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For those who do not know this famous Goya´s painting: 'Saturn Devouring a Son', it belongs to the series of Black Paintings of the artist. It's the best comparison I can make after returning from the TechXLR8   --- IoT World Europe Summit in London.

In the painting we see the god Cronos, who immutable governs the course of time, devouring a son. The act of eating your child has been seen, from the point of view of psychoanalysis as a figuration of impotence.

Saturn is the Artificial Intelligence (aka AI) and his impotent son is the Internet of Things (IoT). There are other brothers waiting their turn to be devoured by this hungry father. Soon it will be the Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (AR/VR), the Blockchain and Digital Twins. Not even the 5G will be spared. 

If you are still waiting for the IoT boom, this event is confirmation that the IoT is badly wounded at least in Europe. The few IoT companies that exhibited their products and services at Excel London showed nothing that could overshadow the big winner, the ubiquitous father AI. Although the Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality (AR/VR) does present itself a great rival for the other brothers.

Every time I find it more difficult to justify coming to these events. Neither being a speaker or moderator has allowed me to win a project. I keep doing it to maintain my influence and keep informed my followers on social networks, but I already tell you that physical and economic effort is not justifiable.

The organization this year has sought speakers that mix vendors presentations with success stories of clients. But this year neither of them was able to raise this event.

The few large IT firms present such as Microsoft, SAP or Oracle are on the side of the father "AI" although they show demos IoT many times repeated.

The discussions of the first years of the IoT boom revolved around connectivity, security, IoT platforms, even business models. Now, nobody is interested in these matters anymore. I am sorry for my many friends and myself advising in these areas, but all the fish has sold in West Europe.

Nor have the great integrators been present here. Those who should have implemented IoT solutions for years but never risked investing and continue to squeeze clients with digitalization projects, cloud migration projects, products updates and customized developments. I believe most of them have done a disservice to the acceleration of the IoT.

There was no great IoT news during the event. Perhaps the most important announcement was given by Marc Overton who took advantage of his presentation to announce the recent collaboration agreement between Sierra Wireless and Microsoft to claim industry’s first full-stack IoT offerings. Something that happened far away from here.

As for my sessions, they mixed IoT and Blockchain, something that would have guaranteed success for attendees two years ago or last year but that did not arouse great enthusiasm this year. It is evident that they are becoming a commodity. Something that is not bad, since we would stop speculating about possible use cases and we could be using transparent in our lives and businesses.

Do not worry, the life of IoT events continues, and so this week there are three more:

I believe that Organizers and exhibitors need to try to reinvent the IoT events to make more attractive to visitors and generate qualified leads. We need to see an IoT event where IoT is present in every corner of the floor, in every stage, in every service (cafeteria, rest rooms, transportation, etc). We need to breath IoT every minute.

Otherwise the IoT events will continue driving away visitors and exhibitors and 'Saturn (AI) Devouring a Son (IoT).'

Thanks you all for follow me and read my articles.

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The range and depth of applications dependent on IoT sensors continues to swell – from collecting real-time data on the floors of smart factories, to monitoring supply chains, to enabling smart cities, to tracking our health and wellness behaviors. The networks utilizing IoT sensors are capable of providing critical insights into the innerworkings of vast systems, empowering engineers to take better informed actions and ultimately introduce far greater efficiency, safety, and performance into these ecosystems. 

One outsized example of this: IoT sensors can support predictive maintenance by detecting data anomalies that deviate from baseline behavior and that suggest potential mechanical failures – thus enabling an IoT-fueled organization to repair or replace components before issues become serious or downtime occurs. Because IoT sensors provide such a tremendous amount of data pertaining to each particular piece of equipment when in good working condition, anomalies in that same data can clearly indicate issues.

Looking at this from a data science perspective, anomalies are rare events which cannot be classified using currently available data examples; anomalies can also come from cybersecurity threats, or fraudulent transactions. It is therefore vital to the integrity of IoT systems to have solutions in place for detecting these anomalies and taking preventative action. Anomaly detection systems require a technology stack that folds in solutions for machine learning, statistical analysis, algorithm optimization, and data-layer technologies that can ingest, process, analyze, disseminate, and store streaming data from myriad IoT sources.

But that said, actually creating an IoT anomaly detection system remains especially challenging given the large-scale nature inherent to IoT environments, where millions or even billions of data events occur daily. To be successful, the data-layer technologies supporting an IoT anomaly detection system must be capable of meeting the scalability, computational, and performance needs fundamental to a successful IoT deployment.

I don’t work for a company that sells anomaly detection, but I – along with colleagues on our engineering team – recently created an experimental anomaly detection solution to see if it could stand up to the specific needs of large-scale IoT environments using pure open source data-layer technologies (in their 100% open source form). The testing utilized Apache Kafka and Apache Cassandra to produce an architecture capable of delivering the features required for IoT anomaly detection technology from the perspectives of scalability, performance, and realistic cost effectiveness. In addition to matching up against these attributes, Kafka and Cassandra are highly compatible and complementary technologies that lend themselves to being used in tandem. Not fully knowing what to expect, we went to work.

In our experiment, Kafka, Cassandra, and our anomaly detection application are combined in a Lambda architecture, with Kafka and our streaming data pipeline serving as the speed layer, and Cassandra acting as the batch and serving layer. (See full details on GitHub, here.) Kafka enables rapid and scalable ingestion of streaming data, while leveraging a “store and forward” technique that acts as a buffer for ensuring that Cassandra is not overwhelmed when data surges spike. At the same time, Cassandra provides a linearly scalable, write-optimized database well-suited to storing the high-velocity streaming data produced by IoT environments. The experiment also leveraged Kubernetes on AWS EKS, to provide automation for the experimental application’s provisioning, deployment, and scaling. 

We progressed through the development of our anomaly detection application test using an incremental approach, continually optimizing capabilities, monitoring, debugging, refining, and so on. Then we tested scale: 19 billion real-time events per day were processed, enough to satisfy the requirements of most any IoT use case out there. Achieving this result meant scaling out the application from three to 48 Cassandra nodes, while utilizing 574 CPU cores across Cassandra, Kafka, and Kubernetes clusters. It also included maintaining a peak 2.3 million writes per second into Kafka, for a sustainable 220,000 anomaly checks per second.

In completing this experiment, we’ve demonstrated a method that IoT-centric organizations can use for themselves in building a highly scalable, performant, and affordable anomaly detection application for IoT use cases, fueled by leveraging the unique advantages offered by pure open source Apache Kafka and Cassandra at the all-important data layer.

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Considering that the IoT is in its infancy and due to the last years wasted in predictions that have not been fulfilled, in disappointing statistics of successful projects and with most companies without clear strategies, it is normal to think that R & D is today so necessary for boost and accelerate this increasingly sceptical market.

R&D should be an essential part of bringing innovation to any company via IoT projects. And though we can all agree how important R&D is, it requires a great deal of experience, senior experts, and specific toolsets—resources that not every company can say they have handy.

However, there is a risk when deriving the strategic decisions that the executive directors consider to be technological towards the R & D departments. Many times, oblivious to the reality of the markets, those responsible for R & D with the invaluable aid of the subsidies of the different Administrations, they launch to develop products and technologies for problems that do not exist, just for the fact of obtaining recognition or to continue living without pressures of the Top Management. I am enemy of granted subsidies granted most of the time by unqualified Administration organisms that does not understand that need to prevail the utility, the business model, the business case and the commercialization over the innovation that R & D said to be developed.

Now, if we ask the sellers of IoT technology, products and services, they may not be so happy with the idea of having to talk with the R & D areas instead of with other areas of the company more likely to buy. Most time, R &D departments decide to do it themselves. Vendors know, that with great probability, they will not to close deals due to lack of budget of the R &D or the low visibility of this area by the rest of the departments of the company.

