Security systems installed in a typical facility consists of cameras, access control, intrusion sensors and fire alarms. Typically, these devices are places behind a firewall on a dedicated network. Building control systems are installed on a secondary network can contains lighting, HVAC, fire protection, elevators/lifts, chillers and air/moisture sensors. These systems serve their purpose and will continue to be adapted and make facility systems design more complicated. This complexity can be controlled using common development tools and platforms. Not only will this approach make the process of creating smarter, safer, more energy efficient systems but will also reduce the number accidental deaths and injuries that occur every year.
The redundant network design approach is not a very efficient nor cost effective way of operating a facility. This is starting to change as savvy building managers are making the decision to integrate security and building control systems and map them onto a single network. This can entail integrating multiple disparate systems, sensors, NVR devices and video management software. The concept of integrating a camera or access control system to an HVAC system, or a visitor/facility management system or edge recording device to a lighting or fire protection system may seem unusual to some. Yet, this is where many security systems integrators and manufactures are missing out on untapped applications and services opportunities. Modern integrated security and building systems can give facility managers and security directors the tools to improve, simplify operations and reduce the efforts of the operations staff and points of control teams.
In the past, the security industry has relied on it’s own approach to integrated systems know as physical security information management (PSIM). PSIM attempts to provide an open architecture to integrate multiple security system products into a single operating platform. This approach has been very hit-or-miss and has left a bad taste in the mouths of systems integrators and end-users. On the flip side of the coin, facility managers have their own integration platform known as a building automation system (BAS). As it relates to physical security, BAS systems are intended to integrate with PSIMs and control individual security systems. However, BAS systems come in many different flavors; many of them are not viewed in a glowing light by building operation end users. Past integrations are not all filled with doom-and-gloom. There are some successful integrations attempted by the collaborative efforts of building controls and physical security organizations. The question is why is this design practice not more common where the benefits and economics make sense?
In order to facilitate the adoption and implementation of an integrated system the use of open standard protocols is an absolute must. The building automation industry created BACnet and LONworks which allow for real-time remote connectivity between sensors, actuators, controller devices and software. In the case of LONworks, hardware manufactures have the ability to include a chipset with built-in building control system support. It took some time, but finally the security industry created the protocols ONVIF and PSIA. These open architectures allows the end-user to choose vendors selecting either security or BAS equipment based on features and price. The end-user can also decide to install partial system upgrades without the risk of making costly investments in obsolete legacy systems. With that said, The security industry is curious about implementing the building controls protocols but needs an easier way to integrate them into their hardware and software products in an ad-hoc applications based manner.
There are security directors that are not completely sold on the idea of integrating with building control systems. On the other hand, facility managers may question the benefits of sharing a network with security systems especially when functions do not overlap with life-safety systems. However, system integration between building controls, physical and now cybersecurity offers more than just staffing convenience and operational efficiency. Here are a few results from a truly integrated security system.
Faster Response to Incidents – With the use of a robust mobile software solution and integration approaches such camera-to-access control-to-lighting or HVAC staff members can be freed from a console which makes them readily available to respond to incidents or equipment failure.
Provide more accurate compliance reports – Data provided by building controls and security edge devices can be paired with artificial intelligence technologies such as neural networks and genetic algorithms. This helps facilities to comply with government regulations with regards to security.
Reduce accidents and save money – Integrated systems provide better control of building and security systems. For example, if some accidentally stumbles into a restricted area or manages to make it to overly heated or chilled area the access control system, Variable air volume (VAV), or other HVAC system components can send alerts and create historical trend reports. Also a single network architecture can make managing system components easier.
Integrated building control and security systems are gaining some traction. However, it is still not a mainstream approach among many manufactures and systems integrators. One proposed solution is to utilize a common platform that is utilizes the industry protocol standards as application and system component building blocks.
The dream of making money with IoT, AI and Blockchain
Have you ever think about how could you make money with the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) and of course with Blockchain? What would happen if you could use the three of them in a new business model?. Apparently, Success, Success and Success.
In the next sections I provide information of some business models implemented with these three technologies.
IoT Business Models
As IoT moves past its infancy, certain trends and economic realities are becoming clear. Perhaps the most significant of those is the realisation that traditional hardware business models just don’t work in IoT. Take a look at “The top 5 most successful IoT business models” that have emerged as particularly effective applications for IoT.
If any of you is building an IoT product, this article ” IoT Business Models For Monetizing Your IoT Product” show how to make money with IoT.
Zack Supalla, the founder and CEO of Particle, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup, suggest “6 ways to make money in IoT”.
Finally, in “How IoT is Spawning Better Business Models” we can read three ways companies like Rolls Royce, Peloton, MTailor or STYR Lab was rethinking their business model and have created revolution in the marketplace.
Blockchain Business Models
It sounds repetitive, but yes "Blockchain technology may disrupt the existing business models”. The authors´ s findings concerning the implications of blockchain technology for business models are summarised in the following picture.
Do you think that blockchain will likely to cut into big-players’ revenues? Then, this article: “New Blockchain-Based Business Models Set to Disrupt Facebook and Others”, is for you.
If you are ambitious and you are planning to build a viable business on blockchain, then read “Building an International Business Model on Blockchain”.
