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Case Studies (237)

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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The IoT is one of those amazing bits of technology that will give us a remarkable edge. It will also cut both ways. It is automating many jobs and making them much easier to do and offering very lucrative jobs for those who are in possession of the right skill set.

Still, its unavoidable that IoT is going to kill many jobs. In manufacturing alone the IoT is going to eliminate millions of jobs as they are replaced by what machines can do.

Add to that the fact that IoT and cognitive computing combined are going to threaten many top level and very prestigious positions as our advancing computers learn how to do jobs that require thought as opposed to just mechanical tasks.

Make AI and IoT Work Harder to Your Benefit. 

The intelligent employee is going to try to find the best way to leverage the changes in AI and the rapidly growing power of IoT. Thomas Davenport, professor at Babson College recommends that employees who are concerned about losing their jobs look for ways to use the power of AI and IoT as opposed to allowing it to automate jobs alone.

Tap Into Crowd Powe . 

According to Tripp Braden who recruits for Strategic Performance Partner ” “Most businesses are built on the idea of an ideal worker being like an eagle, strong, self-motivated, and independent worker.” The typical model is becoming a lot more team powered and companies and individuals need to take advantage of that in order to future proof their jobs.

Tamara McCleary agreed with that assessment. “As we head into a new age, we are disrupting the notion of one job being completely distinct from another. IoT is also leading to shifts in collaboration between fields,” McCleary continued to state that . “It is breaking down barriers between different fields such as big data, security, energy and utilities, smart buildings, and industrial manufacturing. And for many companies, IoT is enabling a transition from product to services. This shift demands more skill versatility from workers.”

Be an Expert in Your Field and Constantly Learn.

Its not enough to become an expert, but you must also learn consistently and continue to grow in your chosen career field. If some area of that field is being automated, becoming an expert in the automation and how it can benefit your company is going to future proof your job and keep you ahead of the game.

Build Your Own Brand. 

Become what is known as a thought leader in your area. Even if you don’t know all that there is to know about Iot or AI, get great professional head shots. Build your brand on LinkedIn and also on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. If you’re visible only on LinkedIn, with just 184 million users and you are conspicuously absent on Facebook (1.5 billion users) then you’re not doing as much as you could be to build that brand and surpass the other thought leaders in your arena.

Make Smart Choices.

Whatever business you are in, make smart choices and decisions that will future proof your job. Gather as much data as you can and use it to make better business decisions that will show you up as a leader in thought and in action.

Be Creative and Be Forward Thinking.

What works today in IoT and your job isn’t going to work tomorrow. Be willing to adapt in order to overcome obstacles and problems in your job. In order to future proof your position, you’re going to have to be willing to change as rapidly and as dramatically as IoT is changing.

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The Internet of Things is now widely used in a wide array of business verticals like manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, and more. According to the latest research data, the number of IoT connected devices, which made up ~4,9 million things in 2015, reached the point of ~3,9 billion in 2016.

Concerning AR, Statista predicts at least three various scenarios of AR/VR growth, but they all forecast the economic impact amounting ~$29,5 billion in 2020. Having reached the decision of developing your own IoT or AR software, you need to get heads up about the pitfalls of starting this new business solution development.

Major AR and IoT solutions’ programming challenges.

Challenges may be divided into several categories: high-level business obstacles and application development problems along with the solution’s further maintenance and enhancement. The first group may include the following issues:

  • Unclear business benefits;
  • Insufficient funding;
  • A poor go-to-market strategy, and more;

While it’s quite clear how to avoid business-level problems, it’s also worth taking into account the challenges which arise during the software development process itself. The average IoT obstacles may include:

  • Infrastructure problems (devices, gateways, platforms);
  • Security concern;
  • Cross-platform compatibility;
  • Lack of support, and more.

AR development challenges encompass:

  • AR hardware;
  • Generated content;
  • Security issues, and more;

With reference to the latest Cisco’s survey, only 26% of IoT projects considered as successful by their developers, whereas more than 50% reach the jumping-off place at the strategy crafting stage. One of the key AR challenges is to correlate virtual data with the real environment, which can bring even a leading vendor to a screwjob. For this very reason, it’s critically important to have an idea of technology development nuances.

Nevertheless, the latest statistics on the number of the internet connected devices and the AR technology in various spheres shows that a business owner is a targeted consumer for the outputs. This gives extra room for the IoT and AR initiatives:

Statistics reveals the amount of investment made worldwide in IoT by sectors during 2015-2020.


Statistics shows AR technology’s market share by business spheres.

2 notable IoT/AR use cases

In the context of solving the task, below are the two living examples of successful solutions to take into account while initiating your own development project.

E.g.: IoT mobile app for smart buildings and yachts management:

The idea was to develop a highly customizable system allowing to manage numerous connected devices in smart buildings/yachts.

Challenge:

A necessity to run a proprietary protocol in remoteness from real devices.

Solution:

Multiple devices installed within a building/yacht were united into a single smart system. A proprietary text protocol which provided smooth communication between the user interface and the backend was applied for infrastructure visualization configuration, gateways, and IR-gateways communication. This permitted cutting down on customizing the part of UI for each client.

The developed IoT application allowed for managing a chain of devices, including surveillance cameras (change the angles, zoom in/out), lighting, media systems, smart locks, and more via an Android-based mobile app. This led to essential energy and budget economy. The product is now being enhanced by integrating more smart devices into the system. A similar solution may be implemented in any smart home, hotel, or yacht to introduce automation and analysis to the existing infrastructure.

E.g.: Equipment maintenance and service mobile app with augmented reality

The idea was to develop a mobile app compatible with numerous platforms, which would give a possibility to maintain complex industrial equipment single-handedly.

Challenge:

A necessity to ensure image recognition with absolute accuracy.

Solution:

To create a repair or service guide, a user takes a photo of the equipment as a first step. Then the image is processed by Metaio SDK, which is a basis for its further recognition by the app. The built-in image recognition helps to save on painstaking programming and therefore additional investments on the part of the user.

Afterward, each of the required equipment part scenes is supplied with a step-by-step guide by means of animated, drag-and-drop 3D objects, such as a nut, a screwdriver, etc. The system allows to include text information, as well as images and videos in the instructions. Finally, the app’s user gets the complete instructions by simply pointing the device’s camera at the equipment that needs repair. A similar solution may be applicable to any industrial enterprise, healthcare organization, or any other vertical which requires urgent fixes and updates.

The bottom line

Any AR and IoT application development challenges may be addressed with a well-thought-out plan for development, implementation, and further maintenance and enhancement. The quantity of IoT and AR applications is skyrocketing and the above examples are a living proof of the system’s effectiveness in different business spheres.

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The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs

A few days before Christmas holidays, I received an email from a customer that said “... I want to tell you that I have really appreciated your help, your professional approach and your “human touch”: they are as important as knowledge is …”.

Moved by the Christmas spirit that surround us these days, made me change my priorities of publishing the next articles and I decided to dedicate a few lines to what I consider a very important issue: What is the human touch value of the CEOs in the IoT?

I do not intend to convert this article into an analysis of the types of CEOs, or a list of the best CEOs of IoT companies (for that there will be time). 

