All the representations I’ve seen regarding social distancing guidelines for engineers have depicted what appear to be two male members of the species, which is “So mid-20th century, my dear!”
For years, I have been written about the promise and perils of the Internet of Things (IoT). In many of my articles I described how the IoT could help transform society and kickstart the next industrial revolution. However, still many people and enterprises are in the IoT. We still cannot define in a unique and clear way what IoT is and much less explain how thanks to IoT it will change our lives, without using the example of the smart refrigerator.
Why are we still lost in IoT? Let´s see some arguments.
Lost in IoT connectivity
With so many IoT connectivity options on the market, choosing the right one for your project can be complicated. It scares me to think that billions of devices will be connected in a few years to decentralized IoT networks and with no interconnectivity between them, unless we use millions of edge nodes that transfer messages among devices connected in multiple networks. If it is already difficult to justify the ROI of a use case considering a single type of connectivity, it is almost impossible to justify that these devices can communicate with other devices on different IoT subnets.
It seems that it is easy to get lost among so much connectivity technology. Isn’t true?
Lost among hundreds of IoT Platforms
At least we already intuit some of the platforms that will survive among the +700 that some analysts have identified. I have only been able to analyze with more or less depth about 100. Surely my methodology of Superheroes and Supervillanos will advance the end of most of them.
It is no longer just one IoT Platform, stupid! Although they want to make it easy for us, companies like AWS, Microsoft or Google add concepts such as Serverless, Data Lakes, AI, Edge Computing, DLT and all the artillery of Cloud services to the core features of the IoT platform. I get lost in its architecture and I feel that if I get too close to one of these black holes, they will end up absorbing me.
Glad to know that “Verizon retools ThingSpace IoT platform to focus on connectivity” and system integrators are abandoning their in house development to embrace leaders vendors’ products.
Lost between the Edge and the Clouds
In “Do not let the fog hide the clouds in the Internet of Things” , I warned about the degree of complexity that Fog / Edge Computing added to the already complex IoT solutions. Now nothing seems to be of great value if we do not include Edge Computing.
The Babel tower of Alliance & Consortiums is consolidating but we keep losing in acronyms. Industrial Internet companies felt relief with the news “ – The Industrial Internet Consortium® (IIC™) and the OpenFog Consortium® (OpenFog) unite to combine the two largest and most influential international consortia in Industrial IoT, fog and edge computing. While The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF) is defining the next generation edge computing standards for industrial operators.
And again, the question arises, do we need Edge to start my Industrial IoT project?
Lost in the Proof of Concept (PoC)
Businesses are spending $745 billion worldwide on IoT hardware and software in 2019 alone. Yet, three out of every four IoT implementations are failing.
Microsoft launched a new research report — IoT Signals — intended to quantify enterprise internet of things (IoT) adoption around the world. The survey of over 3,000 IT team leaders and executives provides a detailed look at the burgeoning multi-billion-dollar segment’s greatest challenges and benefits, as well as related trends. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that 30% of respondents say their IoT projects failed in the proof-of-concept stage, often because the implementation became too expensive or the bottom-line benefits were unclear.
There are technical reasons for example the use of Rasberry Pi or Arduino boards in the PoC and realise that you need other more expensive hardware for the project.
There are economic reasons when you try to escalate your PoC to real implementations and then the ROI doesn’t look as well as in the pilot.
There are organization reasons when leaders are failing to go all in. If you can’t get the CEO on board, then the probability to finish in the PoC is almost 100%.
If you are lost in the PoC, these tips can help you implementing IIOT.
- Solve a problem worth solving
- Keep it quick and simple
- Manage the Human Factor
Lost in select the right IoT Ecosystems
Today no significant ecosystem or network of collaborators had emerged in the IoT arena in spite there was early and very interesting efforts being made by several players. This article does not need changes.
Since I wrote “The value of partnership in Industrial Internet of Things”, I have heard, read and repeated hundreds of times how important it is to belong to an IoT ecosystem and how difficult it is to choose the one that suits you best.
All or at least most of those who read my articles know that there is no company in the world, no matter how great it is, it can do everything in IoT. Creating an IoT ecosystem either horizontal (technology) or vertical (industry) requires a lot of talent managers able to maintain win-win transactions over the time. And according to the results, it seems to me that it is becoming very complicated.
Remember, you are not the only one lost in IoT
When it comes to achieving a return on their investment from IoT, businesses really need rethink how they are deploying it so that they can manage remotely and secure their assets, use the sensors and devices data to make better real time decisions and be able to monetise it. However, for both to happen, and for IoT project to not end up in the purgatory, businesses need independent and expert advice at several levels to find the right people to lead the project and the right technology and partners to make implementation successful.
According to Cisco, currently there are 10 billion things – phones, PCs, things – connected to the Internet. That is merely 600ths of one percent of the actual devices and things that exist right now. There are over one trillion devices out there right this very minute that are not talking to the Internet – but soon enough they will be.
