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Police are Seeking Amazon Echo Data for Use in Murder Trial

Amazon Echo and other virtual devices are now part of the legal landscape. As of last week, police are seeking access to Amazon Echo information to see if the Amazon data has something that will help them with a murder case.

According to The Information the police and the attorneys involved in the case from Bentonville Arkansas have issued a warrant to Amazon asking them to hiand over any and all audio or records from Echo that belong to James Andrew Bates. Bates will go to trial for the murder of Victor Collins in 2017.

While Amazon has declined to give any of the recorded information from the Echo that it has on its servers, the company did give the account details and the account purchases from the account to the police. The police state that they could pull some data from the speaker but what they could get was unclear.

The Echo device is always on and can be awoken so police want information that may be stored on the device of an audio nature. According to Gabe Guttierez the police want to see what the device recordings may tell them. “We know Amazon has a copy because consumers can actually listen to all their Alexa requests and they can delete them, so that's an option that's available in a lot of these technologies--something that's good for consumers to know," stated privacy expert Bob Sullivan.

According to WHO TV the prosecutors say 32-year-old James Bates murdered his co-worker Victor Collins, who was found strangled in Bates' hot tub.”

Bates, who called 9-1-1 when he found Collins, has pleaded not guilty to the crime and of course isn’t thrilled with the Amazon data being called into play. He had multiple other smart devices attached to his home at the time, including a water meter. The water meter showed that more than 140 gallons of water were used between 1 and 3 am when Collins was murdered.

Investigators state that he used that water to clean up a crime scene. The Echo and other devices like it are supposed to find answers for you by listening to what you tell it to do, but the police in Bentonville believe that it can help with the case by telling them what it heard.

"Did anybody think when this was being created that information you gave to Alexis or you gave to the amazon echo would be used outside your home, and then be used to have you arrested for a crime you didn't commit?" asked Bates' defense attorney Kim Weber.

Amazon told WHO TV.com -- NBC News that it "will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us. Amazon objects to overbroad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course."

"When we give companies data, the big problem is not only how will it be used today, but how could it be combined with other data in the future and then used against us," remarked privacy expert Sullivan.

How it all plays out remains to be seen but based on the Echo and the hot water meter, it appears that your smart devices may be the best witnesses against you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and here is looking forward to a prosperous 2017 - From all of us at IOT Recruiting

IOT, Internet of Things, Home Automation, Amazon Echo

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Top IOT News for 2016

2016 will go down as being part of the golden era for the Internet of things. This last year has experienced incredible advancements like cars that drive themselves, and cities that actually smarter. It has also been a learning experience where major security breaches threatened us, but we worked past them, and ultimately built stronger systems. So what were some of the top stories of the year?

The first was the Mirari code. This historic attack utilized the internet of things to take down massive websites, through unsecure devices. Amazon, BBC, and other websites felt the crushing blow of this DDoS attack. When things settled down, there was still the concern of what could happen if another attack were to happen.

Our vehicles also experienced an upgrade in 2016. Several fleets of autonomous cars (or those that drive themselves) were unveiled. These cabs would provide the most effective driving experience for passengers and could cut down on accidents, and avoid delays in traffic. This means the future of getting to and from work will be incredible. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t gone off without a hitch the Tesla that was running on autopilot did already claim the life of one man who was in the vehicle as it drove in July.

Reactions were mixed this year in August when a pair of hackers revealed more security concerns for Jeep. While these individuals brought the information to the attention of the industry to help prevent a deadly encounter, it was still sobering for most to see just how dangerous these vehicles could be when connected to the internet of things. Fortunately, this information can be used to help establish a stronger set of code that makes it incredibly difficult for people to hack and to cause havoc on the roads.

But not everything has grey clouds over it this year. In Columbus, Ohio the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the city would receive federal funding to become a smart city. This technology would allow transportation to be more effective in the area and to ensure that the experience both residents and visitors is incredible.

This has been a year that has seen some definite improvement with the internet of things and what it can do. While the year is coming to an end, we still have 2017 to look forward to with the entire world of possibilities that it holds for us. 

