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Case Studies (234)

IIoT Use Cases, Puzzles and AI

 

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IoT Cyber-Security Puzzle

Image courtesy: Pixabay

I recently attended one of a significant [email protected] Internet of Things event which featured keynotes, speeches and presentations from CTOs/SVPs-Tech/VPs of major IT firms. Attending these presentations sometimes give you a feeling of being in literature or a rhetoric club where instead of hearing context oriented speeches you get to listen to a bunch of fairy tales with almost every sentence including overused adjectives like “trust”, “motivation”, “responsibility” and so on.  An SVP of a major IT player was asked about the measure (technical) her company takes to ensure data integrity and prevent cyber-attacks. Interestingly, her answer to this was the statement that “they maintain a culture of trust in and around the company”. To me, it is like standing in front of a hungry lion and telling him that you believe in non-violence. Today in the age of internet and IoT, we have to deal with thousands of cyber criminals (hungry lions) who are waiting to penetrate the system and make most out of it. To keep them out you need a lot more than just “trust”.  

On the same event, I had an opportunity to talk to many cybersecurity experts and companies, and I confronted them with a question of mentioning at least one relevant cybersecurity norm/standard/certificate pertinent for each major component in an IoT stack. Unfortunately, most of these discussions turned into some sales pitch. The question one can raise at this point is that is it so challenging to mention at least one “state of the art” cybersecurity measure for every IoT component? Or just that the topic is underestimated? 

This blog is just an attempt to name a relevant security standard/certificate or measure for every major element in IoT stack (see below) without going deep into the details of each and very standard/norm or certification. 

For this sake, we will assume a simple IoT stack as illustrated below :

 

Fig.1: IoT stack of a simple use case

In this use case, an industry sensor collects the physical parameters (temperature, pressure, humidity etc.) and transmit the values via Bluetooth/Wifi/wired connection to the gateway or edge device. The gateway device, depending on the type (simple or edge) perform a certain minimal calculation on the received data and push it into the cloud via a Wifi/4G connection. The cloud collects the data and uses this data to feed desired micro-services like analytics, anomaly detection etc. Cloud also offers an interface to the existing enterprise and resource planning (ERP) system to synchronize the running process with the current one as well to provide product /service related information over the IoT platform to the end user. What the user sees on his screen is then the dashboard of IoT use case which is a graphical representation of the micro-services running in the background. 

As we can see, there are four to five main stages and at least three interfaces (sensor-gateway, gateway-cloud, cloud-user) in a typical IoT use case. These stages and interfaces are on the target of cybercriminals who try to hack into the system with the intention of either manipulating or hi-jacking the system. Safeguarding just the components is not adequate. The underlying IoT communication layer (Bluetooth/Wifi/4G etc.) need to be secured as well.  Also, organisations running or involved in such IoT use cases must ensure safety and integrity of the process, technical as well as user data through a certain information security management system (ISMS) in place. 

To sum up, we need security measures at a component, communication-interface and organisational levels. Now if I have to write state of the art or “best in class” security measure (excluding cryptography) next to each stage, communication type and interfaces in the diagram above, then the resulting picture might look like the one below. 

 

Fig.2: IoT stack with relevant cyber-security measure

 

What, in your opinion, could be included/excluded or replaced in this diagram? Feel free to share your opinion.

 

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5 IIoT Use Cases from Global Leaders

“I talk to a dozen or more companies involved in IoT every week. One thing they all have in common is their desire for the projected IoT volumes and revenues to come to fruition...the sooner the better”.

Mike Krell

Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy covering the Internet of Things, Forbes.

 

Internet of things has always been functioning in a context of business transformation.

If you’re in business, just read on, as we are to have several working IIoT solutions to consider right now.

 

To be successful today you need to:

  1. really love what you do;
  2. move with the times;
  3. make the IIoT technology a part of your business development plan;
  4. and find an Industrial IoT company for you to cooperate with.

Here I gathered 5 IIoT solutions implemented by global industry leaders and the key examples of their efficient cooperation with IoT developers:

 

#1 Predictive Maintenance for Wind Energy

 

The IIoT solution is projected to be implemented into the maintenance of wind energy. The smart wind turbines will be applied to reveal how employees can get additional insights by using ML about the equipment performance in different conditions. Thus, smart sensors are supposed to give the information in a real-life regime.

The system can give reliable statistics for the future planning and help to replace vital parts of the engines during the less windy periods:

Source: Schaeffler Group & IBM

 

#2 Health Detectors for Caterpillar Equipments

 

Recently, the American machinery and equipment giant, Caterpillar implemented a new IIoT solution to help its customers better understand the workability and health of the equipment. It should also be said that the company uses IoT solutions for tracking fuel efficiency, idle times, location, and many more. The new project lets clients directly address the company maintenance service and timely repair the sensitive spots by using the IoT platform.

The end-to-end platform for predictive diagnostics allows for better monitoring and timely replacement of the interchangeable parts. The Caterpillar CEO, Doug Oberhelman supposes the IIoT, which is primarily applied to the fleet and fuel monitoring, will take the clients offering to the next level.

 

#3 Airbus Smart Manufacturing

 

You know the biggest European aircraft manufacturer has already applied the IoT solutions to its products. Today Airbus is working at implementing the IIoT to the tools its workers use during the manufacturing process.