The Importance of R&D for the Internet of Things

Innovation in IoT is a major competitive differentiator. See below some advices to have a decisive advantage over competitors:

  • IoT-focused companies need to invest in R&D to keep up with the rapidly changing and expanding market. It is important that an organization’s R&D iteration turn times are quick, otherwise the company is not going to be able to keep pace with the expected IoT market growth. However, it’s not enough to simply speed up R&D—innovative IoT firms, both start-ups and established companies, must also make sure their R&D processes are extremely reliable.
  • You can’t solve R&D speed issues just by increasing budget.
  • Executives must maintain strong, steady communication with R&D regarding the department’s priorities over a particular time frame and how progress will be measured.
  • Guidelines are invaluable: The more structured and streamlined R&D procedures are, the better IoT companies will be able to move from conception to delivery.
  • Design innovative IoT products but accelerate time to market.
  • Internal collaboration: R&D team should share real-time data across internal departments to spur intelligent product design
  • External collaboration: Connect with customers and partners to ensure success
  • Differentiation: Drive overall business value with IoT.

 

 

Outsource or not Outsource R & D for your IoT project

Just like any other technology, IoT products and solutions require thorough research and development, and it better be done by professionals. Despite the noise generated by analysts and companies around the IoT, the reality is that there have not been many IoT projects and therefore it is not easy to find good professionals with proven experience in IoT to hire.

When I think of Outsourcing IoT projects, Eastern European and Indian companies immediately come to my mind. No doubt because the R & D talent seems to be cheaper there. Spain could also be a country to outsource IoT, but at the moment I do not see it.

The benefits of Outsourcing R&D for IoT Projects:

  • Expertise and an Eye for Innovation
  • Bring an IoT Project to Market Faster
  • Optimize Your Costs
  • Control and Manage Risks

I am not sure about the quality of most of these companies or the experience of their teams in the development of IoT products or in the implementation of IoT projects, but there is no doubt that there are benefits to Outsource R & D for some IoT Projects. You should select any of these companies after a careful evaluation.

Recommendation: Do not stop your IoT projects if you do not have the skills and professionals in house. Luckily, there are companies who offer outsourcing R&D for IoT projects.

Note: Remember I can help you to identify and qualify the most suitable Outsource R&D for your IoT project.

Spain is not different in R & D for IoT

I have not believed in R & D in Spain for years. There are exceptions without a doubt, but it seems evident that the prosperity and welfare of Spain is not due to our R & D. Fortunately we have sun and beach and a lot of brick to put in houses that are not sold because of high prices and low wages.

With the entry into the EU, I thought that we had great markets open to us. I was also optimistic that we would have great opportunities in the Latin American market, thanks to the fact that our research and development capacity would have been consolidated effectively in our companies and universities because it would be profitable and worldwide recognized.

But it has not been that way. The technology developed in Spain and more specifically that relating to the IoT has little chance of being commercialized in France, Germany and not to mention in the UK. If we add the development gap of the countries of South America and that our local market is averse to technological risk, it is difficult to flourish R & D in IoT or Industry 4.0 here in our lovely Spain.

That does not mean that we do not have public R & D budgets for these areas. What happens is that the same thing that happened during the last 30 years has happened. The incentives and aids are few and for the most part used to finance large companies with little return to society. There is no rigorous control of the aid granted and, above all, there is no plan to encourage the local and global marketing of the products developed with the talent of our scientists and researchers.

I have stopped believing and trusting in our successive Governments for the change in R & D but there are exceptions that are worthwhile to follow and work with them. For this reason, I continue help them demonstrate that “SPAIN CAN BE DIFFERENT”.

Key Takeaway

After years of unfulfilled expectations, companies are sceptical of the potential growth of the IoT market or the benefits in their business. R&D department can be a cure to boost IoT initiatives but also a poison to kill IoT initiatives.

 

IoT may have started in R&D, but their benefits don’t have to end there. To drive overall business value, it’s important to share IoT data – both internally and externally. Facilitating open collaboration, discovering new ways to innovate products, and accelerating time to market, you can differentiate R&D and your business.

As fast turn times and reliability becomes a focal part of companies’ R&D processes, these companies will be well-positioned to thrive within the IoT market.

Thanks for your Likes and Comments

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Digital Transformation is now a number one priority for many businesses. Over the past two years, businesses have put increased focus on digitally transforming their brands from the inside out.

 It is an ongoing process of change based on the market and the needs of the customers. To deliver this change successfully, there is a need to establish a clear vision with objectives & expected outcomes.

 Simply put vision is a picture of how the organization will look like after stipulated time.

 Importance of Vision:

 ·      Provides the big picture and clearly describes what your organization will be like in several years

·      Clarifies the right direction of change to ensure that everyone is moving forward

·      Inspires everyone to take action in the set direction

·      Synchronizes the action of different people. It provides self-sufficiency to individuals and teams while reducing conflicts.

 

There are some do’s & don’ts for setting up a vision:

 

Do’s:

·      Develop a Vision that is in line with the company growth strategy.

·      Connect with partners who support your vision, not only third-party technology vendors but your own customers and employees

·      It should create the sense of urgency

·      Link vision to specific goals in future

·      Describe how the company will actually change

·      How will you engage differently with customers?

 

Don’ts:

·      It remains only as floor branding and marketing

·      Restricting the employees with set vision & its boundaries

·      Vision is way too complicated, vague and lacking actionable initiatives

·      Poor communication of the vision beyond the involved few stakeholders

·      Setup the vision before analyzing current systems and operations

 

Vision brings in the cultural change that is required for Digital Transformation. People are extremely important in this roller-coaster ride. 

  

When the digital vision is not clear, that affects the speed of adoption of both senior management and middle management. People will not act just because technology is ready. 

 Some successful vision statements, which helped companies in their digital transformation:

 Google - To provide access to the world’s information in one click

 Amazon - To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online

 Walmart - To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees

 GE - To become the world’s premier digital industrial company, transforming the industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive

 Ikea – To create a better everyday life for the many people

 Southwest Airlines - To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline

 

A top-down vision is a cornerstone & catalyst for digital transformation. These and many companies have created great vision statements to survive in this digital age.

 
 
 
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The internet of things (IoT) has the power to influence so many of our services and utilities. So many, in fact, that even power itself is included in the concept’s clean sweep of the world’s commodities. Here’s what you need to know about the Internet of Energy.

 

The three Ds – decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation – are transforming the energy sector, as the quest for a carbon-free world continues. This falls on a backdrop of the IoT’s driving of efficiency around wind turbines and solar systems, which look set to represent the future of global energy consumption. The new connected energy business model is already here, it is called the internet of energy.

The internet of energy explained

The year is 2018 and the demand for clean energy has never been higher. Governments presiding over developed markets face pressures to cut emissions in the face of global warming, while projections from the International Energy Agency outlines a rise of 55% in the global demand for energy between 2005 – 2030.

Access to energy has already increased in recent years, but with the UN estimating global population growth of a further two billion by 2040, the coming years will lead to huge pressure on solar and wind power to meet this growing demand.

Another factor is the decentralisation of energy grids as a result of old, centralised systems failing to integrate newer units, like solar panels. Operators claim that billions are being spent on stabilising faulty power grids every year, with some of this passing onto the consumer.

A solution comes in the form of an internet of energy, whose technology can provide the infrastructure for decentralised, smarter energy grids and a stable supply of power.

The future of power

The internet of energy is based on a foundation of data, collected by a network of sensors with varying applications.

General Electric is one of the groups that use sensors within its turbines to monitor things like output and productivity. This is funnelled into a computer providing information on external factors, like the weather or fuel costs, which churns out recommendations for peak performance.

Artificial intelligence is ideal in this situation as a result of its ability to analyse data much quicker and more effectively than humans. In 2017 the concept was praised by the United States Department of Energy following its examination of past fluctuations in power to determine the answers for a more stable and efficient grid.

Quantum computing is another area of much interest for energy players. Its ability to process and store data at a faster pace than a classical computer makes it perfect for oil rigs, where tens of thousands of sensors are used to collect information on the performance of equipment.

At the core of further decentralisation has been blockchain; touted by China’s State Grid Corporation as a way of securing information on things like use of power and market prices. Data can then be shared with government bodies and private firms to develop a deeper understanding of the country’s energy consumption.

Conclusion

In near enough every use case of the internet of energy, there is an underlying theme: connectivity. By collecting, analysing and trading data via a secure, decentralised network, the energy industry can start to find a route towards providing renewables for the world’s population.

The truth is, solar and wind turbines will not solve our problems alone. With revelations that the annual waste of renewable energy from China is enough to power Beijing for an entire year, there is a clear need for a network to make better use of this equipment.

