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!”
by Jack Ganssle
Recently our electric toothbrush started acting oddly – differently from before. I complained to Marybeth who said, “I think it’s in the wrong mode.”
Really? A toothbrush has modes?
We in the embedded industry have created a world that was unimaginable prior to the invention of the microprocessor. Firmware today controls practically everything, from avionics to medical equipment to cars to, well everything.
But we’re working too hard at it. Too many of us use archaic development strategies that aren’t efficient. Too many of us ship code with too many errors. That's something that can, and must, change.
Long ago the teachings of Deming and Juran revolutionized manufacturing. One of Deming's essential insights was that fixing defects will never lead to quality. Quality comes from correct design rather than patches applied on the production line. And focusing on quality lowers costs.
The software industry never got that memo.
The average embedded software project devotes 50% of the schedule to debugging and testing the code. It's stunning that half of the team’s time is spent finding and fixing mistakes.
Test is hugely important. But, as Dijkstra observed, testing can only prove the presence of errors, not the absence of bugs.
Unsurprisingly, and mirroring Deming's tenets, it has repeatedly been shown that a focus on fixing bugs will never lead to a quality product - all that will do is extend the schedule and insure defective code goes out the door.
Focusing on quality has another benefit: the project gets done faster. Why? That 50% of the schedule used to deal with bugs gets dramatically shortened. We shorten the schedule by not putting the bugs in in the first place.
High quality code requires a disciplined approach to software engineering - the methodical use of techniques and approaches long known to work. These include inspection of work products, using standardized ways to create the software, seeding code with constructs that automatically catch errors, and using various tools that scan the code for defects. Nothing that is novel or unexpected, nothing that a little Googling won't reveal. All have a long pedigree of studies proving their efficacy.
Yet only one team out of 50 makes disciplined use of these techniques.
What about metrics? Walk a production line and you'll see the walls covered with charts showing efficiency, defect rates, inventory levels and more. Though a creative discipline like engineering can't be made as routine as manufacturing, there are a lot of measurements that can and must be used to understand the team's progress and the product's quality, and to drive the continuous improvement we need.
Errors are inevitable. We will ship bugs. But we need a laser-like focus on getting the code right. How right? We have metrics; we know how many bugs the best and mediocre teams ship. Defect Removal Efficiency is a well-known metric used to evaluate quality of shipped code; it's the percentage of the entire universe of bugs found in a product that were removed prior to shipping (it's measured until 90 days after release). The very best teams, representing just 0.4% of the industry, eliminates over 99% of bugs pre-shipment. Most embedded groups only removed 95%.
Where does your team stand on this scale? Can one control quality if it isn’t measured?
We have metrics about defect injection rates, about where in the lifecycle they are removed, about productivity vs. any number of parameters and much more. Yet few teams collect any numbers.
Engineering without numbers isn’t engineering. It’s art.
Want to know more about metrics and quality in software engineering? Read any of Capers Jones’ books. They are dense, packed with tables of numbers, and sometimes difficult as the narrative is not engaging, but they paint a picture of what we can measure and how differing development activities effect errors and productivity.
Want to understand where the sometimes-overhyped agile methods make sense? Read Agile! by Bertrand Meyer and Balancing Agility and Discipline by Barry Boehm and Richard Turner.
Want to learn better ways to schedule a project and manage requirements? Read any of Karl Wiegers’ books and articles.
The truth is that we know of better ways to get great software done more efficiently and with drastically reduced bug rates.
When will we start?
Jack Ganssle has written over 1000 articles and six books about embedded systems, as well as one about his sailing fiascos. He has started and sold three electronics companies. He welcomes dialog at [email protected] or at www.ganssle.com.
Blockchain is an essential technological advancement, conceptualized in the year 2008. It has brought significant positive impact among many industries, including Banking, Real Estate, Healthcare, Education, Legal sector, and more. Through this article, we’ll understand the importance of blockchain technology and how it plays a vital role in revolutionizing the legal industry.
Importance of Blockchain Technology
It is a challenging task for law enforcement authorities to keep track of historical records and maintain all the legal documents manually. Blockchain technology has great potential to disrupt the legal industry. It helps lawyers to record and manage various types of legal matters. The secure and transparent nature of this technology serves a wide range of ledger-based activities, including court records, legal opinions, UCC filings, and more.
Let’s read-on following use cases to understand the impact of blockchain technology.
The legal industry is known for maintaining paper-based documentation work. Traditional contract systems are written with physical signatures, which require a significant amount of time to accomplish legal agreements. Manually written contracts are more prone to human-errors.
Smart contracts provide a secure and efficient platform for storing and accessing legal information. Blockchain technology can make the legal documentation process more accessible and transparent, thereby leaving no space for disputes. Moreover, Smart contracts enable blockchain to create a decentralized and automated ledger to record all the contractual transactions.
Intellectual Property (IP) Laws
Intellectual Property is undoubtedly one of the challenging fields of law practice. Matters such as Patents, copyrights, licensing, trademark law, are included in IP law practices. For instance: Copyright owners hold exclusive rights, and the commercial use of any copyrighted work without the permission of the owner is considered as an infringement.
Now imagine a bulk of such intellectual property (IP) to undergo manual administrative tasks and multiple reviews, which results in a time consuming and lengthy approval process. It involves the hassle of registering new IP, transfer ownership, and update filings.
Blockchain technology drives efficient operations and enhanced collaboration by reducing the time spent on administrative tasks and maintaining IP records accuracy. It also helps to streamline the anticipated process for searching the intellectual property.
Chain of Custody
In the legal industry, it is pervasive that the duration of many cases lasts for many years. And for this, the ability to validate evidence and proper documentation is very crucial. During the investigation process, the evidence which was found in the initial stage of a case may come out to be essential in later stages. So, if the chain of custody is documented accurately and regularly, it becomes easier for the legal authorities to locate vital information. Chain of custody contains paper-based documentation that involves human intervention and is vulnerable to human errors. Moreover, maintaining a large scale of literature can become a very cumbersome practice.
Blockchain technology provides a platform to transform the chain of custody procedures and helps legal authorities to make quick decisions. A crime evidence collector collects the pieces of evidence and uploads the related information to the blockchain network. This information gets distributed across every node, thereby removing the possibility of a single point of failure. Blockchain possesses immutable and auditable characteristics that protect historical records from the threat of modification from anyone. Hence, it helps law enforcement authorities to access real-time files of the information from anywhere, at any time.
Property management includes buying, selling, and renting real estate properties. The process involves signing a legal document for the ownership of the property or legal rights. As this field regards deeds, it contains tons of paper-work, ledgers, and more, and it has a relatively low rate of technological adoption. But the rise of Blockchain technology addresses such challenges by developing a system that can store data much more efficient and is lesser prone to tampering. It also helps to keep track of all the deed transfers to simplify the process for conveyances and liens. Automatic alert notifications from the system can even notify the registered property owner with events related to their property.
Notary services are essential for businesses, mortgages, and other payment settlement purposes. It provides two primary functions – authenticating document and signature certification via witness. Blockchain technology offers a unique digital identifier of independent timestamps for authenticating documents. The private and public keys identify the valid owner of the report.
Benefits Of Adopting Blockchain In The Legal Industry
- More Accessible: Legal Authorities can leverage blockchain technology to simplify and streamline their transactions and immutably store all the legal documents. It reduces a significant amount of time spent in preparing and maintain law documents by using smart contracts and automated contract management systems.
- Higher Transparency: Blockchain uses Distributed ledger technology (DLT), which records the transactions of assets digitally, making it accessible to all the parties. Hence, it makes the legal industry more transparent, leaving no space for misinterpretation.
- Cost-Effective: Blockchain technology offers an automated system that has replaced numerous manual tasks. It significantly reduces the time spent in drafting and amending legal documents. The introduction of smart contracts has reduced the cost of transactions between the parties. Moreover, the decrease in overall expenses increases the overall accessibility and demand for legal services.
As blockchain technology is maturing, legal professionals will continue to explore how more complex transactions can be moved to this technology. Adoption of Blockchain technology in the legal industry is the need of an hour. There are a lot of legal software options available with different features, and it is very imperative to choose the right software for legal document management based on your organizational needs.