My objective today is in making IoT´s CEOs aware, especially those of large multinationals, of their responsibility to print a human touch on their actions and decisions. Not only will the stability and quality of work of millions of people depend on them, but also the conservation of our planet in favourable conditions for future generations.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to save the World

Global Warming is very real.  Even if greenhouse gas concentrations stabilized today, the planet would continue to warm by about 0.6°C over the next century because of greenhouses gases already in the atmosphere. Its effects are already so visible that no one doubts its catastrophic consequences.

We know that the IoT can help in many ways to monitor and control Global Warning, and there are many great stories of how companies are making use of IoT technology to help save water, money … and the planet. 

In  the article “3 ways businesses can use the internet of things to save the environment“, Jayraj Nair - Global Head of IoT, Vice President Wipro-, suggest  a few steps that business leaders could take to lessen the effects of these barriers and set their companies on the right path to become champions of a more sustainable and connected future.

1.       Emphasize digital citizenship and individual responsibility

2.       Share knowledge and resources across departments

3.       Collaborate to create guidelines for tech development

We should reward those IoT´s CEOs who follow the slogan “ We develop the IoT that Save the World!..

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to build ethic AI

When I wrote  “Internet of Things – Kings and Servants” I gave great importance to the CEOs visionaries of the companies that were destined to change the world of the 21st century. CEOs like Sundar Pichai (Google) or Satya Nadella (Microsoft) have been responsible from conceptual shift for their companies, moving from “mobile strategy” to “cloud and artificial intelligence”.

Could we avoid psychopath and sociopath robots? CEOs of the Tech Giants companies need to influence in developers of AI the human touch. We do not want to live with fear surrounding by not ethic AI machines and robots. 

IoT´s CEOs involved in Artificial Intelligence must believe that machines and robots will help us to be better people. They need to boost the challenge in our future society and make sure that their Robots and Artificial Intelligence not only pursue productivity and profit but also other values eg justice, opportunity, freedom, compassion.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to ensure democracy

We cannot conceive democracy today without the free use of technology. Technology, on the other hand, that is more difficult to control by citizens. Is it possible to democratize the technology, not only the Internet of Things? Could we avoid that a handful of companies come to dominate the Technology? and therefore our Democracies.

The temptation of the power is great in the IoT´s CEOs of the companies that manipulate huge amount of data of the people, of the intelligent devices at their whim.

I thought at some point that the Countries could prevent the creation of these monsters, but their powers already transcend the States. I fear that the fight of egos, in the heights in which these CEOs live, give priority to the Highlander philosophy "Only one can be left!" And drag the dormant democracies for their technology into the vacuum of complacency.

Today more than ever, we need CEOs with a human touch that ensures the health of our democracies.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to ensure equality of job opportunities

Which IoT companies have a culture that allow dissent between the CEOs and the employees? IoT´s CEOs need to understand that people are not going to do what they want them to do unless I engender equal commitment and passion on their part.

I have worked for many years in different technology companies, and I have regrettably proved that their business cultures, far from differentiating themselves, are more and more similar.

We all know cases of companies, including those of IoT, that abuse salaries of interns or inexperienced employees, but the problem of overqualification when applying to a new job is no less true. Many of us have heard numerous times: Sorry, you are overqualified. Not sure I can manage you.

I am convinced that a human touch on the part of the CEOs would help to correct these endemic problems of the current business culture. What are you waiting for?

The Human touch of CEOs to ensure a dignified life for the elderly

I was wondering a few years ago with the Smart Cities hype, How will be our life as retired workers in the Smart Cities we are building?.

In light of what I'm seeing, there are currently not many IoT´s CEOs that are worrying about the elderly. Of course, because, they consume less, they produce less, they do not understand the technology created for millennials or the digital native, the generations that is going to change the world.

Considering that all IoT´s CEOs, or at least that's what I want, will also be older people, a human touch in the investment of technology for the elderly will now make their lives more dignified in a few years.

Summary

In a time where digital premium on the physical, where business results are required not every quarter, but every day, in a time of robots, cryptocurrencies, virtual reality it is not easy to be a CEO with human touch. But to save the World, to make sure we build ethical AI, to ensure democracy in the technology, to ensure equality of job opportunities, to ensure a dignified life for the elderly, we need their human touch.

 

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Guest post by Daniel Alsén, Mark Patel, and Jason Shangkuan

With new connectivity technologies unlocking opportunities along the IoT value chain, companies must create detailed plans to harness their potential.

The Internet of Things (IoT)—the network of connected “smart” devices that communicate seamlessly over the Internet—is transforming how we live and work. At farms, wireless IoT sensors can transmit information about soil moisture and nutrients to agricultural experts across the country. IoT alarm systems, equipped with batteries that last for years, provide homeowners with long-term protection. Wearable fitness devices—for both people and pets—can monitor activity levels and provide feedback on heart rate and respiration. Although these applications serve different purposes, they all share one characteristic: dependence on strong connectivity.

IoT stakeholders seeking connectivity solutions include radio and chipset makers, platform vendors, device manufacturers, and companies in various industries that purchase IoT-enabled products, either for their own use or for sale to the public. These companies can now choose from more than 30 different connectivity options with different bandwidth, range, cost, reliability, and network-management features. This wide variety, combined with constantly evolving technology requirements, creates a quandary. If stakeholders bet on one connectivity option and another becomes dominant, their IoT devices, applications, and solutions could quickly become obsolete. If they hesitate to see how the connectivity landscape evolves, they could fall behind more aggressive competitors.

Cellular 5G networks—now being refined—might eventually become a universal solution for IoT connectivity. Although some global telecommunications networks and industrial applications now use 5G, this technology will not be widely available for at least five years, because of high development and deployment costs. With annual economic benefits related to the Internet of Things expected to reach $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion by 2025, companies cannot afford to defer their IoT investment until 5G arrives.

To help business leaders identify the connectivity solutions that best meet their current needs, we analyzed 13 sectors, including automotive, manufacturing, construction, and consumer, where IoT applications are common.1In each sector, we focused on connectivity requirements for likely use cases—in other words, the tasks or activities that may be most amenable to IoT solutions. We then identified the most relevant connectivity solutions for each one. In addition, we examined business factors that may influence how the connectivity landscape evolves, as well as the elements of a strong connectivity strategy.

Continue reading the full story here. Photo credit Khara Woods.

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Chances are you’ve come across the word Bitcoin several times — at the very least, in some general finance related news. It’s also likely you have been dismissing the cryptocurrency as another gimmick, unless you followed the spike in its value at any point where, say, PayPal malfunctioned, and counted exactly how much a geek who’s had his saving in bitcoin earned that way.

In which case you’d know that since its introduction in 2008, Bitcoin has risen in value. Like really, it has: in its infancy, during negotiating the possible value of transactions on the bitcointalk forums, one notable transaction of 10,000 BTC was used to purchase two pizzas. Today 10,000 BTC equals to over 35 million dollars. This growth was achieved in less than 10 years.

Now before we get carried away, one could point out that the brave new currency was designed as a “Peer-to-Peer” system relying on “cryptography to control its creation and management, rather than on central authorities”. And its design borrows ideas from the cypherpunk community. So sounds like the opposite of what businesses should be interested in, right? A skeptic would bring up Bitcoin’s motley history of being oppressed by regulatory authorities or even barely legal.

