Smart locks turn dumb after a failed firmware update, Tony Fadell is backing a high-speed wireless startup, and Mr. Blurrycam loves a big Apple TV set:
- Some LockState smart locks were bricked due to a failed firmware update, proving once again that the Internet of Things is prone to human error
- iPod creator Tony Fadell is back in the news, this time with Keyssa and its high-speed, short-distance data transfer product Keys
- A 65-inch OLED Apple TV? We don't think so, especially after looking at blurry photos
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This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for August 16th, 2017.
The internet of things can be wonderful…when it works properly, of course. A company by the name of LockState from my home state of Colorado updated the firmware on the company’s RemoteLock 6i door lock last week, and sadly the update left about 500 of the locks inoperable. Now it’s bad enough if you have this happen to a door in your home that suddenly can’t be locked or unlocked from your iPhone, but what’s even worse is when Airbnb customers can’t get into their rental properties. The RemoteLock 6i is used by an Airbnb partnership called Host Assist, and hosts were unable to remotely control their locks as a result. LockState says that the failure happened last Monday August 7 when the company accidentally sent some 6i locks a firmware update that had been developed for the 7i series locks. The company has offered two options to affected customers: first, they can return the back portion of the lock to LockState to update the firmware, with a turnaround time of about five to seven days or second, they can request a replacement lock with a turnaround time of 14 to 18 days. In the meantime, customers can use an actual — not electronic — key to unlock doors.
It’s always fascinating to find out what ex-Apple employees are up to, especially employees like Tony Fadell. Tony was the man behind the original iPod, and left Apple to found home automation company Nest. Now he’s backing a new startup that is partnering with Samsung Electronics, Apple’s manufacturing partner Hon Hai/Foxconn, and other companies on a short-range wireless data standard. The company is Keyssa, and its technology is known as Kiss. The idea is that users could hold compatible devices next to each other and get a very fast wireless transfer of large files — think video files — in seconds. Will Apple embrace this new technology? Probably not. First, it’s not a standard and Apple likes its own proprietary formats like Lightning. Currently, Apple uses AirDrop to create peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connections, and it could simply use faster Wi-Fi with AirDrop to knock out Keyssa before it has a chance to thrive.
The anonymous tipster we love to call Mr. Blurrycam is back in business, this time sending out blurry, tilted photos of what’s allegedly a 60-inch OLED Apple television set. The photos were initially sent out on Chinese social media service Weibo, then posted on Twitter by well-known tipster Benjamin Geskin. There are four photos altogether — one that shows a device on a table in what appears to be an electronics testing station, and three more showing the TV from different angles in an anechoic chamber that were taken from another monitor showing the interior of the chamber. An anechoic chamber is a room designed to absorb reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves for testing purposes. The original post says that it’s a 65-inch OLED screen in a metal enclosure with two black spots that are apparently a camera attached to the TV. The only evidence that this is an Apple device is a black Apple logo on the back. Now, although Apple says it’s going back into the monitor business, it’s ridiculous to think that the company would build a monitor this large and any ideas that the company would build an Apple TV set were squashed years ago. The only person who might be getting excited about this device is industry analyst Gene Munster, who was well-known for asking Apple executives about a TV on the company’s earnings calls for years.
That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.