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A company is a collection roles filled by people who are assisted by machines, networks, and software to accomplish tasks needed to achieve the goals of the organization. Can these roles be represented by #DigitalTwins and can #Bots carry out their activities?
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5 Tips for Expanding your Embedded Skills

As embedded systems engineers, we work in a field that is constantly changing. Not only does change come quickly, the amount of work and the skills we need in order to successfully do our jobs is constantly expanding. A firmware engineer used to need to know the microcontroller hardware and assembly language. Today, they need to know the hardware, several languages, machine learning, security, and dozen other topics. In today’s post, we are going to look at five ways to expand your skillset and stay ahead of the game.

Tip #1 – Take an online course

Taking an online course is a great way to enhance and add to your skillset. If anyone tries to tell you that you don’t need additional coursework don’t let them fool. I’ve often been called an expert in embedded systems, but just like everyone else, I need to take courses to learn and maintain my skillset. In fact, just this week I took a course on Test Driven Development taught by James Grenning, the expert in TDD. I’ve been playing with TDD on and off for several years but despite that familiarity, working with an expert in a subject matter will dramatically improve your skills. I was able to pick James’ brain on TDD, enhance my skills and walked away with several action items to work on over the next several months.

Start by identifying an area of your own skillset that is deficient, rusty or even an area that you want to just move to the next level in. Then find the expert on that topic and take an online, interactive or self-paced course with them. (I won’t mention my own courses that you can find here … ooopps!  )

Tip #2 – Read a book

Books can be a great way to enhance your skills. There are dozens of books on embedded system design that can easily be found at any bookstore or online. Some books are better than others. I’ve started to write-up reviews on the books that I’ve read in order to provide you with recommendations on books. This is just in its infancy and can be found at: https://www.beningo.com/?s=book (I’ll be adding a category in the near future to the blog).

You might also want to check out Jack Ganssles book reviews as well which you can find at: http://www.ganssle.com/bkreviews.htm

Books that I am currently working through myself that I’ve been finding to be fantastic so far include:

  • TinyML
  • Clean Code
  • The object-oriented thought process

Tip #3 – Watch a webinar

Webinars are a great way to get a high-level understanding of a new skill or topic. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t get an advertisement for a webinar in my inbox. Unfortunately, all webinars are not created equal. I’ve come across many webinars that sound fantastic, only to later discover that they are totally marketing focused with little real technical information. I produced anywhere from 8 – 12 webinars per year and always try to include high-level theory, some low-level details and then a practical example through a demonstration. It doesn’t always work out that way and every now and then they undoubtedly flirt with being marketing versus technical, but I always try to make sure that developers get what they need and know where they need to go to dive deeper.

Over the coming months keep a close eye on webinars as a potential source to enhance your skills. I know that I’ll be attending several on Bluetooth Mesh networking (hoping they aren’t pure marketing pitches), and I will also be pulling together several of my own.

Tip #4 – Build something for fun

There is no better way to learn a new skill than to do something! I’ve always found that people who attend my webinars, courses, etc learn more if there are demonstrations and hands-on materials. It’s great to read about machine learning of continuous integration servers but unless you set one up, it’s just theory. We all know that the devil is in the details and applying the skill is what sharpens it.

I highly recommend that developers build something for fun. More than a decade ago when I wanted to learn how to design and layout PCB’s and work with USB firmware, I decided that I was going to develop a USB controlled light bar. I went through an accelerated development schedule and designed schematics and a PCB, had it fabricated and then hand soldered the parts. I wrote all the firmware and eventually had a working device. I learned so much building that simple light bar and even used it for as an example during interviews when I was looking for a new job (this was before I started my business).

Even today, I will still pick a project when I want to learn something. When I was evaluating MicroPython I built an internet connected weather station. It forced me to exercise many details and forced me to solve problems that I otherwise might not have considered if I hadn’t dived into the deep end.

Tip #5 – Find a mentor

The times that I’ve accelerated my understanding of something the most has usually been under the guidance of a mentor or coach. Someone who has mastered the skill you are trying to work with, has made every mistake and can share their wisdom. It’s certainly possible to learn and advance without a mentor but having feedback and the ability to answer a question and then get an educated response can dramatically accelerate the time involved. That’s one of the reasons why I often host interactive webinars and even have a coaching and trusted advisor offering for my clients. It’s just extremely helpful!

Conclusions

No matter how good you are at developing embedded software, hardware and systems, if you don’t take the time to update your skills then within just a few years you’ll find that everyone else is passing you by. You’ll be less efficient and find that you are struggling. Continuing education is critical to engineers to ensure that they are up to date on the latest and greatest practices and contribute their products success.

Originally posted here

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

by Jack Ganssle

[email protected]

Recently our electric toothbrush started acting oddly – differently from before. I complained to Marybeth who said, “I think it’s in the wrong mode.”

Really? A toothbrush has modes?

We in the embedded industry have created a world that was unimaginable prior to the invention of the microprocessor. Firmware today controls practically everything, from avionics to medical equipment to cars to, well everything.

And toothbrushes.

But we’re working too hard at it. Too many of us use archaic development strategies that aren’t efficient. Too many of us ship code with too many errors. That's something that can, and must, change.

Long ago the teachings of Deming and Juran revolutionized manufacturing. One of Deming's essential insights was that fixing defects will never lead to quality. Quality comes from correct design rather than patches applied on the production line. And focusing on quality lowers costs.

The software industry never got that memo.

The average embedded software project devotes 50% of the schedule to debugging and testing the code. It's stunning that half of the team’s time is spent finding and fixing mistakes.

Test is hugely important. But, as Dijkstra observed, testing can only prove the presence of errors, not the absence of bugs.

Unsurprisingly, and mirroring Deming's tenets, it has repeatedly been shown that a focus on fixing bugs will never lead to a quality product - all that will do is extend the schedule and insure defective code goes out the door.

Focusing on quality has another benefit: the project gets done faster. Why? That 50% of the schedule used to deal with bugs gets dramatically shortened. We shorten the schedule by not putting the bugs in in the first place.

