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Why Edge Computing Is an IIoT Requirement

How edge computing is poised to jump-start the next industrial revolution.

From travel to fitness to entertainment, we now have killer apps for many things we never knew we needed. Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed tremendous improvements in terms of democratizing data and productivity across the consumer world.

Building on that, we’re entering a new era of software-defined machines that will transform productivity, products and services in the industrial world. This is the critical link which will drive new scenarios at even faster rates of innovation. By 2020, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is expected to be a $225 billion market.

To jump-start the productivity engine of IIoT, real-time response is needed at the machine-level at scale and that requires an edge-plus-cloud architecture designed specifically for the Industrial Internet. From Google maps to weather apps, we’ve been experiencing the benefits of cloud and edge computing working together in our daily lives for quite some time.

But, what is edge? Edge is the physical location that allows computing closer to the source of data. Edge computing enables data analytics to occur and resulting insights to be gleaned closer to the machines. While edge computing isn’t new, it’s beginning to take hold in the industrial sector – and the opportunity is far greater than anything we’ve seen in the consumer sector, and here’s why:

Real-time data in a real-time world: The edge is not merely a way to collect data for transmission to the cloud. We are now able to process, analyze and act upon the collected data at the edge within milliseconds. It is the gateway for optimizing industrial data. And when millions of dollars and human lives are on the line, edge computing is essential for optimizing industrial data at every aspect of an operation.

Take windfarms for example. If wind direction changes, the edge software onsite would collect and analyze this data in real-time and then communicate to the wind turbine to adjust appropriately using an edge device, such as a field agent and connected control system, and successfully capture more kinetic energy. Because the data is not sent to the cloud, the processing time is significantly faster. This increases wind turbines’ production, and ultimately distributes more clean energy to our cities, increasing the value of the renewable energy space.

Big data, big trade-offs: The harsh and remote conditions of many industrial sites make it challenging to connect and cost-effectively transmit large quantities of data in real-time. We are now able to add intelligence to machines at the edge of the network, in the plant or field. Through edge computing on the device, we’re bringing analytics capabilities closer to the machine and providing a less expensive option for optimizing asset performance.

Consider the thousands of terabytes of data from a gas turbine. Sending this data to the cloud to run advanced analytics maybe technologically possible, but certainly too cost prohibitive to do a daily basis. Through edge computing, we can capture streaming data from a turbine and use this data in real-time to prevent unplanned downtime and optimize production to extend the life of the machine.

What’s Next

Today, only 3% of data from industrial assets is useable. Connecting machines from the cloud to the edge will dramatically increase useable data by providing greater access to high powered, cost effective computing and analytics tools at the machine and plant level.

Consider the fact that for years traditional control systems were designed to keep a machine running the same way day in and day out for the lifecycle of the machine. At GE Energy Connections, we recently debuted the Industrial Internet Control System (IICS), which successfully allows machines to see, think and do and will enable machine learning at scale. To take IICS to the next level, we’re creating an ecosystem of edge offerings to accelerate widespread adoption across the industrial sector. We’re advancing this ecosystem and empowering app developers who want to play a role in driving the new industrial era. 

Currently, to add value to a software system, a developer writes the code, ports it into the legacy software stack, shuts down the devices and finally, updates it. That’s all going to change. We are working on creating an opportunity for any developer to create value-added edge applications. Customers will be able port the necessary apps to their machine without having to shut it down, just like we do on our phones today. Companies will be able to download apps for their needs and update frequently to ensure their business is running smoothly. While no one likes to run out of battery on their smart phone, an outage for a powerplant is far more costly, so the ability to port apps without shutting down devices and being able to detect issues before it occurs will be a game changer.

From wind turbines to autonomous cars, edge computing is poised to completely revolutionize our world. It’s forcing change in the way information is sent, stored and analyzed.  And there’s no sign of slowing down.

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Your IoT platform is the heart of your entire IoT solution. Building a reliable and scalable IoT platform is not a piece of cake, which is why these days the market is booming with hundreds of thousands of IoT PaaS (Platform as a Service) vendors. Choosing the right IoT platform for your solution has become more complex than it was ever before. That’s why, in this blog post we have covered some of the best selection criteria to pick the right IoT cloud platform for your needs. Before we delve into this, you first need to know what an IoT platform is. 

What is an IoT Platform?

In simple terms, a platform is a comprehensive set of tools and services which allow developers to build and run an application. However, an IoT platform could have diverse meanings depending on whom you are talking to in the internet of things, IoT ecosystem. For instance, an IoT platform for cloud service providers is their infrastructure, where a developer creates an application. For hardware vendors, an IoT platform is the embedded board where you could write your IoT applications. For the sake of clarity, we are considering an IoT platform as the middleware layer responsible for consuming data from the devices and sensors and providing meaningful and actionable results based on that insight. Generally, an IoT platform offers a device software development kit a.k.a SDK or well defined APIs through which developers and programmers could easily connect to any hardware platform and avail of their cloud-based services.

If you have attended any IoT expo recently, most probably you would have noticed that almost every IoT platform provider claims to be better, faster, safer and smarter than others. Now, how do you make a wise decision in such a competitive landscape and pick the right platform that will reduce your solution risk? Don’t fret, we’ve mentioned below some key selection criteria to choose the right IoT platform. Let us take a quick look. 