For this reason, Airbus opts to involve its employees and the factory floor. The workers will manage to use smart tablets or glasses to evaluate a task and then send the data to a robotic tool that will finish it.

Jean-Bernard Henz, the head of PLM R&T Innovation at Airbus ICT, says the IoT platform manufacturing will speed up the processes and improve the reliability of the production.

 

#4 Siemens -- a 75% automated plant

 

You know the Siemens AG plant is a part of a concerted effort by the German government to develop fully automated factories. Guess what? Siemens is claimed to be 75% automated with 1,150+ employees on board.

All the employees are mainly operating computers and monitoring the process of manufacturing by using the IIoT solutions. Sinalytics, which is a critical component of the IIoT Platform was implemented in 2015. Today Siemens continues developing the Web of System, which directly connects devices to the open Internet and with each other. Besides, Siemens launched a new company in 2016 that is named Innovations AG. The company is dedicated to the search and support of the emerging start-ups that can be a good technological investment for Siemens. This has influenced the factory efficiency, opened the new technological opportunities and reduced costs.

https://twitter.com/Siemens/status/935795639472021506

 

#5 ThyssenKrupp Elevates IIoT Implementation

 

The CGI global tech firm claims ‘that thing is an elevator’ for the company. Well, let’s see it. Having joined forces with Microsoft and CGI, the ThyssenKrupp Elevator company has now obtained a predictive maintenance for elevators manufacturing.

The IIoT solution securely connects tens of thousands of sensors and elevators systems across the plant. The technology allows for monitoring every stage of production starting from motor temperature and finishing with shaft alignment. The real-life IIoT gathered data lets the company identify vulnerabilities and repair them before an actual breakdown occurs:

https://twitter.com/thyssenkrupp_en/status/964787252629946368

 

What’s the bottom line?

IIoT solutions undoubtedly contribute to production efficiency. The predictive maintenance and pre-emptive repair, manufacturing automation and further spending cuts are just a tiny bit of what I recorded here.

I am almost done here...

Feel like you have something to tell about your IIoT use case?

Drop me a line below!

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Drones, Cloud and an Urban Future

 

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Keys to Success with Urban 4.0

 

In a recent guest post by Andrew Hamilton, he looked at the future of urbanization and what a holistic approach means in actual urban development. As a follow-up to the story, he offers these key to success.

1) Focus on the city’s main goal or identity

While cities and large developments share many concerns and challenges, each one has a unique mix of issues. Is it concerned about accommodating existing growth or attracting more growth? Is it looking mainly to improve livability, or to make it easier for businesses to operate? Would it like to double down on its existing strengths as a city, or shift the economy in new areas? Some cities and developers find it helpful to focus on a simple theme or vision. London, for example, is investing heavily in making it easier for residents to access, analyze, and exchange data. While any smart urbanization project should lay the foundations for future capabilities in many areas, it’s essential to focus actual investments in a few areas with the greatest consensus and payoff. Pursuing multiple areas will make timely delivery on these already complex projects nearly impossible.

2) Rethink your RFP relationships with vendors

Governments and developers have relied on the RFP-based vendor management process for good reasons, but this structure gets in the way of integrated developments. It’s especially important to start working early with a knowledgeable guide that can work with you for the long term. It’s time to create new negotiating processes that enable Urban 4.0 while still featuring accountability and protecting the public.

3) Focus on transformational improvements

Smart urbanization involves an array of sophisticated technologies that offer big benefits over the status quo. With political and budgetary pressures, it will be tempting to aim at a flashy, short-term gain rather than to invest in capabilities that will pay off much more in the long term. Avoid that fate by setting out a blueprint for the vision that will drive public plans and accountability, without constraining your ability to adjust with evolving technology and city or client needs. Quick wins can help build momentum and support, but should not divert you from achieving even more valuable results.

4) Reassess the citywide approach

With the rise of supercities, governments and developers will want to break the urbanization challenge into pockets of about five square kilometers. That’s large enough to deliver all the smart services—energy, education, micromobility, food, recreation, entertainment, and job creation—within a contained and sustainable ecosystem. In especially dense areas, a large single mixed-use development could serve as an urban pocket. These highly integrated neighborhoods, combining work and residence, can improve transportation and overall livability while reducing the cost of living. They are also commercially attractive to private developers.

 Photo credit: Roberto Saltori

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Preparing for Urban 4.0

 

Guest post by Andrew Hamilton

It’s time for a better paradigm of urbanization. Conventional models, while still solid, are no longer up to the heightened challenges of the present. Exponentially improving technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence are enabling urban developments with much higher levels of efficiency and flexibility to conserve resources, promote security, and boost the quality of life.

            The key development is not the technologies themselves, but their integration around a holistic view of urbanization that enables a series of smart services. Instead of focusing on single services, or specific buildings or highways, leading organizations around the world are using IoT and analytics to optimize infrastructure generally and evolve with changing needs. While getting there will take a great deal of investment and expertise, the result will be places where residents thrive in unexpected ways in their personalized urban developments. 

