BJ Yurkovich, Principal Systems Architect at Technicity joins us to talk about the future of security and connected devices.

Transcript (beta)

Kurt: BJ, welcome to the show. How are you today? 

BJ: Good. How are you, Kurt? 

Kurt: Oh, you know, living the dream, living the dream. so BJ, you\’re into all things, all smart things. That is a IOT, all those different things. How\’d you get involved in the internet of things? you know, w was it something that you dreamed of as a kid to get into and now, now you\’re living your 

BJ: dream?

Oh, yeah. Yeah. I guess. let\’s see. When I was, when I was really little. Yeah. I mean, smart things weren\’t really a thing right. Cause, you know, I\’m in my early thirties, very early thirties. And so, you know, 80s and 90s, that wasn\’t a thing. But, when I hit, w I guess before I started college, I was going to be a musician.

I was actually went and started as a jazz studies major at Ohio state. But, you know, you have to be able to feed a family. So I, did computer science too, as I was kind of a backup plan. Ended up logging the computer science and dropping the music relatively quick. And, about halfway through my undergraduate degree, I also started my master\’s degree early through a pretty standard, bachelor\’s, master\’s program, that they have at, called the BSMS program at Ohio state.

And, I, was approached by a couple of rich dudes. They\’re not really that old. I guess they\’re old now. They, they\’d like, they\’d like to hear that. 

And, they wanted to do something in smart energy. And at the time, I was at the center for automotive research where actually am now today. But, the, they came through wanting to do something in electric vehicles cause that was the big thing at the time.

And I was, I don\’t know, 19 years old. And, you know, I\’d like any arrogance and, and no experience. 19 year old, I talked to real good game, knew nothing. And, They thought that I was, a catch, I guess the whiz kid, I guess I convinced them of that and they, gave me some equity and, and, gave me a budget to lead a technology team.

And, we ended up over the next couple of years. developing, products within the Belkin WiMo line. And if you know the, the, Belkin name, you can buy them. My Amazon, working with their technology team. And then, the GE watch station, their electric vehicle charging. We developed some intellectual property in, different things on how the grid electric grid interacted with, with the electric vehicle charging.

And then I sold my equity in that company in 2011. And, since then, I, I, Took about three months off and not realize the, you know, early retirement wasn\’t my thing at 22. And, and, got into, got into consulting. I went back to Ohio state where I became a researcher and I\’m a principal investigator where I do research.

And right now in machine learning and artificial intelligence, blockchain and IOT, pick your buzzword, 

Kurt: right? 

BJ: And, yeah. So that\’s kinda how I got into it. I\’ve always really loved the. The interaction between humans and things, human and humans and technology. And so a lot of people you\’ll hear about user experience and user interface and those types of things.

But I\’m a technology guy. I\’m a, I\’m a geek and so I really love, I\’m one of those guys that gets like a rush when that light goes on and you\’ve implemented something on a little circuit board, still get that rush. Even today, if I\’m doing like a new little project or something, cause I have a really serious addiction that addiction is coding.

And, so I\’m still, you know, coding all the time, programming and coding and all that kind of stuff. And every time that light goes on or. Or something happens on a screen and I made that happen through interface or an API application program interface. Like I just, I just get that rush, that adrenaline, and it\’s a, it\’s a really cool feeling.

So there\’s something in me that, that drives us. So anyways, that\’s how I kinda got into it. And, Since then, I\’ve done things in smart refrigerators, really expensive, smart refrigerators, things, things. Then, you know, boats. We did a, not a gone, if you, if you own a boat and you want your boat to be connected, go and buy, buy Modicon and we developed that system and a number of other on other, other things.

And then also not even connected things cause everything is actually connected. Even an app, you could. You could claim as connected product. Sure. And, you know, through that, that whole experience, did things like grocery, retail, food forest and and different applications like that. So anyways, that\’s kind of how I got into it.

It\’s, it\’s really just still getting that, that rush, what you see that light go on. 

Kurt: Well, and I can imagine in the early days, I mean, this was. You know, I feel like just in the last few years is where people are starting to get the idea. I mean, people have been talking about smart homes since the sixties or fifties, right?

So, but now it\’s just seem to starting to gain steam with, you know, fill ups and some of these other bigger brands. and Amazon obviously, and Google and all these people starting to put more and more of their, their chips into it. Right? I mean, do you think that. I mean, there\’s a, I mean, where do you see a bigger opportunity?

