OSes (218)

Industrial Prototyping for IoT

I-Pi SMARC.jpg

ADLINK is a global leader in edge computing driving data-to-decision applications across industries. The company recently introduced I-Pi SMARC for Industrial IoT prototyping.

-       AdLInk I-Pi SMARC consists of a simple carrier paired with a SMARC Computer on Module

-       SMARC Modules are available from entry level PX30 Rockchip to top of the line Intel Apollo Lake.

-       SMARC modules are specifically designed for typical industrial embedded applications that require long life, high MTBF and strict revision control.

-       Use popular off the shelve sensors and create prototypes or proof of concepts on short notice.

Additional information can be found here

 

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By: Kelly McNelis

We have faced unprecedented disruption from the many challenges of COVID-19, and PTC’s LiveWorx was no exception. The definitive digital transformation event went virtual this year, and despite the transition from physical to digital, LiveWorx delivered.

Of the many insightful virtual keynotes, one that caught everyone’s attention was ‘Digital Transformation: The Technology & Support You Need to Succeed,’ presented by PTC’s Executive Vice President (EVP) of Products, Kevin Wrenn, and PTC’s EVP and Chief Customer Officer, Eduarda Camacho.

Their keynote focused on how companies should be prioritizing the use of best-in-class technology that will meet their changing needs during times of disruption and accelerated digital transformation. Wrenn and Camacho highlighted five of our customers through interactive case studies on how they are using PTC technology to capitalize on digital transformation to thrive in an era of disruption.

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Below is a summary of the five customers and their stories that were highlighted during the keynote.

1. Royal Enfield (Mass Customization)

Royal Enfield is an Indian motorcycle company that has been manufacturing motor bikes since 1901. They have British roots, and their main customer base is located in India and Europe. Riders of Royal Enfield wants their bikes to be particular to their brand, so they worked to better manage the complexities of mass customization and respond to market demands.

Royal Enfield is a long time PTC customer, but they were on old versions of PTC technology. They first upgraded Creo and Windchill to the latest releases so they could leverage the new capabilities. They then moved on to transform their processes for platform and variant designs, introduced simulation much earlier by using Creo Simulation Live, and leveraged generative design by bringing AI into engineering and applying it to engine and chassis complex custom forged components. Finally, they retrained and retooled their engineering staff to fully leverage the power of new processes and technologies.

The entire Royal Enfield team now has digital capabilities that accelerate new product designs, variants, and accessories for personalization; as a result, they are able to deliver a much-shortened design cycle. Royal Enfield is continuing their digital transformation trend, and will invest in new ways to create value while leveraging augmented reality with PTC's Vuforia suite.

2. VCST (Manufacturing Efficiency, Quality, and Innovation)

VCST is part of the BMT Group and are a world-class automotive supplier of precision-machined power train and brake components. Their problem was that they had high costs for their production facility in Belgium. They either needed to improve their cost efficiency in their plant or face the potential of needing to shut down the facility and relocate it to another region. VCST decided to implement ThingWorx so that anyone can have instant visibility to asset status and performance. VCST is also creating the ability to digitize maintenance requests and the ability to acquire about spare parts to improve the overall efficiency in support of their costs reduction goals.

Additionally, VCST has a goal to reach zero complaints for their customers and, if any quality problems appear to their customers, they can be required to do a 100% inspection until the problem is solved. Moreover, as cars have gotten quieter with electrification, the noise from the gears has become an issue, and puts pressure on VCST to innovate and reduce gear noise.

VCST has again relied on ThingWorx and Windchill to collect and share data for joint collaborative analysis to innovate and reduce gear noise. VCST also plans to use Vuforia Expert Capture and Vuforia Chalk to train maintenance workers to further improve their efficiency and cost effectiveness. The company is not done with their digital transformation, and they have plans to implement Creo and Windchill to enable end-to-end digital thread connectivity to the factory.

3. BID Group Holdings (Connected Product)

BID Group Holdings operates in the wood processing industry. It is one of the largest integrated suppliers and North American leader in the field. The purpose of BID Group is to deliver a complete range of innovative equipment, digital technologies, turnkey installations, and aftermarket services to their customers. BID Group decided to focus on their areas of expertise, an rely on PTC, Microsoft, and Rockwell Automation’s combined capabilities and scale to deliver SaaS type solutions to their own industry.

Leveraging this combined power, the BID Group developed a digital strategy for service to improve mill efficiency and profitability. The solution is named OPER8 and was built on the ThingWorx platform. This allowed BID Group to provide their customers an out of the box solution with efficient time-to-value and low costs of ownership. BID Group is continuing to work with PTC and Rockwell Automation, to develop additional solutions that will reduce downtime of OPER8 with a predictive analytics module by using ThingWorx Analytics and LogixAI.

4. Hitachi (Service Optimization)

Hitachi operates an extensive service decision that ensures its customers’ data systems remain up and running. Their challenge was not to only meet their customers uptime Service Level Agreements, but to do it without killing their cost structure. Hitachi decided to implement PTC’s Servigistics Service Parts Management software to ensure the right parts are available when and where they are needed for service. With Servigistics, Hitachi was able to accomplish their needs while staying cost effective and delighting their customers.

Hitachi runs on the cloud, which allows them to upgrade to current releases more often, take advantage of new functionality, and avoid unexpected costs.

PTC has driven engagement and support for Hitachi through the PTC Community, and encourages all customers to utilize this platform. The network of collaborative spaces in a gathering place for PTC customers and partners to showcase their work, inspire each other, and share ideas or best practices in order to expand the value of their PTC solutions and services.