And yet, if you’re still confusing cyber-punk fantasy and cypherpunk community, here is a puzzling list of companies that deal with bitcoins, and it includes such likely familiar names as Microsoft, IBM, Reddit, Subway, Lionsgate Films, Bloomberg.com, WordPress.com, Wikipedia, Steam, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and Tesla. Oh, and Bitcoin is now accepted as a legal payment method in Japan.

Now would be a good time to wonder why businesses are starting to pay attention and governments are beginning to take digital currency into account and making standards for it rather than suppressing it. The answer is in the principle behind it and, ironically, in the security, it provides to the user. Bitcoin network is fully decentralised and is meant to exclude trust-reliance and intermediaries from the financial operations: a direct transaction between users recorded in a public ledger. No single party has the power to issue new bitcoins or approve Bitcoin transactions. The shared transaction register is called the blockchain. And it’s this technology that is of particular interest to businesses.

While bitcoin as an equity is still difficult to project surely enough to view as an investment, its success key, blockchain technology, can and should be used for business processes improvement. The technology is basically a game changer, a principle of organising human interactions in a secure and yet completely decentralised way, which could have applications in far more than just the financial sector. Blockchain, as put by the Harvard Business Review, is a foundational technology that “has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems.” They call it foundational due to the fact that the changes it is expected to bring about are not rapid — but very tenacious and large-scale. For comparison, they offer the 30-year path that took TCP/IP technology (yes, the Internet) to success: “it took more than 30 years for TCP/IP to move through all the phases — single use, localised use, substitution, and transformation — and reshape the economy. Today, more than half the world’s most valuable public companies have internet-driven, platform-based business models”.

So how does it work and what are the benefits?

Much like TCP/IP drastically lowered the cost of connections, blockchain has the capacity to reduce the cost of transactions, which makes it a very efficient system of record. Tracking and recording continuous transactions, analysing performance rates based on those and making plans for future — all of those processes are inalienable for a business. Most businesses have no single compound record of all the activities; instead, data are distributed across internal units and then reconciled across ledgers, which takes time and leaves space for human error.

So, what is blockchain and how it can be a solution here? In simple words, blockchain is just a way of handling databases, the ultimate ledger. Only a highly efficient, secure and verifiable one. In a regular business operations system, there are numerous dissimilar databases for various activities of a company: changes to them are made separately, and then you spend resources to compile the whole thing together. This is, in terms of resources, the opposite of optimal and efficient.

In a blockchain system, the ledger is replicated in identical databases, hosted and maintained separately. When changes are entered in one copy, all the other copies are simultaneously updated. This smart business approach would keep records of exchanged assets in all ledgers. “If a stock transaction took place on a blockchain-based system, it would be settled within seconds, securely and verifiably”, the Harvard Business Review explains.

Secure, decentralized, shared publicly, trusted and automated. This is exactly the kind of solution that modern professionals would want and software developers would be looking to develop. The most important fact about blockchain is that its applications are not limited to the banking and financial industry — its principle can be used for other business improvement purposes, including smart contracts or establishing a secure document transfer system, network infrastructure or marketing forecasts and many others.

For example, blockchain allows creating a custom system for smart documents management: secure storing and transfer of various kinds of assets.

In establishing secure document transfer networks, blockchain provides an invaluable advantage because of efficient cryptography and a decentralised structure. This sets the foundation for broadening the scope of typical smart contracts from just the financial sector to the legal realm, real estate, intellectual property and much more.

Whether you need to improve identification and authentication solutions or introduce a supply chain verification system, or shared economy solutions for, say, ride-sharing services — there’s a whole new frontier in business systems organisation.

Distributed ledger technology can be tailored by professional software developers for various business optimisations. Let’s discuss how your organization can take full advantage of blockchain’s benefits.


Originally published at eleks.com 

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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? 

  • Loudon Blair, Senior Director, Corporate Strategy, Ciena predicted that IoT will open new opportunities for carriers. In 2017 he said we’ll see carriers face up to the challenges of digital disruption: avoiding service commoditization and building compelling digital services to compete with Over-The-Top players.
  • Stephen Gates, Chief Research Intelligence Analyst at NSFOCUS predicted the Weaponization of Industrial IoT - Industrial and municipal IoT is growing rapidly and not only can these devices potentially be used to attack others externally, their vulnerable nature may be used against the industrial organizations operating critical infrastructure themselves, opening them up to intrusion and critical infrastructure outages.
  • Jim Koenig, Counsel in the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice, Paul Hastings, LLP called it when he said, “In 2017 and going forward, concerns over privacy and security will emerge, and the use of facial recognition, biometrics and observed behavior patterns to authenticate that a specific person is requesting an action or permits a set of curated services will be on the rise."
  • Kevin Meagher Senior Vice President for Business Development, ROC-Connect looked at insurance companies and said that they will start to invest more in a move to adapt to the IoT and that 2017 was critical for them as they work to embrace the IoT with early consumer offerings in an effort to avoid the fate of retailers who ignored the internet and allowed Amazon to get a foothold in their market.

So who will get it right in 2018? Here’s our list of predictions for the the Industrial Internet of Things for 2018.

Maciej Kranz, Vice President of Strategic Innovation at Cisco

In 2018, we will see the convergence of IoT devices with these key, leading technologies. This will help companies obtain greater value from their IoT investments and overcome previous barriers to broader IoT adoption, such as challenges with security, bandwidth and analytics. Specifically, machine learning/AI will enable deeper analysis of real-time IoT data streams to drive more powerful decision making. Fog computing makes this data available at the edge of the network where the connected devices and sensors are (rather than “in the cloud”), thus solving latency, bandwidth and reliability issues that previously limited IoT performance. And, blockchain provides secure, audit-level tracking of IoT data transactions, eliminating the need for a central, trusted intermediary between communicating devices. Up until this point, enterprise IoT deployments have mostly focused on automating existing business processes and creating incremental improvements to efficiency or productivity. However, when combined with AI, fog computing and blockchain, the IoT is able to truly transform businesses and even entire industries by creating new revenue streams, new business models and more. As a result, businesses will finally be able to experience the full potential of the IoT and the value it can deliver.

Woodson Martin, EVP and General Manager, Salesforce IoT, Salesforce

In 2018, industrial organizations will prioritize developing business apps that take advantage of IoT data in real-time. Low-code orchestration will be the catalyst for this change - empowering any employee, regardless of developer skill level,  to build proactive sales, service and marketing processes, powered by IoT data, with point-and-click ease.

For example, admins at a manufacturing company will be able to build, with point-and-click ease, automated workflows that trigger service calls whenever a factory robot issues a component failure alert. This is just one example of how, with minimal support from IT, business users and citizen developers will soon be able to harness IoT data to open new revenue streams through digital transformation.

Oliver Schabenberger, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer, SAS

Industrial companies that succeed in capturing the promise of the IoT will be the ones who succeed at the data management aspect. Applying analytics to streaming data is no easy task. Success means melding the sensor side of the IoT equation with the big data and analytics side. Loading and processing data faster than they’ve ever done it before – especially regarding data that’s moving – means shifting to new technologies such as applications that address production quality, field quality and asset performance analytics in a coordinated fashion. But doing so will help the organization sustainably grow its analytics capabilities.