The Future of Urbanization

To understand the business opportunity, it’s helpful to break urbanization down into three phases. Over most of history, Urban 1.0, this happened with little general direction or coordination. People gradually moved into towns and cities, and new and old residents adjusted largely on their own. Urban 2.0 started in the early 20th century, as reformers launched ambitious city plans to improve the cityscape and its governance.

            Urban 3.0 came at the beginning of the 21st century, as planners applied computers, automation, and systems thinking to improve efficiency and coordination. This smart urbanization brought many advances. But its focus on solutions for a specific area (a building, street, or factory), or sector (transportation, energy, waste), led to static efforts that failed to realize many potential gains. To take a simple example, buildings got sensors that turned off lights when not in use. But those sensors failed to learn from all the data they were seeing, and they didn’t connect to air-conditioning and other systems.

            It’s time to go to the next level—Urban 4.0. The Internet of Things enables residents and planners to monitor and adjust much of the urban infrastructure. These sensors generate a flood of data, but with machine learning, cloud communication, and advanced analytics, we can optimize planning and operations across multiple components. Buildings can have smart controls that adjust lighting and HVAC according to expected usage, and that predict and indicate when equipment needs to be repaired, replaced, upgraded, or modified altogether. We can also monitor energy usage across a portfolio of buildings, and share efficient practices such as overnight battery storage to reduce demand in peak daytime periods.

            Developers and officials can now “future-proof” their designs by calculating citywide dynamics over time. They can look on a city as a living organism, where all the components have to be healthy for residents to thrive.

            Urban 4.0 goes beyond the direct provision of municipal services. It helps companies take advantage of telecommunications to improve the quality of life. Residents can choose to provide data on their wants and needs, along with their geo-location. Businesses granted access to this information can serve urbanites more efficiently and boost their margins. While these offerings, at least in theory, will eventually be made available everywhere, they’ll initially concentrate in large, mixed-use urban developments to gain scale economies. That’s because many of the large developers are better funded than cities, and eager to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Thanks to IoT and AI, their developments will make full use of ubiquitous connections.

            While technology is pulling the world to Urban 4.0, serious social and environmental challenges are pushing. Developing countries are in the midst of an urbanization wave the world has never seen, both in scale and rapidity. China alone expects 200 million new city residents in the next 10 years, or 15% of its population, and other Asian countries are similarly shifting. We’re seeing the emergence of supercities, such as the agglomeration around Shanghai, which could exceed 100 million residents by 2050. That’s when 70% of the world’s population is expected to be urban, up from 54% today. Such a massive concentration could overwhelm those societies.[1]

            Even developed countries, many of which have little absolute population growth, are still seeing a continual move to metropolitan areas. City centers are attracting residents, reversing decades of suburban sprawl. Despite early predictions that the internet would encourage people to live and work anywhere, they’re voting with their feet and concentrating in urban clusters. Those same cities, often suffering from decades of underinvestment, are now struggling to handle the newcomers and their high expectations for services.

            Besides the usual difficulties of serving people unaccustomed to urban ways, cities face heightened environmental constraints. Unchecked growth in previous decades has left many areas choking on traffic and smog. Managing water and waste is a challenge in many developing countries and even some developed ones. Climate change has added to the urgency to reduce emissions from vehicles and factories.

            Cities will increasingly compete with one another for high-value investment and trade. The winners will be those that combine efficient services with a good quality of life, enabled by integrated technology. 

Enabling the Transformation

Government officials, developers, and their suppliers around the world are increasingly interested in this integrated transformation. They’re eager for new approaches that take optimization to a new level. The trouble is, most cities are focused on short-term fixing and maintaining legacy infrastructure. They’re reluctant to commit to new systems, especially since those emerging IoT and AI technologies are still in flux. Rather than fancy technological solutions, they want to lay the foundation for new possibilities that can be built gradually and evolve with the changing city.

            Fortunately, the marketplace is similarly evolving to help make that possible. Instead of transactional relationships around one-off projects, some vendors are now willing to work and plan with cities and developers as long-term partners. Instead of the conventional vendor relationship, these providers are taking on some of the risk and responsibility for improvements. This is especially true for large mixed-use developments within cities.

            Rather than implement point solutions, they’re signing on for 10- to 15-year journeys with developers, suppliers, and officials.  They’re learning from one another and residents along the way. And because the vendor expects to be involved over the long haul, its teams can take the wider perspective to encompass multiple systems in a building or multiple components in a city. This long-term perspective is also essential for combating the inherent uncertainty of such complex developments.

            Another innovation is “smart infrastructure as a service,” where the client owns the asset but the vendor builds and operates it, and simply charges the city or private client for usage. Here, the vendor takes on most of the financing and risk, and works with the user to provide continued satisfaction and development. Both of these steps can go a long way to realizing ambitious city dreams.

            These partnership-oriented approaches, however, fit poorly with established vendor-management practices, which tend to focus on RFPs for projects limited to a single product or service. Developers will need to adjust their mindset, at least for the more ambitious integrated developments, for both financial and operational reasons.

            To fully realize these possibilities, it’s not enough for city governments and private developers to evolve toward this more integrated, partnership-based approach. Vendors must as well, and move beyond specific areas, such as design, IT, or mechanical. To make integration work, vendors must be able to speak the language of architects, construction contractors, and engineers. They have to make the business and the technical case for the project at the same time, with the help of an ecosystem of industry partners.