Considerations In Choosing The Right IoT Platform

Alas! Today, a cloud IoT platform is opted for based on the effectiveness of the vendor sales pitch. This is mainly because the companies that are trying to get a handle on digital transformation do not possess the requisite knowledge or training in IoT specific areas, and IoT vendors usually woo their customers based on their impressive customer references.  There are some important technical evaluation criteria which are often overlooked.  These need to be kept in mind for choosing the right IoT platform. Let's take a look at them:

#1 Bandwidth

#2 Scalability

#3 Protocol

#4 Security

#5 System Performance

#6 Redundancy and Disaster Recovery

#7 Interoperability

#8 Edge Intelligence 

#9 Budget, developmental skills, and capacity of your in-house team

#10 Your business model and its specific requirements that must be met  

Hope you find this post helpful! If you did, share it with your colleagues and friends as well. For any query related to this post and IoT training in India, you can comment down below. Thanks for your time! 

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Connected Cars: From the Edge to the Cloud

Many of us have yet to see an autonomous vehicle driving down the road, but it will be here faster than we can image. The car of tomorrow is connected, data-rich and autonomous. As 5G networks come online, sensors improve and compute and memory become faster and cheaper, the amount of data a vehicle will generate is expected to be 40 terabytes of data every day. This will make the autonomous vehicle the ultimate edge computing device.

Last week at Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco, Micron Technology hosted a panel discussion with automotive industry experts where they discussed the future of the connected car and the role of both the cloud and the edge in delivering the full promise of autonomous driving (FYI – Cars are now big at wireless trade shows. See Connected Vehicle Summit at MWC).

Experts from Micron, NVIDIA, Microsoft and Qualcomm discussed what 5G, cloud, IoT and edge analytics will mean for next-generation compute models and the automobile.

Micron claims to be the #1 memory supplier to the automotive industry and notes that its technology will be required to access the massive streams of data from vehicles. This data must be processed and analyzed, both in the car and in the cloud. Think about going down the road at 70 MPH in an autonomous vehicle. You need to have safe, secure and highly-responsive solutions, relying on split second decisions powered by enormous amounts of data. To quickly analyze the data necessary for future autonomous vehicles, higher bandwidth memory and storage solutions are required.

Smart, connected vehicles are the poster child for edge computing and IoT.

Some intriguing quotes from the discussion:

  • “In last seven years 5839 patents have been granted for autonomous vehicle technology.” – Steve Brown, Moderator and Futurist
  • “There is a proactive side of autonomous driving that can’t be fulfilled at the edge.” Doug Seven, Head of Connected Vehicle Platform, Microsoft
  • “The thin client model won’t work for automobiles. You won’t have connectivity all the time.” Steve Pawlowski, Vice President Advanced Computing Solutions, Micron
  • “Once you have enough autonomous vehicles, the humans are the danger.” Tim Wong, Director of Technical Program Management for Autonomous Vehicles, NVIDIA

The entire panel discussion can be found in the video below.

Disclaimer: The author of this post has a paid consulting relationship with Micron Technology. 

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While media has extensively reported in recent years on the estimated 30 billion devices or “things” that are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2020, there has been little discussion regarding the development and education of the next generation of engineers who will need to be trained to meet the market demands and challenges these devices will create.
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Interview: 5G, IoT and Hurricanes

Last week more than 21,000 visitors from 110 countries and territories attended the 2017 Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco. It was the first for MWC in the United States, having recently gone into a partnership with CTIA to up the appeal of the long-time wireless tradeshow. We were introduced to Advanced RF Technologies (ADRF) and discussed the the transition to 5G, IoT and hurricanes with ADRF Chief Operating Officer Arnold Kim. 

For our readers who are not familiar with your company, tell us about ADRF?

Advanced RF Technologies (ADRF) is a Top 5 Distributed Antenna System (DAS) provider. We've been operating for more than 18 years and provide in-building wireless connectivity solutions to improve cellular signal and data speeds when there is either a lot of people in one area, or the building infrastructure doesn't allow frequencies to enter unobstructed from the macro network. Our products include DAS, small cells, antennas and passive components.

What industries are adopting your technology?

Every industry needs better connectivity inside of their buildings, so we have clients from many different verticals. We work with all four major carriers (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) and our products are currently in most of the Fortune 100 company buildings, many high profile sports stadiums, commercial real estate, healthcare, and more. We also do plenty of Public Safety installations. 

Device types continue to proliferate - no longer is it a type of mobile phone. How do you advise customers on what types of frequencies and standards to implement?

Most companies have an understanding of what their connectivity needs are. However our approach is to offer flexible and future-proof solutions that will grow with our clients. We try to ensure that our clients will never need to do a full refresh on their investment.

From a connectivity perspective, what are some of the near term challenges for IoT?

The biggest challenges we see regarding the IoT has to do with the sheer volume of devices taking a bandwidth on a network. If you think about a sports stadium and trying to connect 50,000 people, network density quickly becomes a challenge. For large enterprises the number of devices connected and the challenges can be just as large. There's a wide range of devices that will be connected that don't necessarily need a 5G connection. For instance, a connected oil pipe simply needs to send signal that things are working correctly or not. This can be accomplished using a 3G signal, on a low frequency band (which travels more effectively that a 5G signal on a high band might). In areas where the is limited connectivity, this is an important thing to consider.

It’s still early days, but how are you tackling the transition from 4G to 5G?

While the definition of 5G has yet to be settled, we are prepared for it, and those who have our systems in place will be too. Our new ADX V series DAS is modular and works with every type of frequency. When 5G becomes standard, whatever frequency may be adopted by each carrier to run the signal will be compatible with our equipment. At MWC America, we are announcing new Head End and Remote Modules for ADX V to support 600 MHz, the frequency that T-mobile plans to use exclusively for 5G. Not many DAS solutions today support it.

Let’s turn our attention to current events. Hurricane Harvey and the floods it caused in Houston. What role does ADRF play in public safety and how do you support response teams when critical infrastructure comes down?