I am also an advocate of the coming era of decentralization (at least in my most optimistic version) and Blockchain is a step more to create value when the End of All Corporate Business Models will arrive.
AI Business Models
Companies from all industries, of all shapes and sizes are thus faced with an important set of questions: Which AI business models and applications can I use ? And what technologies and infrastructures are required?.
It seems that we all are convinced that artificial intelligence is now the most important general-purpose technology in the world that can drive changes at existing business models. Not surprised then, that AI is Revolutionizing Business Models. The “data trap” strategy, that in venture capitalist Matt Turck’s words consists of offering (often for free) products that can initialize a data network effect. In addition, the user experience and the design are becoming tangibly relevant for AI, and this creates friction in early stage companies with limited resources to be allocated between engineers, business, and design.
New Business models with the intersection of IoT, AI and Blockchain
With IoT we are connecting the Digital to the Physical world. Connected objects offers a host of new opportunities for companies, especially in terms of creating new services. The amount of data generated by the billions of connected objects will be the perfect complementary feed to many AI applications. Finally, blockchain technology could be used to secure the ‘internet of things’ and create smart contracts in a decentralized infrastructure that boost the democratization of technology and creation of sustainable communities.
You must remember that new business models that include IoT, AI and blockchain need among other characteristics: Volume and Scalability. Volume of devices, Volume of data, Volume of customers, volume of developers and powerful ecosystems to escalate.
Good luck in your search and implementation of your new business model.
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Too much time waiting for the IoT year
After years of waiting for my wishes to finally come true that it was finally the year of IoT, I give up. There will be no IoT year. Other technologies are usurping the dubious privilege of leading the technology bubble. Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are now much cooler.
As has happened on many previous occasions, the IoT will be replaced by other acronyms that will make you forget bad experiences and failed expectations. And with the new acronyms the illusions of those of us who continue to trust in the beneficial implications that the "new IoT" will bring to society will appear again.
Event Organizers were the first to notice the decline of IoT
The first to realize this situation were the organizers of IoT events. If a couple of years ago the weight of the new secondary on stage (Blockchain and AI) did not seem worrying to detract from the main actor (#internetofthings). Now they are the stars and the IoT is marginalized and surrounded by other technologies, badly hurt and melancholy.
Quo Vadis IoT events ?
Will IoT events disappear? Sure. Doesn’t matter if is in 2 or 3 years, but IoT only events will not make sense. In the last 3 months I attended several IoT events in London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Bilbao. I see a slow decline and transformation of #IoT events. Most of them do not satisfy my expectation. I am tired and saturated of see the same tired case studies parroted over and over again.
As my friend Rick Bullotta, I'd like to see some more innovative stories, some failure stories/lessons learned, some HARD FACTS about how long it looks to build, what it cost to build, return on investment.
Of course, we will continue seeing IoT companies, products and services in the Big Events like CES in Las Vega, MWC in Barcelona or Cebit and Hanover Messe in Germany or in industry specific events or company specific events like PTC LiveWorx or Bosch ConnectedWorld . But the same way that we do not see today Internet events we will not see Internet of Things events beyond 2020. It will be a good sign because the Hype will have disappeared and the reality and the market will have been imposed.
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In part two of a three part series, Leonard Lee and Dean Freeman of neXt Curve discuss how IoT enables new business models with Rob Tiffany, CTO of Hitachi Lumada.
An alarming fact!
According to the UN projections, world population will rise from 6.8 billion today to 9.1 billion in 2050 that signifies food production has to be raised to feed the one-third more mouths.
And, the agriculture industry is accountable for fulfilling humans’ need for food, energy, and shelter (To a great extent). Furthermore, the agriculture industry composes less than 5 percent of the combined GDPs of the world.
But, there is one more distressing fact revealed by Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of agricultural workers is projected to decline 3 percent from 2012 to 2022.
Why is this employment supposed to reduce? And, what farm owners or farmers would do to sustain the productivity, increase yield and feed additional 2.3 billion people by 2050.
The only solution to all these problems is Agriculture Modernization that has already started by some of the tech-savvy farmers. For the next generation agriculture fields, data collected from sensors would become the fertilizer to grow crops. It’s really perplexing but true.
Embracing IoT Solutions would uncover the new ways that tap the full potential of agriculture yield and alleviate all the challenges that hinder the growth of the crop. Before heading to know how IoT can turn out to be a magic bullet for the agriculture, let’s understand what IoT is.
IOT is the technology that extends the limit of internet connectivity from digital devices to physical objects. It enables the communication between digital devices, objects, and other systems. The data collected can be shared between person to person, machines to person or machine to machine, and data is stored and managed at Cloud.
With IoT, remote water valves, weather forecasts, pest control, food storage and transportation data, and monitoring system could be connected and information exchanged via sensors is available to the farmer on the mobile phones.
Now, take a look how IoT can make agriculture more profitable and crop healthier at every step.
Decide which crop is the best to grow on a piece of land
Every crop requires different atmospheric conditions and land to grow, but concluding the same is tricky. How could farmers find which land or other conditions are the best fit for their crop? It can be identified by conducting a survey for the agricultural land combining the power of artificial intelligence and IoT in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
UAV, a small airplane used for the in-flight observation and monitoring that gathers data like- visual, thermal, and multispectral imagery, air pressure, humidity, the weather condition at resolutions up to 1 cm/pixel. This data is really helpful for the farmers to take the decisive step.
