by Gus Vos
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have been seeing and hearing a lot about 5G these days. In addition, if you are at all involved in Internet of Things (IoT) or other initiatives at your organization that use cellular networking technologies, you have also likely heard about 5G New Radio, otherwise known as 5G NR, the new 5G radio access technology specification.
However, all the jargon, hype, and sometimes contradictory statements made by solution providers, the media, and analysts regarding 5G and 5G NR can make it difficult to understand what 5G NR actually is, how it works, what its advantages are, to what extent it is different than other cellular radio access technologies, and perhaps most importantly, how your organization can use this new radio access technology.
In this blog, we will provide you with an overview on 5G NR, offering you answers to these and other basic 5G NR questions – with a particular focus on what these answers mean for those in the IoT industry.
We can’t promise to make you a 5G NR expert with this blog – but we can say that if you are confused about 5G NR before reading it, you will come away afterward with a better understanding of what 5G NR is, how it works, and how it might transform your industry.
What is the NR in 5G NR?
As its name implies, 5G New Radio or 5G NR is the new radio access technology specification found in the 5G standard.
Set by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) telecommunications standards group, the 5G NR specification defines how 5G NR edge devices (smart phones, embedded modules, routers, and gateways) and 5G NR network infrastructure (base stations, small cells, and other Radio Access Network equipment) wirelessly transmit data. To put it another way, 5G NR describes how 5G NR edge devices and 5G NR network infrastructure use radio waves to talk to each other.
5G NR is a very important part of 5G. After all, it describes how 5G solutions will use radio waves to wirelessly transmit data faster and with less latency than previous radio access technology specifications. However, while 5G NR is a very important part of the new 5G standard, it does not encompass everything related to 5G.
For example, 5G includes a new core network architecture standard (appropriately named 5G Core Network or 5GCN) that specifies the architecture of the network that collects, processes, and routes data from edge devices and then sends this data to the cloud, other edge devices, or elsewhere. The 5GCN will improve 5G networks’ operational capacity, efficiency, and performance.
However, 5GCN is not a radio access technology like 5G NR, but rather a core network technology. In fact, networks using the 5GCN core network will be able to work with previous types of radio access technologies – like LTE.
Is 5G NR one of 5G’s most important new technological advancements? Yes. But it is not the only technological advancement to be introduced by 5G.
How does 5G NR work?
Like all radio access communications technology specifications, the 5G NR specification describes how edge devices and network infrastructure transmit data to each other using electromagnetic radio waves. Depending on the frequency of the electromagnetic waves (how long the wave is), it occupies a different part of the wireless spectrum.
Some of the waves that 5G NR uses have frequencies of between 400 MHz and 6 GHz. These waves occupy what is called sub-6 spectrum (since their frequencies are all under 6 GHz).
This sub-6 spectrum is used by other cellular radio access technologies, like LTE, as well. In the past, using different cellular radio access technologies like this over the same spectrum would lead to unmanageable interference problems, with the different technologies radio waves interfering with each other.
One of 5G NR’s many advantages is that it’s solved this problem, using a technology called Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). This DSS technology allows 5G NR signals to use the same band of spectrum as LTE and other cellular technologies, like LTE-M and NB-IoT. This allows 5G NR networks to be rolled out without shutting down LTE or other networks that support existing LTE smart phones or IoT devices. You can learn more about DSS, and how it speeds the rollout of 5G NR while also extending the life of IoT devices, here.
One of 5G NR’s other major advancements is that it does not just use waves in the sub-6 spectrum to transmit data. The 5G NR specification also specifies how edge devices and network infrastructure can use radio waves in bands between 24 GHz and 52 GHz to transmit data.
These millimeter wave (mmWave) bands greatly expand the amount of spectrum available for wireless data communications. The lack of spectrum capacity has been a problem in the past, as there is a limited number of bands of sub-6 spectrum available for organizations to use for cellular communications, and many of these bands are small. Lack of available capacity and narrow spectrum bands led to network congestion, which limits the amount of data that can be transmitted over networks that use sub-6 spectrum.
mmWave opens up a massive amount of new wireless spectrum, as well as much broader bands of wireless spectrum for cellular data transmission. This additional spectrum and these broader spectrum bands increase the capacity (amount of data) that can be transmitted over these bands, enabling 5G NR mmWave devices to achieve data speeds that are four or more times faster than devices that use just sub-6 spectrum.
The additional wireless capacity provided by mmWave also reduces latency (the time between when device sends a signal and when it receives a response). By reducing latency from 10 milliseconds with sub-6 devices to 3-4 milliseconds or lower with 5G NR mmWave devices, 5G enables new industrial automation, autonomous vehicle and immersive gaming use cases, as well as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and similar Extended Reality (XR) use cases, all of which require very low latency.
On the other hand, these new mmWave devices and network infrastructure come with new technical requirements, as well as drawbacks associated with their use of mmWave spectrum. For example, mmWave devices use more power and generate more heat than sub-6 devices. In addition, mmWave signals have less range and do not penetrate walls and other physical objects as easily as sub-6 waves. 5G NR includes some technologies, such as beamforming and massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) that lessen some of these range and obstacle penetration limitations – but they do not eliminate them.
To learn more about the implications of 5G NR mmWave on the design of IoT and other products, read our blog, Seven Tips For Designing 5G NR mmWave Products.
In addition, there has been a lot written on these two different “flavors” (sub-6 and mmWave) of 5G NR. If you are interested in learning more about the differences between sub-6 5G NR and mmWave 5G NR, and how together they enable both evolutionary and revolutionary changes for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), mobile broadband, IoT and other wireless applications, read our previous blog A Closer Look at the Five Waves of 5G.
What is the difference between 5G NR and LTE?
Though sub-6 and mmWave are very different, both types of 5G NR provide data transfer speed, latency, and other performance improvements compared to LTE, the previous radio access technology specification used for cellular communications.
For example, outside of its use of mmWave, 5G NR features other technical advancements designed to improve network performance, including:
• Flexible numerology, which enables 5G NR network infrastructure to set the spacing between subcarriers in a band of wireless spectrum at 15, 30, 60, 120 and 240 kHz, rather than only use 15 kHz spacing, like LTE. This flexible numerology is what allows 5G NR to use mmWave spectrum in the first place. It also improves the performance of 5G NR devices that use higher sub-6 spectrum, such as 3.5 GHz C-Band spectrum, since the network can adjust the subcarrier spacing to meet the particular spectrum and use case requirements of the data it is transmitting. For example, when low latency is required, the network can use wider subcarrier spacing to help improve the latency of the transmission.
• Beamforming, in which massive MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) antenna technologies are used to focus wireless signal and then sweep them across areas till they make a strong connection. Beamforming helps extend the range of networks that use mmWave and higher sub-6 spectrum.
• Selective Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request (HARQ), which allows 5G NR to break large data blocks into smaller blocks, so that when there is an error, the retransmission is smaller and results in higher data transfer speeds than LTE, which transfers data in larger blocks.
• Faster Time Division Duplexing (TDD), which enables 5G NR networks to switch between uplink and downlink faster, reducing latency.
• Pre-emptive scheduling, which lowers latency by allowing higher-priority data to overwrite or pre-empt lower-priority data, even if the lower-priority data is already being transmitted.
• Shorter scheduling units that trim the minimum scheduling unit to just two symbols, improving latency.
• A new inactive state for devices. LTE devices had two states – idle and connected. 5G NR includes a new state – inactive – that reduces the time needed for an edge device to move in and out of its connected state (the state used for transmission), making the device more responsive.
These and the other technical advancements made to 5G NR are complicated, but the result of these advancements is pretty simple – faster data speeds, lower latency, more spectrum agility, and otherwise better performance than LTE.
Are LPWA radio access technology specifications, like NB-IoT and LTE-M, supported by 5G?
Though 5G features a new radio access technology, 5G NR, 5G supports other radio access technologies as well. This includes the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies, Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), and Long Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M). In fact, these LPWA standards are the standards that 5G uses to address one of its three main use cases – Massive, Machine-Type Communications (mMTC).
Improvements have been and continue to be made to these 5G LPWA standards to address these mMTC use cases – improvements that further lower the cost of LPWA devices, reduce these devices’ power usage, and enable an even larger number of LPWA devices to connect to the network in a given area.
What are the use cases for 5G NR and 5G LPWA Radio Access Technologies?
Today, LTE supports three basic use cases:
• Voice: People today can use LTE to talk to each other using mobile devices.
• Mobile broadband (MBB): People can use smartphones, tablets, mobile and other edge devices to view videos, play games, and use other applications that require broadband data speeds.
• IoT: People can use cellular modules, routers, and other gateways embedded in practically anything – a smart speaker, a dog collar, a commercial washing machine, a safety shoe, an industrial air purifier, a liquid fertilizer storage tank – to transmit data from the thing to the cloud or a private data center and back via the internet.
5G NR, as well as 5G’s LPWA radio access technologies (NB-IoT and LTE-M) will continue to support these existing IoT and voice use cases.
However, 5G also expands on the MBB use case with a new Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) use case. These eMBB use cases leverage 5G NR’s higher peak and average speeds and lower latency to enable smart phones and other devices to support high-definition cloud-based immersive video games, high quality video calls and new VR, AR, and other XR applications.
In addition, 5G NR also supports a new use case, called Ultra-Reliable, Low-Latency Communications (URLLC). 5G NR enables devices to create connections that are ultra-reliable with very low latency. With these new 5G NR capabilities, as well as 5G NR’s support for very fast handoffs and high mobility, organizations can now deploy new factory automation, smart city 2.0 and other next generation Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications, as well as Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) applications, such as autonomous vehicles.
As we mentioned above, 5G will also support the new mMTC use case, which represents an enhancement of the existing IoT use case. However, in the case of mMTC, new use cases will be enabled by improvements to LTE-M and NB-IoT radio access technology standards, not 5G NR. Examples of these types of new mMTC use cases include large-scale deployments of small, low cost edge devices (like sensors) for smart city, smart logistics, smart grid, and similar applications.
But this is not all. 3GPP is looking at additional new use cases (and new technologies for these use cases), as discussed in this recent blog on Release 17 of the 5G standard. One of these new technologies is a new Reduced Capability (RedCap) device – sometimes referred to as NR Light – for IoT or MTC use cases that require faster data speeds than LPWA devices can provide, but also need devices that are less expensive than the 5G NR devices being deployed today.
3GPP is also examining standard changes to NR, LTE-M, and NB-IoT in 5G Release 17 that would make it possible for satellites to use these technologies for Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) communications. This new NTN feature would help enable the deployment of satellites able to provide NR, LTE-M, and NB-IoT coverage in very remote areas, far away from cellular base stations.
What should you look for in a 5G NR module, router or gateway solution?
While all 5G NR edge devices use the 5G NR technology specification, they are not all created equal. In fact, the flexibility, performance, quality, security, and other capabilities of a 5G NR edge device can make the difference between a successful 5G NR application rollout and a failed one.
As they evaluate 5G NR edge devices for their application, organizations should ask themselves the following questions:
• Is the edge device multi-mode?
While Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are rapidly expanding their 5G NR networks, there are still many areas where 5G NR coverage is not available. Multi-mode edge devices that can support LTE, or even 3G, help ensure that wherever the edge device is deployed, it will be able to connect to a MNO’s network – even if this connection does not provide the data speed, latency, or other performance needed to maximize the value of the 5G NR application.
In addition, many MNOs are rolling out non-standalone (NSA) 5G NR networks at first. These NSA 5G NR networks need a LTE connection in addition to a 5G NR connection to transmit data from and to 5G NR devices. If your edge device does not include support for LTE, it will not be able to use 5G NR on these NSA networks.
• How secure are the edge devices?
Data is valuable and sensitive – and the data transmitted by 5G NR devices is no different. To limit the risk that this data is exposed, altered, or destroyed, organizations need to adopt a Defense in Depth approach to 5G NR cybersecurity, with layers of security implemented at the cloud, network, and edge device levels.
At the edge device level, organizations should ensure their devices have security built-in with features such as HTTPS, secure socket, secure boot, and free unlimited firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates.
Organizations will also want to use edge devices from trustworthy companies that are headquartered in countries that have strict laws in place to protect customer data. In doing so you will ensure these companies are committed to working with you to prevent state or other malicious actors from gaining access to your 5G NR data.
• Are the 5G NR devices future-proof?
Over time, organizations are likely to want to upgrade their applications. In addition, the 5G NR specification is not set in stone, and updates to it are made periodically. Organizations will want to ensure their 5G NR edge devices are futureproof, with capabilities that include the ability to update them with new firmware over the air, so they can upgrade their applications and take advantage of new 5G NR capabilities in the future.
• Can the 5G NR device do edge processing?
While 5G NR increases the amount of data that can be transmitted over cellular wireless networks, in many cases organizations will want to filter, prioritize, or otherwise process some of their 5G NR application’s data at the edge. This edge processing can enable these organizations to lower their data transmission costs, improve application performance, and lower their devices energy use.
5G NR edge devices that offer organizations the ability to easily process data at the edge allow them to lower their data transmission expenses, optimize application performance, and maximize their devices’ battery lives.
Originally posted here.
Augmented Reality not only enhances reality through virtual and bundled information, but also offers untapped opportunities for companies and their customers. This technology can significantly support customers in processing information more efficiently and relieve them cognitively. Early adopters such as Amazon and IKEA are already using augmented reality in online shopping for product demonstrations. This gives customers a more comprehensive insight into the product, which supports their purchase intention. Industry is already using the technology in a more versatile way and exploiting the advantages, for example, in engineering, in production, in service or for employee training. This justifiably raises the question of why this potential of AR is not also being exploited at the customer level.
For customer participation, it would be groundbreaking to reliably empower customers in their contribution to involvement, regardless of their skills and prior knowledge. In the future, customers would no longer have to bother with paper instructions when assembling furniture but would be able to follow work instructions more easily using their smartphones. This can also be applied to other everyday situations, such as repairing one's own bicycle or helping to indicate a malfunction in the heating system when it displays a message again.