Kevin Ashton, cofounder and executive director of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, first men-tioned the Internet of Things in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble in 1999. Here’s how Ashton explains the potential of the Internet of Things:
“Today computers -- and, therefore, the Internet -- are almost wholly dependent on hu-man beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by hu-man beings by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code.
The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy -- all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had com-puters that knew everything there was to know about things -- using data they gathered without any help from us -- we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best.”
The broadband divide could prove to be a real hampering force to the Internet of Things movement that is gaining speed today. Cloud, mobility, big data are all con-verging and making a seamless network, but the success of this convergence de-pends heavily on the ability to actually move and access the data. And considering that millions of additional devices (some of which are just sensors) will enter the equation means its time for further investment and quick. According to the CIO Sur-vey, organizations are in a prime position to innovate and make significant changes.
CONNECT ANY THING OVER ANY NETWORK
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes a future where everyday physical objects will be connected to the Internet and be able to identify themselves to other devices. It is significant because an object that can represent itself digitally becomes something greater than the object by itself. No longer does the object relate just to you, but is now connected to surrounding objects and database data. When many objects act in unison, they are known as having "ambient intelligence."
Business Model focusing more on Data
In other words, as the physical and digital worlds integrate more closely with each other, and the number of connected devices is predicted to reach 25 billion by 2018, the IoT will enhance and evolve our ability to manage and process information . It’s a more context-oriented world, because there is better data. First thing in a new technology, people do all the obvious things that look like the old market, but more efficiently. In the Internet, GNN had web ads like old newspaper ads. Later there was Google search, which was a different way of doing advertising, by focusing more on data. Now we’ve got social search, social networks. The business model moves to something that is more native to the technology. Uber is an early IoT company. Other businesses will pop up that do more native things. Much of what is available are components that require highly specialized knowledge and skills to make use of. The Internet of Things and its partner in crime, big data, can also impact society at a much higher level. By effecting better decision making through a better understanding of data, we can tackle socioeconomic issues like poverty and disease, education, and quality of life around the world. You know that soccer ball that generates electricity (an awesome invention, btw)? The IoT is the next exponent up.
IoT focus on what matters most to you
The Internet of Things is not a futuristic, aspirational technology trend. It’s here today in the devices, sensors, cloud infrastructure, and data and business intelligence tools you are already using. Rather than thinking about the Internet of Things in terms of everything–such as billions of devices and sensors–focus on what matters most to you. Instead of thinking about the massive amount of data being produced, think about how one piece of data can provide value to your business. The DIY Marker community has its Arduino and Rasberry Pi boards to create toy educational experiments but even those require a bit of study to make sense of. The only project that I know of that seems to be pointing in a direction of making IoT available as a platform for anyone to create with is the TOI, thingsoninternet.biz and their VIPER platform. It is a set of components that are open so available from many sources and they have made Python available as the programming language. Python was create to be an easy programming language to learn but until VIPER it was not suitable for embedded devices. Look for this interesting product on kickstarter and use it to point to a direction for the rest of the industry.
That said, the notion of “The Internet of things” is something unstoppable. More and more devices will become Internet enabled, not less. What needs to be addressed is rock-solid security (logical and physical) combined with privacy laws and policies. At the same time, a comprehensive set of government acts, laws, and regulatory frameworks and technical standards needs to be developed to harness the potential of new models of interactions among the machines and people.
Serial entrepreneur Chris Ciabarra is at it again. The co-founder and CTO of Revel Systems, an iPad point-of-sale (POS) disruptor which has a valuation of more than $500 million and landed a global contract to replace all of Shell Oil’s PoS terminals with Revel’s, has helped launch Authenticated Reality, an authenticated secure community that fosters real interactions, comments and online conversations from real people on the internet.
Chris is an anti-hacker and data security expert with a strong background in PCI compliance and P2PE. He has presented across the globe as well as in front of the 5th Annual United States Homeland Security Conference on various security topics including how the Internet needs to change.
While his current company is aimed at getting consumers and business to identify themselves as “real,” we couldn’t help but ask him about what his current endeavor might mean for IoT.
What is Authenticated Reality?
Authenticated Reality is a secure community of users and devices. In order to be accepted into the secure community you must authenticate yourself. With all users authenticated this will keep the online community safe from hackers that often hide behind anonymity .
You talk a lot about this concept of “The New Internet”. What do you mean by it?
