Security systems installed in a typical facility consists of cameras, access control, intrusion sensors and fire alarms. Typically, these devices are places behind a firewall on a dedicated network. Building control systems are installed on a secondary network can contains lighting, HVAC, fire protection, elevators/lifts, chillers and air/moisture sensors. These systems serve their purpose and will continue to be adapted and make facility systems design more complicated. This complexity can be controlled using common development tools and platforms. Not only will this approach make the process of creating smarter, safer, more energy efficient systems but will also reduce the number accidental deaths and injuries that occur every year.
The redundant network design approach is not a very efficient nor cost effective way of operating a facility. This is starting to change as savvy building managers are making the decision to integrate security and building control systems and map them onto a single network. This can entail integrating multiple disparate systems, sensors, NVR devices and video management software. The concept of integrating a camera or access control system to an HVAC system, or a visitor/facility management system or edge recording device to a lighting or fire protection system may seem unusual to some. Yet, this is where many security systems integrators and manufactures are missing out on untapped applications and services opportunities. Modern integrated security and building systems can give facility managers and security directors the tools to improve, simplify operations and reduce the efforts of the operations staff and points of control teams.
In the past, the security industry has relied on it’s own approach to integrated systems know as physical security information management (PSIM). PSIM attempts to provide an open architecture to integrate multiple security system products into a single operating platform. This approach has been very hit-or-miss and has left a bad taste in the mouths of systems integrators and end-users. On the flip side of the coin, facility managers have their own integration platform known as a building automation system (BAS). As it relates to physical security, BAS systems are intended to integrate with PSIMs and control individual security systems. However, BAS systems come in many different flavors; many of them are not viewed in a glowing light by building operation end users. Past integrations are not all filled with doom-and-gloom. There are some successful integrations attempted by the collaborative efforts of building controls and physical security organizations. The question is why is this design practice not more common where the benefits and economics make sense?
In order to facilitate the adoption and implementation of an integrated system the use of open standard protocols is an absolute must. The building automation industry created BACnet and LONworks which allow for real-time remote connectivity between sensors, actuators, controller devices and software. In the case of LONworks, hardware manufactures have the ability to include a chipset with built-in building control system support. It took some time, but finally the security industry created the protocols ONVIF and PSIA. These open architectures allows the end-user to choose vendors selecting either security or BAS equipment based on features and price. The end-user can also decide to install partial system upgrades without the risk of making costly investments in obsolete legacy systems. With that said, The security industry is curious about implementing the building controls protocols but needs an easier way to integrate them into their hardware and software products in an ad-hoc applications based manner.
There are security directors that are not completely sold on the idea of integrating with building control systems. On the other hand, facility managers may question the benefits of sharing a network with security systems especially when functions do not overlap with life-safety systems. However, system integration between building controls, physical and now cybersecurity offers more than just staffing convenience and operational efficiency. Here are a few results from a truly integrated security system.
Faster Response to Incidents – With the use of a robust mobile software solution and integration approaches such camera-to-access control-to-lighting or HVAC staff members can be freed from a console which makes them readily available to respond to incidents or equipment failure.
Provide more accurate compliance reports – Data provided by building controls and security edge devices can be paired with artificial intelligence technologies such as neural networks and genetic algorithms. This helps facilities to comply with government regulations with regards to security.
Reduce accidents and save money – Integrated systems provide better control of building and security systems. For example, if some accidentally stumbles into a restricted area or manages to make it to overly heated or chilled area the access control system, Variable air volume (VAV), or other HVAC system components can send alerts and create historical trend reports. Also a single network architecture can make managing system components easier.
Integrated building control and security systems are gaining some traction. However, it is still not a mainstream approach among many manufactures and systems integrators. One proposed solution is to utilize a common platform that is utilizes the industry protocol standards as application and system component building blocks.
The dream of making money with IoT, AI and Blockchain
Have you ever think about how could you make money with the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) and of course with Blockchain? What would happen if you could use the three of them in a new business model?. Apparently, Success, Success and Success.
In the next sections I provide information of some business models implemented with these three technologies.
IoT Business Models
As IoT moves past its infancy, certain trends and economic realities are becoming clear. Perhaps the most significant of those is the realisation that traditional hardware business models just don’t work in IoT. Take a look at “The top 5 most successful IoT business models” that have emerged as particularly effective applications for IoT.
If any of you is building an IoT product, this article ” IoT Business Models For Monetizing Your IoT Product” show how to make money with IoT.
Zack Supalla, the founder and CEO of Particle, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup, suggest “6 ways to make money in IoT”.
Finally, in “How IoT is Spawning Better Business Models” we can read three ways companies like Rolls Royce, Peloton, MTailor or STYR Lab was rethinking their business model and have created revolution in the marketplace.
Blockchain Business Models
It sounds repetitive, but yes "Blockchain technology may disrupt the existing business models”. The authors´ s findings concerning the implications of blockchain technology for business models are summarised in the following picture.
Do you think that blockchain will likely to cut into big-players’ revenues? Then, this article: “New Blockchain-Based Business Models Set to Disrupt Facebook and Others”, is for you.
If you are ambitious and you are planning to build a viable business on blockchain, then read “Building an International Business Model on Blockchain”.
I am also an advocate of the coming era of decentralization (at least in my most optimistic version) and Blockchain is a step more to create value when the End of All Corporate Business Models will arrive.
AI Business Models
Companies from all industries, of all shapes and sizes are thus faced with an important set of questions: Which AI business models and applications can I use ? And what technologies and infrastructures are required?.
It seems that we all are convinced that artificial intelligence is now the most important general-purpose technology in the world that can drive changes at existing business models. Not surprised then, that AI is Revolutionizing Business Models. The “data trap” strategy, that in venture capitalist Matt Turck’s words consists of offering (often for free) products that can initialize a data network effect. In addition, the user experience and the design are becoming tangibly relevant for AI, and this creates friction in early stage companies with limited resources to be allocated between engineers, business, and design.
