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We had gone from a time when the video call was deemed stuff of the future to being able to switch on appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, microwaves, and more remotely, i.e. from wherever you are. The latter is the outcome of this nifty phenomenon called the Internet of Things. Moreover, while a lot of us may have been struggling to wrap their head around the fact that pretty much everything can be connected to everything, IoT has already evolved to give the world with what is now referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things, a.k.a. IIoT.

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Though, IIoT is fundamentally similar to IoT; the former is differentiated from the latter utilizing the targeted environment. As the name suggests, IIoT is meant for industrial purposes. Under the purview of IIoT, equipment, including all types of machines and sensors, are connected to the internet to communicate with each other. The data generated by the connected equipment is stored and processed to deliver a plethora of benefits to companies, such as improved management of the facility, predictive maintenance, and more. It also helps companies to leverage their EHS data in a substantially better manner. To help you understand the potential of this combination, we have compiled a list of the top benefits it delivers.

  1. Employee safety: With wearable devices, including personal protective equipment, have played a crucial role in transforming how companies ensure the safety of their employees. It is done in a million different ways, such as by detecting human presence far too near equipment, sounding alerts, and switching off the machine in question. It can also be used to identify abnormal levels of specific gases, chemicals, and more via sensors on employees’ person and prevent any untoward incident.
  2. Keep an eye on equipment: Unforeseen downtime for equipment can translate into massive losses for the company. Whereas for employees, it can mean a risk to their safety. In this context, IIoT collects data on all equipment in the facility, makes use of advanced analytics and machine learning to predict faults, if at all. In addition to that, the data thus gathered can also be used to monitor maintenance schedules and even predict if a particular piece of machinery may need an unscheduled service in the future.
  3. Environmental management: Industries make use of a variety of devices that serve to help them with their environmental management-related efforts. Case in point, continuous emissions monitoring systems — they keep an eye on the emission levels of things like particulate matter, dangerous organic compounds, and more to help businesses ensure compliance with emissions-related regulations with absolute ease.

The digital world has long proven that it is a potent sea of advanced technology-based tools that can bring on transformation in the blink of an eye. IIoT is a prime example of technology’s prowess. When combined with workplace health and safety management software, businesses substantially gain access to a robust tool that will assist their endeavors in the context of gathering, tracking, and processing data that will fortify their EHS efforts.

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When Refrigerators Attack - How Cyber Criminals Infect Appliances, and How Manufacturers Can Stop Them

 

Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Systems, Sectigo

 

Homes and businesses worldwide are vulnerable to attacks from cyber thieves and other bad actors – and not just through their computer networks. The embedded electronics inside appliances present an easy path of entry. It’s already been happening. According to Business Insider and Proofpoint, one of the first refrigerator incidents occurred in late 2013 when a refrigerator-based botnet was used to attack businesses.

 

Some of these attacks, such as infecting appliances with botnet malware, don’t really have much effect upon a family’s security and safety. In fact, if a “smart” refrigerator gets infected by a bot, the homeowner might not even notice anything wrong.

 

However, connected-appliance based cyberattacks are not limited to just refrigerators – and they are rarely one-off incidents. Almost any type of appliance can be hacked and used to host a botnet that could attack the web. According to Wired Magazine, a botnet of compromised water heaters, space heaters, air conditioners and other big power consuming home appliances, could suddenly turn on simultaneously, creating an immense power draw that could cripple the country’s power grid.

 

A bot, quite simply, is an infected computer. Many cyberattacks, like the Mirai Malware and the Dyn attacks, infect a network of computers, including “smart” connected devices such as home appliances, security cameras, baby monitors, air conditioning/heating controls, televisions, etc., and turn them all into compromised servers. These compromised servers then act as nodes in an attack and together create a botnet. They can participate in a variety of coordinated attacks, infecting other devices and expanding the network of bots, or participating in Denial of Service attacks.

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Caption: A bad actor or cyber criminal can send infected messages to a home or business network that targets various appliances or machines. Once infected, that machine is under the control of the bad actor and can be used to send out thousands of infected messages to new targets worldwide. The botnets can also send out millions of dummy messages to a single target – overwhelming it and putting it out of service. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Without any apparent symptoms or notice, a criminally enhanced refrigerator could be generating and sending out thousands of attacks every minute. In addition to the homeowner or business manager never realizing what is going on, these attacks may be unstoppable until unless the machine itself is disconnected from its web connection.

 

Additionally, the infected refrigerator could spread malware from the kitchen to the home’s “smart” TVs, to the home’s computer networks, to other smart devices in the home, and even to connected smart phones. Every target could be transformed into malicious bots that distribute millions of infected spam messages and cyber-attacks.

 

So how do we combat this threat?

 

Unfortunately, end users really have no power to fix this problem. There is probably no way for a homeowner, office manager – or even an experienced refrigerator repair person – to talk to a refrigerator’s electronics. No way to get into the appliance’s software and middleware to identify and kill an infection. However, if the homeowner suspects an infection, they could disconnect the refrigerator from the its internet connection to make it “dumb” again.

 

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Fridge caught sending spam emails in botnet attack - In the first documented attack of its kind, the Internet of Things has been used as part of an attack that sent out over 750,000 spam emails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is up to device manufacturers to protect against these attacks. 

 

So how do manufacturers combat this type of attack? How can they ensure that appliances in homes and offices do not get infected to cause mayhem?

 

Security starts in the design process for the refrigerator itself, as well as for the appliances’ various electronic components and control surfaces. Most appliance manufacturers get their control sub-assemblies from a wide network of smaller manufacturers, sometimes with a worldwide supply chain. These suppliers need to make sure that the chips and sub-assemblies they use are secure from hacks.

Two important security practices can be utilized by appliance makers:

 

  • Embedded Firewall with blacklist and whitelist support – Protect appliances and edge devices from attacks by building firewall technology directly into the appliance. An embedded firewall can review incoming messages from the web or over the home network and, via a built in, and regularly updated blacklist, reject any that are not previously approved.

 

  • Secure Remote Updates and Alerts – Validate that the firmware inside the device is authenticated and unmodified before permitting installation of any new firmware updates. Updates ensure the incoming software components have not been modified and are authenticated software downloads modules from the appliance manufacturer.

 

Most consumer and device manufacturers have heard about the potential for attacks on smart devices like door locks, baby monitors, and home thermostats, but this risk awareness needs to expand to types of connected systems – including appliances. An infected refrigerator sending out malware is not just a funny story. These systems have been attacked and used to spread malware.  Ensuring the security of these devices is necessary to protect home network, slow the spread of malware and even protect credit card numbers or other personal data stored in smart home devices.

 

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EXTRA PROOF POINT FOR COLUMN

 

Refer to: https://www.cnet.com/news/fridge-caught-sending-spam-emails-in-botnet-attack/

 

 

 Author Bio - Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Solutions, Sectigo

 

Alan has 25 years of experience in telecommunications and the embedded software marketplace. He is VP of IoT, Embedded Solutions IoT at Sectigo, the world’s largest commercial Certificate Authority and provider of purpose-built, automated PKI solutions. Alan joined Sectigo in May 2019 as part of the company’s acquisition of Icon Labs, a leading provider of security software for IoT and embedded devices, where he was CTO and co-founder, as well as the architect of Icon Labs' award-winning Floodgate Firewall. He is a frequent industry speaker and blogger and holds multiple patents related to telecommunication and security.

 

Prior to founding Icon Labs, Alan worked for AT&T Bell Labs and Motorola.  He has an MS in computer science from Northwestern University.

 

About Sectigo

 

Sectigo provides award-winning, purpose-built and automated PKI management solutions to secure websites, connected devices, applications, and digital identities. As the largest commercial Certificate Authority, trusted by enterprises globally for more than 20 years, and more than 100 million SSL certificates issued in over 200 countries, Sectigo has the proven performance and experience to meet the growing needs of securing today’s digital landscape. For more information, visit www.sectigo.com.

 

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The end of 2020 will see over 30 billion devices connected to the internet, empowering the lives of residents all across the globe. 

 

This sounds too good to be accurate, but seeing the trends we are witnessing right now, it will eventually turn out to be this rapid! 