Moreover, UAV also helps farmers in knowing plant height, weed detection, plant-counting, crop health and changes in the plant in different seasons.
Making irrigation smarter
Water supply at the right time, in right quantity and at the right place plays a vital role in the plant’s growth. Water management remotely is also challenging task, especially the management becomes more difficult during the shortage of water, which may otherwise damage the crop.
Connecting humidity sensors, water valves and monitoring system, water supply for irrigation can be managed easily. Humidity sensors smartly measure the soil moisture and based on that data, water valves provide water to the field automatically without any human interventions. Also, any leakage in the water pipes can also be identified. The complete data is accessible to the farmers at distance on the mobile.
With smart irrigation, there will be the least wastage of water, water consumption in the field can be tracked, in drought areas the crop water management could be done efficiently and unauthorized water consumption (If any) is detectable.
Know weather forecast information in advance
Climate and weather influence the crop production at large scale. This dependency on weather and frequent changes in the climate sometimes damage the crops and ultimately farmers suffer from a great loss. How about if the farmer knows weather information before they decide plantation or harvesting of crops. It’d be great. Isn’t it?
With IoT farmers would get accurate weather forecast in real-time and based on this information, they can pre-plan the different activities. Also, in case of future contingency, right steps could be taken beforehand to prevent the loss to happen.
Evaluate the growth performance of produce
Despite having right irrigation facility, perfect weather and optimum pest management, plants won’t grow well. Constant performance measurement and evaluation is necessary, but for that regular visit to the field is arduous. Smart technology makes this work done from a distance with sensors.
Implanting remote sensors would check the soil temperature, humidity, air temperature, pressure and pretty more! Getting this data, farmer can plan accordingly like- change the harvest time, irrigation time, determine heat events and improve plant health.
When plant breeding is done in such a perfect environment, the better would be the food quality and increased production.
Check the level of nutrient in the crops
Presently, getting a good quality food is essential, but having the right level of nutrients is vitally important. Now, farmers can manage the level of nutrients in the produce. Bewildered? As, how is it possible to check, control or manage the level of nutrients in the food. But, yes skyrocketing technology has made it possible.
The nutrient analyzers are built where sensors monitor the level of nutrients in the crops. Every sensor relates to a specific ion that would sit on one side of the membrane and when water passes through, these sensors detects the ion presence and its quantity. Simultaneous measurement of six ions can be done in the real-time. The analyzer is synced with mobile phone where all the data is displayed.
During plant’s growth, farmers knowing the ion level, they can change the mix of nutrients and improve the plant’s yield. Moreover, changing the proportion of nutrients, color and maturity rate of produce can also be altered.
Control the pest at the fingertips
Yes, the healthy crop becomes a prey to pests effortlessly and farmers have to suffer from a great monetary loss. It’s very crucial in the whole crop production cycle to identify when these pests would attack and what quantity of pesticides need to be used.
Here pest control sensors would help. The sensors monitor the pest behavior, pest’s population, and analyzes environmental parameters and plant growth. Based on this data the pesticides are automatically sprayed into the field at the place where it requires and in the right amount so that pests are disrupted initially.
The complete record of the pest’s attack on the crop, the amount of pesticides sprinkled and how much crop production is affected could be tracked. Implementing IoT reduces pesticide usage in the field and keep crop healthier.
Monitor the food storage safety
Once the crop is harvested, farmer’s work is not done. If you are thinking so, you are mistaken. As, crop storage is an essential part of the crop production process. Employing the correct grain storage techniques includes maintaining the accurate temperature, humidity, air control and pressure in the warehouse. But, getting real-time information is difficult and info received lately would result in the severe damage.
Integrating different IoT sensors at storage place would allow farmers to monitor the crop storage in real-time, control the storage temperature, humidity and a lot more. Plus, they would receive the alerts, in case any set parameter in the grain storage changes.
Bring coordination in logistics
Transferring the yield from storage to the market at the correct time through right means of transportation is very crucial. By optimizing the supply chain, farmers can reap good monetary benefits and reduce losses or overhead expenses.
With GPS sensors, the owner can easily track where the transport vehicle is and exact its location in the real-time. It helps in monitoring the vehicle and providing help to the vehicle in any emergency. Plus, installing the thermostat sensors in the vehicle would sense the change in the set temperature and if any fluctuation is found, then the owner would be informed.
With the potential IoT innovations in the agriculture industry at large scale would certainly bring a global shift in the way farming is done and yields are produced. It is predicted that by 2025, there would be 600 million sensors implanted on 535 million farms worldwide and in 2015, these sensors would grow by three folds by the year 2020.
It concludes one thing- Be tech savvy to grow more and if you want to yield more, embrace IoT in your fields to stay at the to
As the Global PM and CTO for Lumada, it's been a rewarding journey to create a portable Industrial #IoT platform that could run at the Edge on a factory floor, in a train, inside a data center or in any hyper-scale public cloud.