ADRF performs a lot of public safety installations and we were one of the first companies to be FirstNet compliant. As an example, we recently installed two public safety DAS in the new Atlanta Braves stadium. Dense areas and public venues are mostly required by law to have complete, uninterrupted connection at all times. We provide the systems that allow for that. We have also introduced a series of mobile repeaters that can be implemented in crisis situations as well as outdoor venues where concerts are taking place.

Another example is Hurricane Sandy, a Category 3 major hurricane which affected coastal Mid-Atlantic states in 2012.Verizon deployed CROW (Cellular Repeater on Wheels) help provide interim emergency communications. CROWs are low cost, portable, over the air (which doesn’t requires backhaul) and can be used to provide expanded cellular network coverage or capacity. 

What's the most interesting implementation you've done? Why?

We were selected to make the happiest place on earth one of the best connected. Around Disney World parks, we put in a series of repeaters to provide better coverage and let families share their adventures. One of the important parts of the installation, especially in crowded venues where aesthetic is of the utmost importance, is to make sure equipment is concealed and hidden. Locating those areas when thousands of people are walking the entirety of the park every single day was a challenge.

Anything else you’d like to add?

We announced a new high power outdoor modular repeater at Mobile World Congress Americas, and while it’s intended purpose is to improve cellular connection in outdoor areas, it will be beneficial for IoT connectivity as more people become reliant on having these connections everywhere. Our products support every frequency including those that will be used for 5G, and the 3G and 4G that powers IoT connections. The importance of having blanket coverage for IoT cannot be understated, especially as more important devices become connected in the future.

 

 

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Internet of Things (IoT) and Women's Healthcare

Industry to realize that even though healthcare is one of the Industry's to focus, know that the biggest vertical or the significant market opportunity to focus is 'WOMEN.' There is a dire need to come up with IoT solutions that will help a woman manage and do things efficiently and with ease by ensuring preventive mechanisms and enabling her to be Safe, Secure, Empowered - 'Smart Women 2.0'.
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The Digital Twin: Key Component of IoT

A Digital Twin uses data from sensors installed on physical systems to represent their near real-time status, working condition or position. This modelling technology allows us to see what is happening inside the system without having to be able to get inside the system. It forms a critical step in the information value chain without which it is often impossible to get from raw data to insight, and therefore to value. As the Internet of Things grows, Digital Twins will become a standard tool for Data Scientists and Engineers wishing to use all this new data to automatically understand and respond to what is going on in the real world.
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Every week, thousands of new apps are seen hitting the mobile market. Unfortunately, the number of hackers working assiduously to tap into these apps to implant malware or phish for user information has also been on the increase. By implication, there is every need to take the security of mobile users very seriously particularly when it comes to app development.


Apart from being highly vigilant about security, app developers need to be able to identify these security issues and know how to avoid them, so as to be able to provide users with the security they need to keep their information and other data safe. Security issues can be experienced in various forms during any mobile application development process; some of which are explained below.

Failure to implement secure communications to servers

Most apps are designed to connect back to a server particularly those applications that control sensitive user information. Therefore, as a critical area of concern, mobile app developers must ensure safe transit between the app and the server. Nothing has to be interrupted on an insecure WiFi connection. Basically, this type of security is achievable through SSL certificates and encryption. User information can be compromised particularly if developers fail to employ the right SSL libraries.

Inability to plan for physical security breaches

Nothing much can be done to prevent theft or loss of mobile devices. In fact, mobile app developers have a very little role to play in this. However, they can greatly help to minimize the problem by executing a local session timeout code. Usually, users are obligated to enter a password from time to time to access an app. Rather than making this a daily occurrence, password requirement from devices can be observed once a week or at the fifth time the app is used. Local session timeout can also prevent the use of software that helps users remember passwords.

The use of weak encryption or an entire lack of encryption

Obviously, improves constantly which helps to make algorithms become obsolete and very easy to crack. Failing to use encryption or using weak encryption in an app can put sensitive user information at risk of getting exposed. In the course of using certain apps, users are obligated to input sensitive data like personal identification information or credit card numbers. It is sad to know that this information can be hacked particularly with the absence of good encryption. An app is more likely to be hacked when it becomes more popular. So, if you are looking to push your app to the top, there is every need to invest in good encryption.

Bypassing systematic security testing

Most importantly, Indian app developers need to consider themselves as the last line of defense. You stand to put your app users at risk when you fail to ensure a secure app. In every development process, testing is very important and as such, there is no need to rush in releasing an app. Ensure to test every common inlet for security issues, such as sensors, GPS, camera, and even the development platform. Viruses and malware are no respecters of apps – every app is vulnerable to an attack from them.

Developers should try as much as possible to avoid the eruption of a crash and debug logs during testing. These are often common places hackers often take advantage of for app vulnerabilities. Apart from increasing the speed of an app, NSLog statements on iOS can be effectively disabled during iPhone app development to avoid vulnerabilities. Also, an Android app remains vulnerable until the Android debug log is typically cleared.

Lack of proper planning for data caching vulnerabilities

Unlike standard laptops and desktops, mobile devices are well-known for their ability to store short-term information for longer periods. This caching method generally helps to increase speed. However, since hackers can easily access cached information, there is every possible for mobile devices to be susceptible to security breaches. A major way of avoiding the problem is by demanding for a password to use an app. However, this can affect the popularity of your app, as most app users often find the use of passwords to be quite inconvenient. Alternatively, you can program the cache to be automatically erased every time users reboot their mobile device. This is another meaningful solution to data caching vulnerabilities.

Adopting other developers’ code

Developing an app from the start can be very time-consuming but with the availability of numerous free codes, this process has been extremely simplified. Interestingly, some hackers create codes for unsuspecting developers. In the hopes that application developers would pick up their codes, some hackers have ventured into creating anonymous codes. Through this, they tend to gain easy and free access to any information of their choice after the app has been designed and released.