High quality code requires a disciplined approach to software engineering - the methodical use of techniques and approaches long known to work. These include inspection of work products, using standardized ways to create the software, seeding code with constructs that automatically catch errors, and using various tools that scan the code for defects. Nothing that is novel or unexpected, nothing that a little Googling won't reveal. All have a long pedigree of studies proving their efficacy.

Yet only one team out of 50 makes disciplined use of these techniques.

What about metrics? Walk a production line and you'll see the walls covered with charts showing efficiency, defect rates, inventory levels and more. Though a creative discipline like engineering can't be made as routine as manufacturing, there are a lot of measurements that can and must be used to understand the team's progress and the product's quality, and to drive the continuous improvement we need.

Errors are inevitable. We will ship bugs. But we need a laser-like focus on getting the code right. How right? We have metrics; we know how many bugs the best and mediocre teams ship. Defect Removal Efficiency is a well-known metric used to evaluate quality of shipped code; it's the percentage of the entire universe of bugs found in a product that were removed prior to shipping (it's measured until 90 days after release). The very best teams, representing just 0.4% of the industry, eliminates over 99% of bugs pre-shipment. Most embedded groups only removed 95%.

Where does your team stand on this scale? Can one control quality if it isn’t measured?

We have metrics about defect injection rates, about where in the lifecycle they are removed, about productivity vs. any number of parameters and much more. Yet few teams collect any numbers.

Engineering without numbers isn’t engineering. It’s art.

Want to know more about metrics and quality in software engineering? Read any of Capers Jones’ books. They are dense, packed with tables of numbers, and sometimes difficult as the narrative is not engaging, but they paint a picture of what we can measure and how differing development activities effect errors and productivity.

Want to understand where the sometimes-overhyped agile methods make sense? Read Agile! by Bertrand Meyer and Balancing Agility and Discipline by Barry Boehm and Richard Turner.

Want to learn better ways to schedule a project and manage requirements? Read any of Karl Wiegers’ books and articles.

The truth is that we know of better ways to get great software done more efficiently and with drastically reduced bug rates.

When will we start?

Jack Ganssle has written over 1000 articles and six books about embedded systems, as well as one about his sailing fiascos. He has started and sold three electronics companies. He welcomes dialog at [email protected] or at www.ganssle.com.

 

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Internet of Things is the perfect example of something being so simple and elegant yet being an astounding and breakthrough innovation in the modern era of disruptive technologies. This technology has already projected its influence over typical machine-based industries like oil & gas, automotive, manufacturing, utilities, etc.

However, IoT is not only beneficial for production-based companies but can also be used for practical applications in B2C businesses like tourism and hospitality.

Internet of Things in the hospitality business not only helps hotels and restaurants to improve their services but also empower their guests to enjoy exceptional hands-on experiences. It creates a network of connected devices that offer smart and autonomous experiences to the visitors.

Internet of Things offers a ton of possibilities to a hospitality business. Big hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton have already implemented this disruptive technology to enhance their generous services and provide their guests with out of the box experiences.

Below are some applications of IoT that a hotel or any hospitality business can use:

 1.Guestroom Automation to Elate Customers:

After a long journey, guests expect a pleasant and warm stay from their temporary accommodation. They prefer a completely customized service as per their expectations and likings. Smart IoT solutions now empower hotels and guesthouses to provide their visitors exactly what they desire.

IoT allows the development of a centralized and connected network between different automated systems and appliances. For example, based on their desire and liking your guests can alter the luminosity and intensity of the lights from IoT based smart lighting solutions. Moreover, appliances can also conduct operations autonomously. For example, proximity sensors embedded in the room can detect the movement of the guest and turn on the coffee machine to brew the beverage.

You can also use this connected network to identify the preferences of your customers and use this information to surprise your customers with customized and personalized services the next time they visit.

Furthermore, hospitality businesses having their hotels in different locations can also share data about their customers in a common CRM to make sure that the guests come across the same experience in every branch of the hotel chain.

This cross-property integration allows hotels to keep their customers’ profiles in a centralized system that can be accessed distantly. IoT plays a crucial role in this as it enables a hotel to collect guest’s data and share it with its patrons via the common info management software.

 2. Predictive Maintenance of Room Appliance:

The biggest disappointment for a guest is when they enter their previously booked room and find a leaky pipe or damaged air conditioner. These instances not only affects the immediate experience of the visitor but also the overall reputation of your hotel.

In order to prevent these situations, you can use the predictive analytics capabilities of the IoT solutions. Smart sensors and meters can be installed in appliances and pipeline networks to identify the possibility of unexpected breakdowns and malfunctions before your guest encounters them. These sensors will notify the room service staff about bottlenecks and enable them to fix the issue before it actually occurs.

This predictive analytics system can hence be used by hotels to improve maintenance systems and prevent sudden failure of any appliance in any of the rooms. This not only will help you to boost your customer service but also protect your hotel chain’s reputation from getting spoiled. Additionally, you will also save a lot of money that is generally spent to repair the broken equipment at a moment’s notice.

 3. Guestroom Transforming Features:

The appeal of any hotel lies in its rooms. Primarily, it is the main aspect of a hospitality business that visitors’ book. Even if you give your users with relaxing spa vouchers or free-swimming pool amenities, they are more likely to be disappointed if you don’t provide them with best in class staying experience.

It is hence of utmost importance for any hotel to keep its rooms abreast with amazing features. One way to do so is by using devices powered with quintessential technologies that are capable of presenting an amazing experience to the guests.

Some of these devices include smart switches, electronic key cards, and voice assistants. Voice assistants Amazon Alexa can be programmed to specifically cater to the demands of the customer staying in the room. This IoT and AI-powered device will enable hotel staff to monitor the preferences and likings of the guests and provide personalized services the next time they visit.

4. Smart Solutions for Hotel management:

IoT not only empowers hospitality businesses to provide outstanding services to its guests but also manage other tasks related to its conventional operations. By using facility management services of IoT, a hotel can manage the consumption of its utilities and reduce the cost associated with its usage.