Kubernetes is increasingly becoming the de-facto standard with more software & applications workloads moving into containers. Kubernetes has capture the cloud market by storm through the implementation of strong infrastructure development. It makes deploying and managing the app easier and improve reliability and reduce the time you need to spend on DevOps.
In today’s economy, most software businesses are looking to provide a new high-performing application along with a seamless customer experience. Kubernetes is one of the emerging platforms that enables companies to run and manage containerized applications globally. Before we deep dive into the details of Kubernetes lets understand first what it means.
What is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes (also known as k8s) is an open-source platform (developed by Google) for managing containerized applications across multiple servers, providing basic frameworks for deploying, maintaining, and scaling applications.
According to a report by Gartner, by 2022 more than 75 % organizations globally will be running containerized applications.
Kubernetes can run within the public cloud or on premise environment. Cloud computing service providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP provides managed solutions using Kubernetes that enable customers to start up K8s apps fast and operate efficiently.
Know more about CloudOps Services
So how Kubernetes is benefiting large enterprises?
Here are five primary business capabilities that are driven by Kubernetes and its benefits for large enterprises
- Faster app development/deployment
- Reducing resource costs
- Workload scalability
- Multi-cloud flexibility
- Effective cloud migration
1. Faster app development/deployment
Kubernetes makes use of micro-services as its primary key point for deploying the applications. Using Kubernetes, you can split the IT team into smaller teams, where one will be able to focus on smaller services, and these teams will be able to perform well as they focus on a particular functional area resulting into saving a lot of time.
The APIs among these micro services reduce the sum to build and deploy cross-team communications. You can easily scale-up or scale down the application as per the requirement. Kubernetes allows access to storage from different providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure and it helps to communicate faster between the containers.
2. Reducing IT and resources expenditures
If you are running a business on a large scale, Kubernetes will help you to reduce your infrastructure cost significantly. Integrating apps with your cloud and hardware resources, kubernetes makes a container-based architecture possible. The administrators of the application before Kubernetes often over-provisioned the infrastructure for handling unexpected spikes or simply just because it was not possible to handle such difficult situation manually and scale up the containerized application.
Kubernetes considers the available resources and smartly schedules and tightly packs the containers. If the users of an app or software increases then it automatically adds more processing power so that more users can be active, which ultimately helps your developers to focus on other productive activities.
3. Workload Scalability
As the containers are lightweight by design, and they can be created easily in seconds. It is easy to breakdown your application into individual components with their functions. Therefore, you can quickly scale up to help you respond immediately, e.g. an e-commerce app during festivals or sales experiences massive traffic and less during regular days. In such situations, what we need is a solution that will scale up the application when users are buying more goods and scale down when load decreases.
Kubernetes is not only helping in scaling up the infrastructure metrics but also helps in resource utilization metrics, and custom metrics to scale the process.
4. Effective cloud migration
Kubernetes is being adopted by all major enterprises for moving the app or web service to container-based cloud environment. The cloud infrastructure is not only stable but also scalable, and it also helps you in reducing operational stress and cost. Kubernetes provide easy and seamless rehosting of an app, or even if you want to make some changes, it can be done quickly and your app will run smoothly. Kubernetes provides flexibility for whatever changes you want to make in the application.
Kubernetes offers a more straightforward and customary way of transferring your application from on premise to cloud, as it runs through all scenarios reliably on premise and clouds like AWS, Azure, and GCP.
There are 3 predefined paths for migration of your app to Kubernetes:
- Migrating apps to Kubernetes on premise: In this process of migration, our focus is more on re-platforming your apps to containers and bringing them to the Kubernetes orchestration.
- Rehosting app: Rehosting is simply taking your app from one cloud and shifting it to Kubernetes cluster. There is no need to make any changes, and the app is just shifted as it is. It is the fastest way to migrate to Kubernetes.
- Refactoring: It involves re-architecturing the application for taking complete benefit of the cloud environment. Now that the application is on the cloud, the developer can make the changes as per the cloud environment and its service. It is the most advanced way of migration of an app to Kubernetes.
Get to know IoT Development services
5. Multi-cloud flexibility
With the help of Kubernetes it is easier for enterprises to run their applications or softwares on public cloud or any combination of either private or public cloud. As the project is 100% open source, it gives you more flexibility. You decide if you want help from the external experts to implement and maintain your Kubernetes services, and you can easily switch your services provider if it is not giving good service.
Today using Kubernetes it is possible to achieve multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud promises. A lot of companies already use and will continue to use a multi-cloud system in the near future.
Kubernetes makes it easier for enterprises who are running their apps on any public cloud service or with public or private cloud. Kubernetes is the best fit if you are using its dedicated features, and leveraging it for easy migration of the apps to improve your ROI.
The advent of Industry has marked the rise of IoT - the Internet of Things as one of the most significant shifts in the global devices market. It refers to the use of internet connectivity among the electric devices and systems to execute a joint function autonomously.
We can find an uncanny resemblance to this concept in the movie Home Alone 4 (2002), where the idea of a smart home fad was beautifully narrated with its pros and cons that will turn into a reality soon. Two decades down the line, we are on the brink of the IoT revolution, which will result in increasing the living standards globally. Dive in deeper to explore the current happenings and future horizons.
Current Market Scenario and the Probable Stakeholders
The potential of IoT applications is widely recognized by both enterprises, retail consumers, and government agencies as it will integrate the cyber-physical systems with internet connectivity in order to interact with the surrounding through sensors and manipulating devices. Business Insider estimates the value of this tech innovation to be $1.7 trillion in the year 2019. The use of the Internet of Things will reduce the need for human effort in various tasks and provide controlled environments for achieving the desired results.
The investment done by the tech giants is illustrated in the below figure:
Some Famous User Cases Which are Expected to Take off Exponentially
The companies like ABB, Airbus, Shell, and the long-term IoT pioneer Caterpillar have been proactively pushing for such innovations in building safer workplaces that require fewer human interactions in hazardous work, which is also beneficial to the profitability of the business. It will also find great reception in predictive maintenance scheduling and inventory management.
The businesses are looking forward to replacing the GPS in order to increase the efficiency of tracking company-owned devices through internet connectivity. This will also reduce the lags in logistics and provide accurate details for the consumables, as in the case of printers. Another example would be integrating the payroll software with the employee vehicles to reimburse traveling claims.
The use of IoT to develop smart greenhouse farms with autonomous controlled environments will prove to be a boon for the agriculture industry as it will help in boosting crop production. Smart irrigation will control the soil quality, moisture content, atmospheric gas contents, and monitor plant health without any human intervention. The farm equipment will also be controlled in greenhouse farms with minimal need for human support.
They are one of the largest areas where the revolution is expected to unravel the disruption in the electronic devices market. Google Nest, Ecobee, and Netatmo being the big fishes in the business. Everything including from your regular home appliances like fridge, television, ambiance and temperature control system, music system, and utilities are connected over the internet and controlled by remote servers. The user can interact with them using their smartphones. The house security is also connected with the central system.
The effect on Living Standards
When we look at the current scenario, many of these tasks, when automated, the people currently dealing with hazards related to their respective fields such as heavy machinery or agriculture can work in a much more safer environment. Smart homes will increase the quality of life and help households in saving money since energy consumption is streamlined while providing a luxurious experience. Businesses will experience higher profitability and increased morale of the employees owing to the techno-savvy environment.
The Development of Newer Devices through Prototyping
Before the application is made, it is essential to test the reliability of all the devices since they will be used under different conditions and other manufacturer’s devices too. Also, the addition of newer devices shall also be considered. The use of prototypes in test conditions will prove to be an economical alternative to full-fledged testing. This will include the use of sensors and motion actuation systems with minimal cosmetic additions and cladding.
The following considerations will affect the development of future-ready electronic gadgets compatible with IoT applications:
- Safety against web-based third-party cyber attacks.
- Modularized designs with programmable memories.
- Standardization of source code libraries to facilitate interoperability.
- Confirmation of regional government regulations.
- Operational conditions.