Although it is never a bad thing to build upon people’s ideas, however, it is highly essential to carry out relevant research before doing so. In order to avoid experiencing security issues, it is well advisable that you make use of code from reliable sources. So, if you’re looking to build upon the ideas of a third-party, ensure to use sources you can trust. As a matter of fact, always use verified and trusted sources for code and ensure to be on the lookout for phishing scams by reading the code line by line.

Slow patching of app

Just because your app has been launched does not mean that you are done with the development process. Hackers are always on the move, they do not relent in their efforts to break through an app and so, they always work very fast. Most times, they search for apps with irregular security updates. Then they exploit these security breaches to bring down the app. Just to let you know, it is good to perform regular security updates by revisiting the app often.

However, users on their own part may be unable to get these patches on time. This is because they have to accept and download them. Additionally, the approval process of a patch on an iOS platform can typically take up to a week. Obviously, patches can take a while to reach users. To this end, you can put user information at risk if you fail to stay right on top of new security updates.

When it comes to creating apps that deal with confidential matters such as personal information and customer credit cards, there is always no room for error. To any app developer, the repercussions of the smallest security breach can be highly catastrophic. As a matter of fact, it is your duty to protect both your app and its users. So, ensure to take all necessary precautions so as not to get caught unawares.

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In this Digital age, every organization is trying to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence to their internal and external data to get actionable insights which will help them to be closer to today’s customer.

A few years back it was the field only for data scientists and statisticians, who used to analyze the data, apply several techniques and provide results.

Today many of the organizations are using APIs to access the ready-made algorithms available in the market as they make it easy to develop predictive applications. In fact, you don’t even need to have an in-depth knowledge of coding or computer science to introduce them into your apps.

APIs provide the abstraction layers for developers to integrate machine learning into real world applications without worrying about which technique to use or how to scale the algorithm to their infrastructure.

These APIs can be categorized broadly into 5 groups:

  • Image and Face Recognition: It understands the content of the image, classifies the image into various categories, detects individual objects and faces, detects labels and logos from the images.
  • Language Translation: Translate text between thousands of languages, allows you to identify in which language any text that you need to analyze was written. Some APIs allows organizations to communicate with the customer in their language.
  • Speech Recognition and Conversion: Today most of the customer service is handled by Chatbots with underlying APIs helping simple question and answer. Speech to text APIs are used to convert call center voice calls into text for further analysis.
  • Text /Sentiment Analytics using NLP: With the rise of Social Media, consumers easily express and share their opinions about companies, products, services, events etc. Companies are interested in monitoring what people say about their brands in order to get feedback or enhance their marketing efforts. These APIs can identify, analyze, and extract the main content and sections from any web page. They further help in to analyze unstructured text for sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction, language detection and topic detection. There are some tools also helps in spam detection.
  • Prediction: These APIs, as the name suggests helps to predict and find out patterns in the data. Typical examples are Fraud detection, customer churn, predictive maintenance, recommender systems and forecasting etc.

Google Cloud, Microsoft Cognitive Services, Amazon Machine Learning APIs & IBM Watson APIs are the leaders in the market.

With growing number of free/reasonably priced APIs and tsunami of data generated every day, the race is on as to which is the best Machine Learning API.
These machine learning APIs are not yet perfect or matured and they will take some time to learn and act accurately. But they allow faster time to market-based on ready availability, rather than asking data scientist to code the algorithms.

In future, machine learning will lead to revolutions that will intensify human capabilities, assist people in making good choices and help navigate through the world in powerful ways, like Iron Man's Jarvis.
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Woman 2.0, IoT 4.0 and more

Here is the latest edition of the IoT Central Digest. Don’t forget, encourage your friends and colleagues to be a part of our community. Forward this to them. They can join IoT Central here. You can contribute here

IoT - Macro Convergence and Emergence of Markets

Posted by Ram Sangireddy 

In a prior article, we talked about IoT being the connection of the physical and the digital worlds. That is, connecting those things that were physical in nature hitherto and now find a need to be connected to the digital world. The enterprises across consumer, commercial, public, and industrial sectors that were born in the pre-Internet era (Honeywell, ABB, GE, Philips, Siemens, and so on) are making moves to position themselves as digitally transformed companies. More subtle are the moves being made by the Internet era companies (Google, Amazon, etc.) to integrate themselves with the physical world. There are a number of plays across IoT market that numerous enterprises see the opportunity to position themselves

Internet of Things and Smart Woman 2.0

Posted by Rajashree Rao

A woman is a unique creature. Right from her physiology to her mental makeup - her extraordinary capability is to reproduce, and this makes her vulnerable both physically and mentally. A woman faces a lot more sexism or inequality than a man too often. This makes it difficult for her to find the right balance in her world both at home and work. A woman dons several roles and must fit many shoes her entire life. Right from managing her career, family, children, home, and you name it the list is never ending. Given the power of IoT, maybe it is time to find use of this technology in helping this multi-faceted individual manage her life, making it easier for her to live. How will IoT ensure the safety and security of a woman right from her place of work to home? Are there some answers? 

How long will we have to wait for Internet of Things 4.0 ?

Posted by Francisco Maroto

I have not intended to abuse of one more time of a shocking headline in IoT but the fact is that per Gartner´s 2016 Hype Curve” the Internet of Things (IoT) had falling into the dreaded Trough of Disillusionment and the Powerful analyst firm decided to not mention IoT anymore in 2017. Also, corroborated for many pessimistic articles of IoT project failures .  So it is our responsibility as IoT influencers to continue evangelizing about how the “The Internet of Things will Change our World”.