Peter Kirk, GE Power Digital

AI and the IIoT Will Propel the Digital Transformation of the Power Industry. Asset-intensive industries, such as the electricity industry, are just at the beginning of deriving value from emerging technologies such as the Industrial Internet or AI, despite the heavy output of machine data. Data coming off of electricity assets will result in terabytes of information that AI can analyze to recognize patterns in machine behavior and make changes based on desired outcomes. In 2018, we predict the continued growth, adoption and collaboration of the IIoT, AI and Digital Twins across the industrial settings will automate basic maintenance processes. This collaboration, creating a human/machine approach to digitizing operations, will free up human capital to focus on high priority operations issues, reducing operations and maintenance budgets, which currently dominate cost profiles across the power industry.

Burcin Kaplanoglu, Senior Director, Industry Strategy and Innovation, Oracle

The growing use of connected devices – aka the Internet of Things (IoT) - is changing that by enabling real-time data collection and proactive management in the construction and engineering space. In IoT systems, thousands of devices will be able to connect wirelessly to routers. Those routers in turn pass data into the cloud at astonishing speeds to run analytics and leverage machines to make decisions. In 2018, artificial intelligence (AI) will play a big role in IoT decision making. Rather than act individually, devices will communicate with each other and create a collective system similar to an organism. We believe robots, drones, exoskeletons, and autonomous construction equipment are also part of the larger IoT ecosystem, as they will always be connected and provide data points to improve operations onsite. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will also allow us to better communicate and act on the information collected and to collaborate more effectively.

IoT Central members can see all the remaining predictions in our exclusive member's only sectionBecome a member today. It's free!

Photo credit Denys Nevozhai

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What if a modern office could live on its own? What if it became an ecosystem that could function clearly, without any extra controls, providing all that is needed to support work activities? Sounds too perfect, doesn’t it? However, here we are going to consider the office of the future and focus attention on crucial issues that the IoT office is able to solve.

A Few Words about Smart Office Forecast

According to MarketsandMarkets research, smart offices will be a driver of tangible growth. The current smart office market is valued at USD 22.21 bln, with this expected to reach USD 46.11 bln by 2023. This means there will be a strong demand for IoT programmers in this area.

The Internet of Things is gradually immersing all spheres of life. Smart cities, Smart homes, Smart vehicles – it is reaching almost every system in which we need to control components remotely and/or implement their interaction. The Smart office is no exception. While we can currently see a bold border between these various just-emerging technologies, in the future the border is likely to disappear and several related smart areas will merge in a whole global IoT concept combining all existing similar systems – smart cars, smart homes, smart buildings, smart offices, smart infrastructure, smart cities... In other words, when speaking about the direction of IoT in one area, we touch on other areas because all of these mutually link to each other. The result is a common impact. A Smart lock is adopted by Smart buildings in Smart cities. A Smart car merges with a Smart home at the technological level.

Having said and recognized this, what however will the Smart office look like?

The smart corporate reality already exists, and advanced tech-savvy owners have endorsed the idea of intelligent digital workplaces responsive to the needs of the staff. Currently though the technology is still driven by human capabilities and market demand – it may take up to 20 years for the Smart office to have evolved and deployed enough to be a common illustration of the ideal future work space.

The Internet of Me, or IoT in HR

A human in the context of the system – a player in the context of the team. The Smart office concept can be considered in terms of it being an item in a community involved in a closed system that is designed to provide what is needed for efficient work. We can start treating the IoT system through ‘The Internet of Me’ approach.

Popular HR editor Steve Boese has discussed his vision of HR innovations. In his opinion, the Internet of Me takes the IoT concept a step further by integrating increasingly personalized products and services into corporate culture. Thus, in the same manner that a group of people begins from a single person, such a personalized approach will find the best way to create an efficient management system. If we keep track of following issues that Smart office technology resolves, we’ll see that each issue is a problem for every employee, and we therefore see that the main mission of the IoT office is to help the employee to do their work smoothly, to easily incorporate separate employees into a solid team, and to take control of and facilitate working and personal needs in the office.

What challenges will Smart office solve?

Speaking generally, IoT allows us to automate all office activities, including parts of the workflow to deliver more efficient work results and the work environment to form the conditions and the highly-equipped workspace where an employee has all they need at hand. Any network system consisting of some items integrated as with each other or directly with processing equipment can be considered as a future IoT system. So, we need to manage this network of objects to:

  • reduce the time we spend for fulfilling any tasks;
  • evenly spread actions and tasks to avoid over- and underloading;
  • reasonably spend energy resources to reduce financial ones;
  • automate all the things to simplify system management.

IoT office solutions can serve employees as well as employers. In the Smart office context, implementation of IoT technologies can not only speed-up workflows but cover the most topical business issues. Let’s consider them.

1. An intelligent environment to make convenient conditions for work

The Smart environment provides the capabilities of a smart building. For example, the organization of an office can include automation of electric lighting and work equipment, an intelligent security system (biometric and remotely-controlled locks), smart counters to collect statistics on electricity consumption, office microclimate specifications and differences, checking of the water supply, ensuring sufficient household and office supplies, and smart support for staff requests.

When an employee enters the room, sensors identify the visitor via motion sensors or other access controllers and send signals to the lighting system and all equipment inside the room to be switched on. Lighting, computers, conditioners, air-humidifiers all start working at levels pre-set for the employee’s comfort.

On one hand, the Internet of Me works because all the conditions are changed to be favorable for the employee. From the business perspective, the intelligent environment is beneficial for employers because its usage considerably reduces office maintenance and ongoing costs.

Challenges:

  • monitoring humidity, temperature, air quality, illuminance;
  • maintaining comfortable office environment;
  • sensor monitoring and automatic device control;
  • lighting failure analysis and replacement notification;
  • roller blinds control;
  • blocking standby power (reduction of power consumption).

To provide such operations, the room is equipped with sensors that detect the environmental status and devices such as air-cleaners, air-conditioners, humidifiers, lighting wall switchers, and smart plugs, which execute programmed commands according to various scenarios:

  • turn on the office lighting based on information regarding the beginning of working hours and motion detector readings; 
  • gathering the temperature and humidity information in the office;
  • when the temperature is high, air-conditioners are automatically turned on;
  • when humidity is low, humidifiers are automatically turned on;
  • when equipment is turned off, smart plugs are also turned off to block standby power;
  • when the lighting in the office fails, the IoT system sends the administrator information about failure and turns on lighting from an extra generator if this is provided (in the case of a power cut).

2. Smart reception service to automate meeting visitors

The smart reception desk helps to unite in-house office life with some activities from outside. If we recently had a receptionist who met visitors, in case of automated reception service, it could work in the following way – a customer uses the wallpad to call the necessary employee, and the IP camera sends the employee a notification and a recorded image of the person waiting for him.

Challenges:

  • easy calling service and searching for an employee;
  • notification of customer visit to employee’s smartphone;
  • customer identification through the camera image.

3. Smart meeting rooms

This works well in big companies of 200 persons and over. In this case, visiting a colleague can be difficult – finding a mutually convenient time and place, for example. However, the inner smart meeting system organizes all arrangements and discussions to avoid over-loading them when things are busy or under-loading when things are calm.