A few years back, the idea of a smart home would not have appealed to you since you were not reasonably familiar with home automation concepts. 

Today, however, the tables have turned. Technological homes, with easy access to home automation systems and smart home devices, are a popular choice among millennial homebuyers. 

People who have already invested in their dream home are looking forward to upgrading their sacred space with automated devices. 

 

But what exactly is home automation? 

If you are still not familiar with the term, let’s get you caught up first! 

Home automation or put, smart home technology refers to a range and suite of automated devices and home appliances that are connected to a single point of the network, shared by them commonly, with the ability to be controlled and managed remotely and independently. 

In other words, home automation devices refer to essential home system devices that can be controlled entirely by the homeowners, with full access to their management, single-handedly from a remote location. 

Home automation system works like a centralized unit, just like any smartphone app, only this one resides with you under your roof. 

From audio/visual devices to security cameras, thermostats, lighting, other major and minor appliances around your home. 

Everything can be controlled remotely while being connected to the common home internet connection, and controlled via manual means or employing a smartphone. 

 

The future is now! 

Home automation device turns out to be a great luxury in today’s era. They often lead you directly into the sphere of high-functionality devices, which was not possible a few decades before. 

This technological development of the course is still expanding and will continue to grow for several decades until our lives have become more straightforward, more convenient, and more comfortable than ever before. 

Smart home devices or Smart City like these are leading us to relive our animated fantasy and enter a world that resembles The Jetsons. 

The futuristic Jetsons family has offered us our share of adrenaline, right from the very beginning and continues to do so even today. 

Imagine being able to control the smallest, yet the most significant changes around us! 

The lighting, the temperature, your security provisions, your food, drink, and clothing habits; all with a touch of simple screens and voice control actions. 

 

Spoilt by the feasibility of choices 

The idea of reliving your childhood fantasy, just like the Jetsons family might sound like a massive deal to you but is not too far away. 

The concept is not too far out of our reach. It is not too much of a technological cliche as well. 

The future is now and is feasible and easily accessible, more than what you can think! 

There is, of course, a bundle of benefits that comes along with this easy access. 

 

The benefits of smart home automation on a global scale 

It is very convenient 

The prime reason why people opt for smart home automation devices on a large scale is because of the convenience it offers. People gain full access, remotely, to their entire home. 

This even includes controlling the temperature of their homes through devices. As stated before, controlling the heat, the music, the multimedia content you get, the audio and visual aids.

Every single element offers you the luxury to spend your time as per your likings, without having to be bound by responsibilities of any kind. 

You do not always have to get out of the comfort of your cozy bed on a chilly winter night to switch your lights off. 

With simple touches over your smartphone and simple gestures, you can do that! 

You do not necessarily have to take some time out of your busy schedule to get updates from around the world; voice-controlled smart devices will keep you updated of the news briefs while you work. 

 

You are safe at all times

Another reason that adds to the popularity of smart home automation systems is the fact that you can finally live in peace, even when you are leaving your home to go on a vacation. 

It sounds like a miracle to homeowners in quiet towns around the globe; however, it is very accurate! 

You can rely on technology to check up on the safety of your belongings and your home, without having to rely on neighbors who are, of course, friendly, but are humans capable of simple errors. 

Smart security setups can micromanage your home’s safety, even when you are miles away! You will be notified automatically, without any delays in cases of abnormalities. 

 

It is excellent for people of all ages! 

Smart home automation also takes excellent care of the elderly population, sometimes better than us humans. 

They do not require manual devices to take care of themselves, rather smart help monitors them every second of the day and helps them with their medication, moving around, calling medical assistance and other necessary support. 

 

Home automation systems are energy efficient 

Not to forget the energy efficiency that we gain from smart home devices. 

The endless use of AI-powered tools around the house does not put a significant impact on the balance of our ecosystem. It aims at restoring the balance. 

You save energy, improve the overall efficiency with the help of smart home technology. 

The lights switch on and off automatically, through smart sense, when you leave your home without turning them off. 

The intelligent sense detects your presence and warmth to do the necessary tasks, thereby saving up energy and carbon in the environment. 

 

The trajectory 

On an individual level, it seems fun and exciting, to be surrounded by devices that manage your daily routine as per your linkings, but on a global scale, this has turned out to be a game-changer for tech corporations. 

The amount of interest generated via smart home automated devices has turned out to be a significant force, turning the tech markets around on a massive whirlwind. 

The biggest Mobile Application Development Company are today competing against each other, to outdo each other. 

Facebook, Google, Apple, Windows, anyone, and everyone is in this rat race to be the ultimate winner. Bigger and more convenient solutions are being thought about, as far as the significant-tech corporations are concerned. 

Thousands of billions of dollars are being budgeted entirely to develop AI and IoT based devices to make today’s homes and families futuristic. 

The overall statistics state that the smart home device markets have managed to cross $70 Billion mark in 2018 and will continue to increase by over 15% on an annual basis. 

This way, the market is expected to reach over $150 billion by 2025. The growth is tremendous and is, of course, driven by a lot of factors, that have already been mentioned above. 

These factors and the convenience these automated devices offer have managed to drive considerable growth towards the market in the form of willing families and individuals who want to incorporate technology into their lives.  

Watching the trends and the boom in the smart home automation system markets, Governments all across the globe are taking measures to increase the stability of these devices, enhance the security these devices offer and to manage and regulate their benefits and uses around the planet. 

Together, major tech corporations and the Governments are aiming at making the world more tech-friendly!

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The way businesses are carried out today has changed at the fundamental level with IoT. By connecting sensors and devices with the internet, we have reached a new height of progress and innovation, which was not previously possible. This new height is all about data connectivity, analytics, and automation. In the coming times, we will see more of IoT enabled devices and systems getting common in our lives due to the traction gained in terms of home automation and industries. The industries which understand the potential of IoT implementation are more likely to flourish and drive innovation in the niche during the next decade.

What is IoT?

IoT stands for Internet of Things which can be called as a network of physical objects which communicate and interact with each other as well as their environment through an internet connection. This simply means that with more number of devices around us being connected over the internet, it will enable companies to control them remotely, collect more amounts of data as well as enable automation.

The effect of IoT has increased drastically across different industries today. The way IoT has revolutionized them and is playing a key role in its progress has to be well noted.

IoT in Manufacturing

The contribution of IoT in the manufacturing industry is very high and you can say that it is the one that enjoys the highest IoT investment. The investment is taking place at two levels. One is working towards cost reduction and optimizing systems called as inward facing and the other is towards improving customer usage called as outward facing. 

Manufacturers are making use of IoT to carry on predictive maintenance, optimize their processes and to monitor equipment. In order to enhance the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing operations, the use of IoT devices in terms of smart manufacturing is playing a huge role. Smart manufacturing is all about making the existing manufacturing equipment equipped with sensors. This may not be required with the new manufacturing equipment as they have such sensors pre-installed. 

Smart planning is all about offering the supply chain with the smart floor. Information can be captured in real-time and actionable insights can be put to use. Smart manufacturing is all about covering each and every area in manufacturing, which includes plant operations, inventory control product design, demand & supply management, etc. With smart manufacturing, manufacturers get complete visibility of the business which helps them to optimize the supply and demand chain while streamlining the business processes. 

IoT in Transportation

If we try to look into IoT investment, then you will find that IoT holds the second highest position in this arena. One of the best gifts that we have from IoT is self-driving cars. Some of the big names in the industry like Uber, BMW, Ford, GM, and Google have been heavily investing in this area to make use of innovative technologies to come up with self-driving cars. Such kind of self-driving cars will simplify transportation, reduce pollution and even save more lives by preventing accidents. 

More number of public transportation and freight vehicles is using sensors to optimize fuel consumption, schedule maintenance and fleet management. Even some of the vehicles come with digital data recorders which record driving under heavy acceleration so as to indicate the driver of any fatal accidents which might occur. 

IoT in Agriculture

By using IoT technologies, farming and agriculture have been able to make greater benefits. With the help of IoT device installations, the farmers are able to collect valuable data which reveals about their livestock and crops in a number of ways. They can survey land using drones and even measure the resources available on the farms. When all these things come together, it helps the farmers with a new way of carrying out things like precision farming. The role of IoT in agriculture and farming will increase significantly as the demand for food keeps on increasing. 