Keeping Voice-Activated Smart Home Device From Talking to the Wrong People

Posted by Jeff Finn

The introduction of voice-activated smart home solutions – like Amazon Echo and Dot, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod – have brought with them the dream of convenient Star Trek-like interfaces where a user’s spoken wish is their command. But at the same time, these devices have served as a Trojan Horse, increasingly inviting in security issues and unintended consequences. The greatest security vulnerabilities created by these products are due to the fact that, while they prominently feature advanced voice recognition, they cannot really tell who’s talking. The dangers this presents are compounded when the devices feature the ability to make purchases (with few safeguards under default settings), as well as control smart home features (lights, thermostats, locks, etc.) that users do not want malicious actors to be able to manipulate.

IoT: Penetrating the Possibilities of a Data Driven Economy

By Ronald van Loon

Ever since the Internet of Things (IoT) manifested into reality, integrating the physical world with our digital routine, experts and thought leaders have waited for it to transform the dream of a data driven economy into a witnessed possibility.

As the concept of Internet of Things continues to evolve and grow, it now appears that the wait is finally over.  Welcome to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This is a concept-turned-reality, which looks set to change the traditional picture of industrial production for years to come. 

20 Job Interview Questions for IoT Professionals

Posted by David Oro 

Bill McCabe knows everyone. He has to. He’s a thought leader in IoT, with a particular focus on recruiting. He’s authored dozens of articles on all things IoT and recruitment, and has placed a number of IoT professionals at organizations big and small. We wanted to know in particular, for the IoT job seeker, what are the top 20 questions they should be prepared to answer in their interview. Here is what Bill shared.



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“In memory of my brother Juan”

I have not intended to abuse of one more time of a shocking headline in IoT but the fact is that per Gartner´s 2016 Hype Curve” the Internet of Things (IoT) had falling into the dreaded Trough of Disillusionment and the Powerful analyst firm decided to not mention IoT anymore in 2017. Also, corroborated for many pessimistic articles of IoT project failures .

So it is our responsibility as IoT influencers to continue evangelizing about how the “The Internet of Things will Change our World”.

In the article “The Internet of Things… Are We There Yet?” , Cees Links points out that “The IoT is suffering today from a lack of understanding of its true value proposition and even if we are currently in the Valley of Disillusionment, we should not be distracted. We still have a lot to learn but we are in the middle of shaping a better world for the next generation”.

IoT 1.0 or the time of the Systems

It seems prehistoric. I'm talking about the world of Telemetry, Machine to Machine, Industrial Control Systems (PLCs, SCADAs, HMI,..) . But IoT 1.0 is still the one that holds the largest number of devices connected so far. Simple solutions for departmental, very controlled business needs, designed without security as a priority and not easy to integrate and of course with the objective of create new business models.

One interesting outgrowth was the emergence of the “IoT engineer” version 1.0. This was an embedded engineer, cloud SW developer, mobile app developer, or networking specialist that has gained knowledge and skills in one or more of the other disciplines within IoT.

IoT 2.0 or the time of the Platforms

Scott Nelson and Paul Metaxatos published an article in Harvard Business Review on the importance of design in creating value in the next phase of the Internet of things (IoT). IoT 2.0 was the natural next step in the technology adoption curve and brought in a new wave of IoT-facilitated solutions that still have not demonstrated a higher rate of adoption and return on investment.

Many companies have been able to check during the last three years that IoT projects are complex and adoption of the technology can be harder because of the lack of standards, security issues and competitive and fragmented nature of the IoT ecosystem.

See below a list of characteristics and judge yourself what still missing to overcome IoT2.0:

IoT 2.0

  • Standards are respected
  • Separation of content and design
  • Machine Content syndication
  • A simple programming language for non-intelligent machines
  • A programming language for intelligent machines
  • Network of Social Machines
  • Machines responsible for the management and security of its information
  • Hierarchy of Machines (APIs)
  • Search Engine - Facilitate positioning with specific URLs for machines

In Design Elements for the Internet of Things 2.0 you will find some design elements that had been introduced to actually make things intelligent and not just “Smart.”

But above all,  the IoT 2.0 has been a mediatic pulse between IoT Platforms and Artificial Intelligence.

New breed of IoT 2.0 engineers, vendors, product managers, developers, analysts,… are stripping the daisy. Take a look at  “IoT Generalist vs IoT Specialist, Who will survive to the era of Robots? “  if you did not read yet.

IoT 3.0 or the time of Business Optimization

In Salesforce blog, we can find some of the IoT 1.0 and 2.0 limitations. The writer of the article indicates: “Much of the IoT technology available today does not make it easy to add value or generate ROI. To date, most IoT technology has been focused on networking devices together (IoT 1.0) or analyzing data that is streaming from those networked devices (IoT 2.0).
Both IoT 1.0 and IoT 2.0 are critical for a business to succeed in the connected world, because they provide the foundational layer for how a business collects and analyze their data. However, to provide true returns on IoT investment you have to be able to connect all of those analyzed and networked devices back to business value
. “

For Salesforce obviously, the IoT 3.0 - is related with “The connected customer experience. But the focus on almost every company working with IoT today is how its use IoT data to improve business processes or change business models.

By enriching device/objects data in near real time with context data, companies have a very powerful set of data from which they can build business rules to generate actions and measurable outcomes.  Many examples of highly interesting rules could be created with this new rich data set.

Also in  “Internet of Things 3.0 scaled by Robotic Process Automation (RPA)”  the author explain how The Internet of Things and RPA can function together and examine the ways in which RPA and the Internet of Things can foster collaborative, efficient business processes.

IoT 3.0 is the bridge from things to humans, whether they be your customers, partners, suppliers, or employees to drive measurable outcomes and ROI.

