Episode 273: Ripple20 and Helium goes global


The. Hey, everyone, welcome, Tuesday, two hundred and seventy third episode of the Internet of things podcast. This is your host Stacey. Higginbotham and today's Co host is a special guest. Chris Albrecht tear from the Spoon Dot Tech. That's right. Kevin is taking a week off I I. Know Station. The man works hard Chris, and so Chris is going to be here as my co host today you may remember him from other co hosting gigs such as I. Don't know December's podcast. Episode to forty four. There was actually Kevin was sick and you did do this. Like sometime in February. Did Chris and I happened to be former colleagues. Actually Chris Kevin and I are former colleagues GEICO and we also Chris and I live on the same island. DANTON REDO! Okay, so today show. We have an awesome one for you. We're GONNA. Be Talking about the ripple twenty vulnerability. We've got an update on WHO's using Cova tracking APPS and who isn't some cool news out of MIT's see sale organization Intel has improved their robotech. Is We also have some? Horrifying, robot, news Hugh has some new bulbs. We've got some updates on events. You're going to want to hear about little bit of news about. Some dues about. store-bought routers and an update on national instruments that the show it is a packed show plus I'm going to have our guest Amir Halevy. Who is the CEO and Co founder of helium? We're GONNA. Be Talking all about Laura. Win Networks so fun plus some news. They've got coming out this week. You'll also hear from our sponsor Calix aunt. Let's take a moment now to hear from another one of our sponsors, very. Are you looking for an IOT development team? Who's been there done that varies award-winning full-service Iot development firm will work with you to deliver your Iot solution on time and on budget. Learn more at www dot very possible dot com. That's www dot, the e, R., Y., P. O. S. S. I.. B. L. E. DOT com. Okay Chris I. Know that in Your Day job. You've do actually report on a lot of connective things they just happened to be. But delivery robots. They're just appliances. All appliances grills some robot, all kinds of things. So you may not be up to date on the latest scary security story, it's a vulnerability called ripple twenty. It's vulnerability in a TCP IP stack. That was developed by a company called trick in Trek, basically made some of the underlying software that has to connect your devices to each other, and they did this. As far back. As the nineties, there are hundreds of devices that are running treks code base that is vulnerable to the ripple twenty malware. What's happened is trek. His actually fixed it. They have tried to reach out to as many vendors who are using their software as possible, but because this has been in use for over twenty years. There's a lot of software out there that they just don't know if it's running it or not, so the bottom line is if you have a connected device. This smart home devices this. Is GonNa? Be In medical devices is going to be all over the place you're GonNa want to check and see if you're running this trek code base, and if you are, you need to contact them. Get the updated code for them because they have patched it, and then you need to push patch to your devices. So. Yeah, well the heart. This right is because it's so old like people may not even know that they're running it right because it's been integrated into so many things that have been subsumed by other things, and then added to other things, and so it could be deep within a code base, and you're like. Oh! We didn't know we're running that exactly and here's where I get to make my plug for one of my favorite cybersecurity legislation things that we should make an effort to have in. That is as software bill of materials. We hear about this a lot like California has talked about it We've talked about it in federal cybersecurity re regulations, but basically this is a great example of why you need this. A software bill of materials basically says this device is running code from all of these other places. When you update it, you update your software bill of materials and if we had this. Anytime you bought a company. You would have a software bill of materials associated with all of their devices, and you could look for this particular vulnerability. So that's why this matters and it's going to matter a lot more going forward so just throwing that out there. So when you hear people talk about this, you could be like. Oh, now. I know why this is a big deal. With this I should also tell you. This is a pretty scary vulnerability. You know how Kevin and I usually talk about like is is really a big deal, Dini physical access to the device in this case, not all of the vulnerabilities. There's actually nineteen of them, not twenty as you might expect but nineteen of them. Some of them allow for remote access and control of a device, and that is the worst kind which means someone wherever they are in the world could get this over the Internet. You can access your device in the can take control of it and then control other devices on your network set. It's bad. Pardon me. This sounds like a a dumb question, but with this be sort of the benefit to your bill of materials like the idea of integrating blockchain into this so that there is more sort of traceability, because it's so hard like you know people back in the nineteen nineties. Creating this code had no way to predict. where it was going to go right? Oh, that's an interesting idea. I guess you could try to use the blockchain to I mean the software bill of materials is basically I mean it could be a word document. It doesn't even need i. mean seriously something other than a word document. Well I just wanted to set the bar really low. It could be a text file there. It is much rather type in that I'm trying to think of how you could do it. On the blockchain I'm sure you could, and then it could be automated, and that would be really sweet, but I feel like that's kind of hard, so we just really went up. You'd like to just send a text. It's so manual at this point. Right like just the idea that this I think back to the nine days. Right I mean you were? Your way younger than I am Stacey, so you not remember the ninety s like I do, but Ninety S, you know we had no we I was my. You know my first introduction to the Internet on the facts system, which is like way different. You know the idea that what it is now, ob. I'm not saying anything new or groundbreaking. But the idea that you're developing. It's probably more ingrained now that you're not just developing for this year, but you're developing for years from now for certain things, but you know I don't. I don't know if that was David wasn't as robust and industry back in the nineteen nineties. That's true I. Think having something that makes this more automated is great, but the standard. The bar is so low that I think even being able to like. To a Google search in like your documents