Given the rising demand for energy – and its following of a production model that dates back over 100 years – our companies must embrace the innovations that can accelerate its production. Through an internet of energy, we might have found the answer.

Get in touch to see how your own organisation can benefit from decentralised solutions and IoT.

 

Originally published at eleks.com

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IoT In Banking And Financial Industry

Internet of Things industry is developing rapidly and it provides people with a range of digital devices and sensors all around the world. According to predictions of Gartner consulting agency, about 6,5 billion of connected 'things' will be available by the end of 2018. And, by the way, this figure has grown to 30% comparing to 2016. It is expected that we will get almost 20 billion IoT devices by 2020.
 
As IoT is surrounding us in all fields of activity, banking area is also striving to make use of IoT and get some benefits. The niche of IoT software development is growing, so let's see the main reasons why you need IoT in banking and other financial services.

Why you need IoT in your financial business

Usually, when you start dealing with something new, you need to see strong reasons why you need it. That is why before you start developing your own the IoT solution for banking or any other FinTech service, you need to see advantages of IoT in this field. How has the Internet of Things impacted business? In this section, we will pay attention to 5 benefits why IoT can be beneficial for financial business. 
 
iot finance
How IoT can be used in banking
 

Collect all data in real-time mode continuously

For example, when individuals want to insure the car or house, using the IoT, they can always get access to the up-to-date information regarding patterns of using the insured product. If they insured the car, they can see all regulations and rules concerning all insurance cases gathering sensor data from any point - whether it be their home or car. And, yes, it is just one example of thousand other possible options thatIoT solution providers can offer.

Personalized customer service

Considering that preferences of the customer change very fast, financial institutions along with other fields simply cannot ignore new digital innovations and they need to engage in the development of new solutions. Today customers can always stay in touch with their bank using a tablet, smartphone or laptop. That is why banks see perspectives in the development of IoT apps that make it possible to gather more data about customers, their behavior, and preferences. The IoT connections facilitate a widescale data collection about users. This data helps banks understand their customer better and offer them more interesting and personalized experience, useful target tips. It leads to a new level of interaction between bank and customer and to the great future of banking technology.
Example: imagine that your customer came to your bank and they just enter the main door. You can use the network of sensors and beacons with appropriate software to authenticate the customer with the biometrics like facial recognition. This customer every day withdraws a certain amount of money in ATM of your bank, and thus ATM will prepare money for the customer, and when the user enters his PIN, cash will be prepared to withdraw. By the way, you can find more benefits of facial recognition software in our article. As you see, IoT and banking area can be mutually beneficial.

Enhancing the decision-making process

If the bank learns more information about their customers getting the data from the IoT devices, it helps improve decision-making process with better customer service and product strategy. For example, using data from social media or buying preferences of the customer, banks can build the picture of potential credit risk for each customer and then make commercial offers to the potential customer. Here you need the development of analytical software that will help implement it, and our company can assist in it. Thus, IoT in financial services can help specialists understand the general condition of other fields. Up-to-date data will give the current situation in retail or agriculture that is very important in the process of new markets analysis.

Communication between various devices

Combination of sensors and software will help make cashless payments automatically, without even touching user's phone or banking card. This financial solution can become widespread one day. As an example, users go to the cash register in the supermarket, and there is a sensor installed that detect the number of products in their cart and the type of these products. Then it calculates the total sum for all products and connects to their mobile wallet. The payment is done automatically. But of course, this FinTech solution should undergo governmental approval to meet all financial regulations.

Customer smart interaction with the Internet of Things

For today, capabilities of the IoT in banking sector and other financial areas are not revealed in a full manner. The Internet of Things is just starting entering in FinTech. But it is expected that the IoT will play a very important role in banking strategies.
Experts predict also the development of the niche where customers will be able to connect their banking account to the range of smart devices. For example, smartwatches will give their owners a signal when they exceed the limit of planned expenses. Today banking apps already can give you notifications about all financial transactions, but this algorithm will be modified to the new level.
 
banking and iot
 
As a result, we can show a simple example of what capabilities IoT in banking and finance area has, but this list will grow as innovations appear. And if you have any idea on the development of your own banking software - do not hesitate to contact us.

Ways how IoT can be used in financial sector

Banks from all over the world are trying to use IoT capabilities in their industry to get more customers involved. Starting from mobile banking apps that today are used by the majority of all world banks, since apps help monitor preferences of customers, to the range of sensors that make it possible for financial institutions to gather information from their branches and sensors in wearables that can track how customers use banking products. The Internet of Things and financial services create a beneficial combination.
 
internet of things use cases in banking
Ways of IoT application in FinTech sector
 
IoT vs fraud
If you are a faithful fan of our blog, then you saw our article concerning the prevention of fraud in FinTech app using artificial intelligence. Well, IoT and AI can become the symbiosis can enhance and improve the process of fighting the cybercrime. IoT FinTech devices and software with integrated AI can collect more data about financial transactions made by their customers that will help improve the security level and make financial processes easier and more secure.
 
Invisible payments
As we mentioned above, the combination of sensors and software facilitates the development of invisible payments and other main financial procedures using wearables like smartwatches, voice-recognition devices, special RFID sensors in Uber cars and restaurants to make automated payment without taking the phone out. A 22% of world financial organization CEOs predict the payment from cars to become a reality in the next two years, according to PwC.
 
Payments from everywhere
Let's not forget about smart refrigerators and other home appliances that also allow users to make payments for food delivery, like an example. IoT in finance industry can let you create an ecosystem for the optimization and acceleration of payment process. Pay from everywhere - wherever you are. Cleveroad can give you a hint on how to create an advantageous IoT app.
 
Autonomous wearables
As for statistics, 60% of world-leading financial institutions plan to make wearables the main payment device within a couple of years, it is a kind of IoT business strategy. Moreover, it is highly possible that the new generation of wearables will be created - wearables that function without a smartphone. Rings, VR devices, and even hi-tech clothes will replace common smartwatches one day.
 

Main challenges you may face adopting IoT in financial sector

Never forget about the main rule - all coins have two sides. And IoT technology has its second side that will show you some pitfalls IoT brings to humanity. Especially if it concerns finances where accuracy and security are highly important. All benefits shown above will bring some problems related to confidentiality and security of customers' personal data. The financial field that uses IoT connections should make sure the safety of personal data to their customers. Let's see main weak sides of IoT in FinTech.
 
Privacy and security
That is the main danger that can be ahead when people use the Internet of Things in finance. Since IoT is the whole network of devices and various software, the risk of hacking is increasing exponentially. And in case of financial industry, the privacy and security are the most important issues to be taken into account when thinking about protection. When the financial and personal information is being transmitted through the IoT network, all this data can be breached and hacked. So the privacy and security concern means a lot and rapt attention should be paid to it.
 
No common standards
Different devices require different maintenance approach. Unfortunately, there are no common standards for maintaining IoT equipment. It seems to be impossible for today to resolve this issue. The matter is that all hardware used in IoT can be manufactured by different suppliers and they cannot have one common maintenance standard. And even if all hardware manufacturers in the world will agree to use one specific standard, technical issues will still remain. Only if there will be one monopolistic manufacturer of all equipment, but it is unreal since it will damage economic situation in the whole world. So, the lack of common standards can be the reason for failures in the functionality of IoT devices.
 
Complex system
As we mentioned above, the longer and bigger system is, the higher the probability of any failures in the system. But considering that this is a financial field, failure in IoT network can become the reason for total malfunctioning in the whole system and lead to huge losses. IoT can be represented as the chain where each link plays an important role in proper connection. Break one link - all chain will be broken as well. And it concerns both hardware and software part. That is why you should choose high-quality hardware manufacturers and experienced software development companies. So IoT in banking industry and other financial services is a technology that is rather difficult to deal with.
 
Higher unemployment rate
IoT helps automate working processes that required human brain before, and it means that some employees would simply lose their work positions, especially if these are young and not so skilled workers yet. Banks and other financial institutions will have to cut more jobs with the advent of IoT technologies in the financial industry. Unemployment growth will damage economic and social situation not only in one specific country but also in the whole world economy.
 
iot and finance
Pitfalls Internet of Things hides in financial sector
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What is an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)?