Is it in business? Is it with consumers? Is it both? where\’s, where\’s the, where are things heading right now in terms of, you know, the IOT 

BJ: space? You know, that\’s a really great question. I don\’t think we figured it out yet, honestly. and the thing that makes IOT so hard, I mean, at first you, you approach IOT and it\’s like, Oh, you know, developing a little thing that turns on a light or opens your garage door.

Or whatever, like how hard could that be? Right? Well, having been involved in lots of both startup to enterprise level, fortune 500 type implementations with IOT. The IOT part is really hard because one, trying to determine, just getting the full stack, what we call full stack. So the talent to be able to, you know, do the cloud implementation, the security, which we\’ll get into, I\’m sure in this discussion, which is a whole deal all the way down to the embedded, you know how the

It\’s invites work on your embedded device, what the costs are associated. And that\’s just the technical part. And then you have to actually come up with an ROI on the business part. And the, that return of investment is really tough sometimes to, to, to really justify. And that\’s what I think a lot of businesses struggle with is one.

Everyone\’s doing IOT, it\’s a buzz word. And so, and it does in the future, if you would have an outlook from a business perspective with the analytics and the predictive analytics and the machine learning and all the opportunity, there\’s a huge opportunity to do there. But in order to do that, you need that data first, and you need clean data.

And that\’s one of the challenges of course, with IOT, is that activation energy is just so high to even get a proof of concept and it\’s so difficult. So to answer your question about where is IOT going. I mean, what we still need to do, I think is develop tool sets some things that make that activation energy lower.

And you know, it\’s, it\’s moving in the right direction. We have Google core IOT. we have, AWS IOT, Azure IOT, which is one of the newer kids to the, to the block. And so some of the newer technologies in that, they still have a ways to go with, and then you\’ll have, you know, other kind of runners in it.

my company, I, Audrey, dot. IO, has developed a kind of managed cloud service for IOT. And, so you\’re starting to see kind of roll ups and different kind of accessibility platforms that are existing from a technology standpoint. And then still making that business cases is extremely difficult, extremely difficult to do.

It\’s funny, your question reminded me of something that actually happened over the weekend. Hmm. So, you know, much to my wife\’s chagrin, she\’s been on me about fixing our refrigerator cause our refrigerator, it\’s a dumb refrigerator. There\’s nothing special about it. but the little water, you know, it has a water thing in it where you can get water out of the fridge.

And the little, the little lever kind of broke. And so you had to like shove the copy out up in it to get the water to actuate the little thing. And so I was like, yo, I\’ll fix it. I\’ll fix you. I just buy it in your fridge. I was like, I\’ll fix it. I\’ll fix it. And so finally I got the time this over the weekend, Thanksgiving weekend and fit the fittest thing.

And what I did was, you know those little RFID card holders. so I, I, I kind of tore one of those apart and I fastened it. So then it became kind of that lever. Now the RFID card holder had a little RFID, little sign on it. And so I decided to leave the RFID little a label on it, making a smart fridge.

My internal joke 

Kurt: or new fridge. 

BJ: Yeah, exactly. This brand new fridge. So of course, she just rolled her eyes when she saw what I\’d done. But, you know, it got me thinking, And the, the thing is like, what would a smart fridge actually do? You know? Of course the, the gears in my, my head started turning like, Oh, maybe I could actually like put in different flavors.

Right? And then I could like put little RFID chips on the cups so that when I, you know, about the specific cup, you\’d get like Coke or you know, mix it with the syrup. And then of course all that start happening, right? And then, you know, you start realizing like. Why don\’t I just host our Coke in the fridge?

You know, like it\’s that level of the realization of what\’s the business, you know, or what\’s just the convenience factor on it. Right. And, it actually spawned a conversation with my wife and I, we were also watching, the star Wars Mandalorian, which is an awesome show. And the thing that either George Lucas did intentionally or did it for budgetary reasons.

If you look at the technology and star Wars is just supposed to be a really futuristic type of society. Dystopian to some extent, but really the technology that they\’re used while it\’s like AI all over the place and everything, it\’s very, it\’s very noninvasive and people\’s lives, if you think about it, like not, not everyone\’s carrying around a smartphone, they\’re not, no, they\’re not fumbling with like different buttons to try to get something to work, you know?