Integration in the Real World

What does this holistic approach mean in actual urban development? For example, the island city of Maui, Hawaii, is rethinking its energy infrastructure. Most electricity comes from expensive imported fossil fuels. Municipal officials wanted to build a few large solar power plants, to take advantage of the abundant sunshine. Then they expanded their view and considered transportation dynamics. They realized that most vehicles in the future would run on electricity, not oil. Instead of centralizing electrical production, it would be more efficient to locate it where people would likely charge their cars. With this holistic perspective, Maui officials are shifting their energy investments and licensing. They’re looking for help from sensors that can track evolving patterns of consumption. By preparing the island for charging stations, they’ll reduce not just oil imports but also air pollution.

Mixed-use urban projects are a major opportunity for businesses, especially in the burgeoning cities of Asia. These projects range from single buildings to clusters

of towers with millions of square meters of floor space. Despite those projects’ enormous scale, the owners are working to integrate smart services in energy, water, telecommunications, predictive maintenance, video analytics, security, traffic, and parking. Everything will run on a single IoT-driven platform and command center—even projects that include office, retail, hospitality, and residential areas. Embedded sensors and analytics capabilities will enable property managers to continually adjust and optimize building operations and the ongoing resident experience. Expected to open in 2021 and to serve 60,000 people daily, it will be a demonstration site for existing sites as well as greenfield applications. (Hitachi Consulting is assisting on the project.) The developers expect to deploy many of these smart services to existing properties throughout their international portfolio.

            Southeastern Australia is another case in point. Sydney and Melbourne are two of the most expensive cities in the world. In response, people are sprawling out to faraway suburbs, which damage both the environment and quality of life. To address these issues, private enterprise in partnership with government is considering the creation of eight new densely settled cities between these two metropolises, which are about nine hours apart by car. High-speed rail would connect the eight cities with the two endpoints, so each one would be no more than an hour’s ride from either Sydney or Melbourne. The satellite cities would have all of the amenities and efficiencies of urban life, while reducing energy use and aggravation and preserving the environment.

The worldwide pressures for urbanization are powerful, and the opportunities from smart, integrated infrastructure are compelling. Over time, we expect holistic urban development to become the norm, facilitated by cities, developers, and vendors taking the long view.  Companies that stay with the old approach to urbanization will lose out.

About Andrew Hamilton

  • Andrew Hamilton is a Global Client Partner for Hitachi Consulting. He is responsible for Key Clients focusing on social innovation projects, runs Social Innovation Business for APAC and provides on the ground project support and industry expertise.
  • He has run projects in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe in the infrastructure, telecom, media and power sectors.
  • Andrew has over 30 years of project experience with 23 years of experience with infrastructure projects, vendors and management consulting firms in SEA, India and China. Experience includes very large international infrastructure program management in Asia and the Middle East, healthcare, supply chain, pharma, national infrastructure recreation, national distribution networks, mobile phone company launch programs and contract negotiations, Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), manufacturing, large IT deployments, and international logistics programs with APEC.

[1] “Urbanization and the Mass Movement of Peoples to Cities,” by Bret Boyd, Grayline, Jan. 17, 2017. https://graylinegroup.com/urbanization-catalyst-overview/

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9 Articles on IoT and Blockchain

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Botty Media

The revolution of digital technology has disrupted and transformed the entire Media Industry. The evolution of print to online media has significantly impacted the individual, business, society, and nation overall. The digitization has changed the judicious "decision-making" capability of an individual which can make or break something powerful in this world. 

The advent of the Internet and transformational technologies have redefined the way we gather, receive and consume the news today. During the Pre-Internet era, it was challenging to get international or even national information without the Newspaper which slowly evolved to Radio, Television, and Social-Media. 

With time, 'Time' became the most significant challenge which a man is always battling especially in the fast-paced mechanical world. This challenge paved the way for one of the biggest business opportunity for Media Industry in the world. Mobility became the future, and with this development, the media rapidly advanced itself in the era of social-media by providing online-news via apps which led to the decline of the print-media businesses. 

However, the ever-growing influence of online social media gave birth to the 'Fake News or Yellow Journalism which refers to journalism that provides little or no legitimate or well-researched news. Instead, they present headlines story that is eye-catching and sell more newspapers. The media and all other superpowers in the Industry who wanted to manipulate adopted methods such as exaggerations of news-events, sensationalism, scandal-mongering, deliberate hoaxes or misinformation via print and broadcast news media or online social media. 

The fake news is published or written with the explicit intention of misleading to damage the reputation of an entity, agency or a person, and or to gain politically or financially, often using outright fabricated headlines to increase readership, coverage, online sharing, internet click revenues or any hidden business motivations. 

To top it all the technology has proven advantageous to players in the 'Fake News.' The 'Bots' are designed with the intelligence and robotic power to perform any automated task without human intervention. In the case of online media, they are programmed to gather and collate 'Fake News' that could make or break any business, people, society or a nation. 

Let us take the recent case of 2016 US presidential election, according to the CBS News the stories which consistently featured in Google's top news search results were widely shared on the Facebook and they were taken seriously by the readers. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, made a statement, "I think the idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election in any way, I think is a pretty crazy idea." A few days later, he blogged that Facebook was looking for ways to flag the fake news stories. Angela Merkel expressed her concern by discussing the topic on Fake News and Bots which can manipulate public opinion is committed not to use social bots for her campaign strategy.