New Business models with the intersection of IoT, AI and Blockchain
With IoT we are connecting the Digital to the Physical world. Connected objects offers a host of new opportunities for companies, especially in terms of creating new services. The amount of data generated by the billions of connected objects will be the perfect complementary feed to many AI applications. Finally, blockchain technology could be used to secure the ‘internet of things’ and create smart contracts in a decentralized infrastructure that boost the democratization of technology and creation of sustainable communities.
You must remember that new business models that include IoT, AI and blockchain need among other characteristics: Volume and Scalability. Volume of devices, Volume of data, Volume of customers, volume of developers and powerful ecosystems to escalate.
Good luck in your search and implementation of your new business model.
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Too much time waiting for the IoT year
After years of waiting for my wishes to finally come true that it was finally the year of IoT, I give up. There will be no IoT year. Other technologies are usurping the dubious privilege of leading the technology bubble. Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are now much cooler.
As has happened on many previous occasions, the IoT will be replaced by other acronyms that will make you forget bad experiences and failed expectations. And with the new acronyms the illusions of those of us who continue to trust in the beneficial implications that the "new IoT" will bring to society will appear again.
Event Organizers were the first to notice the decline of IoT
The first to realize this situation were the organizers of IoT events. If a couple of years ago the weight of the new secondary on stage (Blockchain and AI) did not seem worrying to detract from the main actor (#internetofthings). Now they are the stars and the IoT is marginalized and surrounded by other technologies, badly hurt and melancholy.
Quo Vadis IoT events ?
Will IoT events disappear? Sure. Doesn’t matter if is in 2 or 3 years, but IoT only events will not make sense. In the last 3 months I attended several IoT events in London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Bilbao. I see a slow decline and transformation of #IoT events. Most of them do not satisfy my expectation. I am tired and saturated of see the same tired case studies parroted over and over again.
As my friend Rick Bullotta, I'd like to see some more innovative stories, some failure stories/lessons learned, some HARD FACTS about how long it looks to build, what it cost to build, return on investment.
Of course, we will continue seeing IoT companies, products and services in the Big Events like CES in Las Vega, MWC in Barcelona or Cebit and Hanover Messe in Germany or in industry specific events or company specific events like PTC LiveWorx or Bosch ConnectedWorld . But the same way that we do not see today Internet events we will not see Internet of Things events beyond 2020. It will be a good sign because the Hype will have disappeared and the reality and the market will have been imposed.
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In part two of a three part series, Leonard Lee and Dean Freeman of neXt Curve discuss how IoT enables new business models with Rob Tiffany, CTO of Hitachi Lumada.
With the IoT surfacing as the next great destination for investment, many industry titans are scrambling and fiercely competing to seize their share of the revenues in the IoT market. Currently, IoT is at the core stage of industries like energy management, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation. In convergence with various technologies like blockchain, AI, and edge, IoT has the potential to disrupt all the aforementioned verticals. Companies like IBM, Intel and Cisco are swiftly investing in the IoT technologies to take a lead in next era of technology. The adoption of IoT in all industries is becoming so vital that tech giant, Microsoft has announced to invest $5 billion in IoT over next four years globally.
A report from IDC states that the worldwide Internet of Things market will grow from $656 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9%. As per the report, connectivity, devices and IT services will be responsible for the majority of the IoT market in 2020. IDC estimates that all the three services will account for over two-thirds of the worldwide IoT market in 2020, with devices (modules/sensors) alone representing 31.8% of the total. With the increase in market size, the investments in IoT globally shall rise from over $800 billion in 2017 to nearly $1.4 trillion in 2021 indicating a worthy investment with quick ROI. Current investment in IoT holds a promising return as the adoption of IoT increases with market size and spendings. As investment is worth in IoT, it is now important for investors to know which startup having innovative technology would be ideal for them to invest in. The number of startups in the IoT rose rapidly from just 13 in 2013 to 189 in 2014. Following is the list of top startup companies using innovative technologies like blockchain, AI and edge which will aid an investor in selecting an ideal company.
Discovery IoT is a revolutionary solution that enables brands to track their products through their supply chains, accurately on a real-time basis. They are developing a tag, Cliot, which will hold the ability to track products with embedded sensors and is built at the cost of $0.10. With IoT in convergence, Discovery is using the latest technologies like blockchain, AI and edge computing (mesh network) to solve current problems including stock-outs/empty shelves, product obsolescence/expiry etc., faced by the supply chain industry. Participation in Discovery’s sale will be the next best destination for investors as their solution will soon be adopted by a massive audience. The pre-sale of DIS tokens will be made available for a limited period starting from June 15, 2018 and ICO will be made available for 6 weeks starting from August 1, 2018. They will abate bonuses as per rounds, to attract more investors, keeping in mind that the early investor gains handsome return. Discovery has a strong team lead by Selvam VMS, Co-Founder & CEO, a veteran in the field of supply chain management with more than 10 years in the domain. He is accompanied by Kumar T, Co-Founder & CTO, a techie with more than 15 years of knowledge and experience in the areas of IoT and AI. Also, they are supported by various professionals, experts and senior advisors like Aly Madhavji and Nandakumar Balanujan with 36+ years of experience in supply chain; and incubated by the Blockchain Founders Fund.
IoTium is a startup based in California with an aim to advance secure network infrastructure for the industrial Internet of Things. Their Network as a Service (NaaS) solution is designed for the building automation, industrial automation, oil and gas, manufacturing, transportation and smart city industries, empowering them to securely connect legacy onsite systems to cloud-based applications to leverage new analytics, machine learning, and predictive analytics applications. Till date, IoTium has secured $8.4 million in Series A funding and is backed by investors including GE Ventures, March Capital, and Juniper Networks, as well as Pankaj Patel, former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Cisco. The funds have been used to expand its trail in the oil and gas, transportation and smart city industries with the launch of the IoTium NaaS. This investment has helped them in a recent distribution partnership with The Panel Shoppe and a building automation firm, Relevant Solutions.