5. COVID-19 Response 

COVID-19 has put significant strain on the world’s hospitals and healthcare infrastructure, and hospitalization rates for COVID brought into question the capacity of being able to handle cases. Many countries began thinking of the value field hospitals could bring to safely care for patients and ease the admissions numbers of ‘regular’ hospitals. However, the complication is that field hospitals have essentially no isolation or air filtration capability that is required for treating COVID patients or healthcare workers.

As a result, the US Army Corp of Engineers has put out specifications to create self-contained isolation units, which are fully functioning hospital rooms that can be transported or built onsite. But, the assembly needed to happen fast, and a group of companies (including PTC) led by The Innovation Machine rallied to help design and define the SCIU’s.

With buy-in from numerous companies, a common platform was needed for companies to collaborate. PTC felt compelled to react, and many PTC customers and partners joined in to help create a collaboration platform, with cloud-based Windchill as the foundation. But, PTC didn’t just provide software to this collaboration; PTC also contributed with digital thread and design advice to help the group solve some of the major challenges. This design is a result of the many companies coming together to create deployments across various US state governments, agencies, and FEMA.

Final Thoughts

All of the above customers approached digital transformation as a business imperative. They all had sizeable challenges that needed to be solved and took leadership positions to implement plans that leveraged digital transformation technologies combined with new processes.

PTC will continue to innovate across the digital transformation portfolio and is committed to ensuring that customer success offerings capture value faster and provide the best outcomes.

Original Post Link: https://www.ptc.com/en/product-lifecycle-report/liveworx-digital-transformation–technology-and-support-you-need-to-succeed

Author Bio: Kelly is a corporate communications specialist at PTC. Her responsibilities include drafting and approving content for PTC’s external and social media presence and supporting communications for the Chief Strategy Officer. Kelly has previous experience as a communications specialist working to create and implement materials for the Executive Vice President of the Products Organization and senior management team members.

 

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Helium Expands to Europe

Helium, the company behind one of the world’s first peer-to-peer wireless networks, is announcing the introduction of Helium Tabs, its first branded IoT tracking device that runs on The People’s Network. In addition, after launching its network in 1,000 cities in North America within one year, the company is expanding to Europe to address growing market demand with Helium Hotspots shipping to the region starting July 2020. 

Since its launch in June 2019, Helium quickly grew its footprint with Hotspots covering more than 700,000 square miles across North America. Helium is now expanding to Europe to allow for seamless use of connected devices across borders. Powered by entrepreneurs looking to own a piece of the people-powered network, Helium’s open-source blockchain technology incentivizes individuals to deploy Hotspots and earn Helium (HNT), a new cryptocurrency, for simultaneously building the network and enabling IoT devices to send data to the Internet. When connected with other nearby Hotspots, this acts as the backbone of the network. 

“We’re excited to launch Helium Tabs at a time where we’ve seen incredible growth of The People’s Network across North America,” said Amir Haleem, Helium’s CEO and co-founder. “We could not have accomplished what we have done, in such a short amount of time, without the support of our partners and our incredible community. We look forward to launching The People’s Network in Europe and eventually bringing Helium Tabs and other third-party IoT devices to consumers there.”  

Introducing Helium Tabs that Run on The People’s Network
Unlike other tracking devices,Tabs uses LongFi technology, which combines the LoRaWAN wireless protocol with the Helium blockchain, and provides network coverage up to 10 miles away from a single Hotspot. This is a game-changer compared to WiFi and Bluetooth enabled tracking devices which only work up to 100 feet from a network source. What’s more, due to Helium’s unique blockchain-based rewards system, Hotspot owners will be rewarded with Helium (HNT) each time a Tab connects to its network. 

In addition to its increased growth with partners and customers, Helium has also seen accelerated expansion of its Helium Patrons program, which was introduced in late 2019. All three combined have helped to strengthen its network. 

Patrons are entrepreneurial customers who purchase 15 or more Hotspots to help blanket their cities with coverage and enable customers, who use the network. In return, they receive discounts, priority shipping, network tools, and Helium support. Currently, the program has more than 70 Patrons throughout North America and is expanding to Europe. 

Key brands that use the Helium Network include: 

  • Nestle, ReadyRefresh, a beverage delivery service company
  • Agulus, an agricultural tech company
  • Conserv, a collections-focused environmental monitoring platform

Helium Tabs will initially be available to existing Hotspot owners for $49. The Helium Hotspot is now available for purchase online in Europe for €450.

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5 Tips for Designing a Smart Watchdog

Recovering from a system failure or a software glitch can be no easy task.  The longer the fault occurs the harder it can be to identify and recover.  The use of an external watchdog is an important and critical tool in the embedded systems engineer toolbox.  There are five tips that should be taken into account when designing a watchdog system.

Tip #1 – Monitor a heartbeat

The simplest function that an external watchdog can have is to monitor a heartbeat that is produced by the primary application processor.  Monitoring of the heartbeat should serve two distinct purposes.  First, the microcontroller should only generate the heartbeat after functional checks have been performed on the software to ensure that it is functioning.  Second, the heartbeat should be able to reveal if the real-time response of the system has been jeopardized.

Monitoring the heartbeat for software functionality and real-time response can be done using a simple, “dumb” external watchdog.  The external watchdog should have the capability to assign a heartbeat period along with a window that the heartbeat must appear within.  The purpose of the heartbeat window is to allow the watchdog to detect that the real-time response of the system is compromised.  In the event that either functional or real-time checks fail the watchdog then attempts to recover the system through a reset of the application processor.