However, demonizing bots might cause society from overlooking the possibility of using the same bots for the good of mankind. Be it a Bot or Chatbot it can be the optimal tools for eliminating the fake news from the system. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), the bots can be programmed only to collate legitimate news whose data source has been validated. Apart from eliminating the rudimentary system of reporting, the 'AI Bot or Chatbot' will automate the entire online news reporting system and slowly eradicate the yellow journalism from its roots. 

To summarize, the 'Media Industry' should collaborate with Technologists and Subject Matter Expertise for designing and developing AI Bots that can bring in the Next-Gen online news reporting system which will be instrumental in eliminating the 'Fake News' from the system and help establish people's trust back in the power of the Social Media. More importantly, reinstating the judicious decision-making capability of an individual. 

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Evolution of Drones

It is the 'Era' of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), an all-encompassing term which includes the aircraft or the UAV, and the ground-based controller (the person operating the machine), and the system of communications connecting the two, commonly known as 'Drones.' 

Today, the drones are revolutionizing the world and businesses which hardly anyone could have ever imagined. UAVs or drones was an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. UAVs include both autonomous drones and Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs). 

According to the brief history "The U.S. military experimented with pilotless aeroplanes as “aerial torpedoes” or flying bombs far back during the first world war, but with no significant success—until the Vietnam war, when jet-propelled, camera-equipped drones built by Teledyne-Ryan were launched and controlled from U.S. Air Force C-130s. 

"Abraham Karem born in 1937, is regarded as the founding father of UAV (drone) technology. "Karem built his first drone during the Yom Kippur war for the Israeli Air Force. In the 1970s, he moved to the USA and founded his company Leading Systems Inc. He started the manufacturing of his first drone 'Albatross' in his home garage. Later on, the sophisticated 'Amber' which eventually evolved into the famous 'Predator' drone that brought him the title of "drone father". Karem has been described by The Economist magazine as the man who "created the robotic plane that transformed the way modern warfare is waged, and at the age of 80 he continues to pioneer other airborne innovations." 

The UAVs or drones were associated with the military and those used by the US Air Force for surveillance, small intelligence, and reconnaissance craft of which some of them were light enough to be launched by hand, medium-sized armed drones to large spy planes. However, with the technology that is in use is incredibly advanced. It uses Artificial Intelligence (AI), GPS, 3D scan, Biometrics, to Robotics and remote control to pilot essentially unmanned aeroplanes of different sizes, weights, reaching new heights figuratively and literally. 

Let me discuss some of the significant use-cases of the Military or Law enforcement Drones:

1. Air Strikes: The UAVs or drones are used for air strikes. According to President Obama, the US Military used drones to attack militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The drones hover over the suspected areas to fulfil the military operation.

2. Bomb Detection: The increasing frequency of terrorist attacks which the world has witnessed in the recent past can be mitigated with the help of drones. Small size drones can easily penetrate into the restricted areas. The inbuilt cameras make the drone highly suitable for bomb investigations. Thus the UAVs are apt for detecting the unexploded bombs and securely dealing with a potential bomb threat. 

3. Surveillance: Any country's Defence tends to conduct periodic surveys to ensure the protection of the place and its people usually. The drones are also used for criminal surveillance which could help trace missing persons, a search of criminal gangs or mafia groups. In 2009, the drone from Dayton carried out surveillance for 200 hours across cities. This helped in capturing the images of thirty-four murders as they happened in real-time. These attacks were carried out by a cartel, and the footages helped the Police to get to the perpetrator's getaway, vehicles and their various accomplices. 

4. Hostage Negotiation: The future of the drone could be an application of tiny drones, the size of an insect which will be capable of revealing the happenings in a hostile location. It is believed that the manufacturers will be able to provide 'Biomimetic' designs which will be suited to mimic nature along with the 3D depiction scan for appropriate handling of a hostage situation. The drone will help show precise details of exact happenings in the given locations without risking the lives of the security personnel. The drones will be of good use in conducting negotiations without the need for sending a negotiator to the hostage site. Instead, it can be achieved by sending a drone with a facility for a facetime chat with the hostage-taker. 

5. Crime Scene Analysis: Drones play a significant role in the future crime scene investigations due to the drone's ability to take photos and inspect the scene without any contamination of the pieces of evidence. Hence, the investigation team will not risk mistakes like footprints and fingerprints which were not supposed to be there. The police also could use drones to trackback discarded weapons from the crime scene location. Drones to help create maps for prosecuting or solving various crimes and documenting the evidence to convict the criminals who have walked-out scot-free due to lack of sufficient documented proof against them. 

6. Drone in Drug Interdictions or Tracing Missing Persons: Today, drones that are equipped with spectroscopic sensors help in detection of the meth labs, and similar use case can be applied for the storage of drug at sites to help in dealing with the menace of the illegal drug trade. It is most common for some close person to have gone missing. There have been several cases when a child has gone missing in a large crowd, or a person with Alzheimer disease has wandered from home. The drones equipped with cameras, facial recognition or license plate readers software will be able to swiftly and efficiently search and track the missing people. These drones will transform the way the future search operations of the missing people are conducted.