Furthermore, these solutions can also be used by hotels to manage inventory and optimize resource utilization. Hence, hotels can reduce their manpower and cut costs. Moreover, these services will also aid the business to increase its guest satisfaction through its unique staying experiences.

CONCLUSION:

The success of any hospitality business depends on the satisfaction it can provide to its guests. By using the technology of IoT and its features, a hotel can enhance its services and capture the heart of its guests.

IoT helps the hospitality business to enhance its services related to housekeeping and accommodation that in turn boosts the satisfaction of the customers. This also increases the reputation of the hotel chain which results in better business opportunities.

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Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer a buzzword but it is a reality. IoT has become an integral part of most industries, and IoT platforms providers are playing a vital role in the seamless deployment of IoT devices. IoT platforms provide great value to your business, allowing you to build, deploy, and scale products and reduce development cost by streamlining the process. However, many stakeholders are still confused about what IoT platform they should go with.

 
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How Does IoT Affect Geolocation?

Location tracking, or simply geolocation, constitutes an integral part of human existence today. For individuals, it enables things like navigation, vehicle connectivity services, and more. Whereas for companies, geolocation plays far too many crucial roles, than it would be possible to list here. But as is the case with any technology, we have found a way to improve geolocation as well. Internet of Things is yet another formidable technology that has fundamentally transformed lives all over the world. But before we can explore what these two offer together, let’s understand what these two areas individual technologies.

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Geolocation is what facilitates the ability to determine the location of people, objects, and more. IoT, on the other hand, is a network of connected devices. Those are the simplest, most basic definitions of the two stars of this article. These two find common ground in the endeavor to enhance processes, efficiency, and more across businesses, governments, and individual lives. But the world is in the early stages of leveraging this potent combination of geolocation and IoT. And given the advantages one stands to gain from this union, experts are convinced geolocation will, sooner than later, become an essential facet of IoT.
Let us walk you through some of the possible benefits and advantages that explain why and how that will come to be.

  1. Bringing IoT together with geolocation will do away with the need to individually implement geolocation functionalities and services for every possible implementation. How? It is quite simple, really; combining them will help cut down the costs associated with development as well as substantially improve the potential of economies of scale.
  2. Given just how robust each of the two aforementioned technologies are, together, they will be able to iron out any issues and challenges. It is associated with not only integration but also the interoperability of location sensors and other geolocation tools with various aspects of IoT platforms. Here’s an example to help you understand better: Integrating a position sensor and maintenance sensor with logic tailored to the company’s workflow. A health care company can easily tend to maintenance jobs of various machines even if its campus and facilities are spread acres and acres of land.

As time and technology progress, we went from simple location tracking services and location-aware devices to integrated location-based services. It makes use of data and analytics enhance and better use the concept of location awareness to drive better processes across businesses. And as more and more companies not only embrace IoT but become heavily reliant on it, it won’t be too long before the two would become critical to ensuring each others’ efficiency.

But before you set out to implement this powerful combination for your location-based mobile apps, it is imperative to find the tools that not solely work well with each other but also drive better results. This seamless interoperability is essential to ensure they can be leveraged with equal ease across a diversity of use cases, old or new.

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IoT in Healthcare is believed to achieve that envisioned ‘Smart Healthcare’ as it led to establishing a digitized healthcare system. What could we expect from Smart Healthcare with IoT? Connected medical resources and healthcare services as experts in the industry believe.

However, is it feasible? Alternatively, are we still talking about an imaginary world of healthcare services and solutions?

Although we know the healthcare industry suffers from many healthcare inefficiencies, IoT is considered as a game-changer for the domain. Convenience, efficiency, and automation are all IoT stands for.

Did you know that Healthcare in America is grossly inefficient? Due to this, the cost of healthcare services is high. 

However, technology got the back of Healthcare and continually pushing up the sector to deliver better services with higher efficiencies.

Recently, the healthcare industry has gone through a significant transformation with the impact of IoT. According to Accenture, the forecasted value of the internet of healthcare things is expected to be $163 billion by the end of 2020. 

IoT in Healthcare has shown to add value to critical healthcare operations. It is also believed to offer greater efficiency and accuracy in the operations of healthcare providers. 

Let’s look at significant areas of healthcare services where upgrading systems and processes with IoT could bring significance is delivering value.

 

  1. Remote Health Monitoring

According to a stat, remotely monitored patients be 36 million by 2020, up from 4.9 million from the year 2015. World’s population has already become dense, and in that healthcare costs continue to increase. Individuals, as well as organizations, are seeking new ways to reduce costs and improve patient care. 

In a scenario like this, IoT emerged as an excellent tech help for the industry. Using IoT, the healthcare industry is becoming capable of providing new services and solutions through remote health condition monitoring. Devices are in-built with sensors and actuators and are capable of collecting and sharing digital data to other remote locations using the capability of cloud. It is helping the industry enhance the patient experience as well as the efficiency of health professionals. 

 

  1. Emergency Notification Systems

Innovation in IoT increases the number of connected devices, and emergency notification systems are one of its results. Due to connected devices and convenience of data sharing in real-time all due to IoT, today’s emergency notification system helps Healthcare overcome the two most essential in-efficiencies: speed and reach. 

Reach is essential in medical assistance. IoT not only helps healthcare institutions and professionals to act proactively but also enable them to speed up the assistance processes.   

 

  1. m-Health

Smartphones, along with innovative apps, are the most convenient way to collect health data and provide care. Besides smartphones, medical devices connected using a wireless networks also considered a vital health tool. However, one can look up to data and control and give command using the applications provided in mobile devices. 

With the help of it, the patient can be monitored at home.  IoT in Healthcare allows medical practitioners; on the other hand, the ability to set a patient-specific monitoring threshold as well as machine response parameters. It helps the practitioner look up to his patient not just from a remote location but also take action as per the change in the patient’s health. 

There are several advantages of mHealth, such as remote patient monitoring at home, out-patient tracking, home nurse scheduling, remote diagnostics, and lots more.  

 

  1. Wearable Heart Monitors

Heart rate is essential about your overall health. Heart monitoring is one of the easiest ways to gauge how well your body is working. 