The examples listed all have the common feature that AR acts as a medium for guided work instructions so that customers can be supported more efficiently in their actions. As an expert in the field of AR and IoT, I have questioned at this point whether there really an increase in efficiency is, how this possible increase in efficiency makes itself felt, and how the effects could be explained. To get to the bottom of the problem, an empirical survey was designed in which a 26-step assembly task had to be accomplished. The test persons were divided into two groups. While the experimental group received instructions in an AR app via iPad, the control group worked with classic paper instructions. After the experiment, all participants were asked about their subjective perceptions during assembly using a standardized questionnaire.
The results of the empirical study are in line with the media perception or hype of augmented reality. The members of the experimental group had a significantly shorter processing time, made significantly fewer errors and were more satisfied overall with the assembly task. Based on the subjective perception of our test subjects, it can be shown that the increase in efficiency on the part of the experimental group can be explained by a reduction in their cognitive load.
Overall, the survey not only reveals efficiency gains using augmented reality, but also raises the prospect of other factors. The participants were more efficient in their actions and were also significantly more satisfied with the process. According to existing marketing literature on satisfaction, it follows that there is an increased repurchase intention, an increased willingness to pay, positive eWOM, and sustained customer loyalty. It can be shown that the use of augmented reality can not only reduce existing costs by increasing efficiency but promises additional revenue. With the advancement of technical realities in private households, the use of AR at the consumer level is no longer a utopia. The technology is ready! So, are you?
Look around you, and you’ll find at least 4 objects in your house with the word ‘smart’. Your TV, your phone, maybe even your fridge. All of our appliances are increasingly being connected to the internet.
This interconnection of ‘smart’ objects is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). In less than a decade, we’ve pushed communication technology to its limits.
Now you can talk to your microwave from your phone. With over 20 billion devices part of the IoT phenomenon, our lives are more connected than ever before. But, there's a flip side to this technological revolution.
There are a lot of IoT security risks that arise from the vulnerabilities of the devices. Over 200 million individual IoT attacks were tracked in 2020 alone.
Hackers can take advantage of vulnerabilities to steal your data, or to use your devices to conduct attacks. This blog will take you through the procedures you can adopt to secure your life from cybercriminals.
Overview of IoT
Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) is the protocol that is the process through which our devices connect with the internet.
When the internet is accessed, a unique identity protocol is generated Recently, however, IPv4 has been running out of physical addresses. To fix this, IPv6 was introduced that has the capacity for trillions of trillions of physical addresses. It also offers improvements to connectivity, performance, and security.
IoT has already been used extensively to provide ease to human life, with some of the many applications being innocuous.
- Home Automation - Phones are now being used to connect with most homes to your electric circuits, your TV, AC Fridge, and more. This has simplified lives while improving productivity and efficiency. Many of these devices also optimise themselves, for instance, an AC that adjusts temperature itself based on the environment.
- Smart Cities - By far the most awaited feature of IoT. Smart Cities promise to revolutionize the way you live. Not only will they reduce costs, but they would also improve efficiency. Road signals would be able to manage traffic congestions, and parking sensors would inform you of empty spots.
- Drones - Drones are increasingly being used to simplify our lives. Right from being used by Amazon as delivery agents, to being used by government bodies for firefighting activities, drones are revolutionizing the tech space.
- Medical Applications - Smartwatches monitor a person’s health and can call them an ambulance when at risk. Ambulances that can connect to the road signals and clear a path.
- Smart Phones - Your phone will most likely be the key to controlling the IoT. Already many appliances connect to your phone, and many more may soon follow. VR and AR have made great leaps forward, allowing people to do much more than simply call people with their phones.
Threats of IoT
IoT suffers from similar vulnerabilities that hackers attempt to use to their advantage. They use these devices to either steal personal data or to connect them to a botnet. According to Symantec, IoT attacks have increased a 1000% since 2016, with routers and security cameras being the most attacked.
- Botnet - A botnet is essentially a large collection of IoT that hackers can be used to make large coordinated attacks on other services. Botnets are easy to create, with IoT being a favored target due to their weaker security.
- Shadow IoT - Losing control of your devices can be terrifying. Researchers have already proved it possible to stall the engines of smart cars too. Many industries use SCADA systems, a massive computer overseer. Were this to be compromised, it could lead to catastrophe, including nuclear meltdowns in the worst case.
- Data Theft - The most common threat. Data can be extracted not only from the compromised device but all on the network. This can be catastrophic for your business. Losing the data of millions of users can erode their trust in your services.
Applying Penetration Testing to circumvent IoT Attacks
Thankfully, there are ways in which firms protect themselves from IoT Security risks. Using penetration testing (pen testing), a simulated attack on your device, you can identify vulnerabilities and fix them before an actual attack hit. Pen testing will search for a range of vulnerabilities, ranging from but not limited to,
- Weak passwords: passwords that can be guessed or opened through trial and error.
- Hardcoded passwords: Public passwords that cannot be changed, such as firmware backdoors and client software.
- Network services: This helps the devices on the network to communicate and share information.
- Ecosystem Interfaces: Authentication, encryption issues, and input/output filtering problems arising from the device’s connections. These could be the internet, the backend API, the cloud, or other devices.
- Updates: The ability to receive and apply updates to firmware, security, and provide warnings for security changes.
- Components: Insecure or outdated components such as software, libraries, customization, third-party apps, etc.
- Privacy: Data that can be leaked due to a device on the network not being configured with the proper controls.
- Data Security: Data encryption and access control during storage, transit, and processing to prevent hijacks between connections.
- Default Settings: Insecure default settings that might still be on the device.
- Physical Hardening: Physical hardening measures to prevent hackers from scoping devices or taking local control of devices.
Your business must be secure and Pen testing is a great way of identifying these vulnerabilities, which you can then rectify.
Here's how firms can go about it.
- Identify Devices on The Network - The first step to protecting yourself is to identify which devices are actually on the network. As the network gets bigger, it can be harder to keep track of the devices. Don’t hesitate to pull back, take stock, and remove devices you don’t think need to be on the network.
- Implement Strong Passwords - Without saying, this is the single most important tip. Always ensure your password is not something related to your personal information, such as your full name. Vary your password with numbers and symbols. And don’t use the same password everywhere!
- Download The Latest Security Updates - As attacks increase, so does the defines. Many manufacturers release new updates that patch IoT vulnerabilities. Staying up to date can prevent older attacks from getting through.
- Install Firewalls - Firewalls will prevent unauthorized access through the network. Intrusion detection systems/intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS) should be run to monitor and analyse network traffic. Firewalls also have the added benefit of warning you of unauthorized access. This can be the first sign of a breach in security.
IoT has a lot of potential for making human life convenient and efficient. However, it is advisable to take your time with implementing new technologies, make sure you have all the risks covered.
Rigorous testing should be your motto before introducing anything new to your business. Security should be your main priority.
Over the years, there has been an extensive shift of digitalization that has called for new concepts and new technologies. Especially when it comes to improving human life and reducing effort in routine tasks, one thing that has gained immense popularity is the very idea of IoT.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects (vehicles, devices, buildings, and other items) embedded with software sensors, electronics, and network connectivity to collect and exchange data. It is the network of those inter-connected objects or smart devices that can exchange information using a method of agreement and data schema.
According to Statista, the total installed base of IoT (Internet of Things) connected devices worldwide estimated to reach 30.9 billion units by 2025, a significant increase from the 13.8 billion units anticipated in 2021.
Common Challenges in IoT
Do you know how IoT works? Well, IoT devices are capable of providing automated facilities because they have inbuilt sensors and mini-computer processors, in which sensors collect the data with the help of machine learning. But unfortunately, these devices are connected to the internet and are more vulnerable to hacking and malware.
Nevertheless, we are living in the digital world where your car will soon be a better driver than you, and your smart security systems will provide:
- Better protection to your residence,
- Your Industries,
- and your commercial places against damage and theft.
Your smart refrigerators will better communicate with the internet. It will be more responsible for ordering your grocery items. All these miracles can happen with automation and the advancements of embedded systems into the Internet of Things.
However, improving the performance and quality of such systems is a significant challenge because IoT devices generate a large variety and volume of data that are difficult to test if the IoT testing service provider that you’ve hired for testing doesn’t have the best resources, tools, test environments, and test methods to ensure the quality, performance, speed, and scalability of such systems. Consequently, IoT testing services are the key to ensuring flawless performance and functionality of your IoT systems.
As long as it comes to testing of IoT devices, organizations face severe challenges that you can discover below:
Testing Across Several Cloud IoT Platforms
Every IoT device has its own hardware, and this device is dependent on software to operate it. When it comes to integration, IoT devices require application software to run commands to the devices and analyze data collected by the devices. Also, each device comes with different operating systems, versions, firmware, hardware, and software, which may not be possible to test with various combinations of devices.
Before conducting testing on IoT devices, one needs to collect information from the end-users about which software they’re using to run the IoT devices. One of the most widely used cloud IoT platforms that assist in connecting different components of the IoT value chain is IBM Watson, Azure IoT, and AWS, among others. To run IoT devices across all cloud IoT platforms, it is necessary to consider the experienced IoT testing service provider or experts from the software testing company, mainly those who are well-versed in the testing of cloud IoT platforms and can ensure their practical usability.
One should know about an IoT environment and understand how devices generate data with a wide variety, velocity, and veracity. Make sure IoT devices produce the data into a structured or unstructured form and then send the enormous amounts of data to the cloud. If you plan to get IoT testing services, you need to test your IoT application across various platforms. Testing should be performed in a real-time environment. If the device often introduces firmware updates or new version upgrades, it is crucial to perform specific testing by keeping all such factors in mind.
Data Security Threats
The volume of data gathered and communicated by connected devices is enormous. The higher amount of data generated by devices, the higher number of data leaks or any other risks your system can experience from outside entries.
Testing of IoT devices is vital from the best IoT testing service provider. Otherwise, your IoT device can become vulnerable to security threats. With QA experts or IoT testing services, you can quickly identify security bottlenecks from the system and address them early as possible.
When performing IoT testing, it is necessary to test credentials, passwords, and data interface to ensure that there are no risks for security breaches. Today, IoT engineers implement layered security, and with this process, they can get multiple levels of protection for the system and prevent the system from potential attacks or data leaks.
Too Many IoT Communication Protocols
Nowadays, IoT devices use several distinct communication protocols from Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), and common Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) to interact with controllers and with each other.
But the most popular protocol that ensures the IoT device will communicate and perform well even in high latency and low bandwidth situations is MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT).
However, due to the popularity of MQTT, it is crucial to ensure the security of this protocol as it is open to attacks and doesn’t provide excellent protection beyond the Transmission Control Protocol layer. Therefore, one should hire a diligent IoT testing service provider to assure that testing will perform rigorously. In addition, it ensures that the communication between controllers and disparate devices will happen more reliably and safely.
Lack of Standardization
Due to the increasing number of connected devices, it becomes imperative to improve the standardization of an IoT system in different levels: platforms, standard business models, connectivity, and application.
Standardization for each IoT device should be uniformed while testing. Otherwise, your users can face severe problems at the time of connecting IoT devices with different systems.
For this, the IoT testing service provider should have detailed expertise in performing connected device testing based on the intended use or use case of the system. Also, there should be a uniform standardization for all levels of IoT systems before providing quality-based IoT products to end-users.
IoT testing approach can vary based on the architecture or system involved. Therefore, businesses should focus more on reliable IoT testing services and allow testers to focus more on the Test-As-a-User (TAAS) approach instead of testing based on the requirements.
Always choose the trustworthy IoT testing service provider for integration testing of IoT systems. One should have a comprehensive strategy to discover the bugs in the system through integration testing.
Numerous challenges occur while implementing IoT testing, but it is an exciting job if the testing service provider is ready to offer you end-to-end functional and non-functional validation services for different implementations.
The company should be certified to test IoT connected devices with a complicated mesh of devices, hardware, protocols, operating systems, firmware, etc. In addition, they should have industry best practices with IoT testing tools to address challenges that you face every day while using IoT systems.
When a global automobile manufacturer sought to ease the complexity and expense of maintaining and integrating PLC devices to its MES, it first looked to an OPC-based solution (Open Platform Communications). It reasoned that easing the process of adding new device drivers would speed up projects and ease data access.
What it ended up with was a mixed model that still didn’t provide the flexibility and agility it was looking for. Engineers still needed to write custom code for MES and PLC integration, which slowed the implementation of new projects. What’s more, because there was data build-up in transit, response time was slow. The architecture wasn’t flexible, and the software struggled to scale to support both large and smaller plant implementations.
In all, the technology added complexity. It didn’t improve the use of IT resources, couldn’t scale to increase commonality between tools and plants, and ultimately, fell short of the goal of providing easy access to data to improve product quality.
A Classic Challenge of Bringing IIoT to the Factory Floor
It’s an issue that spans industries in connecting plant floor devices to the enterprise: How can you cleanly and easily get PLC data into MES and ERP systems in a short amount of time?
Mapping devices like PLCs directly to applications is challenging, and is a problem that can’t be solved simply by leveraging an OPC-based interface. Projects get backlogged because there still is so much custom coding involved, increasing the cost of the project, the cost of maintaining the solution and the implementation time.
APIs and standard protocols will never get rid of custom programming. The lack of native drivers is what leads programmers to have to write all that custom code. Instead, organizations need a data-centric platform that brings a broad array of native drivers to ensure plug-and-play functionality, to make PLCs talk to other PLCs, and communicate directly to MES and ERP applications.
With this functionality, IIoT projects can be launched in a matter of days, instead of months.
The Role of Flexible IIoT Middleware
By leveraging a data-centric IIoT software platform, organizations can connect legacy and modern devices regardless of communication protocol and provide a central data pipeline to all devices and applications on the network. The platform serves as a control center of all IT and OT applications, lending control over how, when, and where data is used, and providing the ability to quickly onboard new devices.
Most importantly, an IIoT platform can make it easy to build any kind of logic without custom programming. This means that plant engineers and even subject matter experts can fully customize a deployment without the need to get a programmer to make the change, speeding the connections of devices and more easily directing the flow of data.
Leveraging the Telit deviceWISE platform, the manufacturer was able to bring together systems from Siemens, Rockwell Automation, Omron and Mitsubishi, with a proprietary MES on a DB2 database.
The deviceWISE platform provided a common interface to the factory floor, bringing with it none of the performance issues presented by the OPC-based interface. For both its large and small plants, the company has the flexibility to integrate devices to MES systems using web services and messaging services.
