone hovering around £150 (€170.58), expensive hardware-based solutions, no matter how good they get, won’t ever see widespread adoption. For a face authentication solution to be universally adopted it must be a 100% software solution that runs on the billions of devices with standard cameras that are already in use, and it must be be more secure than current legacy options (like fingerprint and 2D face).

A software solution like ZoOm from FaceTec can be quickly and easily integrated into nearly any app on just about any existing smart device. ZoOm can be deployed to millions of mobile users literally overnight, and provides […]

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Orange announces the Open Source release of its OCast software technology

By Zenobia Hegde

OCast is a software technology that allows you to use a smartphone to play videos on devices including TV set-top boxes, TV Sticks or TVs and control playback of the video (pause, fast forward and rewind, for example). Beyond video, OCast can also play and control slideshows, playlists and web apps.

The end user can browse and explore their content libraries via their preferred interface, either the screen on their smartphone or on their tablet. They can also watch their video content in the most convenient way – on their TV.

With a single application they can watch content on a mobile or tablet outside or on their TV at home – the best of both worlds.

All operators that offer TV access will be able to offer their customers a range of mobile applications to cast videos to their TV by including OCast in their set-top boxes. This is very easy and requires no specific development.

Developers of mobile applications that incorporate long videos will offer their customers, as well as VOD and SVOD content providers will be able to provide viewing greater comfort like that of the big screen TV.

Thierry Souche, senior vice president Orange Labs Services and Group CIO at Orange, said: “The release of OCast as open source software is a milestone in Orange’s technical strategy, enabling us to accelerate the development of these services available via the set-top box, as well as creating a virtuous circle with other operators to create a new video services ecosystem.”

This technology is now available as open source. The code is published without licence fees and with easy integration in operators’ set-top boxes and equipment, as well as in the applications of video service providers.

The operator retains control over the applications authorised to operate on their set-top box, which enables them to maintain and increase the content value chain.

Other operators have already started with the technology, starting with Deutsche Telekom, which has “tested the OCast technology already in the early stages and was convinced of its maturity and value proposition for the consumer,” according to Randolph Nikutta, Interactive High End Media leader at Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories.

Paul Molinier

Orange is joining forces with its subsidiary Viaccess-Orca, specialising in content management, distribution and security solutions, which will integrate this technology in its range of solutions for TV operators.

“We are delighted to support our TV operator clients in the implementation of this new technology by providing our content protection solutions (DRM) and more generally, our security expertise. We will enable them to extend the availability of their TV services offers to all screens, with an extremely quick turnaround time,” says Paul Molinier, chief executive of Viaccess-Orca.

Orange is proud to announce the Open Source release of its OCast software technology to give all operators and mobile application developers the opportunity to take advantage of these TV service and content developments.

Orange’s renewed collaboration with its subsidiary, Viaccess-Orca, is an important step for everyone involved in content security and protection.

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Intelligent Telematics makes senior management appointment

By Sheetal Kumbhar

Intelligent Telematics, the provider of connected camera solutions, has strengthened its senior management team to support the rapid growth of the business within the fleet, road transport and insurance sectors. Vince Cane has joined the company as operations director and will be responsible for managing all support and implementation processes to ensure the efficient delivery of 3G vehicle camera products and services to customers.

In his new position, Cane will be tasked with managing Intelligent Telematics’ day-to-day operations and ensuring the needs of a rapidly expanding portfolio of corporate clients are met. He will use a breadth of experience, spanning more than 25 years, to establish and maintain systems that make efficient use of account management, project management and technical support resources within the business.

Prior to joining Intelligent Telematics, Cane has had a variety of senior management positions for leading organisations within the telematics, fleet and vehicle hire sectors. Most recently, he was head of Enterprise Accounts at vehicle tracking specialist Ctrack where he was responsible for all project delivery, account management and retention of blue-chip customers. Before this he held roles at Reflex Vehicle Solutions, Pentagon Mercedes and UK Vehicle Rental (a Northgate group company).

Commenting on the appointment, Justin White, managing director of Intelligent Telematics said: “Vince brings considerable knowledge and expertise to this new role, which will help us achieve our strategic goals moving forward and support our growing global reach. We are committed to bringing together the right people that can drive the business forward and build on our position as the industry leader within the 3G vehicle camera marketplace.”

Intelligent Telematics’ IT1000 and IT2000 connected devices are the leading single and dual camera solutions for vehicle operations, providing increased protection against fraudulent insurance claims, false driving allegations and disputed liability. They use the most sophisticated 3G and 4G technology so that HD footage of any collision, near miss or harsh driving incident is captured and automatically transmitted within moments of it happening.

Unlike other systems in the marketplace, the videos and supporting data are uploaded to a secure server network with no user intervention required, making them the only truly effective connected vehicle cameras for First Notification of Loss (FNOL).

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Announcing AI Now 2017 in San Francisco, February 15-16

By Byron Reese

Since the coining of the term “Artificial Intelligence” in the 1950s, AI has always been the technology of tomorrow. For a while, it looked like it would always be the technology of tomorrow. But after enduring a number of “AI winters” we have finally arrived at “AI spring”. Artificial Intelligence is not only going to change everything, it is in the process of doing so right now.