The smart meeting system can have several connected devices and software to provide all opportunities. Firstly, it is a web or mobile service to enable preparations for the upcoming meetings, and secondly, it is a service for remote control of devices. For example, you can customize your presentation remotely through a projector in advance, and coming to the smart meeting room, you can control the whole demonstration through your smartphone.

We should also mention that using AR and VR technologies at the junction of the IoT office can massively expand the opportunities for remote meetings – especially when thinking about very long distances.

Challenges:

  • automated convenient booking system for meeting rooms;
  • email request to attend a meeting;
  • push notifications of meeting attendance; 
  • distribution an email of meeting minute;
  • auto mode function (presentation start, complete);
  • broadcasting to employees’ smartphones and possibility to join the meeting online.

4. Smart security zone

Security inside the office can also be smart. It’s not just the outside wall that needs to be secure for many offices. The system is outfitted with door sensors, IP cameras, motion sensors, smart alarm integrators and others, providing fully-automated control of every action in the office during the day, when staff are working inside, and at night, when all people have left the office. We can treat security in general, but overall it means more ways of control, enabling control over employees’ actions to avoid information leakage and intervention against insiders. A separate direction is the use of smart locks, smart cameras, smart tracking software, etc.

Challenges:

  • intrusion detection and notification;
  • real-time camera images;
  • video recording;
  • smart locks status and remote control.

5. Smart space management service

Speaking about smart office opportunities, we shouldn’t forget about the personal necessities for employees. One example concerns the automation of restrooms and kitchens. The employee can use connected devices when – for example – going to get a coffee and relax in the lounge zone: the system will tell him before he goes there how many people are there and whether the zone has free spaces for him.

Challenges:

  • occupancy checking using Smartphone;
  • real-time update of occupancy information.

To sum up the smart office opportunity, we see that there are many corporate scenarios where IoT can make a difference to the enabling of business activities, rather than spending resources on redundant actions. This is the main idea of IoT development as a whole: the technology helps to make a system efficient, reducing all expenditure and increasing its potential.

Photo Credit: Tayloright

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Best IoT Articles of 2017

As the year comes to a close, we combed through IoT Central’s website and pulled our most popular articles and interviews, revisited our most thought provoking pieces and analyzed numerous how-to’s to showcase the best of 2017. Below are 48 articles that are worth reviewing as you head into 2018. Enjoy.

Remember, encourage your friends and colleagues to be a part of our community. They can join IoT Central here. You can contribute your thoughts on IoT here

January

8 Maps of the Internet of Things

Using Blockchain to Secure IoT

5 Rules for Manufacturers in Securing the Internet of Things

Securing the Internet of Everything

 

February

6 Videos That Will Get You Up to Speed on Blockchain

Regulating the Internet of Things

How to Nail your Internet of Things Interview

How IoT is Changing the World: Cases from Visa, Airbus, Bosch & SNCF

 

March

Visual History of IoT — Far Beyond ‘Smart’ Things

The IoT-Connected Car of Today— Cases From Hertz, Nokia, NTT, Mojio & Concur Technologies

The IoT Architecture at the Edge

The Dream of a Unified and IIoT Enabled Industrial Communications Network…How Close Are We?

 

April

About IoT Platforms, Super Powers Methodology, Superheroes and Supervillains

Exposing the Abandonment of Things – A Trove of Lost Revenue

IoT Developer Trends 2017 Edition

The Rest of the Iceberg - The Looming IP Implications of the Industrial Internet of Things

 

May

Best practices for building recurring revenue from IoT-as-a-Service

Internet of (Medical) things in Healthcare

When Products Talk: The Expansion of the Internet of Things to the Internet of Everything

The Smart Agent: Enabling the Internet of Things

 

June

Not all Devices are IoT or IIoT

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

Hardware or Software Security: Which is right for my IoT Device?

The British Antarctic Survey Uses Rugged Data Transport

 

July

Future-Proofing Your IoT Infrastructure

Seven Industrial IoT Predictions for 2017 and Beyond

How Much Does it Cost to Build an IoT App?

Driving IoT Project Success - Ten Best Practices

 

August

20 Job Interview Questions for IoT Professionals

The 5D Architecture – A Standard Architecture for IoT

Interview: Bringing Machine Learning to The Edge

SCADA vs IoT: the role of SCADA systems in Manufacturing's Industry 4.0

 

September

Security Issues To Expect In Mobile App Development

Interview: The Rise of LoRa

5 IoT-based Business Models to Leverage

Why Edge Computing Is an IIoT Requirement

 

October

IoT Use Case - Battery Powered Device

International IIoT Perspectives: Fog Computing On a Global Scale

Rise of the Intelligent Revenue Machines

8 Reasons You Need IoT in Your Manufacturing Plant

 

November

IIoT protocols for the beginners

How to enable IoT Gateway Hardware Security?

Why There’s No Killer App for IoT

4 Ways to Optimize Your Operations for the Industrial IoT

 

December

Industrial Augmented Reality: Uses and Applications

McKinsey: Ten trends redefining enterprise IT infrastructure

All That You Need to Know About The Internet of Things Security

State of Home Automation Technology: What Makes Dumb Houses Smart?

 

Photo Credit Mike Ackerman

 


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MobiDev, an IoT software development company, has successfully developed an mobile application for connected cars.

The client, a vehicle electronics manufacturer from Germany, set the task to integrate a device installed in a smart car with a developed mobile app that allows to control wheel suspension of the car with a smartphone.

The project goal was to develop a reliable Internet of Things solution, starting from UI/UX design to implementation of the product for the achievement of the business goals of the product owner.

The application development started from prototyping and UI/UX design for both iOS and Android. Agile methodology was applied to the development process and a dedicated team of Project Manager, Quality Assurance Engineer, Client Care Manager, iOS Developer, Android Developer, UI/UX Designer was involved.

For interaction between the device and the mobile application, Bluetooth Low Energy technology was used to reduce energy consumption.

Quality assurance and software testing are critically important stages of IoT development, and the application, together with the hardware, was tested on a real car.

The product owner referenced MobiDev as a competent and responsive company for mobile application development and chose them for his further application development projects in the future.

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IoT Central Discussion Forums

Do you know about the IoT Central Discussion Forums? This is the place to ask pertinent questions and share knowledge with the IoT Central community in a less formal way than a blog post. Current forum topics include ROI, IoT and data lakesresources for IIoT app developers, and where to find IoT project management materials. To start a discussion on our forum, click here.

Below is the latest edition of the IoT Central Digest. Encourage your friends and colleagues to be a part of our community. Forward this to them. They can join IoT Central here. You can contribute your thoughts on IoT here.

All That You Need to Know About The Internet of Things Security

Posted by Mehul Rajput 

The Internet of Things can be easily victimized and so the security of the IoT becomes paramount under these circumstances. The world has already come under the scanner with major cyber threats such as the WannaCry Ransomware, NotPetya, etc. where the hackers were successful in millions of computer systems across the globe jeopardizing the entire internet networking. However, the cyber security experts are much apprehended over the fact that firms, internet users or neither the IoT manufactures are serious about the security of devices connected with the internet.

Can the Public Internet Secure Our Digital Assets?