Military usage of UAVs or drones has become the primary use in today's world. According to Goldman Sachs, military spending will remain the primary driver of drone spending with an estimate of $70 billion drones by 2020. According to the latest news, "The US Military's latest autonomous aircraft is radically changing how they resupply units in the combat zone. It is all about keeping the troops safe and saving lives. The UAV helicopter is meant to resupply forces in combat zones quickly delivering ammunition, water, batteries, and even blood before returning to base. With no need for pilot or crew, it could eliminate the need for troops to fly or drive supplies to hostile, fire or dangerous roadways. The project is a partnership between the office of Naval research and tech company Aurora Flight Systems."

These are some of the use-cases of the Military or Law-Enforcement UAVs or Drones which I have discussed here. However, in my next couple of articles, I will be addressing the Non-military or Commercial, Personal and Future use-cases of the UAVs or Drones that has disrupted and transforming the world. 

To conclude, the drones will play a vital role in the resolution of future conflicts and the replacement of the human pilot. Drones are also cost-effective, time-saving and life-changing. Although, the application of drones in the Law-Enforcement domain is niche but will need the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to have the relevant regulations which would govern the right use of 'UAVs or Drones' in a lawful manner that will bring protection to the people and its nation.

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IoT Central Digest, January 24, 2018

 

Here's the latest IoT Central Digest. Lots of great content from our members. Encourage your friends and colleagues to be a part of our community by forwarding this newsletter to them. They can join IoT Central here. You can contribute your thoughts on IoT here.  

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Here's Wishing you a Very Happy, Smart, and Innovative New Year! 

Internet of Things (IoT) has been revolutionizing the world with its millions of innovations. In 2017 IoT reached its milestone by creating several break-throughs with significant technological advancements. All of these technologies, products, and solutions saw the limelight at the world's largest and the most powerful technology event, Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 at Las Vegas, a Catalyst for Innovations.  

The vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) is to transform the way individual lives, work and communicates with one another. These innovations are meant to simplify by offering products and solutions that are simple, affordable, easy to use, efficient and productive for building a Smart, Safe and Connected world. 

With these above IoT goals in mind, I am personally impressed to highlight some of these mind-boggling innovative products and solutions that was unveiled last week at the CES 2018. 

1. Forever Batteries: The battery maker Ossia launched its AA-sized batteries that suck power out of the air using its IP technology called Cota. Ossia has developed a means of wireless power transmission which Ossia claims can keep the AA battery charged up or provide power to a smartphone that either incorporates Cota's technology natively or uses specific charging case. However, Ossia hasn't revealed much about the working of their Cota technology. This irreplaceable battery will eliminate the spending expenditure 'Forever'. 

2. Byton's $45,000 Gadgeted Electric Smart Car: Chinese Start-up unveiled its first and futuristic real smart electric car. The name refers to 'Bytes on Wheels.' Former BMW and Apple Engineers created it. It has the hardware on board to enable full self-driving mode. The vision behind Byton is to be the company to bring to the market the first real 'Smart' car. Inside the car, the drivers and passengers can interact with the huge display panel. Byton aims to merge an individual's life outside the car with the experience inside the vehicle. Everything will be controlled via the touch, and certain aspects will be controlled via voice (voice recognition by Amazon's Alexa) and gesture control. The key is customisation. When the car is in drive mode, specific features will be disabled. It will not allow watching videos for instance. Byton aims to build a platform where, when there is autonomous driving all occupants of the car including the driver can interact. Some of the features of Byton will be fully-disabled until we live in a world of fully autonomous driving. Fierce competition to Tesla and from my perspective it is redefining life. But the one challenge that might stump Byton is the lack of fast-charging stations. Another major competitor to watch for will be Fisker's EMotion a luxury smart autonomous sports sedan. Although Fisker is not a competition concerning the price factor; however, is a competitor to watch for its technology and new solid-state battery which they filed for a patent. The battery is expected to provide the Electric Vehicles with a range of over 500 miles on a single charge and will take only one minute for recharging. 

3. Razer's SmartPhone Laptop - Project Linda: Razer brings you a disruption in the world of gaming with its Project Linda which is a concept of ultraportable laptop design powered by the Android-based Razer Phone. The docked phone serves as an intelligent touchpad, bridging the gap between handheld entertainment and laptop convenience. The Razer Phone's display, performance, and dual front-firing speakers combine seamlessly with Linda's keyboard, larger screen, and battery to provide ultimate mobile hybrid setup for creativity, gaming, and productivity. Although the Project Linda feels like a product from a Sci-fi world or a future that might not see the daylights after the CES 2018. However, the prototypes like a concept car for gadgets is both sensational and aspirational. Razer hasn't confirmed if it plans to make the smartphone project Linda for a go-to-market next year. 