The European Telecommunication Standards Institute states that intelligent transport systems are those which include telematics and all types of communication between vehicles, in vehicles and between vehicles and fixed locations. Moreover, ITS is used not only in road transport but also in rail, water, and air transport. The Integrated System is quite capable enough of consuming a large amount of data and hence producing useful information to the traveler. This efficient information guides the traveler to reach their destination in the most optimized way.

Why a large amount of data is important?

We hear more often that people are getting fastly connected than ever because of accessibility to high-speed transportation and increased capability for sharing information, IoT in transportation is a fusion of this large amount of data which comes from multiple sources.

According to a study by McKinsey Global Institute recently it was stated that automotive industry will be the second largest producer of data in the forthcoming years and if we combine automotive with travel and logistics industry then the output for the same grow by an additional 30%.

How the data is fetched from sensors?

Sensors are highly important to get the raw data and if we consider the data of one sensor with another than we can get a deep understanding of the performance and behavior of the system. With the IoT in transportation, sensors and fetched data from them helps in detecting whether a wheel on the vehicle is slipping or not and accordingly alerts the driver or the concerned person to apply brakes. The data from these sensors help in the real-time analytics within the vehicle.

How this sensor system enables to take quick business decisions?

Data from various sources is collected and is integrated to reduce the uncertainty. Data collected from sensors is gathered and is analyzed further to have a deep insight such that it reduces the uncertainty for a particular situation. For example, the ambient air temperature being used alerts that the temperature is below freezing and the sensors used on the axle reports slippage then the situation come out to be that there is ice in that area. These alerts are sent by the cloud analytical system and (not sent manually) which warns the driver before entering a particular area.

Further, the cloud-based system sends this report to the operations center as well. This analysis report is further sent to nearby and surrounding systems which are outside the geo-fenced area. Alerts tell them about the detected ice region so that they can re-route if possible.  

 

The Industrial IoT and its myriad potential have changed the scenario of the Transportation industry. the system has enabled to make smarter and more informed decisions. The IoT technologies need to be embraced to cope up with the competition. As the industry was in continuous suffering from heavy operational costs, the implementation of Internet of Things has made safe and cost-efficient business operations. On leveraging IoT, the connectivity and capability for predictive analytics has streamlined the processes and hence has enhanced their bottom line.

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Despite the industry being in a state of post-revolution following the onset and adoption of machinery, there is a batch of technologies that already define the state of technological innovation in agriculture.

 

The agricultural sector is in the middle of the data-driven transformation. Farmers and commodity traders are heading towards technological innovation in agriculture, adopting data analytics and smart farming technologies. Facing a crucial period in their history, agricultural businesses are tasked with combating the issues that will change not only their working methods but the world as we know it.

The agribusiness issues at hand

One of the greatest pain points associated with agriculture is the ability to predict the events that will achieve a given result.

Conditions play even less in the favour of farms positioned within markets that face rising production costs. The global population reaching 9.6 billion people by 2050, up from around 7 billion at present, according to forecasts from the United Nations, combined with the spread of economic prosperity are adding great pressure to the market. The UN suggests the doubling of crop production by 2050 as a countermeasure to this growth.

Some farmers simply cannot increase their land in order to grow more crops. As a result, there is a case for technology to make better use of the space available.

 

How IoT and predictive analytics can solve agriculture’s pressing problems

To become more efficient, agricultural businesses need data and plenty of it. This opens the door for technological innovation, as the size of these businesses and their plots of land prevent any kind of manual surveying.

Already we are seeing an active use of IoT devices to analyse the status of crops, capturing real-time data with sensors. For instance, with soil sensors, farmers can detect any irregular conditions such as high acidity and efficiently tackle these issues to improve their yield.

The data gathered from sensors allows to apply advanced analytics and get the insight that aid decisions around harvesting, while machine learning can transform the figures into solid predictions. Using advanced analytics, agricultural businesses can forecast yields, foresee unexpected weather conditions, predict market demand and mitigate risks, as well as better plan their capacity.

Agricultural drone is also among the key components of smart farming today. Tasked with the surveying of crop and livestock conditions from up high, their use of time lapsing within onboard cameras is helping farmers identify problems in areas like irrigation, which would otherwise go undetected.

Other members of the drone family allow for the spraying of crops at a greater accuracy than a tractor. As an added benefit, this also seeks to reduce the risk of human exposure to harmful chemicals. Back to ground level, there is potential for other robots to help out with manual duties like planting, ploughing and meat production.

The end goal in this case? A more efficient, more effective farm.

 

Conclusion

To spell things out: population growth could mean that every agricultural business will have to increase their levels of productivity over the next 30 years. That said, a review of the tech on today’s market suggests even the most specific problems can be matched with smart agribusiness solutions.

In the era of smart agriculture, IoT and predictive analytics are powering more efficient operations around the world. Combining IoT with analytics, agribusinesses get accurate predictions for crops and market conditions, allowing to increase their yields and profits. Smart application of technologies can facilitate warehouse and inventory management, help plan and execute seasonal works with the automated flow of data from the fields and agro-research labs.

Get in touch to discuss where the IoT can help futureproof your own agricultural business.

 

Originally published at eleks.com

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Given my Telco background, it was logical that back in 2014, I published some of my first articles in my  IoT Blog about the topic “IoT Connectivity . I described how the optimist predictions of analysts and companies like Cisco or Ericsson, made the Machine to Machine (M2M) an attractive market to invest.

The fact that “Tata Communications have acquired mobility and Internet of Things specialist Teleena is a clear indication of the phenomenal growth rate in the global IoT connectivity market. “By 2021, enterprises’ spending on mobility alone is set to surpass USD 1.7 trillion,” said Anthony Bartolo, Chief Product Officer, Tata Communications.  I hope to see Tata Communications/Teleena in the next Gartner´s Magic Quadrant for M2M Managed Services Worldwide.

There are still people who doubt that connectivity is a key component in the M2M/IoT Value Chain. Please remember without connectivity simply there is not IoT.

Obviously during these years many of my projects have been associated with IoT connectivity. From the analysis of M2M/IoT Service Providers to the conceptual design of end-to-end solutions where connectivity selection was a key component. One of the most interesting projects was the analysis that I made for the Telefonica project "IoT in a box". Without forget projects to compare LPWAN technologies, End to End Security, Identification of Uses cases for 5G. Sometimes also I had to sell IoT connectivity.

In the last years in the IoT connectivity market I have seen:

  • Consolidation of the market like “KORE buys Wyless” or “Sierra Wireless, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Numerex Corp.
  • The appearance of companies like 1NCE, the first dedicated Tier 1, Narrowband IoT MVNO providing fast, secure and reliable network connectivity for low data B2B applications offering a set of optimized product features – such as an IoT flat rate and the first of its kind 'BUY ONCE'​ lifetime fee
  • The still not bloody battle between LPWAN operators (SigFox, LoRA network operators, NB-IOT, LTE-M)
  • Telco Vendors, Operators and Analysts talking about the promise of 5G
  • New Wifi and Lifi IoT use cases
  • IoT Security breaches
  • Operators focus on key industries and use cases
  • The partnership M2M/IOT Service Providers ecosystem evolution
  • Agreements among M2M, MNO and Satellite operators.
  • The lack of standards in the Smart Home connectivity
  • The expectation for solve the real time connectivity challenges in Industry 4.0 and Edge Computing –
  • Time Sensitive Networking Industry 4.0 use cases and test bed by IIC members
  • ….

But in my opinion, enterprises still are confused and delaying their decisions to adopt IoT / IIOT because they need good advice about the right IoT connectivity not just the cheapest prices but easy integration or better customer support.

I want to remember again that I can help you in the selection of the right M2M /IoT Service Provider for your enterprise business requirements as a strategic decision.

IoT Connectivity - the ugly Duckling of IoT Network Operators

Telecoms operators’ more focused approach to bolstering their IoT businesses appears rooted in refining the technology inherent in their connectivity networks. And no wonder, The powerful GSMA has been helping Mobile Operators to define their role in IoT. At first sight, the best way for large telecoms operators generate value from the IoT might appear to be by providing connectivity via their networks. Additionally, they could leverage their vast experience in customer engagement, customer premise equipment (CPE) support and their robust, proven back-office systems by offering their OSS and BSS platforms externally to IoT users, using their OSS to provide users with a turnkey platform to manage their equipment proactively in real time, and their BSS to support the related billing requirements. In fact Global telcos set sights on IoT for growth in 2018.