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Expanding your IOT Horizon

DIY Applications that Could Expand the Reach and Mindshare of IoT

There are some in the IoT industry who see certain technologies as prohibitive, especially for the average user. There are a number of areas that are currently unserved by IoT technologies, sometimes due to a lack of innovation, and at other times due to there being a lack of network support in a particular geographic location.

With the increased penetration of 4G cellular coverage around the world, there is huge potential for DIY IoT services that are independent of any major branch of technology. Learning about the companies that are preparing niche devices can help you to expand your vision of what IoT is, and who it can benefit.

Here are three exciting areas that have already been embraced by the DIY IoT community.

Environmental Tracking for Agriculture

Agricultural operators could gain a lot from IoT sensors, and independent developer Mesur would like to provide the technology. This startup company creates simple sensor devices that can track atmospheric and environmental conditions to help with seeding and harvesting, allowing operators to minimize waste and increase crop yields. They also provide tailored analytical sensor software to benefit turf management, vineyard management, and even mining operations.

Private Car Telemetry Tracking

Telemetry tracking can be hugely beneficial when used for legal defense or during insurance claims. One driver who wanted to put the power of data in his own hands, went as far as creating a device that tracked his vehicle behavior, detecting speed, location, and acceleration/braking patterns. Using simple components like gyros, a GPS module, and a transmitter, individuals could create their own vehicle tracker with telemetry, and connect it to a cellular network for extensive urban and suburban coverage.

Plant Health Monitor for Home Gardeners

By combining a GSM connected microcontroller module from Particle, along with a temperature and moisture sensor, home DIY enthusiasts could create a simple device that tracks soil quality in home planters or gardens, letting them know when it’s time to get out and water the plants. With the Particle microcontroller, alerts can be sent via SMS, email, or to a mobile app. An electron 3G kit from Particle costs less than $70 USD, and as demand for DIY devices increases, these costs are likely to come down even further.

Using a Particle Microcontroller for Almost Any Application

Particle is one of the leading companies when it comes to home and small scale IoT development. Their electron IoT microcontroller kit can provide cellular service in virtually any country that has coverage, and the microcontroller can be used with multiple sensors for virtually any application. Whether a user wanted to create a GPS tracker for their vehicle, or a door sensor for their home, the Particle would be perfect for the job.

As other companies develop DIY-friendly kit sets and technologies, it is likely that the number of home-based IoT enthusiasts will increase, and devices like the Particle could even find their way into schools and tertiary education facilities, where they will inspire the next generation of IoT designers and innovators.

For more information on IOT please check out our new website at www.internetofthingsrecruiting.com - For Help with you next IOT Search Please click here for a Free Consultation : http://internetofthingsrecruiting.com/schedule-a-conference/


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IOT - Think Big - Start Small - Scale Quickly

Think Big, Start Small, Scale Quickly

There’s an old philosophy that business coaches often use. It’s the saying that you think big, start small, and then scale quickly. If you follow it closely, you have the potential to make a lasting impression in an industry and achieve actual results in the process.

Let’s look at this in terms of the internet of things to see how it pertains to this industry. The first thing we do is think big. This means to think about the transformation in the industry and how it will not only impact you, but others. With this, you’ll know what technology you need to be successful, and have the building blocks in place that others can come to you as they need your technology in order to operate more effectively.

Now that you understand the big picture, you can start small. Begin to work a process into the latest trends. Identify any weaknesses the competition has, and work to design and processes to help combat these weaknesses. Consider adjusting the structure and then release products that address these concerns. You can begin to gain attention as you do this, and others will follow your suit. Chances are, other technology companies will be willing to work with you to address their own internal concerns.

It’s at this point, you scale quickly. You begin to unroll solutions quickly, release prototypes, and aggressively work to be the leader in the industry. The goal at this time is to show you are on the cutting edge of things and to drive the process further harder. As you do this, make sure you keep looking at the future, especially since you know the direction you are taking trends and work on building from this. Even though you did start small, you have cornered a section of the market at the head. That way, people will keep looking to you in order to determine the future of things.