Evrythng is a startup based in London, New York, and San Francisco which creates IoT and smart solutions to make products more intelligent and interactive. They collect, manage and apply real-time data from smart products and smart packaging to drive IoT applications. The company aims to ensure that connected devices can be managed and enhanced through real-time data and analytics throughout the full product lifecycle. This includes assigning digital identities to devices which allows them to be tracked and thus driving IoT a step further. This provides businesses with insights into their supply chains and consumers with awareness of the counterfeit product. The startup has secured $42.3 million in four funding rounds with lead investors being- Sway Ventures, Atomico, and BHLP. The company's clients include Coca-Cola, Avery Dennison RBIS, Crown Holdings and West Rock.
Notion, an IoT startup based in Denver, Colorado, provides home security and monitoring through adaptable sensors. The low-cost sensors can be used to monitor unauthorized entry and take temperature readings of a user's home. Notion’s small sensor can be placed near doors and other locations around the house to monitor motion, temperature, water leaks etc. The startup has secured $16 million in funding by following a solid crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter through six investment rounds and has used the funds to expand the development of home sensor products and to tap into the insurance market. It has attracted audience and investors including Draper Nexus, Translink Capital, Mesh Ventures and XL Innovate.
Starting from home devices to industrial machines and automobiles, it is widely speculated that the next tech revolution is likely to be spurred by the ability to connect things. Therefore, the tremendous interest generated in IoT evident from the growing number of startups and mounting investments is a testament to IoTs potential to create enormous business opportunities around the globe. As the technology is yet to mature and the market for it is far from being saturated, the time is ripe for investing in IoT based solution providers.
IoT stands for “Internet of Things.” Breaking down the phrase, we get two words Internet and Things. Internet stands for Interconnection of Networks. It was born in the late 1950s and was known as ARPANET. Experts say that the concept of IoT was taken with the ARPANET but, because of the lack of hardware and software support, it was tough to bring Internet of Things to the real world. Between 2006 and 2008 the first European IoT Conference recognized by EU. In this conference, experts talked about commercializing IoT. Finally, in 2009 CISCO was the first one to connect thing around us to the Internet. Later on, in 2009, companies like IBM and Ericsson also developed IoT solutions for the real world.
Smartphones were the first devices that connected people to the Internet even while roaming. This breakthrough came with the launch of the first iPhone. That is the first instance when IoT started impacting our lives. Since, then a wave has begun to flow across the globe to make everything around us, “smart.” The growth of IoT has been exponential since, 2009.
How IoT Affects Our Day-to-day Routine?
Our day starts at home and ends at home. IoT has reached to our homes and is spreading like wine. Households are getting smarter. Starting from the door from where we enter to the bed we sleep, everything is smart.
There are two types of Home Automation, semi-home automation, and complete home automation. Semi-home automation is where devices can do some of the daily tasks for us and have limited access to other gadgets of our home. Total Home Automation is where the gadgets have full access to the house.
Devices like Amazon Echo, Apple home pod, and Google home are capable of playing songs according to our mood, booking a cab, setting reminders, providing weather updates, making a call, controlling lighting, etc. and they do it via voice commands only.
The gadgets that we use daily are getting smarter as well such as IOT enable smart air conditioner, Fans and monitoring devices like gas meter, water meter, electricity meter, etc. IoT is also prevailing in security solutions for homes and offices. IOT enable Smart smoke detectors, motion sensors and intelligent bio-metrics database are already implemented in homes and offices.
The automobile industry has evolved quite a lot when it comes to automation and safety. Automatic Gearing system and electronic parking system have changed the way we drove the car. Some of the examples of how automobile industry is facing change because of IoT are automatic emergency SOS message, automatic service booking, maintenance alerts, automatic fuel sign, Trip analysis, breakdown information, etc. If there is an ideal car having all the specifications mentioned above, then the owner of that car will save a lot of precious time which others cannot.
Internet of Things is helping us save the environment by smart gas detectors. These gas detectors are spread across the city which collects data of all kinds of hazardous gases and measures its density in each area of the town. Using this data, we can take the appropriate steps to reduce carbon emission in the city.
Smart gas detectors have the capabilities to detect even a small leakage which could destroy an entire city if not fixed in time. IoT has the skills not to improve our lifestyle but also to save lives and towns.
More significant the building higher is the maintenance cost. IoT helps to reduce the maintenance cost by suggesting the most effective solutions to maintain a building by measuring its condition time-to-time. IoT can also help reduce the risk of the data security breach at any level. It also protects the structure from fires.
Blood Pressure and Diabetes are some of the most dangerous diseases that kill slowly. The risk of such conditions has reduced to a fantastic level as people started using wearable techs such as smartwatches and fitness trackers connected to their smartphones. According to a GFK survey, one in every three people around the world wears a fitness tracking device. Some of the fitness trackers also track the sleep and send the sleep data to their smartphones. The app creates a detailed report using that data which user can access from anywhere provided the internet connection.
How will it benefit us?
IoT is making everything around us smart as mentioned. As these things will get smarter, it is going to replace humans in performing all the non-productive tasks hence, improving productivity. The tasks which we would have never imagined to do as humans are going to be accomplished by IoT.
Control Homes Remotely
Robots connected to the Internet will clean our homes whenever instructed regardless of our situation. With the help of IoT, monitoring will be extremely easy. We will be able to see and control our home from far away via an app. Although, staying away from home, IoT will make us feel as if we are at home.