Complex business logic is now available to the plant device, and complex ladder logic has been masked. It’s less expensive to configure logic, and enterprise users can access data without impacting the performance of PLC devices.
For instance, there are times when an enterprise user may want to look for a part serial number history to see whether it has been installed or to ensure there was no defect. The company wanted to make sure PLC scan rates were not impacted by this activity on the enterprise side.
From a factory floor perspective, in the past, that history had to be retained inside of the equipment. Adding more data to the PLC device slows the overall scanning time.
With Telit deviceWISE, query capabilities enable search within the enterprise system. Leveraging web services, the organization could “take” some of the complex logic in the equipment and move it to the enterprise system to ensure high performance. This in turn speeds up the decision making process, and provides more decision-making capabilities on data at the machine level. In turn, while production, and consequently the amount of data, grows, the amount of IT support doesn’t have to.
The deviceWISE platform allows devices and apps to “talk” to one another, with a very quick time to value by providing connectivity that breaks through complicated data transfer layers. By implementing IIoT, fast, the manufacturer can focus on what it does best – making innovative vehicles.
Ricardo Buranello Head of Platforms Business Unit, Telit.
By Bee Hayes-Thakore
Google has been advancing their investment in how tamper-resistant secure hardware modules can protect not only Android and its functionality, but also protect third-party apps and secure sensitive transactions. The latest android smartphone device features enable tamper-resistant key storage for Android Apps using StrongBox. StrongBox is an implementation of the hardware-backed Keystore that resides in a hardware security module.
To accelerate adoption of new Android use cases with stronger security, Google announced the formation of the Android Ready SE Alliance. Secure Element (SE) vendors are joining hands with Google to create a set of open-source, validated, and ready-to-use SE Applets. On March 25th, Google launched the General Availability (GA) version of StrongBox for SE.
Hardware based security modules are becoming a mainstay of the mobile world. Juniper Research’s latest eSIM research, eSIMs: Sector Analysis, Emerging Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2021-2025, independently assessed eSIM adoption and demand in the consumer sector, industrial sector, and public sector, and predicts that the consumer sector will account for 94% of global eSIM installations by 2025. It anticipates that established adoption of eSIM frameworks from consumer device vendors such as Google, will accelerate the growth of eSIMs in consumer devices ahead of the industrial and public sectors.
Consumer sector will account for 94% of global eSIM installations by 2025Juniper Research, 2021.
Expanding the secure architecture of trust to consumer wearables, smart TV and smart car
What’s more? A major development is that now this is not just for smartphones and tablets, but also applicable to WearOS, Android Auto Embedded and Android TV. These less traditional form factors have huge potential beyond being purely companion devices to smartphones or tablets. With the power, size and performance benefits offered by Kigen’s iSIM OS, OEMs and chipset vendors can consider the full scope of the vast Android ecosystem to deliver new services.
This means new secure services and innovations around:
🔐 Digital keys (car, home, office)
🛂 Mobile Driver’s License (mDL), National ID, ePassports
🏧 eMoney solutions (for example, Wallet)
How is Kigen supporting Google’s Android Ready SE Alliance?
The alliance was created to make discrete tamper resistant hardware backed security the lowest common denominator for the Android ecosystem. A major goal of this alliance is to enable a consistent, interoperable, and demonstrably secure applets across the Android ecosystem.
Kigen believes that enabling the broadest choice and interoperability is fundamental to the architecture of digital trust. Our secure, standards-compliant eSIM and iSIM OS, and secure personalization services are available to all chipset or device partners in the Android Ready SE Alliance to leverage the benefits of iSIM for customer-centric innovations for billions of Android users quickly.Vincent Korstanje, CEO of Kigen
Kigen’s support for the Android Ready SE Alliance will allow our industry partners to easily leapfrog to the enhanced security and power efficiency benefits of iSIM technology or choose a seamless transition from embedded SIM so they can focus on their innovation.
We are delighted to partner with Kigen to further strengthen the security of Android through StrongBox via Secure Element (SE). We look forward to widespread adoption by our OEM partners and developers and the entire Android ecosystem.Sudhi Herle, Director of Android Platform Security
In the near term, the Google team is prioritizing and delivering the following Applets in conjunction with corresponding Android feature releases:
- Mobile driver’s license and Identity Credentials
- Digital car keys
Kigen brings the ability to bridge the physical embedded security hardware to a fully integrated form factor. Our Kigen standards-compliant eSIM OS (version 2.2. eUICC OS) is available to support chipsets and device makers now. This announcement is a start to what will bring a whole host of new and exciting trusted services offering better experience for users on Android.
Kigen’s eSIM (eUICC) OS brings
The smallest operating system, allowing OEMs to select compact, cost-effective hardware to run it on.
Kigen OS offers the highest level of logical security when employed on any SIM form factor, including a secure enclave.
On top of Kigen OS, we have a broad portfolio of Java Card™ Applets to support your needs for the Android SE Ready Alliance.
Kigen’s Integrated SIM or iSIM (iUICC) OS further this advantage
Integrated at the heart of the device and securely personalized, iSIM brings significant size and battery life benefits to cellular Iot devices. iSIM can act as a root of trust for payment, identity, and critical infrastructure applications
Kigen’s iSIM is flexible enough to support dual sim capability through a single profile or remote SIM provisioning mechanisms with the latter enabling out-of-the-box connectivity, secure and remote profile management.
For smartphones, set top boxes, android auto applications, auto car display, Chromecast or Google Assistant enabled devices, iSIM can offer significant benefits to incorporate Artificial intelligence at the edge.
Kigen’s secure personalization services to support fast adoption
SIM vendors have in-house capabilities for data generation but the eSIM and iSIM value chains redistribute many roles and responsibilities among new stakeholders for the personalization of operator credentials along different stages of production or over-the-air when devices are deployed.
Kigen can offer data generation as a service to vendors new to the ecosystem.
Partner with us to provide cellular chipset and module makers with the strongest security, performance for integrated SIM leading to accelerate these new use cases.
Security considerations for eSIM and iSIM enabled secure connected services
Designing a secure connected product requires considerable thought and planning and there really is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. How security should be implemented draws upon a multitude of factors, including:
- What data is being stored or transmitted between the device and other connected apps?
- Are there regulatory requirements for the device? (i.e. PCI DSS, HIPAA, FDA, etc.)
- What are the hardware or design limitations that will affect security implementation?
- Will the devices be manufactured in a site accredited by all of the necessary industry bodies?
- What is the expected lifespan of the device?
End-to-end ecosystem and services thinking needs to be a design consideration from the very early stage especially when considering the strain on battery consumption in devices such as wearables, smart watches and fitness devices as well as portable devices that are part of the connected consumer vehicles.
Originally posted here.
Internet of Things is a buzzword that is trained to blend itself in today's market seamlessly. But do you know what it is? Also, what does it signify for the delivery sector? IoT mainly refers to the concept of connecting various devices and transferring data using wireless apps. It eliminates face-to-face human interaction to a great extent.
The Internet of Things guarantees big things in the world of customer goods, but even more significant things in the evolution of the supply chain. Research firm Gartner stated that IoT would change the world of delivery services. A thirty-fold increase in Internet-connected physical machines by 2020 will significantly alter how the sector works. Morgan Stanley concludes that 75 billion devices will be connected with IoT-enabled devices by the end of 2020.
With today's growing customer demands for personalized and speedy service, it's no surprise IoT is evolving rapidly; this is special for the delivery and logistics sector. With IoT becoming more accepted globally, more devices are designed with sensors that can be monitored, opening up countless opportunities for those that choose to board the growing trend. With the advanced technology to carve a position in the delivery market, it's fascinating to keep an eye on how the sector ecosystem transforms and the type effects on system and operations.
Food Delivery with IoT: Explore How it Enhances Business Operations!
The IoT is quickly widespread in the food delivery sector. It has been primarily driven by pizza chains, including Pizza Hut, Dominos, and many more. Using smart devices, a customer can easily order mouth-watering pizza, get an estimated time for delivery, get a real-time update, watch the order being made through a webcam, etc.
Delivery personnel if knowing the exact delivery location can eliminate time lost to confusing addresses. Tipping and payment can also be handled through feature-rich solutions, making the process more efficient. The best part is that delivery brands like UberEats are leveraging the advantage of IoT technology.
MarketsandMarkets determined the global IoT market size is valued at 170.6 billion in 2017. It's presumed to reach 561.0 billion by the end of 2022, at a 26.9% Compound Annual Growth Rate during the predicted period. The report scope covers the internet of things market by platform, software solution, services, apps region, and area.
The software solution is divided into remote monitoring, real-time streaming analytics, data management, network bandwidth management, and security solution. However, it's further segmented into developing home automation, smart manufacturing, energy, retail, mobility, and transportation.
The simple deployment and low-cost process of IoT-powered devices mean virtually any restaurant service that can provide smart delivery. However, numerous restaurants, including local chains, are lacking to take advantage of and opportunities IoT provides to them. A restaurateur can provide turnkey with smart IoT-enabled solutions, helping to complete and manage every business operation effectively.
Impact of IoT On Delivery Industry
With ever-growing customer demands for personalized and speedy service, it is no wonder the IoT is increasing, especially in the logistics and delivery sector. However, the IoT will allow troubleshooting and greater accuracy throughout the fully automated methods, significantly reducing the brand's required work hours.
With IoT existing is accepted globally, more devices are developing with sensors that can be tracked, thereby opening up countless opportunities. Machine-to-Machine and IoT interaction are evolving customer expectations around the delivery sector, forcing providers to replan and know how they can do more business and generate more leads in less time.
Increases Operational Visibility
In the delivery sector, operational visibility is critical for developing faster and more efficient actions. Luckily improved visibility is the primary benefit the IoT technology brings to your table. The restaurateur can obtain valuable insight into accurate data-driven decisions and operations.
Building a well-integrated IoT platform at your place can provide the fleet manager with information and a deeper understanding of data like on-time deliveries, real-time alerts, and more. All the data provided by managers possess the ability to decrease unnecessary problems that can otherwise arise. In simple terms, an IoT system permits data-driven judgments to occur and reduces unexpected problems; all this reduces extra cost throughout the delivery process.
Moreover, in terms of warehouse services, IoT streamlines operations with sensors, bar code readers, etc., ensuring to provide you with visibility of inventory and tracing of products and services quickly and efficiently. In essence, business managers can easily understand what products they have to make snap decisions accordingly.
Visibility is critical for delivery brands wishing to thrive in a competitive market, but it's not only one factor why brands must consider IoT integration. Inefficient and unorganized routes can result in a downfall; such routes increase fuel use, road time, carbon footprints, and other resources. However, this dramatically affects the company's bottom line as well as the operational environment.
However, IoT-enabled devices are fighting all of this by strategically utilizing corporation resources to relinquish all planned destinations and open interaction between fleet managers and drivers. It improves real-time analytics and helps to achieve an efficient system of operations and manage consumer satisfaction.
Improves Real-Time Tracking
Every delivery business understands the stress of managing multiple deliveries at a time. However, a restaurateur can develop food delivery apps using IoT technology, helping them to stay aware of the real-time location of drivers and deliveries. It helps them to deal with unexpected problems that sometimes occur on the road.
The data enables restaurateurs to drive accurate and intelligent decision-making, ensuring to improve customer service by keeping customers updated about the delivery service. Most brands these days are using RFID and are approaching about 100% receiving accuracy, 33% faster order processing whereas 30% reduction in operational costs."
Efficient Last-Mile Delivery
Due to customer demand and delivery growth, many complex challenges are created for a restaurateur to tackle. Most of the challenges arise due to last-mile delivery due to driver behavior, traffic, driver behavior, etc. However, IoT is helping supermarkets and restaurants at every stage, helping them replan their operation process and ensure a streamlined journey for customers.
Hence restaurateur needs to find a cost-effective platform that satisfies customer needs and unexpected problems. Modern technology enables them to bridge the gap between customers and driver inter-communication, ensuring business growth.
Additionally, if you want to gain better insight into delivery provider behavior, you can connect all your vehicles. It even helps with preventive maintenance for the vehicle. IoT-connected vehicles will send automated signals and warning alerts when any part of a particular vehicle requires maintenance.
With the help of such alters, you can easily maintain services such as a low battery, coolant temperature, check engine, etc., ensuring to leverage preventive maintenance and increasing the lifespan of your vehicles.
Wrapping It Up
The delivery sector is experiencing a lot of change with the IoT, and it seems to have more improvements shortly as well. The advantages of IoT in the delivery industry are indisputable, and as more and more devices are connected, further optimizations show that the numbers will grow.
The urgency of IoT adoption differs from one sector to another and its impact as well. But it has excellent benefits for the delivery sector as it provides excellent visibility, reduces operation cost, and better last-mile execution. Hence considering integrating IoT within your business process is a wise choice that will bring worth for your business.
Happy Friday (or whatever day it is when you find yourself reading this). I’m currently bouncing off the walls in excitement because I’ve been invited to host a panel discussion as part of a webinar series — Fast and Fearless: The Future of IoT Software Development — being held under the august auspices of IoTCentral.io
Panel members Joe Alderson (upper left), Pamela Cortez (upper right), Katherine Scott (lower left), and Ihor Dvoretskyi (bottom right)
At this event, the first of a 4-part series, we will be focusing on “The IoT Software Developer Experience.”
As we all know, the IoT is transforming the software landscape. What used to be a relatively straightforward embedded software stack has been revolutionized by the IoT, with developers now having to juggle specialized workloads, security, machine learning, real-time connectivity, managing devices that have been deployed into the field… the list goes on.
In this webinar — which will be held on Tuesday 11 May 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. CDT — I will be joined by four industry luminaries to discuss the development challenges engineers are facing today, how the industry is helping to make IoT development easier, an overview of development processes (including cloud-based continuous integration (CI) workflows and low-code development), and what the future looks like for developers who are building for the IoT.
The luminaries in question (and whom I will be questioning) are Joe Alderson (Director of Embedded Tools and User Experience at Arm), Pamela Cortez (IoT Developer Advocate and Sr. Program Manager at Microsoft Azure IoT), Katherine Scott, Developer Advocate at Open Robotics, and Ihor Dvoretskyi (Developer Advocate at Cloud Native Computing Foundation).