It\’s all just, it just kind of works with. With society. even in these like farming, agricultural societies, you know, you see droids out there doing the farming. It\’s kind of like, that\’s where we want to get to with IOT. We want to point where it\’s not invasive, where it just kind of works with everybody.

And we\’re so far away from that because there\’s so much forcing that\’s going on with trying to integrate apps that really don\’t mean anything. Or they really don\’t provide any value other than maybe knowledge that something is happening 

Kurt: that\’s a long ways away. Right. 

BJ: It. It really is. So that user experience is really what we need to focus on now in IOT.

And so I think that\’s where we\’re going is more user experience focused. I\’m really assessing what the ROI is and how you can still have IOT, but also keep in mind that business ROI, all the way through. 

Kurt: So yeah. No, it makes sense. I think that, you know, I, I\’ve got so many places to go at the secret of over the weekend, I was having a conversation with a family friend who\’s a truck driver and he\’s a little nervous about these new Tesla trucks and things and, and I\’m telling, I\’m like, this is going to be a long ways away.

For before your job is, at risk. I mean, while it looks fancy and all this stuff to the sheer scale of the implementation, to your point, right. is, is massive, right? It\’s a, it\’s a, it\’s going to take a very long time. It\’s really cool and neat to see, to kind of get a glimpse of the future. but I kind of look at it like those, those films in the 50s where it was like, the robot\’s going to cook the Turkey, you know.

BJ: Right? Yeah, exactly. It truck driving is a very interesting thing. I was doing some research funded research a couple of years ago at Ohio state, and we were looking at, we\’re using NLP natural language processing and looking at, at chatboards about what the biggest, concern of truck drivers was. And you can\’t really ask truck drivers what their concerns are, directly an interview because one, they\’re, they\’re definitely an interesting demographic and population to talk to.

but they\’re not, you know, just like any survey, they\’re not going to give you a straight answer. And so what we found was just pulling mass amounts of text data and then analyzing it with proximity and all those types of things that we use with NLP, we were able to actually get what these truck drivers were worried about.

And their number one concern was not health because health is a big issue with truck drivers. they think they\’re perfectly healthy cause they\’re constantly moving. Just not necessarily, you know. but the, the thing that was an interesting, which I guess you probably could have guessed was privacy.

They were concerned about their privacy because another project that I did with IOT, the very large trucking company, was to look at noninvasive, sensing techniques and inside the cabin. And so you get these long haul truck drivers. The idea was, Hey, is there a way that when they get in the cabin and we can assess health.

and it wasn\’t necessarily like what you think of as Fitbit, like how many steps did you get in? It was more of longterm trends. So waiting in the seat. one of the biggest, killers of truck drivers is congenital heart failure. And so one of the things that we could tell was dry putting simple weights, weight sensors in the seat was over six months.

If the weight of the driver just S you know, it just went off, went off the rails, and you have a 60 pound weight gain, well that was an indicator of congenital heart failure. And you could see this with trends. And so that\’s, there\’s an application of IOT that we did. In the end, the large trunk committee was so excited about this.

There\’s a great innovation, and they went out to do their first voice of customer, only to realize that there was no truck driver that would ever use the system. Even if it meant saving their life cause they didn\’t want big brother watching them. And that\’s the thing about IOT, right? 

Kurt: Yeah. Yeah. I, yeah.

Again, it\’s like there\’s so many sensors and things already and everything from refrigeration trucks to all these different things that it\’s, it probably feels a bit cramped as it is for them already, right? 

BJ: Oh yeah. The, the, the thing is, I mean that, that whole privacy and security thing, and I\’ll separate those two concepts very distinctly because privacy is not security and security is not privacy.

The, the big thing about privacy is what kind of information am I letting on and can that information be connected? And then the security part of it is if someone maliciously gets into that stream of data, can they do something with it? Right. And I think a lot of people. Are really focused. You were asking like what is the, what is the trajectory for IOT?

And security is a very large part of that and that security piece everyone is focusing on and a lot of the security can be solved with privacy actually with a more, with a higher focus on privacy. Amazon\’s really getting in hot water, in my opinion, in their IOT strategy. Not that their technology is not great because it is.