The modern tech innovations such as AI, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, and the dawn of 5G connectivity will push the IoT movement along with the use of advanced sensors. Increased computing capacities will also contribute to data processing functionalities. However, the stakeholders in the industry ranging from vendors to maintenance personnel will have to cope with the advances in the technological aspects. The Internet of Things is also expected to be backed by academic institutions by covering it in the syllabi for creating a skilled workforce.
The author would also like to discuss the threats associated, which would pose a danger for the users. If the security provided isn’t adequate, ransomware attacks, stealing user information, altering device settings to provoke hazardous conditions are some of the worst-case scenarios. Hence, the vendors shall be conscientious about the security aspects along with the legal repercussions.
Your Piece of the Pie
A lot of new facilities and value additions to the existing devices and tools will boost the quality of human life, curb the problems caused due to the dangerous working conditions along with the health problems caused by them. It will find a broad spectrum of business domains, including smart cars to intelligent healthcare that will radically redefine our homes and workplaces alike.
The real potential is yet to be explored since the number of gadgets and tools is increasing day by day in each aspect of life. Be it economic or social backdrops, we will experience cost-optimization going hands in hands with unparalleled convenience, which is a rare phenomenon so far. We can also expect the Internet of Things crossing paths with other advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, and Edge Computing that will add value to their purpose in an exponential manner.
How PKI & Embedded Security Can Help Stop Aircraft Cyberattacks
by August 27, 2019 by Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Systems, Sectigo
On July 30th, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) issued a security alert warning small aircraft owners about vulnerabilities that can be exploited to alter airplane telemetry. At risk to cyberattack, the aircraft’s Controller Area Network (CAN bus) connects the various avionics systems–control, navigation, sensing, monitoring, communication, and entertainment systems–that enable modern-day aircraft to safely operate. This includes the aircraft’s engine telemetry readings, compass and attitude data, airspeeds, and angle of attack; all of which could be hacked to provide false readings to pilots and automated computer systems that help fly the plane.
The CISA warning isn’t hypothetical, and the consequences of inaction could prove deadly. Airplane systems have already been compromised. In September 2016, a U.S. government official revealed that he and his team of IT experts had successfully remotely hacked into a Boeing 757 passenger plane as it sat on a New Jersey runway, and were able to take control of its flight functions. The year before, a hacker reportedly used vulnerabilities with the IFE (In Flight Entertainment) system to reportedly take control of flight functions, causing the airplane engines to climb.
The Boeing 757 attack was performed using the In-Flight Entertainment Wi-Fi network.
A researcher with security analytics and automation provider Rapid7 wrote about the security of CAN Bus avionics systems in a recent blog and discussed the challenge at this year’s DEFCON security conference. He explained, "I think part of the reason [the avionics sector is lagging in network security when it comes to CAN bus] is its heavy reliance on the physical security of airplanes . . . Just as football helmets may actually raise the risk of brain injuries, the increased perceived physical security of aircraft may be paradoxically making them more vulnerable to cyberattack, not less."
A False Sense of [Physical Access] Security
The DHS CISA warning stated, "An attacker with physical access to the aircraft could attach a device to an avionics CAN bus that could be used to inject false data, resulting in incorrect readings in avionic equipment.” CISA fears that, if exploited, these vulnerabilities could provide false readings to pilots, and lead to crashes or other air incidents involving small aircraft. Attackers with CAN bus access could alter engine telemetry readings, compass and attitude data, altitude, and airspeeds. Serious stuff.
Not all of these attacks required physical access.
These risks should serve as a wake-up call to everyone in manufacturing. Any device, system, or organization that controls operation of a system is at risk, and the threats can originate from internal or external sources. It’s critical for OEMs, their supply chains, and enterprises to include security and identity management at the device level and continually fortify their security capabilities to close vulnerabilities.
Security Solutions for Avionics Devices
Today’s airplanes have dozens of connected subsystems transmitting critical telemetry and control data to each other. Currently, tier-one suppliers and OEMs in aviation have failed to broadly implement security technologies such as secure boot, secure communication and embedded firewalls on their devices, leaving them vulnerable to hacking. While OEMs have begun to address these issues, there is much more to be done.
Sectigo offers solutions so that OEMs, their supply chains, and enterprises can take full advantage of PKI and embedded security technology for connected devices. Our industry-first end-to-end IoT Platform, made possible through the acquisition of Icon Labs, a provider of security solutions for embedded OEMs and IoT device manufacturers, can be used to issue and renew certificates using a single trust model that’s interoperable with any issuance model and across all supported devices, operating systems (OS), protocols, and chipsets.
Much like the automotive industry, the aviation sector has a very complex supply chain, and implementing private PKI and embedded security introduces interoperability challenges. With leading avionics manufacturers introducing hundreds of SKUs per year, maintaining hundreds of different secure boots within a single aircraft is complex, cumbersome, and ultimately untenable. Using a single homogenous secure boot implementation greatly simplifies the model.
Purpose-built PKI for IoT, such as the Sectigo IoT Manager, enables strong authentication and secure communication between devices within the airframe. Using PKI-based authentication prevents communication from unauthorized components or devices and will eliminate a broad set of attacks.
Embedded firewall technology provides an additional, critical security layer for these systems. This is particularly relevant for attacks such as the Boeing 757 attack via the airline Infotainment Wi-Fi Network. An embedded firewall provides support for filtering rules to prevent access from the Wi-Fi network to the control network.
Icon Labs embedded firewall has been has deployed in airline and automotive systems to address attacks such as these. In both instances, our embedded firewall sits on a gateway device in the vehicle or airplane to prevent unauthorized access from external networks or devices into the control network, or from the Infotainment network to the control network. We continue to see interest in this area, indicating manufacturers are beginning to act.
From Cockpits to Control Towers
Securing connected devices in aviation is not limited to airplanes. The industry requires secure communication between everything on the tarmac, from cockpits and control towers to provisioning vehicles and safety personnel. For that reason, Sectigo provides an award-winning co-root of the AeroMACS consortium, which addresses all broadband communication at airports across the world and calls for security using PKI certificates to be deployed into airplanes, catering trucks, and everything else on the tarmac.
Future Proofing with Crypto Agility
It’s worth noting that aviation is also uniquely challenged by the tenure of its components. Unlike devices that are designed to last for months or years, airplanes are designed to last for decades. Advances in quantum computing, which many experts believe is just around the corner, threaten to make today’s cryptographic standards obsolete. Aeronautical suppliers need to be prepared for this coming “crypto-apocalypse” and to update the security on their devices in the field while the devices are in operation. Sectigo’s over-the-air update abilities provide the cryptographic agility to guard against this upcoming crypto-apocalypse (listen to the related Root Causes podcast).
The ecosystem has fast work to do. Manufacturers must secure the CAN buses in their existing, and future fleets – whether those planes idle on fenced tarmacs, or in airplane hangars. In the meantime, CISA counsels that aircraft owners restrict access to planes avionics' components "to the best of their abilities,” leaving passengers to hope security soon extends beyond their TSA experiences.
Read this blog online at https://sectigo.com/blog/how-pki-and-embedded-security-can-help-stop-aircraft-cyberattacks
Let's be honest. Numerous individuals are resistant to technological changes in both their own lives and at the workplace. However, what they regularly need is the vision to perceive how the new technology they are opposing will improve their lives later on.
Blockchain has risen out to turn into the best game-changer for worldwide businesses. Upcoming and budding business people have understood the genuine capability of the blockchain. One of the most excited and discussed technology in the business world right now is Blockchain technology. More than 25 Industry sections have understood the genuine capability of this technology and keenly look forward to relating with the right technology partner.
Bitcoin, and the blockchain technology behind it, didn't disrupt the world as was at first idea when Satoshi Nakamoto published his invention in 2009. More recently, in any case, the blockchain has turned out to be one of the most generally discussed buzzwords, in the payment industry as well as over various industries. Truth be told, some accept that blockchain technology could eventually be more vital than the web.
Industries that are evolving Blockchain Technology
The first application of blockchain technology is digital cash like Bitcoin. The capability of blockchain technology lies in its versatility for a wide assortment of blockchain applications and use cases across many industries. Take a look at industries that blockchain is ready to disrupt:
Ironically banks are currently beginning to grasp blockchain technology, even though cryptocurrencies were first made to wipe out the reliance and trust on monetary intermediaries. Banks play an intermediary to a pack of financial services over the world, and blockchain technology banking will change the idea of numerous daily bank tasks throughout the following decade.