Posted by Mary Clark 

There is a lot of talk, and, indeed, hype, these days about the internet of things. But what is often overlooked is that the internet of things is also an internet of shared services and shared data. What’s more, we are becoming too heavily reliant on public internet connectivity to underpin innovative new services.

State of Home Automation Technology: What Makes Dumb Houses Smart?

Posted by Andrei Klubnikin

Although the global Smart Home market is projected to top $ 14 billion this year, most Home Automation products available on the market right now are basic IoT devices connected to a smartphone app. With all those DIY solutions, universal remotes and standalone gadgets like Nest thermostat, the Smart House technology has never been more confusing. What does the future of Home Automation look like – and what makes dumb houses truly smart?

ICYMI: Embedded Software is Eating the World

Posted by David Oro

Software is eating the world wrote Marc Andreessen in The Wall Street Journal on August 20, 2011. Since that time every company in the world has beefed up their software teams and their digital transformation initiatives. Afterall, software is a key competitive advantage, and to survival.  In the IoT space, we often think about the application software that power industrial systems and consumer connected devices. But what about the embedded software written to control machines or devices that are not typically thought of as computers? This is almost everything, from a small digital watch, e-bikes, electronic control units in cars, microwaves and missile guidance systems. For insight we turned to Jeffrey Fortin, Head of Product Management, Vector Software.

Photo Credit: Xavier Bentes


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Have We Already Bored of Predicting IoT?

If you have read my post “Will finally be 2017, the year of Internet of Things? I do not think so.” you will have confirmed there were some analysts and companies who guessed and others who did not hit the bullseye.

As usual, numerous predictions about the Internet of Things (IoT) appear at the end of the year, some with foundation, others by interests and others by opportunism. Although I notice a certain fatigue this year perhaps due to the appearance of other cooler technologies or very likely to the lack of success and few differences from previous predictions. 

It may also be the last time I write an IoT prediction article.

Let's start by reviewing some of the 2017 predictions.

Successes and failures of IoT 2017 predictions

Sorry Morgan Stanley but 2017 has not been The Year Of Internet Of Things however is true that there is less hype around IoT.

Yes Forrester, we continue worried that there will be a large-scale IoT security breach.

As not many large IoT projects in 2017, the role of System Integrators has not been as important as IDC predicted.

Have you seen, Analysys Mason, key developments in LPWA technologies, connected cars and smart cities?

Who now, MachNation if Internet of Things platform revenue grow 116% in 2017. There are only financial numbers but we all agree with Sandhill that still many doubts how “Choose your platform.

It is true Forbes “The Internet of Things (IoT) is still a popular buzzword, but adoption will continue to be slow.” 

I have to say that Judith Hurwitz and Associates, were right that the growth will be in industrial sector rather than the consumer sector.

Hard to fail if you consider what Moor Insights & Strategy predicted: IoT is still in its infancy in terms of dollars and deployments, and that can’t last much longer, before market frustration sets in

Brave, ADLINK and FreeWave Technologies, Inc predicted that Edge computing will become a mainstream term for IIoT. 

Internet of Things Institute - “Recruiting Will Remain a Challenge for Organizations with IoT Initiatives” and sorry Teradata not many companies looking for Internet of Things architect role.

Tier-1 operators in the US and Europe happy with Northstream because IoT revenues contributing up to 3% of total revenue in 2017. 

Telefonica IoT and Cisco Jasper trusted that LPWA expansion to harness the growing IoT.

What will be of IoT in 2018?

According with Ericsson, in 2018, mobile phones are expected to be surpassed in numbers by IoT devices.

It seems that 2018 will be the year when AI and IoT will converge. But it will also be the year in which the CIOs will be busy integrating device management into overall IT infrastructure in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the organization. This is where the adoption of application robots, natural language processing (NLP) and AI automation of processes will come into their own, offering intelligent management of IoT deployments cheaply and efficiently. 

However, 2018 will not be the year of Blockchain and the IoT, because although Blockchain-based IoT adoption rises to 5%, Blockchain is not yet ready for large scale deployments requiring reliability, stability and seamless integration with existing technology infrastructure. But promising pilot projects are beginning to emerge and the maturation of IoT and blockchain technologies and products will drive blockchain adoption in 2018.

To reinforce the ongoing investment across the industry Gartner’s Strategic Trends for 2018 back up the focus on IoT with Intelligent Things, Digital Twins and Cloud to the Edge all making the list for the coming year. 

On the other hand, Forrester affirms that finally 2018 will be the year in which the Internet of Things moves from "experimentation to business scale". Forrester also predicts that IoT platform offerings will begin to specialize in “design” and “operate” scenarios.

Punctual to his annual appointment, IDC makes its Worldwide IoT 2018 Predictions. 

One more year, Citrix leading thinkers also share their predictions.

A small  startup, Imagimob considers 6 trends in the IoT and Industrial IoT-IIOT in 2018. As you can imagine Low Power Area Networks (LPWAN), Edge computing, AI on the edge and Blockchain are included.

IoT Security repeat predictions in 2018. Forrester in the same line predict More cyber threats and design specialization.

Fog Computing, Security, and Smarter Decisions are IoT Predictions for 2018 by Saar Yoskovitz, CEO of Augury, a preventive maintenance company.

The State of IoT In 2018 for Marketers: We’re going to experience a massive increase in the number of digitally connected devices, changing the game for marketers across the globe.

IoT 2018 – the next stage: the IoT of integration, value and action

IoT Will Move From Experimentation To Business Scale - 

5 IoT trends that will define 2018 - In 2018, IoT-based ventures will have greater access to startup capital and be taken more seriously in the market. 

Only one wish for IoT 2018 from my side

In spite, I am not in this list of 17 Experts Tell The Most Exciting IoT Trends to Watch for in 2018, I have a wish for 2018: 

“I hope that in 2018, all proofs of concept become successful projects and that the most innovative startups resist the temptation to be acquired." 

Thanks, in advance for your Likes and Shares.

 

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No Killer App for IoT?

Here is the latest edition of the IoT Central Digest. Encourage your friends and colleagues to be a part of our community. Forward this to them. They can join IoT Central here. You can contribute your thoughts on IoT here.

4 Ways to Optimize Your Operations for the Industrial IoT

Posted by Scott Allen 

The phrase, “the future is here,” is overused and has evolved into a catchphrase for companies struggling to position themselves in times of technological or digital transformations. Still, the sentiment is understood, especially in times like today, where the Internet of Things is quite literally changing the way we think about hardware and software. We’d like to offer an addendum to the phrase: “The future is here more quickly than we thought it would be.” With that in mind, we wanted to provide some advice for companies across the industrial sector for the best ways to optimize operations for the Industrial IoT. 

IIoT protocols for the beginners

Posted by Vivart Kapoor 

We all know HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol). These are the first 4 alphabets which see on any URL of a website you open in your browser. In simple terms, it is a list of rules that define do’s and don’ts of communication between web browser and web server. It is like you (web browser) going to ATM (webserver) to get some cash (request). Here the HTTP will describe the complete procedure – enter pin, amount, etc. You get your cash (result) once you follow the mentioned steps. Quite simple.