IoT impacting Healthcare

As per many experts, it has been said that the healthcare industry is going to be one of the main areas where spending on IoT will be considerably high. We already have a number of equipment which does things in a better way like share patient reports and images, helps with ICU management, real-time location systems, finding problems and troubleshooting and medicine dispensing. It is possible for IoT to streamline the data coming from medical service providers and send them back with the help of technologies like mobility solutions and wearables. 

When medical devices are connected with IoT sensors, the doctors will get right information delivered that too with reduced errors. This positively affects the quality of service and diagnosis process. The use of smart beds is also increasing across a number of hospitals. Such beds are capable of sensing the patient and adjusting it automatically so as to offer proper support. 

Improving patient care at homes is possible using IoT applications. Smart medication dispensers can notify the patient automatically when it is time to take the medicines and can also be used to upload the reports on the cloud platform for the doctors to check and make changes in the dose. 

IoT has proved itself and so it is going to stay here for a long time. The use of IoT across the healthcare industry will keep improving as they are looking for better ways to leverage technology so as to improve efficiency. With data sharing becoming simpler in the coming times, the use of IoT applications across the sector will grow too. 

IoT in Retail

What if one day you don’t have to worry about the shortage of supplies in your fridge? What if it can order the items on its own when the stock in the fridge starts to go low? The potential of IoT in the retail industry is high. It is time for us to face smart retailing. A smart supply chain which is based on IoT already exists. There are applications for automated delivery systems, real-time inventory management, product tracking, auto-billing, etc. and here, new trends are visible fast. 

With a smart retail store, it is possible to analyze and understand the shopping journey of the customers through footfalls. Earlier, businesses carried out long surveys to understand the market demands and this was an expensive affair. Now the use of foot-traffic monitoring has increased as a part of smart stores to analyze the areas where the customer is having a problem with finding goods and which are the best selling products. This way it will become possible to assign an executive to the customer so as to help with quick shopping. Based on store traffic monitoring, businesses can improve the in-store shopping experience. This way, by making use of mobile devices, retailers will have a better chance to engage customers and implement new digital marketing strategies. 

With the online marketplace growing exponentially, retailers are looking for ways to grab the attention of the customers and bring them to their stores. For the same, they need to get their hand on data and analytics, which can help them increase footfalls. Based on the data and analytics, IoT can help retailers make the right decisions. Keeping it short, retailers should focus on using IoT applications which can be used to serve the customers in an enhanced manner. 

IoT in Fintech

When we talk of fintech businesses or financial services organizations, their main concern is security. This is the reason why they depend on the network of visual sensors and cameras, which can offer them reliable facilities. When it comes to IoT deployment, the financial services organizations are quite good in numbers and even they are good at visual analytics adoption. Financial companies are going for mobile phones as their endpoint choice along with sensors and cameras. When it comes to IoT implementation, financial forms have many goals to achieve, but the main one is to have better connectivity for their networks as well as employ greater security for their services. 

IoT in Smart Homes & Buildings

IoT has greatly influenced the way we live and work. If we talk about living space, IoT has brought to light the concept of the smart home automation system. This system is all about different connected products which work towards making life more convenient, more comfortable and more pleasant. By using intelligent homes, it becomes possible for the homeowners to build up a pleasant environment within the four walls while working towards efficient energy management and enhanced security through proper customization. To build and monitor smart homes, a number of IoT technologies are available. 

Some of the leading consumer product manufacturing companies in the market are Philips, Haier, and Amazon. You can get news headlines to read to you while you are working, by asking Alexa, the voice assistant of Amazon Echo. 

A perfect example of a smart home design is Philips Hue. This bulb offers you 600 to 800 color lumens to choose from. It can change based on your mood. This product is compatible with other smart home platforms like Apple’s iPhone Home Kit and Amazon Echo. 

In the coming years, the number of smart home devices is going to go high. The smart appliances will includes washing machines, refrigerators, TV, dryers, etc. Then you have smart home energy equipment which provides for thermostats and smart lighting while smart home security systems which include cameras, sensors, alarm systems, etc. Saving energy and reduction in electricity costs can be seen as the major advantage of IoT implementation in smart home concept. 

IoT impact on energy

One of the early adopters of IoT is the utility industry. It is possible to make a better recording of energy consumption using smart meters. This will help the companies offering utility services to efficiently and accurately bill their customers based on consumption. 

Moreover, with the help of smart meters, it will become possible to track down and send back to the grid the amount of energy the users of green technologies consume. And based on that, credit them and pay some incentives as a part of encouraging them towards using environment-friendly options. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for the next level of automation, then IoT is the answer. In the coming time, IoT implementation will become more comfortable with the innovation of new technologies and it will make things faster and secure too. This makes life better at home, as well as at work. IoT is adding in more and more things to the digital environment and it is to make everything easy right from smart kitchen to smart offices, smart traffic to smart parking spaces.

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                                                                                             Source - Salesforce

 

“By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human” – Gartner
Prior to jump into depth to sharing about ‘customer experience optimization through AI technology’ let’s first understand ‘what is customer experience?’. The perception or the value created about the brand to the customer, is called customer experience. The process to increase the awareness with positive intent towards the brand, is called customer experience optimization.

 

To optimize the customer experience, Business needs to first of all understand all moves to be taken by customer while landing initially onto portal to either purchasing the product or services without facing any hassle. Nowadays, AI technology has been implemented across all industries due to have its immense capability to drive strategic data as well as to respond customers quickly that cause business growth.

 

Problems that can be solved using AI:

 

Nowadays, Customers have multiple options when it comes to choose any product or service so Business should be proactive indeed on planning for futuristic action to engage the customer in order to compete with their potential competitors in the market. AI captures the existing data of current business and suggest the next step to be taken by implementing machine learning algorithm.

 

How AI plays a key role in making customer experience optimized

 

AI uses the machine learning algorithm to deliver human sense to customer. AI boost up the business process in such a way that the same service can be delivered in a quick and effective way. Being a customer, we face challenge in accessing support service such as long waiting time to connect with support agent, immediate actions to be taken on account, accessing personal details securely in no time etc. While accessing service or product solution, customer stuck at some point and they look for urgent help by contacting Phone/chat support team through number of channels such as Phone, email, web chat that usually consumes more than expected which may cause customer interest toward the brand.

 

Rather than getting help from support team, Customer always shows their positive intent to resolve the issue by self that enables customer to find the answer quickly, perform the required actions within no time, no additional charge with high secure, share less their sentiment to other human in very secure way. AI helps the customer to access key information based on their keywords they input to the application. Rich collection of content is prepared that allows computer system to sense the customer need and when required, customer access the custom fit content in no time.

 

Impact/Benefit of Artificial Intelligence on Business:

 

AI helps the business to automate and improve complex analytical tasks, to look at strategic data in real-time, adjusting its behavior with minimal need for supervision as well as to Increase efficiency and accuracy.

Below are the following benefits that are accessed by business on AI implementation:

• Increase operational performance that results less effort & time
• Helps stakeholder to take business decision quickly
• Eliminate human error with AI based algorithm
• Prediction analysis through analytics
• Data extraction through solid algorithm
• Increase Profitability
• Intelligent advice suggestion

 

One of the interesting part about AI, it follows pre-trained machine learning models and out-of-the box services that integrates with key customer experience process and solutions. AI can be used in almost unimaginable number of ways including sentiment analysis to understand the next move of a prospect/customer and recommend products based on customer interest.

 

The benefit is not only limited to customer; it is very useful for support process where agent access the knowledge base which contains the information that need to be shared with customer. Each of the little information can’t be memorized by human henceforth AI comes into the picture that helps the support team to guide the customer in right way quickly. AI provides the prediction analysis, and data plays an important role to succeed. AI utilize the captured data into computer system and apply the algorithm to make custom fit solution for end users. With consideration of customer intent, AI is solving many business problems on continuous rate that makes the AI as disruptive solution.

