20180620

IoT as in the 'Internet of Turds'?

If LG U+ got, as expected, the smaller chunk of 5G spectrum in this week's auctions, they sure made a splash with their connected bidet-toilets. 
 
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Let's start with these 5G auctions, where Korea raised 3.6183 trillion won from the 3 bidders, not even 10% more than the starting point of KRW 3.3 tn; just enough to show an illusion of fight. All 3 MNOs claimed 800MHz in the 2.8GHz spectrum, and in the 3.5GHz spectrum, #3 LG U+ got 80MHz compared to 100 for #1 SK Telecom and #2 Korea Telecom
 
Note that SKT just announced successful tests with Nokia on 3GPP-approved 5G SA (StandAlone), a national first following last December's world first on 5G NSA (Non-StandAlone). You can expect SKT and KT to launch on December 1st (the date the regulator set to allow service) to continue their battle over 5G leadership. They'll probably start on 3.5GHz, at least in the capital Seoul, and key entry points such as Incheon. 
 
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Now about that bidet-toilet thing. 
 
You first have to understand that many people in East Asia already enjoy electronic systems, complete with water noozles and seat warmers. Here, LG U+ teams up with Inus Bath to add connectivity to the Novita model:

 
This most essential innovation brings IoT to new territories (the 'Internet of Turds'?). From your smartphone, you can pre-warm your seats, or post-flush in case you forgot to do it. Each member of the family can instantly enjoy their preferred water temperature, pressure, or nozzle position, and you will receive alerts if you stay too long, because no one should be above the loo eternally. 
 
Mercifully, no cameras are connected so far, but in this over-connected country where last week, 20,000 victims of peeping toms demonstrated on the street, there were already cases of perverts installing spycams in public rest rooms...
 
In any case, paranoids should worry: LG U+ announced that A.I. will john later. Not Amazon's Echo (who wants more echo in this room, or Alexa sending your personal records by email?), but Naver's Clova: when it's (paper) rolled out, you can voice control this new sentient environment.
 
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The good thing with not being the highest bidder in an auction is that you're flush with enough money to become the highest bidet. 
 
Will LG U+ rivals enter this fascinating Game of Thrones? 

mot-bile 2018




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