IoT weekly round-up, Thursday 6th April 2017
In this week’s IoT round-up, Garadget throws its toys out of the pram following a rude review of its garage door opener app, Greenwich gets a taste of the self-driving shuttle bus and Amazon will refund millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app purchases made by children.
Amazon will refund kids’ unauthorized in-app purchases
Amazon will refund millions of unauthorized in-app purchases made by children on mobile devices. A complaint made last year by the Federal Trade Commission said that Amazon should be liable for charges to customers because its App store allowed kids to make unlimited purchases without parental checks or consent. Amazon has dropped its appeal against the ruling made by a judge who sided with the FTC.
Garadget blocks irate user and faces backlash
Garadget, the maker of an internet-enabled garage door device, blocked a customer who called it ‘junk’ on the start-up’s site after experiencing problems with the app. Garadget’s kit, which is designed to allow remote opening of mechanized garage doors, and provide a way to check if they’ve been accidentally left open, raised almost $63,000 on Indiegogo last year. Founder Denis Grisak blocked user Robert Martin after he swore about the app, but has since reversed the block following negative feedback from users on the community board.
Driverless shuttle bus will be tested in Greenwich
A few weeks ago, we wrote about a plan to test a driverless shuttle bus in London. The time for testing has come, and over the next three weeks, around 100 Londoners will travel in a prototype shuttle bus around the Greenwich area. The bus, whose self-driving technology was developed by Oxbotica, can travel up to 10mph only, and has no steering wheel or brake pedal. There will be a trained professional on board ready to stop the bus if things get hairy.
WhatsApp may launch peer-to-peer payments in India
Within six months, WhatsApp may enable peer-to-peer payments between users in India, according to a report from The Ken – an India based media company. WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton visited India in February and said that the company was in the early stages of investigating payment services incorporation.
Facebook to block revenge porn reposts
Facebook will make it impossible to repost or share intimate images of people uploaded without their consent. The social media company will rely on users flagging images by using the Report tool to identify them as inappropriate content. The measure will be rolled out across Messenger and Instagram as well as Facebook, but not WhatsApp.
Pluto AI brings machine learning to water treatment
Pluto AI announced $2.1 million in fundraising this week to extrapolate insights from modern water treatment plants using sensors and analytics. The funding comes from Comet Labs, Fall Line Capital, Refactor Capital and Unshackled Ventures. Sensors and Pluto’s analytics platform will provide ratings between 0 and 100 on all the water plant’s assets, including temperature and pressure readings. Pluto can use this data to recommend ways that the plant infrastructure could function more efficiently.