Preemptive Vehicle Maintenance
Any vehicle needs maintenance. In our busy lives we might not always get time to provide proper maintenance to it. IoT will help us complete the tedious task. It will send the remainder to car service center for us to send the mechanic and service the car. With the help of GPS we can also track it live on our phones so, no chance of theft. IoT will also benefit at the time of emergencies. The system present in car will automatically detect the type of emergency and ask for the relevant help.
No one can deny the Climate change happening around the world. We cannot reduce the global warming but we can surely stop them with the help of IoT. Smart sensors help us collect and organize pollution data according to Country, state, city and area. We already have the ways to reduce pollution all we needed was “data.” IoT not only improves our lifestyle but also save lives.
Eco Friendly Buildings
The concept of energy efficient building is prevailing around the world. Such buildings are known as “Green buildings.” IoT can help us save energy that is consumed in big corporate offices and public places. That energy can later on be used at the time of crisis.
All kind of wearable tech comes with GPS functionality and smart watches comes with Internet as well. Most of them has a panic button functionality through which we can alert our loved ones at the time of emergency. The heart rate sensor present in the fitness tracker tracks our heart rate 24x7 hence, it gives an alert to the nearest hospitals automatically whenever our heart rate deviates from the normal range.
Internet of Things has been impacting our lives since 2009 and is going to impact forever. The only difference will be that the impact will be much more than what it is today.
As the Global PM and CTO for Lumada, it's been a rewarding journey to create a portable Industrial #IoT platform that could run at the Edge on a factory floor, in a train, inside a data center or in any hyper-scale public cloud.
This composable platform (use just what you need for your specific use case) combined with our revolutionary Asset Avatars (Digital Twins) that bring Lumada to life, is the very definition of "Visionary." I also want to send a big congratulations to our Visionary friends at PTC (ThingWorx) and SAP (Leonardo).
Thanks to all the Hitachi collaborators, colleagues and friends I was lucky enough to take this journey with.
Get a free copy of the Gartner report here:
Today, retail stores are constantly focusing on leveraging the emerging technologies like cloud, mobile, RFID, beacons, etc., to provide connected retail services and better shopping experience to customers. For example, store owners are integrating sensors in the key zones of retail stores and connecting them to cloud through a gateway that enables real-time data analysis related to products, sales, and customers from these sensors.
Interestingly, IoT and connected technologies are taking the retail industry by storm. 96% retailers are ready to make changes required to implement the Internet of Things in their stores
IoT in retail can help retailers improve store operations, enhance customer experience and drive more conversions. Moreover, IoT can help retailers solve day-to-day problems such as tracking energy utilization, managing in-floor navigation, detecting crowded areas, reducing check out timings, managing product shelves, preventing theft, monitoring goods, etc. Let us how IoT helps in few of these scenarios.
In-Store Navigation with IoT-enabled Devices
Identifying in-store navigation is one of the common problems in retail stores. Here, IoT devices with integrated technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, magnetic positions and augmented reality, etc., can facilitate in-store navigation to help customers navigate through the store and find the desired product.
It gives customers a multichannel shopping experience through digitization of physical assets. In-store navigation also helps increase the path to purchase rate before a product stock outs.
Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons are small sensors placed strategically throughout the retail store. These sensors are equipped with Bluetooth smart technology and compatible with smartphones. This BLE beacon device sends out continuous radio signals to nearby smart devices in the range. Smart devices in that range catch the signal and trigger events such as availability of a new product or launch of a new offer. Further, that device sends a unique ID to cloud server. The server checks that ID and responds back, through which communication between signal and smart device is established using a unique ID. Almost all customers nowadays carry smart devices like mobile phones and tablets. If BLE is used, customers can be notified on their smartphone with personalized coupons and deals as soon as they enter the store.
The above solution improves customer’s in-store experience and also increases footfall ratio. It also facilitates quick product search and increases conversion rates while generating a powerful shopping environment that can help enhance product offerings and store layouts.
Energy Management with Smart Devices
Energy consumption is a major cost consuming factor for the retail businesses, be it in refrigeration, lighting, heating, air conditioning, etc. Using these energy sources efficiently can bring cost saving of up to 20 percent per year. IoT-enabled smart devices can help resolve problems of energy management and saving.
There are several IoT-based platforms that can log, monitor and beep alarms or alert the in-store personnel about temperature, energy usage, heating, gas leakage, electricity breakdowns, etc., with the help of integrated sensors. Using these smart energy management devices, store owners can directly interact with the controllers of refrigerators and retrieve prioritized information with the help of sensors.
Every year, a large retail chain attributes nearly $2B of loss to wasted or spoiled food, with issues relating to its legacy refrigeration system, accounting for approximately 15% of this total—or $300 mm. In case of emergency situations like powercut or excessive heating, alarms from the controllers of these refrigeration systems reach the operations team only after 5 or 6 hours, and there is no mechanism to provide warnings before these situations occur. Here smart refrigeration IoT device can provide cloud-based temperature monitoring solution to notify the controllers about emergencies using temperature sensors and mesh networking technology.
Theft Prevention with Geo-Fencing
The crime of shoplifting in the retail industry is increasing day-by-day, because retailers fail to provide sufficient attention to shoplifters. According to National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), more than $25 million worth of merchandise gets stolen from retail shops each day. Adding more to retailers’ loss is retail shrinkage, which includes shoplifting, employe theft, paperwork error, vendor fraud and many more.
To overcome the problem of shoplifting and retail shrinkage, retailers can use Geo-fencing technique.
Geo-fencing relies on the global positioning system or a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that allows a store operator to create a virtual barrier or zone around specific locations in retail shops. When a customer tries to move product from the specific location, an alert is triggered and a message is sent to the store in-charge. Geo-fencing enabled in IoT devices or beacons can help retailers in a number of ways; from keeping goods safe, tracking customers and employee movements, managing company-owned resources to minimizing incidents of theft and loss.