By utilizing blockchain, transferring assets between two parties that are situated on opposite sides of the world work as though they were directly nearby to one another. Blockchain technology in banking could likewise help banks move currency inside their organizations. Banks could build up their own managed cryptocurrencies to replace traditional dollars.
The specialists expressed that the blockchain in the manufacturing business sector is anticipated to be worth around $30 million by 2020, and the market will keep on developing at a yearly development rate of 80 percent, to $566 million by 2025. Other real cryptographic money markets like Japan and South Korea have been empowering the development of blockchain in manufacturing technology and usage of decentralized systems across different businesses.
3. Industry Applications
Since blockchain technology is encrypted and decentralized, it is in effect broadly investigated for building up such platforms to encourage distributed and business communications. Starting today, the tide of time is by all accounts for decentralized and encrypted messaging applications. For example, Telegram, one such encoded application for messaging, is settling the adoption of blockchain industry applications for different purposes.
4. Blockchain in Food Industry
Imagine you could follow the source of your food like a minute or if you could check if the natural products you bought were really natural. This could really occur sooner rather than later, with blockchain technology set to make its debut in the food business.
Blockchain can help in many ways of view through:
Food safety: Blockchain helps in making the food supply chain transparent and furthermore engages the chain to know about any food safety disasters. This is one reason why associations like Unilever and Nestle are thinking about utilizing blockchain technology. By utilizing it, buyers would most likely follow the causes of specific products to prove their credibility.
Preventing Fraud: It would likewise help in preventing fraud if the information gathered is free of any human error. Actualizing blockchain would help in preventing these issues. It would likewise help in distinguishing the offender if a culprit is made.
Simpler and Quicker Payment: Blockchain would accelerate the payment procedure. It would help farmers in selling more and being repaid appropriately as the market information would be readily available. It could likewise prevent the occurrence of retroactive payments and price intimidation.
What is Litecoin? Litecoin is a blockchain-based decentralized digital cryptocurrency same as Bitcoin. Lіtесоіn is an Open source global payment network and рееr-tо-рееr сrурtосurrеnсу software project released under MIT/X11 lісеnѕеѕ which allows non-zero-cost payments in a globe.
Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin having the same encryption technology to create and transfer funds to authorize the transaction. In Litecoin, ledgers store all information and once its transaction is confirmed, it can’t be deleted or even modified. People who are interested in cryptocurrency investment other than Bitcoin and Ethereum, Litecoin will be a popular choice.
Due to availability and lesser price, it is called as “Silver” cryptocurrency and Bitcoin is “Gold” cryptocurrency.
“If Bitcoin is Gold then Litecoin is Silver”
Also Read: What Is Bitcoin And How It Works
Birth of Litecoin
Bitcoin is created by an Ex-Google employee Charlie Lee on October 7, 2011, and got live in a network on October 13, 2011, with the vision of creating a lighter version of Bitcoin. Charlie Lee is one of the top active people on different social media’s and Blogs.
Benefits of Litecoin
Litecoin has fast processing speed likely every block is processed in 2.5 minutes means 4x faster than bitcoin and this is the main goal, to reduce the timing of block confirmation so that more transactions can take place. It clearly means that in a single day 14, 400 Litecoins are being mined. Its algorithm is difficult to crack.
Litecoin is having huge market growth. On December 18, 2017, Litecoin touched too high and it was almost $360.93. As compared to the price in the year 2016, it was $4.40 it means almost 8200% growth in one year.
The Scrypt Algorithm used by Litecoin is difficult to crack due to its proof-of-work model. It confirms a secure and faster transaction. Litecoin is a digital cryptocurrency if we compared the processing fees of Litecoin that is lesser than other bank transfer and credit card.
Litecoin works on Blockchain Technology, so it records all the information and stores it permanently and also confirms the information is distributed to all peers in the network. Litecoin works in p2p connections as a result of no need of middle person or server due to this it reduces the cost of the transaction. The transaction speed of Litecoin is faster as compared to Bitcoin. As a result, a transaction takes lesser time and is secure that is why transaction fees are less and cheaper.
The Difference of Litecoin and Bitcoin
Both Bitcoin and Litecoin work on the proof-of-work algorithm. But the difference is, Bitcoin uses the SHA256 algorithm whereas Litecoin works on a newer Scrypt Hashing algorithm.
The Number of Coins that Each Cryptocurrency Can Produce:
In Bitcoin, one transaction added in the ledger takes 10 minutes where Litecoin, having the fastest speed to confirm one transaction in 2.5 minutes. A total of 84 million Litecoins will be created and presently 61 million Litecoin is created in Litecoin’s Algorithm and it has a 4-times max capacity than Bitcoin. Due to the faster speed, Litecoin produces max coins as compared to Bitcoin.
A Bitcoin network will exceed a maximum of 21 million coins, whereas Litecoin can billet up to 84 million coins.
The real-world importance of these algorithms are impacted by the process of mining new coins. Both cryptocurrencies need substantial computing power to confirm transactions. SHA-256 is usually reflected to be a complex algorithm than Scrypt, while at the same time allowing a greater degree of parallel processing.
Bitcoin’s market capitalization is more than $67 billion, whereas Litecoin’s market capitalization is below $3 billion.
Future of Litecoin in Crypto Market:
Litecoin is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of more than $12 billion dollars. The price of Litecoin was always higher in the crypto market
The value of Litecoin saw a committed and increasing dangerous run at the start of 2019. The market capital of Litecoin in the year 2019 originated with 200 percent higher and that also in only 6 months.
Investors who want to trade for longterm in cryptocurrency are having a choice of Litecoin with the goal to acquire max profit.
Litecoin’s price was $4 in March 2017 to a high of $320 in less than a year, providing 80x returns to its investors.
How to Buy or Purchase LTC:
Step 1: Create an account (From any official Website)
Step 2: Verify your identity
Step 3: Get a Litecoin wallet
Step 4: Find an exchange that sells Litecoin
Step 5: Deposit money and make the trade
Facebook has finally discovered plans for a cryptocurrency referred to as Libra, one in all the worst-kept secrets within the history of virtual cash.
On June 18, The Biggest Social media Facebook has released its long-awaited white paper for cryptocurrency and blockchain-based financial infrastructure projects.
Libra, the new cryptocurrency will launch soon in next year and will be known as a stablecoin-Called Libra, the new currency will launch as soon as next year and be what’s known as a stablecoin — a digital currency that is supported by established government-backed currencies and securities. The objective is to avoid fluctuation in values. Libra will be used on facebook owns apps like Whatsapp, Messenger, and other standalone apps. This new digital currency will be linked to a basket of other top currencies like the US dollar and euro and as compared to other currency it will be cheaper and easier to transmit money. As per the latest news the currency plan to launch the Libra In the first half of the next year.
As of now, almost every single person is having a mobile phone but not everyone is having a bank account and the mission of Libra is to create a simple global financial infrastructure to empower billions of people around the world.
Marcus, who runs Facebook Messenger aid Facebook plans to create a replacement digital wallet that will exist within Messenger and its different standalone electronic messaging service, WhatsApp. Once Libra is up and running, the currency and also the digital wallet ought to create it easier for individuals to send cash to friends, family, and businesses through the apps.
If Libra is successful-Libra can make Facebook the biggest player in financial services.- Presently, Including Facebook and its family apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, there are 2.7 billion users and Libra could bring billions of peoples in the digital financial system allowing them to bounce costly banking infrastructure and avoid smaller, volatile currencies.
Facebook made the Libra the Nonprofit association and will be governed by a not-for-profit, Switzerland-based consortium — the “Libra Association” with its other 27 partners and its developers. This partnership involves nonprofit organizations, crypto firms, venture capital firms, telecommunication and technology and payment service providers like Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, stripe and Visa eBay, farfetch, Lyft, Spotify, Uber, Kiva, Mercy Corps and Women’s world banking, Anchorage, Coinbase, Xapo, and Bison Trails.