Tip #2 – Use a low capability MCU

External watchdogs that can be to monitor a heartbeat are relatively low cost but can severely limit the capabilities and recovery possibilities of the watchdog system.  A low capability microcontroller can cost nearly the same amount as an external watchdog timer so why not add some intelligence to the watchdog and use a microcontroller.  The microcontroller firmware can be developed to fulfill the windowed heartbeat monitoring with the addition of so much more.  A “smart” watchdog like this is sometimes referred to as a supervisor or safety watchdog and has actually been used for many years in different industries such as automotive.  Generally a microcontroller watchdog has been reserved for safety critical applications but given the development tools and the cost of hardware it can be cost effective in other applications as well.

Tip #3 – Supervise critical system functions

The decision to use a small microcontroller as a watchdog opens nearly endless possibilities of how the watchdog can be used.  One of the first roles of a smart watchdog is usually to supervise critical system functions such as a system current or sensor state.  One example of how a watchdog could supervise a current would be to take an independent measurement and then provide that value to the application processor.  The application processor could then compare its own reading to that of the watchdog.  If there were disagreement between the two then the system would execute a fault tree that was deemed to be appropriate for the application.

Tip #4 – Observe a communication channel

Sometimes an embedded system can appear to be operating as expected to the watchdog and the application processor but from an external observer be in a non-responsive state.  In such cases it can be useful to tie the smart watchdog to a communication channel such as a UART.  When the watchdog is connected to a communication channel it not only monitor channel traffic but even commands that are specific to the watchdog.  A great example of this is a watchdog designed for a small satellite that monitors radio communications between the flight computer and ground station.  If the flight computer becomes non-responsive to the radio, a command could be sent to the watchdog that is then executed and used to reset the flight computer.

Tip #5 – Consider an externally timed reset function

The question of who is watching the watchdog is undoubtedly on the minds of many engineers when using a microcontroller for a watchdog.  Using a microcontroller to implement extra features adds some complexity and a new software element to the system.  In the event that the watchdog goes off into the weeds how is the watchdog going to recover? One option would be to use an external watchdog timer that was discussed earlier.  The smart watchdog would generate a heartbeat to keep itself from being reset by the watchdog timer.  Another option would be to have the application processor act as the watchdog for the watchdog.  Careful thought needs to be given to the best way to ensure both processors remain functioning as intended.

Conclusion

The purpose of the smart watchdog is to monitor the system and the primary microcontroller to ensure that they operate as expected.  During the design of a system watchdog it can be very tempting to allow the number of features supported to creep.  Developers need to keep in mind that as the complexity of the smart watchdog increases so does the probability that the watchdog itself will contain potential failure modes and bugs.  Keeping the watchdog simple and to the minimum necessary feature set will ensure that it can be exhaustively tested and proven to work.

Originally Posted here

 

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It's Not All Linux

In the comments section of my 2020 embedded salary survey, quite a few respondents felt that much of the embedded world is being subsumed by canned solutions. Will OSes like Linux and cheap, powerful boards like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino replace traditional engineering? Has that already happened?

A number of people complained their colleagues no longer understand low-level embedded things like DMA, chip selects, diddling I/O registers, and the like. They feel these platforms isolate the engineer from those details.

Part of me says yeah! That's sort of what we want. Reuse and abstraction means the developer can focus on the application rather than bringing up a proprietary board. Customers want solutions and don't care about implementation details. We see these abstractions working brilliantly when we buy a TCP/IP stack, often the better part of 100K lines of complex code. Who wants to craft those drivers?

Another part of me says "save me from these sorts of products." It is fun to design a board. To write the BSP and toss bits at peripheral registers. Many of us got a rush the first time we made an LED blink or a motor spin. I still find that fulfilling.

So what's the truth? Is the future all Linux and Pis?

The answer is a resounding "no." A search for "MCU" on Digi-Key gets 89,149 part numbers. Sure, many of these are dups with varying packages and the like, but that's still a ton of controllers.

Limiting that search to 8 bitters nets 30,574 parts. I've yet to see Linux run on a PIC or other tiny device.

Or filter to Cortex-M devices only. You still get 16,265 chips. None of those run Linux, Windows, BSD, or any other general-purpose OS. These are all designed into proprietary boards. Those engineers are working on the bare metal... and having a ton of fun.

The bigger the embedded world gets the more applications are found. Consider machine learning. That's for big iron, for Amazon Web Services, right? Well, partly. Eta Compute and other companies are moving ML to the edge with smallish MCUs running at low clock rates with limited memory. Power consumption rules, and 2 GB of RAM at 1 GHz just doesn't cut it when harvesting tiny amounts of energy.

Then there's cost. If you can reduce the cost of a product made in the millions by just a buck the business prospers. Who wants a ten dollar CPU when a $0.50 microcontroller will do?

Though I relish low-level engineering our job is to get products to market as efficiently as possible. Writing drivers for a timer is sort of silly when you realize that thousands of engineers using the same part are doing the same thing. Sure, semi vendors often deliver code to handle all of this, but in my experience most of that is either crap or uses the peripherals in the most limited ways. A few exceptions exist, such as Renesas's Synergy. They go so far as to guarantee that code. My fiddling with it leaves me impressed, though the learning curve is steep. But that sort of abstraction surely must be a part of this industry going forward. Just as we don't write protocol stacks and RTOSes any more, canned code will become more common.

Linux and canned boards have important roles in this business. But an awful lot of us will still work on proprietary systems.

View original post here

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E-cOMMERCE AND BENEFITS DERIVED FROM IOT

E-commerce has been seeing growth since the past decades. E-commerce had become a trend in retailers and popular in consumers. Owning to its quick, easy, and reliable service, e-commerce's popularity is known to all. Now with the advent of IoT(internet of things), where devices transfer data among themselves without any human interactions, it has benefited e-commerce in myriad ways.