The thing to remember is that as long as you are innovative, and follow through with the process, there is no reason why you cannot succeed. Mobile technology has used this approach for years and it continues to propel the smart phone industry. With more devices headed toward total connectivity, it will pay to be the company who decides to start small and scale quickly, and unleash the new popular trends that will propel the internet of things into the future.

For another real-world example of this check out this post from Cisco/Jasper.

http://blog.jasper.com/real-iot-think-big-start-small-scale-fast/

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The Ramifications of Not Accepting Industry 4.0

In the last couple of years, Industry 4.0 has significantly affected manufacturing on a global scale. With a heavy focus on the Internet of Things, the use of smart machines and other devices has become a critical part of Industry 4.0. With new networks of intelligence on the horizon, there is no doubt that Industry 4.0 will continue to spread and prove to be a critical part of manufacturing.

While the benefits are explored time and time again, some may wonder what would happen if they don’t embrace this advanced technology. Early on, the biggest nuisance would be higher costs. Older machinery will continue to age and will eventually need to be replaced. Those who have embraced Industry 4.0 will find that their marginal costs decrease while production flows smoothly and effortlessly. This allows a higher output and fewer issues along the way.

There is also a greater risk of running out of product when you need it the most. Human error can make estimating the amount of raw product you need for a week difficult. When you utilize Industry 4.0 technology, you can keep track of everything in real time. Based on the speed of machines, and the amount of raw materials you have in stock, the system can analyze and predict what the output will continue to be, and how long until you run out of essential items. Since the system can be set up to handle the reordering process when it is low, and ensure you never run out of product. So those who don’t embrace it will not benefit from this.

Those who do not embrace it will find that they are unable to remain competitive in the changing market. With the technology, there is less waste of raw materials, better supply chains, and lower operating costs due to improved efficiency. Even product output levels increase, so those who accept and utilize Industry 4.0 are poised to succeed. Those who do not, will find themselves operating too slow and at too high a cost to obtain the highest number of customers possible. After all, buyer expectations are changing in today’s world and it is critical that you keep up with it.

When a problem occurs during the production process, there is also the ability to note any machinery issues that take place. If something breaks down, or if there is a misfire that could damage product, the system can stop at once. It will then alert maintenance of any concerns that exist so you are down for shorter periods of time, and you don’t face any surprises along the way.

As you can see, it is incredibly important to embrace Industry 4.0. Take the time to explore how you can best utilize it within your own company and avoid many of the unpleasant surprises that can take place if you push off the conversion process to “save money”.

For more information about IOT and Industry 4.0 visit our new website www.internetofthingsrecruiting.com - For Ideas/Help with you next IOT Search use this link : http://internetofthingsrecruiting.com/schedule-a-conference/

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Industry 4.0 and Manufacturing Processes

Industry 4.0 or, as it is also known the fourth industrial revolution is the trend that is currently coming into play of automating the manufacturing processes and the use of IoT and other technologies to make industrial processes more readily accomplished. It is working hand in hand with things like the internet of things, cloud computing and cyber-physical computing. 

Using Industry 4.0, we create what are called smart processes and smart computing.

According to Wikipedia, "Within the modular structured smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time, and via the Internet of Services, both internal and cross-organizational services are offered and used by participants of the value chain."

The term Industry 4.0 or fourth industrial revolution began in the German government with a project that they had created that was markedly high tech. It promoted computerized manufacturing and provided the reasons for that manufacturing to take place as well as how industry 4.0 would play out with other areas of manufacturing such as logistics and supply.

Industry 4.0 provides for changes in the way in which we work. It makes our work smarter and faster and in most cases will save a great deal of money for the factories and businesses which embrace it. For those that do not embrace the fourth industrial revolution, they will be hard pressed to keep up to those who have introduced smarter factories. Better manufacturing, better use of space and better safety results are just a few of the things that Industry 4.0 provides.

For those who embrace Industry 4.0 the results can be faster, better, more profitable results from their business. What's not to love about that.

