back to article Be afraid, Apple and Samsung: Huawei's IoT home looks cheaper and better

Apple and Samsung can start worrying now. Huawei has unveiled its IoT strategy and the extent of its ambitions. Amongst the highlights are a TV kit that provides latest-generation Apple TV functionality, with Siri-like voice navigation through content. That will be available for around £30 (Y226), or one fifth of the price of …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
    Gimp

    "We cannot even capture the backside of the passer by"

    Exactly! That is no way to make a good perv-cam

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huawei

    Now tell me again, why would I want to invite the PLA into my home?

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Huawei

      I'm a big fan of the Port of London Authority myself, especially the free fireworks display they gave me one evening while I was bimbling out of a Thameside pub.

    2. dogged

      Re: Huawei

      Because you already have the NSA and GCHQ there so it's a bit like getting a cat to keep the mice down.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Huawei

      Huawei are not actually the Chinese State. They even have complained about the state owned Chinese companies getting preferential treatment.

      Besides if you are NOT Chinese / Tibetan / Taiwanese / North Korean etc which is worst:

      1) NSA

      2) GCHQ

      3) Chinese Government

      4) Israelis (10% of security products shipped!)

      5) Russia

    4. Quortney Fortensplibe
      Facepalm

      Re: Huawei

      "...why would I want to invite the PLA into my home?..."

      *Sigh!* —I had hoped for more than one comment before the inevitable "Reds Under the Beds" response.

      I think Godwin needs a new law concerning the inevitability with which any discussion on Chinese technology will descend to a jingoistic "Yeehaw! God bless the US of Freedom & Democracy and Boo! Hiss! to the hasty Commies" rejoinder.

    5. foo_bar_baz

      Re: Huawei

      You're not clued up to current security standards, clearly.

      Here's what you need

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huawei

      @anon "Now tell me again, why would I want to invite the PLA into my home?"

      Don't tell me, you're voting brexit?

      You don't become a $50B company by not selling anything anything, I'm sure they won't miss you..

  3. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Sounds an awful like what other manufacturers such as Beelink, Tronsmart or Minix have been doing for a while now or indeed Roku if you want to go there. Though I have some doubts about the end price. The 30£'s listed is more likely in packs of 500 units, and the likes of you and I will be a lot closer to 200£ (or so). But, as a HTPC, or indeed even Desktop replacement I can see it happening. As most of the above Manufactures already have Windows 8/10 Boxes already out. I doubt the could play Crysis. But then again I could care less about Crysis, and those unfortunate Apps that come in Windows only flavors. cough Samsung Kiess (for example), or Odin Flasher as another.

    But, for the Desktop Surfer with a side of Open Office (as needed), these Machines smoke the beige Boxes of yore.

    1. Quortney Fortensplibe
      Paris Hilton

      Less is More

      "...But then again I could care less about Crysis..."

      Could you let us know how much less? As it stands, we only know that you care a certain amount about Crysis. But it's difficult to gauge how much.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The jury must be out on this

    Until we can see the following:-

    - How hackable it all is

    - How much data is sent back to the Chinese equivalent of the NSA/GCHQ/FSB

    Still think that IoT is a solution waiting for a question that is irrelevant for most of us.

    Only the other day Phillips updated the firmware in their LightBulbs to stop others from controlling them.

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    IoT

    There is no evidence yet that

    a) We need this even if done properly

    b) That anyone can do it properly

    c) That just on the security aspect, there is no evidence that can be got right without both an expert supplier and a resident security expert (I've seen otherwise secure PCs or Routers with STUPID PAWN ME settings enabled by user trying to get a game working).

  6. Gavin Chester
    Meh

    May be gadgets struggling to find a use.

    Having recently had a two month trial of the Samsung Smart Things it is indeed very clever kit.

    However I struggled to find anything of real use that I can't do any other way, that made a huge day to day difference to me.

    It can turn things on or off in the morning or as I leave for work, here a £50 smart plug replaces a a £5 time switch. It can switch on the kettle as I get to the door, well so can any PIR sensor for a lot less and a kettle does not take long to boil.

    Don't get me wrong I really liked the kit, other people may see it very very differently, and with time maybe I'd have seen more uses, however it's gone back and I've yet to see any downside from my home becoming dumber as a result of it. Not to mentioned as the parts are in the £30 to £50 a unit depending on what you want to add, its a little too expensive to really retrofit the entire house...