Nevertheless, Analysys Mason, highlighted “Telcos have been working with the broader ecosystem, including developers, cloud players and hardware vendors this past year – all of which “should set the market up for an active 2018”.

Although many people think that IoT connectivity  is or will become a commodity with little value for customers and along with the hardware will form the ugly ducklings of the value chain, IoT Network Operators should strive to demonstrate that IoT connectivity is vital for the global adoption of the IoT and seek to increase the income derived from its connectivity services with aspect like security and the contextual data value that their networks transport.

IoT Data is the new Oil also for IoT Network Operators

If connectivity seems doomed to play the role of ugly duckling, the data on the other hand see how its value increases and increases with each new technology.

How many times have we seen a presentation with the title "Data is the new Oil”? Even taught by me

Many Telcos are in process of Digital Transformation. The want to compete with the Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (GAFA) and avoid same situation lived with these Over the Top (OTT) vendors.  IoT is giving them an opportunity to monetize the IoT data and convert their networks in pipelines of value.

IoT data is a new source of revenue without forget that will also produce incremental profit through operational productivity and efficiency.

The new stream of data coming from the physical world and the billions connected things are mostly transported by the IoT Network Operator´s networks and once these data is captured, the IoT Network Operators can monitor everything and feed their AI systems. Is then, when finally, IoT Network Operators can make a lot of money of IoT contextual data and aggregated data.

Can you imagine the opportunities leveraged by the connection of millions of devices and intelligent things over your IoT network? A vast amount of useful data generated by smart containers, smart home appliances, smart cities, connected cars, smart healthcare devices, or wearables, which for many businesses is an extremely valuable commercial tool. IoT Network Operators possess the capability of performing real-time data analytics on readily available data to determine product performance, improve customer experience and forecast network capacity, all of all which IoT-ready businesses could benefit from.

Key Takeaway

IoT connectivity is still at the core of all IoT Network Operators / M2M Service Providers. But some of them are implementing different strategies to capture more business of the IoT value chain. The idea of IoT connectivity will become a commodity with not added value is influencing the decision to invest in new IoT enabled networks (5G, LTE-M, NB-IoT).

It’s clear that there are some strong opportunities for IoT Network Operators / M2M Service Providers looking to capture the full potential of IoT, and it’s time that they open up their services to support companies from all sectors who are looking to employ IoT connectivity but also machine data intelligence as part of their business models in this IoT driven digital transformation.

Telcos offering IoT connectivity should look to monetise data and offer businesses unique insights that could potentially open doors to new revenue streams or even improve operational efficiencies. 

If IoT business is about data and assets, Telcos need to shift from technology and connectivity to business value and creation of valued services.

 

Thanks in advance for your Likes and your Shares.

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Iot and IIoT has made it a long way in the past several years. In fact, according to Forbes, trillions of dollars are at stake as the Industrial Internet of Things rolls out over the next decade. But, has the multi-tillion dollar trend lived up to the hype?

It could be many more years until certain industries reach the levels described in the hype.  Here’s the industries you should keep your eye on when it comes to IIoT technology.

The Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT and IIoT, respectfully), widely encompasses many concepts, technologies, and products, but can generally be described as:

  • A system that contains wired or wirelessly connected components which relay data that can be analyzed or used to control an output of the system
  • A network that allows for automated information exchange between two devices
  • A vision where any and all systems are connected to gather masses of data that will lead to overall improved performance, insights, and control

As of 2018, we most commonly see IoT being used for location tracking, remote monitoring, and preventative maintenance.  Yet, for IIoT the most common application is preventative maintenance. Many of these IIoT systems report back to a control interface, and are not completely automated control loops that are self-evaluating or self-improving.

 

There are some industries in particular that stand out when looking at the IIoT.  We looked at trends that will progress through the end of 2018 into 2019, and asked the following questions.

  1. What industries will be most affected by IoT solutions?

According to BI Intelligence, the ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Transportation and Warehousing’ industries have received the highest amount of investment in IoT to date.  These investments, totaling $230B between the two industries over the past few years, will continue to drive impressive progress in the development of IoT solutions. 

  1. Who will be the key players in IIoT Solutions in 2019?

We are currently witnessing a race to capture the IIoT market.  AT&T is collaborating with Honeywell, Verizon offers a machine-to-machine (M2M) management platform called ThingSpace, and startups like Uptake Technologies are raising absurd amounts of capital to compete with existing analytics giants. Uptake alone has raised $218M since 2015, and specializes in analytics of complex data sets. 

Nearly all of the corporate giants you would expect to have a stake in the race are putting serious resources behind their efforts.  GE is offering Predix, and end-to-end Industrial IoT Platform, and has incorporated capabilities like Predix Edge to allow for edge computing within the platform.  Siemens offers their own Industrial IoT platform called MindSphere, and Bosch is also getting in on the action now offering their IoT Suite publicly available on AWS Marketplace. Further, Schneider Electric developed WonderWare and SAP offers Hana.

We expect that through 2019 we will see more partnerships develop, offering cross compatibility between the many platforms which are available today.

  1. What further developments in IIoT can we expect in the near future?

Security will continue to be a major focus for all providers and users of the IIoT.   In a recent publication Steve Watson, CEO of VTO Labs, explains “security and specifically the ability to detect compromised nodes, together with collecting and preserving evidences of an attack or malicious activities emerge as a priority in successful deployment of IoT networks.” This ability to detect and preserve evidence of a cyber-attack will not only need to occur through edge computing, but it will also need to be maintain its integrity with interoperability of different systems that are linked together.

Given the amount of investment we are seeing in the ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Transportation and Warehousing’ industries we expect to see many breakthroughs in both cyber security for the IIoT and interoperability between the many IIoT platforms. Looking into 2019 we can expect to see more partnerships between major sensor providers and network providers, such as the AT&T Honeywell collaboration we saw in 2018. With more interoperability and collaboration, 2019 may be the year that we see the major breakthroughs in IIoT we’ve been expecting.

 

About the Author: Taylor Welsh is a writer for a Speedtronic reseller, located in Fuquay-Varina, NC. To see more, visit AX Control.

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Until recently, we knew unicorns were mythical creatures which made an appearance only in Greek literature, the Bible, and Marco Polo’s travels. While not a single unicorn was ever discovered in the real world, these days, we seem to be dealing with a whole bunch of them, especially when it comes to business.

Technology has played a crucial role in small and medium businesses, made startups fashionable. Today we have many unicorns trotting about the business landscape.

The unicorns are celebrated for their successes and business acumen. Essentially, a unicorn is a start-up that is valued over $1 billion. When you think of them, think about, AirBnB, Uber, Xiaomi or even Flipkart. These are the new set of businesses that have disrupted the market in their respected sphere. But companies rise and fall all the time, so one may be tempted to ask what is so magical about these creatures?

The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.

Part of the charm lies in reinventing the business model. They find a better way to do business. It may be a new idea or an improvement over the existing one. They offer a vision; a glimpse of what the future may hold and have an intense desire to grow.

Fuelling these dreams through constant innovation and the ability to adapt quickly. Precisely where some of the giant falter. Large businesses are bogged by internal processes and complexities resulting in delayed decision-making, allowing a start-up to swoop in.

 According to a study by CB Insights, there are around 175 unicorn companies globally.

The Unicorns and the Internet of Things

Many entrepreneurs have realized that IoT/IIOT technologies can level the playing field if they intend to dislodge industry giants. IoT Start-ups are looking to attract consumers or SMBs or large enterprises by increasingly relying on innovation on cloud and edge computing, IoT platforms, Artificial intelligence, IoT networks, IoT security or IoT devices.  Advanced technology is a key differentiator but not the only one- A new business model to attract customers could also become the initiator of a new unicorn.

After five years of exploring the fragmented but rich universe of IoT startups, no new unicorn has yet appeared. The most promising startups have seen their light turned off behind the Tech and Industry Giants check books. Those who are still pursuing their dreams of being unicorns see that the market does not accompany and no longer rely on analysts' predictions.