The New Internet is a secure community of users that connect and see each other's real identity while interacting. The biggest problem we face on the internet today stems from a lack of identification. This problem is widespread across multiple verticals when you look at what is wrong with the current internet. For example, IMDB.com recently disabled their movie boards where fans would comment and engage with other movie fanatics. Why would IMDB.com disable something so popular that millions of their users were actively engaging in? Because they felt it was not longer fostering a positive environment for their millions of users. Too much hatred and spamming from online trolls that hide behind a pseudonym and a computer screen. On The New Internet this hatred and spamming would for the most part go away because once you remove the anonymity, users are going to be much more positive if their comments and interactions will reflect on their reputation that is attached to their real name and identity. On The New Internet you can comment on every single page of the old internet but with your reputation on the line, you will be less likely to post something fictitious or negative.
Tell us how your technology works.
Just download the browser and you will get a sidebar to comment and rate every page on old and New Internet. On The New Internet there will be domains that have never before existed on the old Internet and you will be able to comment and rate those pages as well. Users can purchase any domain name they would like even if it is not available on the old Internet.
As our publication name suggests, we focus on the Internet of Things, specifically the Industrial IoT. How do you plan to roll your product out for IoT devices? Can you provide examples?
On The New Internet every device will be attached to an authenticated user. This is particularly useful for drones and identifying the owner of the device. We will be able to monitor all IoT devices and if it is acting suspicious we can turn it off the network for further investigation.
We’ve written about Bruce Schneier and his calls for government regulation to address security issues in the IoT. A part of your offering includes a solution for governments. What’s your take on regulation and where do you see Authenticated Reality playing a role?
We would like to authenticate all users, entities and devices to enable a safe internet experience.
Do you see any authentication solutions in IoT at this time? And at what point in the future do you think an IoT solution from Authenticated Reality will be available?
Yes we have patented a IOT security device that we will release in a few months time that will allow IOT devices to get secured. This IOT security device will have a WiFi access point on it that IOT devices attach and register to and the device will keep them secure.
Anything else you’d like to add?
The New Internet is here and if you had the vision back in 80’s to take advantage of the old internet you would be rich, now is your chance to have the vision and join the new internet early on. Join at http://thenewinternet.com
Photo of and credit: Chris Ciabarra
About The Application
To illustrate the use of the MQTT library, we have created two simple Tibbo BASIC applications called "mqtt_publisher" and "mqtt_subscriber".
In our MQTT demo, the publisher device is monitoring three buttons (Tibbits #38). This is done through the keypad (kp.) object.
The three buttons on the publisher device correspond to the red, yellow, and green LEDs (Tibbits #39) on the subscriber device.
As buttons are pushed and released, the publisher device calls mqtt_publish() with topics "LED/Red", "LED/Green", and "LED/Red". Each topic's data is either 0 for "button released" or 1 for "button pressed". The related code is in the on_kp() event handler.
The subscriber device subscribes to all three topics with a single call to mqtt_sub() and the line "LED/#". This is done once, inside callback_mqtt_connect_ok().
With every notification message received from the server, the subscriber device gets callback_mqtt_notif() invoked. The LEDs are turned on and off inside this functions's body.
Testing the MQTT demo
The demo was designed to run on our TPS3 boards, but you can easily modify it for other devices.
The easiest way to get the test hardware is to order "MQTTPublisher" and "MQTTSubscriber" TPS configurations.
You can also order all the parts separately:
- On the publisher side:
- On the subscriber side:
- Install a suitable MQTT server. We suggest HiveMQ (www.hivemq.com):
- Download the software here: www.hivemq.com/downloads/ (you will be asked to register).
- Unzip the downloaded file.
- Go to the "windows-service" folder and execute "installService.bat".
- Go to the "bin" folder and launch "run.bat".
- You do not need to configure any user names or passwords.
- Open mqtt_publisher and mqtt_subscriber projects in two separate instances of TIDE, then correct the following in the projects' global.tbh files:
- OWN_IP - assign a suitable unoccupied IP to the publisher and to the subscriber (you know that they will use two different IPs, right?);
- MQTT_SERVER_HOST - set this to the address of the PC on which your run HiveMQ.
- Select your subscriber and publisher devices as debug targets, and run corresponding demo apps on them.
- Press buttons on the publisher to see the LEDs light up on the subscriber.
- If you are running in debug mode you will see a lot of useful debug info printed in the output panes of both TIDE instances.
- You can switch into the release mode to see how fast this works without the debug printing.
Tibbo Project System (TPS) is a highly configurable, affordable, and innovative automation platform. It is ideal for home, building, warehouse, and production floor automation projects, as well as data collection, distributed control, industrial computing, and device connectivity applications.
Suppliers of traditional “control boxes” (embedded computers, PLCs, remote automation and I/O products, etc.) typically offer a wide variety of models differing in their I/O capabilities. Four serial ports and six relays. Two serial ports and eight relays. One serial port, four relays, and two sensor inputs. These lists go on and on, yet never seem to contain just the right mix of I/O functions you are looking for.