It\’s now they\’re pretty invasive and connecting the dots on things from a privacy standpoint, that if they have one breach, it\’s really, really going to be really, really bad. Cause it\’s so easy to connect the dots on somebody\’s about. And now they have that, that camera, they have the echo dot. They got the audio they\’ve got, you know, all of that stuff.

Kurt: There\’s key thing to where they\’ll open your garage door and put your packages in. 

BJ: Yeah. The ring. I mean it\’s just, it\’s just so invasive and it\’s so convenient. I mean, I don\’t know if you have a, an Amazon Alexa, but I know my, my two year old loves to, you know, well, yell at us to then tell Alexa to play wheels on the bus.

Like, you know, I mean, in some sense it\’s, it\’s like a, it\’s, it\’s an amazing kind of invasion in a privacy, but it\’s privacy for convenience. We\’re willing to give that up and that\’s an IOT thing that is going to be probably one of the hardest things to overcome. And it\’s not a technical challenge. It\’s a communication articulation problem of what the terms are.

How are we using your data, when are we going to use your data, and how do you even explain that to a nontechnical person? That\’s a very difficult problem. And how do you do it in such a way that it\’s succinct and concise so you\’re not reading an end user license screen, which I\’m sure we all read, right?

Except the product. So it\’s all of those things. So, and then of course, security, which will always be there. And, and operational cybersecurity, which is something I\’ve, you know, been in involved with from the beginning has, is it\’s there, you know, we have techniques, we have strategies trying to break encryptions very difficult.

But it\’s more of how do you relate that to the privacy and make sure that those things play off of each other in positive ways. I think that\’s where IOT needs to go along with how do you integrate it more deeply into a lifestyle to where it\’s not invasive. 

Kurt: Yeah, that makes sense. So from a business perspective, I think something I\’ve experienced, especially in the last 10 years, is a lot of companies.

Fighting over the idea of build versus buy. especially when it comes to new technology, right? So I\’m a larger corporation. I could hire 600 engineers and build my own platform, or I could go and partner with somebody and have them, but then now I\’m going to risk them getting a hold of all my data.

Or to your point, . Possible security risks, right? But there\’s also security risks if I build it myself and I don\’t build it correctly. all those different things. How do you coach people on that build versus buy side when it comes to the IOT space? 

BJ: Yeah, that\’s a very personal question for the business.

cause you know, culturally it needs to line up. So my, my big thing is I don\’t like to reinvent the wheel on anything. I like to stand on the shoulders of giants as we all should. but there is a point at which that an IOT application that you can\’t just pull something off the shelf. and that\’s the way it is with every IOT application.

So there\’s going to be some level of customization. And so my company, techno city, a, a development company, a connected product company, would call it. we\’ve worked with the large fortune 1000 fortune 500 companies, and it\’s a very, and w we. We worked with them in a partnership. We don\’t necessarily work with them as clients.

And you ha you have to do that because, you know, just because you know, a company goes in and, and, there\’s a number actually in your neck of the woods in Minnesota that will go in and say, Hey, we, you know, we\’ll be everything to everybody. And we\’ve got a product right off the shelf for you. It\’s perfect.

You know, look at our devices and look at all this kind of stuff. There\’s a few others. Partner call IO is a good company that has a product, but you know, at some point, if you buy all that off the shelf, you\’re going to have to customize. And so the, the, the question is who do you outsource the customization or do you insource the customization.

usually I have to coach a client on, well, what\’s the ROI for your business? If you think that the data\’s going to be there and, available immediately, then, maybe you should just, you know, maybe just buy something off the shelf and kind of force it into your application cause you want to get to those analytics cause that\’s what\’s gonna get you that ROI right.

But if you\’re looking for a really good custom, you know, custom user experience, where it\’s more about your brand and your products and, and the experience of the, of, of how your stakeholders, not just B to C, right, but business to consumer, but, but how your stakeholders, maybe the, your, your big enterprise clients that are, you know, using dashboards.

Like if you\’re really focused on that customer service customer experience, then you\’re going to have to customize it. And so that\’s really where technicality comes in. my company. So where, you know, we\’ll get you what we\’ll take off the shelf components, whether it\’s Google cloud, core IOT, good relationship with Google there, you know, with Amazon IOT or Azure IOT as of recently.

We\’ve done stuff on all three of three of the big platforms. If you know, we, we will, we\’ll get you there most of the way or use our own. I, Audrey. and then what we do is we spend our time really doing voice of customer and doing those, the strategies of that custom, that last 5%, which always costs the more it costs the most you spend the most time on.