However, people usually avoid giving notice of irregular heartbeats or pain in the heart as they have to visit the doctor. However, today, smartwatches and fitness trackers are built with technologies like heart rate sensors. It has made it easy to keep tabs on your ticker without seeing your doctor. However, they’re starting to do a lot more than track your data.  

 

  1. Point-Of-Care Medical Diagnostics

Point-of-care diagnostics though offered portability but lacked in delivering personalized and quick care — however, Point-of-care medical diagnostics with IoT. 

Lead the industry towards smart and connected point-of-care that ensures personalized care and complete security at a global scale. It represents an excellent opportunity to provide sensitive, rapid, low-cost connected diagnostics through point-of-care medical diagnostics.

IoT not only helps patients and medical practitioners but also affects health insurance processes for better. 

Connected devices have disrupted healthcare insurance completely. IoT based monitoring systems let the experts determine the trend in Healthcare. It enables them to come up with new strategies, i.e., replacing long-term health plans with short-term solutions explicitly designed as per individual needs. However, it needed precise data sets, and here, IoT in healthcare devices helps them collect. Having precise data, health insurance companies fine-tune their policies, and it also minimizes risks of losing funds due to unforeseen scenarios. 

 

How IoT Exactly Helps? 

Insurance firms are using monitoring sensor-based solutions which are today upgraded to perform IoT functions. These devices or solutions are biosensors, connected health devices, your Fitbit or other wearables along with mobile apps as a product in their insurance policies for monitoring and tracking your health factors, including customer behavior, identify kind of care needs to be served to a particular patient/customer.  

This also helps policymakers design the bill accordingly and help them meet their target customers as well as their needs. 

Having intensive and accurate data-set collected from IoT-powered health devices, health insurance companies are comprehensively stressing on the following processes for being predictable and forwarding with their policies and solutions foster customers spent more and more due to personalization.  

Monitoring – Companies leverage IoT solutions and track patient behavior closely, such as their minute’s activity, and habits of day to day life. Smartphones, wearables, and other connected devices help companies significantly to collect data. They later consequently analyze the data to come up with predictive decision making. 

Care optimization – Insurance companies also work closely with healthcare givers. You only get money once insurance claims are approved by the medical institutions.

IoT in Healthcare enables insurers to optimize your complete care. It helps customers avail exciting discounts on insurance premiums. Companies look up to IoT data along with analytical tools, and AI applied tools to have aggregated data. 

With the help of analytics, insurers can quickly tracks which clinical processes would have a better impact on the patient’s wellness. 

Payment – Payment systems are highly complex and often consist of multiple payers, insurance firms, government, and patients. In such scenarios, the industrial IoT system that provides real-time data as well as accessibility to enable care providers to get compensation for their services on time. 

Having IoT in Healthcare, the industry can answer and overcome from in-efficiencies, such as:

 

  1. Waiting Time

IoT in Healthcare could significantly help reduce waiting time to get care. Availability of IoT powered devices lets the patient stay at home during the entire process. Even they don’t have to pay for an in-person visit to the doctor. 

With IoT, a patient no longer needs direct medical attention; thus save himself from the stress of transportation, waiting times, and unnecessary additional tests. Therefore, no waiting time for healthcare assistance.

  1. Lost Time Accounts

A medical practitioner can’t recommend or suggest any healthcare support or service without looking into medical reports. Medical reports are essential, but it is challenging to keep them save and carry all the time. IoT that let the medical devices get access to data in real-time allows medical professionals to look up to patient’s information and reports. 

It eliminates Lost Time Accounts from the process, thus fosters faster health support. 

 

Wrapping Up

The future of Healthcare undoubtedly include IoT. Also, it is inevitable that IoT revolutionize the healthcare industry in several unexpected ways.

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Studies believe that in 2020, the number of IoT devices will cross the 50 billion mark. If the general notion of technology’s continued evolution wasn’t enough to demonstrate just how advanced human existence has become, that figure is sufficient to convince most people. And the fact that companies across the globe have become heavily dependent on such technology further serves to demonstrate that technology continues to play a vital role in shaping various aspects of the business world. This notion extends to the concept of web development as well, where a plethora of novel technologies, especially IoT, are being used to offer increasingly exquisite experiences. But even as IoT is helping companies take their web development projects to the next level, there’s another resource that offers scope to take things up a notch or two: PHP. Why PHP? Well, because it is among the most preferred tools in the world to assist in web development endeavors. Put 2 and 2 together, and what you get is a whole new world of previously unexplored opportunities.

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Let’s take a look at how that can be achieved.

  1. PHP: A server-side scripting language, PHP has long facilitated the development of various web-based offerings, including websites, apps, and more. It is always in sync with the latest developments in the world of technology makes it a highly resourceful tool for ensuring that web apps and websites can keep up with the times. Yet another reason that makes it such a crowd favorite is that it can be used with a variety of modern database management systems, such as MySQL, Oracle, and Postgres, among others.
  2. IoT: Internet of Things is much more than just wearable devices like smartwatches. It encompasses a wide variety of products and devices, including cars, smartphones, laptops, and, now, even household appliances. All these devices are connected to the internet and transfer data, which is then analyzed to serve distinctive purposes. Say, it can be used to identify patterns, derive insights, and more.
  3. PHP + IoT: As it is clear to see, individually, both PHP and IoT have a lot to offer. But one can’t merely integrate them. There is a method — one that needs both specific hardware as well as software. Here are some recommendations for what you will need.
    • Hardware: The market has plenty of options to offer in this regard. But let’s focus on the most critical bit, i.e., the hardware platforms. The basics include sensors, appropriate electronic parts, Arduino, Onion IoT, and more.
    • Software: To take care of the programming part of your endeavor, some of the essential recommendations include Firmata. It is a reliable tool to help you with the project with Arduino.

Despite the value IoT offers and its projected growth trajectory, folks around the world are still finding their way around it. And if you find yourself needing such assistance too, the best thing we can recommend is getting in touch with a trusted PHP software development company that can give you the necessary guidance.