is probably more than most people have so all right. Let us move on to what is an ongoing story which is hey, is anyone using tracking apps? Is anyone going to deploy the Cova tracking APPS, so? We talked about apple and Google. PUSHING OUT A. firmware update so they will allow. They're not calling it. Contact tracing anymore. They're calling it exposure notification. It's it's this idea that you would have an APP on your phone. That could use your Bluetooth to securely. Say Hey. This Bluetooth signal came in touch with this Bluetooth Signal, and now we're GONNA. Let that person know that the the thing. The person that came in touch with was infected with covid nineteen, and there's all kinds of ways to make sure that this preserves privacy. Don't actually know who's hanging out with whom. But. People been kind of freaked out about it and. For these things to be effective, you also need a lot of people like more than sixty percent of people, actually using the APPS and being able to communicate their status with each other, and that's apparently not happening. Do you think this is a case of people freaking out about it or people being apathetic about it. I think it's people being apathetic I i. know that we're all. We're Alec but privacy, but I think most people are I mean again, even in Singapore which people were like. This is the best APP. Like fewer than actually I think it was about twenty to twenty, five percent had actually downloaded so. Look! I'm all in on helping stem this pandemic right? To have plateaued, and we're just trying to I. Guess Live with it now or whatever, but I had no, I, I have no idea if I should download it what APP. What's it called? What's the official one to make sure I'm getting the right one? How widespread do I need to use it? Because I live in a pretty rural area that up until recently you know had pretty low transmission rates like so many other things I would have liked some guidance on this. You know because I. I'd love to help out but I know where. Where to begin, it may come later I. Part of me feels like this is a little. These sorts of stories are little early. Because the way Google and apple rolled this out is they rolled out the capability, but they wanted hospitals and public health organizations to build the APP so they could give you guidance for example Chris, but what's happening is states that were originally enthusiastic like California have now. They're like. Maybe we're not going to do that. So only. Three States Alabama Dakota in south. Carolina are GONNA. Use the apple Google software so far. In everybody. Else's just like yeah. I think we're just going to hire some people to do actual contact tracing as opposed to exposure notification. So that's what they're doing up here right like they have sixteen hundred people or something. Don't they do that in here in, WASHINGTON? Yes, they do. They have I don't know how many people they've hired. But yes, that is. That is how they're doing it up here, so we'll see I think what's going to happen. IS WE'RE GONNA? Hit a point when bull need both things. And they'll be good for different aspects of the thing, but we'll see so so it but. To your point if it is going through healthcare providers just make sure you have a good copywriter doing the email introducing it right because I get so many notifications like how we're fighting covert, and always has the same thing and so i. would you know you need to be a little more? Hit the nail on the head. When you let me know, hey, hey, dumbed them. Download this. That's how Chris would like his APP. Everyone, take note. Hey dum-dum downland! Noted speaking of Cova Mit's computer, science and artificial intelligence lab see sale. They have done some updates to a program that they've built that allows you to monitor patients not with sensors, but using disruptions in the environment that they're so every device that you have all of your Wifi. All of that is. Sending out radio waves, and when you move through those radio waves. It creates a disruption and computers can be trained to see that, and it's kind of like bats, except using echo-location, except it's your router using radio waves, and we're getting this capability right now at home routers, but they're using it to actually monitor people in retirement homes at hospital environments to see if someone has fallen. And now they're talking about being able to individually identify people which is crazy to me, so it's not just like this giant bag of salt. Water is moving around the room now. They're going to be able to say Chris or Stacey. Is this particular bag of saltwater? I guess I wasn't too surprised by this I mean ten years ago I was writing about comcast putting cameras in their cable boxes. That would be able to identify people just based on their basic shape I. think right and so the idea that this has gotten a bit more precise and. I know. I understand how I know. What I'm saying is the idea of identifying people just in the way that they exist as people in the real world like to your point like in this will also look like your gate, and how you walk and be able to identify you. Privacy measures all included in here. I mean this is actually I mean it's really cool, but it also you know reinforces. That were always sort of bathing in low amounts of radiation all the time Oh man Chris now people are going to send emails okay. The cool thing about this is they in? This is a small training set, but they were able to identify people after less than ten seconds physical activity, so your walk the way you breathe. All of that is an identifier that they could use, and I know that we've talked in past shows about things like the Department of Defense. Using lasers and using them to measure people's heartbeats from several feet away. This just falls into that category of things that wow, you can be tracked doing anything. Like again your own. Just your own being as you live and move in the world is your identifier. Everything that is, that makes up the wonderful you, also you know the most important person in the whole wide world is you and now everybody knows you for those people who remember that commercial from long ago everybody is an individual and special, and they all have their special way of being identified. Yeah, it's Kinda, creepy I'll be honest, but the other thing that's cool about this is because they can do it all remotely. Even detecting things like breathing rates, they can actually in a cove in nineteen situation they can monitor someone without ever going into the room, which is both really dystopia, and because you're like this person alone in a room, but it would be good for like healthcare providers in isolation so. Hey, let's talk about robots Chris. Okay, let's. Robots. Intel has some news today Chris. You WanNa, talk about it. Yeah, so they've released a new version of their real sense of depth cameras, so this allows for computer vision to sort of see farther and better in Three D., which