And you do that last, last 5%. We\’ll partner with different design firms. And all of those different things to really bring in a lot of variety to the creative experience that is so important to that you UI user experience and really just really pull that through. And I would argue that, you know, every single IOT project, whether you think it\’s purely B2B, that user experience is so critical to the success of your product.

it. It, it really is. And you\’d have to spend a lot of time, and unfortunately, that costs a lot of money to get really top notch talent, to do that. And so really the question is not whether or not you\’re going to insource or outsource, but where do you draw that line. 

Kurt: Right. Because you know, too, and I say this to people we work with as well, is that, you know, it\’s, you\’re not really competing with your competitors anymore.

You\’re competing with the experience that Amazon and smart things and Phillips and Phillips hue and all those things are providing now. It isn\’t just, you know, the people across the street, you\’re shaking your fist at, right? It\’s, it\’s a, it\’s, people have an expectation of experience right now. 

BJ: Well, and, and one thing that we\’ve, that I always like to, cause I\’ve, we\’ve done this for a number of years now.

one of the things that a lot of people get into a lot of enterprise people get into in the beginning is while they might sign us up or sign someone else up, they may not have a longterm plan. And as a small boutique shop like we are, it\’s a, this is the age, age old problem. Who\’s going to maintain it.

You know, there\’s the outsource is the outsource company that I\’m hiring. Just going to charge me an arm and the lag in two years cause they don\’t want this anymore. But we\’re so ingrained and they are the only ones who know how to operate this thing that we have to charge, that we have to pay them whatever they\’re charging.

Kurt: My next point, which is, I can imagine those conversations are, you know, okay, you\’re a. you\’re a car manufacturer. Are you ready to become an IOT company now? Right? Because that\’s what you\’re, you know, if you build this platform, you know, you\’re going to need a, a chief IOT officer or something at some point to, to keep driving these things forward.

And I think that\’s the conversation people aren\’t having. They\’re looking at the nice, shiny thing about like, let\’s build this crazy platform, but not, you know, necessarily the transformation that it\’s going to do to the business. Right. 

BJ: Right. And, and how you maintain it. I mean, that\’s the big thing is, you know, frankly, building an IOT system, all the activation energy is high.

getting there, it\’s actually relatively low cost compared to the gorilla. They are pound gorilla in the room or the elephant, and that is the maintain maintenance of it. 

Kurt: Total cost of ownership, as we like to call it here. 

BJ: The total cost of ownership, that just dwarfs the, the height. High price tag of building that initial IOT platform.

And one thing that we\’ve been relatively successful at, it doesn\’t work for everybody. But one thing that we do since we\’re a small boutique, is we work with our partners. That\’s why we call them partners. we work with our partner. We\’ll actually hire junior developers, that are vetted by the partner company, the enterprise.

And what we\’ll do is we\’ll work them through and we\’ll bootcamp up some and we\’ll, we\’ll build the system alongside of them. And so they\’ve already made a deal with the enterprise clients so that when we get to transfer time, we call it transfer. They actually get a fully packaged little experienced team that\’s up on this there.

Their deals are already set with the company and they\’ve been trained so that then they can usually inhouse this or they have the option that we have a maintenance team. At that point. to maintain it. If they don\’t, if they don\’t have the, they don\’t like the price tag or they don\’t want to bring on the team or whatever, we at least have a maintenance team that is self sufficient and able to support.

And it works. It works about half the time. It really depends on the culture of the company and how partnership is. And I can\’t say it\’s great. Yeah. And you know, how many of these things actually work in the end? You know, there\’s a risk associated with it. you know, we, we have had our success rates, with that.

and, and, it\’s been pretty good actually. And so that\’s one, one way that I say, you know, To, to work with partners if you\’re, if you\’re developing IOT or trying to buy an IOT platform from . From a vendor is what\’s your maintenance strategy and can I get a maintenance team out of you? Because yeah, I\’m not an IOT company and will not be an IOT company, but I want to be able to control it at some point.