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Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming one of the most popular technology aspects that get implemented practically. As IoT promises to provide excellent services and delivers support for powering the interconnected devices and automate the systems without any human intervention, the use of IoT is promoted and encouraged among businesses and individuals alike.

And this has given rise to the enormous growth of the IoT industry that leads many companies to start providing services in the same sector. The IoT industry is estimated to grow around 1.6 trillion U.S. Dollars by 2025. The continued progress of this technology leads to increased development and asks for excellent support. And developers can benefit the most from it.

 

IoT Development: Challenges and Solutions

The resources required for developing IoT-enabled devices are accessible to reputable firms and popular companies who hold the power to invest time and money equally. However, there still are frameworks that help in developing excellent IoT-enabled solutions without costing much.

IoT development with excellent resources still has to answer challenges and issues that any normal development faces. Lack of enough skills, security and privacy concerns, device compatibility, and more are the challenges that IoT development usually suffers from. 

However, using the excellent support that multiple IoT frameworks deliver, it becomes easier to overcome these hurdles and produce the best results. While you can always rely on delivering exceptional results, the use of multiple frameworks provides excellent services that developers are looking forward to.

 

4 Excellent Open Source IoT Frameworks Every Developer Can Use

Here are the best open-source IoT frameworks that can be used to deliver excellent IoT-enabled solutions that encourage extended use of the IoT networks.

 

1. ThingSpeak

ThingSpeak allows for IoT analytics with its cloud supportive features that make it easier for you to analyze the live data. It supports MATLAB code that a developer can write and perform actions on the live data streams. It includes different functions like data visualization, preprocessing, analysis, and more. 

The functions included in ThingSpeak are:

  • Location Tracing
  • Information distribution through public channels and gathering through a private channel
  • Includes cloud support
  • Online analytics of data to identify patterns and relations
  • device executions supported through command schedule
  • Social sharing support through Twilio and Twitter
  • Alerts for every reaction

It allows one to prototype an IoT system in advance before they start the development. The analytics and data generated through ThingSpeak are incredibly reliable as the tool enables performing the best operations and delivers excellent results to make your IoT system full proof. The tool is open-source, and the latest update R2019b has been released in January 2020.

 

2. DeviceHive

DeviceHive is one of the popular and out-of-the-box tools most developers are searching for. The tool is open source, and hence there are many contributors ready to guide you through the usage of it. The prices are decided based on the customer requirements, but the performance of this tool is enough to explain its wide popularity.

DeviceHive includes functions that encourage excellent solution development. The functions and features offered by DeviceHive are:

  • It supports WebSocket APIs, REST APIs,and adds MQTT API as a plugin.
  • Allows testing the installation- using Swagger, and API developer tool.
  • Includes support for multiple client libraries- Node.js, Python, Java are the primary ones supported through DeviceHive.
  • Supports Android, iOS devices and other libraries
  • JSON messages are used for efficient communication among devices.
  • Includes support for Docker and Kubernetes installation and deployment.

DeviceHive is ultimately an open-source micro-services architecture encouraging platform that allows to control and test IoT systems under different circumstances. DeviceHive can be customized as per the business needs, and charges are calculated as per the requirements. Moreover, it includes support for public, private, and hybrid clouds and makes the management easier than ever.

 

3. Thinger.io

Thinger.io allows for connecting and prototyping the tools that are added in the IoT system a developer is developing. The tool provides excellent support to every software development company that aims to create an IoT system by connecting multiple devices altogether.

The features included in Thinger.io are:

  • Support integration of multiple devices of various manufacturers.
  • A freemium account for a lifetime that allows free access for prototyping, which later can be put in use by using premium servers.
  • Most of the code modules are available in Github for free with MIT license. Therefore, it becomes easier to start from the basics.
  • Easier programming, as only a few lines of code, is required to connect devices in the network and form an IoT system.
  • The platform is entirely white-labeled. Hence, it can be updated according to your requirements; colors, fonts, names, and more.
  • Includes cloud support.
  • Allows real-time data retrieval and analytics to perform better operations according to the needs.

Thinger.io is an excellent tool that provides support for your every IoT need. The platform helps scale and manage the products of the IoT system and prototypes everything to allow efficient management and conclude the right way to perform the programming. It will enable multiple plugin inclusion that builds an extensive system supporting every need and creating a great impression over the users.

 

4. Zetta

Zetta is an open-source API-dedicated framework that is first of its kind and delivers excellent support for building IoT infrastructures. It helps manage the continuous streaming of data to provide excellent information exchange services. It includes a data visualization facility, but the primary advantage of using Zetta is its support for reactive programming.

There are multiple features integrated into this platform to support excellent data exchange:

  • It comes for free
  • Easy deployment among numerous cloud vendors
  • It can display notifications and can fire queries
  • The data collected can be shared among other analytics platforms easily
  • Based on Node.js and hence, is easier to operate

Zetta is an IoT dashboard that is not very popular for development practices among the developers. However, the followers and users of Zetta are extremely satisfied with the performance of this tool. As it produces the best results for the IoT universe and its applications, Zetta is one of the favorites of developers who have already used it once.

 

Conclusion

There are many open-source frameworks available in the market apart from the discussed. However, based on the choices of expert developers, these tools are great at providing excellent results without demanding higher amounts. The primary benefit of using open-source tools is that there are contributors who support and promote the use of them by introducing changes and solutions to problems.

However, data security concerns remain questionable when using these tools. But the performance delivered through these tools is excellent. Based on the requirements and deadlines assigned, these tools provide excellent support and encourage the profound development of solutions that promote the use of IoT in everyday life.

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The dynamic shift towards a digital and intelligent world has led to the emergence of various new and high-tech technologies. Among these innovations IoT stands above the rest, evolving at a remarkable rate, and providing benefits that were never seen before.

The hype of this technology is so immense that even cost-intensive and conventionally operating industries like oil & gas and manufacturing have started adopting it. It wasn’t just the hype that made IoT prevalent all around the industrial spectrum. Its benefits in the fields of remote monitoring and telematics were the main factors that helped it to become a recognized disruptive technology that connects the entire world.