Customer Engagement with Sensor-Enabled Shopping Carts
The sensor-enabled shopping cart is a technique adopted by most of the retail merchandisers. These shopping carts help retailers grow their business in every aspect by helping them visualize shopper’s flows by category/subcategory, understand the shopping pattern, analyze the dwell path, and enable faster checkout.
This smart cart design involves sensors with connectivity protocols around the cart, which have the ability to track the movement of the wheels and match up with the distance the cart has traveled. It helps retailers with an accurate data of shopping carts with the inside-store journey. The data from this cart can be sent to the server or to cloud for further analysis.
With the exponential increase in the IoT and connected devices, it is difficult to ensure scalability, security, and robustness of these devices. Cloud computing platforms like AWS help enterprises accelerate their development to deployment cycles, enhancing robustness and scalability of the entire IoT solution.
People perceive cloud as a platform only for storage and computing. However, there are many other capabilities that cloud offers with cloud computing, such as application deployment, data transfer, database management, etc. Moreover, with the onset of IoT and connected technologies, the role of cloud computing has expanded even more in terms of enabling communication between devices and providing scalability to applications.
How Cloud Computing Helps in IoT Deployment
In today’s time, deploying an IoT solution takes a lot of effort and time, due to the increased number of software applications and hardware integration it requires. Also, when it comes to deploying a new, robust and scalable IoT platform for any industry vertical, it can be very tedious and costly to set up the infrastructure. For example, in a smart factory model, there are many machines and devices to be connected to the cloud. Developing a whole new infrastructure for those Internet of Things applications from the scratch can take up to five to six months’ time in development, deployment, and testing. This prolonged time delay is not appropriate since enterprises need to respond to the market demands quickly, especially when the market competition is too high and when the connected devices and technologies are increasing exponentially. This is where cloud computing plays a crucial role in IoT deployment.
There are several cloud platforms and service providers such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure, and Google Cloud for deploying IoT solutions. Of these, we will focus on the integrating AWS cloud platform in this blog.
Why AWS Cloud Platform
Cloud service platforms like AWS help enterprises accelerate their development cycle from months to a few days and hours, allowing them to build a robust and scalable IoT solution. AWS platform also allows easy and secure on-boarding of billions of devices according to the enterprise’s needs. It is one of the robust platforms for accelerated development, which enables the developers to connect the device to cloud quickly. AWS has recently launched AWS IoT 1-Click that easily triggers the Lambda function for any device to perform a specific action.
AWS is offering various services like cloud computing, machine learning, analytics, storage, IoT platform, security, AR & VR, etc. With AWS, organizations are just paying for the services that they utilize, which provides the benefits of cost reduction and better asset management.
Let us see how an enterprise IoT solution can be leveraged with the AWS IoT platform.
Sensor and Device Connectivity with Edge Analytics
The most important and basic aspect of an IoT solution is to connect all the devices and sensors to the cloud for management and control. Since the development of software and services to connect the devices to the cloud is tedious and time-consuming, AWS IoT Core helps IoT developers with AWS IoT SDK, which allows them to choose SDKs according to their choice of hardware for applications development. These applications help users in managing their IoT devices on air.
- Device gateway also consists of the AWS Greengrass a software agent that runs the computing on the edge for the connected devices. Greengrass consists of the Lambda Function, which allows users to run the rule engines, which are coded for particular events like temperature rise, light intensity, etc. AWS Greengrass also brings the AWS to the devices so that they can perform the local compute on the data when they are already using the cloud for other processes like management and storage. It can also be programmed for transferring only necessary information to the cloud after the local compute has been executed.
- Greengrass enables the device to cloud data security by encrypting the data. This data can be secured for both local and cloud communications. So, no one can access this data without any authentication. It uses the same security model as AWS IoT Core, which contains the mutual device authentication and authorization and secured cloud connectivity.
- Organizations can also create the digital twins, also known as Device Shadowing, for their IoT devices in the AWS cloud. In device shadowing, the current state of IoT devices gets replicated in the cloud virtually and this virtual image can be accessed at the time of no internet. This helps in the prediction of the desired future state of a device. IoT Core then compares this desired state with the previously accounted state and can send the command to the device for making up this difference.
Cloud Computing and Storage
The Internet of Things generates a huge data at every moment. The storage and management of this data require a lot of infrastructure deployments and maintenance efforts. AWS provides storage and computing services, which help enterprises in reducing the infrastructure development cost. These services also provide real-time analytics and accessibility of the data at any moment. Also, the developers can access the required data from the cloud without any delay.
- When we talk about the data management, AWS Kinesis can be considered as a great example of the real-time data streaming and analytics. It continuously analyzes, captures, and stores the huge heterogeneous data (terabytes per hour) that gets generated from the IoT devices or any other resources.
- After the data has been stored, Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) provides a secure, resizable, compute capacity in the cloud. Its web service interface allows developers to scale their computing requirement with minimal efforts. Users can scale up and down their computing resources according to the requirement and they just have to pay for the resources utilized. Apart from that, AWS also provides data storage services as AWS S3 and Glacier. They both provide 99% durability, comprehensive security and compliance capabilities that can help meet even the most stringent regulatory requirements. Amazon S3 and Glacier both allow running powerful analytics on the data on the rest.
- For Database management, AWS provides its service called AWS DynamoDB as NoSQL database that can support both key document-based database. Due to the NoSQL database, it enables benefits like ease of development, scalable performance, high availability, and resilience.
- For data and asset security, AWS has features and services like AWS Identity and Access Management, AWS Key Management Services, and AWS Shield along with the AWS Cloud HSM to enhance the security.
eInfochips (an Arrow company) is an Advanced Consulting Partner for AWS services. We help clients in implementing a highly scalable, reliable, and cost-efficient infrastructure with custom solutions for IoT on the AWS platform. Know more about our AWS services.
I've seen a lot of different thoughts about "original equipment manufacturers" and "original design manufacturers" recently, so I figured I'd offer my observations from my time working in Shenzhen for my IoT company.