And so what are, how do you answer that? And if you\’re going to an IBM, if you\’re going to an AWS consultant, if you\’re going to, you know, a Google consultant. They\’ll be like, Oh, well, we\’re big. We, you know, we have these as our set rates and, and it\’s like, okay, great. Can you guarantee that the people I\’m going to have in two years when we\’re ready are the same people that you\’re not just gonna take the good ones and then more, you know, some junior guys in to maintain it.

because any system that\’s not growing is dying. Right? So you only have to be doing that. So that\’s, that\’s one of the challenges that we\’ve been. I guess that\’s somewhat successful is, 

Kurt: that\’s really cool. So on the, I want to switch gears back to the consumer side of things. For the last part of our talk today, what are the things that I hear a number of people talking about?

Which is interesting because more and more people are, you know, you know, buying homes that have smart. Things in them already, either installed by the previous owner, or maybe it comes with the house. I see it happening more and more these days, and I think the security and the privacy concerns there are really strong.

Right, because it\’s your home, right? I mean, I know, I know of one person who, you know, moved into a smart home and wanted to tear all the things out and replace them all with their things, just because they didn\’t know. Where are these things connected to and how they connected and, and who had access to them.

Right. you know, and the consumer side, you know, do you see those, those concerns growing over time, or do you, do you see things getting better because there\’s so many different organizations out there. There\’s, you know, there\’s things from locks, appliances, beds, gardening, smart lights, smart pets stuff, and wearables and all that stuff.

Like w w you know, what should I be as a consumer? What should I be looking out for, to, to, to keep myself protected. 

BJ: Yeah. I mean, that, it really comes down to if you trust the organization that you\’re buying from, just like age old, even before. You know, machine to machine was a thing back in the 90s. do you trust Amazon when you buy your, your ring, you know, do they have your privacy, your, your, your privacy in mind?

Same thing with Google. Do you trust Google? You know, that\’s the, the age old question. Do you trust Facebook? You know, the big, the big guys, cause one thing\’s for certain. As we go down this path, you\’re going to just start seeing a, a unification of these things. And while we might today see us so many different options with the Phillips hue and, and all of these different products with brands that\’ll eventually unify into one, just like the goo, the internet has essentially become Google, right?

And you know, e-commerce has essentially become Amazon. So you\’re going to see the, you know, whether it\’s through acquisition, through attrition, something along those lines. You\’re going to see some unification, so you can choose your, you know, pick your horse and ride it. But in the end, it comes down to trusting the, the organization, that you\’re, that you\’re looking, looking at buying from.

And you know, like the Google nest. It\’s an interesting case you, you mentioned just a, just a few minutes ago about the person wanting to tear everything out cause they didn\’t know where to bend. That\’s a really a really real thing because even Google hadn\’t figured out or, or had maybe not thought through or just.

Actually, they probably thought through, they just didn\’t implement, you know, the, the transfer. And so once, when you move that Google nest is still there and you hear these horror stories of someone, you know, the previous owner still controlling the home\’s temperature or seeing the camera on the Google nest.

Right. You know, and there\’s story after story of this. So I, I get it. I mean, it\’s, it\’s just such a hard problem to cover all of those, those different, those different strategies. But it really comes down to do you trust and, doing your homework on things. And it\’s. And you know, we\’re all strapped for time.

Lesson is how much time do I do? I spend trying to figure out, and for every good story there\’s a horror story. So who do I trust and what do, what do I do? honestly, I don\’t have a good answer. My answer is just don\’t put smart home stuff in my house. That\’s what I do unless I build it. So 

Kurt: unless you have built it yourself.

BJ: Exactly. So that\’s kinda what, what I, what my motto is, but I\’m also kind of a weird dude and that, that, that respect. I don\’t think we\’re, we live in a Machiavellian society where everyone\’s out to get you. We\’re not there yet. If we\’ll ever get there, but it\’s really just comes down to who you trust. and also just be considerate of what information you\’re giving.

Every time you enter information into a, into an input box on an, on an app, I\’m thinking about, you know, where could that information go, or what information, you know, is my name being connected with something. or, you know, Amazon has an a cool feature where if you sign up with your, your Alexa. Alexa or your daughter or your echo.

What they\’ll do is they\’ll say, do you want me to save this wifi? you know, user, you know, SS ID and password and use it on your other devices. And what that means is that you\’re shipping your home wifi credentials up to Amazon so they can share it with other devices. So it\’s a convenience thing. So just think about, you know, how things are working and you don\’t have to be a technical person.