Even though the Internet of Things has not reached its full potential yet, its benefits, especially for industries, cannot be underrated. One such industry that has benefited the most from the implementation of IoT is the industry of logistics.

Logistics companies play a crucial role in facilitating the transportation of goods from one location to another. IoT technology helps these companies to streamline their business processes and enhance visibility in the end-to-end delivery of products.

IoT in Logistics:

IoT devices are expected to reach a benchmark of 50 billion devices by the end of this year and the logistics industry will own the majority of them.

In 2016, the largest chunk of the entire global market presence of IoT was garnered by the segment of transportation and logistics. The global connected logistics market is again expected to grow by a CAGR of 30% until 2020.

Clearly, logistics is among the biggest playfields for the cutting-edge technology of Internet of Things. Companies in this vertical are leveraging the benefits of this technology to optimize their process execution practices and improve their overall efficiency of delivering the shipment.

IoT mainly revamps the two major verticals of a logistics industry namely warehousing and delivery. Both these segments take care of the goods while they are stored or delivered respectively. Let us explore the benefits of IoT in both these segments.

Benefits of IoT in warehousing:

1) Advanced Security and Safety Systems:

Keeping assets secure from theft is an essential aspect of any warehouse management system. IoT creates a secure environment via its advanced surveillance system that allows warehouses to keep their goods and articles secure from robbery.

Along with HD cameras and proximity sensors, IoT creates a complete surveillance system that allows warehouses to quickly detect theft. The handlers of warehouses can also gain alerts about theft in the form of a video from remote locations, which gives them ample amount of time to take necessary actions and contact the concerned authorities.

Furthermore, IoT also allow a logistic business to ensure the safety of their valuable workers and employees by reducing the possibilities of accidents. By monitoring the condition and performance of their heavy equipment and machines, companies can predict possible failures that can result in catastrophic situations.

2) Improved Quality and Performance:

IoT creates a connected infrastructure in the warehouses through RFIDs and sensors. These devices help a company to monitor parameters like temperature and humidity that can deteriorate the quality of the goods being stored in the warehouse. The connected ecosystem allows a warehouse to create a suitable environment for goods, whose quality depends on the environmental conditions.

Moreover, this ecosystem also helps logistics to boost their overall efficiency and improve the execution of different processes. Warehouses have clear visibility into their inventory levels that help them to manage their buffer stocks. Furthermore, the RFID tags help handlers quickly identify the location where the items are stored and get them prepared to be shipped at a moment's notice. Hence, all the tasks in the warehousing are optimized which results in boosted performance.

Benefits of IoT in Delivery:

1) Vehicle Tracking:

Delivering products to their destination is the primary purpose of any logistics company. Fleet vehicles like trucks are hence their most important assets. By using IoT capabilities, logistics companies can track their vehicles from remote locations and ensure timely cargo delivery.

This vehicle tracking makes use of GPS location tracking to identify the location of trucks while they are traveling. Logistic companies can remotely monitor:

  • driving habits of drivers,
  • weight of the truck,
  • preferable trailer conditions in which cargo is being delivered,
  • truck condition and performance.

By measuring and analyzing these parameters, logistics companies can make sure that the goods are being delivered safely. Moreover, these companies can use the data to reduce fuel costs, conduct on-board diagnostics, and ensure timely shipment delivery.

2) Predictive Analysis:

As we discussed above, IoT allows logistics companies to analyze data and develop useful insights. By using predictive analytics features, companies can get notified about probable component breakdowns or engine failure of a truck that can affect the delivery of items on time.

The data related to the route taken by the trucks, their speed, and road conditions can also be processed to determine the best routes for the fleet. Additionally, this feature of IoT can also be used to detect inefficiencies in the trucks and detect unexpected malfunctions that can delay the delivery of products.

CONCLUSION:

Logistic companies are now leveraging the technology of Internet of Things to boost their operations and gain visibility over their end to end supply chain. This transparency is further enabling them to keep a track of their goods, whether they are stored in a warehouse or are conveyed via fleet trucks.

This further helps these businesses to enhance their process execution and provide timely delivery services to their customers.

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The rise of eCommerce has changed the shopping habits of consumers drastically over the last few years. Online shopping has witnessed growth at exponential rates and has become a lifestyle of consumers. As technology is evolving at a rapid pace, businesses need to keep up with the constantly changing demand of people. One such tech wave is IoT (Internet of Things), which has revolutionized the web development landscape.

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What is IoT?

IoT is a vast network of interconnected objects that are bounded by standard communication protocols. It merges traditional technologies such as GPS, satellite technology, radio frequency identifiers (RFID), internet protocols, and more for different applications. 

Let’s dig in deeper to understand how IoT is impacting the Magento web development:

• Complex Web Design

The web development and design process are going to become a lot more complicated with the emergence of IoT. Users are primarily using the front-end interface for communicating with smart devices such as sensors, cameras, signaling equipment, and others that are operated with IoT. 

Implementing IoT in Magento web development enables web pages to load quickly and remove the hassle of delay in transmission time. Several websites would require advanced capabilities to communicate with back end databases that can store personalized data obtained from the IoT devices. Additionally, more future requirements would not only help web developers utilize powerful web development language to build a dynamic front-end interface but will also enable users to communicate with IoT devices in the backend. Hence the application of IoT in the realm of the Magento web development industry helps make web architecture and user interface (UI) more creative and interactive with users.

• Build an efficient web development team

A web development company must find the right mix of talent to design, develop, and deploy eCommerce solutions successfully. IoT is new in the world of web development, and so organizations are still wondering to determine the best method for managing their development team. However, a thorough understanding of the requirements can help structure the web development process. Moreover, it is vital to determine the kind of expertise needed to initiate the successful development of the project. And then, it involves finding out the right talent of the pool along with the right inventory that can be combined with coding expertise to develop a highly efficient solution. 

• Conquer Coding Challenges

One of the critical aspects that need to be addressed to ensure seamless integration of IoT with Magento web development is the coding challenges. Codes need to be developed rapidly, as there is no set industry standard to decide whether the code is efficient or not. So, by acknowledging coding challenges, it is imperative to plan a strategy to implement to manage the ever-changing coding challenges and yield better results for the website. 