obviously has a lot of applications, if you think about autonomous robots like starship robot that navigates city streets, and looks around, as it's carrying Burritos from restaurant to your front door just to bring it back to. To the the topic that I write about what tell me more about the starship robot. Does it only deliver burritos? Oh, well, you know it's. It's a small cooler sized robot on six wheels That's an autonomous little delivery mechanism right and they were originally on college campuses throughout the past year from starship, but colleges have closed down so they've pivoted to start making regular city deliveries. They toot around on sidewalks and avoid people there actually the. The one thing that I thought about what this was There's another company in Detroit called refraction, and they make a rugged three wheeled rev one autonomous robot that can go bike lanes, so it's faster than the starship, but their whole thing is that they have these stereo cameras can see much better and especially in inclement weather they're able to navigate like snow and rain and do so quickly so I I read. I immediately started thinking about this. This with this real sense, death camera, and the improvements made to it, because these type of autonomous vehicles that need to navigate the real world need to be able to do so through computer vision, and they need to be able to see well to avoid obstacles to get out of the way of people, then just travel safely before they can be adopted and used on a wider scale Gotcha and it's not just for delivering burritos. Industrial Iot Rise on the types of robots it can be everything from lakes, using computer vision to help a pick and place machine by pick the right part and place it in the right spot. People are using computer vision for like flair detection in oil and gas. This is a dangerous thing to do, but if you have a person trying to do it, and they get bored easily. It's a problem, even y'all even KIA uses computer vision to test actually light bulbs so when I was in it a factory. Factory know. Thy Kia tests laps. That's what it was in Elmhurst. They had computer vision tracking. Basically how light Bulb Burns because it's pretty boring to be a person watching the lightbulb all day long. Actually they don't watch it all day long. They come back every every couple of days to check in on it well, also, if you think about like just to bring it back to food, which is what I write about. If you think about cashier, let's check out stores like the Amazon Echo. which rely on computer vision right the ability to see products and individual them so that their algorithms understand what's being picked up and carried or even like dominoes. There's a system called dragon tail, which basically bounce a camera as a pizza is coming out of the oven. And it shows whether or not the pizza was made properly cooked properly, and then as boxed up. So that you the user can look at it and go like Oh. My pizza just came out of the oven. And now it's on its way, which is going to have actually some more importance as people sort of navigate a post covert world, and they want to make sure their food has been handled properly, but just computer vision is everywhere. Speaking of computer, vision and robots. Nightmares, y'all Boston Dynamics is now going to sell anyone their own spot robot for seventy, four thousand five hundred dollars place my order today Oh. My Gosh, I will run run. I'm sending down to your house. It's GonNa Trot on over and just sit and walk back and forth in your driveway. Yes, so spot is in if you're not familiar and it doesn't actually this literally Hans, my nightmares, if y'all don't know who it is. This is the robot. It used to be called big dog. It's terrifying, so just know that that's out there. There's one of these. Patrolling Park in Singapore making sure people socially distance. There's attachments that let it open doorknobs, which is totally a mistake is just terrifying all right? You guys combined. We're not gonNA. Get One I'm not going to buy one. Instead I'm buying a new house. But what if it brought you burritos? Even, still no no I will not trust it. There's no there's no hold on that. There are New Hue light bulbs out Gill. This is Philips Hue. Color Changing light bulbs. They've got the tune -able whites, one of the first in the space. The biggest news for people for fans of you is that they're going to have a new bigger brighter light bulb. It is only going to be a white bulb. But it is going to be equivalent to a hundred watt bulb as opposed to current bulbs, which are about sixty watts and I feel like he. A lot of people complained that they are very dim sixty watt bulb so. If. You really want a lot of late. It's coming for you now. It's going be a slightly bigger bulb as well. It's not a nineteen format that we all know in love. It is going to be an a twenty one format. Don't know if you care. They also are updating their hue light strips, and this is really cool. The new one is going to be called the Hue Lights Plus and it will have Bluetooth so you can actually control it from like a google or an Amazon device without. Having the Hugh Bridge in the late strips are just super fun adding pop of Color, everywhere. And they're going to also update their bloom table lamp which I don't really care about. It's going to be there. So speaking of Hugh is part of my I moving and I realized I. Don't have the proper cans and my ceiling. Install my old huby our thirties. And I was like Oh Christie want my old Hughes. That'd the balls. Were you know there were at the time? They're like forty bucks a pop, so this is a lot of expensive gear as you're going to have to buy your own hut. Though in Chris was like man I. Don't want it. Well okay one. You're making it sound like the only reason I didn't take. Them was because I was too cheap to spend sixty dollars in the hub, which is not the case. Okay? Well. No, and you said you said I just don't think I'd use them and I'm like. How could you not use color changing light bulbs that you can control with Amazon or Google when I thought about it because I thought Oh, I could use it in our den, and might be kind of neat, but then I started thinking like Oh. You know like I struggle with the connected. Connected Lights. Sometimes, we have one set up in one of our rooms and it it works well, but the and this is going to make such a Luddite, but like or get off my lawn, old man, but like to get into the room. I WANNA go into I. Literally have to walk past the light switch, and so adding voice seems like it's going to take longer than just hitting a light switch as I. Walk in what about when you leave the room and you want to turn off the light because you left it on, or your child lifted on. Well now when you bring up my child and needing turn off lights. That's a whole other can of worms and something that we are currently teaching about. Hey, when you leave a room, turn out the light, but yet you know like I am