The sum of new smart home standards

I have long blamed the sad state of the smart home on a lack of a standard. On Wednesday, I may have gotten my wish. Apple, Amazon, and Google all said they would support a new standard for the smart home called Connected Home over IP, or CHIP. So what will that mean, exactly?…

The CHIP standard will be developed under the Zigbee Alliance; a rough draft from the working group is expected in late 2020. While no one is making promises that your existing smart home products will work with the new CHIP standard retroactively, people I’ve spoken with who are involved in the various organizations that make up the alliance believe most of the hubs released over the last two or three years that have BLE, Zigbee, or Thread radios will be able to handle the conversion to CHIP…

I think everyone is at the table because they understand that if they want to build a real business around the smart home that extends beyond mere home automation, they have to build the infrastructure first. The schema is the infrastructure layer.

Makes sense to me. Though I admit, I haven’t moved along quickly at all since the only quadrant in my life best capable of all these links is the “entertainment” corner of the living room. And my Harmony remote already talks to everything. It lives there, anyway.

US Navy wants robot ships to talk

Turn Left and Follow Me!

Concerned that the advent of unmanned surface ships can result in collisions with manned vessels, the Navy wants technology that will enable robot ships that talk like humans…The goal is to enable human bridge crews to converse with robot ships using normal speech over VHF radio.

“The nautical rules of the road (COLREGS) provide clear guidance for encounters between two vessels, but they do not directly specify what should happen when three or more vessels come in close proximity to each other at nearly the same time,”…“Mariners commonly deal with such situations by communicating via VHF Bridge-to-Bridge radio. Current Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) have COLREGS reasoning engines, but they cannot incorporate information from Bridge-to-Bridge conversations, nor can they reply to simple maneuver proposals.”

“The Navy seeks an integrated solution that will enable a USV to act much like a human mariner,”…“In particular, the USV should be able to understand secure Bridge-to-Bridge radio transmissions, incorporate their meaning into its world model, develop appropriate maneuvering plans, and respond via voice on the Bridge-to-Bridge radio.”

Well, duh! Of course.

It’s back…with 60 cubic meters of plastic trash

” After months of research, failures, and reconfigurations, and weeks spent at sea traveling to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and back, The Ocean Cleanup’s device—a 2,000-foot long floating tube that skims the surface of the water to catch plastic trash—has returned to shore. And with it, it brought back 60 bags, sized one cubic meter, full of plastic trash, everything from fishing nets to plastic bags to microplastics one millimeter in size.

Not bad for V.001/b

” The end of the first voyage for The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch nonprofit that hopes to rid the world of ocean plastic, is the end of a long journey for founder and CEO Boyan Slat, who first presented the concept of his device at a TEDx talk in 2012, and has spent the last seven years designing, funding, and deploying it. Now that it’s actually working—pulling debris from the giant vortex of trash that has collected in the Pacific ocean—the next step for the organization is turning that plastic into sustainable products, so you can own a piece of the Garbage Patch and help fund future missions.

” The system that returned with the first Garbage Patch-captured plastic has been dubbed System 001/b, and The Ocean Cleanup has already begun preparing for System 002, a new full-scale, fully operational design. For this first voyage, crew members had to follow the device in a boat and empty the system of its caught plastic every few weeks. Slat hopes to extend that retention ability to months, because fewer trips back and forth with a boat means a more cost-effective cleanup process. “Our goal is to clean up 50% of the Garbage Patch in five years,” Slat says. “For that, we’re going to need a whole fleet of them, and the systems need to be bigger than the ones that we have trialed so far.”