Already the effects of AI on business are being felt. The tools that allow the power of artificial intelligence to be put to work in any enterprise are available, numerous, and quite affordable. No longer does a company need a large data science team to make AI work for them. And the tools are becoming more powerful every month.

It is against this backdrop that I am proud to announce an event we are putting on in San Francisco on February 15 & 16, 2017 called Gigaom AI Now. It is, as the name suggests, about how to use AI in your organization today. Some of the topics we be exploring include:

  • What enterprises can do to make sure they stay ahead of the curve
  • How companies not employing AI today can begin to do so
  • How different business units will use AI differently
  • Tactics for using AI for competitive advantage
  • How you can use AI to drive revenue and create better customer experiences
  • Ways to use your most valuable asset, your data, to move your business forward

In addition, we have announced six research reports about how to use AI today that will be released around the time of the event. These reports will cover a wide range of topics relating to AI and the enterprise, from AI platforms for IoT to using AI in sales and marketing. Our research reports are written by some of the best analysts in the industry and are designed to be concise and actionable.

The speaker lineup at Gigaom AI Now will primarily consist of practitioners, people who are using AI today, talking about ways you can implement AI in your organization today.

We are offering two types of tickets; both are heavily discounted for a while, until we announce more of the lineup. The first is a registration for the event itself. Normally $2995, right now it is $1495.

The second one is a VIP registration which includes all six of the AI reports, an invite to the special VIP dinners on the 14th and 15th, and a one-year membership to Gigaom Research, giving you access to our research library and event videos. The VIP registration, normally $4995, is being offered to you right now for $2995. Click here to register.

I hope to see you in San Francisco in February. These are exciting times in the world of technology.

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Education lessons from the AWS Pop-up Loft

By Jon Collins

As the AWS Pop-up Loft closes after its most recent two-week stint, I thought I would catch up with Ian Massingham, AWS Technical Evangelist, to see how it had gone. To explain, the ‘loft’ is the ground floor of Eagle House, a converted office block on City Road which runs up towards Kings Cross from the heart of London’s tech start-up scene, Old Street and the Silicon Roundabout.

The aim of the Loft — the clue’s in the term ‘pop-up’ — is to offer a temporary space to run an educational programme, aimed at organisations looking to use AWS technologies in anger. “It was never meant to be a long-term thing,” explains Ian. “We thought that by coming back periodically, we’d be able to connect with different cohorts of customers, at different points in their development.”

There’s an “Ask the Architect” (think: Genius) bar, a co-working space and a room for sessions. Booths for support teams and training partners, who are on call to ask questions. The single-track timetable has been filled with back-to-back sessions on a wide range of topics, from IoT to Machine Learning, from introductory to deep dive technical, from shorter to longer formats, aimed at a variety of audiences.

So, what were my take-away thoughts? Interestingly, these were less about the topics themselves, and more about how they were delivered. The model is simple: you register, you come, you learn, you have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in workshops, chalk and talk sessions and hackathons. It’s been intense, but that was the plan, says Ian. “We’ve learned a lot from previous pop-ups, on how to make the best use of people’s time.” Not least that the content — educational content, that is — is king.

While this may appear self-evident, less clear is the importance that should be attached to providing a diverse range of materials. “You need to create the right interaction channels for different types of customers. While a large base of our customers expect to self-serve, others will want full support. And similarly some like to read documents, others like videos, others like classroom training, it’s up to us to be ubiquitous, so people won’t get unhappy even if the majority of content is not directly appropriate to their needs.”

Secondary plus points concerned the location (“Yes, sure, the location is important, we’re right in centre of startup community”), the food (“Developers run on beer and pizza”) and so on but these were seen as hygiene factors for the pop-up.

Formal feedback has not been collated but the signs are good that the key goal of the event, to “get people productive on the platform,” was achieved. As, if not more importantly was that people got what they wanted and more. “I was just told, ‘This is great, I love it, it’s so convenient to engage with your architects.’ ”

The message, as I read it, was one that events of any size and scale could take away: whatever the format, make delivery of a range of excellent content, to fit a diverse audience, the primary goal. So, yes, context is important: nobody wants to travel to the back of beyond to attend an event of any form. But head and shoulders above this is the range and applicability of the content.

If this appears obvious, it begs a question — why do so many events, held in far more glitzy and dare I say, exotic locations (sorry, Shoreditch) tend to forget this simple, yet important truth? Like the software developed without regard for its users, so should events focus first and foremost on meeting the needs of their attendees. If Amazon Web Services, purveyors of online platforms that depend heavily on the self-service model recognise this, then so should everybody else.

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Bowie Police Department Chooses BodyWorn as its Body Camera Solution

By IoT

Utility, officially announced that BodyWorn is now the official body camera for the Bowie Police Department in Bowie, Maryland. The five-year agreement includes 55 BodyWorn™ units and 55 Rocket IoT™ units to provide the Department with state-of-the-art transparency and video management capabilities. The program is expected to be fully deployed by the end of June 2016.