This composable platform (use just what you need for your specific use case) combined with our revolutionary Asset Avatars (Digital Twins) that bring Lumada to life, is the very definition of "Visionary." I also want to send a big congratulations to our Visionary friends at PTC (ThingWorx) and SAP (Leonardo).
Thanks to all the Hitachi collaborators, colleagues and friends I was lucky enough to take this journey with.
Get a free copy of the Gartner report here:
Today, retail stores are constantly focusing on leveraging the emerging technologies like cloud, mobile, RFID, beacons, etc., to provide connected retail services and better shopping experience to customers. For example, store owners are integrating sensors in the key zones of retail stores and connecting them to cloud through a gateway that enables real-time data analysis related to products, sales, and customers from these sensors.
Interestingly, IoT and connected technologies are taking the retail industry by storm. 96% retailers are ready to make changes required to implement the Internet of Things in their stores
IoT in retail can help retailers improve store operations, enhance customer experience and drive more conversions. Moreover, IoT can help retailers solve day-to-day problems such as tracking energy utilization, managing in-floor navigation, detecting crowded areas, reducing check out timings, managing product shelves, preventing theft, monitoring goods, etc. Let us how IoT helps in few of these scenarios.
In-Store Navigation with IoT-enabled Devices
Identifying in-store navigation is one of the common problems in retail stores. Here, IoT devices with integrated technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, magnetic positions and augmented reality, etc., can facilitate in-store navigation to help customers navigate through the store and find the desired product.
It gives customers a multichannel shopping experience through digitization of physical assets. In-store navigation also helps increase the path to purchase rate before a product stock outs.
Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons are small sensors placed strategically throughout the retail store. These sensors are equipped with Bluetooth smart technology and compatible with smartphones. This BLE beacon device sends out continuous radio signals to nearby smart devices in the range. Smart devices in that range catch the signal and trigger events such as availability of a new product or launch of a new offer. Further, that device sends a unique ID to cloud server. The server checks that ID and responds back, through which communication between signal and smart device is established using a unique ID. Almost all customers nowadays carry smart devices like mobile phones and tablets. If BLE is used, customers can be notified on their smartphone with personalized coupons and deals as soon as they enter the store.
The above solution improves customer’s in-store experience and also increases footfall ratio. It also facilitates quick product search and increases conversion rates while generating a powerful shopping environment that can help enhance product offerings and store layouts.
Energy Management with Smart Devices
Energy consumption is a major cost consuming factor for the retail businesses, be it in refrigeration, lighting, heating, air conditioning, etc. Using these energy sources efficiently can bring cost saving of up to 20 percent per year. IoT-enabled smart devices can help resolve problems of energy management and saving.
There are several IoT-based platforms that can log, monitor and beep alarms or alert the in-store personnel about temperature, energy usage, heating, gas leakage, electricity breakdowns, etc., with the help of integrated sensors. Using these smart energy management devices, store owners can directly interact with the controllers of refrigerators and retrieve prioritized information with the help of sensors.
Every year, a large retail chain attributes nearly $2B of loss to wasted or spoiled food, with issues relating to its legacy refrigeration system, accounting for approximately 15% of this total—or $300 mm. In case of emergency situations like powercut or excessive heating, alarms from the controllers of these refrigeration systems reach the operations team only after 5 or 6 hours, and there is no mechanism to provide warnings before these situations occur. Here smart refrigeration IoT device can provide cloud-based temperature monitoring solution to notify the controllers about emergencies using temperature sensors and mesh networking technology.
Theft Prevention with Geo-Fencing
The crime of shoplifting in the retail industry is increasing day-by-day, because retailers fail to provide sufficient attention to shoplifters. According to National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), more than $25 million worth of merchandise gets stolen from retail shops each day. Adding more to retailers’ loss is retail shrinkage, which includes shoplifting, employe theft, paperwork error, vendor fraud and many more.
To overcome the problem of shoplifting and retail shrinkage, retailers can use Geo-fencing technique.
Geo-fencing relies on the global positioning system or a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that allows a store operator to create a virtual barrier or zone around specific locations in retail shops. When a customer tries to move product from the specific location, an alert is triggered and a message is sent to the store in-charge. Geo-fencing enabled in IoT devices or beacons can help retailers in a number of ways; from keeping goods safe, tracking customers and employee movements, managing company-owned resources to minimizing incidents of theft and loss.
Customer Engagement with Sensor-Enabled Shopping Carts
The sensor-enabled shopping cart is a technique adopted by most of the retail merchandisers. These shopping carts help retailers grow their business in every aspect by helping them visualize shopper’s flows by category/subcategory, understand the shopping pattern, analyze the dwell path, and enable faster checkout.
This smart cart design involves sensors with connectivity protocols around the cart, which have the ability to track the movement of the wheels and match up with the distance the cart has traveled. It helps retailers with an accurate data of shopping carts with the inside-store journey. The data from this cart can be sent to the server or to cloud for further analysis.
With the exponential increase in the IoT and connected devices, it is difficult to ensure scalability, security, and robustness of these devices. Cloud computing platforms like AWS help enterprises accelerate their development to deployment cycles, enhancing robustness and scalability of the entire IoT solution.