IoT 4.0 or the time of the Social IoT

We have seen how the different stages of IoT have been providing an increasing degree of intelligence to the machines. The technology allowed move enterprises from an experience that consisted of a simple monitoring and remote control of machines to an integration of the outcomes of these machines into enterprise processes  that has allow create new business models.

IoT 4.0, which is already emerging, will add machine learning and artificial capabilities to the value chain to make experiences truly seamless and part of everyday life.

The sheer volume of data from IOT 3.0 will be a rich source to really power IoT 4.0, using AI to make the connected chain truly intelligent.

Most of the robots, machines, equipment, devices and countless objects that have been designed, built and sold to the heat of the IoT have focused the functional and technical requirements in reducing the costs of connectivity, increase battery life, provide end security (here not so much) and usability, but not in the capacity of self-learning or provide artificial intelligence.

But this time will be soon over, and intelligent machines (I am not thinking in 50 billion simple devices) but millions of let call by now “Any kind of purpose Robots or AKPR“ will be a reality, And these AKP Robots will need their own social networks.

The fear of intelligent machines persists in our collective memory and companies like Facebook forced to shut down it AI project after it invents its own language they couldn’t understand.! But we can not stop evolution and AKPR Robots are the next step in the evolution of Industrial or home robots.

I'm not the only one thinking about social machines. The Social Internet of Things (SIoT) organization has defined SIOT as an IoT where things are capable of establishing social relationships with other objects, autonomously with respect to humans.

The objectives being pursued by the Social Internet of Things (SIoT) paradigm are clear: to keep separate the two levels of people and things; to allow objects to have their own social networks; to allow humans to impose rules to protect their privacy and only access the result of autonomous inter-object interactions occurring on the objects’ social network.
In their vision, smart objects (even though extremely intelligent) will not make a difference, but social objects will make it!

Only when we decide to turn Smart Objects into Social Objects the Internet of Things will boost its economic and social value

The Internet of Things IoT 4.0 or Social Internet of Things need agnostic networks and protocols that guarantee performance, scalability or security. The Social Objects must be able to interoperate among the IoT Cloud Platforms.

There is no doubt that many applications and services should in the future be associated with groups of objects, whose individuality will be 'sacrificed' to the overall interest of providing services to users.

We need to think in new scenarios where interactions among social objects assume the shape of social interactions that mimic the four "elementary relational models" observed in human behaviour.

It will not be easy to reach the IoT 4.0 level. The interests of corporations, governments inefficiencies, lack of citizen preparation and other short-term factors to which our society is subjected will delay the adoption of the Social Internet of Things.

Key Takeaways

We are very far of IoT 4.0. Today most objects are unconnected, only a few connected objects are intelligent, enterprises continue working on silos, governments services are inefficient, interoperability is a chimera, robots do not have their protocols and social networks, humans are still limiting the promises of IoT.

The Internet of Things promises to be a source of great benefits to our lives but it will definitely take more time than expected.

Only when we decide to turn Smart Objects into Social Objects the Internet of Things will boost its economic and social value.

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In a prior article, we talked about IoT being the connection of the physical and the digital worlds. That is, connecting those things that were physical in nature hitherto and now find a need to be connected to the digital world. This phenomenon about things/objects/entities is also influencing the enterprises in how they are transforming and shaping themselves to survive and thrive in the fast evolving world.

The enterprises across consumer, commercial, public, and industrial sectors that were born in the pre-Internet era (Honeywell, ABB, GE, Philips, Siemens, and so on) are making moves to position themselves as digitally transformed companies. More subtle are the moves being made by the Internet era companies (Google, Amazon, etc.) to integrate themselves with the physical world. Just as the enterprises from physical world have come to realize that they cannot compete unless digital technologies are leveraged to deliver value added products and services on top of physical assets (sometimes even in a freemium model with large physical assets being given free), the digital companies too realize that they cannot continue to enrich the end consumer's life only through pure software products/services. They recognize the need to blur the line by playing in the field of physical objects that humans touch every day (for instance, besides the much publicized Nest and self-driving car, it can be interesting for you to observe how many of the Alphabet companies are associated with the physical world). Even more interesting are the approaches of enterprises that are born to build physical assets in the digital era (Tesla, for example).

In tandem with the above phenomenon, there are a number of plays across IoT market that numerous enterprises see the opportunity to position themselves. (First, a disclaimer: the below is by no means a comprehensive list of areas or players and neither an endorsement of any enterprise; large dedicated teams of expert market analysts exist across organizations that spend full-time analyzing these areas and enterprises to enable M&As or partnerships or commercial relationships).

Semiconductor Chips: the physical assets have to be added intelligence to perform one or more of sense, connect, store, transmit, and compute functions. Such functionality can be added with semiconductor hardware, and so it became imperative for chip manufacturers (Intel, Nvidia, ARM, Qualcomm, Broadcom, etc.) to partner with various OEMs of the install base. Another angle for them also is the increase of complex compute needs in data centers and on clouds as billions of more devices pump data.

Install base of Physical Things: enterprises across consumer, commercial, public, and industrial sectors with their traditional install base are already in the game, and are now looking to wrest control of the majority pie with deeper integration across the value chain (for example by building the platforms and the value added software services).

Connectivity: Network service providers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.); larger the install base better for them with more subscriptions, and so prefer as many physical assets as possible connected natively to the Internet, rather than to a local Edge device. Companies like Cisco (with Jasper offering) also have partnerships with network service providers in cellular connectivity play.

Platform: most misrepresented piece in the IoT space. An Edge device on premise (home, building, plant, etc.), with ability to receive data from sensors/devices, to store and process the data, and then to transmit command and control signals to those end points, is often positioned as a platform; sometimes referred as Edge Platform (Cisco, Dell, etc. play in this space). And, even a smart thermostat is referred occasionally as an IoT platform. And then there are large scale PaaS platforms on the cloud that enable end-to-end (connectivity to Commercialization with all things data in between). GE Predix, Honeywell Sentience, etc. fall under this category (more on the evolution of such cloud platforms in later months). So, your definition of an IoT platform can vary depending on where you are standing.