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The oil and gas industry is rapidly getting revolutionized by the Internet of Things. By adopting IoT applications in this industry, it will become possible for them to multiply their profits all the while concentrating on improving safety measures.

As per the experts, it is possible to boost the profit numbers as well as get rid of any unplanned outages by choosing to go with IoT implementation. It is said that by 2019 the global IoT market is said to reach the worth of $1.7 trillion.

Some of the ways in which IoT is said to revolutionize the oil and gas industry are:

Revenue

Every business is based on the idea of generating revenue and when we are looking at things from the perspective of the oil and gas industry, they are said to have a huge impact on the global GDP. As per the study of Oxford Economics carried out in 2015, in the time of few years, the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) at the industry level will increase the global GDP and it is expected to reach around $816 billion in a decade.

With oil prices staying low, it now becomes impossible for the oil companies to make huge profits and so, it is time for them to grab the new opportunity by investing in innovative technologies. Spending some money on such technologies would be better than working on cost-cutting ideas. As the industry will start becoming more competitive the saved time and financial benefits received will turn out to be very invaluable.

Enhanced operational efficiency

Today the majority of the workforce in the oil and gas industry is occupied by the Baby Boomer- aged people. This means it will not take much time for them to retire and soon their place will be left vacant. By using remote visibility and big data analysis together, it will become possible for the companies to properly manage their assets as well as optimize productions by learning from their findings. It is possible to bring down the time needed for troubleshooting from days to a few minutes, simply by opting for IoT. This will help the business to put their time into the operational areas.

Safety risk reduced

One of the main concerns in the oil and gas industry is safety. Now this means both externally and internally. IIoT can help the industry to know and point out different potential issues before they become capable enough to be safety hazards or real problems. Efficient and constant regulation of oil rigs becomes possible with remote troubleshooting. When you have proper IoT implementation in this area, you can be sure of lesser potential dangers in terms of work and less traveling for the employees.

Real-time data

For the oil and gas industry, data plays a very crucial role and big data is not a new thing here. When we compare it with other industries, accuracy and efficiency are very much valued here.

It is possible to see the evident economic difference by increasing efficiency through smaller improvements. Accurate and quick data is what helps with gaining profits in the oil and gas industry. With proper Industrial IoT integration in oil and gas industry, it is possible to monitor oil production in real-time by making use of sensors embedded in thereand it becomes possible for the companies to gather information by applying right automation within data communication systems. This helps them to make informed decisions after properly assessing their assets.

The basic idea here is that by building an effective IIoT environment, the companies will be able to collect useful information from the massive amount of accumulated data. When we talk in terms of IoT, the pumpoff controllers that are present inoil and gas companies are said to play a key role in IoT implementation and this helps the industry to enjoy the benefitsof web services.

End-to-end connected pipeline

This industry needs to have a proper pipeline system to transport huge amounts of oil and natural gas. The cost-effective and safest way to achieve this is by embedding IoT sensors to the central controlling system of the pipeline. By 2025, it is expected that there will be 64 billion devices which will be responsible for sending and collecting data. The IoT sensors used in those pipeline systems monitor different parameters like pressure, temperature, flow, etc. Such information helps in real-time controlling of the moving resources. In order to smoothly control the flow within the pipelines from remote locations, IoT smart valves are installed at different points on the pipeline.

Reduced environmental impact

We can say that right from reducing traveling to bringing down safety risk, IoT implementation in this industry is said to cause a decreased impact on the environment. Some of the benefits of IoT implementation should be the focus in the oil and gas industry are the less emission of carbon, avoiding oil spills, using less energy and avoiding any expected accidents. With IIoT implementation, it is possible to control and monitor resource and energy usage.

Preventive maintenance

A small amount of data which are captured by the legacy systems from the equipment are used up by the oil and gas industry. This data is analyzed for better insights. Now, by using a large number of data points over multiple devices, it will become possible to collect data simultaneously and then combine them together to know about any potential failure in the machines and equipment. By properly using IoT in this industry, it is possible to predict productivity, increase efficiency as well as prevent equipment failures.

Wrapping it up

If we look at the supply chain in the oil and gas industry, proper integration and implementation of IoT in here is said to influence and affect everything right from operations to customer engagement. This industry is here for a long time now and IoT has the power to change it very rapidly towards growth and profits in the right manner all the while making it self-sufficient to catch up with the strong competition.

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For years, I have been written about the promise and perils of the Internet of Things (IoT). In many of my articles I described how the IoT could help transform society and kickstart the next industrial revolution. However, I think after talking these summer days with people outside this "industry" that most of them are lost with the IoT. We still cannot define in a unique and clear way what IoT is and much less explain how thanks to IoT it will change our lives, without using the example of the connected refrigerator.

At the beginning of 2015, I wondered if we would be able to build the Internet of Things. Taking a look at the most recent IoT Landscape I continue seeing how the fragmentation of the market, the lack of standards and the challenge of security continue damaging the growth of IoT. The evolution that not the revolution of IoT, has been slower than I expected and desired. Today not only Telcos admit IoT is failing to meet expectations.

Why are we lost in IoT? Let´s see some arguments.

Lost in IoT connectivity

With so many IoT connectivity options on the market, choosing the right one for your project can be complicated. It scares me to think that billions of devices will be connected in a few years to decentralized IoT networks and with no interconnectivity between them, unless we use millions of edge nodes that transfer messages among devices connected in multiple networks. If it is already difficult to justify the ROI of a use case considering a single type of connectivity, it is almost impossible to justify that these devices can communicate with other devices on different IoT subnets.

In case we consider the doubt small, we add the issue of end-to-end security and the need in some use cases networking in meshes with no single point of failure. Here comes new IoT technologies such as Blockchain to help or to confuse.

It seems that it is easy to get lost among so much connectivity technology. Isn’t true?

Suggested read: IoT Connectivity Options: Comparing Short-, Long-Range Technologies

How will Edge computing impact the global connectivity landscape?

Lost among hundreds of IoT Platforms

At least we already intuit some of the platforms that will survive among the +700 that some analysts have identified. I have only been able to analyze with more or less depth about 100. Surely my methodology of Superheroes and Supervillanos will advance the end of most of them.

It is no longer just one IoT Platform, stupid! Although they want to make it easy for us, companies like AWS, Microsoft or Google add concepts such as Serverless, Data Lakes, AI, Edge Computing, DLT and all the artillery of Cloud services to the core features of the IoT platform. I get lost in its architecture and I feel that if I get too close to one of these black holes, they will end up absorbing me.

Glad to know that “Verizon retools ThingSpace IoT platform to focus on connectivity” and system integrators are they are abandoning their in house development to embrace leaders vendors’ products.

The IoT analysts are also not helping much with its reports. IoT Platform vendors are disputing relevant positions in their graphs but we are lost when do not see any vendor in the leader quadrant of Gartner and most of them are Niche Players.

Lost between the Edge and the Clouds

In “Do not let the fog hide the clouds in the Internet of Things” , I warned about the degree of complexity that Fog / Edge Computing added to the already complex solutions in the IoT Clouds. Now nothing seems to be of great value if we do not include Edge Computing in our IoT solutions. And there our confusion arises again.

The Babel tower of Alliance & Consortiums is consolidating but we keep losing in acronyms. Industrial Internet companies felt relief with the newsThe Industrial Internet Consortium® (IIC™) and the OpenFog Consortium® (OpenFog) unite to combine the two largest and most influential international consortia in Industrial IoT, fog and edge computing. While The Open Group Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF) is defining the next generation edge computing standards for industrial operators.

And again, the question arises, do we wait or start my Industrial IoT project? For now, I choose "Industrial IoT - Edge Computing Vendors Overview"​ as my first book. You can read my post here

Lost in the Proof of Concept (PoC)

Businesses are spending $745 billion worldwide on IoT hardware and software in 2019 alone. Yet, three out of every four IoT implementations are failing.

Microsoft launched a new research report — IoT Signals — intended to quantify enterprise internet of things (IoT) adoption around the world. The survey of over 3,000 IT team leaders and executives provides a detailed look at the burgeoning multi-billion-dollar segment’s greatest challenges and benefits, as well as related trends. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that 30% of respondents say their IoT projects failed in the proof-of-concept stage, often because the implementation became too expensive or the bottom-line benefits were unclear.

