Hashtag Trending – Black Friday; Homepod delayed; Amazon Key loophole

Published: November 20th, 2017

Black Friday goes mobile, Apple delays the HomePod, and researchers find a loophole in Amazon Key.

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Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, November 20th, I’m Brian Jackson. We’re looking ahead at what tech stories will be trending this week.

Black Friday is bound to be trending this week. The shopping event may have started as an American Thanksgiving tradition, but it’s definitely come north of the border. According to data from Adobe Digital Insights, Canadians spent a total of $692 million over the four-day period last year. 28 per cent of those sales were made over a mobile device. So shopping with a smartphone is really on the rise. Consumers also look up retail information on their smartphones, with about half of website visits conducted from mobile last year.

Here’s one thing you won’t be able to buy on Black Friday – the Apple HomePod. In fact you won’t be able to buy it until next year. Apple says that that it needs more time to finish production of the device. Even then, Apple is only committing to start shipping in the U.S., UK, and Australia in early 2018. That can’t bode well for this smart speaker, with Amazon and Google blitzing the market through the holidays.

The first security holes have been poked in Amazon Key. This is the service that allows an Amazon delivery man to unlock your front door and drop off a package inside your home. It pairs a smart lock with a cloud connected camera to provide security. But Rhino Security Labs released a video showing it could freeze the camera, allowing an intruder to re-enter the home before the door is locked again. Amazon responded by saying that it will send out a software update to fix the loophole this week.

That’s what’s trending this week. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is sponsored by Cogeco Peer 1, the company that enables businesses to unlock their IT potential. Learn more at CP1.com.