The total variety of Libra will amendment, and new digital coins will be issued whenever somebody desires to exchange their Libra for an existing fiat currency that the value shouldn’t fluctuate to any extent further than alternative stable currencies, consistent with David Marcus, head of the Facebook blockchain team that’s spearheading the project.
Libra is built in blockchain technology which is decentralized-means it will run by many different organizations instead of just one. It available for those having an active internet connection and has low fees and cost and it is secure by cryptography which helps keep your money safe.
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:
- Living bits and Things https://www.livingbitsandthings.com/ in Bled (Eslovenia), during 17th and 18th June 2019.
- IoT Tech Expo Europe - https://www.iottechexpo.com/europe/ in Amsterdam (Netherland) during 19th and 20th June 2019
- IoT Week – in Aarhus (Denmark) during 17th-21th June 2019.
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.
Mobile applications are getting popular among the businesses and customers alike by each day. The reason behind the growth of mobile application lies in the usability it offers on smart devices. With the invention of smartphones and the introduction to the internet, everything has become accessible on the fingertips and mobile applications play a major role in doing so.
As there millions and billions of application available on the global platform and new ones are being launched every day, it has started facilitating more ease of use as it supports every single requirement of the users. Starting from ordering food and buying clothes to facilitating handymen services on your demands, the applications are taking over the global market and hence are becoming the center of attraction. As the technology keeps on introducing newer concepts to facilitate better usability with passing time, Internet of Things (IoT) has gained the attention of many and is facilitating the things that were once only to be imagined.
Internet of Things (IoT) basically revolves around automating the general tasks done by the machines and getting them controlled from the devices located far away or nearby from the machines by getting them connected all together. It has facilitated the automatic home safety systems which were once imagined by the people that a single press of a button can control the entire house and the things in it which have been successfully facilitated by the IoT now.
Role of Mobile Applications
However, the question arises as to how mobile applications are related to IoT and its applications. A mobile application can work as a remote on the users' devices and allow them to control the things. Yes, as in IoT we are considered about controlling the machines and their behaviors, the requirement of building software rises as the software can control the machines by instructing them in their understandable language which is of 0's and 1's. (Binary)
Hence, mobile applications play the role of an instructor which acts as per users' demands and allow them to control the machines efficiently. As time keeps on flying, there are many new inventions being introduced in the market which are based on the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) and support and enhance the user experience by facilitating the needs of users answered through providing the control over things.
IoT Helps in Reducing Development Time
Not only mobile applications help IoT but also, the favor is returned equivalently from the Internet of Things. With the newer concepts and their implementations in the digital market, the mobile app development company is being supported by IoT as it can automate the application development process. Yes, it reduces pretty much time taken after developing a single application and allows the developers to develop more applications and work on updating existing ones. Supporting the development of mobile applications, IoT has increased the chances of getting an application developed more efficiently in less time and working excellently to deliver the better user experience.
Expanding the Limits
Having the mobile application to control the devices using IoT, it expands the limits and scope of IoT itself and mobile applications also and helps in serving the users better. With a single IoT interface available to control many devices, it helps in providing multiple facilities all in a single screen. This leads to encouragement to the concepts of smart cities, smart homes, and smart grids and many more.
Therefore, the applications here are extended to serve the users better by providing an interface to facilitate the control over each device connected with the smartphones and enhance the experience through the applications. Making the devices connected to the smartphones with the help of wi-fi, Bluetooth or any other wireless network source is what these applications primarily perform and allow the application to control those devices being connected and coded to follow the instructions built in the application.
As smartphones are connected with the devices being controlled, the applications used for controlling the devices and supporting IoT can send push notifications to the users to notify on the status of the connected devices and also alarm if an emergency situation comes. Therefore, the notifications can be sent to the users anytime and they are notified with the status and important information through the application.
Internet of Things has been expanding its reach to many users with the introduction of smart devices like fitness bands and it also indicates that the users out there are keeping the smart devices more and more near to them and hence want the notifications to reach them as soon as possible and even when they are away from the actual device being controlled. IoT has surely taken over the global market by connecting the devices and continuously keeping the users updated.
IoT Does Require Sensors
IoT enabled devices uses the sensors to sense the change in atmosphere around them and use it to perform a certain action or notify the users through the application. The sensors being used here are of the smartphones or the devices being used and are controlled by the application or software developed as an IoT interface. Hence, applications play a pivotal role in IoT as it enhances and redefines the control over things and allows easier handling.
Hence, mobile applications have played a major role in enabling better control through IoT as the users can get access to IoT enabled devices with simple connectivity and an application from anywhere. Owing to mobile applications, IoT has also contributed its best to automate the process of development. However, there are certain concerns over IoT that still remain unanswered.
As the applications have gained control over things and are continuously collecting and making use of the data, there poses a high risk of a data breach through the network as the devices are connected with each other wirelessly. The privacy and security of users' data are the primary concerns here when a mobile application takes part in the picture. Therefore, implementing the required strategies and encryption techniques to protect the data of users becomes important. As IoT technology is still evolving there is hope to find answers to all the questions related to the security of the data in the near future.
Guest post by Jason English, Principal Analyst, Intellyx
Surely you’ve caught some of the excitement about drones for enterprise use. Packages and communications delivered to the world by these ultimately mobile IoT fliers. Heavy VC investment in commercial and supply chain drone applications could drive this sector to be worth as much as $13 billion by 2020.
We all remember Amazon teasing a drone-delivery future in this now-famous ad from 5 years ago. But there’s no way the online retailer will corner this game. Expect drone delivery research to advance quickly at leading transportation firms like FedEx, UPS and DHL. Uber Eats might even have drones fly over some sushi for engineers too busy for lunch.
But could drones possibly become passé for widespread business use before they can even get out of the hangar?
Drones are the ultimate IoT play for enterprise
Of all the interesting ‘things’ in the commercial IoT continuum, from geo-location tags in trucks and packages, to remote cameras, factory robots, smart sensors and controls, power meters, wearables and medical devices, nothing captures our imagination quite like a drone.
In a sense, drones can let our productive work ‘slip the surly bonds of earth,’ with the ability to move anything, and see anything, almost anywhere in the world. It gives businesses a flock of birds to command, rather than the two-dimensional constraints of surface dwelling gadgets and robots.
Take the telecommunications industry. The ability to dispatch a maintenance drone to inspect and verify the equipment on a relay tower can save a human technician a risky and time-consuming day trip up the pole for a visual inspection, improving service efficiency while reducing insurance premiums.
In many cases, the drones are even replacing telco network infrastructure themselves, maintaining a tethered position to provide communication services or wi-fi coverage services to the ground below, especially in emergency outage conditions. Facebook killed its ambitious Aquila project to expand global internet access last year, but that isn’t stopping other regional and private drone network programs.
For oil and gas, or just about any industry that involves surveying or inspection, the value of drones with advanced cameras is self-evident. Real estate firms now commonly provide dramatic flyover footage of for-sale properties, for epic establishing shots, without the epic budget.
Big agriculture is getting in on the game, exploring inspecting, seeding and possibly even spraying or weeding large crop fields with unmanned farmer drones.
And of course, for logistics and delivery services, the needle is moving. A UPS pilot program employed drones atop trucks to more efficiently handle actual doorstep delivery of packages, potentially saving the cost of untold hours of truck drivers stopping and getting out of their brown van for each package.
Are drones a nuisance, or a security menace?
I recall swimming on the serene shores of Lake Kachess here in Washington a few years ago with family and friends, miles from civilization and its accompanying noises, when an electric-razor whirring sound broke the spell of nature. A hobbyist from another campsite was buzzing us.
The kids thought it was pretty cool, but I didn’t appreciate it. What if it runs out of batteries, or flies out of range of the controller while overhead?
As drones started dropping to consumer-friendly price points, I started seeing ‘No Drones Allowed’ signs in National Park sites like Sedona, Arizona, Crater Lake, Oregon, and at Snoqualmie Falls near my house (the site famous for the ‘Twin Peaks’ show exteriors). Certainly a few disruptive drone hobbyists caused such a response.
In entertainment, drones are often associated with less-than-desirable government uses of military and surveillance activity. Hollywood films often place spy drones in the employ of authoritarian antagonists and put killer drones under the joystick of covert operations teams.