With all this, we may not see any unicorn of IoT. However, if I had to bet on some startups then these are my suggestions. 

The IoT Application Unicorn

My vote for the startup to become a unicorn in IoT Application category goes to: Uptake

Founded in 2014 by the CEO, Brad Keywell, that was also Co-Founder of Groupon, the company counts with a good number of investors. The company is stealing execs away from GE. (Uptake hiring several General Electric top digital executives) and have raised around $260 million since launching in 2014. Uptake was last valued at more than $2 billion, in fact, this startup is probably the first IoT unicorn. Uptake's revenue run-rate exceeds more than $100 million a year and future rounds of financing are expected.

LinkedIn profile: “Uptake helps industrial companies digitally transform with open, purpose-built software that delivers outcomes that matter. Built on a foundation of data science and machine learning, our vision is to create a world that always works — one where the machines and equipment we depend on daily don’t break, and industrial companies are once again the creators of economic growth and opportunity.”

WHY MY VOTE: Predictive analytics software is hot. The company sells to the mining, rail, energy, aviation, retail and construction industries and hopes to leverage data to improve safety, efficiency and productivity for their clients' operations. In spite his CEO has not accepted my LinkedIn invitation, no surprise to be honest, only 54% approve of CEO in glassdoor, the aggressive campaign against GE could launch the company this year. I like that his employees are sent directly to the field to observe fast hand the needs of its client base so they can really build software that solve real business problems.

ALSO FOLLOWING: FogHorn Systems a developer of “edge intelligence” software for industrial and commercial IoT applications..

The Hardware and Sensor Data platform Unicorn

My vote for the startup to become a unicorn in IoT hardware category goes to: Samsara

Samsara sells hardware and end-to-end solutions for fleet and industrial applications.

Samsara was founded in 2015 by CEO Sanjit Biswas and CTO John Bicket, who previously founded and led Meraki – a successful cloud networking company that was acquired by Cisco in 2012 for $1.2 billion. Samsara is based in San Francisco and was funded by Andreessen Horowitz (Raising $25M in funding). In May 2017, the startup announced that it had secured $40 million in a Series C funding round.

Sanjit Biswas, recognized that “They were definitely not the first to notice the technology trend behind the Internet of Things movement, but they realized no one was building products the way we did at Meraki, by combining hardware, software and cloud into an easy-to-use system”.

LinkedIn profile: “Samsara’s mission is to bring the benefits of sensor data to the organizations that drive our economy—from transportation and logistics to construction, food production, energy, and manufacturing—and to improve the safety, efficiency, and quality of their operations.”

WHY MY VOTE: Although not on this occasion his CEO accepted my invitation to LinkedIn, I like that Samsara disrupts the traditional sensor model with an integrated, software-centric solution. The products combine plug-and-play sensors, wireless connectivity, and rich cloud-hosted software, all tightly-integrated for simple deployment. Samsara is used by customers in a wide variety of industries, from transportation and logistics to energy and manufacturing. The company offers various solutions including fleet, ELD compliance, trailer, industrial, temperature, and power.

By focusing Samsara system for ease of use and streamlining deployments in the field, the teams were able to make several design choices that help them deliver a 10 times overall improvement over traditional solution. Samsara was in the list of “The 20 Fastest Growing IoT Companies” and is demonstrating is able to capture customers  in the fleet management and logistics industry against Verizon. The challenge is growth globally not only in US.

ALSO FOLLOWINGGeotab

The IoT Connectivity Unicorn

My vote for the startup to become unicorn in IoT connectivity category goes to: SigFox

LinkedIn profile: Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the company is headquartered in Labège near Toulouse, France’s “IoT Valley”. Sigfox provides connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible.

WHY MY VOTE: There are drastic limitations in the Sigfox global network. I could say that this will be the network of the stupid devices, but if they improve the network, ensure scalability, quality and security and allow interoperability with their competitors that will connect the most intelligent devices, then this startup will continue empowering companies to create new innovations on the IoT.

Sources announced that Sigfox is in peril as Senior Execs exit. The company has reacted but the pressure to growth in revenues and network deployment is high. Compete with the Telco Incumbents and the mighty powerful GSMA is a Hercules' own task. Some help from the French government and the EU will be appreciated, so the company can not be acquired. The Board and investors should guarantee the money the company need to comply with the high expectations of the market. In my opinion the window of opportunity is 2020. They have 2 years to demonstrate they can become the IoT-Connectivity unicorn.

ALSO FOLLOWINGActility, Link Labs, and of course the LORA alliance and M2M Service Providers.

The IoT -AI Platform Unicorn

My vote for the startup to become a unicorn in IoT/AI platform category goes to: C3IoT

I have written a lot about IoT platforms and I think that most startups will disappear in 3-5 years or they will never become a digi-unicorn. But there is a special case that can reach the end of the road. Mainly for who is behind, my old CEO Thomas Siebel.

LinkedIn profile: C3 IoT is an AI and IoT software platform provider for digital transformation. C3 IoT delivers a comprehensive and proven platform as a service (PaaS) for rapidly developing, deploying, and operating large-scale AI, predictive analytics, and IoT applications at scale for any enterprise value chain in any industry. At the core of the C3 IoT offering is the revolutionary C3 Type System—an extensible, model-driven AI architecture that dramatically enhances data scientist and application developer productivity. C3 IoT also offers configurable, high-value SaaS products for predictive maintenance, fraud detection, sensor network health, supply chain optimization, energy management, and customer engagement.

WHY MY VOTE: In January 17, 2018, the company announced a new round ($100 Million) of financing by existing investors TPG Growth, Breyer Capital, Sutter Hill, Pat House, and Thomas M. Siebel.

After the sale to Oracle of its CRM business, Tom, could with this new adventure, return to be relevant in the industry and I think he will not allow his new baby to be acquired. Not at least until he makes C3 IOT a unicorn.

ALSO FOLLOWING: The competition in the AI-powered industrial IoT sector is brutal, but the opportunity is big enough that the 10 startups highlighted here still have room to maneuver and time to scale up. I also keep an eye on them because one or more could well be the next unicorn in this hot market.

Key Takeaway:

Not being a IoT unicorn is not a tragedy. Many companies that started in the M2M business or that have been born in the heat of the IoT are doing well. Their employees are happy and satisfied customers guarantee a long life.

In my post “Is it possible to democratize the Internet of Things? How to avoid that a handful of companies can dominate the IoT”, I pointed out the opinion of Ryan Lester (Director of IoT Strategy, Xively by LogMeIn company acquired by Google). Ryan alerted that IoT feels only achievable to those companies with unlimited resources to make it happen. Looks like, the facts have given him the reason.

Yes, I admit, I would like to see unicorns in IoT. I would also like startups not to be obsessed with this issue and not throw in the towel too soon. If they are acquired, their legacy is very likely to be lost soon and in exchange for money they will have lost the opportunity to contribute to changing the world with their unique innovation in IoT.

Thanks in advance for your Likes and your Shares.

References:

http://www.moneycontrol.com/india-business-live-ibl/growth-for-sme/article/unicorns-in-our-midst-7501221.html

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Amidst all the hype and wide-eyed growth predicted for virtual reality, it's often difficult for stakeholders to decide which of its two words to focus on. Will VR deliver only indirect, 'virtual' benefits to in the manufacturing industry or direct, tangible benefits that become a bottom-line ‘reality’? On this topic, today's hype will definitely become tomorrow's given. In both ways. Even in these early days, VR is already a game changer for the future and holds immense promise for almost every manufacturing vertical. This includes auto manufacturing, electronic manufacturing, and nearly every form of manufacturing there is.

 

VR might utilize complex technologies, but its innovation is easy to grasp. Simply put, VR is a logical, next-step evolution in our ability to communicate with each other and with groups. Five thousand years ago, literacy made our thoughts portable. Almost a century ago, the first talking movie made experiences portable. Thanks to technological progress, VR now lets us create and easily distribute new, richer experiences that go beyond the time and space limitations of today's media. Every manufacturing company that needs to convey something - to a client, a trainee, or an audience - will benefit from the VR paradigm shift.