  7. Mikel

    The biggest threat to IoT isn't hackers

    It's the DRM light bulb.

    1. Yugguy

      Re: May be gadgets struggling to find a use.

      That's interesting as the smart part of our Samsung TV is shite.

    2. mocadedhed

      Re: May be gadgets struggling to find a use.

      You make good points from the home owner / end user perspective it's easy to get done what you need to get done without all this gadgetry and the confusion and "clunky-ness" of retrofitting. However, the real traction will be made in construction and facilities outfitting. When you start to think about IOT in terms of house construction or office builds, where IOT is built into the walls and doesn't require retrofitting, then it lowers the "bar to valuable use" dramatically.

      1. Vic

        Re: May be gadgets struggling to find a use.

        When you start to think about IOT in terms of house construction or office builds, where IOT is built into the walls and doesn't require retrofitting, then it lowers the "bar to valuable use" dramatically.

        Not yet.

        Even if the cost of installing the kit is negligible, you're still stumping up £30 a unit just in purchase price. If you want any sort of coverage, you're talking a grand or two in cost to the builder to put this stuff in - and you can believe there will be a markup to the buyer.

        So we're looking a thousands of pounds of actual cost to a homebuyer - for what?

        Vic.

    3. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: The biggest threat to IoT isn't hackers

      I'm sure there's case law prohibiting this - at least in England. Very old, pre CMA, because I covered it at University but I can't find a reference. Anyone know?

      Would presumably apply to Microsoft breaking Windows 7 too...

    4. Charles Manning

      Re: The biggest threat to IoT isn't hackers

      The biggest threat to IoT is the lack of added value.

      Oooh shiny! doesn't cut it any more.

      We're seeing more and more people wanting to do Real Things: bake artisan bread etc.

      We're seeing more and more people want to live a Real Life rather than live their own lives vicariously through their apps and devices.

    5. Ian Joyner

      Re: May be gadgets struggling to find a use.

      Your experience fits nicely in with what I just said in my post - this is engineers making technology for the sake of it without working out what you are really going to do with it. Then the marketing people have to dress it up in fancy boxes to sell it.

      What is needed is a company that actually does not give in to engineers or marketeers - a company that actually invents what this stuff is practically used for.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: May be gadgets struggling to find a use.

        "this is engineers making technology for the sake of it without working out what you are really going to do with it"

        Nope. This is sparkly-eyed management and marketing telling their engineers that everyone else is doing it so they better come up with internet-connected versions of whatever they had before. And since the engineers have no real choice in the matter they produce yet another IoT gizmo even if even they know there's precious little they can do beyond taking something and tethering it to a cloud and/or a smartphone. Right now, IoT is the ultimate MeToo - nobody really knows why anyone would want it (it's always highly contrived use cases for Other People), but nobody wants to get left behind.

        1. Ian Joyner

          Re: May be gadgets struggling to find a use.

          DropBear: >>"this is engineers making technology for the sake of it without working out what you are really going to do with it"

          Nope. This is sparkly-eyed management and marketing telling their engineers that everyone else is doing it<<

          Well, you have taken my thought somewhat out of context. Note what I am saying is that both development from engineers alone and management marketing types is bad.

          Like anything it needs a story. The story is how can people really make use of this. That is what makes killer applications, like VisiCalc (the original spreadsheet) was on the Apple II. Suddenly, a box for computer hobbyists becomes useful to a much wider market.

          I support scientists and technologist inventing new technologies - but someone needs to work out how to put them to use. Quantum computing is still on the way.

  8. BJC

    Security

    Isn't a major issue with IoT always going to be security?

    Let's be generous and assume that there are no known issues today for the "thing". Some issues are only evident when general technology moves on. For example, the system may be well designed and can't be cracked today but what about with the computing power available in 3 years, 5 years, or 10 years?

    Who wants to spend time managing a "thing"? I'm not keen on the hassle involved in updating my computing devices (although I do) - it's a hidden cost of having the tech. That's worse for "things" that I expect to just be there and work. Even now, who wants to go round round the house checking that all network connected devices are running the latest firmware? TVs, PVRs, disc players, music streamer - do you check them all? Even if you do, does the latest update even patch the latest known vulnerabilities? Have you checked? For every connected device?

    What happens if the solution requires different hardware? For example, perhaps the encryption is supported by a hardware module - what happens if the algorithm is found to be compromised? Will the vendor update the hardware of a 10 year old "thing"? What about if it's 5 years old? 2 years?