So, what say you? Dare I hope that we will have the pleasure of your company and that you will be able to join us to (a) tease your auditory input systems with our discussions and (b) join our question-and-answer free-for-all at the end?
Well, this isn’t something I expected to be talking about today, but my chum Ben Cook just introduced me to something that looks rather cool.
Ben is the Founder and Director at Airspeed Electronics Ltd., which is an electronic design consultancy that’s based in the UK specializing in high-performance acoustic detection and tracking technology for counter-unmanned aircraft system (UAS) applications. The folks at Airspeed Electronics are currently developing a drone detection and tracking system called MANTIS, where this work is being funded through a research grant provided by the UK Ministry of Defence (which — before you make a nasty comment — is how they spell “Defense” in the UK).
MANTIS, which stands for “MAchine learNing acousTIc Surveillance,” is a system of distributed, intelligent acoustic sensors that use artificial intelligence (AI) for the detection, classification, and location estimation of UAS — such as drones — based on their acoustic signatures.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about…
In his email to me, Ben spake as follows: “Have you heard of an embedded operating system called ‘Luos’ before? It’s a microservices software architecture, like docker but for use with microcontrollers. I have no affiliation, I just stumbled across this today and I’m thinking this could be very useful for some future projects. It looks really good for anything ‘modular-y,’ if you know what I mean…”
I do know what Ben means. I just meandered my way around the luos.io website, perused and pondered the documentation at docs.luos.io, and watched this video on YouTube (later today, I’m going to get the tattoo, buy the T-shirt, and see the stage play).
In a nutshell, Luos is a simple and lightweight open-source distributed operating system dedicated to embedded systems. It uses the concept of modularity to simplify the linking of components and chunks of application code together to form a single system image.
Consider a system like a robot that uses multiple microcontrollers to manage its various sensors, actuators, and motors. If each of these microcontrollers employs Luos technology, all of them can use any feature of any microcontroller in the system as if all of the features were located in the same component.
Now, I’m a hardware design engineer by trade, so the software side is a bit outside my bailiwick, but — even so — looking at the video above and scanning the documentation makes me sit up and say, “Wow, this looks really, really cool.”
I asked around a few of my embedded systems software developer friends, and no one had heard of Luos, but I have a feeling that this may be a tool that’s poised to make a big splash. All sorts of ideas are currently bouncing around my head, like the fact that the Tracealyzer tool from Percepio would make an ideal companion for the Luos OS (see also The 2021 Embedded Online Conference Approacheth).
How about you? Have you heard of Luos? If so, what are your thoughts? If not, and if you lean toward the software side of things, it would be great if you could take a look with your highly trained eye, see what you think, and report back to the rest of us in the comments below.
Originally posted HERE.
In the age of next-generation computer, the role of the cloud, the internet and smart devices will become stronger. These days we all know the word smart well. This word is often used in our daily lives. The Internet of Things (IoT) will generate a variety of information from a variety of resources. It can store big data in the cloud. Fog computing acts as a signal between cloud and IoT. Fog extensions in this framework apply to material under IoT. IoT devices are called Fog nodes, which can be accessed anywhere within the network range. A blockchain is a novel way of recording in a secure sequence. Creating a new framework in the development of Internet of Things is one of the critical problems of wireless communication where solving such a problem can lead to continued growth in the use and popularity of IoT. Proposed research creates a framework for providing a framework for middleware on the internet of smart devices network for the internet of things using blockchains technology. Our great offering connects new research that integrates blockchains into the Internet of Things and provides secure Internet connection for smart devices. Blockchain (BC) Internet of Things (IoT) is a new technology that works with low-level, distributed, public and real-time leaders to maintain transactions between IoT sites. A blockchain is a series of blocks, each block being linked to its previous blocks. All blocks have cryptographic hash code, previous block hash, and its data. Transactions in BC are the basic components used to transfer data between IoT nodes. IoT nodes are a variety of portable but smart devices with embedded sensors, actuators, systems and the ability to communicate with other IoT nodes. The role of BC in IoT is to provide a process for processing secure data records using IoT nodes. BC is a protected technology that can be used publicly and openly. IoT requires this type of technology to allow secure communication between IoT nodes in different environments. Events in BC can be tracked and monitored by anyone who is certified to communicate within IoT.
Index Terms—Blockchain, Internet of Things, Security, Privacy, Wireless Communication.
The proposed framework introduces and presents its role in IoT. The IoT-Fog framework has the following features:He IoT is growing exponentially year by year with its focus on 5G technologies, such as Smart Homes and Cities, Health, intelligence surveillance etc. But there are challenges to security and privacy. IoT devices are connected in a shared power. Therefore, it is very complicated to use the most common security methods available for communication between IoT nodes. The proposed research is a step forward in wireless communication with IoT where we propose a new middleware framework based on blockchain technology. Wireless communication is the Internet key for things. It is expected to exceed 50 billion connected devices by 2020 and most of these nodes cannot be connected via wireline. In order to enable critical systems such as intelligent industries or intelligent structures, communication processes must address the ambiguous nature of wireless links. The research work proposed in this project is to develop and implement a middleware framework based on blockchain technology in the construction of the Internet of Things. The result of the research is to establish a new IoT framework. The proposed research uses the correct and effective imitation of the study you are looking for and can be done through the Internet of Things. In the future, researchers could expand this research and use it online for everything. Creating a new middleware-based block ware framework in the development of Internet of Things can be an important framework for improving the performance of the IoT framework in a unique environment. Wireless communication is a fast-growing research area that enables users to interact without using cables. Internet of Things is based on a completely wireless network. At the beginning of the Internet, it was developed to communicate from one device to another using access to browsers. However, in the modern era, high-performance high-speed devices have many advanced technologies such as low power consumption etc. Available to communicate with others. Fog extensions in this framework apply to material under IoT. IoT devices are called Fog nodes, which can be accessed anywhere within the network range. This research will help the IoT framework. However, the analysis framework is studied in the literature review, the authors did not describe the full framework in this study. This study adds a blockchain and an advanced fog to improve the effective IoT framework for communication between smart devices. Comparisons of this study with the limitations of the re-examination of previous research, admissions, bulk variations and poor distribution of production packages are mandatory. The algorithm was used for testing. The proposed framework accurately predicts our comprehensive assessment. In addition, confirm the results of the statistics. The purpose of this study is to create a new model of communication between the Internet of Things and Fog computing. This research is based on blockchain technology with Middleware, Fog, and IoT. The main contribution of this study is to design an Internet communication framework using fog and blockchain technology. The proposed framework is specifically suited for applications where data is periodically transferred to the natural network of smart devices. In these applications, on the other hand, packets are produced based on a specific time pattern. On the other hand, service time is constantly changing randomly with standard distribution. Therefore, the service time may be temporarily delayed, as an inevitable result some packages may encounter a busy channel and be discarded. We solve this problem by proposing a new middleware framework. We show that the proposed IoT-Fog framework, not only increases inputs, but also direct connections between generations (sensors) and communication packet systems are removed which makes the system more stable. In addition, in order to improve the proposed model, we have hired a redistribution system, flexible pack length, and full vehicle condition. The solution to this study is summarized as follows. The implementation of the IoT-Fog framework for internet connectivity for 5G smart devices will be set to work online for things. The concept will work with a three-layer model, these layers are Fog, Blockchain and IoT. The proposed research supports wireless communication technology to establish the IoT-Fog framework within the network of device devices.
- a) Devices (Items)
- b) The Internet
- c) Middleware
- d) Using fog with blockchain
In fog, status servers store secure resources, proxies by third-party servers can store protected data and owners are legitimate devices. The key server in middleware creates encryption keys. A token given to a smart device by an authorized blockchains database has the authority to access the framework, request keys from the key server, and download data to the cloud. Figure 1 presents the components of the proposed framework.
The The following steps are applied to the proposed framework.
- Smart contracts published by status servers, attorneys and fog owners in an authorized database of blockchains.
- IoT smart device detects smart contacts from authorized database of blockchains.
- An authorized blockchains database archive creates an intelligent IoT device token.
- The smart device asks for the keys from the key server in the middleware and sends the token with the application.
- Key server in middleware verify the token from the authorized blockchain database and create a smart device key and feedback back to the smart device.
- Now the smart IoT device is authorized to access data from the cloud.
The framework itself is divided into three layers: IoT device layer, Fog layer, and cloud layer.
The framework can provide QoS by reducing traffic congestion and variability in the number of smart devices. In this study, we look at the state of inactivity in order to make our tests more effective, at which point, the general performance regarding the overall performance of the framework is assessed. IoT-Fog in this framework will view and analyze real-time data collected on fog nodes and take action.
The following are the key points-
- The study is mainly focused on IoT. Enables smart devices to communicate with another device within the Internet of smart devices using blockchain technology.
- The proposed communication framework will access the internet for smart devices.
- The results of the proposed study will be compared with the previous study in the same area.
In 1991, Theodore S. Rappaport published an article entitled “The Wireless Revolution”, in which he introduced wireless communication technology as the key to communication between people as well as devices. In 1994, Andy Harter and Andy Hopper published an article entitled “A Distributed Location System for the Active Office”, in this paper, outlining infrared sensor arrangements using communication badges between devices and workstations. In 1994, Tristan Richardson, Frazer Bennett, Glenford Mapp, and Andy Hopper presented the article “A ubiquitous, personalized computer Telephony in the X Window System Environment”, in this article they introduced X windows, X programs protocol for securing communication between client and server. In the article, the authors represented the "System Software for Ubiquitous Computing" for the integration of different types of networks, and created connections between devices on different types of networks. In 2002 the researchers published an article entitled “Connecting the Physical World with Pervasive Networks”, in which they addressed the challenges and opportunities of using the physical world through widespread compte-rich computation networks. Cloud computing came as a result of the continued development of computer paradigms. The advent of this technology has created the emergence of software (SaaS) as a service that says consumers do not need to buy software rather than go according to their needs. In 2006, Amazon achieved a milestone by testing the elastic elastic computing cloud (EC 2) that started the computer. * However, the term cloud computing did not coincide until March 2007. The following year saw the rapid development of this new system. In addition, cloud infrastructure services have expanded to install software (SaaS) as a service. In mid-2012, Oracle's cloud was introduced, which supports a wide range of deployments. For example, it could lead to more than 139,000,000 games on Google In May 2014, Lihong Jiang et al published an article entitled "An IoT-Oriented Data Storage Framework in Cloud Computing Platform", focusing on the framework storage of relevant data allow not only to properly store large IoT data, but also to integrate both scheduled unstructured data. In this article, the IoT biological system and key technologies to support IoT communication are introduced. In 2016, Maria Rita Palattella et al published an article entitled "Internet of Things in the 5G Era: Enablers, Architecture and Business Models", in this article they introduced IoT 5G technology, exploring both technological aspects and standards. In 2018, Pradip Kumar Sharma, Yen Chen and Jong Hyuk Par published an article entitled, "Software Defined Fog Node Based Distributed Blockchain Cloud Architecture IoT". They introduced the software-defined environment using the IoT blockchain cloud.
Building a new reliable framework based on IEEE 802.15.4 online communication for smart devices can be an important framework for improving the reliability of communication. Wireless networks enable users to interact with each other in the IoT environment. But there are many challenges to secure and reliable communication. Early in the Internet, It was developed to connect one device to another device using browser access. However, in the modern era, high-performance devices have many advanced technologies such as low power consumption etc. Available to communicate with others. Communication reliability has been suggested as one of the most important issues for wireless communication where solving such a problem can lead to continued growth in IoT use and popularity. The proposed research creates a framework to provide internet connectivity for the network of smart devices for the internet of things using IEEE802.15.4. Our great offering connects new research that combines reliability in the Internet of Things and provides reliable online connectivity for smart devices. This research will help the IoT framework. However, the analytical framework is read in book reviews, the authors did not describe the full framework in their essays. This study adds an improved Markov-chain and MAC framework to improve the effective framework of communication between smart devices. Comparisons of this study with the limitations of the re-examination of previous research, validation, bulk variability and poor distribution of production packages are mandatory. The algorithm was used for testing. The proposed framework accurately predicts our comprehensive assessment. In addition, the imitation of Monte-Carlo confirms the mathematical results. Smart devices are growing increasingly day by day around the world. They offer a lot of services to end users and attach to their daily lives. Smart devices can easily connect to the Internet by sending and receiving data within a network. Smart devices are not just Smartphones, it can be a smart refrigerator, Smart home entry, smart air conditioners, Smart hubs, Smart thermostat, Color changing LED smartphones, Smart Watches and tablets smart etc in the online framework of things, connected to each other via the internet.
TABLE 1: IoT Devices installed category and year wise (in Millions)
Business: Across Industries
Business: Vertical specific
The The proposed research program creates research to facilitate online communication of objects using fog technology and blockchain. Transferring data from one configuration to another using a wireless network dates back to 1973 in the form of radio network packets. They were able to communicate with other similar configuration devices. Recent work is underway on a project called Serval Project. Provides networking location for Android communication devices on a sub-network. While our research is concerned with the online connection of objects. The main contribution of this study is the construction of a communication framework and provide reliable and fast communication using fog and blockchain between the internet of smart devices. Previous studies have focused on building and utilizing a communication framework, but such research does not create a complete framework for IoT-Fog communication between the internet of smart devices.
BC is a technology that provides transaction security between IoT devices. Provides shared, distributed and publicly available shared leagues to store used blockchain data and authentication on the IoT network. Information stored in a public ledger is automatically managed using a peer-to-peer topology. BC is a technology in which transactions are drawn in the form of a block in BC between IoT nodes. Blocks are connected and all devices have the device's previous address. Blockchain and IoT together work in the framework of IoT and Cloud integration. In the future, BC will alter IoT interactions . The objectives for the integration of BC and IoT can be summarized as follows.
- Distributed framework: This method is similar to IoT and BC. It is removed from one system and provide location for the program in the field. It improves the chances of failure and performance of the entire system.
- Security: In BC, transactions between nodes are secure. It is a novel way of secure communication. BC allows IoT devices to communicate securely.
- Identification: In IoT, all connected devices are identified separately with a unique ID. All BC blocks are also identified separately. Therefore, BC is a reliable technology that provides specially identified information stored in public records.