There are technical reasons for example the use of Rasberry Pi or Arduino boards in the PoC and realise that you need other more expensive hardware for the project.

There are economic reasons when you try to escalate your PoC to real implementations and then the ROI doesn’t look as well as in the pilot.

There are organization reasons when leaders are failing to go all in. If you can’t get the CEO on board, then the probability to finish in the PoC is almost 100%.

If you are lost in the PoC, these tips can help you implementing IIOT.

  1. Solve a problem worth solving
  2. Keep it quick and simple
  3. Manage the Human Factor

Sources: https://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/blog/IoT-Agenda/Break-out-of-IoT-proof-of-concept-purgatory

https://www.avnet.com/wps/portal/us/resources/technical-articles/article/iot/5-signs-proof-concept-purgatory/

https://titoma.com/blog/industrial-iot-avoid-pilot-purgatory

Microsoft: 30% of IoT projects fail in the proof-of-concept stage

Lost in select the right IoT Ecosystems

In Harbor Research article “ Has Anyone Seen A Real Internet of Things Ecosystem?” ,dated November 2013, the analyst firm wrote that no really significant ecosystem or network of collaborators had emerged in the IoT arena in spite there was early and very interesting efforts being made by several players. This article does not need changes.

Since I wrote “The value of partnership in Industrial Internet of Things”, I have heard, read and repeated hundreds of times how important it is to belong to an IoT ecosystem and how difficult it is to choose the one that suits you best.

All or at least most of those who read my articles know that there is no company in the world, no matter how great it is, it can do everything in IoT. Creating an IoT ecosystem either horizontal (technology) or vertical (industry) requires a lot of talent managers able to maintain win-win transactions over the time. And according to the results, it seems to me that it is becoming very complicated.

I am working in an article in which I will analyse 4 examples of IoT ecosystems that represent a big portion of the value chain in the multiple IoT markets: IoT Hardware Ecosystem, IoT telco Operator, IoT Cloud Platform Vendor and IoT System Integrators. Hope this article could help you, if you are lost with IoT ecosystems.

https://dblaza.blogspot.com/2014/04/will-strong-iot-ecosystem-beat-out-push.html

Remember, you are not the only one lost in IoT

When it comes to achieving a return on their investment from IoT, businesses really need rethink how they are deploying it so that they can manage remotely and secure their assets, use the sensors and devices data to make better real time decisions and be able to monetise it. However, for both to happen, and for IoT project to not end up in the purgatory, businesses need independent and expert advice at several levels to find the right people to lead the project and the right technology and partners to make implementation successful.

 

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The swift evolution of technology over the past decade has presented the world with a profusion of novel tools and resources that offer countless benefits to a wide variety of industries across the globe. A prime example of one such brilliant resources is the Internet of Things (IoT), which offers immense scope to enhance business operations, especially the ones involved in fleet management. The ability to connect the fleet’s vehicles to not only presents opportunities to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency but harness new opportunities for business growth as well.

Moreover, it is so immense is its potential that researchers believe this market will be worth $15.87 million in another five years. That estimate, though massive, isn’t entirely surprising. Just look at the needs driving the need for IoT in fleet management — companies need to innovate, optimize efficiency, and keep a better eye on their operations and the personnel involved. To be able to do all of this, they need a versatile tool like IoT. Allow us to walk you through some of the other benefits provided by IoT in the context of fleet management.

  1. Monitor fleet: With the vehicles in the fleet connected, managers gain seamless access to an overview of their fleet’s activities. They can then analyze incidents, trends, and more to make adjustments in the process accordingly. It will help them to extract the most performance out of their fleet. They can also look at traffic data and road hazard data to put together the ideal route for the fleet vehicles.
  2. Utilize data better: Fleets generate massive amounts go data — including that about things like kilometers driven, speed, fuel consumed, and vehicle usage among so many other things. It is imperative that these factors both be tracked and managed efficiently at all times. Thankfully, IoT saves you the hassle of doing it manually; since all the requisite devices, including the vehicles, systems, software, and more are all connected in real-time, data is gathered and analyzed as it happens.
  3. Improved maintenance of vehicles: Once again, since cars are connected to the internet/cloud, it becomes easier to keep an eye on them for any issues and faults and execute proactive maintenance services. This ability to continually monitor the health of a vehicle helps save costs associated with unforeseen maintenance and vehicle downtime.
  4. Track driver behavior: IoT can also be used to collect data about things like driver pattern, fuel efficiency achieved, and more to gauge drivers’ productivity. Furthermore, it can be used to ensure that drivers don’t break traffic laws and conform to other regulations on the road and provide the appropriate training they are found by not submitting to any such factors.

As you can see, with GPS tracking fleet management solutions, businesses operating in this market stand to gain a plethora of benefits, including enhanced productivity, improved efficiency, and significantly improved customer service. So, it is only fair that your business can benefit from the many advantages IoT has to offer for fleet management.

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Emerging technologies have completely changed the landscape of every business, and event planning and management is no exception. Gone are the days of manual registers and paper flyers as the event management industry is swiftly moving towards technologies like internet of things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) to find unique ways for enhanced attendees engagement.

What is IoT? How is it transforming Event Management Industry?

The Internet of Things or IoT is the concept of connecting any computing devices over the internet to collect and share data using embedded sensors without human intervention.

The opportunities offered by IoT are in abundance to transform any industry. Further, it plays a significant role in revolutionizing event management industry, by rendering mesmerizing experience to the event attendees.

The event industry relies on tons of data, including speakers, potential attendees, caterers, venues, attendees’ check-ins, and payments. IoT has the potential to provide a treasure of attendees data to the event planners and managers to make informed decisions. Information extracted from the data can be utilized for better planning, management, and engagement of the event.

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Let’s discuss some of the major applications of IoT in Event Management:

  • Automated Online Registrations: Manual registration of the attendees at the events is one of the biggest hassles in event management. Nowadays, Smartphones are already equipped with technologies like BLE, NFC, GPS, Wi-Fi, and more. Theses connectivities can be used by event managers to automate the registration process for attendees at the event. Attendees can check-in with the online registration portal when they are around the venue by enabling BLE in their smartphones. An automated notification can be sent to the visitor’s phone, directing them to proceed towards the collection booth to collect their event badges. Hence, it indeed cuts down waiting time and workforce costs required to manage onsite registrations.
  • Smart Catering: It’s challenging to keep track of what most of the attendees will prefer to eat. However, everyday objects such as coffee makers and other food making equipment can be connected with IoT. With the help of the log consumption of edibles at the previous events, event managers can accurately predict the estimation of various eatables that saves you money as well as minimizes food wastage.
  • Intelligent Lighting: IoT can control the lighting of the entire event in a much more cost-effective and efficient manner. With the adoption of smart lighting, event managers can monitor and manage the lighting systems of the whole game anytime, anywhere just at a click from their mobile phones.
  • Enhanced Security through Smart Buildings: Internet of things has transformed simple buildings into “Smart Buildings” that comprises of doors & windows, air conditioners, and more that can be monitored and controlled centrally. With Smart buildings, you can control doors to either stay open to welcome your guests (visitors) or get locked to keep the unwelcome guests out of the premises by integrating video surveillance systems.

To conclude, online event planning solution helps the event manager to create amazing and engaging experiences for their attendees.

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Bad Cars: Anatomy of a Ransomware Attack

By Alan Grau, VP of IoT, Embedded Systems, Sectigo

TV and science fiction writers have let their imaginations run wild with theories about what could happen if your car was attacked by bad actors. There have been a few real-world cases where white-hat hackers and researchers have been able – in limited, controlled instances – to actually penetrate a car’s electronics and communications systems, take over the car’s steering and acceleration systems, and potentially do real damage.

However, there are other scenarios that might not be as obvious or as dramatic.

For example, what if your car’s computer was infected by a virus that greatly reduced the engine’s efficiency or capped the car’s maximum driving speed? What if the virus did something less dramatic, such as make the car unable to lock the controls for automatic window operation, or simply prevent the car from starting? No one would die, but the car owner would be very upset, posing a disaster for the automobile’s manufacturers.

