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Not far from San Francisco International Airport, San Bruno is a quaint middle-class residential suburb, yet underground in San Bruno was a gas pipeline controlled by SCADA software that used the Internet as its communications backbone. On Sept. 9, 2010, a short circuit caused the operations room to read a valve as open when it had actually closed, spiking the readings coming from pipeline pressure sensors in different parts of the system. Unbeknownst to the families returning home from ballet and soccer practice, technicians were frantically trying to isolate and fix the problem. At 6:11 pm, a corroded segment of pipe ruptured in a gas-fueled fireball.

The resulting explosion ripped apart the neighborhood. Eight people died. Seventeen homes burned down. The utility, PG&E, was hit with a $1.6 billion fine.

The accident investigation report blamed the disaster on a sub-standard segment of pipe and technical errors; there was no suggestion that the software error was intentional, no indication that malicious actors were involved. “But that’s just the point,” Joe Weiss argues. “The Internet of Things introduces new vulnerabilities even without malicious actors.”

Joe Weiss is a short, bespectacled engineer in his sixties. He has been involved in engineering and automation for four decades, including fifteen years at the respected Electric Power Research Institute. He has enough initials after his name to be a member of the House of Lords—PE, CISM, CRISC, IEEE Senior Fellow, ISA Fellow, etc., all of which speak to his expertise and qualifications as an engineer. For instance, he wrote the safety standards for the automated systems at nuclear power plants.

The problem, Weiss claims, is using the internet to control devices that it was never intended to control. Among these are industrial systems in power plants or factories, devices that manage the flow of electricity through the energy grid, medical devices in hospitals, smart-home systems, and many more.

Continue reading this article on Quartz.

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Interview: 3M's Road to IoT

When you think of 3M you immediately think of Post-It Notes or Scotch tape. If you're old school or local, maybe you know that 3M was founded as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. But have you ever thought about this company, which has $30 billion in annual sales, employs 88,000 people worldwide and produces more than 55,000 products, as an IoT company? All that material science must have an opportunity in IoT. 

For that we turned to Dr. Jennifer F. Schumacher, the technical supervisor and co-founder of the Computational Intelligence group in the Corporate Research Laboratory at 3M Company. She manages a team and portfolio of 35 new technology Introduction programs which are mechanizing, electrifying, and digitizing 3M materials. Her current initiative is to drive technology platform development in computer vision, machine learning, and deep learning

When people talk about 3M, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Post-it® Notes, and they might not think about 3M at the ready for future advances. How is a materials science company playing in the IoT space?

They say you’re never more than ten feet from a 3M product – that is a lot of potential “things” we could integrate into the IoT space. In fact, we have already digitized the simple Post-it® Notes through the Post-it® Plus App, it integrates physical and digital notes and lets you connect with others to share, for example, outputs from brainstorming sessions.  

What have been some of the roadblocks you and your team have faced in convincing people that a materials science company is also a tech and data science company? How are you working to overcome this?

The data science/machine learning group at 3M is relatively new, and as such, many of the technologies we are developing are not ready for public disclosure yet. Therefore, it is difficult to communicate externally that 3M is actually working on these things, and difficult to recruit talent in this high-demand skillset space. We are addressing this by attending key conferences and interacting more with universities, for example we are sponsoring a seminar series at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

You have a PhD in neuroscience and an expertise in human vision. How does this apply to your work at 3M when it comes to data science and the IoT?

I initially leveraged my expertise in human vision to develop the 3M™ Display Quality Score – a metric that predicts how well a human will prefer a digital display based on its resolution, contrast, color saturation, etc. I then translated this skillset from understanding how people see, to teaching computers how to see, or ‘computer vision’. The opportunity to learn new things and adapt skillsets makes the job fun.

I believe that in a world full of data, it will be the ones that ask the right questions that have the advantage. Formal training in science has helped me hone my skills in asking the right questions so the most efficient and effective experiments can be carried out first. Much of my formal training has been multi-disciplinary, and I think this breadth of knowledge and cross pollination of ideas and concepts is the key to innovation. 3M’s approach to science is aligned to this approach of cross pollinating ideas and heavy collaboration.

Explain how machine learning can be applied to 3M products?

Machine learning thrives on data. 3M products are, or could be, producing data. We can then leverage the insights from the algorithms to enhance the product itself (for example, the Victory Series™ buccal tubes, which were optimized for fit) or to create an entirely new solution (we have several in the pipeline, so stay tuned!)

What can 3M do to adapt to the current digital economy and help your customers adapt?

There is a global trend of greater economic opportunity in service-based business models rather than product-based. I think 3M will need to start adapting some of these service-based models to adapt to the current digital economy, and we can do so by providing complete solutions (products + services) to our customers.

What do you think the most pressing challenges are when it comes to IoT? How is 3M working to solve these?

The most pressing challenge I see is finding the most impactful applications – there are plenty of ‘cool’ factor solutions or products, but what are the sustainable solutions, the ones that significantly improve the quality of life or enable new capabilities? 3M’s vision statement concludes with ‘3M Innovation Improving Every Life’, so I think we align our research goals with significant global technology trends and sustainability issues that would have this broad impact.

 What excites you most about the future of IoT?

The more trivial decisions that a smart system can take care of, the more time I can spend dreaming and implementing what the next technology to improve lives will be.

 

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Antarctica inhabits a unique place in the human exploration mythos. The vast expanse of uninhabitable land twice the size of Australia has birthed legendary stories of human perseverance and cautionary tales about the indomitable force of nature. However, since those early years, Antarctica has become a rich research center for all different kinds of data collection – from climate change, to biology, to seismic and more. And although today there are many organizations with field stations running this data collection, the nature of its, well, nature still presents daily challenges that technology has had a hand in helping address.

Can You Send Data Through Snow?

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) – of recent Boaty McBoatface fame – has been entrenched in this brutal region for over 60 years, the BAS endeavors to gather data on the polar environment and search for indicators of global change. Its studies of sediments, ice cores, meteorites, the polar atmosphere and ever-changing ice shelves are vitally important and help predict the global climate of the future. Indeed, the BAS is one of the most essential research institutions in the world.

In addition to two research ships, five aircraft and five research stations, the BAS relies on state of the art data gathering equipment to complete its mission. From GPS equipment to motion and atmospheric sensors, the BAS deploys only the most precise and reliable equipment available to generate data. Reliable equipment is vital because of the exceedingly high cost of shipping and repair in such a remote place.

To collect this data, BAS required a network that could reliably transmit it in what could be considered one of the harshest environments on the planet. This means deploying GPS equipment, motion and atmospheric sensors, radios and more that could stand up to the daily tests.

In order to collect and transport the data in this harsh environment, BAS needed a ruggedized solution that could handle both the freezing temperatures (-58 degrees F in the winer), strong winds and snow accumulation. Additionally, the solution needed to be low power due to the region’s lack of power infrastructure.

 The Application

Halley VI Research Station is a highly advanced platform for global earth, atmospheric and space weather observation. Built on a floating ice shelf in the Weddell Sea, Halley VI is the world’s first re-locatable research facility. It provides scientists with state-of-the-art laboratories and living accommodation, enabling them to study pressing global problems from climate change and sea-level rise to space weather and the ozone hole (Source: BAS website).

The BAS monitors the movement of Brunt Ice Shelf around Halley VI using highly accurate remote field site GPS installations. It employs FreeWave radios at these locations to transmit data from the field sites back to a collection point on the base.