- Reliability: IoT sites in BC have the ability to verify information transmitted over a network. The details are reliable because they were verified by the miners before entering BC. Only verified blocks can enter BC.
- Independence: In BC, all IoT nodes are free to connect to any node in a network without an intermediate system.
- Variety: In BC, IoT devices will communicate widely available, a distributed intelligence network that connects to the destination device in real time and with exchange details.
The other paper is summarized as follows: section 1 represents the presentation of the paper, section 2 represents the literature review, section 3 introduces the role of BC in IoT, section 4 represents the possibilities of an integrated approach, section 5 represents the challenges and section 6 represents the conclusion.
Security and privacy in communication between IoT devices are of paramount importance in 2017 and 2018. Several papers were published in 2017 and 2018. In 1990, Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta wrote the article  in exchange for document and privacy without retaining any information about the punctuation service. The concept of blockchains comes from  but the first blockchains were introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. He presented a paper in which blocks were chained together forming a blockchain . In the article , the authors introduced "IoTChain" to verify the information exchanged between the two sites in the IoT network. They introduced an algorithm for exchanging data on IoT and blockchains (fig. 2) . In this paper, the authors focus on the security component of the IoTChain framework.
In the article , the authors explored the cloud and the MANN framework to connect smart devices to the internet of objects and provide communication security. In the article , the authors represent an excellent framework called an internet-cloud framework, it is a good idea to provide secure connections to IoT devices. In the article , the authors provide a framework for middleware in the construction of MANET cloud access to data between IoT devices. Article [9,10] represents fidelity in communication between IoT nodes. Articles [11,12,13,14,15] provide mobile mobility models for 5G networks. In the article , a travel framework is defined based on the understanding of communication security. In the article , a positive study on blockchains and IoT was conducted by researchers. They introduced the security concept to BC-IoT to improve IoT applications with the power of BCs.
3. THE ROLE OF BC IN IoT
IoT enables visual cables to exchange their data over a different network . IoT can be divided into the following categories.
- Physical Objects: IoT provides a unique id of each object connected to the network. Material is able to exchange data with other IoT nodes.
- Gates: Device gates work between material and cloud to ensure that communication is established, and security is provided by the network.
- Connectivity: used to control data flow and establish a very short route between IoT sites.
- Cloud: Used to store and count data.
BC is a series of verified blocks and those of encrypted encryption held by a network-connected device. Block data is stored in a publicly shared and distributed digital ledge. BC provides secure connection to the IoT network. A blockchain can be a private, public or consortium with a variety of structures. The following table represents the differences between all types of blockchains.
Table 2 : Kinds of Blockchains and their properties
Can be publicly
Only one industry
Can be publicly
The database in blockchains has features such as low-level reliability model, high security, public access, low-level privacy and transferable ownership when placed on a single database, properties are moderately trusted, low security, low public access, high privacy privacy and non-transferable. From the above structures, the blockchain is much more advanced than central storage.
The following platforms are used to develop IoT systems using blockchain technology.
- IOTA: IOTA is a new blockchain and IoT platform called Next generation blockchains. This platform helps with high data integrity, high transaction performance and high blockchain performance through a few resources. It solves the limitations of blockchains .
- IOTIFY: Provides an online web solution solution to reduce blockchains technology limitations in the form of custom applications .
- Exec: An open source blockchain based tool. It helps your applications to the benefits of the cloud used .
- Xage: It is a secure IoT blockchain platform for adding automation and secure information .
- SONM: It is a medium-sized fog computing platform to provide secure cloud services.
IoTs and blockchains increase business opportunities and open up new markets where everyone or anything can communicate in real time with authenticity, privacy and security in the way they are used. The integration of these novel technologies will change the current world in which devices will communicate without people in various stages. The purpose of the framework is to obtain secure information in the right place, in the correct format, in real time. BC can be used to track billions of IoT connected objects, to link these objects, to enable transaction processing, to solve or eliminate failures and to create a flexible ecosystem to use the material in it. Hashing techniques used in data blocks by BC to create information privacy for users.
Nowadays, around the world smart devices are growing rapidly. They offer a lot of services to end users and attach to their daily lives. Mobiles currently use a mid-range mobile network for personal communication over the past decade. The smart phone is technically built to make the phone more usable for end users. We are now able to send text, photos, voice and video to each other using strong mobile networks. The smart phone can also connect to the internet easily by sending and receiving data within the mobile network. The Internet of Things describes a network of intelligent objects through which they can communicate and share information with each other using the Internet. Smart stuff with smart devices with built-in software, sensor and programs. Everything smart has a unique identifier on the network with their internal systems. Figure 1 shows that the smart device network network is a combination of intelligent device applications and an integrated framework installed by IEEE 802.15.4.
Reliability is a major problem in connected areas where many sensors, actuators, controllers and smart devices etc are connected. Smart devices are not just smart phones, it can be a smart refrigerator, Smart home entry, smart air conditioners, Smart hubs, Smart thermostat, Smart LED converter Colors, Smart Watches and smart tablets etc. . connected to each other via the internet. The proposed research program creates a study that increases communication reliability on smart devices using IEEE802.15.4. Transferring data from one configuration to another using wireless networks dates back to 1973 in the form of radio network packets. They were able to communicate with other similar configuration devices. Recent work is underway on a project called Serval Project. Provides networking location for Android communication devices on a sub-network. While our research is concerned about the reliable connection to the internet of smart devices. The main contribution of this study is the construction of a communication framework and provided reliable communication using IEEE802.15.4 between the internet of smart devices. Previous studies have focused on building and utilizing a communication framework, but such research does not create a complete framework for reliable communication between the internet of smart devices. Figure 2 represents an IoT node with a reliability feature.
Integrity is a major problem in a variety of environments where many sensors, actuators, controllers and smart devices etc are connected to each other. The proposed study planned to build a study to increase communication reliability on devices using IEEE802.15.4. The main contribution of this study is the construction of a communication framework and provided reliable communication using IEEE802.15.4 between the internet of smart devices. Previous studies have focused on building and utilizing a communication framework, but such research does not create a complete framework for reliable communication between the internet of smart devices. The proposed online framework for smart devices based on IEEE 802.15.4 for reliable communication to improve the reliability of communication is tested and obtained positive results. The proposed study focuses on a framework for providing reliable internet connection to smart devices networks. Our main contribution to this study includes the reliability of the online communication framework for smart devices. This tutorial is very useful for the Internet of Things. The proposed framework was used for testing. Properly predicted in our full review. The overall effectiveness of the proposed device-based study device delays and communication reliability are assessed.
The BC-IoT integration method has many amazing possibilities. It opens new doors for both of them together. Other opportunities are described as follows.
- Building Trust between Groups: The BC-IoT approach will build trust between various connected devices due to its security features. Only verified devices can connect to the network and all transaction blocks will first be verified by miners so they can enter BC.
- Reduce Costs: This method will reduce costs because it communicates directly without a third party. It removes all third-party nodes between sender and receiver. Provides direct communication.
- Reduce Time: This method greatly reduces time. Reduces transaction time taken from one day to two.
- Security & Privacy: Provides security and privacy to devices and information.
- Social Services: This approach provides social and social services to connected devices. All connected devices are able to communicate and share information between them.
- Financial Services: This method transfers funds securely without a third party. Provides fast, secure and independent financial services. Reduce costs and time.
- Risk management: This approach plays a key role in analysing and mitigating the risk of resource failure and transactions.
IoT and BC can face many challenges such as scale, store, skills, acquisition and the following are some of the challenges facing the integration approach.
- Diversity: BC can be suspended due to its heavy transaction load. Bitcoin storage exceeds 197 GB storage in 2019 . Imagine if IoT meets BC the load will be much heavier than the current situation.
- Storage: The digital bag will be stored on all IoT nodes. At the same time, it will increase with its storage size which will be a challenging task and become a heavy load on each connected device.
- Lack of skills: BC new technology. It is known by very few people in the world. Therefore, it is also a challenge to train people professionally.
- Discovery and Integration: In fact, BC was not built for IoT. It is a very challenging task for connected devices to find another device in BC and IoT. Therefore, IoT nodes can detect but can detect and integrate BC with another device.
- Privacy: The ledger is publicly distributed across all connected nodes. They see a ledger transaction. Therefore, privacy is a challenging task in an integrated approach.
- Collaboration: BC can be public or private. Therefore, the interaction between public and private blockchains is also a challenge in the BC-IoT approach.
- Rules and Regulations: IoT-BC will operate globally, and therefore deals with a number of rules and regulations for the use of this method worldwide.
BC and IoT are the novels tested in this document. Many opportunities and challenges are described. Also, the available platforms are listed in this article. This approach could be the future of the internet because it can transform the current internet system and transform it into a new one where all smart devices will connect to other devices using a peer-to-peer network in real time. It can reduce costs and current time and provide relevant information to the right device in real time. Therefore, it can be very helpful in the future.
Tanweer Alam, Mohammed Aljohani (2016) Design a New Middleware for Communication in Ad Hoc Network of Android Smart Devices In: Second International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Competitive Strategies ACM. 2015
Mohammed Aljohani, Tanweer Alam (2015) An algorithm for accessing traffic database using wireless technologies In: 2015 IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Computing Research (ICCIC).
Mohammed Aljohani, Tanweer Alam (2015) Design an M-learning framework for smart learning in ad hoc network of Android devices In: 2015 IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Computing Research (ICCIC) IEEE.
Tanweer Alam, Mohammed Aljohani (2015) An approach to secure communication in mobile ad-hoc networks of Android devices In: International Conference on Intelligent Informatics and Biomedical Sciences (ICIIBMS) IEEE.
Tanweer Alam, Mohammed Aljohani (2015) Design and implementation of an Ad Hoc Network among Android smart devices In: International Conference on Green Computing and Internet of Things (ICGCIoT) IEEE.
Tanweer Alam (2021) Internet of Things and Blockchain-Based Framework for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disease SSRN.
Tanweer Alam (2021) Blockchain-Enabled Mobile Healthcare System Architecture for the Real-Time Monitoring of the COVID-19 Patients SSRN. 2020
Tanweer Alam (2020) IoT-Fog-Blockchain Framework: Opportunities and Challenges International Journal of Fog Computing (IJFC) 3:
Tanweer Alam, Mohammed Aljohani (2020) Software Defined Networks: Review and Architecture IAIC Transactions on Sustainable Digital Innovation 1:
Tanweer Alam, Moath Erqsous (2020) The Real-Time Alert System for Prayers at Smart Masjid Scientific Journal of Informatics 7:
Tanweer Alam (2020) Device-to-Device Communications in Cloud, MANET and Internet of Things Integrated Architecture Journal of Information Systems Engineering and Business Intelligence 6:
Baha Rababah, Tanweer Alam, Rasit Eskicioglu (2020) The Next Generation Internet of Things Architecture Towards Distributed Intelligence: Reviews, Applications, and Research Challenges Journal of Telecommunication, Electronic and Computer Engineering 12:
Tanweer Alam, Abdulrahman A Salem, Ahmad O Alsharif, Abdulaziz M Alhejaili (2020) Smart Home Automation Towards the Development of Smart Cities APTIKOM Journal on Computer Science and Information Technologies 5: 13-20.
Tanweer Alam, Baha Rababah, Arshad Ali, Shamimul Qamar (2020) Distributed Intelligence at the Edge on IoT Networks Annals of Emerging Technologies in Computing (AETiC) 4:
Tanweer Alam, Abdirahman Ahmed Hadi, Rayyan Qari Shahabuddin Najam, Shamimul Qamar (2020) Design a Mobile Application for Children’s Tracking in Crowded Environments TEST Engineering and Management 83: .
Tanweer Alam (2020) Performance evaluation of blockchains in the internet of things Computer Science and Information Technologies 1:
Tanweer Alam (2020) CMI Computing: A Cloud, MANET and Internet of Things Integration for Future Internet JAMBURA JOURNAL OF INFORMATICS 2:
Tanweer Alam, Mohammed Aljohani (2020) M-Learning: Positioning the Academics to the Smart devices in the Connected Future JOIV: International Journal on Informatics Visualization 4:
Tanweer Alam, Shamimul Qamar (2020) Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Reviews, Applications, and Current Status Jurnal Informatika Universitas Pamulang 5:
Tanweer Alam Yazeed Mohammed Alharbi Firas Adel Abusallama Ahmad Osama Hakeem (2020) Smart Campus Mobile Application Toward the Development of Smart Cities International Journal of Applied Sciences and Smart Technologies 12:
Tanweer Alam (2020) Internet of Things: A Secure Cloud-based MANET Mobility Model International Journal of Network Security 22:
Tanweer Alam (2020) Design a blockchain-based middleware layer in the Internet of Things Architecture JOIV: International Journal on Informatics Visualization 4:
Tanweer Alam (2020) mHealth Communication Framework using Blockchain and IoT Technologies International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research 9:
Tanweer Alam, Mohammed Aljohani (2020) Decision Support System for Real-Time People Counting in a Crowded Environment International Journal of Electronics and Information Engineering 12:
Tanweer Alam (2020) Cloud Computing and Its Role in the Information Technology IAIC Transactions on Sustainable Digital Innovation 1:
Tanweer Alam (2020) Efficient and Secure Data Transmission Approach in Cloud-MANET-IoT Integrated Framework Journal of Telecommunication, Electronic and Computer Engineering 12:
Tanweer Alam (2020) Tactile Internet and Its Contribution in the Development of Smart Cities International Journal of Electronics and Information Engineering 12:
Tanweer Alam (2020) Cloud-MANET and its Role in Software-Defined Networking Transactions on Science and Technology 7: 1-7.
Tanweer Alam (2020) Middleware Implementation in MANET of Android Devices International Journal of Electronics and Information Engineering. 12:
Tanweer Alam, Shamimul Qamar, Amit Dixit, Mohamed Benaida (2020) Genetic Algorithm: Reviews, Implementations, and Applications International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) 10: 57-77 December. 2019
Tanweer Alam, Baha Rababah (2019) Convergence of MANET in Communication among Smart Devices in IoT International Journal of Wireless and Microwave Technologies (IJWMT) 9:
Tanweer Alam (2019) 5G-Enabled Tactile Internet for Smart Cities: Vision, Recent Developments, and Challenges JURNAL INFORMATIKA 13: 1-10.