Rather than offering a large number of models, Tibbo Technology takes a different approach: Our Tibbo Project System (TPS) utilizes Tibbits® – miniature electronic blocks that implement specific I/O functions. Need three RS232 ports? Plug in exactly three RS232 Tibbits! Need two relays? Use a relay Tibbit. This module-based approach saves you money by allowing you to precisely define the features you want in your automation controller.
Here is a closer look at the process of building a custom Tibbo Project System.
Start with a Tibbo Project PCB (TPP)
A Tibbo Project PCB is the foundation of TPS devices.
Available in two sizes – medium and large – each board carries a CPU, memory, an Ethernet port, power input for +5V regulated power, and a number of sockets for Tibbit Modules and Connectors.
Add Tibbit® Blocks
Tibbits (as in “Tibbo Bits”) are blocks of prepackaged I/O functionality housed in brightly colored rectangular shells. Tibbits are subdivided into Modules and Connectors.
Want an ADC? There is a Tibbit Module for this. 24V power supply? Got that! RS232/422/485 port? We have this, and many other Modules, too.
Same goes for Tibbit Connectors. DB9 Tibbit? Check. Terminal block? Check. Infrared receiver/transmitter? Got it. Temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors? On the list of available Tibbits, too.
Assemble into a Tibbo Project Box (TPB)
Most projects require an enclosure. Designing one is a tough job. Making it beautiful is even tougher, and may also be prohibitively expensive. Finding or making the right housing is a perennial obstacle to completing low-volume and hobbyist projects.
Strangely, suppliers of popular platforms such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and BeagleBone do not bother with providing any enclosures, and available third-party offerings are primitive and flimsy.
Tibbo understands enclosure struggles and here is our solution: Your Tibbo Project System can optionally be ordered with a Tibbo Project Box (TPB) kit.
The ingenious feature of the TPB is that its top and bottom walls are formed by Tibbit Connectors. This eliminates a huge problem of any low-volume production operation – the necessity to drill holes and openings in an off-the-shelf enclosure.
The result is a neat, professionally looking housing every time, even for projects with the production quantity of one.
Like boards, our enclosures are available in two sizes – medium and large. Medium-size project boxes can be ordered in the LCD/keypad version, thus allowing you to design solutions incorporating a user interface.
Unique Online Configurator
To simplify the process of planning your TPS we have created an Online Configurator.
Configurator allows you to select the Tibbo Project Board (TPP), “insert” Tibbit Modules and Connectors into the board’s sockets, and specify additional options. These include choosing whether or not you wish to add a Tibbo Project Box (TPB) enclosure, LCD and keypad, DIN rail mounting kit, and so on. You can choose to have your system shipped fully assembled or as a parts kit.
Configurator makes sure you specify a valid system by watching out for errors. For example, it verifies that the total power consumption of your future TPS device does not exceed available power budget. Configurator also checks the placement of Tibbits, ensuring that there are no mistakes in their arrangement.
Completed configurations can be immediately ordered from our online store. You can opt to keep each configuration private, share it with other registered users, or make it public for everyone to see.
Develop your application
Like all programmable Tibbo hardware, Tibbo Project System devices are powered by Tibbo OS (TiOS).
Use our free Tibbo IDE (TIDE) software to create and debug sophisticated automation applications in Tibbo BASIC, Tibbo C, or a combination of the two languages.
To learn more about the Tibbo Project System click here
IoT practitioners are at the forefront of their company's digital initiatives. But is the rest of your company ready for its digital moment? The expectations are high in the C-Suite for digital transformations, but there's still more talk than action for many companies.
New research by McKinsey Institute suggests only 17% of corporate boards are participating in strategy for big data or digital initiatives. The good news is almost half of big companies have managed to get their CEOs personally involved, up from 23 percent in 2012.
Other findings from the survey include:
The most common hurdle to meeting digital priorities, executives say, is insufficient talent or leadership.
Across the C-Suite, 71% expect that over the next three years, digital trends and initiatives will result in greater top-line revenues for their business, and large shares expect their profitability will grow.
More than half of executives say that, in response to digital, their companies have adapted products, services, and touchpoints to better address customer needs.
Executives most often cite analytics and data science as the area where their organizations have the most pressing needs for digital talent, followed by mobile development and user experience.
Executives who report ample organizational support for adopting risky digital initiatives are twice as likely to work for a high-performing company as executives reporting resistance to risky initiatives due to fear of failure.
Forty-seven percent say cutting-edge digital work helps them attract and retain digital talent.
Companies’ priorities vary across industries, reflecting key sources of value in each sector: big data is a top priority in healthcare, for example, while automation is a greater focus in manufacturing (see graphic below).
The digital interconnection of billions of devices is today’s most dynamic business opportunity and at present, the Internet of Things remains a wide-open playing field for enterprises and digital strategy. According to the study, buy-in from the C-Suite and aligning with corporate culture and objectives is key to digital success.
You can read the complete survey here.
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