Once there, the data undergoes postprocessing and is sent back to Cambridge, England for analysis. Below are Google Maps representation of the location of the Halley VI Research Station and a satellite image (from 2011) shows the first 9 of the remote GPS systems in relation to Halley VI.

The Problem

Data transport and collection at Halley VI requires highly ruggedized, yet precise and reliable wireless communication systems to be successful. Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest and coldest region on earth and environmental condition are extremely harsh year round. Temperatures can drop below -50°C (-58 °F) during the winter months.

Winds are predominantly from the east. Strong winds usually pick up the dusty surface snow, reducing visibility to a few meters. Approximately 1.2 meters of snow accumulates each year on the Brunt Ice Shelf and buildings on the surface become covered and eventually crushed by snow.

This part of the ice shelf is also moving westward by approximately 700 meters per year. There is 24-hour darkness for 105 days per year when Halley VI is completely isolated from the outside world by the surrounding sea ice (Source: BAS Website).

Additionally, the components of the wireless ecosystem need to be low power due to the region’s obvious lack of power infrastructure. These field site systems have been designed from ‘off the shelf’ available parts that have been integrated and ‘winterized’ by BAS for Antarctic deployment.

The Solution

The BAS turned to wireless data radios from FreeWave that ensure uptime and that can transport data over ice – typically a hindrance to RF communications. Currently, the network consists of 19 FreeWave 900 MHz radios, each connected to a remote GPS station containing sensors that track the movement of the Brunt Ice Shelf near the Halley VI Research Station.

The highly advanced GPS sensors accurately determine the Shelf’s position and dynamics, before reporting this back to a base station at Halley VI. Throughput consists of a 200 kilobit file over 12 minutes, and the longest range between a field site and the research station is approximately 30 kilometers.

Deployment of the GPS field site is done by teams of 3-4 staff using a combination of sledges and skidoo, or Twin Otter aircraft, depending on the distance and the abundance of ice features such as crevassing. As such, wireless equipment needed to be lightweight and easy to install and configure because of obvious human and material resource constraints.

In addition, the solution has to revolve around low power consumption. FreeWave radios have more than two decades of military application and many of the technical advancements made in collaboration with its military partners have led to innovations around low power consumption and improved field performance. The below image shows an example of a BAS remote GPS site, powered by a combination of batteries, a solar panel and a wind turbine (penguin not included).

FreeWave Technologies has been a supplier to the BAS for nearly a decade and has provided a reliable wireless IoT network in spite of nearly year-round brutal weather conditions. To learn more, visit: http://www.freewave.com/technology/.

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Not all Devices are IoT or IIoT

Introduction

Business opportunities created by Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial IoT (IIoT) are among the most
debated topics, as these are designed to function in a broad range of consumer and industrial applications.
Manufacturers of IoT components believe in this new trend, but many of them still not understand the essence
of the IoT concept. In reality, not every controlled device is an IoT nor IIoT.

The IoT/IIoT concept is a communication-based eco-system in which control devices, CCTV cameras and
industrial sensors communicate via the Internet with cloud-based computer systems and data sources, and
the result of this process is displayed on a computer screen, smartphone or used for optimal activation of a
process. Through an IoT/IIoT ecosystem you may boost productivity and achieve unique benefits. Examples
of IoT/IIoT include applications such as; remote operation of home appliances, medical devices, check on
availability of a product in a store, warnings of unusual conditions and malfunctions and more.

Leading market research firms already estimate that by 2020 there will be over 20 billion devices worldwide,
defined as part of IoT/IIoT systems. Although the forecasted number is growing every year, it is not clear
whether these figures correctly refer to what can be and what cannot be considered IoT or IIoT. It is strongly
recommended that decision factors such as outlined below shall be taken into consideration.

Devices not considered as IoT/IIoT

In reality not all devices can be accepted to the “IoT/IIoT Club”. Through the following three examples I will
try to clarify the main considerations referring to this topic.
a) You purchased a home air conditioner activated by a smartphone or a web based application. If the
packing label shows “Wi-Fi-Ready”, you can do that, but it will not necessarily make it an IoT, since remote
activation by itself is not a sufficient condition to call it an IoT.
b) You consider to add a vibration sensor to a large water pump or gas turbine to diagnose a malfunction.
This is not an IIoT, as the vibration sensor device is reporting to a special PLC and an ICS computer
which control the operation of that machinery and may stop it if a fault is detected.
c) You purchased a CCTV camera, which is connected to a home computer or a VCR for security
surveillance. This is also not an IoT, because 24/7 loop recording system does not require additional data
available from cloud based resources and not require cloud based computing.

Devices considered as IoT/IIoT

Here are three commercial, consumer oriented and industrial examples, that according to listed explanations
are considered appropriate for being considered as IoT/IIoT ecosystem.
a) Computerized control of a washing machine. The IoT ecosystem using the built-in controller which
support the decision related to optimal starting of the washing process. Consequently, the IoT controller
device communicates with cloud based data sources related to the following considerations:
• Is there a report from the electric company on unusually high loading of the power grid at the
neighborhood? If yes, the washing process is delayed.
• Is it forbidden to cause unusual noise in a residential area such as may be caused by the washing
machine? If yes, the washing process is delayed
• Is there sufficient amount of hot water from the sun-roof boiler as required for the washing? If not, the
activation is delayed until electric heating of the water is completed.

The operation of a solar power plant can be controlled by an IIoT process. After the power plant receives
a request to start supplying power, the IIoT ecosystem system checks the following conditions:
• Is the forecasted intensity of sun-rays during the next few hours adequate to generate the required
energy to the grid? If not, the power plant activation is canceled.
• Are there alternative electric power resources that are more suitable to generate electricity for the
requested period? If yes, the power plant activation is rejected.
• If there are no other alternatives, the solar power plant will be activated with limiting conditions, and
the power grid operator will be advised accordingly.
c) An order is received to purchase a certain type meat for home use. Following this requirement, the
customer can start and IoT-based search using his smartphone:
• In which food chain is this item available, and what is the ticket price
• Which stores are active during the hours when the purchase is required
• The outcome of that process shall be a list of options sent to the customer
From the three examples listed above you may learn that the IoT/IIoT concept is applicable when it is
impossible to perform a simple interaction between the requesting entity and the device which provides the
service. IoT/IIoT systems allow such interactive process through cloud-based data resources.

Is there a reason for concerns?

Definitely yes, because huge amounts of cheap IoT components without professional configuration and
without cyber security measures will flood the internet network and allow cyber-attacks from all directions and
for any purpose. Can ordinary home owners properly configure these devices, replace the default password
and detect DDoS-type security breach? Of course not, and that's the problem.
Today, as a result of strong expectations towards IoT market, none wants to remember the early 2000’s and
the dot.com bubble. Then, well-known and professional companies invested billions of dollars in products
that did not provide benefits for which users were willing to pay. The benefits came only years later, and then
more resources were required to create new business models in order to recover their losses.

Summary

We all hope for huge IoT/IIoT deployments in the future, as this is good for users, vendors and also for
innovation. But…., anyone considering to develop a new IoT/IIoT ecosystem, shall focus on finding a real
need and properly design a cloud-data based solution that delivers significant benefits.
Cyber protection for any IT and ICS architecture consists of three essential elements that are achievable: a)
the use of security technologies, b) strict adherence to policies, and c) careful user behavior. This is also true
for IoT/IIoT ecosystems. Innovative technologies, components and architectures that will include cyber
protection as part of the IoT/IIoT ecosystem at no extra cost, will definitely drive the success.