Just spend that extra five seconds to be like, okay, wait, how does this system work? We know it\’s really about think and how does that, how do these things work together? How do they talk? and what kind of information and am I sharing and how could that eventually come back to haunt me one day? And that\’s a, that\’s a difficult question to ask, but, you know, it really comes down.

And how much are you willing to let go for your privacy and convenience? A big thing is convenience. If you\’re one that it\’s like, what am I going to, what are they going to do with it? It\’s not like I\’m breaking any laws and I\’m really a nobody, so, you know. Yeah. You\’re probably okay. But you know, if you end up getting famous like Kurtzman on his podcast, you may consider a different approach to your, security.

Kurt: Right? Exactly. Yeah. If you\’re, if you\’re a Leonardo DiCaprio, you might not want. 

BJ: You 

Kurt: know, Alexis and every room. Right. Yeah. No, that makes sense. Yeah. And I think it\’s a really, like you said, I think it\’s a really exciting time. I think, you know, I, I\’ve just, you know, especially cause at the time we\’re recording, this is right after black Friday and there\’s so many, you know, voice assistant and apps and devices and all these different things that are being, you know.

Pushed out for, you know, $10 on Amazon and smart plugs and things, you know, there, it\’s, you know, and people, I mean, I see it. People are scooping them up, and I mean, and, and, and there\’s a lot of convenience there, like you said, but, while it might be cheap, what\’s the. What\’s the total cost of ownership, I guess 

BJ: privacy and, and, when it comes right down to it, it\’s, you\’re selling, you know, you\’re buying a device, an internet directly internet connected device for $10.

There you, what you\’re doing is you\’re subsidizing that device with your buying potential for an Amazon perspective. You\’re buying potential on their eCommerce platform or your data that they\’re selling. That\’s those. It really comes down to those two things. And it\’s like if you\’re buying something you feel is just too good to be true, it always is too good to be true, right?

So you always just gotta think about it. You know, for Amazon, you may say, Oh, that\’s not a big deal. Right? I mean it, they assume that I\’m going to buy an Amazon prime membership for $117 a year or whatever it is, and I\’ll probably buy more on Amazon platforms. So they\’re making it up there. It\’s like, all right, cool.

I\’m willing to accept that. But is Amazon also selling your data. I dunno, you know, that\’s the question. And that\’s why, you know, GDPR and those types of privacy laws are, they don\’t do everything. But, in the new California, I\’m kind of, that\’s come out. you know, we need more of that so that people are at least told.

What their data\’s going to be used for. I\’m not saying that we need to remove all the, I mean, I build these products too. I\’m more information makes me, helps me make a better product. It doesn\’t mean I\’m going to be bad with the information should I want much information as possible and we just need, so we just need to follow some guidelines to let people know in a very nontechnical, very concise and easy, accessible way, how their needs being used so they can make a better decision about whether or not they want to buy the product and use the product.

Kurt: I think that\’s great. Well, BJ, I want to thank you so much for joining me on the show today. I really enjoyed learning from you and, and all the, and just all the great stories you have about, working in the, the space that you\’re working in. So if I want to find out more about BJ and his companies, where, where should I go or where can I check it out?

BJ: Yeah, you can go to a technicality. That IO, T, E, C, H, I, C, I T Y. Dot. IO. that\’s my connected product company. That\’s the company that will build connected products. mobile, stationary, kitchen appliances, electric utility grid, which is where I came from. and, with a focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence for predictive analytics.

And then if you want to just do your own IOT with a managed service, we developed a, a platform called  dot. IO IOT, E R Y dot. IO. so if you\’re technically, technically, technically, I dunno, more savvy, technically savvy, you can, You if I Audrie dot. IO. If you\’re technically savvy, you can go check that out and, deploy your IOT network and 15 minutes.

That\’s our claim with a raspberry PI. And then some of the other startups that I\’ve been spending a lot of money on, which is always fun. like food It\’s grocery retail free delivery. And a few others. Health QRS. It\’s a health care, pricing, transparency platform. And, and of course any of my research, at the Ohio state university center for automotive research where we do a lot of autonomous vehicle development and IOT.

That\’s always fun stuff and you can always check me out on LinkedIn at, BJ Jurkovich. 

Kurt: Awesome. Thanks again BJ. I really appreciate you taking the time. Thanks, 

BJ: Kurt. It\’s been fun.