Connected Devices Weekly Update/2016-09-22

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Program Passed Gate Status Notes
Project Vaani Sandip/Lindsay Gate 0 Stopped Vaani local stopped. Integrate Deep Speech work into the "platform & tools" project.
Project Cue Preeti/Julie Gate 0 Stopped Overlap in concepts with Smart Kitchen & Vaani. Some concept elements will be rolled into a new project Abigail
Project Smart Kitchen Tamara/Nicole Gate 0 Stopped Overlap in concepts with Cue & Vaani. Some concept elements will be rolled into a new project Abigail
Holodeck Gate 0 Stopped Holodeck team decision + resources reallocation
Wallnut Gate 0 Stopped Not aligned with updated strategy. Resources re-allocated on priority projects.
Project Sensor Web Cindy/Jean Gate 0 On Target
  • Team is working to define product and hardware plan by Oct 1.
  • Completed development kit evaluation and decided on Linux boards with Cortex A5 processor.
  • Between 09/23 and 10/21, the marketing team will be doing UX interviews in Taipei.
  • Go-to-Market communication launch moved from 9/23 to 10/21.
  • UX on track to provide deliverable as follows
    • IA (Information Architecture) for out of box user journey by Fri,Sept 23
    • Wireframes by Thu Sept 29
  • Project Goals:
    • Evidence from the experiments to show the consumer needs. (consumer service)
    • Defined product (kit) to be prototyped by partner (hardware solution)
Project_Haiku (taking in Project Smart Display) Liz/Joe/Mahe Gate 0 On Target
  • Shared pivot plan with LT on Sep 20. Moving forward according to plan here.
  • New product idea: A pair of simple objects for home use that allow grandparents and school-age grandchildren (target 6-10) to communicate without the help of parents. The paired objects offer synchronous communication (voice call) and asynchronous communication (send emoji, send voicemail).
  • Preparing next experiments/user studies to test assumptions: 1) Survey and 2) lofi prototypes using FxOS phone.
Platform & Tools Sandip/Nicole/Mahe N/A On Target * We are super-early! This is an update on the thought process.
  • We have shared a document around CD Platform & Tools to gather initial inputs on the desired "characteristics of a platform" & the components we need for a complete offering.
  • The development strategy is -
    • Ongoing track 1 products will bring in their own platform enablers. (e.g. SensorWeb, Magnet etc) Gathering inputs from product teams on this.
    • In parallel, we will build a few other essential technology blocks on the platform baseline. (e.g. voice interface, security recommendations)
    • DevKit - We are cataloging existing work already created and looking for components so the developer community to work alongside us. (e.g. SensorWeb Yocto image for RPi)
Voice Platform - Deep Speech Sandip/Nicole N/A On Target
  • DeepLearing training machine is up an running (Thanks Gregor!)
  • Team has started to instrument the training algorithm to track the process of learning
    • Screenshot below illustrates that our deep learning system is working and able to train with real data.


  • Team has done preliminary benchmarking of the 4 GPU's running in parallel (it's blazingly fast!)
  • In the process of parallelizing the training algorithm to have it running across all 4 of our GPU's
  • Contact the team:
    • Weekly standups on Vidyo Channel -deepspeech
      • Monday @ 8:30AM PST
    • Daily engineering standup on IRC - #vaani
    • Mailing list:
Abigail Preeti/Julie Pre Gate 0 On Target

Why Abigail?

  • Life is busy. Talk to any parent today and they will tell you how busy they are. They have a pretty packed schedule with work, household chores, their children’s activities and more.
  • No matter how busy they are, families are in constant communication with one another to ensure their homes are secure, their loved ones are safe, everyone is where they need to be at any given time.

Product Goal and Vision

  • Our goal is to create a product that ensures families can stay peaceful & relaxed throughout their day knowing that Abby is keeping track of their schedules, to-dos & monitoring every little thing that matters to them!
  • Customers will purchase a “magic” buttons. They will come in different colors & can be personalized to give them your very own look!
  • These buttons are small, portable & powerful. They are packed with sensors, equipped with a mic & speaker so one can simply speak to it and set rules and reminders.
  • Simply place them where you need them! We recommend placing one in each active “thinking” or “conversation” room, say kitchen & dining, family rooms etc. or in areas that you’d need to track to ensure your home is safe & secure, say on your front door or your garage door.
Project Magnet Maria/Francisco Pre Gate 0 On Target

Hypothesis 1: If we broadcast schedule content, then spur-of-the-moment attendees can quickly and confidently choose how to spend their time Experiment#1 in View Source: Use beacons at an event to broadcast room status. Using the aforementioned survey, use targeted interviews for floaters post View Source to see if Magnet helped them make decisions in the moment and if it was easier and faster than their usual methods.

Hypothesis 2: If attendees broadcast their social profiles, then social interaction will increase Experiment 2 in View Source - Beacon give-away: We'll provide beacons to the first people that go to our booth showing that they have installed the app, help them to configure it and follow up with the them if that increased the number of interactions that they had during the conference and other possible uses.

  • Data from the View Source
    • Metrics collected using Google analytics from the Magnet application: 114 Installations, 470 application launches, 361 Number of clicks on the broadcasted URls and 12.960 tiles were shown in Magnet.
    • Ad-hoc feedback directly from conference participants
    • 75 Beacons were distributed to conference attendees and contacted later to complete a survey, 24 answers received
  • Key learnings /take aways ( first draft of User Research #3 findings)
    • Application is not suited to high density beacon environments
    • Personal websites (including Twitter) were the most popular content to both broadcast and consume at the conference but we have no hard evidence that this led to an increase in social interaction.
    • Information about the conference schedule was accessed but not as frequently as personal websites.