Photo credit Martin Košáň via Flickr.

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5 Blockchain Technologies To Watch For In 2017

For a couple of years, Blockchain which is the underlying technology of Bitcoin is gaining a huge amount of popularity. As there are various DAPPs and mind-blowing technologies written each week, somewhat you can say that there are huge amount of new aspects to lookout for.

For any individual who is simply starting with blockchain technology or any kind of development related to it. They will have numerous choices to select from. So, let’s check some of them.

Interesting Blockchain Technologies

1) Bitcoin

Introduced first by Satoshi Nakamoto in the year 2008 and written in his white paper, it simply caught the attention of the mainstream media. This so called Britcoin’s blockchain utilizes UTXOs (Unspent Transaction Outputs) mechanism. Here the major components related to the Bitcoin technology is Descriptions, Transaction ID, Inputs and Outputs and Meta data. Each transaction that you receive will have certain inputs and it will even create some outputs too. In addition, you can even embed certain data in such transactions. 

2) Ethereum

The brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, Etheruem’s first public implementation is called as Frontier. This was released somewhat in the mid-2015. There is a Turing-whole virtual kind of machine called EVM. Do you know the major improvement with regard to the Bitcoin blockchain? It is the basic ability to develop Smart Contracts.

There are various languages present in the Ethereum such as Solidity, LLL, Serpent, etc which the common supported languages present in this community are.  There has been a growing interest for the Ethereum from various industries and communities. One of the major innovations present in the Ethereum is the easily and basic simplicity of using smart contacts to develop tokens. This can represent certain physical assets like Gold, Fiat currency, computational hours, company shares, and the list goes on.

3) Hyperledger

The Hyperledger is one of the incubation project utilized for DLT (Distributed Ledger Technologies) by the Linux Foundation. There are three major incubation projects related to the Hyperledger which are Sawtooth, Fabric, and even Corda.

Even though the Fabric is the implementation of the IBM, still the Sawtooth is created by the Corda and Intel. Here, the Fabric is quite necessary as a private version of the blockchain, where the nodes of the network will work and form a private chain and even help in sharing data.   

4) Ripple

One of the blockchain technologies which simply focus on financial applications and settlement is the Ripple. This is created from the ground up, making it easy for you integrate with the existing infrastructure of the banking sector without distributing the integration of the overhead.

For few years, Ripple, the private firm has been developing this so called protocol and they have seen some good results from customers in terms of financial institutions and banks. Here the basic protocol is ILP (Interledger Protocol) and this simply helps the banks to make payment through various ledgers and networks all around the world.

5) Zcash

Here the latest shiny thing present in the land of the Bitcoin and blockchain is the Zcash. The best and easiest followers of the Zero-Knowledge proof are the Zcash. There have certain criticisms of this technology by users in terms of the public nature of transactions.

All the basic transaction can be easily traced to the original address and this simply leads to a huge issue, like revealing the amount of assets one has.  However, as it is built on the Britcoin Core’s codebase there is less chance for your personal information getting revealed.

Conclusion

In short, it is simply clear that such technology i.e blockchain is only attractive to certain tech companies but there are certain major players like IBM and Microsoft who have been taking notice of it.  So, let’s wait and watch how this works. 

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From wind turbines to your washing machine, the IoT is all the rage, and everyone wants their piece of the pie. Monetization and creating business value, not to mention profits, is the holy grail for the IoT. But who is really making money on the IoT and where are the most lucrative opportunities?  For that we turned to Mike Fallon, Senior Advisor of the IoT Transformation Advisory Practice at PTC. Mike is responsible for delivering frameworks to companies that address the how of IoT monetization – specifically for CIOs and other C-suite executives.

How can organizations profit from the IoT? 

Today, we are seeing two primary areas of opportunity for monetizing the IoT: operational efficiencies and new revenue generation. Operational efficiencies are of interest because of how the IoT allows you to organize and use data. In manufacturing, for example, the IoT can help to prevent unplanned downtime, capture real-time insights regarding production and operation, and integrate data across an extended supply chain.

Of even greater interest, right now, is new revenue generation, particularly for hardware companies that see opportunities to introduce digital services into their product offerings. Since the economy has rebounded from the recession, C-level executives and shareholders are very focused on growth. With so many digital transformations happening right now, traditional manufacturers and hardware companies are looking to these digital services as a way to generate new revenue and bring value to those transformations that are underway.

Why is it so hard to monetize the Internet of Things? 

We see a handful of common challenges as we talk to companies about monetizing their IoT strategies. One of the main challenges is developing a strategy and achieving alignment across key stakeholders in the organization. This often carries over to another challenge that we see – companies taking an inside-out approach that prioritizes the provider’s goals over what the end customer needs. Many companies aren’t asking themselves important questions about their strategies, such as, “How do we ensure that the customer or user cares enough about our service to want to pay for it?” The most successful companies are the ones that prioritize the user’s needs and the user experience.

Further, this idea of forming the right strategy can extend to the company’s go-to-market execution. This can be particularly challenging for companies that traditionally sell hardware and are trying to introduce digital services to their customers as part of new offerings. Whenever new offerings or services are introduced, the challenge of how to best market them typically follows.


There is no neat one-size-fits-all monetization model for the IoT, not least because the needs of different companies vary hugely. What are some of the successful models that you have seen, both in consumer and industrial sectors of IoT?

If we look at new revenue monetization, the key question that a company needs to answer as it shapes its business model is, “What is my customer or user willing to pay and how would they like to buy?” Many companies get trapped in what we could describe as more traditional thinking, often asking themselves, “How do I want to bill the customer?” along with other internal-oriented perspectives. These factors won’t be ignored, but the best business models are the ones that customers adopt rapidly because it’s clear to the customer how the software or service helps them do their job easier, enables them to do more than they could previously, and helps them achieve their own goals and objectives.

If companies stick to an inside-out approach that prioritizes their own needs over those of the customer, they’re potentially setting themselves up for failure because they likely aren’t doing all that they can to achieve the customer adoption needed to be successful.

As our publication name suggests, we focus on the Internet of Things, specifically the Industrial IoT. How do you plan to roll your product out for IoT devices? Can you provide examples?  

Right now, the IoT space is being defined by the platform. More and more companies are adopting IoT platforms, like the ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform from PTC, for their IoT initiatives. The best platforms provide companies with the capabilities that they need to be successful with their IoT strategies, such as application enablement, machine learning, industrial connectivity, and, increasingly, augmented reality.

Platforms allow companies to rapidly iterate as they build new IoT applications and solutions. This is crucial right now, as the IoT space is still maturing and companies are determining what works and what is needed in the market. Platforms also help companies future-proof their IoT strategies, as the best platforms will continue to add new capabilities and features to match the evolution and maturity of the market.

PTC makes ThingWorx available to partner companies and solution builders, which, in turn, use the platform to develop new solutions and applications that they sell to end customers. These solution builders can be system integrators, hardware companies, or other software companies. PTC has developed a robust ThingWorx partner ecosystem that offers companies multiple ways to take advantage of the platform and its many benefits.

Additionally, PTC uses ThingWorx for its own internal development of new connected solutions that are sold through its well-known solutions business, focused primarily on computer-aided design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM). An example is the Navigate application from PTC – a PLM-focused solution that has emerged as one of the best-selling solutions in PTC history.