“The decision to choose BodyWorn was made following a thorough evaluation process, which tested body camera products from numerous companies,” said John Nesky, Chief of the Bowie Police Department. “The evaluation process involved real world usage both on the street and in training environments. We have been testing different body cameras for quite some time, but BodyWorn scored higher in several areas including camera stability, recording visibility and video storage. Some of the more significant deciding factors for the Department were the system’s unique police-based recording triggers and the synergy between in-car and BodyWorn video made possible by the Rocket IoT system. A cost analysis also showed that it was one of the least expensive options. The technology and features coupled with the costs made BodyWorn our obvious choice.”

Deploying both BodyWorn and Rocket IoT enables the police department to automatically sync video captured from dashboard and BodyWorn cameras. With this standard feature, video from both recording systems can be managed at the same time on one platform, saving time and money and enhancing the way the Department accesses crime scene evidence. The scope of the five-year contract also includes front and rear in-vehicle cameras, a Rocket™ in-vehicle communications hub, a touch-screen tablet for vehicle use, Blauer external vest carriers, Utility’s state-of-the-art AVaiL Web Video Management Software and Mapping Interface License as well as Utility’s automatic redaction software Smart Redaction, which comes standard as an exclusive feature of BodyWorn™.

“Our goal is to provide law enforcement agencies with technology they can trust that truly meets the transparency needs of the 21st century,” said Robert McKeeman, CEO of Utility. “Having our BodyWorn in Bowie, Maryland is a testament to our team’s dedication to developing the best technology available on the market. We look forward to working closely with Chief Nesky as the team deploys BodyWorn and Rocket IoT.”

BodyWorn is a body camera embedded into the officers uniform that leverages the capabilities of a smart phone—unparalleled camera function, Wi-Fi connectivity, 4G LTE service and comprehensive Global Positioning System (GPS). The system uses a number of triggers to automatically initiate recording based on the department’s specific policies. These triggers include vehicle sensors, a built-in accelerometer and voice activation. Also, every BodyWorn™ system comes with the industry’s only automated redaction software, Smart Redaction™, as a standard feature at no added cost. Smart Redaction™ automatically identifies and blurs faces, body parts with identifiable tattoos, and other objects in a video to protect citizen and police officer privacy. This unique capability allows a police department to quickly and reliably redact video to respond to media requests. Manual labor cost and delay to redact videos is eliminated, which allows law enforcement agencies to maximize accountability and transparency.

For more information, visit www.utility.com and www.bodyworn.com.

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BodyWorn Features Now Immediate HD Video Playback, Real-Time Classification, and Voice-to-Text Notes

By IoT

The latest upgrade to the BodyWorn smart body-worn camera system is now available to instantly playback recorded HD video, classify video by retention categories, and enter notes via text entry and voice-to-text recognition. BodyWorn™ is the only body camera solution that can be configured to allow police officers to view recorded pieces on their body-worn device immediately after recording to improve the accuracy of incident classification.

“Our goal is to provide technology that enables police officers to work smarter. If a police department’s policy allows an officer to view recorded videos in the field, the officer can do so immediately in high definition on the BodyWorn™ camera screen,” said Robert McKeeman, CEO of Utility. “In today’s world, there is no reason for policy to be dictated by technology limitations. Therefore everything we do is focused on providing law enforcement agencies with the most advanced and customizable technology that can be trusted to reliably adhere to the Department’s video recording and playback policy choices.”

Historically, playing back video in the field would require officers to carry a second hardware device at all times, at significant additional cost and complexity for the police officer. The new BodyWorn™ feature allows officers to immediately watch BodyWorn™ recorded video in High Definition directly on their BodyWorn™ devices—should it be allowed by the Department’s video review policy. Whether or not the Department allows officers to view video before completing an Incident report, BodyWorn™ includes voice-to-text recognition and audio notes to make annotation fast and easy. This makes it easy to reliably capture information—such as license plate numbers, interview notes, witness names, and case numbers—that immediately becomes fully searchable and categorized in the video management system. Metadata such as video location, officer identification, and incident classification are immediately uploaded to secure cloud storage, where it is immediately available to Central Dispatch on a seamless and integrated basis.

These functions enhance the video classification process, making it easier for Departments to operate transparently and respond effectively and quickly to Freedom of Information requests and legal discovery production demands for body camera video.

As is typical with the BodyWorn™ software service, these additional capabilities have been made available to all BodyWorn™ customers at no additional charge.

“The BodyWorn™ system software is continuously being enhanced to ensure each officer is equipped with the smartest and most powerful technology for police officer safety, privacy, transparency, and accountability,” said McKeeman. “The Police Department does not have to buy new body camera hardware to get new features and capabilities, or wait years for the camera hardware to be replaced. The Department, of course, decides which features and capabilities to activate as part of their overall policy-based recording strategy. Our mission is to provide Police Chiefs and Policy Makers with the most up-to-date configurable technology so they can make policy decisions without being limited by the technology. BodyWorn™ works the way a Police Department chooses to make it work, every time.”

For more information about BodyWorn™ and its uniquely smart capabilities, visit bodyworn.com.

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