This is the second in a series. To see # 1 in the series please use this link https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/0_1gNYYer-mY9IO8KGV50j_c?trk=prof-sm

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In 2016, many companies are using Industry 4.0 as a buzzword. This doesn’t mean that the old industry has been revolutionized into a new version. On the contrary, this is an extension of what has currently existed, with the dawn of the modern variation arriving about 2010 in Germany.

While the first reference to Industry 4.0 would not occur until 2011, the German Federal Ministry of Education and research began to explore the various trends that were taking place. They wanted to identify things in high level technology that could help to improve the world and boost technology. This would allow those seeking future employment in the industrial sector to have a simplified work experience while allowing us to do more in a fraction of the time.

By 2012, the Germans had collected a great deal of research and they used this information to hold the first presentation. As part of this presentation, they took the smart factory setting and began to showcase some of the potential that was there. This allowed potential customers and industry professionals to gain a deeper understanding of what all was possible. Now machines could almost think and react to real life situations in order to boost effectiveness and help to make the industry more incredible than ever before. The German government was thrilled with the results and they began to boost funding to the research in the hopes it would advance their country and help them to become a frontrunner during the Industrial Revolution.

Once the research was determined and there was an understanding that the internet was far more powerful than originally believed, the incorporation of information relay over the internet helped to further propel the internet of things, which was already gaining significant prominence in other countries at this time. Funding was not at a new high through Germany’s manufacturing industry and the invention of the process was solidifying. It was at this time that the Platform of Industry 4.0 was introduced. But it was still a ways from where we find Industry 4.0 today.

In 2014, companies outside of Germany began to step in. There was more virtulization and input from neighboring countries, so that effective work solutions could be created. Decentralization became a key component for the process, and ensuring that digital manufacturing would ultimately benefit from the new processing the most. This is the point where the internet of things became perfectly aligned with the industrial revolution and a sweet harmonious union was formed.

Further evolution occurred as new things began to appear thanks to the research and development that has taken place during the fourth industrial revolution. This includes advanced medical technology, effective cost saving mechanics for production plants and so much more. This is an exciting time in our world to be alive and witness the incredible changes that are taking place.

This is the 1st in a Series - be on the lookout for additional articles on this topic.

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The IOT / Big Data and Data Scientists

In recent years, two of the biggest topics of discussion when it comes to technology have been Big Data and the IOT (Internet of Things).On the off chance that all the hype has passed you by, the IOT is a rapidly expanding network of sensors that are internet connected and attached to a vast range of “things.” The internet connection can be either wireless or wired and the potential measurements that could be taken by the sensors are nearly endless. The “things” involved can be virtually any object, whether living or inanimate, to with a sensor can be attached or embedded. Anyone with a smartphone can, in effect, become a living IOT sensor and enables many routine, daily activities to be tracked and analyzed.

The Internet of Things and Big Data clearly have a very intimate connection because these billions of “things” that are internet connected will generate data in unimaginable amounts. The generation of this data alone however, won’t bring about industrial revolution, alter day to day living, or create earth saving technology. Big Data is characterized by what are known as the “four V’s”. They are: volume, variety, velocity, veracity. Putting it simply, the structured and unstructured data (variety) arrives in vast amounts (volume) at high speeds (velocity) and is of uncertain value (veracity). Data processing systems such as Apache’s Hadoop are helpful, but in some cases the human touch is needed. That is where data scientists enter the picture.

It has been speculated that the introduction of artificial intelligence would mean the end of the relatively new profession of data scientist, but that is far from being the case. Machines are being programmed to learn, but the applications of artificial intelligence are limited for the present. One example of the need for data scientists in the IOT, Big Data equation are autonomous vehicles. These vehicles are loaded with sensors that continuously transmit data that allows the vehicle to respond to its surroundings. Analyzing that data and programming the vehicle’s response to certain conditions requires a human with real driving experience.

With the sheer number of “things” that could potentially join the IOT, there will be much less actionable data involved than you might imagine. With data analysts, data scientists, and processing systems such as Hadoop however, the internet of things and Big Data have the potential to change society as we know it.