Talk to us about pricing models. What are they, which are the most popular and which ones do you see has having the longest and greatest run?   

The IoT Transformation Advisory Practice at PTC spends a lot of time looking at pricing and business models. One of the things that we most often emphasize to our customers is, once the strategy around deciding what to connect and what data you can collect is set, do not try to copy and paste business models. There is rarely a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to IoT business models, primarily because each customer could have a different set of needs and/or objectives. At a higher level, this is where companies tend to struggle with generating new revenue through IoT. The pricing models that work start with understanding the needs and aspirations of the user of the service. The company needs to understand what the user is willing to pay for and the specifications that are included.

In today’s world, opting in and out of digital services is commonplace – it could be something as simple as cancelling a Spotify account or it could reach the level of an Industrial IoT service. The pricing models with the greatest and most sustained adoption will fit the evolving needs and expectations of the customer. Because the companies providing the new services will likely have insights into their customers’ operations, they’ll have the opportunity to have access to changing behaviors and shifts in their customers’ business.

As we’ve seen our customers’ journeys evolve, we’ve started to see innovation possibilities in the context of outcome-based design as well. Outcome-based design will continue to be important because it helps to align the design and engineering teams and more closely connects them to user insights that drive more targeted innovation and a faster time-to-market, all in the context of the customer experience.

Who in the organization plays the most important role creating an IoT monetization strategy?

It seems that there’s a common misconception that there’s one person who is most crucial to the development of an IoT monetization strategy. To be successful with a monetization strategy, it can’t fall solely on the shoulders of the CIO, CMO, CTO, etc. There needs to be a cross-functional team that provides input from each member’s respective discipline. IT, marketing, and finance can all play important roles in the development of the strategy, and it’s important that there’s a balance between these perspectives. When I work with customers, establishing a cross-functional view is a critical first step that I help them with.

If the CIO or another executive is in the lead role, he or she should reach across the hall and ensure that team members that spend all day thinking about customers and have direct engagement with customers are part of the team. This could be someone as high up as the CMO or it would be a more focused product marketing manager or director. Marketing will need to be a part of the solution to help guide the go-to-market strategy and execution.

So if a company wants to begin monetizing IoT, what’s the go-to-market approach they should take?

I work with companies that, for centuries, have been successful building their businesses with business models largely driven by the sale of physical products. While aftermarket services have also been a source of value (spare parts, component upgrades, warranty services, etc.), the strategy by the naming associated with “after” has been just that.

My background is working with companies that produce physical products. Now that I am in software, I have gained an appreciation for the importance of communicating in advance the availability of new services. This comes back to the critical role that marketing plays. Traditional and forward-thinking marketing efforts, along with the use of insights that you have from the customer and user are vital to connecting with your market.

As we think about how these new services will be sold, it’s important to consider that most sales executives could be used to getting paid in a certain way for selling a physical product. If the new service that is introduced requires a new selling strategy – perhaps one that requires more support from marketing, inside sales, or aftermarket services – both the learning curve and overall motivation for the sales executive needs to be considered.

If your strategy is to drive rapid adoption of the new service from your customers, at least at the initial launch of the offering, having a team that is dedicated to service with a focused understanding of the offering and a focused incentive or rewards system will typically drive adoption more rapidly and will have access to learnings that you may want to incorporate into the service as you iterate. Remember that your customer’s and user’s needs are in constant evolution and continuing to meet and anticipate those needs is critical to the overall strategy.

Anything else you’d like to add?

To summarize, there are six main components to think about when developing an IoT monetization strategy:

  • Strategy – Understand the objective in terms of a broad adoption strategy versus a more selective, premium offering for selective customers.
  • User-Centric – Approach the strategy from a user-focused perspective and build your design for revenue off of this.
  • What to Charge – Leverage learnings from user-engagement and feedback to understand pricing models.
  • How to Charge – Put a focus on making the service easy to adopt or test out.
  • Go-to-Market – Remember that this is a team game, driven by the cross-functional group that has developed the overall strategy. Tell a user-centric story and consider who sells and how to keep incentive and reward systems from being barriers.
  • Technology – Ideally, the technology that’s offered will have robust capabilities, allow for secure, rapid iteration and scaling, and allow for integration to other business and enterprise systems.
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Top 5 uses of Internet of Things!!

While many organizations are creating tremendous value from the IoT, some organizations are still struggling to get started.  It has now become one of the key element of Digital Transformation that is driving the world in many respects.
It is really a time to look beyond the hype and get real about Internet of Things.
Just putting IoT in place may not help organizations but applyinganalytics is extremely essential for the success of IoT systems for better decision making.
Here are top 5 areas where IoT is making the disruption:
1.     Wellness - IoT helps continuously monitor the patients and symptoms to early detection, diagnosis & accelerate breakthrough drug development. Wearables like Fitbit, Apple watch, and Samsung have all created new revenue streams from giving their users workout analytics and the ability to set daily health goals. Mobile apps around wellness have been around for years now to track your sleep, weight, nutrition, and more. 
2.     Safety and Security – Sensor based monitoring of elevators, escalators improves travelers safety at airports.  Sensors, which are much cheaper these days, can let you know whether or not your water pipes are leaking or are about to burst. The droneswill allow the handful of rangers to quickly investigate reports of fires, than traveling into remote parts of the jungle over unpaved roads. Connected cars allows vehicle diagnostics and real time intervention from technicians for better safety.
3.     Marketing – with use of IoT, businesses can reach to right customer at at right time using geofencing. It is a virtual field in which apps are capable of sending alerts depending on your entrance or exit from a vicinity. With geofencing, your shopping experience can be more hyper-personalized to what you’re looking for. 1-800-Flowers covered the area around jewelry stores that were close to their flower shops to encourage customers to buy flowers with jewelry. Amazon Go is Amazon’s store concept without a check-out line. 
4.     Smart Cities & Smart Infrastructure – IoT is helping build the infrastructure which is really smart in quick response and improves the life of residents. Real time weather response systems, better traffic management, waste management, and optimal utilities management helps governments around the world.  Smart Homes helps people more peaceful life.
5.     Energy, Aviation & Manufacturing – Using IoT to do predictive maintenance can reduce downtime up to 50%. Companies like GE have put up 100s of sensors across the plant that provide round-the-clock monitoring and diagnostics of existing hardware. IoT enabled engines consume almost 15% less fuel than average jet engines, and also have reduced emissions and noise.  Smart grids helps in increasing the reliability and efficiency of grid, avoid thefts.
In future IoT will continue to enhance our lives more and more by tracking our needs in real time giving opportunity to businesses to react accordingly and immediately.
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As businesses are trying to leverage every opportunity regarding IoT by trying to find ways to partner with top universities and research centers, here is a list of the Top 20 co-occurring topics of the Top 500 Internet of Things Authors in the academic field. This gives an idea of research frontiers of the leaders.
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Sounds similar to jargons from the movie ‘Back to Future (1985)?

Hold yourself together. A part of the world has already started using it.

If you have a light memory turning off switches or managing home appliances, these IoT technologies are going to be your guardian angels.

Let’s find how the above ‘jargons’ will become a part of your life. Also, for the geek in you, their modus operandi is also described.