4. Google Voice Assistant: Google creates a whirlwind at the CES 2018 with its Voice Assistants and predicts to dominate the future homes. Lilian Rincon, Google director of product management, reckons customers making their home “smart” by using the Assistant to turn on lights, boil the kettle and do other tasks could save 15 minutes from their morning routine. Google's Voice Assistant is eroding the well established Amazon's Alexa, a fierce competitor for its voice assistant. Google has already discussed partnerships with various Industry verticals for integrating their Voice Assistant in realizing the goal of "Smart and Connected World." In my opinion, I see this as the most significant breakthrough as Google is not charging the end-user but is working with all its third-party vendors to integrate the voice assistant into their products and solutions. Google showed off a plethora of new Voice Assistant-enabled devices from companies like Lenovo, Sony and LG, featuring “smart displays” that displays information like the schedules, things-to-do, cooking recipes, and other bits of visual accoutrement whenever we ask the Assistant for something. Also, you'll find Assistant integration inside more televisions, headphones — even in new cars, thanks to Android Auto, which is already available in more than 400 car models. The Assistant integration eliminates the need for having an independent device and allows you to manage everything from your one device - 'The SmartPhone.'

5. Smart Hearing-Aids EARGO Max: Technology for healthcare and especially the elderly is something I am very much interested though tech for elderly-care is still a growing area. The ageing population is a growing business opportunity, and EARGO Max might be the airpods of hearing aids. The hearing-aids have a collection of useful features, the most stand-out of which is a complete lack of need for expensive replaceable batteries. The set of hearing aids includes Dynamic Noise Reduction, with Eargo tech which allows the devices to vary noise reduction based on environment. When the environment gets louder, noise reduction ramps up. These devices also change based on user preference. The "Flexi Fibers" hold the hearing aids in place, while the domes “increase the amount of ambient bass sounds and eliminate feedback. I understand very well how useful and life-changing these features are since my mother suffers from major hearing loss and will benefit her tremendously. However, the one road-block I see is the cost factor. Currently, Eargo Max is priced at $2,500 which I believe is quite too high and defeats the purpose of providing cost-effective and affordable products. Hoping to see the Industry ramping up to address this gap. 

To summarize, CES 2018 was a curtain raiser for millions of products, solutions, and technologies which created hope for a future that is beyond imagination. In my opinion, there is still a long way for the Industry stakeholders to meet the primary objectives of IoT which will redefine this entire universe. The one vertical which has gone mainstream is the Autonomous Vehicles or the Self-driving cars. The major tech giants such as Cisco, Nvidia, Intel, Amazon, Google, Tesla, Apple, GM, Toyota, and many others made announcements focusing their investments in this sector.

 

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The past decade witnessed the emergence of two of the most significant technologies- virtual reality and Internet of Things.

Virtual reality refers to the use of technology to counterfeit an environment where the digital world seems real. It aims to place the user inside an experience, consequently enabling them to interact with the 3D worlds. On the other hand, Internet of Things is all about making real-world objects connect and manipulate in the digital world.

While both these technologies work to bring augmented ease to our lives, it's the convergence of the two that offer the most promising opportunities. Becoming quickly enmeshed in the prevailing times, the two disruptive technologies have largely revolutionized the industrial platform.

The meeting point of the two technologies boasts of immense potential. Let’s understand this with some examples.

1) Telepresence

The encroachment of telepresence depicts the colossal potential of the confluence of IoT and VR. If we talk about a typical video conference, the system includes a monitor screen, sound system, and codec. You can add additional speakers or a projector screen to improve the video conference experience. However, with telepresence, it is not the same.

With an aim to extend near lifelike audio and video quality, telepresence leverages compound multi-codec, multi-monitor, and multi-speakers. It has successfully transformed the way we can communicate with others over long distances. It offers the ability to look and move freely within a real-world environment, giving the illusion of actually being present there.

Telepresence has efficaciously eliminated the time and financial constraints related to travel. Offering all the benefits of a face-to-face interaction, it has made long-distance meetings exceedingly convenient.

2) Virtual Smart Cities

An increasing number of cities around the world are looking to become “smart” in order to improve comfort, reduce costs and consumption of resources and augment the quality of life of its citizens. Consequently, for the concept to materialize, it is significant that Internet of Things along with its accessibility to public grows. This will enable adequate accurate data to be amassed in cities for analysis and forecasting.

Moving ahead, these cities need to be integrated into a well-controlled virtual environment. This will allow an accurate analysis of the prevailing city conditions as well as help in making predictions of the impending future scenario. Thus, any kind of risk or disaster can be effectively monitored to simulate its effects.

3) Healthcare

The union of VR and IoT technologies has greatly assisted the healthcare field by bringing improved ease to patients as well as doctors. A competent example of this is robotic-assisted surgery, which has been in use for quite some time now. Also known as da Vinci Surgical System, it allows the surgeons to perform a least invasive surgery. A camera along with a few tools is inserted into the body through a relatively small opening that allows the surgeon to get a full view of the operating area without exposing the patient to the ordeal of a large incision.

The system includes a 3D HD vision system and small wristed devices that revolve and bend much better than the human hand, thus enabling improved vision, control, and accuracy.

But, this is just the beginning. It is anticipated that VR surgeries will soon control real da Vinci systems, permitting surgeons to operate on patients while sitting in their offices.

Final Thoughts

Considering the potential of the two technologies, more and more companies are investing into the development of new applications of both virtual reality and internet of things and because of that, in past several years so many IoT App development companies has been evolved in the market. In the following year, it is predicted to see a growing number of integration of smart objects within virtual simulations, for purposes such as leisure, training, or damage prevention.