Faster, More Reliable

The first and foremost advantage that IoT provides to e-commerce is that it has added to the reliability of the transactions. As there is no chance of human error anymore. Owning to its automated systems, the data of transactions are reliable and quicker.

Enhancing the business of retailers

Sell more, make money more. The IoT has created a possibility to exactly know the customer's needs and desires using the technology to collect data about the trend on social media. This collected data is then applied to sell the desired products accordingly leading to more and more growth in business via e-commerce. This way it is not only advantageous to the retailers but also to customers as IOT allows a great deal in customer care.

It leads to enhancement in marketing and promotions. Product promotion is also made through IoT and on the other hand it leads to an increase in customer care.

Securing items in the Warehouses

The IoT technology has made it possible to make sure the items do not get over stoked in the Warehouses or the items do not expired/get bruised in them by remotely sensing the products in the warehouses. This has ensured the optimization of productivity. The IoT has the ability to keep in check even at the times when there are lots of chances of human error. So, the items are more secured when the surveillance is through IoT.

Easy Tracking of theft and Losses

The products are always under surveillance, it's location, temperature through multiple devices which keeps a track on this tracking ID. GPS enabled e-commerce business makes it possible to keep track of the products in every instance. Hence making it less prone to theft and other losses. The product is never out of sight and the whole travel history is being constantly recorded. The automated e-mails and texts regarding the product's departure and arrival make it secure in delivering to the right place in a safe way.

E-commerce web Development and Design

When it comes to selling, buying online, eCommerce websites need lucrative web designs to captivate customers and this is one reason Shopify developers are well in demand. Also, not only captivating but also fast and quick. The web development now largely inclined towards using the IoT technologies, as in to make the work fast and more reliable. The IoT devices are meant to communicate more safely. Hence, they are more admired and desired. The web-based user interface also prefer IOT devices for reliability and for making things faster. Als, the IoT enabled websites makes it easier for consumers with a low-speed internet connection by adjusting the response time by minimizing it between the web server and IoT enabled sites.

There's more to come yet in IoT, with its ever-increasing usage of devices. This will help in the growth of e-commerce even more in the future.

Author Bio: Abdullah Ali is Co-founder and Shopify Developer in Los Angeles

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I have spent many years working with IoT projects. Most of them were typical, there was nothing unusual behind them and they were trying to copy the success of their competitors, however, the deeper I was diving into IoT startups environment more and more I was facing with innovators in this niche who have found how to adapt IoT technologies for their enterprises' specification. In this article, I will not mention my partners' names because of the reasons, however, I will try to push you to the idea of how to implement IoT to your company.
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The Anti-Quality Movement

by Jack Ganssle

[email protected]

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.

And toothbrushes.

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.

 

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Over the next 25 years, the global energy consumption is estimated to soar by 40%, and unless we don’t stumble upon a vast coal mine, there is no way we can fulfil this requirement.

You may be thinking: “Renewable energy will do the job for us.”

Yes, renewable energy are paving the path for a more sustainable future, however, their mass adoption is still limited due to several barriers. They are highly dependent on natural occurrences, require a high capital investment, and are inflexible with traditional energy grids. It can’t be said with certainty when these limitless sources can be used to a full extent for our ever-growing electricity needs.

Till the time we overcome these barriers and adopt the renewables entirely, optimal and efficient utilization of non-energy resources is the only prominent option to stretch our days of existence with power supply.

Utilities are continually looking for a technological enabler that can help them optimize their processes and manage assets remotely. IoT is one such technology that is helping power generation companies to do so.

With its advanced telemetry and cognition capabilities, energy utilities can boost their energy transmission and distribution processes to facilitate the efficient flow of electricity and reduce energy wastage.

Let us see the ways with which IoT can help utilities for adequate electricity supply:

1)  Remote Asset Monitoring and Management:

This is primarily the most talked-about application of an IoT system. It allows energy companies to remotely manage their equipment; ranging from power generators to transmission lines. Sensors embedded on assets can measure parameters like temperature, vibration, pressure, wear, etc. that can be read by the utilities to identify the probable breakdown point.

This enable utilities to monitor the depreciation of their assets and govern the overall health of their power transmission and distribution architecture. By compiling the continuously stored data, insights and trends can also be generated to estimate the failure time. Subsequently, inspection and maintenance procedures can be scheduled to eliminate failures and reduce downtime.

Furthermore, by planning their repair and maintenance tasks as per IoT based real-time alert system, power generation companies can even reduce energy losses and enhance their operational efficiency. This helps them to optimize the consumption of their resources and facilitate the flow of electricity from power plants to consumers’ facilities in an efficient manner.

2)  Grid Balancing and Supply Rerouting/Restoring:

Smart Grids are a modern IoT variant of the existing power grids that include several energy measures and smart appliances like smart meters. Their implementation in the infrastructure of power distribution and transmission makes the flow of electricity from power plants to the end consumers more efficient and reliable.

However, there benefits far exceeds then simply supplying the electricity from one place to another. They allow utilities to lower operational costs and help customers to manage electricity consumption at home.

In terms of making the flow of electricity more efficient and promote optimum resource utilization, smart grids are the initial choice. As they work on a two-way interaction, they can effectively manage congestion on the power lines. They are even capable of ensuring the connection requirements of the generation stations such as frequency and voltage control to prevent instability.