#1 Adaptive Lighting

IoT can make your home lighting system smart enough to adjust its brightness or to switch off automatically by sensing its surroundings. With IoT adaptive lighting your, indoor lighting systems will turn themselves off when there is no one in the house, or adjust the brightness according to external lighting conditions to give minimized energy consumption.

Companies like LG are taking it to forward to manufacture lighting systems that will turn on by default along with alarm clocks or to flicker when there is a telephone call or movement is sensed. Adaptive lighting relies on motion sensors and optical sensors to gather metrics about its immediate surroundings based on which the lighting systems function.

#2 Responsive Thermostats

Thermostats that auto adjust the temperature and power consumption according to external climatic conditions is a boon for any household. Smarter thermostats can learn the usage pattern of family members and alter its functions accordingly. Going a step ahead, these responsive thermostats can even connect to the Internet to receive updates about family members and change the power consumption and internal temperature control.

For instance, if you are away from your home for a very long time, the thermostat will reduce the power consumption to a bare minimum, or send alerts when the equipment malfunctions. Amazon Nest is a classic example of responsive thermostats. They use heat and climate sensors to decide at what optimum temperature the thermostat must run for best performance.

#3 Autonomous Security Systems

IoT will foster a breed of homes and offices where physical keys, access cards or even tokens will never be needed. Sensor based security systems can be programmed for allowing entry, locking or alerts in case of a break in. Advanced IoT applications also allow integrate your home security system for communicating with your smartphones. These autonomous security systems will work based on movement sensors or proximity sensors.

#4 Connected Appliances

How many times have you missed turning off the oven? Or the washing machine? Or the coffee machine and the endless list of other home appliances? With the oncoming wave of IoT, connected appliances will empower homeowners to control their entire suite of home appliances using their smartphone or remote controls.

Two of the classic examples of connected appliances are: Smarter’s WiFi coffee machine that brews fresh coffee even when you are lazing around or the Electrolux CombiSteam Oven that can be controlled anywhere using your smartphone.

#5 Surface Remote Controls

Surface remote controls can turn any surface (like a desk, wall, floor, etc.) into a remote control. Surface remote controls allow users to control several domestic settings like lighting, control connected appliances, open/close doors, switch on/off TV, wifi, music system, etc.

Image source: knocki

These devices are equipped with programmed sensors which can communicate with other IoT devices to do desired actions. Surface remote controls can bring about a revolutionary level of comfort not just in homes, but also offices, factory floors and public spaces. Knocki is one such device that can turn any surface into a remote control.

That brings us to the conclusion. Be informed that this is just a tip of the iceberg. IoT is an ocean of opportunities and these five hints at how homes of the future will look and function like.

Contus, the digital transformations company is creating a whole new breed of IoT connected systems under its ambit of services titled Contus Connect.

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Internet of (Medical) things in Healthcare

Over the past few decades, we’ve gotten used to the Internet and cannot imagine our lives without it. Millennials and new age kids don’t even know what is life without being online.
With the disruption of Digital Transformation, Internet of Things have added lots of opportunities to business and consumers like us, equally.
 
IOT means connecting things, extracting data, storing, processing and analyzing in big data platforms and making decisions based on analytics. It helps in predicting certain outcomes thereby helping with taking preventive actions.
The popularity of wearables, such as fitness trackers, blood glucose monitors and other connected medical devices, has taken healthcare by storm. Connected devices have become a prevalent phenomenon in the consumer space and have made their way into healthcare.
 
Healthcare is fast adopting IoT & changing rapidly, as it reduces costs, boosts productivity, and improves quality. IoT can also boost patient engagement and satisfaction by allowing patients to spend more time interacting with their doctors.
 
There are a number of opportunities for the internet of things to make a difference in patients' lives. IoT-enabled devices capture and monitor relevant patient data and allow providers to gain insights without having to bring patients in for visits. Adding sensors to medicines or delivery mechanisms allows doctors to keep accurate track of whether patients are sticking to their treatment plan and avoid patient's readmission.
 
Patients are using these connected medical products to capture ECG readings, record medication levels, sense fall detection and act as telehealth units.
 
Diabetes self-management includes all sorts of gadgets and devices, which control glucose levels and remind patients to take their insulin dose. The newest wearables are even capable of delivering insulin on their own, according to health condition indicators. 
 
Remote patient monitoring is one of the most significant cost-reduction features of IoT in healthcare. Hospitals don’t have to worry about bed availability, and doctors or nurses can keep an eye on their patients remotely. At the same time, patients usually feel more relaxed at home and recover faster.
 
Smart beds are a convenient solution for patients who have trouble adjusting bed positions on their own. This kind of IoT tool can sense when the patient is trying to move on their own and it reacts by correcting the bed angle or adjusting pressure to make the person more comfortable. Additionally, this frees up nurses, who don’t have to be available all the time and can dedicate extra time to other duties. Many hospitals have already introduced smart beds in their rooms.
 
At Boston Medical Center, IoT is everyday life:
  • Newborn babies are given wristbands, allowing a wireless network to locate them at any time.
  • They have installed wireless sensors in refrigerators, freezers and laboratories to ensure that blood samples, medications and other materials are kept at the proper temperatures.
  • Hospital has more than 600 infusion pumps which are IoT enabled. BMC staff members can now dispense and change medications automatically through the wireless network, rather than having to physically touch each pump to load it up or make changes.
At Florida Hospital, when patients go in for surgery, they're tagged with real-time location system (RTLS) badges that track their progress through from the pre-op room to the surgical suite to the recovery unit so relatives can track the patients from outside.
 
Philips GoSafe can be worn as a pendant and it helps to detect and alert falls in elderly people.
 
There are few challenges as well in implementing IoT:
  • Data security & lack of standard security policy
  • Hospital’s internal system integration with IoT data
  • Further changes and improvements in IoT hardware
The Internet of these Medical Things is a game-changer as future will be connected, integrated & secure healthcare industry.
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The IoT needs to be distinguished from the Internet. The Internet, of course, represents a globally connected number of network, irrespective of a wired or wireless interconnection. IoT, on the other hand, specifically draws your attention to the ability of a ‘device’ to be tracked or identified within an IP structure according to the original supposition.
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IoT or Internet of Things solutions, built on a cloud-based infrastructure, create opportunities for new business models and value delivery methods. While many IoT solutions are usually sold as a “product”, many vendors are now beginning to offer IoT “as-a-service”. But selling a recurring revenue solution is not the same as selling an “one time” sale product. This post highlights seven best practices for selling an IoT as a service solution.
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In the age of Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence has come a long way from Siri to driverless cars.
If you have used a GPS on Google Maps to navigate in your car, purchased a book recommended to you by  Amazon or watched a movie suggested to you by Netflix, then you have interacted with artificial intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior which relies on the processing and comparison of vast amounts of data in volumes with help of big data analytics, no human being could ever absorb.
Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates have recently expressed concern in the media about the risks posed by AI.
According to them, AI will soon replace all kinds of manual tasks and make humans redundant. This could be true in some sense but still this is a far cry from the current maturity levels of AI, which is still at the stage of figuring out real-world use cases.
Today machines can carry out complex actions but without a mind or thinking for themselves. Smartphones are smart because they are responding to your specific inputs.
The world’s top tech companies are in a race to build the best AI and capture that massive market, which means the technology will get better fast, and come at us at faster speed. IBM is investing billions in its Watson, Apple improving Siri, Amazon is banking on Alexa;  Google, Facebook and Microsoft are devoting their research labs to AI and robotics.
Together, they will swirl into that roaring twister, blowing down the industries and businesses in its path.
Within maybe few years, AI will be better than humans at diagnosing medical images and converting speech to emotions. But it can also be stealing millions of records from a government agency to identify targets vulnerable to extortion.
Soon you’ll be able to contact an AI doctor on your smartphone, talk to it about your symptoms, use your camera to show it anything it wants to see and get a diagnosis that tells you to either take a couple of Tylenols or see a specialist.
In all the fairy tales we have seen so far, good almost always wins over evil.
This is what we have seen in the movies like I, Robot or Avengers: Age of Ultron.  But Will Smith or team of avengers does not know that till end of the story. That’s where we are now: face to face with the demon for the first time, doing everything we can to get through the scary plot alive.
Today many companies are using AI for improving their business:
·         Geico is using Watson based cognitive computing to learn the underwriting guidelines, read the risk submissions, and effectively help underwrite
·         Google Translate applies AI in not only translating words, but in understanding the meaning of sentences to provide a true translation.
·         IBM Watson is the most prominent example of AI based question answering via petabytes of data retrieval that helps in various areas like finance, healthcare & insurance.
As Humans we are programmed from childhood either by nurture or nature to do things the way we do. All the nine emotions we have learned since then are the inseparable part of our lives.
Currently we are in the control of the planet because we are smartest species compared to all the animals.
But when, and if machines learns to love or hate, work in peace or retaliate in anger, then it’s not too far that, with the ability to consume & digest the vast amount of data, they will become more smarter & start taking control of the planet.