With the miniaturization of electronics and ever-improving transmitter capabilities in a lightweight package, many drones have also proven easily hackable, and detailed specifications and software mods are readily available on the Dark Web for the mischievous.
Drones are also quite effective as mobile hacking platforms — in essence they are flying laptops after all. Drones can remotely sniff for network packets without a hacker needing to step onto the target’s corporate campus.
Not the best PR for this category of IoT devices.
Flying through FAA guidelines
Fortunately, the FAA has been closely regulating and tracking the use of drones (or UAS – ‘Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ as they call them) from the start, and have implemented measures such as a 5-mile ‘no fly zone’ for drones around sites such as airports, and requiring any operator of a drone more than 0.55 pounds (most of them) get a specific license to fly.
Clearer guidelines certainly help, and lead to more responsible use of the technology. For their part, the FAA says they don’t want to inhibit innovation and commercial use of UAS, and based on news in drone industry journals like InterDrone, the agency is partnering with business operators to consider input on guidelines for situations such as night flight and flying over people.
Who’s Taking Down Drones?
I didn’t know this before I started writing this story, but it is actually illegal to shoot down drones in the United States — even if they venture onto private property — as much as I would expect some sort of ‘Castle Law’ to allow it in this gun-lobby-controlled nation. Drones are afforded the protections due any other commercial aircraft under Federal law.
So, short of the shotgun approach, who is taking down drones today?
- Regulators. Most democratic nations seem to be fast-tracking commercial use approvals, in order to encourage additional innovation in the space and stay up to speed with the rest of the world. That said, expect new rules and licensing guidelines to develop.
- Hackers. Certainly the strongest threat to commercial use of drones lies in the ability for determined saboteurs to intercept or interrupt control of these devices, which are optimized for performance and range, rather than encryption and security.
- Organized Labor. Remember that UPS drone pilot program? Well-organized workers took issue with having much of their work automated by drones. Companies will need to consider the human side of their existing business when implementing drone programs.
- Eagles. Yes, Dutch law enforcement officials developed a program to use the actual birds of prey, not the classic rock band, to snatch suspicious drones right out of the sky and ground them. How cool is that?
The Intellyx Take
Setting all the fun toys, military stigma, and regulation uncertainty aside, I expect commercial drones to become rather commonplace in the next five years, working alongside us — or, above us.
As drone technology improves, production costs will come down, while better sensors, IoT cybersecurity measures, and even onboard AI will come into play to make them a safer and situationally aware part of the automated fabric of many companies.
They’ll never be right for every kind of work though. Drones will need to expand and enhance the abilities of our human workforce to maintain strong support in the enterprise. In the end, businesses will still need to perform an objective cost-benefit analysis to determine where drones are best fit for purpose.
Then, let ‘em fly. Just don’t tell Rambo the Drone-Killing Ram.
©2019 Intellyx LLC. Sharing or reprint of this work, edited for length with attribution is authorized, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. At the time of this writing, none of the companies mentioned above are Intellyx customers. Image credits: No Drone Zone, Cococino National Forest; Drone, Witolt Wacshut; CC 2.0 license, Flickr.
There is no overstatement in the saying that that Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping business processes and workplaces in a never-before way. Connected devices are increasingly pushing the boundary of innovation for the enterprises and industries of all niches. Thanks to these connected devices and a huge upsurge of IOT mobile app development, consumers are being benefited most through frictionless user experience.
No wonder in the fact that the IoT software development is exploding with all possibilities and promises. Just like ever before, the market is brimming with a whole array of scalable, feature-rich, secure and user-optimized connected solutions that are transforming the way we interact with devices and use software solutions at the workplace.
In spite of such huge promise and possibilities, IOT software and app development faces some hefty and crucial challenges that developers of the present-day need to be aware of. Here we are going to explain some of these challenges in brief.
- Operating System (OS) Considerations
The first technical challenge and pulling factor that IOT app development companies need to deal with is the consideration of the operating system of the devices. Since IOT devices have mostly shorter memory capacity and a single track operational capacity, developers need to approach the development challenges for such devices in a different way than with the desktop solutions. The developers need to pick an OS that perfectly fits the device capability and the objective of the application.
As of now, most of the IOT developers surveyed for their OS preferences have clearly chosen Linux. Linux according to most IOT developers, offers the perfect OS for IOT devices with a lot of memory constraints, microcontrollers, and IOT gateways.
- Selecting the Gateways
The gateways in the IOT landscape plays the most critical role by connecting almost all the constituent elements ranging from connectivity protocols like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, ports, IOT sensors, cloud systems, etc. Naturally, for the whole IOT ecosystem gateways really play the mission-critical role.
When it comes to the choice of appropriate gateways for your IOT application, you have several well-known choices from renowned technology companies like Dell, Nexcom, Intel, etc. These gateway providers as if now are proved to be highly effective for end number of applications. Some of the key aspects that you need to consider in gateways include the particular specifications for the network, supporting development environment, power rating, memory capacity, etc.
- Security & Privacy
One of the key aspects that IOT app developers should give utmost priority is the app security and privacy. The security here not just refers to the network security but practically security of every different component. As IOT devices penetrate the personal spaces of the users, they are often vulnerable to misuse and breaching of data security through cyber-attacks.
Maintaining optimum data security and safeguarding privacy are two aspects that always remained to be the contentious areas for the IOT app developers worldwide. Let us have a closer look at various security aspects of an IOT app.
- Data Exchange Security: The data generated through an IOT app through the IoT sensors and devices pass through the gateway and is finally stored at the cloud server. To ensure optimum security to this data it is important to use encryption for safeguarding the data.
- Physical Security: The IoT devices unlike other computing devices are normally used in private and remain unattended most of the times. This is why they remain vulnerable to a lot of security threats from hackers at the device level.
- Cloud Storage Security: A cloud storage solution normally remains secure from threats and intrusions. Even then, the developers of the IOT apps need to make sure that the data in cloud storage remain safe and secure.
- Privacy Updates: To protect the privacy of the user data processed and fetched by IoT devices, there need to be certain compliance rules. For instance, all fitness tracker devices collect user data on the basis of HIPAA guidelines. Such regulations and compliance standards basically safeguard the privacy of the user data.
- Network Connectivity
The quintessential aspect of IOT app development is the fast and real-time data transmission between the device and the IOT gateway and the gateway to the cloud server. Poor connectivity will only render most of the critical app features to be ineffective. The connectivity issues and server breakdown still remain to be the major problems for too many IOT devices.
Actually, connectivity remains to be the first and foremost area of importance for connected devices that work hand in hand with gateways and cloud platforms. For meeting this challenge corresponding to connectivity with appropriate measures, the app design and device app environment play an important role. The connectivity solution should be considered as per the device constraints and capacities.
- User-Optimized App Design
Another major focus area for IOT app development should be on the app design. The app design should be thoroughly intuitive and user-focused so that the users do not need to study manuals for using an IOT device. Even for industrial IOT devices, simple and clean design is extremely important to ensure faster decision making and visualization of the data. In this respect, close and mutually reciprocating cooperation between the developers and designers is a must for building IOT apps. Some of the key attributes that design inputs should ensure include the following.
- Safe and secure user authentication
- Frictionless transition across devices and applications
- Personalized user experience based on user behavior and preferences
- A consolidated IOT environment comprising all the elements in the pipeline.
- Cross-Platform Deployment
Last but not least of all the major challenges that IOT app developers must deal with is deploying the app across multiple OS platforms. Since the IOT ecosystem comprises of a variety of device architectures, protocols, and operating systems, the app should be built to fit with all these variables for a seamless and efficient performance. This is why experts of international organizations such as the Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have already come up with explicit cross-platform development standards and architecture models to help smooth deployment across multiple OS platforms.
In spite of the overwhelming growth of the IOT applications and the ecosystem of connected devices, there is a multitude of challenges that the IOT app developers need to encounter regularly. By focusing on these challenges beforehand, they can at least take appropriate precautionary steps to ensure optimum quality and efficient output.