Furthermore, the smart grids offer astounding electricity rerouting and restoring advantages. In case a transmission line breaks due to adverse weather conditions or voltage fluctuations, smart grids can find another route to transmit electricity to a locality. Other than facilitating a constant power supply, utilities can also use this feature of smart grids to identify causes that result in energy fluctuations. This empowers energy companies to reduce fluctuations that result in wire failure and hence boost their asset utilization efficiently.

Smart Grids also enable the indulgence of renewable energy resources. Let us see how:

3)  Renewable energy management:

As we discussed earlier, the IoT infuses two-way dialogue system in an existing electricity distribution channel. This means that instead of merely supplying power to the users and bill them once a month, the IoT system enables both the utilities and consumers to share information.

“In layman terms, even the end-users can now contribute to a smart grid.”

The most significant advantage of using smart grids is its ability to include renewable energy resources to an existing power grid. Thus, end consumers using solar panels to power their home appliances can discharge excess electricity into the power grid in exchange for money. Many countries like USA and India are providing subsidies to end consumers for creating a small-scale solar power station on their rooftops.

This is assisting in the mass adoption of renewable energy resources, which other than alleviating energy scarcity can also help in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. Since smart grids act as a stable infrastructure to maintain voltage fluctuations, they can be used to manage the electricity flow from both renewable and conventional methods.

My Personal Opinion:

“As per marketsandmarkets, IoT in the energy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.1% to reach a value of USD 22.34 billion by the end of 2020.”

This showcase the potential that IoT can offer to the vertical of electricity transmission and distribution. Its implementation has the power to facilitate our energy needs and reduce our consumption to a great extent. As per a study by environmental impact assessment (EIA), by effectively utilizing existing IoT technologies, the industries in the US have reduced their coal energy consumption for producing electricity by 14 to 22%.

Similarly, as smart consumers, we can also implement smart meters and IoT based energy monitoring solutions at our homes and facilities to monitor overall power consumption and manage needs accordingly.

This can be the initial step to enjoy limitless power. Let us contribute by joining the IoT revolution and make our homes & industries smart for a sustainable future.

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The real estate segment has been acknowledged as the most "behind in development" in multiple Forbes and TechCrunch reports. Mainly because of the fact that real estate investments, management and everything in between aren't very appealing to younger generations, a lot of companies and brokers still rely on a very traditional approach, made of direct marketing, face-to-face meetings and similar. With this in mind, though, there are several ones who refused to remain in an "old" era and embraced new pieces of technology. Let's analyse why IoT should be the pivotal one.

The Usage Of Data

Let's state the obvious: every real estate-related process is bulky and slow. From finance to paperwork, every small individual process could take ages to be finalised and this, for many, was the starting opening point for technology to proliferate within this sector. The usage of data, in the real estate sector, applies to IoT because it revolves around risk management for long term financial procedures: if someone is looking to invest £2 million in a property, for example, a long credit score check will be required, as well as cross-references to evaluate if the request isn't masked as what's known in the segment as a "ghost contractor". Big data, especially if coming from bank accounts and credit card companies, could speed up these processes massively, effectively connecting an extremely slow business segment to the IoT. The UK is very ahead in regards to this very matter, especially within the commercial property auctions segment, where companies are heavily relying on data to speed up the buying process.

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Architecture-Ready Applications

Has anyone of you ever used a dedicated software for any real estate task? From development to buying and investments, every piece of software has been designed and planned for professionals who know technical terms, therefore actually blocking "casual" users or junior professionals from approaching them. Having a data-driven, IoT-oriented architecture could heavily help in setting up budgeting for real estate management (having 12 properties and calculating individual fees isn't an easy job) or just to deal with clients, by letting it focus on the taxes/admin part whilst you do the "physical" management part.
Once again, the usage of big data and data points is quintessential for this very purpose, given the fact that it could simplify the way many different tasks are executed, effectively reducing their timescales.

To Conclude

Should the real estate sector approach IoT, data and data science? Definitely. Not only because of the above-mentioned reasons but also because of the fact that data-driven strategies are ahead of time: from 2020, in fact, we will definitely witness a massive growth of data and its applications in business (not just IoT).

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Data Validation: Important Things to Know

Whenever there is data involved, data validation can’t be too far away. That much everyone knows, at least the ones involved in the ecosystem. You may be just gathering data, analyzing it, or processing it to glean insights from the said data; you will need to deal with data validation. But what its data validation exactly? Well, it refers to the process of verifying two key things: the quality and reliability of data. It ensures that though it is indeed complete, consistent, and not duplicated, it is done right before you import data and process it. Now that we know what it is let’s see why we need data validation.

Even though it is often ignored, data validation is what allows companies to make sure that they achieve the ideal result. Consider this: If the data you intend to use isn’t without error right from the start, the result of whatever you plan to do with it won’t be error-free either.

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As you can see, data validation serves a purpose and a crucial one at that. So, why is it that people continue to look it over? It can be credited to a variety of challenges, including the pace of the process. Some files are convinced that data validation is a time-consuming job that will slow down other operations across the business. But given that now the market offers a plethora of solutions to accelerate that, this isn’t a problem anymore. Now let’s take a look at some of the other challenges in this regard.

  1. Distributed databases: As mentioned above, data validation, though crucial, is subject to myriad challenges. And perhaps the biggest one of them all comes to the fore when one is dealing with data distributed across several databases. Now, you need all your data in one place so you can start working with it, and with data residing in different databases can pose a problem to that plan. Furthermore, distributed data then runs the risk of being siloed and perhaps even obsolete.
  2. Data formats: There is no doubt about the fact that data validation can take much time, often to the frustration of myriad stakeholders involved in the process. The problem is further compounded when one is dealing with a particularly extensive database and you intend to undertake a manual validation process. But this particular challenge can be effectively dealt with by sampling data for validation. Doing this allows one to significantly cut down the time they will need to validate all the data at hand.