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Motor City Ransomware

Electric Vehicles require sophisticated control and safety technologies for their electrical power systems to safely manage the high voltages that store and distribute from their battery systems. If something goes wrong, the car cannot operate, people could get electrocuted, or the car could burst into flames or explode. These are real dangers that are managed by the car’s network of fuses, circuit breakers, and control systems.

What would happen if a cyber hacker got into these sensitive electronic systems and turned off the safety and control system?

Why would someone do this? Money, of course.

Suppose the bad guys successfully penetrated and infected these vehicles? Imagine now that they had the software or security keys that could fix these problems, but hold them as ransom, jeopardizing an automaker’s entire fleet of new cars.

How many millions (or tens of millions) of dollars would the automaker pay to get that solution? Holding a manufacturer hostage is a very real possibility, as evidenced by the results that today’s hackers are getting by attacking hospitals and cities and successfully extracting substantial ransoms to just return these institution’s data. In a recent WIRED article, The Biggest Cybersecurity Crisis of 2019 So Far, which discusses the risks to “things” and across supply chains, the FBI explained, "We are seeing an increase in targeted ransomware attacks. Cyber criminals are opportunistic. They will monetize any network to the fullest extent.”

Pre- and Post-Assembly Infections

It is possible that cars could be infected before they even hit the auto dealers’ lots. Bad actors have the capability to infect a small electronic part, essential to the auto manufacturing food chain, purchased from one of the hundreds of component suppliers.

How could auto manufacturers possibly test each electronic element? It is almost impossible - and requires that parts manufacturers themselves take more care in their software development process to ensure the software in these components are not infected during manufacturing process, or during the testing and shipping processes.

Of course, cyber infections could happen on the actual assembly line where the cars are put together. With many car manufacturing plants using IoT connected robots and machines, there is always a possibility of infection happening on the assembly line.

These components could even become infected after assembly, during the manufacturers’ testing and process. Infection, during installation, or with after-market parts and upgrades, could arise after the vehicles arrive at the dealers’ facilities.

Already aware of the possibility and the potential disastrous effects of infected cars reaching the market, manufacturers throughout the supply chain need to become more aware of how their devices could be attacked and infected even before they leave the warehouse. This means embedding IoT security from day one - from the smallest electronic components to final assembly of motors, transmissions and other large vehicle components.

About Sectigo

Sectigo (formerly Comodo CA) provides award-winning, purpose-built and automated PKI management solutions to secure websites, connected devices, applications, and digital identities. As the largest commercial Certificate Authority, trusted by enterprises globally for more than 20 years, and more than 100 million SSL certificates issued in over 200 countries, Sectigo has the proven performance and experience to meet the growing needs of securing today’s digital landscape. For more information, visit www.sectigo.com.

 

 

 

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Scaling IoT to meet enterprise needs

Enterprises are increasingly complementing their cloud-based IoT solutions with edge computing to accelerate the pace of data analysis and make better decisions, faster.

Just a few years ago, many expected all the Internet of Things (IoT) to move to the cloud—and much of the consumer-connected IoT indeed lives there—but one of the key basics of designing and building enterprise-scale IoT solutions is to make a balanced use of edge and cloud computing. Most IoT solutions now require a mix of cloud and edge computing. Compared to cloud-only solutions, blended solutions that incorporate edge can alleviate latency, increase scalability, and enhance access to information so that better, faster decisions can be made, and enterprises can become more agile as a result.

That being said, complexity introduced by edge computing should justify the objectives at hand, which include scale, speed, and resiliency. A choice that goes too far in one direction typically introduces substantial operational complexities and expenses. Ultimately, the enterprise should take into consideration a full range of factors that reflect its own particular objectives in designing and building an IoT solution in the first place.

In this article, we discuss when and how enterprises can optimally make use of both the edge and the cloud in their IoT solutions. We explain the roles edge and cloud computing play, why the edge may be needed, and how to approach selecting a solution. We also explain some of the complexities with edge computing and provide some use cases.

The cloud explosion and the latency challenge: Enter edge computing

We have experienced a veritable explosion of cloud adoption in the past decade—the IT functionality of many modern companies exists exclusively, or in large part, in the cloud. Among the many benefits of the cloud infrastructure are cost effectiveness, scale, self-service automation, interoperability with traditional back-office systems, and centralized functionality.

At the same time, the amount of sensor-generated data has grown strongly too, and this trend is expected to continue in the years ahead. Because data can become essentially valueless after it is generated, often within milliseconds, the speed at which organizations can convert data into insight and then into action is generally considered mission critical. Therefore, having the smallest possible latency between data generation and the decision or action can be critical to preserve an organization’s agility. However, as the speed of data transmission is inviolably bounded by the speed of light, it is only by reducing the distance that data must travel that the latency challenge can be mitigated or avoided altogether. In a cloud-only world the data ends up traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles, so where latency is critical to a solution, edge computing can become key.

According to one estimate, as much as 55 percent of IoT data could soon be processed near the source, either on the device or through edge computing. Indeed, scale plays a big role in this likely shift—growing data demands will likely put the focus on latency, and decreased latency could dramatically improve the response time, thereby saving both time and money.

Continuing reading more by Deloitte's Ken Carroll and Mahesh Chandramouli here.

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Newest Trends For Internet Of Things

Now that the Internet of Things has become a social and technical phenom, it is time to check out some of the coming year trends for app developers and the Internet of Things.

Due to the massive amounts of data that is able to be moved through the Internet of Things airways, app developers will continue to develop apps that help as far as artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is not because of the massive amount of information and data that is sent through, rather because of the amount, app developers are working on applications that are able to make logical sense from the information and data.

Storing information and data in the cloud has become firsthand to people and businesses alike. Due to the high amount of bandwidth required to save information in the cloud, businesses are looking for ways to expand on the cloud. All have used private clouds, public clouds and even a private data center, however app developers are working on ways to combine all of those options. When looking for ways to streamline all the business needs, connected clouds are becoming more of a trend. App developers are designing more of a multi-cloud habitat for information and data.

There is a simulation tool that works alongside machine learning, or artificial intelligence. The DTT, Digital Twin Technology is known as a hybrid twin, is a virtual imitation of real products, processes, system or asset used for certain purposes.

Although cloud storage will remain popular in use, app developers are getting real close to edge architecture. This brings the centralized system and the cloud to a further expansive advantage. Not only cheaper but able to be more effective, edge architecture is able to store more data in a micro center.

This is the year of advancement for the 5G mobile devices and their improvements. Last year we witnessed 5G brought to life in applications. Now we see that the new 5G cellular networks will gain massive attention in the Internet of Things. Which will ultimately begin the change of the landscape for the IoT?

We are facing the age of Social acceptance or denial for the Internet of Things. The longer that the Internet of Things develops, the more we will find that some groups are questioning the social, ethical and legal issues. This is because the Internet of Things is very broad-based and capable of changing all business areas.

Infonomics is moving data ownership or monetization to brand new heights. All this data in the Internet of Things will become more of an asset.

The user experience of the Internet of Things is going to be led by factors such as new sensors, new experience edge architecture and context, and of course new and different algorithms. We will then need to adopt new ways without the use of screens or keyboards, and definitely no voice assistant.

There will also be a massive increase of the Smart Homes. App developers have increased the Smart apps that we use, and are developing apps that will make our homes interact with people. Imagine a world where the home is not only where the heart is, but also the home that directs it’s people on what to do.

This means it will not be too far off before app developers have found a way to make smart cities or smart towns. This possibility that the Internet of Things can mix with responsive cities to lighten the traffic congestion, improve the safety in its community and also look for ways to maintain sustainability.

It is also coming closer to the time when the Internet of Things combines with Artificial Intelligence and we produce the robotic assistants. They will help make all critical decisions that need to be made. This self-learning system will read all analytics and derive any important changes.

App developers already have created many apps for Artificial Intelligence. There is a little robot like ‘friends’ that will assist in teaching your children, they interact with the child and some can have little conversations with the child.

