Control & Automation

New Research Paradigm for Connected Devices: Domotz Analyzes 1 Million Fing Households

With nearly 1 million registered households, Fing from Domotz reports market penetration of Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, smart TVs and other connected media devices, representing a new paradigm in researching the connected home.

New Research Paradigm for Connected Devices: Domotz Analyzes 1 Million Fing Households
Research from nearly 1 million households using the Fing network-scanning tool from Domotz reveals that more than half of users have media devices on the network.

Julie Jacobson · April 26, 2017

Fing is an network-scanning solution that allows users to discover and view IP-connected devices ... and smart things connected to IP-connected devices. Acquired by Domotz in 2016, Fing now has a cloud-based service that analyzes data across households (85% of users are consumers), allowing the system to become smarter at discovering IP devices through the collective.

When consumers manually label their connected devices, everyone in the network of networks benefits. Domotz learns the IP signatures of these devices and can apply them elsewhere.

New! NuVo Support

Domotz Pro users can now enjoy enhanced features for remotely monitoring and managing the Player Portfolio music streams from NuVo Technologies.

The Nuvo features include:

  • Automatic device discovery
  • One-tap remote reboot 
  • Integrators can launch a support session with the device manufacturer for streamlined troubleshooting
  • Firmware version is automatically displayed on the Domotz app. If the firmware is out of date, an upgrade can be performed remotely using the Domotz Pro remote connect feature.

In other words, Domotz is “crowd-sourcing” device recognition. Over 18 million users have downloaded the Fing app, and the number of cloud registrants is escalating. The growing “Fingpedia” database of instantly-recognizable devices now numbers over 9 billion, according to the company.

Company principal Domenico Crapanzano explains that user privacy is strictly maintained. In fact, users no longer must supply email addresses or other personally identifiable information to register Fing.

“It’s not even close to having personal information,” Crapanzano says. “The networks are assigned random numbers. We just get brands, make and model, nothing about the consumers. It’s all digital. It’s all 0s and 1s.”

Customers benefit, he says, because “they’re helping themselves understand what’s on their network.”

Now Fing has about 933,000 users worldwide, which makes for a nice research lab for product penetration and usage. The first round of number-crunching has commenced, and Domotz has released some early results.

The research can go much deeper with cross-tabulations, Crapanzano explains, but today he marvels at the sheer volume of useful data that can be collected through a popular app.

“Forget those surveys based on a few thousand responses,” Domotz explains. “This is real insight.”

Fing users may be skewed to technology enthusiasts that would download the app in the first place, but the potential for this type of data is clear.

Already, service providers have requested specialized research based on the data, and Best Buy’s Magnolia stores have committed to using the platform for remote monitoring and tech support.

The “Mag Care” app and service were launched last year, but Crapanzano says the service will be expanded this summer.

Fing IP Discovery Survey Results 

n=933,000 Fing-connected households

Media-connected networks by country
Most popular connected streaming media devices by country: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku
Most popular connected smart TVs by country: Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic
 


  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Audio/Video · Business · Research · News · Domotz · Fing · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by DOMENICO DOMOTZ.COM on April 27, 2017

Steve, this is Domenico, ceo at Domotz and Fing. I saw your comment and just wanted to set the record straight on a few topics you raised. Use of Fing and of our Device Recognition Engine does not require you to provide any personally identifiable information to us, as clearly stated in the opening section of our Fing Privacy policy which you kindly provided a link to. 85% of our users in fact, use the service completely anonymously and it’s impossible for us to tell who they are. For them, we receive no network login, no open ports and certainly no playlists (you might have confused us with Bose).  For the 15% of users who create an account with us to access and benefit from additional features, we use their personal information such as their login email address, exclusively to run the services we provide to them. We do NOT sell or rent our users’ personal information in any way, shape or format to anybody. We would not have 7 years of history, 20 million downloads and a combined 300,000 positive comments with a 4.6 star rating on Google Play and Apple Store if we did.

In a world where Facebook reads and datamines all your Whatsapp and Facebook posts to deliver you “better advertising” and google knows every movement you make on billions of android phones (did you ever use google map?), I personally find it interesting that you feel we are violating users privacy by publishing reports like this which are just describing the state of the industry. In any case, Device Recognition is entirely optional on our Fing app, if you don’t turn it on, there is no connection to our cloud at all, all those MAC addresses will remain on your phone, you just will never know what they are!

Mitch, privacy and security are the two biggest concerns with any cloud solution and we spend our fair share (and more) of time and money to make sure we do things right. We have several large enterprise clients who use our products to provide support to their own clients and who have stringent privacy and security policies in place, including penetration testing amongst others. If it can make you feel any better, we comply with these.  In fact I would venture in saying that we are amongst, if not the most, secure platform amongst all of our competitors in the space given how much time and money we spend on the topic.

