IoT News Roundup

Online Trust Alliance seeks feedback on IoT framework; consumer demand for wearables softens while Apple gains market share; Autodesk plants seeds for its IoT business with SeeControl; DoorBird rings new markets.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Aug 28, 2015

Online Trust Alliance Seeks Comments on Proposed Framework
On August 11, the Online Trust Alliance, a nonprofit industry organization whose goal is to develop robust data and privacy protections as online commerce and Internet of Things technologies grow in both the consumer and industrial realms, released its Internet of Things Trust Framework.

The document—created by a working group that includes representatives from ADT, Microsoft, Symantec, TRUSTe and Verisign—represents a multi-stakeholder effort to address data privacy and security risks associated with IoT technologies through a set of 23 proposed minimum requirements for IoT manufacturers, developers and retailers. With this framework, the working group is addressing two specific growth areas of IoT technology: home automation products, and wearable technologies used for health and fitness applications.

The guidelines suggest methods for designing, creating, adapting and marketing these connected devices—as well as how to plan ahead for how a connected device is decommissioned at the end of its lifecycle or as it moves between owners. The document focuses on such factors as how data is shared; where, in what format and for how long data is stored; and privacy policies regarding consumers' personally identifiable data.

The complete framework is available for download. The Online Trust Alliance is seeking comments on the framework by September 14, and comment submission guidelines are available here.

Argus Insights Sees Wearables Declining; IDC Says Apple Gaining on Fitbit
Market research firm Argus Insights has released a report showing that, year-on-year, demand for wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smart watches, has declined during the first half of 2015. Meanwhile, a report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates that Fitbit and Apple are neck-and-neck in terms of wearables market share.

Argus Insights bases its metrics on consumer interest, which it measures by analyzing consumer reviews online and following conversations on social media. Based on these factors, the firm says in its report, "the wearables market grew incredibly quickly over the last 18 months and while demand continues to increase over where it was a year ago, it has slowed."

Looking further back, the report says, consumer interest in wearables waned following the 2013 holiday season, but then marched up steadily, from February 2014 until its peak in early 2014, when online consumer reviews of wearables reached 30,000.

Analysts at Argus believe the arrival of the Apple Watch played a role in the slowing of demand, as consumers held off on purchasing such devices as fitness bands in order to get a look at the Apple Watch, which has integrated fitness-tracking capabilities. This hurt fitness band leader Fitbit, they think, but not for long. "Once details [of the Apple Watch] were released however, consumers stopped holding their collective breaths for the Apple Watch, embracing Fitbit and other wearable device manufacturers for the holiday season," the analysts note in the report, which is available for download.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker shows that Apple shipped a total of 3.6 million units during the second quarter of 2015, creeping up to market leader Fitbit, which shipped 4.4 million units during the same quarter. This means Fitbit and Apple have 24.3 percent and 19 percent of wearables market share, respectively. The remainder of the top five manufacturers represent another 24.3 percent of market share, led by Chinese vendor Xiaomi (17.1 percent), Garmin (0.7 percent) and Samsung (0.6 percent). Compared to the second quarter of last year, shipments of wearables were up 223.2 percent, to 18.1 million units, during the second quarter of 2015.

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