Backstory: we’re partnered with Qualcomm to cloud enable bluetooth mesh technology across myriad US, Asian, and European based companies, primarily for lighting and smart home products in consumer/commercial markets. I spent about 6 months in Shenzhen and Hong Kong during 2017 putting together the supply chain partnerships.
From what I’ve experienced, “brand,” i.e. the companies we’re familiar with as consumers, and Original Equipment Manufacturer “OEM” are used interchangeably, while Original Design Manufacturer “ODM” refers to the “factory.”
In most of my interactions, there is a tight albeit painful relationship between the OEM and ODM in consumer electronics because cooperation between multiple vendors is often required to get a product to market, especially in IoT. Typically, the most differentiated intellectual property (IP) is in the hands of the OEM (brand)— industrial design, software, firmware, and it’s in their best interests to obfuscate as much as possible throughout the supply chain to make it harder to replicate the technology, which everyone assumes will happen. And it does. This is especially true during the rise of the IoT, where connectivity challenges plague both sides of the pond, and clever solutions are the 11th hour superpower everyone is fighting to find first to use as leverage in the supply chain.
There is another class of manufacturers— not sure the technical name, but we call them “module makers” — companies that specialize in the design and production of drop-in PCB modules for various connectivity chipsets to make them easier to productize. An example would be ITON, who provides chips for several of GE’s products to the prime ODM (such as Leedarson or Eastfield) who is responsible for final assembly (note: many ODMs are also module makers— they keep chips in house to maximize control and profits).
Both ODMs and module makers participate in a process of product innovation that presupposes the market. Chipmakers (and other tech vendors) like Qualcomm send their reps out to the factories to demo new silicon technology in the form of a “reference design” in a bid to get the ODM to create a module or product based on that chipset that answers to a trend they’ve noticed from their OEM/brand customers. In this way, the ODM bears the R&D cost as a bet for business, but doing so gives them a chance to retain the right to get a royalty on every module sold. Ask an ODM to hand over any firmware they've made and they’ll tell you with their sweet puppy dog eyes “eat my shorts” because it’s how they keep you from just taking everything to another vendor.
For brands like Home Depot (or more generally companies less interested in designing hardware) these ODMs are essential because they are flexible enough to develop a catalog of partially developed products on speculation— whatever successfully sells up the food chain at Home Depot, they make real (note: the “make real” part is where a lot hits the fan because this stuff is hard to scale).
The OEM-ODM-module maker ecosystem creates a sort of “it takes a village to make a product” atmosphere, but with grumpy uncles, annoying neighbors, and meddling kids abounding. There's a constant sense of quiet espionage on both sides, although that tends to get better if you develop a direct relationship with your mfg partners. Western business has evolved to sustain trust with purely transactional relationships-- this is way less true in places like China. Go to lunch with them and take them to dinner a few times, invite them to Macau, get them drunk and having fun with you. These relationships are insurance policies on getting screwed. Further, having boots on the ground near your manufacturing is practically a requirement nowadays if you want to have any hope of your supply chain operating smoothly.
In the case of a brand like Apple, who meticulously defines and controls every little detail of their product and supply chain works with an Electronic Manufacturing Services company “EMS” like Foxconn who primarily invest only in building other designs precisely to specification.
So OEM v. EMS: OEM: “build this for me, exactly like this, and don’t ask too many questions, or I’ll eat your children.”
The ODM/OEM relationship is a bit shakier:
OEM: “build this for me, and pretty please do your best not to use lead paint or explode my users.”
All that said, many companies I’ve encountered are chimeric— companies that usually do business as an EMS could also be caught as an ODM if the opportunity is right. I’ve wracked my brain over how to approach meetings with ODMs that also have an OEM/brand side to the company. The ODM side is a potential partner while the OEM side is a potential customer— in the already confusing world of IoT this can be quite the rollercoaster.
I could be off, but the cash value of the above has navigated me through hella lots of conversations from ivory tower to where the dog food gets made. It is a truly global and complex web of associations, across cultural, language, political, and social boundaries. Read “Poorly Made in China” and “Barbarians at the Gate” to see the differences in East vs. West strategies for business success, which I see as orthogonal values of Replication and Dominance.
If you’re interested, here’s a great article by a Shenzhen based supply chain expert: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-types-partners-product-managers-can-use-development-changtsong-lin/
Thanks for reading! Our company is expert at IoT integrations, and we thrive on building ecosystems of partners with positive feedback loops on new services and revenue streams. Kindred spririts, please reach out to me at [email protected]
COO @ Droplit
IoT Evolution or IoT Revolution
During all these years evangelizing on the Internet of Things (IoT), I have been explaining to customers, partners and friends that IoT can positively change the way we do business and the way we live our lives. I have been asked if IoT is a new revolution in our society, or it is just one more step in the technological evolution of the he digital revolution. Today, the debate continues but whether evolution or revolution, The Internet of Things is here to stay.
If you have read AIG´s whitepaper entitled “Internet of Things: Evolution or Revolution?” you learned IoT, from its origins, to its applications in business, the risks associated with its inevitable arrival and how with the IoT is coming bringing dramatic changes. In the whitepaper we discover that in spite IoT is often presented as a revolution that is changing the face of society or the industry in a profound manner. It is an evolution that has its origins in technologies and functionalities developed by visionary automation suppliers more than 15 years ago
I definitely think it’s an evolution
The development of the Internet of Things is a bold move. IoT is not just a leap from the Internet. The Internet of Things brings with it an evolutionary force that we rarely see in technology.
It is important not scare the most conservative enterprises. It is not about ripping out current automation systems to replace them with new technologies. End users will resist rapid and radical change because of the increased risk of downtime and associated costs.
I think that this debate should be framed in a more general question. What Age period are we living?