People perceive cloud as a platform only for storage and computing. However, there are many other capabilities that cloud offers with cloud computing, such as application deployment, data transfer, database management, etc. Moreover, with the onset of IoT and connected technologies, the role of cloud computing has expanded even more in terms of enabling communication between devices and providing scalability to applications.
How Cloud Computing Helps in IoT Deployment
In today’s time, deploying an IoT solution takes a lot of effort and time, due to the increased number of software applications and hardware integration it requires. Also, when it comes to deploying a new, robust and scalable IoT platform for any industry vertical, it can be very tedious and costly to set up the infrastructure. For example, in a smart factory model, there are many machines and devices to be connected to the cloud. Developing a whole new infrastructure for those Internet of Things applications from the scratch can take up to five to six months’ time in development, deployment, and testing. This prolonged time delay is not appropriate since enterprises need to respond to the market demands quickly, especially when the market competition is too high and when the connected devices and technologies are increasing exponentially. This is where cloud computing plays a crucial role in IoT deployment.
There are several cloud platforms and service providers such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure, and Google Cloud for deploying IoT solutions. Of these, we will focus on the integrating AWS cloud platform in this blog.
Why AWS Cloud Platform
Cloud service platforms like AWS help enterprises accelerate their development cycle from months to a few days and hours, allowing them to build a robust and scalable IoT solution. AWS platform also allows easy and secure on-boarding of billions of devices according to the enterprise’s needs. It is one of the robust platforms for accelerated development, which enables the developers to connect the device to cloud quickly. AWS has recently launched AWS IoT 1-Click that easily triggers the Lambda function for any device to perform a specific action.
AWS is offering various services like cloud computing, machine learning, analytics, storage, IoT platform, security, AR & VR, etc. With AWS, organizations are just paying for the services that they utilize, which provides the benefits of cost reduction and better asset management.
Let us see how an enterprise IoT solution can be leveraged with the AWS IoT platform.
Sensor and Device Connectivity with Edge Analytics
The most important and basic aspect of an IoT solution is to connect all the devices and sensors to the cloud for management and control. Since the development of software and services to connect the devices to the cloud is tedious and time-consuming, AWS IoT Core helps IoT developers with AWS IoT SDK, which allows them to choose SDKs according to their choice of hardware for applications development. These applications help users in managing their IoT devices on air.
- Device gateway also consists of the AWS Greengrass a software agent that runs the computing on the edge for the connected devices. Greengrass consists of the Lambda Function, which allows users to run the rule engines, which are coded for particular events like temperature rise, light intensity, etc. AWS Greengrass also brings the AWS to the devices so that they can perform the local compute on the data when they are already using the cloud for other processes like management and storage. It can also be programmed for transferring only necessary information to the cloud after the local compute has been executed.
- Greengrass enables the device to cloud data security by encrypting the data. This data can be secured for both local and cloud communications. So, no one can access this data without any authentication. It uses the same security model as AWS IoT Core, which contains the mutual device authentication and authorization and secured cloud connectivity.
- Organizations can also create the digital twins, also known as Device Shadowing, for their IoT devices in the AWS cloud. In device shadowing, the current state of IoT devices gets replicated in the cloud virtually and this virtual image can be accessed at the time of no internet. This helps in the prediction of the desired future state of a device. IoT Core then compares this desired state with the previously accounted state and can send the command to the device for making up this difference.
Cloud Computing and Storage
The Internet of Things generates a huge data at every moment. The storage and management of this data require a lot of infrastructure deployments and maintenance efforts. AWS provides storage and computing services, which help enterprises in reducing the infrastructure development cost. These services also provide real-time analytics and accessibility of the data at any moment. Also, the developers can access the required data from the cloud without any delay.
- When we talk about the data management, AWS Kinesis can be considered as a great example of the real-time data streaming and analytics. It continuously analyzes, captures, and stores the huge heterogeneous data (terabytes per hour) that gets generated from the IoT devices or any other resources.
- After the data has been stored, Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) provides a secure, resizable, compute capacity in the cloud. Its web service interface allows developers to scale their computing requirement with minimal efforts. Users can scale up and down their computing resources according to the requirement and they just have to pay for the resources utilized. Apart from that, AWS also provides data storage services as AWS S3 and Glacier. They both provide 99% durability, comprehensive security and compliance capabilities that can help meet even the most stringent regulatory requirements. Amazon S3 and Glacier both allow running powerful analytics on the data on the rest.
- For Database management, AWS provides its service called AWS DynamoDB as NoSQL database that can support both key document-based database. Due to the NoSQL database, it enables benefits like ease of development, scalable performance, high availability, and resilience.
- For data and asset security, AWS has features and services like AWS Identity and Access Management, AWS Key Management Services, and AWS Shield along with the AWS Cloud HSM to enhance the security.
eInfochips (an Arrow company) is an Advanced Consulting Partner for AWS services. We help clients in implementing a highly scalable, reliable, and cost-efficient infrastructure with custom solutions for IoT on the AWS platform. Know more about our AWS services.
The Internet of Things is revolutionizing the retail industry, coming in it with the improved shopping experience, automated business processes, enhanced digital marketing, and optimized inventory and supply chain management.