Tanweer Alam (2019) A Middleware Framework between Mobility and IoT Using IEEE 802.15.4e Sensor Networks Jurnal Online Informatika 4:
Tanweer Alam (2019) Blockchain and its Role in the Internet of Things (IoT) nternational Journal of Scientific Research in Computer Science, Engineering and Information Technology 5:
Tanweer Alam (2019) IoT-Fog: A Communication Framework using Blockchain in the Internet of Things International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering 7: 2018
Tanweer Alam (2018) A Reliable Framework for Communication in Internet of Smart Devices using IEEE 802.15.4 ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences 13:
Tanweer Alam (2018) A Reliable Communication Framework and its Use in Internet of Things (IoT) International Journal of Scientific Research in Computer Science, Engineering and Information Technology 3:
Tanweer Alam, Mohamed Benaida (2018) The Role of Cloud-MANET Framework in the Internet of Things (IoT) International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering 14:
Tanweer Alam, Mohamed Benaida (2018) CICS: Cloud–Internet Communication Security Framework for the Internet of Smart Devices International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) 12: 74-84. 2017
Tanweer Alam (2017) Middleware Implementation in Cloud-MANET Mobility Model for Internet of Smart Devices International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security 17: 86-94.
Tanweer Alam (2017) Fuzzy Control Based Mobility Framework for Evaluating Mobility Models in MANET of Smart Devices ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences 12:
Alam, Tanweer, and Mohamed Benaida. "Blockchain, Fog and IoT Integrated Framework: Review, Architecture and Evaluation.", Technology Reports of Kansai University 62, no. 2 (2020).
Sharma, Abhilash, Tanweer Alam, and Dimpi Srivastava. "Ad hoc network architecture based on mobile Ipv6 development." Advances in Computer Vision and Information Technology 224 (2008).
Alam, Tanweer. "Blockchain-based Big Data Analytics Approach for Smart Cities." Authorea Preprints (2020).
Alam, Tanweer, and B. K. Sharma. "A new optimistic mobility model for mobile ad hoc Networks." International Journal of Computer Applications 8, no. 3 (2010): 1-4.
Alam, Tanweer, Parveen Kumar, and Prabhakar Singh. "Searching mobile nodes using modified column mobility model." International Journal of Computer Science and Mobile Computing 3, no. 1 (2014): 513-518.
Alam, Tanweer, and Mohamed Benaida. "Blockchain and Internet of Things in Higher Education", Universal Journal of Educational Research 8(5): 2164-2174, 2020. DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2020.080556
Alam, Tanweer, and Moath Erqsous. "The Real-Time Alert System for Prayers at Smart Masjid." Scientific Journal of Informatics 7, no. 2 (2020): 166-172.
Singh, Parbhakar, Parveen Kumar, and Tanweer Alam. "Generating different mobility scenarios in ad hoc networks." International Journal of Electronics Communication and Computer Technology 4, no. 2 (2014): 582-591.
Connected devices are emerging as a modern way for grocers to decrease food spoilage and energy waste losses. With bottom-line advantages, it is not surprising to experience some of the biggest business giants are putting internet of things (IoT) techniques to work and enhance the operating results.
According to Talk Business, Walmart uses IoT for different tasks like tracking food temperature, equipment energy outputs, etc. IoT apps help monitor refrigeration units for several products such as milk cold, ice cream, etc. It reports back to a support team if sensors have intimate equipment difficulties fixed without serious malfunctions and minimal downtime.
IoT solutions are used broadly during Walmart's massive store footprint. The connected devices send a total of 1.5 billion messages each day. Throughout the grocery business, IoT is leveraged to enhance food safety and decrease excessive energy consumption. IoT solutions allow food retailers to reduce food spoilage by 40% and experience a net energy saving of 30%.
It was forecasted that in 2018 grocers lose around $70 million per year due to food spoilage. However, large chains are losing hundreds of millions due to the same. Hence most grocers have started implementing sustainability-focused IoT technology to avoid wastage and increase their business profit to a great extent.
Explore How IoT Helps to Offer Safer Shopping Experience to Shoppers
People prepare to stock up food in preparation; however, there are numerous challenges that the pandemic raised in front of retails. But more retail trends are an answer to all the challenges, beginning from product moving to stock and much more.
It also helps to ensure safe and healthy deliveries to customers' doorsteps, especially whenever they need it. Harvard study shows that grocery shopping is a high-risk activity than traveling on an airplane during COVID 19 pandemic. With COID 19 pandemic raging, retailer stores need to provide an efficient shopping experience; they must look for ways that help them overcome exposure and the risk of infection as customers venture to the store for food.
Most grocers turn towards modern technology such as IoT to help retailers or supermarkets offer safe service and meet the bottom lines. By placing internet of things devices throughout the store, smart grocery carts, baskets, etc., grocers can help make experiences more efficient and safer. Let's check how IoT is helping retailer businesses to overcome today's challenging scenarios and stop food spoilage.
Smart Stock Monitoring
Retailers keep warehouses full of goods to ensure that they don't run when there is high demand. And by integrating IoT-enabled sensors, retailers can easily detect weight on sleeves at warehouses and stores. It also helps them determine popular item lists; keeping track of items helps retailers restock them and prevent overstocking a particular product.
Guaranteeing Timely Deliveries
The report shows that 66% of customers anticipate they will increase online shopping in 2020. Undoubtedly online shopping is a new norm these days; most people prefer to order their daily essentials using a grocery delivery mobile app. However, it becomes vital for brands to ensure timely delivery. It's a critical factor, especially when it comes to customer satisfaction, especially when there is a lack of traditional consumer engagement like a friendly salesperson.
And by integrating IoT-enabled devices into containers and shipments, retailers can quickly obtain insight into shipments. They can even track real-time updates to keep their customers up to date on the approximate delivery time. It's critical, especially when you want to achieve excellent customer experiences in the eCommerce market.
However, data collected using IoT-enabled devices can help you drive the supply chain effectively by empowering retailers with root optimization for ensuring fast delivery. The IoT can play a crucial role, especially when it comes to recognizing warehouse delays. It also helps to optimize delivery operations for better and quicker service.
Manage Store Capacity
With the new COVID 19 safety guidelines to follow, IoT helps retailers ensure their customer's safety by supporting social distancing rules. For example, retailers can place IoT sensors at the entrance and exit to efficiently monitor traffic and grocery carts. The sensors provide accurate and up-to-date details. Details enable retailers to efficiently operate capacity, ensuring safety, and eliminates the need for store "bouncers" at exit and entrance.
Retailers can offer a safe and unique shopping experience by benefiting from IoT. It helps them with contact monitoring and social distancing as well. Retailers can provide shoppers with IoT-enabled wearables paired with the shopper's mobile phone through their branded app. It helps shoppers detect whether they are too close to another shopper and report them through their phone and record the incident.
Combating COVID 19: How IoT is Helping Retailers?
Preventing food spoilage, saving energy, and reducing waste are good practices for grocery stores helping them to increase their profit margin. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, digital resilience has boosted drastically.
Many brands and retailers, however, put a pause on initiatives during COVID 19. But to ensure their survival and profit margins, they need to start with new strategies and techniques. Check few IoT use cases that retailers are considering these days:
Although supermarkets have practiced video surveillance technologies for the last many years, some brands are repurposing these systems to enhance their inventory management practices. Cameras would monitor consumer behaviors and help retailers to prevent theft.
As the customer's purchase preference changes constantly, it becomes essential for grocery stores to start stocking more perishable goods. A 2018 survey shows that more than 60% of retailers integrate refrigerators to store fresh products at their stores and meet customers' growing demand.
And by monitoring customers' purchasing patterns, grocery stores can gauge how much extra produce they need to acquire and how unexpected surges and falls in the market will affect their margins.
Autonomous Cleaning Robots
To promote social distancing, grocery stores are taking all essential precautions. They have implemented a rigorous cleaning schedule to reduce the risk of COVID 19 spread. Retailers are focusing on sanitizing and disinfecting frequent touch surfaces using autonomous cleaning robots.
Robots can be controlled using IoT-based devices and help to sanitize various parts, including doors, shopping carts, countertops, etc. All these tasks demand a reasonable amount of time and employees' attention as well. But performing functions with the help of autonomous cleaning robots can help retailers save their employees time and energy.
Contactless checkout has become increasingly popular over the few years. It has helped supermarkets reduce the requirement for cashier dedication to increase the customers' shopping speed. During the COVID 19 pandemic, the self-service environments have allowed customers a way to acquire essential food, cleaning products, and other day-to-day essentials without having to communicate with supermarket staff directly.
What's Next for Smart Supermarkets?
IoT technologies help supermarkets to tackle new challenges efficiently. Most stores know that they receive products from a different location, which went to a distribution center, making them lose traceability. But with IoT integration, it has become easier for them to track every business activity and provide an internet of shopping experience to customers.
Modern IoT technology makes it possible for grocery stores to track every activity at each stage. It becomes crucial for the health and safety of your customers, while it helps to handle top purchase priorities. It helps grocery stores exist and maintain healthy purchasing trends. IoT initiatives provide the shopping 2.0 infrastructure like smart shelves, carts, cashless, and other options that change the primary service experience.
By Sachin Kotasthane
In his book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the historian Yuval Noah Harari highlights the complex challenges mankind will face on account of technological challenges intertwined with issues such as nationalism, religion, culture, and calamities. In the current industrial world hit by a worldwide pandemic, we see this complexity translate in technology, systems, organizations, and at the workplace.
While in my previous article, Humane IIoT, I discussed the people-centric strategies that enterprises need to adopt while onboarding IoT initiatives of industrial IoT in the workforce, in this article, I will share thoughts on how new-age technologies such as AI, ML, and big data, and of course, industrial IoT, can be used for effective management of complex workforce problems in a factory, thereby changing the way people work and interact, especially in this COVID-stricken world.
Workforce related problems in production can be categorized into:
- Time complexity
- Effort complexity
- Behavioral complexity
Problems categorized in either of the above have a significant impact on the workforce, resulting in a detrimental effect on the outcome—of the product or the organization. The complexity of these problems can be attributed to the fact that the workforce solutions to such issues cannot be found using just engineering or technology fixes as there is no single root-cause, rather, a combination of factors and scenarios. Let us, therefore, explore a few and seek probable workforce solutions.
Figure 1: Workforce Challenges and Proposed Strategies in Production
Addressing Time Complexity
Any workforce-related issue that has a detrimental effect on the operational time, due to contributing factors from different factory systems and processes, can be classified as a time complex problem.
Though classical paper-based schedules, lists, and punch sheets have largely been replaced with IT-systems such as MES, APS, and SRM, the increasing demands for flexibility in manufacturing operations and trends such as batch-size-one, warrant the need for new methodologies to solve these complex problems.
- Worker attendance
Anyone who has experienced, at close quarters, a typical day in the life of a factory supervisor, will be conversant with the anxiety that comes just before the start of a production shift. Not knowing who will report absent, until just before the shift starts, is one complex issue every line manager would want to get addressed. While planned absenteeism can be handled to some degree, it is the last-minute sick or emergency-pager text messages, or the transport delays, that make the planning of daily production complex.
What if there were a solution to get the count that is almost close to the confirmed hands for the shift, an hour or half, at the least, in advance? It turns out that organizations are experimenting with a combination of GPS, RFID, and employee tracking that interacts with resource planning systems, trying to automate the shift planning activity.
While some legal and privacy issues still need to be addressed, it would not be long before we see people being assigned to workplaces, even before they enter the factory floor.
During this course of time, while making sure every line manager has accurate information about the confirmed hands for the shift, it is also equally important that health and well-being of employees is monitored during this pandemic time. Use of technologies such as radar, millimeter wave sensors, etc., would ensure the live tracking of workers around the shop-floor and make sure that social distancing norms are well-observed.
- Resource mapping
While resource skill-mapping and certification are mostly HR function prerogatives, not having the right resource at the workstation during exigencies such as absenteeism or extra workload is a complex problem. Precious time is lost in locating such resources, or worst still, millions spent in overtime.
What if there were a tool that analyzed the current workload for a resource with the identified skillset code(s) and gave an accurate estimate of the resource’s availability? This could further be used by shop managers to plan manpower for a shift, keeping them as lean as possible.
Today, IT teams of OEMs are seen working with software vendors to build such analytical tools that consume data from disparate systems—such as production work orders from MES and swiping details from time systems—to create real-time job profiles. These results are fed to the HR systems to give managers the insights needed to make resource decisions within minutes.
- Worker attendance
Addressing Effort Complexity
Just as time complexities result in increased production time, problems in this category result in an increase in effort by the workforce to complete the same quantity of work. As the effort required is proportionate to the fatigue and long-term well-being of the workforce, seeking workforce solutions to reduce effort would be appreciated. Complexity arises when organizations try to create a method out-of-madness from a variety of factors such as changing workforce profiles, production sequences, logistical and process constraints, and demand fluctuations.
Thankfully, solutions for this category of problems can be found in new technologies that augment existing systems to get insights and predictions, the results of which can reduce the efforts, thereby channelizing it more productively. Add to this, the demand fluctuations in the current pandemic, having a real-time operational visibility, coupled with advanced analytics, will ensure meeting shift production targets.
- Intelligent exoskeletons
Exoskeletons, as we know, are powered bodysuits designed to safeguard and support the user in performing tasks, while increasing overall human efficiency to do the respective tasks. These are deployed in strain-inducing postures or to lift objects that would otherwise be tiring after a few repetitions. Exoskeletons are the new-age answer to reducing user fatigue in areas requiring human skill and dexterity, which otherwise would require a complex robot and cost a bomb.
However, the complexity that mars exoskeleton users is making the same suit adaptable for a variety of postures, user body types, and jobs at the same workstation. It would help if the exoskeleton could sense the user, set the posture, and adapt itself to the next operation automatically.
Taking a leaf out of Marvel’s Iron Man, who uses a suit that complements his posture that is controlled by JARVIS, manufacturers can now hope to create intelligent exoskeletons that are always connected to factory systems and user profiles. These suits will adapt and respond to assistive needs, without the need for any intervention, thereby freeing its user to work and focus completely on the main job at hand.