not anti smart home at all, but just in this particular instance like the lights to me. Just don't ever make sense because if I'm going to if I. Want the lights on I want them in the room that I'm going to be in and I. Know There are things that you can do in terms of like when I'm gone leaving the house, you know, have a modest schedule or do whatever, but for this I just didn't i? Didn't see even though they were free. Even though you're giving them to me. Like I was like. Oh, it's going to be more. It's worth and if I do have to get a hub and set that up and I was like it's just one more thing. Yeah, all right. That's okay. I told Kevin Incentive to him so, but Kevin will use them Kevin. will use them all right. Super Fast News updates for you. If you don't know already wwltv apples, WW D. C. Worldwide developers conference. It's going to be virtual and it's GonNa be on June twenty second is so next week. Show will be able to talk about all the cool stuff that they launched i. That we're GonNa see something hopefully about tracking. The tracking of with your phone and other devices. Maybe we'll see some cool home kit capabilities I don't know. The other piece of news is the day after that so on June twenty third wise is GonNa. Make a big announcement. We talked about and wise has got so many products and development right now is going to be. The doorbell isn't going to be something completely different. Who Does so look forward to that next week and then in? Tiny News Goule is counter suing. Sonos we talked about so no suing Google for patent infringement and the idea was. Sonos looks like Hey. We talked to Google. We talked to Amazon, and they basically stole our patents rate to build their own smart speakers that respond in the room in Sonos, originally just sued Google. It didn't have the money to sue a bunch of people. Namely Amazon and Google so picked one now. Google is countered suits on us for patent infringement. This is pretty normal. Losses saying that SONA says infringing Google Patents Mesh Networking, Echo, cancellation, dram, content, notifications and search. I'm struggling on a lot of these but it's pretty common in these types of lawsuits so. We'll keep an eye on this it's it's big players behaving badly ecosystem, so that can I ask a question on this real quick. Because I haven't followed Sonos in a while I got rid of all. My Sonos is so I'm just wondering. Is this sort of I? Don't WANNA say last ditch, but is it just sort of a wild swing for Sonos to sort of regain? Footing relevance or something you know what I mean like to to hang on. Yes, no I. Think it's probably a chance for them to get some extra licensing revenue like yes gutless that perspective, but I don't doubt that in working these partnerships with Google and Amazon. That Sonos did give up a lot of information I also think. The way these things go, usually Amazon or Google will say hey. You will work with one of us. And that is it in Jonas's like no. We're working with both of you and you're just. GonNa work this out and I think this is part of the working out is Google's been dragged its heels a little. So this is this is basically an attempt to get some more power in leverage in a tough situation. Okay. Little Tiny WIFI story. None of Y'all will be surprised because most of you are probably buying your own routers probably Wifi six riders the American Customer Satisfaction Index They survey about one hundred eighty thousand customers every year, and they basically hey, you know what if you go to best buy or Amazon and you buy your own router. You're going to be happier than you would be. If you bought it from your ISP or rather rented it from your eyes be, and this should not surprise. Anyone is p. based hardware is usually not awesome. Just because they're just like. Throw it out there. Comcast is exception to that. They've really been investing in their WIFI. Actually are advertiser later on the show, they sell to small service providers. They talk a lot about how. They're actually pushing higher quality routers to people, but mostly if your ISP sells you a router, it's not awesome, so you should go buy it from the store for now. I have an ISP Modem, but I got my own router right. Just because it was easier, but router tissue by Google WIFI Oh see they don't support Wifi six and they won't for a while because their latest generation did not support it. Really we'll see this is why come on this show so I could tell you routers not wifi compatible. I gotta get a new router. You can wait we. We tell everybody. If you're not in the market right now, you're not suffering, but the next router your by. Make sure it's Wifi six compatible. Oh, I will do that Chris like of course in industrial Iot News National Instruments, a company that is near, and dear to my heart, because I've covered it for. Twenty, years it's an Austin based company Awesome Company, and I was growing up I'm sure any of y'all who are engineers probably have some NFL gear hanging around. My Dad did so N. I is now changing its name from national instruments formerly to N. I and they also change their business model in the way. They kind of structure themselves a little bit. They are now instead of selling just tested measurement gear. They're selling overall systems. Because that's what customers what and this is part of like the is not growing, and as it grows, more people are getting involved Ed. They want to really meet the market where the demand is. So they say they're taking less of a B. Two B. Approaching more of a consumer approach and yeah consumer. If you're like a really nerdy engineer, but yeah and I should also say. I'm excited about this, but they're really trying to sell this idea of the Engineers Superhero so I'm looking forward to see what they do. They're promising like new content interviews. Possibly podcasts about like how people are building stuff. So I think that'd be neat will look for that Okay Hey Chris now you see, it is time for our favorite section. This is the Iot podcast hotline which is brought to you by shake the best home automation ads convenience not hassle with its built in Wifi Schley in Code Smart Wifi deadbolt shows you just how easy secure can be, you can learn more. It's league that come. And if you want to win a Schley luck, all you have to do is give us a call at five to six, two, three, seven, four, two four, and ask us a question, and then you'll be entered to win. Actually I should say y'all the month of June. I don't know if everyone's like. Or maybe you're out in your. RV's, but we are not getting a lot of calls, so your chances are really good, so call us. Ask US your questions. This week's question comes from Freddie. Who has a question that came as let's hear it. Hi Kevin Stacey Freddie here from San Francisco and I have a question about privacy with cameras I have some home security cameras in my house and I would like them to not only turn off when I come home, but also turn around and face. The