    The whole point is that it's the Internet of *Things*. I tend to keep my "things" longer than I might keep my computing tech. A large installed base of ageing kit is a big support burden. That's likely to be complicated by the hardware being optimised to minimise production cost and further complicated with the design evolving over time as components are changed or eliminated. How long will updates keep being developed and issued? Supporting the ageing Windows XP is going to look simple in comparison.

    Will every consumer be expected to become an IT specialist just to ensure that the "things" are all suitably connected and protected? Is that realistic? I don't think so.

  9. Quortney Fortensplibe
    Headmaster

    Internet of Lard-Arses

    Given that, for a significant percentage of our increasingly obese population, the only exercise they get is walking to the light switch, or bending down to pick up the TV remote control —I shudder to think what the state of the nation's health will be like, after a decade or two of being able to run your entire house from your smartphone, without having to prise yourself off the sofa at all.

    Talk about a solution in search of a problem!

  10. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    WTF?

    If IoT has IdioTic security, it's dead in the water

    The now famous core problem with the IoT is its horrifyingly poor security. Often IoT security isn't even an afterthought. It's never thought of at all! That's why vast botnets of IoT devices already exist, ruining the reputation of the entire market.

    The only winners in the IoT competition will be those that LOCK DOWN their devices to all security attacks and exploits. I don't care what company is foisting the stuff. PROVE YOUR SECURITY! Or get the hell out of the IoT market immediately and forever.

    1. LeeV

      Re: If IoT has IdioTic security, it's dead in the water

      Yes, but the problem is that 99% of the buyer of IoT aren't in IT and therefore don't give a flying duck.

      Is it shiney and doing cool stuff? Yes - one one!

      They don't stop to think about IT security at all...

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    cheaper and better

    Better fits into the scale good>better>best.

    I have yet to be persuaded that "good" applies to the IoT let alone "better".

  12. Ian Joyner

    What we use things for, not...

    Register: "the IoT strategy is engineering-based, rather than marketing-based"

    Both are wrong. Marketing people have too much power, that is undenied, trying to convince people to buy junk they don't need.

    But neither should we let engineers rule either. It really is a question of what do we do with technology. That is basically what Apple has done - worked out what we do with computers, not be told either by marketeers or engineers.

    But much earlier than that Bob Barton - designer of the B5000 - realised that CPUs should not be designed by electronic engineers, but by the software people - that is the people that had to use the computers. So software people designed the CPU architecture specifically to execute programs and then told the electronic engineers to build circuits to support that.

    Barton went on to teach at university of Utah, where he taught Alan Kay, who invented the window. He taught his students to think different. We need to think what we will do with computers and the IoT.

    Barton's New Approach:

    http://www.computer.org/csdl/proceedings/afips/1961/5058/00/50580393.pdf

  13. Andy Davies

    latest-generation Apple TV functionality, with Siri-like voice navigation through content.

    Siri, turn this crap off!

  14. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    This IoT craze is premature. We can't even make today's personal computers secure. It seems somewhat pointless when comparing the slim upside to the massive potential downside.

    1. Ian Joyner

      "This IoT craze is premature. We can't even make today's personal computers secure. "

      Yes I absolutely agree with your assessment of security vs IoT.

  15. JaitcH
    WTF?

    Next, the US Tech Whiz OBAMA will make another world tour declaring ...

    that HuaWei products are a security risk and that only American (made in China) products should be used, as he did with their modems.

    His best buddy Cameron had GCHQ keep on eye HuaWei products in their UK lab. Imperial College-HuaWei has acquired the Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP) in 2012 and Neul, the Cambridge Internet of Things Data Science Innovation Lab right in the centre of London!

    Then there's the HCSEC facility in Banbury, Oxfordshire, owned by Huawei Technologies (UK) Co Ltd.The HCSEC provides assurance that any risks to UK national security from HuaWei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks are sufficiently mitigated.

    Meanwhile, down in Gloucestershire, the GCHQ continues to collect selfies. Strange world we live in.

  16. ThorWarhammer

    Ah Great it will only work in Chinglish be translated by a non indigenous Brit and live stream your every move to the PLA whilst doing a Who Made Who takeover of all your household electronics, in a word NO THANKS

    I still see any Chinese tech product through an 80's James Bond cold war conspiracy lens and I 'aint buying it, ever.....

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019