A huge improvement that will be soon possible with the help of app developers is what we can call predictive maintenance. This can prevent the labor costs associated with routine maintenance when it is not necessary. Predictive maintenance could be intelligent apps designed by app development companies to notify before maintenance is needed. This could be helpful in automation businesses as a warning before there is a big issue or major break in a piece of equipment. Maintenance will only be necessary when any change is noted in the process or working gears of the machines.

The benefits of predictive maintenance or predictive skills will help auto and health insurance industries to lessen risks or have payouts when the vehicle, home or health issue would have been maintained as needed.

It may not be too far into the future when we are living like George Jetson and his family did, in the days of our youth and on the television. Was that truly foresight, or just a dumb cartoon made up for kids to laugh at? All the technology that has developed to this point, and app developers continue to make our lives easier with smart apps, I do truly think we are very near George Jetson and his wife. Maybe we will be in flying cars real soon too? Dare we say that we do have skywalks, and some automated ones.

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The recent advent of additive manufacturing for printed electronics, for example, has made engineering and design labs game-changing R&D enablers. Engineers will soon find themselves able to quickly, accurately and cost-effectively design and build functional electronics in new shapes with added functionality without having to wait weeks or months to understand whether their smart device works or not. The greater design freedom, compressed project timelines and fully in-house workflows afforded by 3D printing are setting the stage for the long-awaited IoT revolution. These advantages ultimately increase product and cost efficiencies and reduce time to market, meaning consumer can enjoy the benefits of these products faster than ever before.
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The Internet of Things is a beautiful phenomenon, enabling things one would have never thought to be possible until only a decade ago. Now, we have the convenience to turn on home appliances with our mobile phone before you even enter your home. Alternatively, perhaps you use it to turn on your car's ignition and air conditioning a few minutes before you exit your house and leave for work. It is truly extraordinary -- the Internet of Things. Thankfully, the scope of its use isn't limited to the examples we have listed; when used in combination with other solutions, like Drupal, there is no limit of how much your business stands to benefit.

Drupal offers a superb content management framework, which, when brought together with the Internet of Things, can prove to be an exceptionally effective means of establishing and enabling a seamless workflow across the entire business. Among a vast number of things, Drupal can be used as a back-end for the connected things in IoT. Furthermore, its API system enables several interfaces to be connected to it. So, you see why the coming together of Drupal and IoT is highly recommended? Nonetheless, let's walk you through some more reasons why you can't ignore this potent combo.

1. Efficiency: A business that isn't efficient is bound to struggle. However, that can be dealt with IoT devices, with features such as GPS, that are capable of not only collecting and analyzing data but also sharing it, sending the critical data wherever it is needed. Now, a Drupal website can be used to receive it and then set off or prompt specific actions aimed at facilitating significantly better performance.

2. Improved customer service: The ultimate success of the service team is when it delivers better customer experiences, ones that give them exactly what they need, it is imperative to understand them better. It again can be done by leveraging connected devices to gather data and then route it to a Drupal-based mobile or web apps to collate and glean insights. An excellent example of this in action is the Amazon Dash Button, which allows users to order their preferred products with just one click/tap.

3. Ability to function remotely: Sometimes, a business may require project(s) to be monitored remotely Or perhaps there's an equipment that needs to be powered on or off albeit remotely. No points for guessing who can help. Yes, IoT and Drupal. Devices connected to the internet, together with a Drupal website or app, stand to enable a vast variety of functions, such as the ones mentioned above and so much more.

The idea of using Drupal in combination with the Internet of Things is still, admittedly, relatively new. However, the fact that the market has only recently started exploring the applications of this combo doesn't mean there is a dearth of scope. So, as you can see from the above discussion, there’s no telling what your business can achieve with it. Our advice? Find yourself a reputed Drupal company ASAP and get started on leveraging it for the benefit of your business right away!

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

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

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

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

The Importance of R&D for the Internet of Things

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

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

 

 

Outsource or not Outsource R & D for your IoT project

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

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

The benefits of Outsourcing R&D for IoT Projects:

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

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

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

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

Spain is not different in R & D for IoT

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaway

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

 

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

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

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When you have the responsibility of ensuring a manufacturing plant is operating at its full potential at all times, talk of “Industry 4.0” and “industrial automation like never before” might be exciting but far-fetched. Industry 4.0 is just an empty phrase used by marketers who want to take your money, right?

Maybe in some cases, but the ideas behind the buzzy terms can actually give you an edge over competitors. Industry 4.0 is not a phase, but it’s also not an obligation that you need to “opt in to” 100% right away.  Industrial automation is a combined result of our greater digital capacities, smarter machines, and improved cross-channel communication that have accompanied the digital age.

In 2019, the technology is here: from decentralized cloud systemsto self-correcting and self-directing machines. However, it’s not everywhere yet, and most plants are simply taking baby steps towards preparing their lines to be as compatible as possible to these new technologies so that they can gradually work their way in. Industry is slowly moving towards a more optimized, efficient, automated structure, but this transition will be happening in the industrial world over the next few decades.

What do those “baby steps” look like? Where should begin to optimize lines in the most cost-effective, long-term ROI benefits?  We have compiled a list of 5 relatively simple ways you can take this year to set your plant up for new “Industry 4.0” industrial automation technologies:

1. Integrate a Single Virtual Server

Managing the IT aspect of your plant is difficult when you need to find cost-effective storage and data processing solutions for your company that also comply with all of the regulations and contingencies of your industry. However, upgrading a server to a virtual option is probably the most important upgrade you can do to get started on the road to future industrial automation applications that use a truly decentralized communication with virtual operating system.

If your plant currently runs exclusively on physical servers, you don’t need to go virtually all at once. The wonderful thing about industry 4.0 is that much of the software integrations available will integrate with your existing hardware. You can invest in one virtual server, and then layer software integrations on to it over time.

By starting with a single server, you can cut costs, maintain a realistic learning/adaptation curve, and try out a virtual server option without committing 100% to a change. There are numerous virtual server options available, so talk to a process automation expert about what server will work best for your plant, and which server to upgrade first.

2. Get Basic Industrial Automation Security – Two-Factor Authentication

With increased adaptability and communication on virtual servers comes increased cyber threats, and unfortunately, there is no way around this. One of the easiest and fastest upgrades you can do for your company is to implement two-factor authentication (2FA) for all employees. A simple password is no longer anywhere near secure enough to protect your employees and your data.

Luckily, everything from Twitter to Cloud servers now offer 2FA options, it’s usually just a question of getting the settings implemented correctly and creating a protocol that requires every employee to use 2FA at all times. It may seem tedious or frustrating at first, but this is a small habit that can make a huge difference in your cyber security and overall functioning of your plant.

3. Make Your Next Machine Purchase a Smart Machine

You probably aren’t yet at the point of having a completely automated assembly line of smart machines that create highly customized orders while communicating with and correcting each other (like the assembly line in this German plant.) However, smart machines do exist, and if you are getting ready to purchase a new machine, finding one that has automation, optimization, and decentralized communication abilities will be a great investment in your plant’s future.

Customizable “smart machines” are virtually independent of a human operator. The ability of these machines to adapt to the demands of individualized production requirements allows for scalable, lean production processes. In other words, with these new machines, you can produce a larger variety of products faster than ever before.

If your current machines are working fine, there is no need to replace them with smart machines right away. But from this point forward, it is a good idea to consider buying a smart machine for your next upgrade. Don’t be afraid to use an automation integrator to advise you on the appropriate machine, technology, and compatibility with existing plant automation systems.

4. Implement Technology Upgrades that Overlay or Automatically Integrate Existing Plant Industrial Automation

Be choosy about the automation products you decide to implement into your current systems moving forward. You want applications that both set your systems up for future technology integrations and help move you away from expiring legacy applications.

This shouldn’t mean replacing all your old applications, programming, and platforms all at once other. Most Industry 4.0 automation tools are created in an “overlay” style, meaning they are created to be able to function on top of your existing processes and are not supposed to disrupt everything you have already built.

Embracing a new software or system should never mean that you have to throw away your existing processes and start from scratch. If this is how you feel when you are getting ready to purchase a new software, machine, or server then it probably isn’t the right product for your company.