Wall is little creepy to have a camera looking at you even if it's turned off. Currently I'm using live. CAMPAN's and the I. T T system to turn them off with GEO location, but I can't make them automatically turnaround. Any luck with something like this or should I just invested in different camera? Thanks love the show. ooh, cave ready. I wish I had better for you. But other than some devices like the Lenovo Google, assistant display has a slider that can physically cover your camera which I don't think is what you're after. If you're GONNA, have a camera in your house. You probably GONNA. Have your camera facing you when you come home. I don't have cameras in my home for. This reason in your rate with the WII cam you can and other cameras. You can have them turn off automatically when you come home, but what you're trying to do with the wise panchem sounds awesome sounds feasible, but so far no one has been able to do it. You could buy a new camera one with physical shudder. But I don't know of any automated physical shuttering devices rate now. The other option. is to stick with wise input feature request because they do listen to their audience. That a final option is to lake hack together some sort of box that physically will come down over your camera, and then we'll lift, but that's going to require lake. On our twee, no subserve owes and all kinds of other gear so. I'M GONNA throw this open to everyone in the audience. If you'll know of a camera that does is if you have hacked together some way to physically. Shut off a camera in make. Basically. Not Look at you when your home. Let me, know Chris. Do you have any ideas? All my security cameras are polaroid, so they just take instant photos. WHOLE DIFFERENT ISSUE! No I can totally relate. It is creepy, but I you know I. Don't have A. I don't have a solution for that. Normally I wouldn't I don't know. The idea of a camera mounted in my ceiling. At some point. Looking down is not appealing to Mir. I'M GONNA. Go ahead and say anybody in my family. Yeah I. Don't have indoor cameras for precisely this reason, but you know some other options are I'm trying to think of I. I'm sitting here thinking like okay. If you put your camera on a Roomba, and then you can have the room to come out when your whole you know you're not home, but these are these are not easy, or these are silly options so. the Amazon robot that Butler remember. Those all everybody was buzzing about last year. There's a there's been a bunch. There's like the Gebo, and then there's the how cosmo and there's some adorable ones. None of them have. Come out well. No I know. I was just like a you. Guys are talking last year about the Amazon would follow you around Oh. Yeah, Kevin had something called the on key that did follow him around. Oh, he. Oh, that sounds like a Kevin Yet the company behind it. They had enough selling them, and yeah. They licensed by P, but no one knows the FUNKE's survive. Yeah, BOO, okay well. That concludes the Iot podcast hotline segment remember if you would like to be entered to win a Ashley Lock and right now the odds are very in your favor. Give us a call at five, one, two, six, two, three, seven, four, two, four and choose a winner at the end of this month. A right, that's it for this segment of the show, but please stay tuned for our sponsor, and to hear from our guest Amir Hallam, who is the CEO and Co founder of helium. He's going to be talking about a new device from the company and how to earn some sweet sweet helium network Tokens Woo. Hey everyone, we are taking a quick break from the Internet of things podcast for a message from our sponsor this week. Sponsor is Calix and I have Pam Ferguson here from Calix here to talk to us. Let's get started with. Can you tell me a bit? About Calix I'd love to Stacey. Calix is a provider of cloud software, systems and services run a mission to assist service providers of all sizes, delivering amazing experiences in the home on future, proofed and a Thomas. Fiber networks I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation with you today on our revenue edge Lucien. Your listeners can learn more about it at Calix. Dot Com slash revenue edge. When most of us think innovation, we jumped to the big retail brands but Calix believes that service providers can be just as innovative. Is that really true? Absolutely, Stacey. The sources of innovation for the connected home seemed to be shifting. Consumers can start thinking differently about their options. Now that we're getting past early adopter phase well, some people love to tinker with their home. Networks like used the vast majority are really more interested in having it. It just work. Subscribers can now look to their service providers as a source of innovation inspiration for a fully managed experience, their service providers already moving onto their second generation Wifi six dilutions as an example, an awesome example of that from your home state of Texas GTC. They have been delivering our blast ultimate WIFI experience to their subscribers for almost a year. GTC has gone out of their way to wrap. Awesome managed experiences around their. Their Premium Wifi, offering their leading their markets by elevating the subscriber experience and removing the need for their customers to look the big box stores for the latest in innovation. Do you think consumers will see eye piece as something, essential and important to the vitality of their communities I do, Stacey? We're seeing daily examples of service providers to help in these unusual times with offers ranging from free installations for students learning from home to extending services. Services for those who are unable to pay their bills to setting up free WIFI hot hotspots across their area for those without any service at all, even as many states move onto different stages of this pandemic, one thing will not change these service providers have become essential to the vitality of their community communities, and Calix is proud to enable them fix, Pam. Can you remind people where to go to find out more information about Calix? Thanks Stacy if their service provider they can go to Calix dot com slash revenue edge if they are in consumer and want to learn more better. Awesome blast WIFI sticks systems. They can check out last Wifi DOT com a site. We created to help consumers. Offerings and direct them to whatever nearby customers. Hey everyone welcome back to the Internet of things podcast. This is your host Stacey Higginbotham. Today's guest is a mere helene who is CEO and Co founder of Helium Hello Amir. How are you today? I'm well, thank you. Thanks for thanks for having me. Oh Man, I am excited I. Feel like we've been talking about helium. Stop here at the podcast and on the newsletter, so we probably should kick it off with telling everyone just a little bit about what helium trying to do. Yeah! I'm glad that you've been talking constantly. I always always appreciate that, but helium is a temp to