Providing retailers with various advantages, IoT technology also enables them to boost sales and increase customer loyalty. Oracle discovered that when applying RFID tags, retail companies can achieve 99% inventory accuracy, a 50% reduction in out-of-stocks, and a 70% reduction in shrinkage.
The global IoT retail market is predicted to grow from $14 billion in 2015 to $36 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 20%. In its report about the Internet of Things, Verizon found that retailers believe in the IoT potential and have a positive attitude towards adopting IoT in their work:
- 77% of retailers said that IoT solutions help improve the customer experience;
- 89% of companies said they got the understanding of customer shopping habits, needs, and preferences thanks to using IoT solutions.
Promising to innovate and transform the retail industry, IoT solutions are becoming widely introduced for solving a wide range of issues. Here I’ve listed the main use cases describing how IoT is applied by retailers and what benefits they do receive.
IoT applications in Retail
Beacon alerts & in-store navigation
Customer interactions are a key success factor in all business. Through beacons, retailers can easily reach the user audience, increase customer loyalty, and raise profit. Beacons are IoT Bluetooth-enabled devices that use low-energy Bluetooth connections to automatically send push notifications directly to user smartphones once they appear in the operating area.
As beacons are small, they can be attached to almost any place, for instance, walls and counters. In the retail industry, beacons are mainly used for customer in-store navigation, sending push notifications, and collecting customer data.
In connection with mobile applications, retailers can motivate customers to make more purchases by notifying them about discounts and special offerings when they enter the coverage zone, generally near a certain shop. Also, in large shopping centers, beacons are irreplaceable for navigating customer and showing them the best routes to the place they need.
Customer data plays a key role in any business dealing with customers. Retail companies do need to know their audience in order to make them make purchases and increase profit while delivering an amazing personalized experience. Satisfied customers are returning clients.)
IoT solutions suit great for collecting customer data, including the determination of customer buying habits, needs, preferences, favorite routes in the shopping center, and the most popular goods as well.
By sending all these data to the analytical system, where it’s processed and analyzed, retailers can find out what they should improve. In some cases, for example, it will be better to change the placement of shelves or clothes. Also, with the audience understanding retailers can launch successful marketing campaigns and provide personalization.
Personalized shopping experience
Traditionally, customer relationships were built on the basis of face-to-face communications. For now, personalized experience takes the center stage and significantly impacts consumer purchasing decisions.
To boost sales and retain customers, retail companies are adopting IoT solutions to deliver the best shopping experience possible. By using beacons, mobile apps, push notifications, and customer analytics, retailers get the ability to understand the needs and preferences of their customers and ensure successful targeting when creating advertising campaigns.
Supply chain management
Like in many other sectors, supply chain management takes an important part in the retail too. Retailers integrate IoT solutions for load tracking, driver activity monitoring, tracing the delivery process, transportation management, as well as viewing load/driver location in real time. This way, the Internet of Things can enable a transparent supply chain management and help achieve “just-in-time” delivery much easier.
Optimized asset management
IoT applications are widely used for asset tracking and management. Using RFID tags, mobile apps, and other technologies for inventory tracking, retail companies can accomplish up to 100% inventory accuracy, minimize unexpected out-of-stocks, enable end-to-end store inventory management, and increase sales margins by up to 10% as a result.
What’s more, IoT solutions provide retailers with the ability to track the assortment of goods, analyze product popularity, and check out the information about goods any time they need, including their availability in the store, brand name, price, and description.
As you see, there are many useful IoT applications in the retail industry. With the use of additional devices and technologies, improvements in sensors, enhanced connectivity and machine learning tools, retailers automate operations, optimize various processes, reduce costs, and deliver the personalized experience.
As demand for location services in all areas of the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, so too has the requirement for precision location. For many applications, especially those that need to scale to cover large areas, providing ”proximity zone” types of location is simply not accurate enough. That means the old way of determining location—primarily using Bluetooth beacons—is no longer sufficient.
Bluetooth beacons have been the go-to solution for determining location for years, but they have three limiting factors:
- Beacons only work with smartphones, not tags, which limits how they can be used
- They are able to locate objects in best case within 3-4 meters, which is fine for determining a general location, but is not refined enough to meet the requirements for many of today’s applications
- Beacons are battery-operated, which impacts their ability to deliver real-time location; frequent transmissions drain the device’s battery, meaning frequent replacements are necessary
The shortcoming of beacons and other location technologies that rely on smartphones has spawned an industry shift to a more network-centric approach, with the intelligence moving to the receiver antenna and a centralized software application, rather than the intelligence residing in a smartphone app. That, in turn, has launched the development of a wide range of active, low-cost Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags with long battery life and possible on-board sensors.
Another shift occurring is a change in how signals from these tags are measured to determine location. The traditional method—using signal strength to estimate location—does not take into consideration how the signal will be impacted by its environment. While a weak signal could indicate an object is far away from a beacon, it’s also possible a physical object, such as a concrete pillar or wall, is impacting the signal.
Two new approaches are emerging for BLE angle estimation. The first is based on the signal’s Angle of Arrival (AoA)—the precise direction the device is from the receiver antenna arrays. With AoA, multiple antennas are used within the same devices to measure the signal. This allows the antenna to locate a tag or smartphone with accuracy of 10 to 20 centimeters, not meters.