Given the ongoing COVID situation, it would make the life of workers and the management safe if these suits are equipped with sensors and technologies such as radar/millimeter wave to help observe social distancing, body-temperature measuring, etc.
- Highlighting likely deviations
The world over, quality teams on factory floors work with checklists that the quality inspector verifies for every product that comes at the inspection station. While this repetitive task is best suited for robots, when humans execute such repetitive tasks, especially those that involve using visual, audio, touch, and olfactory senses, mistakes and misses are bound to occur. This results in costly reworks and recalls.
Manufacturers have tried to address this complexity by carrying out rotation of manpower. But this, too, has met with limited success, given the available manpower and ever-increasing workloads.
Fortunately, predictive quality integrated with feed-forwards techniques and some smart tracking with visuals can be used to highlight the area or zone on the product that is prone to quality slips based on data captured from previous operations. The inspector can then be guided to pay more attention to these areas in the checklist.
- Intelligent exoskeletons
Addressing Behavioral Complexity
Problems of this category usually manifest as a quality issue, but the root cause can often be traced to the workforce behavior or profile. Traditionally, organizations have addressed such problems through experienced supervisors, who as people managers were expected to read these signs, anticipate and align the manpower.
However, with constantly changing manpower and product variants, these are now complex new-age problems requiring new-age solutions.
- Heat-mapping workload
Time and motion studies at the workplace map the user movements around the machine with the time each activity takes for completion, matching the available cycle-time, either by work distribution or by increasing the manpower at that station. Time-consuming and cumbersome as it is, the complexity increases when workload balancing is to be done for teams working on a single product at the workstation. Movements of multiple resources during different sequences are difficult to track, and the different users cannot be expected to follow the same footsteps every time.
Solving this issue needs a solution that will monitor human motion unobtrusively, link those to the product work content at the workstation, generate recommendations to balance the workload and even out the ‘congestion.’ New industrial applications such as short-range radar and visual feeds can be used to create heat maps of the workforce as they work on the product. This can be superimposed on the digital twin of the process to identify the zone where there is ‘congestion.’ This can be fed to the line-planning function to implement corrective measures such as work distribution or partial outsourcing of the operation.
- Aging workforce (loss of tribal knowledge)
With new technology coming to the shop-floor, skills of the current workforce get outdated quickly. Also, with any new hire comes the critical task of training and knowledge sharing from experienced hands. As organizations already face a shortage of manpower, releasing more hands to impart training to a larger workforce audience, possibly at different locations, becomes an even more daunting task.
Fully realizing the difficulties and reluctance to document, organizations are increasingly adopting AR-based workforce trainings that map to relevant learning and memory needs. These AR solutions capture the minutest of the actions executed by the expert on the shop-floor and can be played back by the novice in-situ as a step-by-step guide. Such tools simplify the knowledge transfer process and also increase worker productivity while reducing costs.
Further, in extraordinary situations such as the one we face at present, technologies such as AR offer solutions for effective and personalized support to field personnel, without the need to fly in specialists at multiple sites. This helps keep them safe, and accessible, still.
- Heat-mapping workload
Key takeaways and Actionable Insights
The shape of the future workforce will be the result of complex, changing, and competing forces. Technology, globalization, demographics, social values, and the changing personal expectations of the workforce will continue to transform and disrupt the way businesses operate, increasing the complexity and radically changing where, and when of future workforce, and how work is done. While the need to constantly reskill and upskill the workforce will be humongous, using new-age techniques and technologies to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing workforce will come to the spotlight.
Figure 2: The Future IIoT Workforce
Organizations will increasingly be required to:
- Deploy data farming to dive deep and extract vast amounts of information and process insights embedded in production systems. Tapping into large reservoirs of ‘tribal knowledge’ and digitizing it for ingestion to data lakes is another task that organizations will have to consider.
- Augment existing operations systems such as SCADA, DCS, MES, CMMS with new technology digital platforms, AI, AR/VR, big data, and machine learning to underpin and grow the world of work. While there will be no dearth of resources in one or more of the new technologies, organizations will need to ‘acqui-hire’ talent and intellectual property using a specialist, to integrate with existing systems and gain meaningful actionable insights.
- Address privacy and data security concerns of the workforce, through the smart use of technologies such as radar and video feeds.
Nonetheless, digital enablement will need to be optimally used to tackle the new normal that the COVID pandemic has set forth in manufacturing—fluctuating demands, modular and flexible assembly lines, reduced workforce, etc.
Originally posted here.
In my last post, I explored how OTA updates are typically performed using Amazon Web Services and FreeRTOS. OTA updates are critically important to developers with connected devices. In today’s post, we are going to explore several best practices developers should keep in mind with implementing their OTA solution. Most of these will be generic although I will point out a few AWS specific best practices.
Best Practice #1 – Name your S3 bucket with afr-ota
There is a little trick with creating S3 buckets that I was completely oblivious to for a long time. Thankfully when I checked in with some colleagues about it, they also had not been aware of it so I’m not sure how long this has been supported but it can help an embedded developer from having to wade through too many AWS policies and simplify the process a little bit.
Anyone who has attempted to create an OTA Update with AWS and FreeRTOS knows that you have to setup several permissions to allow an OTA Update Job to access the S3 bucket. Well if you name your S3 bucket so that it begins with “afr-ota”, then the S3 bucket will automatically have the AWS managed policy AmazonFreeRTOSOTAUpdate attached to it. (See Create an OTA Update service role for more details). It’s a small help, but a good best practice worth knowing.
Best Practice #2 – Encrypt your firmware updates
Embedded software must be one of the most expensive things to develop that mankind has ever invented! It’s time consuming to create and test and can consume a large percentage of the development budget. Software though also drives most features in a product and can dramatically different a product. That software is intellectual property that is worth protecting through encryption.
Encrypting a firmware image provides several benefits. First, it can convert your firmware binary into a form that seems random or meaningless. This is desired because a developer shouldn’t want their binary image to be easily studied, investigated or reverse engineered. This makes it harder for someone to steal intellectual property and more difficult to understand for someone who may be interested in attacking the system. Second, encrypting the image means that the sender must have a key or credential of some sort that matches the device that will decrypt the image. This can be looked at a simple source for helping to authenticate the source, although more should be done than just encryption to fully authenticate and verify integrity such as signing the image.
Best Practice #3 – Do not support firmware rollbacks
There is often a debate as to whether firmware rollbacks should be supported in a system or not. My recommendation for a best practice is that firmware rollbacks be disabled. The argument for rollbacks is often that if something goes wrong with a firmware update then the user can rollback to an older version that was working. This seems like a good idea at first, but it can be a vulnerability source in a system. For example, let’s say that version 1.7 had a bug in the system that allowed remote attackers to access the system. A new firmware version, 1.8, fixes this flaw. A customer updates their firmware to version 1.8, but an attacker knows that if they can force the system back to 1.7, they can own the system. Firmware rollbacks seem like a convenient and good idea, in fact I’m sure in the past I used to recommend them as a best practice. However, in today’s connected world where we perform OTA updates, firmware rollbacks are a vulnerability so disable them to protect your users.
Best Practice #4 – Secure your bootloader
Updating firmware Over-the-Air requires several components to ensure that it is done securely and successfully. Often the focus is on getting the new image to the device and getting it decrypted. However, just like in traditional firmware updates, the bootloader is still a critical piece to the update process and in OTA updates, the bootloader can’t just be your traditional flavor but must be secure.
There are quite a few methods that can be used with the onboard bootloader, but no matter the method used, the bootloader must be secure. Secure bootloaders need to be capable of verifying the authenticity and integrity of the firmware before it is ever loaded. Some systems will use the application code to verify and install the firmware into a new application slot while others fully rely on the bootloader. In either case, the secure bootloader needs to be able to verify the authenticity and integrity of the firmware prior to accepting the new firmware image.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that the bootloader is built into a chain of trust and cannot be easily modified or updated. The secure bootloader is a critical component in a chain-of-trust that is necessary to keep a system secure.
Best Practice #5 – Build a Chain-of-Trust
A chain-of-trust is a sequence of events that occur while booting the device that ensures each link in the chain is trusted software. For example, I’ve been working with the Cypress PSoC 64 secure MCU’s recently and these parts come shipped from the factory with a hardware-based root-of-trust to authenticate that the MCU came from a secure source. That Root-of-Trust (RoT) is then transferred to a developer, who programs a secure bootloader and security policies onto the device. During the boot sequence, the RoT verifying the integrity and authenticity of the bootloader, which then verifies the integrity and authenticity of any second stage bootloader or software which then verifies the authenticity and integrity of the application. The application then verifies the authenticity and integrity of its data, keys, operational parameters and so on.
This sequence creates a Chain-Of-Trust which is needed and used by firmware OTA updates. When the new firmware request is made, the application must decrypt the image and verify that authenticity and integrity of the new firmware is intact. That new firmware can then only be used if the Chain-Of-Trust can successfully make its way through each link in the chain. The bottom line, a developer and the end user know that when the system boots successfully that the new firmware is legitimate.
OTA updates are a critical infrastructure component to nearly every embedded IoT device. Sure, there are systems out there that once deployed will never update, however, those are probably a small percentage of systems. OTA updates are the go-to mechanism to update firmware in the field. We’ve examined several best practices that developers and companies should consider when they start to design their connected systems. In fact, the bonus best practice for today is that if you are building a connected device, make sure you explore your OTA update solution sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you may find that building that Chain-Of-Trust necessary in today’s deployments will be far more expensive and time consuming to implement.
Originally posted here.
Provisioning, managing and securing devices in an IoT product requires careful planning at the very start of the process. Rigorous evaluation of options, then a Proof of Concept helps determine the right solution. Once the POC has been approved, the IoT product moves to production. Then the real fun starts and many strategic considerations come into play. We can list them as follows:
Robust and secure OTA software updates
Security by design
Remote terminal management
Device configuration, monitoring & troubleshooting
Robust and secure OTA software updates
Robust and secure OTA software updates are essential for keeping IoT devices secure as the software on these devices will become outdated during their lifetime and vulnerabilities are certain to arise if left in their initial states. Therefore a secure, risk-tolerant, and efficient update mechanism must be at the core of each product development team from the inception of the project to the end of its life.
How about a homegrown solution?
Homegrown solutions are less likely to be best-of-breed, can be hard to scale, can suffer from over customisation and scope creep, come at an inherently high cost and can be left in trouble if the star developers behind their creation suddenly jump ship and leave the organisation. They also often lack the requirements needed to ensure security and robustness of software updates. Various open source solutions exist, but none provide an end-to-end solution and lack the overall functionality to make them enterprise-grade. Generic public cloud IoT stacks wish to cater to the entire IoT value chain but fail to deliver a purpose-built solution for software updates. Proprietary and platform solutions cause lock-in to specific cloud infrastructure, operating system, or development tools.
The common thread among all of these solutions is the lack of a fully optimized end-to-end OTA software update and device management infrastructure that can minimize risk, increase efficiency and enhance security and uptime.
Security by design
A device security breach incident can interrupt operations, damage systems, and negatively impact both virtual and physical processes. This translates into unhappy customers and lost business. As Colin Duggan, the Founder and CEO at BG Networks says in an interview with the Device Chronicle, “It is difficult to add security after the design has been completed. There are a number of reasons for this. Embedded systems have limited MHz, memory, and limitations of network interfaces on embedded processors. Security features can be added after the fact but usually will not close off all the vulnerabilities.” That is why it is so important to ensure security by design, in the very early stages of the product’s lifecycle.
IoT product security should be approached holistically with a framework that addresses the people, devices and process. To help IoT professionals make the right decisions concerning their product development, we designed a simple framework based on these factors and called it the Triangle of Trust:
There’s a significant difference between managing a small number of embedded devices and having thousands or even millions of devices deployed in the field. Microsoft’s new IoT Signals report found lack of scalability as a leading cause for IoT project failures. Complexity is one of the greatest scalability issues. As such, choosing the right solution with the right architecture is important to safeguard the long-term management viability of your fleet of connected devices. More on the topic of IoT scalability can be read here.
When one of the arms of the Triangle of Trust fails, the other two are endangered. To prevent any risks arising from human mistakes, automating some of the processes is a solution that might save your business thousands of dollars. Mender.io is an OTA software update manager for Linux-based embedded devices, and it also offers a wide range of automations to securely manage these devices. One of the features that Mender offers is automatic retry of failed device deployments. Deployments to devices might fail for various intermittent reasons like loss of power, network or device usage. Automatic retry upon failures reduces device deployment error rates up to 90%. This translates to time and money savings managing deployments, and also leads to customers receiving the updates faster.
Remote management is a necessity for any kind of embedded device. Any company rolling out its IoT products needs to have control of its systems from a central location. SSH, secure tunneling and remote terminal access is preferred by service providers to VPN access as they can assure their customers of security when accessing and troubleshooting devices. Furthermore, the management involves grouping and accessing embedded devices, provisioning, configuring, and monitoring remotely and securely.
Seeing the necessity for not only secure over-the-air processes, but also for reliable ways of monitoring, provisioning, configuring, grouping, and accessing the embedded devices, the team behind Mender decided to expand their offering by the mentioned remote management features. Mender is open source software meaning there are many contributors to make it better and support a variety of customer hardware and software such as NVIDIA Jetson and NXP's family of iMX processors. It provides flexibility in choosing your infrastructure, software, and hardware from prototyping to production which means there is no vendor lock-in. Mender supports all device software updates from a full disk image to application updates with the freedom to customize the update and installation process to fit your workflow. It is also integrated with Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure IoT for easy device authentication.
Device configuration, troubleshooting and monitoring
A proper device management set up should never be overlooked. Robust and secure device management is a necessary cornerstone for an IoT product and therefore you need to find a high quality solution. Once you deploy thousands or millions of devices into the field you’ll need to be able to configure them properly, gather the data, and quickly troubleshoot any arising problems. Many organisations treat these capabilities as an afterthought. Engineers realize that they need some kind of device management solution right before their deadlines and product releases, which results in rushed fixes being made, that may have serious implications for the robustness and security of connected devices.