Talking to an expert about what products will work best with your current setup is a good idea before making any changes to your industrial automation. At my company, EPIC systems, we've seen the difference that selecting the right product solutions has made for hundreds of process automation projects — it's a key step for any manufacturing plant. No matter who you work with, you don't want to bypass this step.

5. Optimize One of Your Plant’s Processes

Divide and conquer, as they say. Just as it is best to upgrade one server at a time, it is helpful to focus specifically on one plant process at a time when you are looking to optimize and automate your plant.

This could mean focusing on optimizing your shipping procedure or optimizing one assembly process. The important thing to remember is that as you do this “experimental optimization” you are not just looking for an impressive return on investment, you are also looking to get your entire team comfortable with the automation and ready to embrace even more. This is why the “how” is just as important (if not more important) than the “what” when it comes to choosing a process to optimize. Go slow, be transparent, and include everyone in the process so that it is a success all around.

Industry 4.0 is creating a world where employees can delegate mundane tasks to smart machines and rely on highly communicative, agile systems in order to work faster and more effectively than ever before. There is no reason for any manufacturing plant to be left behind in this industrial evolution, with numerous products and services available to help walk you through the industrial automation process gradually and intelligently.

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E-commerce, much like every product of technological evolution, has made headway at a mind-boggling pace. Here are some stats that will help you gain a better perspective on this industry: e-commerce sales stood at $1.86 trillion in 2016. Also, researchers believe that this figure will grow up to $4.48 trillion in two more years, i.e., by 2021. While multiple factors contribute and continue to drive this fast-paced growth, there is no one that not many people pay close attention to the Internet of Things.

IoT has quietly revolutionized the e-commerce market by facilitating significantly better logistics as well as an enhanced user experience. It isn't surprising though -- especially when you consider the fact that over 30 billion devices are set to become 'connected' by next year. A constantly growing network of such devices means IoT has helped e-commerce businesses to not only deliver better products and services but also achieve better outcomes with their marketing initiatives and enhance customer's overall experience among other things.

Here's a closer look at what IoT means for e-commerce and how it enables companies in this sector to achieve robust growth.
1. Better inventory management: Managing inventory is an understandably challenging task when there are multiple warehouses involved. IoT has tackled that issue with the provision of things such as 'smart' shelves, which track the products sold and automatically place orders when products, especially high-performing ones, are about to go out of stock. It, in turn, boosts the levels of customer satisfaction.

2. Transformed consumer experience: IoT allows companies to leverage devices such as smart mirrors to allow clients to try out their products from the comfort of their home, thus delivering completely novel and distinctive customer experience. IoT can also be used to glean insights from social media platforms to understand which of the company's products are preferred and if there are any issues customers face. Implementing such data facilitates a deep shopping experience, resulting in better customer engagement as well as satisfaction.

3. Enhanced product ecosystem: Sensors, a crucial part of the phenomenon that is IoT, can be utilized to foster new opportunities for better product ecosystems. Furthermore, it can be used to provide customers with access to maintenance services or perhaps even recommending related products and services once the sale has been made.

4. Seamless delivery: Bigwigs from a broad variety of industries, including Amazon, are already using IoT to streamline their delivery processes. How? For starters, there are autonomous warehouse robots, which can be integrated with the business' warehouse management systems and then used to enhance order picking throughput, improve the warehouse's inventory density, and cut down labor costs among other things. All of these factors, together, help ensure a substantially more organized delivery system.

While IoT has already changed the face of the e-commerce industry, in the future it will further enable companies to better their marketing efforts, deliver better support to customers, and more, resulting in superior experiences for customers. So if you too want to jump on this bandwagon, we suggest you select a trusted e-commerce websites development company at the earliest possible.

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Studies that by next year, we will have more than 20 billion IoT devices connected to the internet. Also, that's not just limited to, say, mobile devices or even household device. The evolution of IoT has come to the point that we now also have vehicles that are connected to the internet, as carmakers strive to give their customers better creature comforts and conveniences within their automobiles. So, you can see, that the Internet of Things (IoT) offers immense possibilities for web development as more and more such devices come online.


How? It is quite simple. First, the nexus of IoT devices depends on web servers. Then there's also the data gathered from the sensors, which is saved in the cloud. So how do you think the connected devices communicate with each other? They rely on experimental messaging protocols. Finally, users need a UI to engage with the connected devices. Long story short, web development is a critical part of IoT.


Now, let's get into the details of how IoT has already and continues to revolutionize web development.
1. Data collection: One of the essential elements of IoT devices is the massive amounts of data they work with. The tools gather real-time data from sensors, then filter and process them, before relaying it to the cloud and back again. In the context of web development, this data can be leveraged to fine-tune the web development project, allowing companies to offer products and services that improve with time.
2. User interface: Since IoT devices depend on dynamic UIs to serve the individual needs of various users means that web developers must now take an entirely new approach to design UI. The micromanagement of the UI necessary for correctly displaying all types of data results in IoT devices offering multitasking abilities and overall versatility to users.
3. Enhanced focus on security: While it is miserable to realize, the truth remains that IoT devices, despite their prevalence, suffer at the hands of lack of robust security. It is one of the biggest reasons why users are still reluctant to embrace them. Thankfully, the solution to this conundrum is found in web development. Developers can help fortify IoT devices by integrating certain security features in their code. It can include user identification, identity verification, access management and more.
4. Hybridization of development teams: Ask any developer and will tell you that a hybrid team is practically a death knell for the development project. Nonetheless, work requires completion when IoT is involved. To deliver successful IoT web app development projects, web designers must work together with experts proficient in IoT. It will allow them to concatenate code with the data.


One may be inclined to deem the impact of IoT on web app development as damaging, but you still can't deny that every time such integrated event occurs, it eventually leads to ultra-modern technologies that profoundly affect and transform our way of life even further.

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We’ve heard a great deal about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it’s going to change the face of business as we know it. However, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) goes a step further, particularly with reference to how smart sensors and actuators can enhance and improve the manufacturing and industrial processes. So, what exactly is the IIoT and how will it really change every business? Read on to find out more.

 

What is Industrial IoT?

To put it simply, the IIoT aims to dramatically improve efficiency and productivity within the industrial industry. It leverages the power of smart machines and sensors to take advantage of the data that machines have produced in industrial settings since they began. The combination of real-time analytics and smart machines is not only better than humans at capturing data, but it’s also more accurate in reporting the information.

How it Works

Though it sounds rather complicated, in practice, it’s really quite simple. This network of intelligent devices will work together to monitor, collect and analyse data. It works like so:

  • The intelligent devices gather information
  • They then transmit this to the data communications infrastructure
  • It’s converted into actionable information for humans
  • This can be used for routine maintenance as well as optimising business processes

 

IIoT vs IoT – What’s the Difference?

IIoT and IoT undoubtedly have plenty in common, from cloud platforms, sensors and connectivity to machine communication and analytics. However, there are a few differentiating factors. For example, IoT applications connect devices across multiple fields – between healthcare, agriculture and enterprise for instance. IIoT, on the other hand, only connects machines and devices within specific industries such as oil, gas and manufacturing.



What Are the Benefits?

Though the technology has received inordinate amounts of funding, technical due diligence is still frequently required from some sceptics. On the whole, however, there are many positives that investors simply cannot ignore.

One of the main benefits is the aforementioned predictive maintenance. This will almost allow industrial businesses to operate like clock-work. It will predict faults in machinery before they actually happen, allowing for swift work in fixing any issues. This prevents losing any time from production due to a defective machine which may have previously cost the business money.

A further benefit is asset tracking. Now, suppliers, manufacturers and even customers can use asset management systems to monitor the location and status of products throughout their life cycle. This will include everything from manufacturing to dispatch. It can send alerts to various stakeholders if it’s thought that the product might be damaged, allowing them to take preventative action before it’s too late.

What is the Future of IIoT

Interestingly, the top three industries investing in IIoT are transportation, manufacturing and utilities. Where some businesses may be reluctant to adopt new technology, it seems that the IIoT is different. It’s an exciting prospect, which continues to accumulate more appeal across the globe as it develops. Time will tell just how quickly this technology will change the way many industries operate.



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