 

Keep your eyes open, unless they are already behind a headset, for the incredible changes coming in the near future thanks to VR. Here are just a few we can expect to see:

 

Beyond sight and sound

 

Through VR, perceptual experiences can now take place in three dimensions; a major evolution in and of itself. This benefit is already in growing use throughout the engineering and manufacturing industries, where prospective clients can walk through environments and properties to make informed visiting or purchase decisions. For example, those in the engineering space likely use computer-aided drafting (CAD) as a tool to help their ideas come into fruition; imagine if those professionals were able to actually interact and communicate with their CAD masterpieces. Imagine being able to design a part not with a mouse and keyboard, but by picking it up with your hands in the virtual space. On the manufacturing side, imagine being able to test out how parts fit together with your hands before casting or molding them. Not only does virtual reality make this plausible, but it also makes it possible.

 

In the near future, engineers and manufacturers will be able to collaboratively work together in a revolutionary new way, making for a more seamless product development and manufacturing process. Projects will be fine-tuned by taking input from colleagues as well as the physical, hands-on challenges that the project itself presents. This will happen in real-time and seemingly “real-life” despite it being a computer-generated simulation. If both engineers and manufacturers had the ability to interact with their projects in a transparent, hands-on manner, their start-to-finish times would decrease and there would be skyrocketing numbers inefficiency. Not to mention better product design and less need for re-dos or last-minute changes in the manufacturing plant.

 

 

VR moves us beyond the limitations of the two senses used in today's communications: sight and sound. By way of hardware peripherals, VR experiences will include tactile and other sensory information to further emulate physical reality. If seeing is believing, what is touching worth? Customers will be able to feel the material before they buy that suit or curtain. Doctors will practice removing that tumor on the patient’s heart before doing the dangerous procedure in real life. Wearables will produce and extract additional sensations for and from the user. Manufacturing companies will get to see a preview of what the real production line will look like and how it will work.

 

Multiple paths to the right message

 

More than any existing media, VR can provide an experience that's genuinely interactive and able to switch the narrative flow in real time. The user, the author, the publisher, and even the audience can all influence activity to a directed outcome, whether it's an informed trainee, a successful sale or a storybook happy ending. The gaming industry has long been pioneering these open-narrative experiences through 'quests' where the user determines the action, as well as through networked games, where multiple participants can affect actions and outcome simultaneously.

 

It can be argued that virtual reality, and its recent boom in growth, can be attributed to the gaming industry. As gamers pushed for games that are more realistic, have better graphics, and are more immersive, VR was born. Though, the past has taught us that a technology’s future is not limited to its origin. Despite VR’s roots being in the gaming industry, it is already spreading into other areas of the world.

 

If one were to transpose gaming into the business world, a quest could be compared to any transaction or negotiation. The action involves the presentation of persuasive information (such as a proposition or product demo) by one party, while the other decides whether the choice is compelling. If so, deeper interest is expressed and deeper content invoked. If not, alternative content is delivered or selected. While this is happening, a third-party distributor of the content might be deciding, through AI and selective data, which content to serve to which user in real time. An outside audience, such as a focus group or other customers, could steer the details and outcome. VR does away with the one-sidedness of linear experiences like video. It subsequently allows for more accurate, more realistic, and more informed product feedback decisions.

 

Perhaps most importantly is the direct connection VR establishes between customer and manufacturer. Aside from small focus groups and beta-testers, manufacturing companies are highly restricted when it comes to letting users get their hands on a product until after it has been widely manufactured. Virtual reality will allow a manufacturer to put a tangible, interactive product in a customer’s hands without ever physically manufacturing it. Not only will this save time and money, but it will also allow the manufacturer to identify changes and apply them before physically producing a large run of the product.

 

Liberation from place

 

What if there were a Skype for physical presence? Short of the matter transporter that Trekkies dream about, VR will be our closest answer. What if you could invite thousands to a physical venue that only held a dozen? What if a company's best global talent could interact on the same project in real time without travel? What if companies could train new employees through real-world simulations, rather than procedure manuals and explainer videos?

 

The immersive aspect of VR makes all this possible. Today's teleconferencing will seem archaic in comparison to VR's shared group experiences, where one-to-one can take place at the same time as one-to-many. Our most acute human assets will re-emerge through this technology. Physical cues like eye contact and body language will matter again. Even if two people are on opposite sides of the globe. Who's paying attention and who's not will be obvious once more. Naturally, this will all be captured as data. However, it will seem as natural as shaking the hand of someone in the same room once you slip on the headset. Simply imagine the impact that this will have on how business is done in the near future.

 

Unmistakable Cost Effectiveness

 

When it comes to manufacturing, it takes two things to have a great operation: cost-effectiveness and production of a good product. When you combine both of these things, you have an operation primed for success and profits. Though they are both achievable through today’s traditional methods, as evidenced by the manufacturing companies of today, VR will make the process of getting there easier and more accessible.

 

Those in the manufacturing industry know how much money is spent on correcting mistakes, re-doing things, and going back to fix problems that could have been avoided in the first place. With VR, leaders in manufacturing will be able to run simulations that examine nearly every aspect of the manufacturing process. This will practically eliminate the costly mistakes and poor projections that cost so much money. In turn, these companies will see much higher profits and quickly pay off the investments they have made in VR.

 

Even more so, employers will be able to train employees more effectively and more efficiently. This will drastically cut back on paid hours of training time, days off for training or conferences, and more. By having employees who are better trained run a facility, the manufacturing process will ultimately be smoother as a whole, further eliminating mistakes and problems.

 

Far-Reaching Impact

 

Which industries will benefit from VR? All of them. The only catch? VR technology must become more adept, standardized and accessible. In these early days of a global technology shift, the sentiment is still mixed. According to the Consumer Technology Association, users have trouble finding the content they want, and without it, headset usage - and interest - declines. Fortunately, there are hordes of talented developers working on the content needed as you are reading this. In the coming days, content libraries will begin to fill up and one-by-one large corporations and small businesses alike will embrace the positive change that VR brings.

 

In time, arguably a short amount of time, VR will be a complete game-changer. It will revolutionize the business, engineering, medical, and manufacturing worlds and elevate them to new heights. Efficiency will be bolstered, communication will be more natural, and product development will be seamless. So, although the word ‘virtual’ is in the name, you can expect nothing less than ‘reality’ when it comes to the impact VR will have in the near future; both for the business enterprise and for the human enterprise.

 

Joseph Zulick is a writer and manager at MRO Electric and Supply.

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The Internet of Things will do more than make our homes and cities stronger. They’ll also make everything more connected - including our people. To put it simply, we’re moving into the era of Civic Engagement 2.0. And that’s a wonderful thing, provided your city is prepared for it. Here’s how you can be.
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It is still the early days for autonomous trucks, and a report by Gartner estimates that by 2021, less than 1% of long-haul, over-the-road freight will be carried by driverless trucks.

The trucking business already leverages the advantages of using mobile technologies, but the volatile nature of rising labor rates, fuel costs, increased traffic, and a changing regulatory environment, continuously making operations challenging.

Inefficiencies caused by lack of visibility create considerable costs. However, with the help of disruptive technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), visibility into equipment, assets, personnel, and transactions, enterprises can better support crucial operations in real-time and improve operational efficiency and performance.

By leveraging enterprise IoT asset intelligence, the trucking can tackle problems with solutions powered by IoT. 

Problem # 1: The traditional transportation model lacks the operational efficiency of the trucks.

The Solution: IoT in transportation has empowered trucking business owners to improve the operational efficiency of trucks by real-time monitoring and tracking of the fleets. With real-time monitoring capability, decision-makers can make out-of-the-box business decisions. Whenever there is an engine oil leakage, an alert is sent well before time indicating about the threshold it has reached, that’s how the internet of things makes a difference in the trucking business.

 

Problem # 2: The consumption of fuel was increasing and congestion problems start arising. 

The Solution: Usually, the traditional transportation business models consumed energy affluently due to improper route management, so an optimized route management was crucial to building a sustainable trucking business. With the help of real-time field data, efficient fleet route management eliminated almost 175 grams of carbon emission, produced by every extra mile traveled by any vehicle. With the manual monitoring getting expensive and inaccessible, the IoT enabled heat and motion sensors to utilize the energy resources more smartly, which provides huge value to the administrators. 