Cloud: service providers (Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, etc.) offer the infrastructure (IaaS), and they also often offer some out-of-box IoT specific services (PaaS) along with IaaS. To enable IoT platforms on the cloud, there is also a range of technology and commercial plays (Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, etc.) to make the platforms compatible or portable to multiple cloud service providers in order to serve expanded markets and geographies.

Security: cuts across all aspects of IoT, starting from securing the local devices to protecting the data and services on cloud, while also ensuring access to authorized people and systems. The security play has different implications, both from technology and commercial perspectives, for consumer IoT vs. industrial IoT solutions with the latter demanding far more stringent cybersecurity needs. Numerous enterprises are making mark in Identity management, device management/authentication, data encryption, secured data access, etc., both on the Edge and the cloud.

Data: its lifecycle management including ingestion, engineering, exploration, quality/integrity assurance & management, governance & compliance, storage, access at scale, and so on, within itself offers an area of unlimited opportunities.

Analytics: plethora of technologies for data discovery, machine learning, deep learning, AI, NLP, NLU, NLG, Multimedia (audio, video, image) analytics, real-time streaming analytics at industrial scale, augmented reality, virtual reality, self-service, visualization, and so on play a critical role in IoT. Numerous startups are emerging in these areas.

Beyond all these, a wide range of technologies that are significantly impacting the IoT include Block Chain, Drones, Robotics, and Biometrics, The list keeps increasing.

And, many commercial areas that influence and shape the IoT world include, System Integrators (SIs), Value-added Resellers (VARs), Commercial Service Providers, Data Aggregators (2nd party and 3rd party data providers), etc. Also include the enterprises that focus on building and delivering pointed IoT solutions embedding processes, methodologies, and practices for a specific domain (buildings, factories, electric grids, agriculture, infrastructure, transportation, oil & gas, etc.).

Global IoT spending is expected to reach a total nearly $1.4 trillion by 2021, per IDC spending guide, as enterprises continue to invest in the hardware, software, services, and connectivity that enable the IoT.

If so, what areas and which players do you think would derive or capture the most value?

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Interview: The Rise of LoRa

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with Vivek Mohan, director for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. I originally inquired about a piece I was working on around IoT and agriculture. (I love stories about IoT and agriculture. We have several takes on it here, here and here.) Turns out they had an announcement with Chipsafer whereby cattle tags now allow ranchers to monitor vital signs and reduce cattle theft. While we discussed innovations in ranching, we also talked about the rapid growth of LoRA, a long range, low power wireless platform for building IoT networks.

LoRa has gone from inception in 2013 to over 500 members in the LoRa Alliance in 2017. What is driving so much interest in LoRa?

Clearly there was a market need for a disruptive technology, such as Semtech’s LoRa® devices and radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology), guided by a collaborative, open industry alliance which was not being addressed by existing solutions. LoRa Technology’s feature set allows for expansion and adoption at a price point that works for most consumers, be it a cattle rancher in Brazil or a shipping giant in the United States. LoRa Technology covers a wide area, requires little to no maintenance, costs less to deploy, and costs less to maintain in service.

Before LoRa, what options were there for companies and what are the other options today?

Before LoRa, the main options were Bluetooth, WiFi and cellular networks and many proprietary implementations. Those technologies don’t work best for the growth of IoT anymore and certainly don’t address LPWAN the way that LoRa does, given their network and cost limitations. LoRa Technology’s purpose is to drive the growth of IoT by making devices with a powerful feature set, making it easy to deploy and is financially viable to benefit consumers and manufacturers.

What sectors are best suited for LoRa?

LoRa Technology has many applications, including supply chain & logistics, smart cities, smart buildings and homes, agriculture, metering, environmental safety, and industrial. With its key three features – low-power, low-cost and an open interoperable standard – LoRa is desirable for any industry that want to develop an IoT solution.

You recently announced with Chipsafer that you’ve conducted three pilot programs for its cattle management solutions in Namibia, Kenya, and Luxembourg. What was that all about?

Chipsafer used LoRa-enabled devices to tag cattle to monitor their location and vital signs, and used LoRaWAN-based gateways to create a network for the ranchers. Chipsafer was able to bring IoT and valuable data to ranchers in remote locations. Chipsafer is now expanding its pilot program to Brazil and Uruguay, as well as other locations around the globe. This has a lot of practical benefits previously not available to cattle ranchers around the world and improves quality and safety for consumers.

What’s next for the LoRa standard?

The LoRa Alliance membership is growing and LoRaWAN networks are expanding constantly. Actility and LORIOT were part of LoRaWAN network expansions in China and Mexico, respectively. The LoRaWan standard gives users, developers and businesses freedom to use IoT in the ways that they need. 

What do you think the most pressing challenges are when it comes to IoT?

The most pressing challenges for IoT are: interoperability of various networks as the market is still fragmented with many technology platforms, security for billions of sensors and the data they produce, providing carrier grade quality, and reliability at consumer price points as these sensors will last for multiple years and in some cases may be hard to reach/replace. These challenges are tied together because adoption will slow down if IoT options are not available at accessible prices, and the devices will not be economically-feasible if there is little adoption. This is why the LoRa Alliance is so important; we are more than 500 members developing devices, technologies and applications under the same set of guidelines, with the same purpose of making the Internet of Things possible.

What excites you most about the future of IoT? Any examples you can give of applications LoRa will enable in the near future?