Benefits of IoT in Web Development 

• More data generates Valuable Insights
• Increased Revenue
• Inventory Management
• Robust Backend
• Personalized and Engaging Customer Experience
• Seamless integration with Supported Devices

Conclusion
Hence, IoT seems to be a futuristic solution for the eCommerce sector. Though many companies are still unaware of the power of IoT and its impact on Magento web development, which helps drive business processes more efficiently and effectively.

If you’re looking for a full-fledged solution for your next eCommerce project, consider hiring a leading Magento development company that meets your development needs.

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IoT Gateways are becoming an essential part in various smart grids solutions, across Industrial, Residential, and Transmission & Distribution projects. Gateways help in addressing energy conservation at both the consumer and transmission level. Here, we will discuss some of the unique features of IoT gateways like clustering, interoperability, security, and others

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A network of physical objects interconnected through computing devices like machine appliances, digital devices, objects, vehicles and uses APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and sensors to exchange data and connect with the internet is known as IoT or Internet of Things.

IoT platform connects the virtual and the real worlds. It helps the companies in managing IoT devices, connectivity, security, linking devices to back end system, collecting device data, building & running IoT apps as well as ensuring IoT interoperability.

According to a survey, approx. 75 billion devices will be IoT enabled by the end of the year 2025. 

Also, in the coming 5-6 years, the world will witness an investment of near $ 6 trillion on IoT out of which at least $ 3 trillion is expected to be invested in the health care industry for IoT.

And why not? The experts are also of the same viewpoint that by the end of the year 2020, approx. 90 % of the health care industry will adopt IoT. Generally speaking, IoT has already made its way to the homes of general people through Google, Amazon, Alexa, etc.

Almost all the IoT enabled devices to have:

  1. A device or a sensor;
  2. Data processing unit;
  3. A connecting unit;
  4. User interface.

Challenges Faced By The Health Care Industry

The health care industry faces constant challenges. No compromise is entertained when it comes to health. 

The number of deaths occurred due to delay in treatment or delay in the ambulance approaches, in the prevalence of road jam are recurring and very common.

However, these untimely deaths can be prevented by enabling IoT in house treatment in the health care industry. 

The devices that are capable of monitoring heart rate sleep cycle, energy expenditure can be helpful in the timely detection of the problems arising in the human body.

In other cases, the risk of infection post-surgery is a real threat to the life of the patient, and the result can be anything from a prolonged hospitalization to even death.

The other problems faced by the health care industry are health monitoring, timely detection of health problems, tiresome diagnostic techniques, inappropriate ambiance, inaccurate measurements, human error, etc.

Although health care is relatively slow as compared to financial or other industries in the incorporation of IoT devices, 40 % of health care is already using IoT. 

The slow growth is due to the following reason:

  1. The methods of health care go through rigorous tests.
  2. Security in health care is still a significant concern for the devices that are enabled with IoT.

Even the hurdle remains, yet the speed and connected health care are growing each day progressively.

Health care service providers need to innovate and plan for digital transformation and reach in those areas where there are not enough health care systems and professionals. 

The industry needs a reliable communication network partner to provide mobile and cloud connectivity. IoT App Development Company should take care of this issue.

Now the question arises as to how IoT Is Transforming the Health care Industry? Following are attributes and contribution in the health care industry:

In the coming years, IoT devices such as Coagulation testing and Activity trackers will adopt the world of connected things with a common platform from handheld devices to medical equipment as well as health records. The capability of IoT is inexhaustible for these devices. 

The potential to efficiently manage the health of the patient as well as monitor and track the problems is saving valuable seconds of the life of a patient, without having to visit the hospital.

With the help of IoT, the health experts can give a distant and remote diagnosis to the patient. Also, they can track medical assets that provide quality care instantly and manages health care efficiently. 

With the help of Wi-Fi and sensors, the ability to locate the correct section in a hospital has become easy for patients as well as health experts.

Almost all the health experts who have already adopted the IoT enabled services do believe in the crucial benefits of it. 

They think that the benefits will be to control and monitor sensors and medical devices from a patient’s heart monitor to his or her temperature gauges; the real-time data exist in health care. 

Further, patients and staff can securely manage IoT data by creating an effective as well as a safer environment through a standard application on mobile devices.

Perpetual Collaboration

Continuous collaboration amongst health experts and patients is imperative for health care organizations. By providing access to non-core data and applications to them whenever they need, will boost up the productivity level and will help in enhancing efficiency.

When it comes to diagnostic accuracy, WCE short for Wireless Capsule Endoscopy comes into the picture. 

The process involves the patient to swallow a small capsule camera that can record the patient’s internal organs. 

It has the potential to capture specific parts of the gastrointestinal tract that are not visible otherwise through diagnostic procedures. 

Also, it can detect bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which is not possible through traditional methods.

Maintenance of Cordial and Healthy Relationships

The health experts have to take special care to manage the risk by protecting the record of patients and other crucial data against external exploitations. 

This refers to ensuring the service continuity and no disruption in the event of a breach of trust. Many experts are saying that you can combine IoT with Android & iOS apps as well.

It will help you to reach out to more and more people and also make use of this wonderful trending technology.

A Flourishing Transformation

Hence, IoT is indeed a boon not only for health care but almost every industry that is capable of enabling its services through IoT. 

Its current pace of growth in health care is hopefully best for this domain. IoT health care means an efficient and more accessible patient care experience. 

It allows staff to do their work in a better way, and this is the reason why 80 % of health care experts forecast that IoT is going to transform the industry in a better way. 

With global network connectivity and infrastructure, it is high time for other health care providers to adapt and offer IoT enabled services to the patients nationally as well as internationally.

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What if your everyday devices like washing machines, lights, speakers, TVs, and cameras could communicate with you, send information to you and work on your commands even from distant places? With technologies like IoT and Artificial Intelligence, it is possible to digitize homes and make everyday devices smarter. Read on to find out how.