In order to roll out a successful, secure, and robust IoT product a few things have to be taken into consideration before the release. To ensure security by design from the earliest stages of the product life cycle, the team behind the IoT product needs to find a solution for deploying secure and robust OTA updates, remotely monitor, configure, and troubleshoot the devices, and automate necessary processes in order to avoid human-made mistakes.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how users of Edge Impulse and Nordic can actuate and stream classification results over BLE using Nordic’s UART Service (NUS). This makes it easy to integrate embedded machine learning into your next generation IoT applications. Seamless integration with nRF Cloud is also possible since nRF Cloud has native support for a BLE terminal.
We’ve extended the Edge Impulse example functionality already available for the nRF52840 DK and nRF5340 DK by adding the abilities to actuate and stream classification outputs. The extended example is available for download on github, and offers a uniform experience on both hardware platforms.
Using nRF Toolbox
After following the instructions in the example’s readme, download the nRF Toolbox mobile application (available on both iOS and Android) and connect to the nRF52840 DK or the nRF5340 DK that will be discovered as “Edge Impulse”. Once connected, set up the interface as follows so that you can get information about the device, available sensors, and start/stop the inferencing process. Save the preset configuration so that you can load it again for future use. Fill out the text of the various commands to use the same convention as what is used for the Edge Impulse AT command set. For example, sending AT+RUNIMPULSE starts the inferencing process on the device.
Figure 1. Setting up the Edge Impulse AT Command set
Once the appropriate AT command set mapping to an icon has been done, hit the appropriate icon. Hitting the ‘play’ button cause the device to start acquiring data and perform inference every couple of seconds. The results can be viewed in the “Logs” menu as shown below.
Figure 2. Classification Output over BLE in the Logs View
Using nRF Cloud
Using the nRF Connect for Cloud mobile app for iOS and Android, you can turn your smartphone into a BLE gateway. This allows users to easily connect their BLE NUS devices running Edge Impulse to the nRF Cloud as an easy way to send the inferencing conclusions to the cloud. It’s as easy as setting up the BLE gateway through the app, connecting to the “Edge Impulse” device and watching the same results being displayed in the “Terminal over BLE” window shown below!
Figure 3. Classification Output Shown in nRF Cloud
Edge Impulse is supercharging IoT with embedded machine learning and we’ve discussed a couple of ways you can easily send conclusions to either the smartphone or to the cloud by leveraging the Nordic UART Service. We look forward to seeing how you’ll leverage Edge Impulse, Nordic and BLE to create your next gen IoT application.
Article originally written for the Edge Impulse blog by Zin Thein Kyaw, Senior User Success Engineer at Edge Impulse.
The Internet of Things is growing at breakneck speed. One report suggests that the global market for IoT will surpass $1.38 trillion by 2026 — a substantial increase from its 2020 valuation of $761.4 billion.
The IoT is nothing without IoT platforms — middleware that connects sensors, assets, data, software, and business processes. It brings all the different components of your IoT infrastructure together so your business can get every possible benefit.
There are many IoT platforms on the market, and it’s important to find the right one for your business. This can be a challenging task, with lots of complex and competing information to sift through.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of the main factors that should drive your decision when settling on an IoT platform, helping you make an informed decision that leads to the best solution for your needs.
Why you need an IoT platform?
There are many reasons to consider investing in an IoT platform. Essentially, the job of an IoT platform is to act as a ready-made framework for all your IoT infrastructure, pulling everything together and helping you start getting the benefits as quickly as possible. Here are some of the biggest advantages of a good IoT platform:
- It saves money, by making it more likely that your project will succeed and reducing the amount of time you’ll need to spend developing your own systems and fixing problems. Without relying on an IoT platform, it’s more likely that your project will fail and cost money. IoT platforms also centralize the management of your IoT network which is much more cost-efficient than trying to manage a scattered collection of devices.
- It helps provide security, ensuring your devices are safe, keeping your valuable data safe from the hands of hackers and cybercriminals, and giving you peace of mind.
- It helps you go to market quicker. IoT platforms take care of many aspects of your IoT project, saving you significant time and allowing you to roll out a prototype quickly.
- Good IoT platforms come packed with ready-made features, from help with billing to data analytics support, all geared towards helping you get the most out of your IoT infrastructure and providing valuable support to every member of your team.
- Device and data integration. IoT platforms bring all your devices together and integrate them into one central system. This way, you can integrate the data with your enterprise systems and enhance your organization’s existing processes. The result is a more cohesive network with each part supporting the whole, as opposed to a disparate collection of individual devices.
- It helps improve and streamline operations across your entire business by bringing IoT data together with data from external sources, allowing for a more holistic view of your entire organization which can drive better working processes and help you hit your goals in various areas.
What to look for in an IoT platform?
The best IoT platforms can provide a whole host of major advantages to your project and business as a whole. By providing connectivity as a service, they simplify the process of managing IoT devices with various connectivity technologies and remove the need to establish a contract with multiple network providers.
But it’s important to pick the right platform for your specific needs. Here are some things to consider to ensure you make the right choice.
Connectivity is a huge factor when it comes to IoT. Each project and organization has its own specific connectivity requirements, and this will have a direct impact on which IoT platform is the best fit.
Some IoT platforms are more specialized in certain technologies than others. Ideally, you should choose a platform that’s able to orchestrate a range of different connectivity technologies like LoRaWAN, Sigfox, NB-IoT, LTE Cat. M1, 4G, 5G, and WIFI.
Geographical location is also something to consider. Your IoT platform should be able to support IoT applications and devices in all the different geographical regions you need it to.
Your IoT project will almost certainly grow over time. As this technology expands and becomes more widely used, almost every business is likely to find itself using more and more IoT devices and functions across multiple use cases.
Your IoT platform should be prepared for this. Select a platform that can comfortably scale as the project grows and is fit for all IoT project states from just a handful of devices in one area to thousands spread across many regions.
The best IoT platforms should be able to scale across a range of different deployment models, such as:
- In a public cloud
- In a private cloud
- On your business premises
Another major concern for IoT networks is security. Attacks on IoT devices are on the rise, with 33% of infected devices now part of the IoT. It’s essential to make sure you choose an IoT platform that prioritizes security.
If you don’t take security seriously, you’re putting your IoT infrastructure at risk of cyberattacks, which could result in downtime, the loss of sensitive data, and serious reputational damage. On top of this, many companies have to comply with strict requirements when it comes to data ownership and security, which means you could face legal penalties if your data is breached.
It’s no longer enough to simply secure your business premises — in our increasingly remotely connected world, you have to keep your devices safe wherever they are. Your IoT platform should also be able to integrate with common cloud infrastructures like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon AWS.
The whole point of IoT is to make your life and business processes easier. It shouldn’t add an extra layer of difficulty and complexity to your systems. The best IoT platforms are straightforward and easy to integrate with existing processes.
The main user groups to consider here are:
- The people who will actually be using the system — your end-users
- The people whose job it is to maintain the system like your company’s internal engineers
For both of these groups, the IoT platform should be as user-friendly as possible with minimal friction and challenges. This not only helps you get the most out of your technology but also keeps your team happy and stress-free.
It is crucial to make sure that your IoT platform can be integrated with your final application. Typically, you want the platform to have a standardized interface (REST API) that allows you to connect your end-user smart application and make use of the data for your particular business case.
Your chosen platform should also support the visualization of data during a pilot, as this helps you understand your IoT systems as closely as possible and communicate this to other members of your organization.
Resilience to technological change
If there’s one thing we can be sure of when it comes to technology, it’s that constant change is unavoidable. This is a good thing for businesses and ensures constant progress and development, but when it comes to IoT systems it’s essential to prepare for this ongoing change.
Your hardware, connectivity, and applications need to be adaptable and resistant to change. Otherwise, you’ll run into issues like technological lock-in where you’re forced to use technology that is no longer sufficient for the demands of the time.
One way to ensure resistance to change is to make it possible to exchange the components of your IoT solution at any time, without negatively impacting the overall final application. This allows you to modify and upgrade your infrastructure bit-by-bit over time without major delays and downtime.
When it comes to IoT platforms, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. You need to take the time to figure out which platforms are the best fit for your unique set of needs and challenges, and pick one that can help you get the most out of your network.
From a salt shaker with a built-in speaker to smart water devices that bring clean water to communities with weak infrastructure, connected devices are increasingly advancing into all areas of our lives. But more connectivity brings more possibilities for crippling issues that can impact product development, operations, and maintenance. IoT developers must consider how to plan for firmware architecture that leads to a better, stickier product.
Competition among connected device manufacturers is swelling in every corner of the industry, and user patience for clunky products won’t get the benefit of the doubt that developers might otherwise have had in the IoT’s nascent days. As users become more dependent on connected devices, consumer demands that those devices consistently function well - and securely - become the expectation. There remains, of course, work to be done: a quick Google search reveals stories like the Fitbit firmware update that destroyed the device battery, or the Tesla key fobs that could be overwritten and hijacked until a patch was rolled out.
These stories underscore that the IoT ecosystem’s connected nature requires that hardware developers approach product development differently - and take firmware updates seriously. It used to be that developers could write static firmware for specific device use cases or commoditized products and, once released, have no further interaction or engagement with the product. That system no longer works. To have a successful product, IoT device manufacturers need to invest in design and in firmware development equally.
Whether it’s BLE on phones or LTE or Zigby and other mesh networks, IoT devices are connected, regularly transmitting sensitive and personal data to and from the cloud. The near limitless reach of modern connected devices across all areas of our lives, paired with the high price point of most IoT devices underscores that IoT developers must have a plan (and not an after-the-fact reaction) for firmware maintenance. Putting that plan in motion requires three considerations:
Ubiquitous connectivity brings with it major challenges, but it also brings opportunities. Among other things, it allows automated device health monitoring. The typical process of releasing a product relies on users’ reporting a problem and requiring them to physically return the device to be evaluated, repaired, and returned. Simply put, this is a huge waste of money and time, and it also risks frustrating the customer to the point of losing them entirely. Using customers as your testers is simply a terrible business decision. (Maybe you could get away with it if you were the only game in town, but IoT device makers don’t have that luxury anymore). Automated device monitoring is the solution. By regularly analyzing the health of devices and flagging potential problems immediately, a monitoring system can help device makers catch and fix issues in hours that would have otherwise taken them weeks to root cause. Designing embedded systems with such capabilities gives critical observability into performance, stability, and overall health - either of a single device or of a fleet of millions.
Shipping products that require an update or patch is inevitable for even the most talented and thorough teams. Just ask NASA. While no one can avoid updates entirely, it is possible to detect fleet-wide issues and solve them without burdening users. The key is to roll out updates incrementally, starting with a small number of devices and ramping up over time. This limits the impact of any new issues and insulates most of your users from the churn of getting a few bugfix releases in a row. Another good option is to implement an A/B update system if you have enough flash memory. This allows your device to download an update in the background with no user impact and simply prompts the user to reboot once the update is ready. Fast and simple update flows like A/B updates are key to compliance, and prevent too much fragmentation across your fleet. Last but not least, it is important to pair regular updates with a monitoring system so you can quickly identify problems with the update, and rollouts can be paused or aborted altogether.
Building with security in mind
The ubiquity of IoT devices has accelerated customer demands for robust device security in lockstep, with regulatory bodies becoming more serious (and punitive) about security requirements and standards. For those building smart devices, I would offer these principles as table stakes for security:
- Devices must be updateable.
- Trusted boot is no longer optional. You need a chain of trust to control the firmware running on your device.
- Rotate secrets and don’t use a master secret. Whether that means a set of encryption keys or other secrets to make devices functional, they must be dynamically changed, so the compromise of one device does not lead to the compromise of others.
Software teams have long embraced iterative processes, and IoT device developers can learn much from this process. Focusing on firmware architecture that is responsive, observable, and proactive, lets device manufacturers ship a better product and create a happier customer base.
François Baldassari is the Founder and CEO of Memfault, a cloud-based observability platfrom for hardware devices. Prior to Memfault, François worked on developer infrastructure initiatives at Pebble and Oculus.
Image Source: SEGGER.com
Nearly every embedded software developer working in the IoT space is now building secure devices. Developers have been mostly focused on how to handle secure applications and the basic microcontroller technologies such as how to use Arms TrustZone or leverage multicore processors. A looming problem that many companies and teams are overlooking is that figuring out how to develop secure applications is just the first step. There are three stages to secure product lifecycle management and in today’s post, we will review what is involved in each stage.
As a quick overview, the stages, which can be seen in the diagram below, are:
- Test and Production Deployment
- Maintenance and In-field Servicing
Let us look at each of these stages in a little more detail.
Stage #1 – Development
Development is probably the area that most developers are the most familiar with, but at the same time, the area that they are learning to adapt to the most. Many developers have designed and built systems without ever having to take security into account. Development involves a lot more than just deciding which components to isolate and how to separate the software into secure and non-secure regions.
For example, during the development phase developers now need to learn how to develop in the environment where a secure bootloader is in place. They need to consider how to handle firmware fallbacks, if they are allowed and if so, under what conditions. Firmware images may need to be compressed on top of the need for authentication.
While the development stage has become more complicated, developers should not struggle too much to extrapolate their past experiences to developing secure firmware successfully.
Stage #2 – Test and Production Deployment
The area that developers will probably struggle with the most is the test and production deployment stage. Testing secure software requires additional steps to be taken that authenticate debug hardware so that the developer can access secure memory regions to test their code and successfully debug it. Even more importantly, care must be taken to install that secure software onto a product during production.
There are several ways this can be done, but one method is to use a secure flashing device like SEGGERS Flasher Secure. These devices can follow a multistep process that involves validating a user ID which allows the secure firmware to be installed on the device. The devices themselves limit how many and on what devices the firmware can be installed which helps to protect a team’s intellectual property and prevents unauthorized production of a product.
Stage #3 – Maintenance and In-field Servicing
Finally, there is the maintenance and in-field servicing stage which is a partial continuation of the development phase. Once a product has been deployed into the field, it needs to be securely updated. Updates can be done manually in-field, or they can be done using an over-the-air update process. This involves a device being able to contact a secure firmware server that can compress and encrypt the image and transport it to the device. Once the device has received the image, it must decrypt, decompress and validate the contents of the image. If everything looks good, the image can then be loaded as the primary firmware for the device.
There is much more to designing and deploying a secure device than simply developing a secure application. The entire process is broken up into three main stages that we have looked at in greater detail today. Unfortunately, we have only just scratched the surface!
Orignally posted here.
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