There is no denying that data validation is a demanding process — it requires time as well as many decisions to be made. And then there are challenges too. But with the right data validation platforms, especially the ones that seem to suit your business’ requirements, all these challenges can be tended to quickly and effectively. And if you find yourself needing assistance, say with the integration of data using Talend, you can always engage the services of a trusted service provider, who will also be able to help you with the rest of your data validation process.

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We must be prepared for the Internet of Things (IoT) Tsunami, but it will not be in 2020 as many of us believed. The good news is that it is approaching but now more quietly than a few years ago.

For the most pessimistic or unconvinced of the IoT, I must say that much of the hype around the Internet of Things is not really hype anymore. I will say one more time: “IoT’s here to stay”.

In Ten Trends of IoT in 2020, Ahmed Banafa considers that in the year 2020 we will hit all 4 components of IoT Model: Sensors, Networks (Communications), Analytics (Cloud), and Applications, with different degrees of impact. If we pay attention again to the predictions by 2020, the IoT is predicted to generate an additional $344B in revenues, as well as to drive $177B in cost reductions. In his article, Mr, Banafa explore the impact of many technologies on IoT and predict what is next for IoT.

No doubt that disruptive new trends will emerge over the next few years that will pave the way for a complete overhaul in the way we view and interact with our world and the Internet of Things will continue its brisk and steady rise as our planet and everything in it becomes connected.

Nevertheless, some shadows continue to appear for IoT like we can read in “IoT in 2020: awkward times ahead” . The pain points are the usual suspects:

  • Security – The divide between IT and OT is one of the central causes of the security problem
  • Lack of complete solutions - IT companies have been aggressive in partnering up with OT companies, and there’s a general recognition that most complete IoT solutions will involve products from multiple vendors.
  • No single vendor is able to offer a complete solution to a given IoT problem and, therefore, unable to solve the broader issues with IoT technology in a unitary way.
  • Edge networking- One of the major trends for 2020. The cloud can be a limiting factor in a lot of IoT deployments.

I was pleased say that I have included some of the Top 5 IoT trends released by Ecosystm in this free report “The Top 5 IoT Trends For 2020”. Here's what we think 2020 has in store for IoT:

  • 5G Providers Will Be Forced to Operate Outside their Comfort Zone
  • Satellite IoT Connectivity Solutions Will Start to Compete Against and Work with LPWANs
  • IoT Sensor Analytics Will Become the Fastest Growing AI Workload
  • Construction Will Become the Unsuspecting Influencers for IoT Adoption
  • The Edge Will No Longer Be at the Edge 

Following the tradition of previous years, I have been collecting links to other sources with IoT Predictions and Trends for 2020. You can read more predictions in these links:

Previous Predictions collected in my articles

2020 IoT Predictions  - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/2020-iot-trends-predictions-prepared-tsunami-francisco-maroto  

2019 IoT Predictions  -  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/yes-we-continue-making-iot-predictions-2019-francisco-maroto/

2018 IoT Predictions -   https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/have-we-already-bored-predicting-iot-francisco-maroto/

2017 IoT Predictions - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/finally-2017-year-internet-things-i-do-think-so-francisco-maroto/

 

Key Takeaway                

This year there are fewer predictions about IoT. This is not bad. On the contrary, it is a symptom that the hype has disappeared and the IoT has evolved and has become more real.

For my part, every year I am lazier to read predictions and trends. Many articles are written by non-IoT experts, are repetitive and do not add great value.

Let´s keep the positive messages of 2020 IoT Predictions and Trends:

  1. IoT is developing at a fast pace
  2. The maturity phase of IoT has just begun, and it is soon to become a full-blown business in the coming years.

We, the IoT Pioneers, know that IoT development isn’t something that will happen overnight but we also know that IoT will star developing in 2020 at a fast pace.

Back in 2000, futurist Paul Saffo warned that in 2020, we’ll be “living in an age of technologically induced creative destruction.”

We're far from that. Expect a 2020 year of less IoT technology news and more business news.

No matter if you are running a small business, a medium or large company or a multinational, IoT is going to find its way into your business. So, be prepared for the IoT Tsunami that is coming!

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Artificial Intelligence is a popular term currently evolving around software industries. Many app development companies were developing their requirement process to recommend AI-bases workers and also many institutes were trained to learn the concept of AI. It clearly says that in the future, most of the tasks will drive through AI. Hence it is good to know how AI will help the professions to run their routine work effectively. It’s not only about learning the skill but also depends upon the interest you have to learn. AI does not only deals with a particular requirement.

It also deals with sectors like data analytics, machine learning, data mining, etc. By combining these factors will help to maintain the AI to train the job for the long term. Hence make sure to know the areas that follow to build the profession in profit. This blog will help you to know the information for the profession that helps to operate effectively.

Software Development

Software development is one of the topmost demanding jobs in every country. By getting into the job as a software developer will help to promote the career faster than the other industries. In the future, AI will help the programmers to think less as machine learning will take place to eliminate the code and introduce the algorithm to build the application. By allowing the Ai to adopt the section to work will help to play the complete function in an easy mode. IT reduces the effort of using the coding and also helps to build the apps easier and effectively. For example, software testing is one of the important roles in development, by placing AI to automate the testing will help to replace the employee and reduce the effort of them.