 

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“More regulations are on the way for industrial IoT security. Whether it’s coming from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) 16 critical infrastructure sectors, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or even from non-government entities like the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), there is a lot of momentum going into 2018 when it comes to regulating and creating industrial compliance standards.”

That’s a 2018 prediction from Dean Weber, CTO, Mocana. For more, be sure to read our 40 Predictions for the Internet of Things in 2018.

This the first IoT Central Digest of 2018. Lots of great content from our members. Encourage your friends and colleagues to be a part of our community by forwarding this newsletter to them. They can join IoT Central here. You can contribute your thoughts on IoT here.  

10 Things to Keep in Mind When Developing IoT Mobile Apps

Posted by Arun Goyal

Here are 10 things to keep in mind when developing mobile apps for IoT. Members only content. Membership is free. Sign up at IoT Central.

IoT Gateway- Enabling Edge and Fog Computing

Posted by Mohit Bhardwaj

Connected devices are becoming essential components for enterprises as they can drive significant connectivity and integration between systems and data. The increasing number of devices getting connected to each other generates a huge amount of data.  However, when it comes to leveraging the full potential of these connected devices and data, it is necessary to have a scalable and robust environment which allows faster processing of data between systems.  The fundamental concern is on how to efficiently manage this data, as any data loss or delay in processing of data from a connected ecosystem can cause critical damage to an enterprise’s workflow.

IoT of Inequality: How NOT to Deal with the Topic of Digitalization

Posted by Vivart Kapoor

Once a shepherd had two horses. One was strong and fast, another one was slow and weak. The shepherd instead of looking after the weak one and trying to make him fit, he preferred riding the healthy one and taking him almost everywhere. He also fed him better which in long-term led the healthy horse to become heavy and feel lethargic all the time. Later the healthy one became sick and the shepherd then instead of having healthy horse has to deal with two sick and weak horses.  What does this story have to do with digitalization? Well, this is our approach to the whole idea of digitalization and its implementation worldwide. Instead of investing time and resources and bringing the idea of digitalization to the underdeveloped nation or the “weak horse”, we are feeding the already “healthy horse” or the developed nation with fascinating ideas and projects which might result into sickness in the long term. The early symptoms of this sickness can already be witnessed. A World Economic Forum (ref:weforum.org) report says that labour markets will witness a net loss of over 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies. Is this in line with the idea of digitalization?

Insurers Deploy IoT Sensors to Lower Premiums

Posted by Kevin Bowling 

Insurance companies that find a partner, which analyzes, understands, and helps them to take advantage of IoT-based technologies, can reduce costs, paving the way for lower premiums and increased customer loyalty. Many types of insurers record an unnecessary number of claims. By adding IoT sensors, real-time data can be attained and custom alerting can be configured to prevent claims from occurring. In addition, robust predictive models on historical sensor data can predict claims based on geography, even by a customer. Let’s look at a situation where a company contracts out a service provider to monitor and maintain the health of four cold storage warehouses in South Florida.

Biometrics for Internet of Things

Posted by Rajashree Rao

Recently, Apple unveiled its iconic iPhone X calling it to be the future of the "Smart Phone" with its new feature called 'Face ID' to unlock the phone without a home button. Apparently, the Face ID uses the infrared system to scan users face, to unlock the new iPhone X which is quite concerning as the phone uses unimodal biometric authentication system. The serious spoof I see here in having a unimodal authentication system is that, in today's day and age, the phone has become an integral part or the single 'thing or device' which acts to be a lifeline or backbone of one's life. In such a scenario it becomes critical for the Industry to ensure that the device or thing is enabled with the multimodal biometric authentication system.

Everyone Agrees: IoT Security Must Improve

Posted by Gorav Arora

A new strain of the famous Mirai IoT malware surfaced recently, with the discovery by Chinese researchers of exploit code targeting networking equipment. Previously, Mirai was known for having infected thousands of webcams, security cameras, and DVRs, and then using those devices to launch DDoS attacks. The exact aims of the new variant are still unknown, but it’s another reminder of the very serious security issues presented by the IoT.

2018 Analyst IIoT Predictions

Posted by Scott Allen

Each year we like to go inside FreeWave and ask our team what the Industrial IoT forecast looks like for the upcoming year. Throughout 2017 we were hard at work developing some of our industry-leading Edge intelligence and industrial Wi-Fi products, so this year, instead of looking inward, we decided to take a peek around the world at 2018 IIoT predictions from some of the leading experts.

Digital Trends and Predictions for 2018

Posted by Rob Tiffany

With software and adjacent technologies continuing to eat the world, we see the pace of digital transformation accelerating in 2018 as organizations strive to enhance their customer and operational intelligence. Organizations will grapple with a variety of digital technologies and skillsets this year to become more data-driven in order to improve their agility and decision-making capabilities. As always, they’ll be looking for ways to simplify operations and get more done with less. We predict the concepts and trends listed below will light a path for organizations to show them the way forward.

40 Predictions for the Internet of Things in 2018

Posted by David Oro 

This is our third year running predictions for the Industrial IoT (read 2016 and 2017 predictions). While there are many predictions out there, none are as insightful, comprehensive and, dare I say it, accurate as what we receive from the IoT Central community. So who got it right in 2017 and who will get it right in 2018?

 


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