Only then we will be able to know that AI is helping us like Iron Man's Jarvis or planning to eradicate us like Terminator!!
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The rise of the Internet of Things was just the beginning. There is something much bigger brewing. It’s called the Internet of Everything — otherwise known as IoE. Instead of the communications between electric-powered, internet-connected devices that the IoT allows, the IoE expands it exponentially. The IoE extends well beyond traditional IoT boundaries to include the countless everyday, disposable items in the world. If the IoT is the solar system, then the IoE is every galaxy in the universe.
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The world is full of normal people like you and me, but I love to think that superheroes live between us and I dream that maybe someday I could become one of them and make a better world with my super powers.

In the universe of superheroes fit gods, mutants, humans with special skills, but also the special agents. I found fun to find similarities between this fantastic world and the world of IoT platforms.  Compare and find a reasonable resemblance between IoT Platforms and Superheroes or Super villains is the goal of this article. Opinions as always are personal and subject to all kinds of comments and appreciations. Enjoy, the article.

About IoT Platforms

Many of my regular readers remember my article “It is an IoT Platform, stupid !.”. At that time, per Research and Markets, there were more than 260 IoT platforms, today some sources speak about 700 IoT platforms. I confess, I have not been able to follow the birth, evolution and in some cases death of all IoT platforms out there. I think that many enthusiasts like me also have given up keeping an updated list.

I cannot predict which IoT platforms will survive beyond 2020, or which will be the lucky start-ups that will be bought by big companies or will receive the investors' mana to become a Unicorn, but I like to speculate, and of course, I have my favourite winners and unlucky losers.

About my Own Methodology

Some reputed analysts have adapted their classification methodologies of IT solutions to put some order and consistency into the chaotic and confusing Internet of Things (IoT) platforms market. But given the moment of business excitement around the IoT, have appeared new analyst firms focused on IoT who also wanted to contribute their bit and at the same time make cash while this unsustainable situation lasts.

After reading numerous reports from various sources on this topic, talking to many IoT platform vendors and seeing endless product demos, I have decided to create my own methodology that includes a questionnaire of near 100 questions around different areas: technical, functional, business, strategy, and a scoring mechanism based on my knowledge and experience to make justified recommendations to my clients.

About Super Powers Methodology

But I also had defined an alternative Methodology based on Super Powers.

Super Heroes and Super Villains usually gain their abilities through several different sources, however these sources can be divided into four categories. The Super Powers methodology is based on these four categories of Power Sources.

  • Mind Powers – Powers with notable mental abilities. Companies like IBM Watson IoI or GE Predix are notable examples.
  • Body Powers – Powers that are gained from genetic mutation. Companies like Microsoft or Amazon mutate to IaaS / PaaS IoT platforms.
  • Spirit Powers  Powers gained over time through extensive investment, and are easily obtainable by companies without the risk of horrible mutation or disfigurement. PTC Thingworx, Software AG/Cumulocity or Cisco-Jasper are examples.
  • Artefact Powers   Powers gained abilities through ancient objects such as networks, or hardware. Incumbent Telcos M2M Platforms, Telco vendors like Huawei, Nokia or Ericsson, and Hardware vendors like Intel IoT platform, ARM Beetle or Samsung Artik are examples.

For each Power Source category, Super Powers are divided into different levels of power that depend on how strong, or unique, their abilities are.

  • Level 0 -  with useless, or minimal abilities.
  • Level 1 -  they are still particularly weak compared to the higher levels.
  • Level 2 -  have developed their powers to a certain point. About 75% of the platforms belong to this class,
  • Level 3 - Mostly are most commonly amateur heroes or sly villains.
  • Level 4 - Some of the most unique with a wider variety of powers.
  • Level 5 - these fellows are seasoned veterans of their abilities, capable of using them without even needing to concentrate.
  • Level 6 - Only a few beings are classified under this level, and their powers are that of being able to control multiple aspects of IoT reality.

Whatever the source of power was, I add Sandy Carter´s recommendation: If you want to become an Extreme Innovator you also need Super Intelligence, Super Speed and Super Synergy.  

About Super Heroes and Super Villains

Previously in “Internet of Things: Angels & Demons” and “Internet of Things – Kings and Servants” , I identified some IoT Platform companies as potential superheroes. What was certain is that we knew who the supervillains were. Governments, organizations and business giants that try to control us, manipulate us and frighten us with their economic, political and military powers.

Deciding which superhero can help you more or what superpower is more important for your business is an extremely important milestone in your IoT Strategy.

I've defined the six types/categories of superheroes / IoT Platforms:

a)The superhero whose power is a birthright like Amazon AWS IoT (Superman) or GE Predix (Magneto/Professor Xavier).

b)The superhero whose power is the result of power acquisitions like PTC Thingworx (The Flash) or Cisco Jasper-Parstream (Spiderman) or Autodesk Fusion Connect (FireStorm).

c)The superhero whose power is made possible by technology like Oracle IoT (Iron Man) or SAP Leonardo(Green Lantern). 

d)There is the superhero who doesn't have any superpowers but who is a superhero by extremely intensive training like Batman (Ayla Networks) or Black Widow (Exosite) or LogMeIn-Xively (Hawkeye)

e)The superhero who obtains his/her powers due to some supernatural event like Satya Nadella named new CEO for MSFT IoT Azure (Thor) or Telit DeviceWise (Dr. Manhattan) or Google acquisition of Nest (Hulk)

f)Finally, there is the superhero, usually a sentient android, who was created by a human like IBM Watson IoT (Vision) or a normal human playing with magic like Salesforce IoT Cloud Einstein (Dr Strange) or leader of a young team like Hitachi Data System(Most Excellent Superbat)

“Do you agree with my classification system for superheroes and superpowers?”