Product definition

  • We are now working on the Product definition to be presented to the PIB
    • Vision of providing hyper-local web content to people so that they can discover, experience and interact with content around them
    • Exploring one of the key requested features during View Source that is an easier beacon set up and management
HomeWeb Ben/Mahe Pre Gate 0 On Target
  • Home Monitoring System
  • Currently working on product definition
  • Some of the team meeting face to face in Mountain View first week of October
  • Gate 0 pitch pencilled in for 12th October
GameOn Candice/Julie Pre Gate 0 On Target

Customer Problem Hypothesis

We believe that there are:

  • individuals and families who prefer playing physical board games to playing their electronic versions, but
  • who would purchase a technologically enhanced board game
  • because these enhancements would introduce new, innovative elements of surprise, animation, sound, and variation that would bring additional delight to the experience of playing the game while at the same time, offering the game’s social, competitive, and tactile experiences that players love about playing physical board games.

Product Hypothesis

If we build

  • a connected game plate with a capacitive screen and game pieces, and the ability to connect to a spinner that communicates spin results to the game
  • Then we can provide players a hybrid board game with the ability to display and play multiple games on the same device, and new and exciting light, sound, and animated surprises triggered on the board by the spinner, while keeping what players love about physical board games, and we can open the possibilities for a new gaming platform.

Product definition

A hybrid game consisting

  • of a game plate built with
    • a capacitive screen and the ability to display different game boards
    • the ability to respond to inputs from a spinner with light, sound, animation
  • a spinner with built-in technology that can communicate the position of the spinner’s pointer and trigger an action on the game plate
  • game pieces or tokens that can be sensed, identified, and located on the board by capacitive technology
  • voice capability to read instructions, direct setup

that combines the best features of electronic and physical board games

Join in the discussion on #GameON

Lighthouse Preeti/Julie Pre Gate 0 On Target


  • Enable every person with visual impairment to have equal access to everyday things and lead a more independent and fulfilling lifestyle.

Target market

  • 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide - 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision
  • Over 20 million people suffer from vision loss just in the US (10% of the adult population)
  • 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in a low income setting

Customer Problem Hypothesis

We believe that there are people who are visually impaired i.e. either suffering from complete visual loss or varying degrees of visual impairment

  • Who aspire to be more independent and able to perform their day to day tasks at home and outside just like their visually able friends
  • But currently need assistance in different ways to gather information on what is around them that are preventing them from leading a much more self-reliant lifestyle.

Product Hypothesis

  • They are currently managing these challenges in their lives by entirely skipping an experience altogether or through reliance on caretakers, or braille & other accessibility adaptive devices/mediums.
  • By building an affordable device equipped with a camera that can provide the visually impaired the ability to identify day-to-day items and objects inside their house focusing initially on only food packages and possibly medications.


  • Research into needs of people who are blind (label reading, item identification, medicine, color/pattern identification, and books/reading)
    • Interviews with a group of 10 visually-impaired people who use the services of Santa Clara Valley Blind Center
  • Technology research
    • Looking into how we can solve the problems of identifying objects and providing voice descriptions using super-simple hardware and software solutions.
PocketID Francisco Pre Gate 0 On Target Pitch deck opened for comments before revision with Houman
3D Printing Thomas Pre Gate 0 On Target
  • Bulleted list item
  • Bulleted list item
Participation Update Michael/Brian -- On Target
  • Upcoming CD Event in Jordan
    • 13 leaders, working on strategy
  • Mozilla IoT Lab, University of Jordan
  • Volunteer Nominations submitted for Hawaii
    • Only request 4 slots due to space contraints
Market Developments Update Irina
  • Amazon Echo is coming to the UK, Germany and Austria in the first international expansion. The main Echo speaker will cost £149.99/€179.99. One of the reasons Amazon waited until now to launch the speakers outside the US was to ensure they could handle local accents.
  • Amazon will start shipping the 2nd generation Echo Dot at a reduced price of $50 starting with the 20th of October.
  • Amazon is adding more companies to the Alexa ecosystem
    • Deutsche Telekom's smart home platform Qivicon will be integrated with the Echo speakers. Qivicon has over 40 partners, including white goods manufacturer Miele and lighting companies Osram and Philips.
    • Amazon added Crestron to the Alexa ecosystem, a global provider of custom home automation and control technology. Crestron is a provider of whole home automation and control systems (AV, lightning, security, BMS and HVAC) and is adding Alexa for voice control in addition to their apps and remote controls.
  • A study by the US Department of Health on the effects of air pollution on cardiovascular disease found that women in disadvantaged neighborhoods may be more susceptible to air pollution-related health effects compared to women in higher socio-economic areas.
  • A study on IoT security by the Online Trust Alliance found that the problems in this space can be avoided using traditional strategies. Among the issues that OTA found common with IoT security breaches were poor credential management, a lack of security testing, a lack of transparency around data collection, and a lack of planning for addressing vulnerabilities. The group developed an IoT Trust Framework, released in March, with the help of a number of major companies, including Microsoft, ADT, and American Greetings, along with the National Association of Realtors.
Other Announcements / Questions -- --