Ring's Video Doorbell allows users to see and speak with visitors to their home via a mobile device, no matter where they are ... and it's not just a pie-in-the-sky project. The company recently announced that it has raised US$28 million in Series B funding led by Sir Richard Branson, Shea Ventures and American Family Insurance.
Last month, security researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller made headlines when they remotely hacked a Jeep Cherokee, killing the transmission as a Wired reporter drove at high-speed down the freeway. But with cars representing only a subset of the Internet of Things, it's likely that many companies that had previously never considered whether their products were virtually as well as physically safe will similarly be responding to disclosures of exploits and courting future employees at hacker conventions in the future. Security researchers at DEF CON described the many attack surfaces of today's connected vehicle and pointed to potential improvements to protect consumers.
Devices like the Netatmo Welcome and Blacksumac Piper can provide a real-time video stream of your home, but they can only look in one direction. The newly-launched Branto Orb, however, can view a room in 360-degrees. It has a host of communications, security and home automation features.
Armored vehicles aren't typically the most luxurious, what with safety rather taking precedence. Vehicle conversion firm Lexani, however, has shown that this need not be the case. Its new B6-armored Toyota Land Cruiser both affords protection and boasts a host of fancy features.
Attempts to move beyond password authentication look to have just received a nice little boost, with interface-specialists Synaptics announcing its new Match-in-Sensor, billed as the first self-contained fingerprint matching device. The solution promises new degrees of security by isolating the entire process from a host device like your phone or computer, minimizing the chances of somebody else getting their fingers on your prints.
We may still be some way from having lifelike humanoid robot helpers,
but there's no doubt robots are getting more helpful, friendly and
domesticated. Blue Frog Robotics' new Buddy robot is designed to be an
affordable family companion. It can help with communications, home
security, edutainment and even elder care.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis and Berkeley have managed to miniaturize low-depth ultrasound technology to create a fingerprint sensor that can scan your finger in 3D. This low-power technology, which could improve on the robustness of current-generation capacitive scanners, could soon find its way to our smartphones and tablets.
After showing the world a prototype throwable camera in 2012, Bounce Imaging is sending 100 of its Explorer cameras to police departments across the US. The Boston-based company originally conceived the idea of a throwable camera in an attempt to improve safety for first responders, but quickly gained interest from police departments whose personnel are often forced to jump headlong into potentially dangerous situations without a clear picture of what they'll face.
The world is currently fixated on using combinations of letters and numbers
as passwords and PIN codes, but actually there could be a better way.
Whether you love them or hate them, emoji offer one possible alternative
to this standard, which could make passcodes both easier to remember
and harder to crack.
There are already external door-mounted cameras that stream video of visitors to users' smartphones, plus there are cameras that fit into existing door peepholes,
recording shots of visitors and displaying them on an LCD screen.
Peeple, however, is kind of a combination of the two. It peeks through a
standard peephole, and it transmits video of what it sees to your phone.