Although the number of superheroes and supervillains is enormous (more that the IoT Platforms Universe), it would take me a long time to assign each one of the IoT platform a single superhero or supervillain. Since I do not think many companies are willing to pay to know who represents them better, at least I have done a partial and fun exercise.

The Bottom Line 

If you are an IoT Platform vendor, you could be doing yourself some questions right now:

-          If I could be a Superhero what would it be?".

-          Worth to acquire a Super Power or reach an upper level to convince customers I am their Superhero?

And remember …

“With power comes responsibility; with great power comes great responsibility”

Although the number of superheroes and supervillains is enormous (more than the IoT Platforms Universe), it would take me a long time to assign each one of the IoT platform a single superhero or supervillain. Since I do not think many companies are willing to pay to know who represents them better, at least I have done a partial and fun exercise.

Thanks for your Likes and Shares.

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From “smart” hairbrushes to lawn mowers, the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a slew of slick products, but there have also been many failures: too many connected devices have gone by the wayside, and in most cases, this is preventable. This scenario, recognized as the Abandonment of Things, is the land where connected devices go to die. Several factors drive the Abandonment of Things: a lack of a proper monetization strategy for connected services; failure to create a community around a smart device; even security issues and clunky backend processes. If a company wants to avoid the digital scrap pile, and subsequent loss of potential revenue and customer gains, it must have all the right parts working in sync.

Keeping an Eye on Profitability

Companies are always looking to expand their user bases, but as that base grows, so do infrastructure costs. Think increased server capacity and the people needed to manage the technology aspect of a subscription service. If the right infrastructure is not in place, profitability takes a hit.   

It comes down to data collection and value. What data do companies collect and how do they use it? Where is the value? Take some of the popular connected health bands for example: their freemium models allow consumers to track food and exercise and then compare and compete with friends. On the other hand, their premium models cost around $100 annually and give consumers the option to compare themselves with strangers who are just like them.

Does the data revealed by the premium model — data about strangers rather than friends — provide enough value to convert 3-5 percent of the consumer base into paying customers? That’s the question the marketer must ask and answer.

Getting in the Consumer’s Head

With traditional, non-connected devices, the relationship between brands and consumers ends with the purchase. But with a smart device, the purchase is the beginning of that relationship. IoT is actually not about the thing — it’s about the service as well as the value provided by the service. A company must therefore consider more than the transaction, or the value of the product, or even the initial needs of the consumer. Companies must understand the value a consumer — or better yet, a member — gets from the service. An integral part of that value is the community consumers join when they subscribe to a service.

The new subscription generation requires companies to think of their consumer base as a membership base, which requires very different communication strategies. Transparency is key, both in terms of the solution offered and the financial aspect of the solution. Companies start to achieve success when they build out these relationships and consumers begin to take in new information, not just as marketing, but as an added value.

Awareness of Regulations

Security is paramount in the era of IoT. Striking the balance between value for consumers and protection of their data will be an ongoing challenge for marketers. One example that showcases the delicacy required in this new order is TVs that watch us — noting not just what you’re viewing, but who is in the room when the device is on. Even for those consumers who see great value in, for example, targeted commercials and programming, real questions revolve around how that data is collected and what companies do with it.

Consumer rights also change with every border crossing. Uber transactions are seamless in the U.S., but are more complicated in India. It’s not just about securing data, but also securing the complex payment processes inherent in a subscription-based, hyper-connected global economy.

How companies adapt to the regulatory environment is key to their success. One important thing to understand is that government is not necessarily proactive about regulating IoT — regulations will most likely come after some company is caught misusing data. One bad apple can affect an entire industry, so companies need to be transparent and meticulous about data collection and how data is used to create value.

Avoiding the Abandonment of Things

The new world ushered in by IoT is just dawning, and already the path forward is littered with abandoned things. A subscription-based economy demands flexibility, convenience and value. But those aren’t the only challenges your company faces when forging ahead. The right balance between monetization, transparent communications and security can create the environment your product needs to thrive.

Photo Credit: Becky

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Beyond SMAC – Digital twister of disruption!!

Have your seen the 1996 movie Twister, based on tornadoes disrupting the neighborhoods? A group of people were shown trying to perfect the devices called Dorothy which has hundreds of sensors to be released in the center of twister so proper data can be collected to create a more advanced warning system and save people.
Today if we apply the same analogy – digital is disrupting every business, if you stand still and don’t adapt you will becomedigital dinosaur. Everyone wants to get that advance warning of what is coming ahead.
Even if your business is doing strong right now, you will never know who will disrupt you tomorrow.
We have seen these disruption waves and innovations in technologies – mainframe era, mini computers era, personal computers & client-server era and internet era. Then came the 5thwave of SMAC era comprising Social, 
Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies.
Gone are the days when we used to wait for vacations to meet our families and friends by travelling to native place or abroad. Today all of us are interacting with each other on social media rather than in person on Facebook, Whastapp, Instagram, Snapchat and so on.
Mobile enablement has helped us anytime, anywhere, any device interaction with consumers. We stare at smarphone screen more than 200 times a day.
Analytics came in to power the hyper-personalization in each interaction and send relevant offers, communications to customers. The descriptive analytics gave the power to know what is happening to the business right now, while predictive analytics gave the insight of what may happen. Going further prescriptive analytics gave the foresight of what actions to be taken to make things happens.
Cloud gave organizations the ability to quickly scale up at lower cost as the computing requirements grow with secure private clouds.
Today we are in the 6thwave of disruption beyond SMAC era - into Digital Transformation, bringing Big Data, Internet of things, APIs, Microservices, Robotics, 3d printing, augmented reality/virtual reality, wearables, drones, beacons and blockchain.
Big Data allows to store all the tons of data generated in the universe to be used further for competitive edge.
Internet of Things allows machines, computers, smart devices communicate with each other and help us carry out various tasks remotely.
APIs are getting lot of attention as they are easy, lightweight, can be plugged into virtually any system and highly customizable to ensure data flows between disparate systems.
Microservices are independently developed & deployable, small, modular services. 
Robotics is bringing the wave of intelligent automation with help of cognitive computing.
3D printing or additive manufacturing is taking the several industries like medical, military, engineering & manufacturing by storm.
Augmented reality / virtual reality is changing the travel, real estate and education.
Wearables such as smart watches, health trackers, Google Glass can help real time updates,  ensure better health & enable hands-free process optimization in areas like item picking in a warehouse.
Drones have come out of military zone and available for common use. Amazon, Dominos are using it for delivery while Insurance & Agriculture are using it for aerial surveys.
Beacons are revolutionizing the customer experience with in-store analytics, proximity marketing, indoor navigation and contact less payments.
The new kid on the block is blockchain where finance industry is all set to take advantage of this technology.
As products and services are getting more digitized, traditional business processes, business models and even business are getting disrupted.
The only way to survive this twister is to get closer to your customers by offering a radically different way of doing business that’s faster, simpler and cheaper.
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IoT Developer Trends 2017 Edition

Guest post by Ian Skerrett

For the last 3 years we have been tracking the trends of the IoT developer community through the IoT Developer Survey [2015] [2016]. Today, we released the third edition of the IoT Developer Survey 2017. As in previous years, the report provides some interesting insights into what IoT developers are thinking and using to build IoT solutions. Below are some of the key trends we identified in the results.

The survey is the results of a collaboration between the Eclipse IoT Working GroupIEEEAgile-IoT EU and the IoT Council. Each partner promoted the survey to their respective communities. A total of 713 individuals participated in the survey. The complete report is available for everyone and we also make available the detailed data [xlsodf].