The Connected Age or the Age of Sensorization
I consider the start of the Connected Age when the Internet of Things term was coined by Kevin Ashton executive director of the Auto-ID Center as the title of a presentation he made at Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 1999. Probably Kevin envisioned that the move to sensorization will transform every industry in the world. In the Age of Sensorization, it’s possible to make more accurate and quantifiable assessments using real time sensor based information.
The main driving force behind the Connected Age is data – data that can be collected, data that can be analysed, data can be shared and data can be used to improve many service offerings.
Data is the new oil in this AgeThe global sensorization is driving new ideas and thoughts that will ultimately drive innovation in our personal, business and working lives. Sensor´s data is opening up new opportunities, driving new business models and taking innovation to new levelsNo doubt that sensors’ data is a valuable commodity. The European Commission has proposed to impose a tax on the revenue of digital companies based on their users’ location, on the grounds that “a significant part of the value of a business is created where the users are based and data is collected and processed.”
We are still living in the Connected Age. I expect this Age ends in 2025, no because there will not be more things to connect but because is when most of things will become intelligent and start controlled by robotsThe Robotic Age or the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Reading Genesis of AI: The First Hype Cycle, I rediscovered how Artificial Intelligence (AI) was born and evotution till now. But it was after I read Your Data Is Crucial to a Robotic Age. Shouldn’t You Be Paid for It? I realised maybe I was wrong and we already living the final years of the Connected Age and we are entering before 2025 , not without a certain fear, the Robotic Age.
According to IDC: ”By 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives – and 100% of IoT initiatives – will be supported by AI capabilities.
Qualcomm envision a world where edge AI makes devices, machines, automobiles, and things much more intelligent, simplifying and enriching our daily lives.
AI has emerged as the most exciting capability in today’s technology landscape. It’s potential is rich in large, complex organizations that generate massive amounts of data that can be fed into AI systems.
Data is the crucial ingredient of the AI revolution. We can envision that AI -driven companies will represent the future of broader parts of the economy and we may be headed for a world where labor’s share falls dramatically from its current roughly 70 percent to something closer to 20 to 30. At the same time the number of robots will increase and be part of the society.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence have reached a crucial point in their evolution. A robot is no longer just a mechanical device capable of interacting with its environment and carrying out an assigned task. At present, the main research laboratories all over the world are developing and implementing in sophisticated robots technical, practical and even philosophical tools. Nevertheless, we can not forget that there are still problems in the land of AI.
Companies need to move quickly to embrace AI so that they can support the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) and deliver the kinds of services customers are demanding.
Finally, if your company is thinking about Build or Buy Artificial Intelligence, take a look at this article.
The Cognitive Age
The cognitive revolution was a period during the 1950s-1960s when cognitive psychology replaced Behaviourism and Psychoanalysis as the main approach in psychological fields. Increasing focus was placed on observable behaviours in conjunction with brain activity and structureFor those of you who believe the mind the centre of all things, David Brooks, the New York Times columnist, wrote two editorials that point to wider transformations that are shaping the world in which we liveWe could consider the start of Cognitive Age when Facebook abandoned an experiment after two artificially intelligent programs appeared to be chatting to each other in a strange language only they understood. The two chatbots came to create their own changes to English that made it easier for them to work – but which remained mysterious to the human.
Are we sure Facebook shut down Its Artificial Intelligence Program? Facebook not the only company or government running secrete AI programs. Are you scaredThere are many myths about Cognitive. This article pusblished by Deloitte the Consulting company help dispel five of the most persistent myths.
- Myth 1: Cognitive is all about automation
- Myth 2: Cognitive kills jobs
- Myth 3: The financial benefits are still remote
- Myth 4: AI is overhyped and bound to disappoint
- Myth 5: Cognitive technology is just for ‘moonshots’
We need to start thinking how to prepare ourselves and our business for the Cognitive Age.” As I explain in “Bring Your Own Cyber Human (BYOCH) – Part 1: Augmented humans” we are in the path to being cyber humans. To live in the Cognitive Age, I encourage companies to invest in how to enhance our senses and to increase our intelligence to compete and win over robots.
The Connected Age is a fact. ARM is predicting 1 trillion IoT devices will be built until 2035. For those who think that the IoT is a revolution, not be worried because we are just simply in an evolutionary process.
With the introduction of AI and machine learning, enterprises will be able to embark on projects never thought possible before. The Robotics Age is going to be a great challenge for humanity. The fear of being inferior to our creation, not being able to control them, to compete with machines for a job, to have to obey them will really mean the beginning of a revolution.
What does AI mean for the future?. What will be the implications and the risks? Will AI really understand humans?. With the current skills humanity will be in inferiority to face the cognitive systems that will populate Cognitive Age. That is why I encourage governments, private laboratories and researchers to work on Augmented Humans projects if we do not want to be slaves to our uncontrolled inventions.
Thanks for your Likes and Comments.
What is a smart city? The answer depends on who you ask. Solutions providers will tell you it’s smart parking, smart lighting or anything to do with technology. City officials may tell you it’s about conducting city business online, such as searching records or applying for permits. City residents may tell you it’s the ease of getting around, or about crime reduction. Everyone is right. A smart city, built properly, will have different value for different stakeholders. They may not think of their city as a “smart”city. They know it only as a place they want to live in, work in, and be a part of. To build this type of city, you have to first build the smart city ecosystem.
A smart city is built on technology, but focused on outcomes
A scan of the various smart city definitions found that technology is a common element. For example, TechTarget defines a smart city as “a municipality that uses information and communication technologies to increase operational efficiency, share information with the public and improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare”. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) envisions a smart city as one that brings together technology, government and society to enable the following characteristics: a smart economy, smart mobility, a smart environment, smart people, smart living, smart governance.
But what does a smart city really do? Our scan of smart city projects worldwide showed that initiatives fell into one or more smart city “outcomes” (Figure One).