A new wave of technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), is transforming cities into smart cities. Many of these cities are building innovation labs and zones as part of their new civic landscape. Smart city innovation labs are vital components of the smart city ecosystem (Figure One). They provide an organized structure for cities, communities, experts, and vendors to come together to create solutions. Successful solutions piloted in smart city innovation labs are then scaled and deployed into a city’s operations and infrastructure.
Figure One. Strategy of Things Smart City Ecosystem Framework.
Develop a well defined innovation sandbox. Every smart city innovation lab has an unique mission. That mission is specific to its community, capabilities, priorities, and surrounding ecosystem. However, it is easy to get distracted and work on the “next shiny object”, vanity projects and “me too” innovation pilots. These projects don’t add value, but take resources and focus away from the problems the lab was created to address.
Build innovation discipline and focus by defining a “sandbox” from the start and updating it annually. The innovation sandbox defines clearly what types of projects are in-scope and which ones are not. The criteria includes alignment with city or department priorities, problem set type, problem owner(s) or sponsors, budget availability, cost, resource requirements, and organizational jurisdiction.
Create procurement policies and processes for innovation projects. Innovation pilots fall outside the “sandbox” municipal procurement processes and policies operate in. These pilots may work with start-ups with limited operating history, use immature and evolving technology, or bought in non-traditional ways (“as a service”, loans, etc.). This mismatch leads to higher risks, extra work and long sourcing times. Due to this, many vendors choose not to work with cities.
Effective smart city innovation labs are agile and responsive. They employ new procurement policies and practices designed specifically for the unique needs of innovation projects. This includes simplified processes and compliance requirements, new risk management approaches, faster payment cycles and onboarding models.
Build a well defined plan for every innovation project. Many innovation pilots are “successful” during the pilot phase, but fail during the scaling phase. This is because the pilots were not fully thought out at the start. Some test a specific technology or solution, and not the approaches. Others test the wrong things (or not enough of the right things). Some are tested in conditions that are not truly reflective of the environment it will be deployed into. Still others don’t test extensively enough, or over a sufficient range of conditions.
Successful projects in smart city innovation labs involve extensive planning, cross-department collaboration, and a comprehensive review process throughout its lifecycle. They have well defined problem statements. They define a targeted and measurable outcome, a detailed set of test requirements and specific success criteria. While innovation projects contain uncertainty, minimize project execution uncertainties with “tried and true” project management plans and processes.
Continuously drive broad support for the lab. A successful civic innovation lab thrives on active support, collaboration and engagement from stakeholders across the civic ecosystem. However, many city departments and agencies operate in silos. Launching and having an innovation lab doesn’t mean that everyone knows about it, actively funnel projects to it, or support and engage with it.
Successful smart city innovation labs proactively drive awareness, interest and support from city leaders, agencies, and the community. This includes success stories, progress updates, technology briefings and demonstrations, project solicitations, and trainings. They engage with city and agency leaders regularly, host lab open houses and community tours. They conduct press and social media awareness campaigns. Regardless of the “who, how and what” of the outreach, the key is to do it regularly internally and externally.
Measure the things that matter - outcomes. There are many metrics that an innovation lab can be measured on. These range from the number of projects completed, organizations engaged, number of partnerships, investments and expenses, and so on. Ultimately, the only innovation lab metric that truly matters is to be able to answer the following question - “what real world difference has the lab made that justifies its continuing existence and funding?”.
All innovation lab projects focus on solving the problem at hand. It must quantify the impact of any solutions created. For example, many cities are monitoring air quality. A people counting sensor, mounted alongside an air quality sensor, quantifies the number of people impacted. Any corrective measures developed as a result of this project can now point to a quantifiable outcome.
Build an innovation partner ecosystem. A smart city innovation lab cannot address the city’s innovation needs by itself. A city is a complex ecosystem comprising multiple and diverse domains. Technologies are emerging and evolving rapidly. New digital skills, from software programming to data science, are required to build and operate the new smart city.
Successful smart city innovation labs complement their internal capabilities and resources by building an ecosystem of strategic and specialist partners and solutions providers, and subject matter experts. These partners are identified ahead of time, onboarded and then brought in on an as-needed basis to support projects and activities as needed. This model requires the lab to build strong partnership competence, processes, policies and the appropriate contract vehicles. In addition, the lab must continuously scan the innovation ecosystem, identify and recruit new partners ahead of the need.
Test approaches, not vendors or solutions. Real world city problems are complex. There is no magic “one size fits all” solution. For example, smart parking systems use sensor based and camera based approaches. In some cases, both approaches work equally well. In other cases, one or the other will work better. A common innovation mistake is to only test one approach or fall in love with a specific vendor solution and draw a generalized conclusion.
Effective innovation lab projects focus on testing various approaches (not vendors) in order to solve problems effectively. Given the rapid pace of technology evolution, take the time to identify, test and characterize the various solution approaches instead.
Employ a multi-connectivity smart city strategy. There are many options for smart city connectivity. These include, but not limited to cellular 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, LoRaWAN, SigFox, NB-IoT and Bluetooth, and so on. Use cases and solutions are now emerging to support these options. However, some smart city technologies in the marketplace work on one, while others work on more. There is no “one size fits all” connectivity method that works everywhere, every time, with everything.
To be effective, smart city innovation labs need to support several of these options. The reality is that there is not enough information to know which options work best for what applications, and when. What works in one city or region, may not work in another. Pilot projects test a possible solution, as well as the connectivity approach to that solution.
Make small innovation investments and spread them around. Open an innovation lab and a long line of solutions vendors will show up. Everyone has a potential solution that will solve a particular problem. Some of these solutions may even work. Unfortunately, there is not enough budget to look at every solution and solve every problem.
Focus on making smaller, but more investments around several areas. Overinvesting in one vendor or one approach, in a market where technologies are immature and still evolving, is not wise. Invest enough to confirm the pilot outcomes. A more detailed evaluation of the various solutions and vendors should be made when the pilot moves out of the innovation lab and into a formal procurement and RFP phase.
Simplify administrative and non-innovation workloads. While innovation pilot projects are challenging, interesting and even fun, administering and managing the projects are not. These unavoidable tasks range include managing inbound requests, proposals and ongoing projects. These tasks increasingly consume time and resources away from the core innovation activities.
Effective smart city innovation labs get ahead of this by organizing, simplifying and automating administrative activities right from the start. For example, SMC Labs reviews inbound proposals once a week and organizes follow up calls and meetings on a specific day once every two weeks. In addition, the lab uses a tracking and pilot management tool (Urban Leap) to track innovation projects. Administrative and management activities are unavoidable. However, advanced planning and tools help reduce the burden to keep the lab's focus on innovation.
Benson Chan is an innovation catalyst at Strategy of Things, helping cities become smarter and more responsive through its innovation laboratory, research and intelligence, consulting and acceleration (execution) services. He has over 25 years of scaling innovative businesses and bringing innovations to market for Fortune 500 and start-up companies. Benson shares his deep experiences in strategy, business development, marketing, product management, engineering and operations management to help IoTCentral readers address strategic and practical IoT issues.
According to global management consulting firm Bain & Company, long-term prospects for the industrial Internet of Things remain ambitious. However, many executives are resetting timeline expectations for reaching scale due to early adoption struggles. Notably, certain “darlings of IoT” like predictive maintenance have not lived up to the hype. And while Bain’s survey of 600 industrial customers shows increasing traction with ‘workhorse’ scenarios like remote monitoring and asset tracking, it exposes areas where many teams and vendors are struggling to deliver the goods. In the end, an iterative strategy focused on specific business outcomes remains critical.
Notably, Bain’s survey finds increasing concerns around integration with existing enterprise systems and data portability. Executives worry their visions for digital transformation will be restricted by internal skill gaps and proprietary vendor services. Understandably, they fear losing control of any data not managed by their own enterprise IT departments. Despite this, confidence remains high that an estimated 20 billion devices will be successfully connected by 2020.
Many executives feel the value proposition for industrial IoT is still emerging. For them, the ability to capitalize on this value and achieve better business results remains elusive. To address these challenges, Bain calls for organizations to build a new operating model and position themselves for long-term success in a connected world.