As with any survey of this type, I always caution people to see these results as one data point that should be compared to other industry reports. All of these surveys have inherent biases so identifying trends that span surveys is important.

Key Trends from 2017 Survey

 1. Expanding Industry Adoption of IoT

The 2017 survey participants appear to be involved in a more diverse set of industries. IoT Platform and Home Automation industries continue to lead but industries such as Industrial Automation, Smart Cities, Energy Management experience significant growth between 2016 to 2017.

industries

2. Security is the key concern but….

Security continues to be the main concern IoT developers with 46.7% respondents indicating it was a concern. Interoperability (24.4%) and Connectivity (21.4%) are the next most popular concerns mentioned. It would appear that Interoperability is on a downward trend for 2015 (30.7%) and 2016 (29.4%) potentially indicating the work on standards and IoT middleware are lessening this concern.

concerns2017

This year we asked what security-related technologies were being used for IoT solutions. The top two security technologies selected were the existing software technologies, ie. Communication Security (TLS, DTLS) (48.3%) and Data Encryption (43.2%). Hardware oriented security solutions were less popular, ex. Trusted Platform Modules (10%) and Hardware Security Modules (10.6%). Even Over the Air Update was only being used by 18.5% of the respondents. Security may be a key concern but it certainly seems like the adoption of security technology is lagging.

security

3. Top IoT Programming Language Depends…

Java and C are the primary IoT programming languages, along with significant usage of C++, Python and JavaScript. New this year we asked in the survey, language usage by IoT categories: Constrained Devices, IoT Gateway and IoT Cloud Platform. Broken down by these categories it is apparent that language usage depends on the target destination for the developed software:

  • On constrained devices, C (56.4%) and C++ (38.3%) and the dominant languages being used. Java (21.2%) and Python (20.8%) have some usage but JavaScript (10.3%) is minimal.
  • On IoT Gateways, the language of choice is more diverse, Java (40.8%), C (30.4%), Python (29.9%) and C++ (28.1%) are all being used. JavaScript and Node.js have some use.
  • On IoT Cloud Platforms, Java (46.3%) emerges as the dominant language. JavaScript (33.6%), Node.js (26.3%) and Python (26.2%) have some usage. Not surprisingly, C (7.3%) and C++ (11.6%) usage drops off significantly.

Overall, it is clear IoT solution development requires a diverse set of language programming skills. The specific language of choice really depends on the target destination.

4. Linux is key OS; Raspbian and Ubuntu top IoT Linux distros

Linux continues to be the main operating system for IoT. This year we asked to identify OS by the categories: Constrained Device and IoT Gateway. On Constrained Devices, Linux (44.1%) is the most popular OS but the second most popular is No OS/ Bar Metal (27.6%). On IoT Gateway, Linux (66.9%) becomes even more popular and Windows (20.5%) becomes the second choice.

The survey also asked which Linux distro is being used. Raspbian (45.5%) and Ubuntu (44.%) are the two top distros for IoT.

linuxdistros

If Linux is the dominant operating system for IoT, how are the alternative IoT operating systems doing? In 2017, Windows definitely experienced a big jump from previous years. It also seems like FreeRTOS and Contiki are experiencing growth in their usage.

 5. Amazon, MS and Google Top IoT Cloud Platforms

Amazon (42.7%) continues to be the leading IoT Cloud Platform followed by MS Azure (26.7%) and Google Cloud Platform (20.4%). A significant change this year has been the drop of Private / On-premise cloud usage, from 34.9% in 2016 to 18.4% in 2017. This might be an indication that IoT Cloud Platforms are now more mature and developers are ready to embrace them.

cloud

6. Bluetooth, LPWAN protocols and 6LowPAN trending up; Thread sees little adoption

For the last 3 years we have asked what connectivity protocols developers use for IoT solutions. The main response has been TCP/IP and Wi-Fi. However, there are a number of connectivity standards and technologies that are being developed for IoT so it has been interesting to track their adoption within the IoT developer community. Based on the 2017 data, it would appear Bluetooth/Bluetooth Smart (48.2%), LPWAN technologies (ex LoRa, Sigfox, LTE-M) (22.4%) and 6LoWPAN (21.4%) are being adopted by the IoT developer community. However, it would appear Thread (6.4%) is still having limited success with developer adoption.

connectivity2017

Summary

Overall, the survey results are showing some common patterns for IoT developers. The report also looks at common IoT hardware architecture, IDE usage, perceptions of IoT Consortiums, adoption of IoT standards, open source participation in IoT and lots more. I hope the report provides useful information source to the wider IoT industry.

Next week we will be doing a webinar to go through the details of the results. Please join us on April 26 at 10:30amET/16:30pmCET.

2017 IoT Survey - webinar 2

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey, the individual input is what makes these surveys useful. Also, thank you to our co-sponsors Eclipse IoT Working GroupIEEEAgile IoT and the IoT Council. It is great to be able to collaborate with other successful IoT communities.

We will plan to do another survey next year. Feel free to leave any comments or thoughts on how we can improve it.

This post originally appeared here.

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Smart IoT - Generate Greatest Value

Digital Transformation

We have now entered an era with a new virtual revolution, particularly, the Internet of things (IoT). The virtual revolution marks the starting of information age. We use the Internet almost every day. The net has turned out to be one of established ways for us to work together, to share our lives with others, to shop, to teach, to research, and to learn. However  the next wave of the Internet isn't about people. it's far about things, honestly?

All about IoT

IoT is defined as the network of physical objects that can be accessed through the Internet. These objects contain embedded various technology to interact with internal states or the external environment.

IoT is characterized as "the figuring frameworks of sensors and actuators associated by systems, where the processing frameworks can screen or deal with the status and actions of connected objects and machines, and the connected sensors can likewise screen the characteristic world, individuals, and creatures." The center of IoT is not just about interfacing things to the Internet. It is about how to generate and use the big data from the things to make new values for individuals, and about how we empower new trades of significant worth between them. In other words, when objects can sense and communicate, IoT has its knowledge to change how and where choices are made, and who makes them, and to pick up a superior esteem, solution or service.

Smart IoT

Fundamental to the estimation of IoT is in actuality the Internet of smart things (smart IoT). Supported by intelligent optimization, smart IoT can increase productivity of work and enhance quality of lives for people. Let us take “cities” — the engines of global economic growth — as an example. Smart cities have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of everyone. In intelligent transportation systems (ITS), smart IoT can not only monitor the status of the transportation, but also optimize traffic signal controls to solve traffic congestion and provide the travelers with better routes and appropriate transportation information, etc. Combining IoT and machine learning (ML) can also make our roads safer. Profits by smart IoT have been shown also in health-care, logistics, environment, smart home, in the aspects of better quality, energy conservation, efficiency increase, and so on.

Smart IoT remains in its infancy now in terms of the technology  development and the effect on our global economy system and our daily lives. Maximum IoT statistics aren't used presently within the era of big data. Maximum IoT has no intelligence inside the generation of artificial intelligence (AI).  IoT which might be used these days are on the whole for anomaly detection and control, as opposed to optimization and prediction. Given the brilliant anticipated increase of the Internet over the following 10 years, it is considered one of vital challenges and possibilities for us to invent and practice in real-global programs on a way to make the IoT smarter to generate the greatest value.

 

 

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