build. A people owned low power wide area network since our inception years ago have always had this belief that the existing wireless infrastructure that that we have today I really not those suited for Iot as low power. Internet of things devices We've seen things. Come and go over the years including efforts of our own, but the problem still remain two or three years. Years ago, we decided that we would sort of read. Look at how to solve this problem. Effectively from a blank slate, so what we came up with was this sort of decentralized distributed wireless network that is owned by the people. There's really no intermediary. No trusted party anywhere involved in this process, and the result is almost like a utility. It's like a problem with wireless network that anyone can use where the economic settlement the packet routing and everything else is is handled by Underlying peer to peer network and blockchain. Awesome I've been thrilled about being decentralized networks. I'm going to say probably for the last decade I've just like Oh this is where we need to go. It's scalable if we could build an accountability. That's necessary allows everyone to participate. But you actually did this for maybe a slightly different reason, one of the challenges with low power networks is the economic model and I'd love for you to dig into why you chose to make helium available via this kind of utility model in this shared utility model. Quite honestly, it is the only way to do it for these low-power kinds of devices right, so if you think about the way, wireless networks exist today, right like if he's thought about you know at and T.'s lt network over rising or to any carrier worldwide Vodafone NTT whatever you want. They're all built in roughly the same way, which is that single entity? There's all the cost of. Of building the network, the real estate, the hardware, the ongoing maintenance, and that sort of okay right, because you've got things like iphones and Android by whatever using the network that are happy to a hundred hundred and fifty two hundred dollars to use those networks, and so you could sort of imagine recouping the cost of the infrastructure, because the device is using the network or actually generating. Revenue for you right in the low power world. Get is completely different to that the infrastructure cost similar, but the difference is on the device side are substantial right there instead of having a iphone, which is paying one hundred, hundred fifty two hundred dollars. You instead have a air quality center that wants to pay a dollar a year right and so the economics of building the networks and the traditional way don't really work for this and we've seen this play out over and over again. Every example sick Fox I think is which is another sort of low power. Power wireless network operator is now pulling out of the US market entirely because this model just doesn't work, we've seen NTT in Japan they are shutting down there and the Iot network which is sort of the cellular equivalent of a low power network. Because there's there's no way for them to make any money on it. The problem is the economic model for both the operator, and the user just doesn't work in the traditional way. I don't think any traditional operator could could do quite the way that we've done it. Okay so. The way you've chosen to go about doing this is. GonNa I'M GONNA break it into two parts that I think the most significant you launch the helium router, which is this piece of hardware I know that you guys were not excited about getting into the hardware business, but you launch this router, and that allows me to set up these hot spots that are important to your network, and then you also switched it up a little bit. You had your long five protocol that you were using and you brought in Laura Win, which is a little bit more open, a little bit more widely available and I'd love for you to talk about the into those two things had on I. Guess the network and how that relates back to your business. Yeah we! We thought it was. Important to build the hot spot, so the the router product that you. and. I probably we sell the helium hotspots. and. You're right like we weren't particularly excited about having to manufacture their selves, so we also thought it was important that. Practically anyone could participate in the network and that meant that the user experience of setting up deploying a wireless access point was significantly better than it has been in the low power space like if you thought about sort of a consumer Wi fi device, you know Google Wifi kind of set up. Those I, think done a very good job of making it easy to set up, but if you contrasted it with what it was set up Laura Gateway as an example like you couldn't have any more of a different experience between setting up, Laura Gateway and Eero Home Wifi. And we just didn't believe that you could build a large network if the user experience of setting up the access points with as bad as it currently is. And so we basically took the technology that is inside traditional Laura Gateway and built a very nice user experience around, and we tried to make it a so simple that practically anyone could figure out how to do it. Because of complexity hiding the complexity, so we think we did a pretty good job. We have something like seven hundred thousand square miles of network coverage being created by caught spots today in the United States we're over thousand city. I know over three and a half million packets. Are transmitted over the network already and I. Think all of it is only possible because we made it that easy for people to deploy devices, okay and one of the big pieces of news that you're announcing today is that you're actually expanding from the United States into Europe. So do you want to talk a little bit about what that means and how that's going to happen? So we started this in August of last year, and we were sort of deliberate and careful about our initial rollout, we made the hotspot only available to customers that live often the first hundred and fifty of the hot spots and a lot of different reasons why we thought that that made sense at the time we wanted to be a little bit careful about the rollout, because there's GONNA entirely new products both from the hardware side, but also blockchain side, and like all of the underlying machine, and I lived there on the blockchain which. Which is extraordinarily complicated, so we limited at the start. We then rolled it out to the rest of the country. You know Tober. Of last year we sent out of Canada so as I mentioned like the coverage area is, we think at least seven hundred thousand square miles it could be larger, but in that period of time we both had a lot of requests from potential customers in Europe. As you probably know, and I'm sure your listeners know Europe in some ways is ahead of us here in the states in terms of. IOT adoption, and perhaps though and almost certainly so the cryptocurrency