 
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A few weeks ago we attended the AIPIA (Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association) World Congress in Amsterdam and one of the opening remarks made was: the technology for connected packaging has been available for some time now and it’s only more recently that brands have stopped watching from the sidelines and taking the plunge into enabling connected packaging for their products.

While there have been some early adopters in the space piloting some innovative projects in the past few years, the bulk of consumer brands and manufacturing companies have preferred a watch and wait approach with various concerns about initiating their own transitions from traditional packaging and systems to connected packaging and smart data driven systems. Many of which were valid concerns given IoT smart products and active / intelligent packaging is still fairly new as a key area of technology and rapidly evolving and changing every few weeks. During our conversations with various stakeholders of the industry there, two thoughts appeared unanimous:

  1. Connected packaging & digitalization of products / smart products is undoubtedly the way forward for all brands that are to compete in the current digitally connected world and is here to stay.
  2. The question is no longer if and when brands and manufacturers will invest in connected packaging but how to go about it in a smart way so as to address the concerns they may have and do it “the right way” so it can scale without hurdles and road blocks in future as the technologies themselves, continue to evolve.

As a technology enabler that has been working on both the technology side as well as understanding the business side and requirements of CPG brands and their product lifecycles, here are some of the top factors to consider (and concerns they address) while making the right choices and getting connected packaging technology right from the get-go:

Centralization Vs Decentralized Systems for Connected Packaging Applications

Consumer transparency, product information delivery, e-labeling, traceablity, product authentication and counterfeit prevention, consumer engagement, loyalty management, waste management, consumer feedback loops, augmented reality, re-ordering & supply chain optimization…these are just some of the many application areas of connected packaging. With multiple individual technology solutions available for each one of these, the concern for brands is “how many different vendors and solutions will we have to manage?”. While each application area has its own set of requirements and merits, managing having product data fragmented across different software systems has its own set of challenges. “How will we ensure data integrity across all these?” “How can we synchronize updates to product data simultaneously on all these different systems?”. From that perspective, centralization of the product / item data makes sense long term. The way we picture it is: when a physical product is manufactured and rolls off the production line, simultaneously a digital twin / digital record for that product should also be generated and tagged to the physical product. As the product rolls off the line and journeys through its lifecycle, through the supply chain, the consumer and beyond, that product is interacted with by multiple connected devices and data about the product is constantly being updated or read via the digital twin via connected devices and the various applications. This approach allows you to first connect the product, give it a digital life alongside its physical one and then build various applications and business processes on top of it rather than a decentralized approach.  

Being Immune from Technology Shifts to Activation Tags & Triggers on the Packaging.

Not very long ago, the humble UPC/EAN/GTIN 2D barcode was the only activation trigger on product packaging. You now have barcodes, datamatrix codes, QR codes, NFC tags, RFID labels, databar, invisible markers, nanoparticle markers, temperature sensors, spoilage sensors, package anti-tampering sensors and a range of different activations and triggers on the packaging. The larger concern is the rapid evolution of technologies and arrival of new ones hitting the market every few months. How do you know which one is going to stand the test of time? One of the smart moves in getting connected packaging right is to decouple the triggers or activation technologies from the product data or software system. Each of these activation tags usually have an identifier which can be used to tie it to the data. If the trigger changes in future, the flexibility to de-link it from the earlier tag and connect it to a new tag using the identifier is inherent. Whereas in a tightly bound system where the tag on the packaging and the software are linked, that flexibility to be immune to changes in tags and activation technology is lost.  

Flexible Architecture That Can Keep Up with the Pace of Change

Change is inevitable and nowhere does it hold more true than the consumer products industry. Requirements within the industries, regulations, compliance rules, data systems, standards for technology all change and get updated faster than ever before. Very often, before a company finally rolls out updates to the their system, the next change has come along sending them back to square one. The software systems used for connected packaging need to factor into their architecture this constant need for updates and changes. The flexibility to update the data model, extend attributes, maintain different versions, control the flow of data, accessibility of data and address changes in business systems, regulation or the real world are essential to deploying a connected packaging solution that can keep up with change and endure.

Ease of Integration & the API Ecosystem

Often decision makers seek out a one-stop solution provider for a specific application or solution to a challenge. For example, counterfeit prevention. This may work well as an approach for a small business but a mid-sized or large organization has highly complex systems with multiple stakeholders, systems and moving parts that need to come together when it comes to product related data systems. Manufacturing IDs and data related to products may reside in SAP or an ERP system. Ingredient information about the product in a PIM software, labeling information in another location, marketing related images and content elsewhere and so on. As a result, ease of integration with other systems both internal for gathering item related data required for connected packaging applications as well as external applications is important to factor in. Any system you select should offer API connectivity to other systems to bring in data or serve data to other systems in order to integrate seamlessly with existing systems and be compatible with the API ecosystem which is really the backbone of digitization and data today.

Phasing Connected Packaging Projects & Scalability

Connected pakaging is not a single project or end goal with a limited time line. It’s an enabler for several applications, use cases and smarter more intelligent business systems as the organization moves ahead. Getting the foundations for the system in place first along with infrastructure and processes in place first allows you to phase different applications, pilot projects individually and then scale rapidly. For example, a brand can start with enabling their packaging to deliver e-labels and instructions on how to use the product to start with. As a second phase, use the packaging  to enable digital warranty activation and later push out engagement via contests as a third phase. With initiatives such as the GS1 Digital Link, a single trigger on the packaging or a single QR code would soon be able to trigger multiple interactions with the product depending on who is scanning it, where they scan it from and other contexts. This would eliminate the need to print different triggers on the packaging every time a new interaction is introduced. The right connected packaging technology selection should enable an organization to deploy different interactions and applications connected to the product in a phased manner and also offer the infrastructure and ability to smart small, test and then scale across thousands of products, millions or billions of serial items as and when required.

All considered, in order to get connected packaging right and make the right decisions from the start, looking at connected packaging from a wide, holistic perspective complete with all the possibilities that will emerge in enabling it in a flexible way, will help invest time, money and effort the right way.

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