Machine Industry

The machine industry is a vital part to run society. Workers were working for the long term and creating a great effort to complete the work. AI will help to respond to the function to operate smarter and effectively. By utilizing the data analytics, the result to maintain the chain process will become easier and more effective. Hence complete machine industry will get a hike to improve their quality. By focusing on furthermore internets of things get communicated with the sources from industry and get huge control. Hence by using these technologies will bury the effort of workers and also increase the quality of time from the manufacturing side. It improves the quality and helps to maintain the product to get qualified.

Education System

Education is the right of every citizen of the country but most of the time students get frustrated due to the load that is given by the system. Hence it collapses the mind easily. Thus to prevent it Ai can implement it. It helps the system to decrease the load of education and improves understanding. It allows the student to get interact easier and helps to improve the concept to understand.

For example, if a student wants to learn the practical session, its easy to make it live virtually. It helps them to improve their creativity and also increase their interest to observe. Hence by implementing AI will tend to improve the whole concept of education.

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is always an important part to get noticed. Every person was looking for improving their health but most of the time they were lazy to build the habit to take care. Thus by using Ai, the cost of spending bucks for health will reduce and the improvement of the human cycle will get increases. Already Ai apps were built to support the human by analyzing their symptom. Hence in the future, apps get increased and also the technology will get improved. By acknowledging the human about their problem with the symptom will help to improve their health without any support and also help to save their money. Even data analytics will help the patient’s improvement of humans in terms of analyzing the error. Thus by using data science as it is a part of Ai will help to maintain the record of patient safer and also reliable to the human.

Supply Chain

The supply chain is one of the toughest parts of the profession as it requires used by many companies to service for them. By using the data analyst, the usage level of getting information will be much good rather than depending on humans. It helps the business person to prevent the time shortage and also increases the quality of response. By ensuring the time is important to supply chain business as it matters a lot to the supply chain profession. Hence applying Ai to the supply chain will be prettier and help the process to work properly and reliability for the system.

Wearable Gadgets

Technology is much reliable to society to help the human and increase the concentration on their work. Wearable devices are one of the popular devices that have been getting merge with human routines. Especially devices are used for health reasons. Hence by using the gadgets will allow the user to acknowledge the ratings of health. By using the gadgets, the usage will be finer to track. Also, the apps related to wearable devices were much high and also demand is also getting a hike. Many top app companies were working for wearable apps. Hence the usage of these kind apps will bring great attention to the software industry. It is related to IOT. Thus automatically Ai will get into the game to manage the data.

Business Models

Maintaining the business as per the requirement of the client is the major responsibility of every person. The important part is the data that has to be analyzed well. It should not get criticized. Hence analyzing the data with the help of AI models will improve the business requirement and also the client requirement. Thus in the future, many companies will seek data analytics to improve their business.

Final Words

Artificial intelligence is one of the topmost sectors in today’s world. And driving the field via these techniques will help to improve the complete session.

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Artificial intelligence plays a significant role in the growth of the IoT sector. Artificial intelligence emulates the task more profoundly, Those performances were earlier limited to the human workforce, but now the Artificial intelligence development company has made a lot more noise in almost every sector by actually revolutionize everyone's lives.

The Internet of Things has been introduced in recent years with the objective to transfer data to other devices through the internet. IoT relies heavily on the internet connection that handles large volumes of data. IoT and artificial intelligence from the last two years are going hand in hand as these data helps in generating a lot more data that can be taken as actionable results.

Artificial intelligence helps IoT to handle the data on the basis of algorithms where they can convert data with the help of machine learning-based analytics. These AI Developers help the company to monitor operations that can give great insight from the data with greater accuracy.

 

Gartner predicts that by 2022, more than 80 % of enterprise IoT projects will include an AI component, up from only 10 % today.

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How AI and IoT are Contribution to Growth

AI at work can access your IoT databases and know about your choices on the basis of last preferences, these personalized suggestions can easily make someone's life much easier. Here are some vital factors where Artificial intelligence affects the internet of things. 

  • Greater Revenue

IoT and AI are proving to be beneficial for most industries. These effects are enhanced by greater revenues and returns along with smart services-based solutions. With the extraordinary combination are transforming the workflows and other productivity of the businesses. 

  • Reduced Costs

AI and IoT ensure to reduce the operational cost by properly monitoring the smart sensors, meters, other fitted appliances. AI solution providers are providing impressive features that minimize the operational costs of households and business enterprises.

  • Predictive Analysis

AI uses the power of analysis to forecast and minimize unpredictable incidents at the most basic level. It allows businesses to manage real-time data in determining the condition of machinery and equipment which are likely to break down in some time.  Proper action can be taken prior to avoid any kind of damages or loss with an associated cost. 

  • Enhance Risk Management

A number of applications that integrate IoT with AI help companies to better understand and foresee a range of risks with the fast response, allowing them to better manage the safety of the workers, loss or any other cybersecurity attacks. This law enforcement identifies all the possible loss and tries to eliminate the threat before access.

 

How IoT impacts Industrial Sector

#1 Manufacturing

The manufacturing industries are integrating smart sensors with the help of IoT in order to perform enhance the efficiencies. These smart sensors help in detaching the threats be it aircraft, automobiles, household. By implementing Artificial intelligence solutions and smart sensors can help in diminishing the errors and also reduces the overall cost with the help of prognostic analysis.

#2 Smart Homes

IoT introduced the concept of a smart home where all devices are connected through a shared network. Through integrating this with AI, all of these apps will be able to understand the commands of their users and make smart decisions accordingly.

It can also help to reduce the cost of electricity by switching off devices when things are not used just by switching off the lights.