 

Problem # 3: Tracking of public transport became a serious issue.

The Solution: Managing the traveling from one point to other was possible by the traditional public transport but not the tracking real-time location of the vehicle and knowing when it will arrive at a particular stop. With the help of real-time sensor data, selecting the optimal route based on real-time conditions got easy, resulting in better public transit management. The IoT sensors tell where the traffic is jammed up and reduces the congestion and find an alternate route became easy which consumed the energy and time. IoT sensors tell where the traffic is jammed and convey the alert to the fleet and find an alternate optimized route to save time and energy.

 

Problem # 4: Increase in operational cost and damage to the infrastructure.

The Solution: From the traditional transportation model, loading the exact amount of load in the trailers was near to impossible. So, a proper check on the vehicles like size, weight, and type of vehicles is done and the load in the trailer is measured in real-time using weight sensors. Through IoT and smart devices, the overloaded vehicles can be identified and can be partially unloaded to evade fines. From the real-time tracking, alerts are sent well before time so that an optimized efficiency can be achieved.

 

Problem # 5: No advance alerts and availability of parking slots.

The Solution: The integrated smart transportation system tells the real-time information of the driver as well as the vehicle and warns them about the potential engine outbreaks. IoT in transportation can also ensure the smart parking, which tells about the lots that are presently available in real-time. Also, the multi-level parking system helps in reducing the operating and maintenance expenses. IoT sensors help in increasing the safety, comfort, and efficiency in driving and parking.

 

CONCLUSION:

Over several recent years, the Internet of Things has unlocked a box of new opportunities in the trucking industry and has undoubtedly advanced beyond recognition. IoT is all about digitally connecting devices and analyzing the data to predict future outcomes or possibilities and the transportation industry is at a point where it can leverage the full potential of this disruptive technology.

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Digital Transformation is moving any company into the future. Well, this statement is true for Disney, Nestle, Apple, Amazon and other leaders as they focused mostly on the customer/user experience.
 
Digital Transformation is in almost every c-level magazine, blog and whitepaper and executives do not want someone comes in and disrupt their business.
 
If you want to reap the rewards of the digital revolution, a smooth, easy and positive user experience is vital.
 
People may not be getting technically proficient, but they have become more comfortable using their smartphones to download music, find the nearest movie theatre or pay for purchases. This raises the bar for user experience.
 
Today organizations are adopting MobilityAnalytics, and the Internet of Things for Digital. However, solutions, which are not intuitive, responsive and social, does not have a place in the customer’s list. So it becomes appropriate for companies to get into the user experience space.
 
A UX design can supercharge productivity, add immense value to customer interactions, and help employees love their jobs.
 
It is extremely important to do an accurate analysis of users, their needs by conducting surveys, workshops to design the UX.
 
Here are six major criteria for UX design:
  • Easy to find: How easy it is to find a site or application
  • Ease of use: How easy it is to use the site or application, how easy to learn
  • Easy to access: How easy it is to access the site or application, easy to understand, easy to reach
  • Usefulness: How useful the features and functions are and they meet my needs
  • Elements of desirability: Will make users like the product’s looks and feel and visual appeal
  • Credibility: How much users trust the site or application, creating the overall brand experience
 
Overall UX design should have short navigation steps so users require very few clicks to get the information they want. It should be based on responsive web designs so application maintain full functionality, usability and appeal on different browsers and screens from desktop to laptops to tablets to smartphones.
 
Once you have applied these criteria it is also important to measure the results, for future course correction. One initial KPI is user adoption rates, which should be higher than 60%.
 
The great user interface makes the experience better, transactions easier, decision making simple and cuts down the operational costs. 
 
It is the deciding factor for keeping/loosing or successfully engaging a customer.
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The internet of things (IoT) is much more than the next step in consumer technologies — it also represents a significant leap forward for industries of all kinds.

Manufacturing is already — and will continue to be — a field almost uniquely suited to applying IoT technology. In fact, there's almost no part of the process that won't be touched in some way by this ever-expanding web of smart and interconnected sensors, computers and machines. No matter how large or small your operation is, it's increasingly difficult to understate the potential value of adding intelligence and oversight to your processes using the internet of things.

Here are four ways IoT is revolutionizing the field of manufacturing.

A Greater Degree of Competitiveness

According to a report published by Verizon in 2016, an overwhelming majority of manufacturing managers already consider IoT technology a critical competitive advantage. It's hard to believe that such a sea change happened practically overnight, but not quite so much when you realize what's at stake.

Suffice it to say, the IoT represents a bundle of industrial innovations that have been a long time coming. Most of the competitive advantages cited by the Verizon report have to do with parts of the manufacturing and business processes that required guesswork or drew from incomplete data sets. We're talking things like altering business processes based on current demand and future trends, optimizing longstanding workflows and responding to unforeseen events.

Technology powered by the IoT can make manufacturing companies more competitive by, among other things, granting some autonomy and automation to back-end processes that inform the rest of your employee processes and workflows. This type of automation could, for example, automatically flag product for shipment to another location based on current levels or even trip a slowdown on one production line to pivot to another product if future demand isn't expected to be there.

The result is a leaner business that can run circles around your more flat-footed competition, who might've been slow to adopt modern technologies. 

A Demystified Supply Chain

Gathering useful insights into the supply chain — that all-important web of manufacturers, shippers and vendors that makes modern production and order fulfillment possible — has been one of the most significant advantages of applying the IoT.

Of course, oversight into vendor and shipper processes is nothing new — but accessing it and making decisions in real-time is a relatively new innovation courtesy of the IoT. These days, every plant location and every party responsible for assembling or moving finished or in-progress merchandise enjoys a higher degree of transparency and collaboration thanks to remote monitoring technology, sensors along material handling paths and assembly lines, and more.

Perhaps most importantly, the availability of granular data at each stage lets each party know exactly what inventory levels look like, all the way up and down the supply chain. This is a significant innovation and a huge stride toward true lean and just-in-time manufacturing, not to mention seamless collaboration. Neither wasteful production methods nor products sitting idle that are needed elsewhere are long for this world, and it's all thanks to the IoT.

Automated Maintenance and Unsafe Operation Alerts

Even the very machines manufacturers use to fabricate and assemble new products are getting smarter thanks to the internet of things. Low-cost sensors are easier than ever for facilities to deploy on their critical machines and equipment, which can make the time and labor associated with ongoing maintenance far easier to manage.

Sensors on manufacturing and product handling equipment provide real-time alerts and analysis concerning the condition of the machine and its many moving parts. These sensors can also take the guesswork and scheduling out of regular equipment maintenance by sending an alert to the appropriate parties at regular intervals — or whenever the machine's onboard self-diagnostic tools detect an impending failure or fault.

The implications for manufacturing are enormous since no two organizations work under the same conditions and with the same equipment. IoT-powered condition-based alerts help facilities maintain the health of their machines, no matter where in the world they're located and no matter what the temperature and humidity are doing. Some devices are more finicky than others when it comes to environmental conditions, making no-hassle maintenance a considerable advantage.

Improved Safety Oversight

Before the industrial internet of things, key performance indicators for employee safety and work environment were commonly spread across several systems, including paper-based ones. This made it difficult for plant managers to get a good, top-down sense of where dangerous processes existed or what types of simple process changes might result in improvements.

The internet of things makes it possible to gather data concerning work accidents and near-misses, property damage, employee injury rates by process and more. It's quite common — and potentially even required — for modern business to track some of these data points as for various compliance purposes. However, it's less common to assemble them in one place and use modern digital technologies to draw actionable conclusions, isolate consistent trouble areas and drill down to causes.

Wearables are another safety-minded application of the IoT. Helmets and wristbands are being eyed as possible future locations for health-related sensors to keep track of workers' physical locations, temperatures, heart rates and more — all in service of rotating employees more regularly, keeping bodily stresses to a minimum and bolstering organizational safety as a whole.

Tomorrow's Technology Today

It's likely that the future will see even more IoT innovations for manufacturing. For right now, these four major improvement areas represent many opportunities for the modern business to revolutionize what they do and how they do it.

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