Recommendations for accelerating IoT adoption in the enterprise
First, Bain recommends industrial organizations choose specific, high-value use cases to tackle upfront. Prove out your ability to address security and other valid IT concerns. Then, adopt an iterative approach for demonstrating ROI and ease of enterprise integration.
Second, use experienced partners to address your gaps. Don’t try building everything yourself. Differentiation comes from the combination of acquired data with your industry-specific domain knowledge. We’ve seen manufacturing digital transformation initiatives stall out when internal engineering teams try to build their own IoT infrastructure. Software for collecting data (and system integration services) can be bought. Build your value, not your tools.
Third, don’t expect overnight success. You’re building up organizational capabilities and working with a new set of specialized partners. Commit to a realistic investment timeline and prepare for change. You’ll likely need to bring in new, more entrepreneurial talent to drive your connected business model. At a minimum, empower your existing teams to think differently. Remember, you’re not rolling out a new CRM application. You’re transforming your enterprise. Act accordingly.
Fourth, industrial IoT revenue starts at the top. Executives must ensure the entire organization is aligned for transition to the new operating model. This requires both vision and clear communication. Unsurprisingly, those responsible for existing products and revenue streams fear cannibalization. Furthermore, IoT initiatives take time to meet traditional P&L requirements. If executives don’t create an environment where the new operating model can take root, prevailing forces will prevent its maturation while competitors move ahead.
Prepare to scale the business
Eventually companies reach the point on their digital transformation journey where they’ve proven out their connected product technology and business concepts. Now what? Bain concludes with a method for assessing readiness to scale up your industrial IoT efforts.
To begin, how well do you understand the full potential of industrial IoT to your enterprise? IoT can dramatically impact the quality of manufactured products, service offerings, maintenance procedures, and other areas of your enterprise. But what will this cost, and what will revenue look like once the system is deployed to production and fully commercialized?
Never forget, your competitors aren’t standing still. You can be sure they’re working on their own industrial IoT initiatives. What is your plan to win in this new arena?
Additionally, scaling IoT requires incentives alignment and coordinated execution across the enterprise. Engineering, IT, service, sales, and business teams must work together for organizations to realize the benefits of digital transformation. Make sure everyone understands their part and is rowing in the same direction.
Bain summarizes their last recommendation with a sentiment that we refer to as “strategy over software.” By strategy, we mean not just a plan, but a comprehensive roadmap, organization structure, and business model across the enterprise to support the success of your industrial IoT initiative.
Digital transformation is a journey
As you start your journey, you’re going to need an industrial IoT platform. Whether it makes sense to build your own or buy one depends on a variety of factors. But digital transformation isn’t just about technology. As Bain notes repeatedly, it’s about so much more. Business models and sales strategies, along with clear user stories, team roles, and responsibilities are equally critical to successful IoT initiatives. Beyond a platform, an experienced digital transformation partner can accelerate planning, implementation, and successful commercialization of your connected systems.
Guest article by Richard van Hooijdonk
In around 30 years, planet Earth will be home to almost ten billion people, 68 per cent of which will live in urban areas. And those urban areas will face a torrent of problems, as authorities will have to rely on limited resources to provide public services to a growing number of citizens. Besides traffic congestion and the potential rise in crime rates, rapid urbanization could also lead to a number of environmental problems like air pollution and overwhelmed waste collection systems. To tackle these challenges and make cities more liveable and manageable, governments are increasingly turning to the smart city concept.
At the heart of this approach is the use of technology to improve public services such as transportation, water systems, waste disposal, and many others. And among all the technologies smart cities deploy, the Internet of Things stands out as the most important, as it’s a network of sensors and connected devices that collect data critical for understanding how urban areas function. As Stephen Brobst, the chief technology officer of Teradata, a big data analytics company, says, the IoT enables us to “get a view of the whole city across these different domains of the life of the city as it’s captured in the sensor data.”
The many ways in which the IoT helps smart cities
Investments in smart cities are ramping up across the world and are expected to grow from $80 billion this year to $135 billion by 2021. Part of that money is allocated for IoT projects that help governments and residents to increase energy efficiency, improve traffic flow, reduce pollution, cut costs, and enjoy a number of other benefits. In other words, the IoT helps smart cities to achieve many of their key goals. Take, for example, the problem of traffic congestion in cities, which is in large part caused by drivers looking for parking space. IoT sensors embedded into the city’s streets, as in the case of Barcelona, can detect empty parking spots and alert drivers through a smartphone app. This helps people park their cars faster, saving time and fuel while reducing harmful emissions.
Many smart cities also tend to promote bike-sharing services as a way to reduce pollution and congestion, but bike theft could be an obstacle for that plan. One way IoT tech can help solve this issue is through technology such as Bitlock, a keyless bike lock that’s unlocked by the user’s smartphone and tracks the GPS location of the bike. This will help police potentially track and recover stolen bikes, while also allowing private and public organizations to analyze bike traffic patterns and find ways to improve the service.
IoT technology is also efficient in tracking and analyzing water use in buildings. For instance, Banyan Water, a smart water management company, claims it’s helped customers to save more than seven billion liters of water since its inception in 2011. The way it does this is by placing sensors and ultrasonic meters that track water consumption across the building, using software to analyze the gathered data and find anomalies such as leaks and overspend.
Municipal waste management companies could benefit from the IoT, too, by placing sensors in waste collection sites, and instead of adhering to strict schedules, dispatching haulers only when collection is really needed. This could cut “overhead for waste makers by up to a whopping 60 percent.”
Things to keep in mind when implementing IoT projects
Clearly, IoT technology can improve lives in urban areas in many different ways, but simply implementing the latest tech won’t necessarily make a city ‘smart’. Marc Jadoul, the head of IoT market development at Nokia, explains that even before the first sensor is installed, the authorities must define their future objectives and budget. The next step is to create broadband internet and IoT infrastructure that can sustain increased traffic. Jadoul also suggests that the authorities need to “think big, but start small” and “identify appropriate milestones and metrics” to be able to monitor their progress. Lastly, technology isn’t the goal, but rather an instrument to make people’s lives better and more connected. To that end, the authorities should promote citizens’ engagement in ‘smart’ projects by asking for their feedback and informing them of the progress. After all, “it’s citizens’ acceptance and engagement that will eventually determine success or failure of any smart city initiative,” Jadoul concludes.
Two key challenges for the IoT and smart cities
And while authorities and citizens see smart cities as a way to live better lives, hackers see them as a potential target. The wealth of data and sensitive services that connected devices produce can be abused by bad actors to disrupt a city’s operations. For instance, imagine if cyber-attacks crippled a traffic light system or a water filtration plant and the hackers asked for ransom. This makes cyber-security one of the key priorities of any smart city endeavour. Another challenge for authorities is the need to buy expensive servers, sensors, high-speed internet networks, and a range of other equipment. Many cities struggle to find the money, although IoT projects could lead to cost savings “to the tune of $2.3 trillion in efficiencies created and revenue generated worldwide by 2024.”
Just rolling out the tech won’t be enough
As our planet becomes increasingly crowded and more people flood to cities, authorities will be under pressure to provide public services to an ever-growing number of citizens and offset the negative consequences of urbanization. Technology such as the IoT and the concept of smart cities might be a solution and a way to fight traffic congestion, pollution, inadequate water systems, and a number of other problems. But for this approach to succeed, citizen acceptance and engagement is crucial, as simply rolling out the tech won’t be enough.
Author: Richard van Hooijdonk
International keynote speaker, trend watcher and futurist Richard van Hooijdonk offers inspiring lectures on how technology impacts the way we live, work and do business. Over 420,000 people have already attended his renowned inspiration sessions, in the Netherlands as well as abroad. He works together with RTL television and presents the weekly radio program ‘Mindshift’ on BNR news radio. Van Hooijdonk is also a guest lecturer at Nyenrode and Erasmus Universities. https://www.richardvanhooijdonk.com
Cover photo by https://www.shutterstock.com/g/yingyaipumi
Azevedo, Mary Ann, https://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1868607.
Glaeser, Edward and Helen Dempster, https://www.theigc.org/reader/contagion-crime-and-congestion-overcoming-the-downsides-of-density/cities-and-urbanisation-encourage-economic-growth-in-the-developing-world/.
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