As a starting point, we define a smart city is one that uses technology extensively to achieve key outcomes for its various stakeholders, including residents, businesses, municipal organizations and visitors.
The smart city ecosystem framework
Figure Two shows our framework for a smart city ecosystem. A vibrant and sustainable city is an ecosystem comprised of people, organizations and businesses, policies, laws and processes integrated together to create the desired outcomes shown in Figure One. This city is adaptive, responsive and always relevant to all those who live, work in and visit the city. A smart city integrates technology to accelerate, facilitate, and transform this ecosystem.
Four types of value creators
There are four types of value creators in the smart city ecosystem. They create and consume value around one of the outcomes listed in Figure One.
When people think of a smart city, they automatically think of services provided by municipal and quasi-government agencies, such as smart parking, smart water management, smart lighting, and so on. In fact, there are three other value providers and users that co-exist in the smart city – businesses and organizations, communities, and residents.
Businesses and organizations may create services that use and create information to create outcomes for its stakeholders. Some examples of “smart” businesses include Uber and Lyft for personal mobility, NextDoor for information sharing, and Waze/Google for traffic and commute planning.
Communities are miniature smart cities, but with very localized needs. Some examples of potential smart communities include university campuses, office parks, airports, cargo ports, multi-dwelling unit (MDU) or apartment complexes, housing developments/neighborhoods, business districts and even individual “smart” buildings. They have needs for smart services that may be tailored specifically for their stakeholders.
Residents or individual citizens are also smart services providers in the smart city. A resident living near a dangerous street intersection can point a camera at the intersection and stream that information live to traffic planners and police. Residents place air quality measurement sensors on their properties to monitor pollution and pollen levels during certain times of the year, and make that information available to other community members. Residents can choose to make these smart services temporary or permanent, and free or fee based.
The Smart City is built on layers
A smart city is an ecosystem comprised of multiple “capability layers”. While technology is a critical enabler, it is just one of many foundational capabilities that every smart city must have. No one capability is more important than the rest. Each capabilities plays a different role in the smart city. These capabilities must integrate and coordinate with each other to carry out its mission.
Value layer. This is the most visible layer for city residents, businesses, visitors, workers, students, tourists and others. This layer is the catalog of smart city services or “use cases”, centered around the outcomes (Figure One), and offered by value creators and consumed by the city stakeholders.
Innovation layer. To stay relevant, value creators in the smart city must continuously innovate and update its services for its stakeholders. Smart cities proactively facilitate this through a variety of innovation programs, including labs, innovation zones, training, ideation workshops, skills development and partnerships with universities and businesses.
Governance, management and operations layer. The smart city creates disruption and results in digital transformation of existing processes and services. Smart city management models must integrate a new ecosystem of value creators and innovators. They must plan, support and monetize new business models, processes and services. They must upgrade their existing infrastructure and management processes to support “smart” services. Finally, they must measure the performance of the city with a new set of metrics.
Policy, processes, and public-private partnerships, and financing layer. The smart city doesn’t just magically appear one day. An entirely new set of engagement models, rules, financing sources, and partners are required to build, operate and maintain the smart city. Cities must develop a new set of “smart” competencies in order to get and stay in the “smart city game”.
Information and data layer. The lifeblood of the smart city is information. The smart city must facilitate this in several ways, including open data initiatives, data marketplaces, analytics services, and monetization policies. Equally important, they must have programs that encourage data sharing and privacy policies to protect what and how data is gathered.
Connectivity, accessibility and security layer. People, things and systems are interconnected in the smart city. The ability to seamlessly connect all three, manage and verify who and what is connected and shared, while protecting the information and users is crucial. The highest priorities for smart cities are to provide a seamless layer of trusted connections.
Smart city technology infrastructure layer. Most people automatically think of technology when talking about smart cities. The smart city technology infrastructure must scale beyond the traditional municipal users and support a new class of value creators, and city/user stakeholders.
Leveraging the smart city ecosystem framework
The smart city is a complex ecosystem of people, processes, policies, technology and other enablers working together to deliver a set of outcomes. The smart city is not “owned” exclusively by the city. Other value creators are also involved, sometimes working in collaboration and sometimes by themselves. Successful and sustainable smart cities take a programmatic approach to engage its stakeholders across the ecosystem.
Our research has found that many cities are not taking an ecosystem approach to smart city projects. This is due in part to smart city projects being managed by the Information Technology (IT) organization where their charter is on systems development and deployment. In contrast, more experienced smart cities manage their smart city programs through internal cross functional “Transformation” or “Innovation” organizations.
Regardless of where cities are in their smart city journey, they must get ahead of the “curve” with smart city projects. They begin by thinking in terms of building the broader ecosystem in order to create a sustainable and scalable smart city. Key next steps include:
- Understand the smart city ecosystem framework and tailor it to the realities of their specific city. Incorporate this model into the development of their smart city vision, strategy and execution plans.
- Relative to the smart city ecosystem framework, identify current capabilities and gaps across the various layers. Understand what is needed to support the four types of value creators.
- Evaluate existing and new smart city projects and initiatives against the ecosystem framework. Use this framework to identify what is missing from the project plans and what is needed to make the projects fully successful.
- Prioritize and develop competencies across the various ecosystem layers. A smart city requires new skills and competencies. Augment existing capabilities through strategic partnerships and contracting with service providers, as required.
Benson Chan is an innovation catalyst at Strategy of Things, helping companies transform the Internet of Things into the Innovation of Things through its innovation laboratory, research analyst, consulting and acceleration (execution) services. He has over 25 years of scaling innovative businesses and bringing innovations to market for Fortune 500 and start-up companies. Benson shares his deep experiences in strategy, business development, marketing, product management, engineering and operations management to help IoTCentral readers address strategic and practical IoT issues.
This post was co-authored with Renil Paramel, an IoT Innovation Catalyst, Strategist and Senior Partner at Strategy of Things.
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