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MWC Day One: Qualcomm robots, Leonardo d’IoT, disobedient coffee machines

Written by Tue 26 Feb 2019

MWC Barcelona kicked off yesterday, providing a flurry of announcements, innovations, and of course, plenty of back-patting from the major vendors and OEMs. MWC has recently taken a turn to the edge, exalted IoT and embraced 5G fever, although this year marks a return to the headlines for genuinely exciting and novel consumer innovations, with foldable phones now well and truly ‘a thing’ that you can buy (if you want to spend upwards of £1,500 on a phone, that is). Here is a selection of announcements that caught our attention from day one of MWC.

Qualcomm pushes (finally) into robotics

Qualcomm has announced its foray into robotics with the release of its Robotics RB3 platform.

What it is: An SDA/SM845-based platform comprising a set of hardware and software tools that give you everything you need to start developing the ‘robots of the future’.

Why it matters: Robotics is a burgeoning platform and chipmakers are well positioned to become frontrunners in this new race. The applications of robotics are abundant: agriculture, delivery, manufacturing, logistics to name a few.

Noteworthy features: Compatability with not only Qualcomm software but AWS Robomaker and Ubuntu; no 5G on the hardware side.

SAP unveils Leonardo IoT for Industrial Internet of Things

Enterprise/back-office tech veteran SAP announced a raft of IoT capabilities for its Leanardo toolkit.

What it is: If you read the press release an “all-encompassing technology that generates and drives digital transformation for Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0”.

What it really is: Three enhancements to the existing Leonardo software toolkit that can drive value from IoT. The first combines IoT data with business process data from SAP’s applications to create IoT-embedded business applications. The second upgrades existing SAP IoT applications, the third is new intelligent (i.e. AI) IoT solutions.

Why it matters: SAP has a long established relationship with enterprises across the world, it will likely benefit from this inherent trust-factor as firms increasingly look to simple, powerful solutions IoT to drive business value.

Noteworthy features: SAP announced the cloud-to-cloud interoperability of SAP Leanardo IoT with Azure, and is planning to offer interoperability with other partners in the future.

McAfee researchers reveal yet more IoT vulnerabilities

McAfee Labs’ advanced threat research team used MWC to reveal it has discovered two vulnerabilities in BoxLock and Mr. Coffee coffee makers.

What it is: BoxLock, the smart padlock designed to protect deliveries, can be remotely unlocked using the built-in barcode scanner using Bluetooth Low Energy. Mr. Coffee reportedly gave hackers a backdoor to access home networks, and researchers were able to change brewing schedules.

Why it matters: Yet further confirmation that consumers need to be aware of the cyber risks that come along with introducing more and more connected things into the privacy of their own homes. Both vulnerabilities were also relatively straightforward to pull off.

Noteworthy features: BoxLock’s quick and diligent response. According to the researchers “BoxLock was incredibly responsive, easy to work with and immediately recognised the value that McAfee ATR had provided.”

Written by Tue 26 Feb 2019


cybersecurity IoT robotics
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