The World Wide Web (WWW) works on HTTP as it is the only protocol used there for the data transfer. However, this is not the case in the Industrial (I) IoT world. Here we have a bunch of protocols to choose depending on the type of application or so-called “use case”. The most common among them are MQTT, CoAP and of course HTTP. Before we discuss them, let us first have a look at certain networking terminologies and definitions. 

Why There’s No Killer App for IoT

Guest Post by Daniel Elizalde

Every new technology trend brings speculation and talk about a “killer app” that will be the solution to all of our problems. Tech publications and blogs produce countless articles searching for the “killer app” for the iPhone, the Cloud, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and of course, IoT. We’ve also even seen the same hype for development processes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that Agile is that silver bullet. Or maybe it was Lean, or Kanban? Hard to keep track. But as a Product Manager, we can’t keep chasing the next big thing all the time. It’s true we need to understand where technology is going, but we need to be more pragmatic and realize there is no single “killer app” for anything. Particularly for IoT.

Universal Gateway – Solution to enable IoT in Building Automation

Posted by Mohit Bhardwaj 

Connecting smart buildings to smart grid, smart transportation, & other smart services is the need of the hour to truly manifest the potential of IoT. However, communicating with numerous systems made up of different protocols is a major challenge faced by integrators. Protocol converters are widely used to convert protocol A to B, but such devices do not offer ease of configuration and flexibility demanded by IoT. The solution to this is a universal gateway – a device that transacts data between two or more data sources using communication protocols specific to each of them. The Universal gateway is also termed as a universal protocol gateway. Such products include a combination of hardware & software, and used to connect data from one automation system like building automation to another like a smart grid.

Photo Credit: Markus Spiske 


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Embedded Software is Eating the World

Software is eating the world wrote Marc Andreessen in The Wall Street Journal on August 20, 2011. Since that time every company in the world has beefed up their software teams and their digital transformation initiatives. Afterall, software is a key competitive advantage, and to survival. 

In the IoT space, we often think about the application software that power industrial systems and consumer connected devices. But what about the embedded software written to control machines or devices that are not typically thought of as computers? This is almost everything, from a small digital watch, e-bikes, electronic control units in cars, microwaves and missile guidance systems.

For insight we turned to Jeffrey Fortin, Head of Product Management, Vector Software. Vector provides automated test tools for embedded software applications in automotive, aerospace, medical devices, industrial controls, rail, and other business critical sectors.

Much of the discussion about software development has centered on mainstream brick-and-mortar companies becoming software companies. They need to be able to compete on software against FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google). But this often means competing with better consumer facing applications. Vector focuses on embedded software. What’s at stake for embedded organizations here?

With companies such as Facebook and Apple becoming such a part of our everyday lives, consumers have grown so accustomed to the ease-of-use that these types of companies bring to market in their products. As IoT grows and brick-and-mortar companies are also becoming software companies, this type of user experience has become top of mind, and something that’s now expected by consumers. However, the underlying embedded software within these devices can easily be lost sight of while putting such a big focus on the user experience aspect. 

If an organization was responsible for a safety-critical device that did not previously have software, but now does, organizations must remember that it still has to meet the same safety requirements as before. Just because software has just now been integrated in the product and the organization wants to improve the UX, that does not mean that the safety of the device can be compromised. The quality of the embedded software must be the fundamental focus to ensure consumers are not put at risk.

We all know now that software is eating the world. If you are a manufacturer of electronic devices, but software development is not your core, what do you say to them?

As IoT continues to grow and evolve, there will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving ecosystem. This essentially means that many electronic device manufacturers will also now be in the software business.

The problem is that many of these vendors will be new to building embedded software/robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly when safety- or performance-critical applications become increasingly dependent on products controlled by software. In these situations, where safety, security or human life is exposed to risk if software fails, I would reiterate to these manufacturers that quality has to be the central focus of software development efforts.

In the IoT ecosystem, a lot of “consumer-grade” software will also find its way onto critical paths in new safety- or performance-critical applications, in large part due to the re-use of legacy code bases. Legacy code often carries an enormous amount of technical debt. Without proper software quality methods in place to ensure the integrity of legacy code, the overall safety of the system could be compromised. 

In summary, quality cannot be installed at the end. Organizations will need to adopt development processes to verify the integrity level of the software is in line with the safety risks of the application.

When it comes to IIoT, what are the trends you are seeing in embedded software and is there a major transition happening in terms of development, testing and quality?

One of the trends I have observed with the growth of IIoT is that product delivery has been flipped. In a traditional model, a product was delivered and remained static. With IoT/IIoT, products are now continuously updated and re-purposed for new functionality or for new business models. With change comes risk, including loss of quality -- and that can put safety at stake, particularly within industrial applications.

Due to this change, there has been a major transition in the way that organizations approach development and testing. For example, many have adopted processes that dramatically improve quality, including software development methodologies such as Change-Based Testing, Continuous Integration and Regression Testing.

Furthermore, as the number of products becoming software-defined grows, software integrity directly relates to brand value. Likewise, as products migrate from consumer-grade use cases to be integrated into mission-critical applications, the quality of the software will determine the value delivered by the products. The chance that faulty software will cause a system failure is now a much greater risk and can result in devastating consequences that not only bring business processes to a halt, but may also harm a company’s reputation. 

As a result, software quality has become an increasingly critical concern in the IoT environment.

Which languages are leading IoT development and what do you recommend to clients?

IoT often leverages scripting languages such as JavaScript, Lua and Node.js. But these languages usually run in conjunction with system software that control the device. The system software is usually written in C or C++. System software forms the foundation for the device and is often required to meet regulatory standards for safety integrity. Our clients who develop this type of software often use C, C++ and also Ada.

The embedded design is key to addressing the need for more secure products in an IoT-enabled world. What are your thoughts on how we make IoT more secure?

With IoT applications, safety can become an issue when security is compromised because these applications power safety-critical products such as automobiles, manufacturing equipment, medical devices and more. Developing secure applications requires constant vigilance in all stages of development. To do so, tools that are capable of detecting possible vulnerabilities when writing code, integrating modules and testing compiled binaries on target hardware should be used.

A commonly used tool for testing software is static application security testing (SAST), which analyzes large amounts of code for common vulnerabilities that could lead to potential security risks. SAST does not execute code, but instead tries to understand what the code is doing behind the scenes to identify errors. However, SAST has been plagued by false-positives, where vulnerabilities are reported but they do not actually exist. Instead, dynamic testing methods can be used to expose security defects in software by confirming exploitability. In this approach, automated software testing methods are used to interrogate an application’s software code and identify possible weaknesses. Once this is complete, a test exploiting the identified issue is generated and executed. After execution, test tools can analyze the execution trace and decide if the potential weakness is actually a genuine threat.

What is your biggest concern when it comes to the Industrial Internet of Things?

The Industrial Internet of Things comprises applications in medical devices, automobiles, avionics, heavy machinery and more. In all of these examples, the quality of the embedded software is under tight scrutiny as safety, security or human life is exposed to risk if the software fails. 

Code correctness forms the basis of a trusted computing platform, and that’s what we at Vector Software are focused on. Every development team needs a comprehensive process in place to achieve application security goals and ensure code correctness before a product goes to market. Our VectorCAST platform provides automated software testing tools that enable the implementation of a complete and automated test infrastructure to ensure improved code quality.