For More information check out our new website at www.internetofthingsrecruiting.com - or to schedule at call using our schedule link.. https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php? owner=11427493&appointmentType=468451

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Smarter Cities and The Internet of Things

Smarter Cities with The Internet of Things

Parking meters, information signs, CCTV, traffic signals – almost everywhere that you look in a modern city, there’s a microchip embedded device, connecting to what has now become known as the all-encompassing Internet of Things. Although we often overlook the fact, cities are, in essence, huge and complex businesses. Cities compete for residents, investors, tourists, and even funding from central government. For cities to remain relevant, they have to become smarter, leaner, and more connected. The IoT is helping the world’s largest cities to do this, and it’s all happening on a grand scale, and at a phenomenal rate.

According to Gartner Research, in this year alone, 5.5 million new ‘things’ are expected to become connected every day. From consumer devices like smartphones and fitness devices, to interactive flat panel displays and information kiosks, IoT is seeing huge adoption rates and staggering investment. Just over a year ago, an IDC FutureScape report predicted that local government bodies would represent up to a quarter of all government spending, specifically because of investment into the research and implementation of connected technologies.

Simple Ideas are Changing How Cities are Run

Looking at just a few of the innovative technologies from the last five years, it is possible to start developing a picture of what smart cities will look like within the next decade. Bitlock is an innovative technology that uses proximity keys to automatically activate or deactivate bike locks. At the same time, the system uses an owner’s smartphone to record the GPS location of the lock and bike. Such a system could be utilized on a large scale, such as in a bike sharing program in heavily congested cities. Private and government organizations could track bikes for better management, and they could even use the uploaded data to provide real time updates for bike availability, while also recording patterns of utilization.

Streetline is another smart city technology that shows great promise. Using networked parking sensors, Streetline can record parking availability in real time, and report to city officials and publicly available smartphone apps, simultaneously. The technology is in widespread use around Los Angeles, and as of May this year, over 490 million individual parking events had been recorded and reported using Streetline sensors. Studies have shown that smart parking systems can reduce peak parking congestion by up to 22%, and can reduce total traffic volume by 8%. With other technologies like IBM’s Intelligent Transportation Solutions, local governments could utilize devices to gather real time aggregated data which can be used to measure traffic volume, speed, and other metrics, which could be used to design better policy and city planning.

Opportunities for IoT Skilled Professionals

Innovative technologies like these are just the beginning of what is possible in a smart city. Emerging technologies have the potential to make major cities more functional and convenient for residents and visitors, and more manageable for government bodies. Even so, there are still challenges to overcome. Infrastructure is a major challenge, and cities will need to plan and implement high speed networks, as well as the servers that are necessary to support their sensors and other systems. Storage and processing needs will increase as IoT becomes more widespread, and security will need to become a major area of focus. Security is not just necessary to safeguard systems, but also to protect end user privacy and data.

It’s clear that smart technologies and IoT are the future of the world’s major cities. Which in turn means that experienced developers, operations professionals, engineers, and IT security specialists will be in high demand, with growing opportunities in the immediate future, and in the coming years.

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As the Internet of Things becomes more important for companies of all sizes, Information Technology professionals are beginning to seek out roles related to this growing niche. The Internet of Things is built on many of the technologies that professionals are already familiar with. Internet Protocol (IP) experts, hardware engineers, and even GUI designers could find themselves working on IoT projects in companies ranging from startups, to the technology giants that are driving the industry.

If one were to ask; “what kind of field do I need to be in to land a job in IoT?”, the answer would not be simple. IoT works on many layers. Software plays a key role in usability and functionality. Network layers are key to infrastructure, and hardware layers define the capabilities and development opportunities involved in any IoT system. Perhaps a better way to find out what is required of IoT professionals, would be to take information from some of the opportunities that are available in the job market right now.