side, so we are. Sort of launch this in Europe. We were excited about seeing what would happen in Europe. We made this available. We're now ready to make that store available, so it goes live on Thursday June eighteen. You know I'm optimistic because I. Think what I've seen over the years of doing this adoption of Iot. Particularly in industrial applications in Europe has far exceeded that. That of of those in the US dummy with you happen to your like we've. We've had great success in the US so far and and hopefully continues jerk. Yes, it is exciting, so you've got your network here. You've got it in Europe, and now we're GONNA. Go back to this idea of selling hardware, because I know you didn't want to do it. And get. You're GONNA do it again, so you've also announced something called taps to unexplained what that is! Yeah Tabs is our version of a consumer tracking products, so you can think of it as a helium powered version of something like tile or perhaps apple's impending tracking product. If they ever released the thing, it seems to have been leaked for years already what we're trying to do with TAB is really not compete with those products that I mentioned that we were making a full far into the location tracking business, but we did think it was important for especially hotspot host sort of have an appreciation, or at least an example of what kind of application could be from top of the network. I, think one of the things that has happened in Iot over the years due to a lack of ubiquitous networks existing there really aren't that many consumer products right? You could imagine there would never be an iphone or anything like that if it wasn't a cellular network already and the it space sort of feels like that. Most of the applications are industrial in nature, because most of the networks are localized in nature right there are lots and lots of Marlon networks that are specific to A. Factory or a hospital or still at the or whatever it is because that's where the applications live, and there was nothing else for them to use so typically they built their own network. We lots and lots of companies that have done that that the wants to do that. That's just the way that it had to deploy so now there is a much more public network in. In the form of helium, Lee, wanted to show people what you could actually go this way, and so have is actually a piece of hardware that we didn't build. This is a pre existing piece of hardware on the market that is an oem sort of white label thing that we decided to take and build a nice looking user experience around, so there's an Iowa in an android. ANDROID APP. The hardware is quite nice. It's sort of cute little leather strap on it and the real difference between something like tile or apple's product or anything else on the market that it has ranged. That is very very different from something like a Bluetooth tracker. Right with tile familiar. The range is roughly whatever the range of Bluetooth is. Whatever the range of anyone else within range. Range of and that is usually something like ten twenty thirty feet. There were Selo trackers on the market which have substantially larger range in that at the same range as your cell phone, but the downside with those products is that usually have terrible battery life? Usually on the order of days you know like one two three days and you usually have to pay some kind of cellular. Subscription fee right so the usually like a ten dollar fifteen twenty dollars a month to use those things. With tabs. There's absolutely fee the battery life is on the order of at least months. I haven't charged mine here that I've been using Tober last year, and it's still working fine, so I don't know exactly what the battery looks like other than that. It seems to be quite good. and the range is very different from something like tile. You might get eight ten plus miles away from any hot that around. You still have location tracking information. It's pretty cool. It's very very different. You can use it to track a car dog. Person Item whatever you want. Told can figure both through our mobile APP which would be available when they ship, and we're only making it available today too hot spot, but we really wanted to use this. As an example of what can be built rather than a fully-fledged tracking product so there we'll see how this goes, and we may or may not decide to do something more elaborate in the future, but that's what we're. That's what we're launching on Thursday. The hotspot owners out. There is a tab there we're showing for. For forty nine dollars a piece you can buy most ten of them person we, we only have a limited supply of them, and we expect them to go quickly, and we'll see how it goes from there demanding Europe. Maybe we'll do European version if there are feature requests. Maybe we'll think about doing another spin of the hardware. WHO KNOWS WE WANNA? So at least put it out there that they're actually useful and good consumer products that could be from top of IOT networks like this. Okay and with the Tabs I have a tab I plan on popping it in my husband's car because I can see where my tesla is, but I don't know where he is. I got US permission. It's okay, but I'm very curious. Since I've got a hot spot. It has seven hundred and thirty five helium network tokens in there. How does this actually how is this going to work? In terms of how I'm providing data for the TAB and let's say he goes to someone else's helium hotspot. How does how does that exchange actually work? Exchange it's going to happen is going to be handled by US so when you buy tabs, you are or should say we are contributing all of the data credits that you would need to pay for the tabs for life as part of the purchase for other devices. If you personally were building your own sensor or you developing, or you're doing something yourself, you would need to acquire data credits to use the network right so on our network. We have two different currencies effectively. We Have H. N., T. which is. Is the token that you were talking about. which is what you earn as a hotspot host, and then you have data credits, which is what you use as a as sort of device, creator or device owner, and so the way it works is that when you use a hot spot to send data to inform the Internet. You have to pay that hot right? You are the network operator and you need to get paid until that happens in the form of data credit, those data credits sort of resemble xbox. xbox live points, aws compute credits or airline miles, or however you WanNa think about it, but they are stable currency that has a fixed value can only really be used to transfer data, so it's not really like a cryptocurrency. It's not volatile or speculative in any way, and then when you use. Someone talked about data to and from the Internet. They earn more H. N. T. as a result of that, so if you had a hotspot sitting there and your neighbor had a sensor that they were built they. They had built. It was constantly