Interoperability testing and protocols are a major part of ensuring that IoT products work. Beyond interoperability, what do you see as the next steps?

At Vector Software, rather than simply testing for interoperability, our focus really lies on integrity testing. In any IoT device, especially in IIoT where safety is a top priority, it is important that the device is not only interoperable with other devices, but it is even more so important to ensure that the software powering these devices is implemented correctly, without fail.

Integrity testing ensures that the code coverage and overall quality of the software itself meet the required safety standards in place. If the software in a car sends a canned message to turn the headlights on, do they actually turn on? Integrity testing ensures that the software is implemented correctly and without errors so that the IoT-enabled device works every time. By doing so, safety is not at risk, and the devices we use in our daily lives can be relied upon. 

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An Inconvenient Truth

Here is the latest edition of the IoT Central Digest. Encourage your friends and colleagues to be a part of our community. Forward this to them. They can join IoT Central here. You can contribute your thoughts on IoT here.  

Security in the Internet of Things - an Inconvenient Truth

Posted by Rob Dyke 

The current political events in Barcelona provide us with a barely-needed reminder that we live in changing times.  I was in the city as part of the Trustonic team exhibiting at IoT Solutions World Congress last week and took some time to speak with fellow vendors. I soon saw some fantastic product demonstrations that drew my attention - I wanted to learn more. Frequently though, the response to: “This looks great - how is it secured? How do we know the data is trustworthy?” was a puzzled look and a “It uses our cloud and we secure that” or “It runs on a secure OS”.  Sometimes the response was worse: “It’s a closed network. You couldn’t attack it”.

IoT is Not Just IT - Focus on Customer Outcomes and Integrated Teams

Posted by Michael Riemer 

Are your IoT initiatives doomed for failure? A recent study by Cisco suggests that 75% of IoT initiatives will fail. But with an estimated 80+ billion connected devices over the next half century, companies cannot afford to ignore the opportunity. Based on learnings from both wins and losses over the last 10 years, an integrated, customer-centric approach will help ensure smarter and more successful IoT investments. Here is a 5-step approach to consider:

Rise of the Intelligent Revenue Machines

Posted by James Branigan 

An early theme of digital transformation was the notion of selling services rather than products. A contract with the “thing maker” to circulate cooling fluid throughout my factory rather than a purchase order for me to buy the pumps and filters needed to do it myself, for example. The contract lets me focus on creating products for my customers rather than maintaining the machines making this possible. I don’t want to spend time on the process (pumps and filters), I just need the outcome (properly cooled machines) in the least distracting way possible to my core business of producing goods, medicine, energy, etc. The contract lets you, purveyor of the connected pumps and filters, build a closer relationship with me, streamline your business, and avoid competing in an increasingly commoditized space.

Customers Want Better Outcomes, not Smarter Products

Posted by James Branigan 

To paraphrase Geoffrey Moore, smart “thing makers” are investing in IoT solutions for their customers today in order to generate more revenue for themselves tomorrow. Traditional hardware vendors are being commoditized and replaced whenever a cheaper “good enough” option comes along. To thrive in the long run, your value must be “sticky”, embedded in your customer’s business, providing benefit to their customers as well. The “things” you sell now simply enable your customers to run their basic operations. Whenever a part breaks, customers make a decision to order a new one either from you or a competitor. How differentiated is your equipment from the rest of the market? Your business is constantly at risk.

How Robotic Process Automation helping Digital Age

Posted by Sandeep Raut  

Digital has brought in so many technological advances to this age and one of them is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). A simple definition of RPA is, automation of business processes across the enterprise using software robots. Any repetitive task which requires some decision making is an ideal candidate for RPA. Automation has become an integral part of Digital Transformation. Implementing these software robots to perform routine business processes and eliminate inefficiencies is the key for business leaders.

 


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The manufacturing industry is undergoing many changes. Those specializing in traditional manufacturing are finding it difficult to keep up with the changes. Perhaps the biggest change has been how traditional manufacturing has come under pressure to manage vast amounts of data captured from different sources. Here are some of the reasons the Internet of Things (IoT) can help.

1. KEEPING AN EYE ON SUPPLIERS

Quality control has become easier because IoT helps keep an eye on suppliers. This makes for easier manufacturing processes. Keeping an eye on suppliers is all about looking at all the constituents that the supplier offers. Capturing data about these constituents through IoT helps make for faster data processing and better quality control.

2. MORE PRODUCTIVITY

Thanks to IoT, many manufacturers are now building self-correcting systems. Missing parts are replaced and parts are replenished, giving rise to greater productivity. Since manufacturing industries are looking in particular for ways to boost productivity, there is no way for them to overlook what IoT can do for them. In addition to greater productivity, there is also more convenience since the need for human labor reduces.

3. MAINTAINING SUPPLY LINES

The Internet of Things is expected to help manufacturers stick to lean manufacturing while at the same time helping maintain supply lines. Since lean manufacturing often requires smart management of the supply lines – to ensure that components are never in short supply but there is no overstock – IoT is expected to help resolve many problems. It will help ensure that suppliers located in different regions can be kept in the loop and supply lines can be managed smoothly so that there is no shortage. It will also help reduce waste and optimize the use of resources.

4. UNINTERRUPTED MANUFACTURING PROCESS

Usually, manufacturing is divided into many processes, from sourcing of raw materials to production, transportation and reaching the customer. However, with the Internet of Things, experts envision something extra. The entire process will be smooth and effective. The raw materials will be already marked for production, intended to reach a particular buyer. This is how experts see things play out as IoT advances to new levels.

5. REDUCED COST

As IoT gains more efficiency, manufacturers can expect to see lowered costs. This is one of the primary reasons manufacturing experts are enthusiastic about the role of IoT. It will become easier to track information about products and processes and more automation would help bring about greater efficiency, thus eventually reducing costs. Lowered costs are expected to boost profit margins. If your manufacturing plant has not invested in IoT yet, this might be the right time to start.

6. LAUNCH NEW PRODUCTS

With IoT, studying needs and launching new products becomes easier. There is less jostle and inefficiency than traditional systems. Manufacturing is thus one of the key areas where you can expect a lot of improvement, thanks to the Internet of Things.

7. INTEGRATING OFFLINE AND ONLINE PROCESSES

Traditionally data and manufacturing have been treated as separate entities. However, in manufacturing industries where IoT advances, this is expected to change. As products begin to carry information about them, it becomes easier to assign a processing and logistics path to them. This is why it becomes critical to involve IoT in your manufacturing plant.

8. CONNECTED TO THE CONSUMER

Products are, in the end, manufactured to suit the consumer. Thanks to IoT, it becomes easier to stay connected to the consumer and create products that match their requirements. This offers two-way benefits, as the consumer gets the best products and the manufacturing plant is able to manufacture products per exact specification. There are a lot of benefits that manufacturers can expect in the long term, thanks to the Internet of Things.As manufacturing processes undergo change, it becomes imperative for manufacturers to make the most of the coming revolution. Supply chains and logistics will become smoother thanks to the industrial Internet of Things. According to many experts, we are at the cusp of another major revolution that will change not only how things are manufactured but also the market economy. It is a good idea to be prepared for these changes by investing in the right IoT system.

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