It is the seemingly endless number of applications people are finding for IoT. IoT is modernizing industries that were in dire need of an update, and promoting the importance of data intelligence across all sectors. More and more devices and applications come out every day it seems, and that is very exciting for Semtech to see. In the near future we will see more solutions leveraging artificial intelligence and Cloud computing to realize the full potential of IoT.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Our goal with LoRa is to make IoT accessible to everyone in every sector, and provide the highest quality products and service at a price that makes adoption possible. The LoRa Alliance continues to grow and we are committed to establishing a strong IoT network that our customers can leverage to build cutting-edge IoT applications.

 

*Semtech, the Semtech logo, and LoRa are registered trademarks or service marks, and LoRaWAN is a trademark or service mark, of Semtech Corporation or its affiliates.

 

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SCADA, Clustering, Value and Amara's Law

Here is the latest edition of the IoT Central Digest. Don’t forget, encourage your friends and colleagues to be a part of our community. Forward this to them. They can join IoT Central here. You can contribute here

SCADA vs IoT: the role of SCADA systems in Manufacturing's Industry 4.0

Posted by Samuel Walton

We are all witnesses to the sustained rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the demand to ‘digitise’ within Industry 4.0. Yet legitimate SCADA-based questions, specifically in relation to IoT appear ignored, or at least unanswered. So we ask, “will IoT replace SCADA?” and “can the two concepts be integrated?” SCADA and Distributed Control Systems (DCS) are clearly prevalent automation standards, but as a new tidal wave of data from the IoT surfaces, what role will they play in the factory of the future? 

The Information Value Chain

Posted by Finbar Gallagher

Several years ago I was pitching what would now be called an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution to the Production Manager of a large manufacturing plant. After describing all the data we could collect, and the metrics we could turn it into, I thought I had done pretty well. What Production Manager wouldn't want our system to get his finger on the pulse of his operation? Instead, his next question floored me:"If I don't do anything with the data your system collects, then it doesn't create any value for me, does it?"

The Amara’s Law and the Anatomy of Business Use Cases in IoT

Posted by Somjit Amrit

In the animated discussion, someone asked a quiz question, “What is Amara’s Law?” It turned out that American Scientist Roy Amara came up with an interesting view and an easy to understand law –“While we overestimate the short term effect of technology, we underestimate the long term impact." I feel in the world of IoT this law is fascinatingly relevant.

How Clustering ensures reliability of IoT Gateway

Posted by Mohit Bhardwaj 

IoT gateways may be the unsung heroes of the Internet of Things world. Without them, there would likely be no expectations of tens of billions of IoT devices coming online in the next few years. In many respects, gateways are the glue that holds many IoT implementations together. They enable real-time analysis of IoT data and link multitudinous connected sensors and devices to the cloud. In addition, gateways act as a bridge between various sensor types and connectivity protocols, while helping to link equipment from an organization’s information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT) departments.

But gateways can also be single points of failure in IoT networks. In a poorly designed system, when a gateway goes down, critical functions stop. Preventing that outcome is possible, however, with an IoT gateway architecture based on the idea of clustering



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The companies behind smart home devices are tasked with performing something of a balancing act: customers want full featured devices with the convenience of easy purchasing and control over their homes by voice, but those features can be at odds with the cumbersome security measures that would ensure greater safety.
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IoT and Smart Home has become an important part of every aspect of our lives. In addition to these, Internet of Things applications are also introduced to enhance our comfort by giving us more control to simplify routine work life.

Internet of Things and Smart Home technology, enables owners to customize and control their home environments. It is now proving to be a powerful enhancement in technology. There are already hundreds of IoT apps development companies available to monitor and build smart homes.

When we think of the next step in technology evolution, Smart Homes and IoT always comes in the picture as it has a major hand in technology enhancement. The trend began in 1920’s, by introducing machines like vacuum cleaners, food processors and sewing machines highlighting the convenience and time savings.

Major evolution was in 90’s with an announcement of internet refrigerators or smart refrigerators installed with calendar updates, emails, television and personal finance terminal, which failed to satisfy consumers as the similar services were being used on different devices also.

Later in 2010, Nest (Acquired by Google later) announced smart thermostats and smoke alarms which gained huge acceptance due to its fine-tuned design and ability to control temperature as per human behavior and trend without many efforts. Moving to next, smart home category incorporated with Smart Things (Acquired by Samsung) having capability of connecting nearly all the connected gadgets at home gained quite enough popularity.

The giants like Google (Google Home), Amazon (Amazon Echo), Microsoft (Lab of things) and Tesla (Smart wall and solar tiles) also put their efforts into investing and researching heavily in the hope of making smart homes a possible dream with smart products. These Smart Home appliances are integrated with IoT, hence IoT app development is suppose to have a leading trend in apps world.

IoT has a big hand in smart home evolution. It states how technology can be used by integrating into simple everyday objects and how the objects are automated with sensors. The Market trends regarding smart homes and IoT are broad with independent household appliances. These self-sufficient devices will be integrated with the latest technology, to get a realistic ‘smart home’ experience.

The IoT apps development Companies are gaining high attention due to this massive enhancement in IoT and Smart Home technologies. Considering the major role of IoT apps in Smart Home appliances, IoT app development will be a leading trend in apps world.

According to statistics, the purchases of the smart home device are expected to grow from 83million in 2015 to 193 million by 2020. The smart home appliances like washing machines, microwaves, coffee machines etc, the smart home security solutions like sensors, locks, alarm systems and cameras, and the smart home energy equipment, like smart thermostats and lighting, are incorporated in it. The smart home controlling will lay in electricity management, lighting control and temperature control and security systems.

The three areas Home utility systems, appliances and safety devices are uncovering both individual and society wide benefits. They include financial savings, enhance convenience, and contribute to more ecological and sustainable living, sense of safety and security and more.

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