The second approach considers the signal’s Angle of Departure (AoD). In this approach, the location intelligence is moved back to the mobile devices. The AoD approach works like "indoor GPS," where the fixed infrastructure devices (aka Locators) are only broadcasting and are not aware of the receiving devices, similarly to how a GPS Satellite works. This means the capability to locate an unlimited amount of devices, and no privacy issues.
As the use cases for indoor location services continue to grow, with every industry from manufacturing and logistics to healthcare and retail, to law enforcement and beyond clamoring for more precision, new approaches beyond Bluetooth beacons need to be considered. The AoA and AoD methodologies are quickly gaining momentum as the next generation of location technology.
Guest post by Antti Kainulainen is CTO & cofounder of Quuppa. Before Quuppa, he was with Nokia Research Center (NRC) during 2005-2012, where he was the lead engineer in several projects related to indoor positioning. He also took part in the standardization work of the Bluetooth Wireless technology. Antti received his M.Sc. degree in technology from Helsinki University of Technology in 2007. He has 16 granted patents and 22 pending patent applications. More at www.quuppa.com
IoT Evolution or IoT Revolution
During all these years evangelizing on the Internet of Things (IoT), I have been explaining to customers, partners and friends that IoT can positively change the way we do business and the way we live our lives. I have been asked if IoT is a new revolution in our society, or it is just one more step in the technological evolution of the he digital revolution. Today, the debate continues but whether evolution or revolution, The Internet of Things is here to stay.
If you have read AIG´s whitepaper entitled “Internet of Things: Evolution or Revolution?” you learned IoT, from its origins, to its applications in business, the risks associated with its inevitable arrival and how with the IoT is coming bringing dramatic changes. In the whitepaper we discover that in spite IoT is often presented as a revolution that is changing the face of society or the industry in a profound manner. It is an evolution that has its origins in technologies and functionalities developed by visionary automation suppliers more than 15 years ago
I definitely think it’s an evolution
The development of the Internet of Things is a bold move. IoT is not just a leap from the Internet. The Internet of Things brings with it an evolutionary force that we rarely see in technology.
It is important not scare the most conservative enterprises. It is not about ripping out current automation systems to replace them with new technologies. End users will resist rapid and radical change because of the increased risk of downtime and associated costs.
I think that this debate should be framed in a more general question. What Age period are we living?
The Connected Age or the Age of Sensorization
I consider the start of the Connected Age when the Internet of Things term was coined by Kevin Ashton executive director of the Auto-ID Center as the title of a presentation he made at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999. Probably Kevin envisioned that the move to sensorization will transform every industry in the world. In the Age of Sensorization, it’s possible to make more accurate and quantifiable assessments using real time sensor based information.
The main driving force behind the Connected Age is data – data that can be collected, data that can be analysed, data can be shared and data can be used to improve many service offerings.
Data is the new oil in this AgeThe global sensorization is driving new ideas and thoughts that will ultimately drive innovation in our personal, business and working lives. Sensor´s data is opening up new opportunities, driving new business models and taking innovation to new levelsNo doubt that sensors’ data is a valuable commodity. The European Commission has proposed to impose a tax on the revenue of digital companies based on their users’ location, on the grounds that “a significant part of the value of a business is created where the users are based and data is collected and processed.”
We are still living in the Connected Age. I expect this Age ends in 2025, no because there will not be more things to connect but because is when most of things will become intelligent and start controlled by robotsThe Robotic Age or the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Reading Genesis of AI: The First Hype Cycle, I rediscovered how Artificial Intelligence (AI) was born and evotution till now. But it was after I read Your Data Is Crucial to a Robotic Age. Shouldn’t You Be Paid for It? I realised maybe I was wrong and we already living the final years of the Connected Age and we are entering before 2025 , not without a certain fear, the Robotic Age.
According to IDC: ”By 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives – and 100% of IoT initiatives – will be supported by AI capabilities.
Qualcomm envision a world where edge AI makes devices, machines, automobiles, and things much more intelligent, simplifying and enriching our daily lives.
AI has emerged as the most exciting capability in today’s technology landscape. It’s potential is rich in large, complex organizations that generate massive amounts of data that can be fed into AI systems.
Data is the crucial ingredient of the AI revolution. We can envision that AI -driven companies will represent the future of broader parts of the economy and we may be headed for a world where labor’s share falls dramatically from its current roughly 70 percent to something closer to 20 to 30. At the same time the number of robots will increase and be part of the society.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence have reached a crucial point in their evolution. A robot is no longer just a mechanical device capable of interacting with its environment and carrying out an assigned task. At present, the main research laboratories all over the world are developing and implementing in sophisticated robots technical, practical and even philosophical tools. Nevertheless, we can not forget that there are still problems in the land of AI.
Companies need to move quickly to embrace AI so that they can support the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) and deliver the kinds of services customers are demanding.
Finally, if your company is thinking about Build or Buy Artificial Intelligence, take a look at this article.