#3 Airlines

After the evolution of the latest IoT technology, all kinds of machines are run through sensors. We do not need to physically touch the devices to perform. These sensors are needed to identify the maintenance issue if any flight delays or cancellations, sensors automatically send messages to its passengers about schedule time or delays. Artificial intelligence solutions automatically transmit the issue, be it flight delays, cancellation or any other essential information. 

Conclusion

AI and IoT cumulative impact would fundamentally restructure our personal and professional lives. Therefore, wise companies opt for a strategic and innovative strategy to control this incoming phenomenon and transform it into a huge opportunity for their company to escalate. These dependencies and AI and IoT are aiming to gather important issues that process and store data with the visionary approach that can easily escalate businesses. The IoT development company is reshaping the whole scenario by simply combining the AI and IoT functionalities.

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“We won't stop until we see every vehicle on the road being electric,” said Elon Musk, the person who works to revolutionize transportation both on earth and in space. “China is about to ban the internal combustion engine,” said a mining financier, Robert Friedland. Tesla Model 3 needs approximately 65 kilograms of copper per vehicle. Cities are now demanding zero-emission buses. Whether it’s electric cars, buses, trucks, solar energy or wind energy generation – as we transit to a sustainable world, we need more copper, nickel, cobalt, lithium, platinum, palladium, zinc and aluminum. That’s why, mining products will be in huge demand. Nevertheless, in the present world, these minerals and other mining products are already a backbone for most industries.

However, just because mining products are vital to run industries and build a low-carbon future, it doesn’t mean that the society should turn a blind eye to the damages caused due to mining operations.

Concerns from communities and governments regarding the environmental effects of digging up the earth to extract metals and minerals is battering the sector. Also, current investors have become restless and new investors are reluctant to finance mining activities as mining operations have not altered significantly since decades. This puts pressure on mine owners to bring a change in traditional mining practices. Such a situation drives many mine owners to bring data-driven practices into their routine mining operations.

Like most industries, the technology that disrupts the traditional ways of mining will be a significant driver of change in mining. The goal is to make mining more effective, sparing, energy intensive and environmental-friendly.

From decades, the mining industry has been deploying PLC and SCADA systems for monitoring and controlling. But these monitoring and control systems are generally proprietary systems and offer limited interoperability with other systems. This is where IoT-based systems prove to be advantageous. IoT-based systems are based on open and highly connected Internet Protocol (IP) network structure. Such open network architectures enable current mining operations to move toward the next generation of smart mining.

Let's look at how IoT implementation empowers mine owners with its ability to transform traditional mining practices and:

Say NO to carelessness

Since the advent of mining, fires and explosions are serious safety issues. Specifically, in coal mines, spontaneous coal seam combustion turns into a catastrophe mainly due to carelessness. Besides, in the biggest coal producer nation like China, approximately 25.1% of their main coal mines are extremely gaseous mines, which after burning could lead to a disaster. Also, the environment surrounding mines can be vulnerable during combustion as massive quantities of toxic gases, including CO2, CO, SO2 and H2S, are emitted when a mine catches fire. Therefore, prevention and protection from fires is important for secured mining production as well as the global environment.

The mechanism of spontaneous combustion of the coal seam is like a typical spontaneous combustion, which requires oxygen. Hence, measuring the concentration of O2 is the key. In addition to O2, other gas contents, such as CO, CO2, N2, CH4, C2H4, C2H6, Rn and so forth, can be evaluated to detect spontaneous coal combustion at the surveillance spot.

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As shown in the image above, an IoT-based system continuously monitors the sensed values and displays them to remote users through a web dashboard. Besides, the system can send alerts to such users in the case of detecting abnormal values and it can activate mitigation devices (e.g., forced ventilation) to decrease gas concentrations smartly.

Say NO to waste of resources

There is an increasing demand of mining products, mining equipment and resources – such as conveyors, shearers, boring machines, hydraulic pump stations, hydraulic support stations, crushers, loaders, motor vehicles, water pumps and ventilation fans – to run mining operations continuously. Moreover, to increase profitability form the existing resources, mine owners need an effective and safe resource management platform that can bring resource wastage time to zero. In such situations, an IoT network can help mine owners or managers to know the locations of these expensive resources and its usage statistics. Further, the underground staff can also be monitored via an IoT network.

Dundee Precious Metals sets the best example for this. They have deployed nearly 280 wireless access points over 50 km (31 miles) of tunnels in their flagship gold mine placed in Chelopech, Bulgaria. The firm quadrupled production from 0.5 million to 2 million tons by using an IoT-based system to track miners and vehicles locations, monitor vehicles status and automate safety and maintenance operations.

An IoT-based system is not only helpful to mine owners but original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well. The open connectivity of IoT architecture enables OEMs to monitor their product performance in their lifetime, even after the product is sold. Such data can be used to initiate a new revenue stream and to improve product design as well.

Say NO to casualties

In the case of a calamity, miners are taught to escape from the mine first with handy self-rescue equipment and enter a refuge alternative when escaping is cut off. Refuge alternatives are designed to provide 96 hours of breathable air, food and water for underground staff. Although refuge alternatives are only planned for use in post-accident occurrences, so their functionality should be checked periodically to ensure that they are working as intended in an emergency. In addition, a system should be in place to signal the surface instantly when a refuge alternative is triggered after a calamity. One way to monitor a refuge alternative's feasibility status from the ground is to attach sensors, such as a magnetic switch sensor, air quality and temperature sensors to the door of a refuge alternative. These sensors detect the occupancy status, air quality and temperature to ensure that a refuge alternative always stays safe.

To sum up, whether you need to cut expenses, lessen downtime, increase productivity or reduce environmental footprint – an IoT-based system is the right choice.

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