sending and receiving data you. They would be paying you effectively to use your hot spot. and that's part of the incentive for operating hotspot. You are a sort of network operator and you get paid, both in the form of owning agent teacher mining, but also when devices actually use your hot spots in the case of tabs, you'd have to worry about any of what I just said. And he'll you mean 'cause you know covering all of the cost of tabs for life. So what the heck am I gonNA, do with my my seven hundred, some odd helium network tokens again. At least one thing that you can do with them, which is sell data credit so anyone who needs right so part of what you can do with the network tokens is that you can actually convert them today to credit so anyone who actually needed to use? The network can buy data credits from you. You can convert your ancient t into data credits. Sell them to them out of band using Ben Mo whatever you want it to us. I think we've seen some people speculate and trade helium token. I JUST WANNA. Say for any SEC listener like we are not involved in any of that, but we've stayed miles away from any speculative purchase or speculative use of the token, but we are aware that it exists not a. it's just another thing that we are involved in. Got It okay, so my retirement plans focused on the helium network may not happen. Got It we at least not with our help. Okay, and what are the things that you know once? I set up my hotspot. I was really excited except I didn't have any lower wind sensors. You sent me this one and I found a couple trackers, but I think there's a really interesting opportunity. You've mentioned things like air quality monitors I know we get requests the time for things like hey, I. WanNa. Check my. But it's too far from my Wifi. Network sailors too expensive, so there's a lot of interesting use cases where I think a lower wind device or sensor might come in handy. The challenges, a lot of those are tied to packages for small to medium sized businesses or just difficult to get. How are you going to make it? Easier of consumers? Get excited about using this network to find the right products that work on it. It's hard. I mean. I'll be honest I. They mentioned like I think a lot of what has happened up. Until now is very industrial focused application so some of the sensor that I. Think you're mentioning are really not consumer focused applications the toll industrial sensors designed for industrial applications. and I think even like the hardware that we're using I I don't know necessarily that it was designed as a consumer product. It just looks like a consumer product, and so I think the hard part of all of this is like. How do you take those pieces of hardware and build compelling user experiences around them? Which I think is underrated and extremely difficult part of the hardware process and most of the companies that are manufacturing these products just not experts at that they're not. They're not trying to become tile, and so that's where the gap lives, and so tabs is like sort of an attempt to fill that gap. You know it'll be difficult over time. It'll be interesting every time I should say to see what people do we know about a number of other consumer focus Laura went wind devices that predominantly live in Europe and southeast Asia and we're talking to a bunch of them about. Hey, you should bring that exact same product that you already have and bring it to the states now that there's actually a network here that. That you could use it really has been that sort of lack of network that has I think stunted the growth or the ability for any of these companies to build a consumer product here. Because how are you going to deploy it? Or how are you? GonNa do anything. If you also have to build a network alongside it, right, it's like impossible, and so now we we hope that by having solved the. or at least working on solving the network problem that will see more and more of those applications either get built or come from other countries whether you're everybody exists to to America and other places where the network is deployed. Okay, how do you view efforts by companies, like Amazon, which is trying to build some sort of sub Gigahertz low-power, why I don't know how wide their wide area network is. They talked about it. They call it sidewalk. It's for you know devices out kind of a big yard and this nebulous gray zone I feel like Oh. Laura wound would be great for that clearly, there seems to be a need for some sort of medium area network and I don't know if that's something. You're talking with other companies about filling that niche. A whole lot about sidewalk like they sort of announced it last year it's been quiet. We've talked to a number of people who are either in or close to the project, and have some sense of what's going on there but I think it's all the same kind of problem like viewed sidewalk when it was announced tremendous validation of what we're doing because it is a reminder that even someone of the size of Amazon needs a different kind of network. Dan Exists today, and so they've decided they're going to build their own. Because there's nothing out there, that actually fits the bill. Ideally. They were just like to use helium because it will be an easier way for them to do this, but fundamentally the problem is still the same, which is that they have a number of low power applications that can't be built on top of today's existing networks. They're not going to work on a cellular that they're not going to work on Wifi Bluetooth. And so they decided to have to build their own network of some kind and so still a little bit. TVD In terms of what that is and what they intend to use it for announced the. The pet tracking product at some point. If things go fetch, don't know where it is or or what's happening with it, but again to me. It was a great reminder of the fact that today's networks are really unsuitable and sort of ill designed for these kinds of applications and to see someone of the scale of Amazon could presumably negotiate whatever cellular carrier rate they wanted still decided that it was. It was a better option to build their own I think just sort of a good reminder of the fact that this space is in need of solutions. Okay a mirror! Thank you so much for coming on the show this week. I really appreciate it. Thank you the pleasure to be on again. I did want to remind the tab go on sale. June eighteenth any European listener. You hotspot sales, also the on on June eighteenth, and we'll also be taking pre orders in certain Asian countries that China Singapore Vietnam South Korea Japan also be able to preorder on June eighteen, so we got a lot of stuff happening on Thursday so hopefully. hope you got the participate. That's it for this week. Thanks so much for listening and remember if you'd like more Iot, news. Sign up for my newsletter Stacey on IOT DOT COM. We'll see you next week.

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