I fully appreciate we are all freaked out about privacy and security, but witch hunting for the sake of it doesn’t do the industry any good. The cloud, and its implications are here to stay, and there is a lot that can be achieved for everybody’s benefit within respecting people’s rights. And a lot of what we are doing frankly is giving millions of our users the information they are looking for, not invading their privacy for some obscure ulterior motive. Feel free to contact me directly if you want more information on our practices and policies.

Posted by MitchK on April 26, 2017

This is terrific data - thanks for sharing!

That said, I would like to know exactly how their cloud-based service is secured from hackers, and what precautions are being taken to continually ensure their cloud is secure? Apart from monitoring (which I’m sure they do) they need to be one step ahead to prevent an attack - as opposed to react.

Is the data collected being sold? With increasingly heightened sensitivity to these issues I think dealers should know - and be prepared to answer.

Great work guys!

Posted by Steve Hoge on April 26, 2017

“The networks are assigned random numbers. We just get brands, make and model, nothing about the consumers. It’s all digital. It’s all 0s and 1s.” 

“All 0s and 1s”?  Is that statement meant to put my concerns at ease?

In fact, they ARE collecting the originating IP address of your network (assigned by your ISP), the globally-unique MAC address of every device on your LAN that responds to a RARP request and, of course, each device’s brand and model # and the open ports on each one.  They do say they can collect “technical information” that might include your network login information - but they don’t say they won’t probe as deeply into these devices as they can to extract performance data like playlists, etc.  And they have at least one email address for you and an IP address to associate with it.

See if you can tease out the nature exact of the de-personalization that they guarantee to apply to their data before transferring to 3rd parties from reading their privacy policy:  http://app.fing.io/privacy

Posted by Steve Hoge on April 26, 2017

“The networks are assigned random numbers. We just get brands, make and model, nothing about the consumers. It’s all digital. It’s all 0s and 1s.” 

“All 0s and 1s”?  Is that statement meant to put my concerns at ease?

In fact, they ARE collecting the originating IP address of your network (assigned by your ISP), the globally-unique MAC address of every device on your LAN that responds to a RARP request and, of course, each device’s brand and model # and the open ports on each one.  They do say they can collect “technical information” that might include your network login information - but they don’t say they won’t probe as deeply into these devices as they can to extract performance data like playlists, etc.  And they have at least one email address for you and an IP address to associate with it.

See if you can tease out the nature exact of the de-personalization that they guarantee to apply to their data before transferring to 3rd parties from reading their privacy policy:  http://app.fing.io/privacy

Posted by MitchK on April 26, 2017

This is terrific data - thanks for sharing!

That said, I would like to know exactly how their cloud-based service is secured from hackers, and what precautions are being taken to continually ensure their cloud is secure? Apart from monitoring (which I’m sure they do) they need to be one step ahead to prevent an attack - as opposed to react.

Is the data collected being sold? With increasingly heightened sensitivity to these issues I think dealers should know - and be prepared to answer.

Great work guys!

Posted by DOMENICO DOMOTZ.COM on April 27, 2017

Steve, this is Domenico, ceo at Domotz and Fing. I saw your comment and just wanted to set the record straight on a few topics you raised. Use of Fing and of our Device Recognition Engine does not require you to provide any personally identifiable information to us, as clearly stated in the opening section of our Fing Privacy policy which you kindly provided a link to. 85% of our users in fact, use the service completely anonymously and it’s impossible for us to tell who they are. For them, we receive no network login, no open ports and certainly no playlists (you might have confused us with Bose).  For the 15% of users who create an account with us to access and benefit from additional features, we use their personal information such as their login email address, exclusively to run the services we provide to them. We do NOT sell or rent our users’ personal information in any way, shape or format to anybody. We would not have 7 years of history, 20 million downloads and a combined 300,000 positive comments with a 4.6 star rating on Google Play and Apple Store if we did.

In a world where Facebook reads and datamines all your Whatsapp and Facebook posts to deliver you “better advertising” and google knows every movement you make on billions of android phones (did you ever use google map?), I personally find it interesting that you feel we are violating users privacy by publishing reports like this which are just describing the state of the industry. In any case, Device Recognition is entirely optional on our Fing app, if you don’t turn it on, there is no connection to our cloud at all, all those MAC addresses will remain on your phone, you just will never know what they are!

Mitch, privacy and security are the two biggest concerns with any cloud solution and we spend our fair share (and more) of time and money to make sure we do things right. We have several large enterprise clients who use our products to provide support to their own clients and who have stringent privacy and security policies in place, including penetration testing amongst others. If it can make you feel any better, we comply with these.  In fact I would venture in saying that we are amongst, if not the most, secure platform amongst all of our competitors in the space given how much time and money we spend on the topic.

I fully appreciate we are all freaked out about privacy and security, but witch hunting for the sake of it doesn’t do the industry any good. The cloud, and its implications are here to stay, and there is a lot that can be achieved for everybody’s benefit within respecting people’s rights. And a lot of what we are doing frankly is giving millions of our users the information they are looking for, not invading their privacy for some obscure ulterior motive. Feel free to contact me directly if you want more information on our practices and policies.