The Cognitive Age
The cognitive revolution was a period during the 1950s-1960s when cognitive psychology replaced Behaviourism and Psychoanalysis as the main approach in psychological fields. Increasing focus was placed on observable behaviours in conjunction with brain activity and structureFor those of you who believe the mind the centre of all things, David Brooks, the New York Times columnist, wrote two editorials that point to wider transformations that are shaping the world in which we liveWe could consider the start of Cognitive Age when Facebook abandoned an experiment after two artificially intelligent programs appeared to be chatting to each other in a strange language only they understood. The two chatbots came to create their own changes to English that made it easier for them to work – but which remained mysterious to the human.
Are we sure Facebook shut down Its Artificial Intelligence Program? Facebook not the only company or government running secrete AI programs. Are you scaredThere are many myths about Cognitive. This article pusblished by Deloitte the Consulting company help dispel five of the most persistent myths.
- Myth 1: Cognitive is all about automation
- Myth 2: Cognitive kills jobs
- Myth 3: The financial benefits are still remote
- Myth 4: AI is overhyped and bound to disappoint
- Myth 5: Cognitive technology is just for ‘moonshots’
We need to start thinking how to prepare ourselves and our business for the Cognitive Age.” As I explain in “Bring Your Own Cyber Human (BYOCH) – Part 1: Augmented humans” we are in the path to being cyber humans. To live in the Cognitive Age, I encourage companies to invest in how to enhance our senses and to increase our intelligence to compete and win over robots.
The Connected Age is a fact. ARM is predicting 1 trillion IoT devices will be built until 2035. For those who think that the IoT is a revolution, not be worried because we are just simply in an evolutionary process.
With the introduction of AI and machine learning, enterprises will be able to embark on projects never thought possible before. The Robotics Age is going to be a great challenge for humanity. The fear of being inferior to our creation, not being able to control them, to compete with machines for a job, to have to obey them will really mean the beginning of a revolution.
What does AI mean for the future?. What will be the implications and the risks? Will AI really understand humans?. With the current skills humanity will be in inferiority to face the cognitive systems that will populate Cognitive Age. That is why I encourage governments, private laboratories and researchers to work on Augmented Humans projects if we do not want to be slaves to our uncontrolled inventions.
Thanks for your Likes and Comments.
The predicted growth of the IoT market in manufacturing is unprecedented. At the moment, Markets and Markets researchers predict it to reach $13.49 billion by 2020. Just to give you some perspective, in 2015 the value of this market was estimated at $4.11 billion. The main IoT technology applications in manufacturing revolve around enhancing connectivity and automation. The main goal of this tech is to maximize the efficiency of the manufacturing process while minimizing its costs. The benefits of utilizing digital solutions in this industry are a great motivation for the developers as seeing what has already been achieved prompts them to see how far they can push these solutions.
The most important benefits, no doubt responsible for such a tremendous growth of the IoT manufacturing industry, include:
Boost in Work Efficiency
Constant improvement of the manufacturing operation is one of the main goals for any industrial business owner. Implementing IoT technology on any level of the manufacturing allows to:
- Automate the production process, or some of its steps
- Pre-test new ideas and designs (using a combination of advanced modeling and testing solutions)
- Analyze the production process and identify its strengths and weaknesses
- Save time and money for the business by increasing the efficiency of both the production line and employees
- Monitor the manufacturing business performance at all times, analyze the data, and use this information for accurate predictions
Steady Improvements in Performance
The most important benefit of the contemporary IoT solutions is their ability to improve constantly by simply ‘doing their job’. The AI that governs them is usually programmed to process data collected during the manufacturing process and optimizing that process based on it.
As the system is regulated by the AI developed specifically for it, the efficiency and accuracy of these changes and advancements are greater than any settings set by man. However, making manual adjustments is possible and this will add another layer to the machine’s betterment. The intuitive operation systems of today will memorize the most effective patterns in the production process and find a multitude of ways to achieve or even improve those results. They will do this with utmost accuracy and speed. Utilizing these particular solutions can make even a small manufacturing business into a big player on its market.
Creating the Perfect Environment for Innovation
Manufacturing facilities reigned by IoT technology are extremely flexible. This means that the business owner is able to integrate new solutions quickly and boost the production process’ efficiency right away.
Most importantly, implementing this technology allows to step away from the traditional linear production process. This, in turn, leads to the creation of more efficient singular production cycles organized into a cohesive system that can adjust to the change in manufacturing demand immediately. Such a scheme allows for the most efficient use of resources.
This kind of ‘cluster’ manufacturing also enables the owner to monitor the entire system more easily. One can determine where an issue occurs and have other sectors pick up the slack if possible. In any case, this scheme allows making quick and more accurate fixes for any problems.
Allowing for Predictive Maintenance
Predictive maintenance is a very efficient method of cutting the manufacturing costs. It is exactly what the name states, a maintenance based on predictions. It’s a step up from preventative maintenance as it’s more effectively targeted.
Predictive analytics drive this solution and allow you to maximize the equipment output while minimizing the costs for its maintenance. Note that using such technology also helps you save money you would have lost due to the manufacturing process stopping.
The IoT for the manufacturing industry develops extremely fast with dozens of solutions released for any kind of business. Embracing this technology now can not only give one an edge over the competition. With the high popularity rate of this tech, not using any of these solutions is sure to marginalize the business.
Adam Flamberg is a consultant at DO Supply.
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