Take Amazon as an example. Amazon AWS is the online retail giant’s cloud services arm. Cloud systems like Amazon S3 power some of the most widely adopted cloud computing systems in use today. To be considered for a role on a team working within AWS, the qualifications are no different to most IT development roles. A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, professional experience (4+ years is a must), fundamentals in object design, and programming proficiency in a contemporary programming language will at least ensure a candidate’s resume is looked at.

But this doesn’t paint the full picture. Businesses who engage in IoT technologies are businesses who are invested in the future. This means that they’re seeking forward thinking professionals. Meeting the requirements where it comes to academic achievement is only part of what it takes to make it in IoT.

Last year, Forbes published a number of articles on what it would take to make it in the growing IoT industry. According to Forbes, the necessary qualities go beyond academia, and incorporate more soft skills and innovative thought.

High on the list was associative thinking. Collaborators who can integrate varying strategies and concepts were also tipped to be in demand. Finally, professionals who can communicate complex ideas easily through speech, written word, and abstract methods were considered more likely to be successful in the IoT niche than those who were only proficient in their technical field.

Take a look at the job market on any given day, and you will find dozens of IoT related jobs advertised by high profile tech companies. The second quarter of 2015 has seen positions opening at Dell and IBM (Software Development), Verizon (IoT Product Management), and Accenture (IoT Delivery Consultants), to name just a few.

The reason these companies are hiring in IoT is simple; it is the next big thing. Technology firms like Dell and IBM have a vested interest. Their core products and services are built around delivering and facilitating IoT. With companies like Verizon and Accenture, it is more about preparing for the future. IoT will allow Verizon to better deliver the services that they already have. Customer billing and customer experience can be improved by incorporating IoT into the ways that customers can interact with the company, but there’s also the fact that Verizon is a cellular network leader. Their consumer and business devices (i.e. smartphones) are key to incorporating IoT into daily consumer life. Wireless payments, mobile banking, home automation, and sensor interaction can be achieved through smart devices from Verizon. The talent that these companies recruit will be actively involved in designing, maintaining, and delivering IoT in the immediate future.

Although IoT hasn’t completely changed the face of Information Technology, it has created new opportunities for jobseekers in the market. Existing professionals with transferable skills will find new challenges and progression opportunities within the Iot Job Market, and also in smaller companies that are incorporating IoT concepts into manufacturing, packing, logistics, and even medical.

International Data Corporation has predicted that IoT will be a $7 trillion industry by 2020. With growth as fast as it currently is, IoT job market is the perfect platform from where jobseekers can showcase their skills, and where companies can form relationships with the talented professionals who will take them into the future.

For more information please check out our website at

www.internetofthingsrecruiting.com or contact me directly at 303-337-7871

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When considering any new or emerging technology, it can be easy to immediately think of the potential implementation in developed markets. After all, these are the markets where consumers have high purchasing power, and businesses and governments have strong credit lines and funding options. Well, wouldn’t it be a surprise to learn that the developing world will likely be responsible for almost half of all revenue generated by IoT? This is exactly what a 2015 report from the International Telecommunication Union stated, and if you look at trends and innovation around the world, there is evidence that supports the prediction.

Industry Leaders Recognize the Value of IoT in Developing Markets

Take India as an example. Although it is one of the largest countries by area, and the second most populous in the world, it is still considered to be a developing country by leading economists. Even so, there are some areas where India is a leader in IoT. In 2015, IBM selected the Indian city of Vizag as a winner in their Smarter Cities Challenge. This city wants to improve its disaster preparedness and response programs through the use of IoT technologies, and with the help of IBM, the government will work towards implementing a sensor based utility grid, improve citywide electronic communications, and develop an emergency command center that uses historical data and machine sensors to better predict and respond to natural disasters.

This program has the potential to attract foreign investment, create jobs, and save lives.

Markets That are Ideal for IoT Investment

One reason why developing nations are prime for IoT investment is because many of them can make immediate use of IoT technologies for critical applications. In the gridlocked Philippine region of Metro Manila, government agencies are using connected machines to monitor traffic in real time and provide public alerts. The metropolitan area is served by a number of CCTV systems and sensors that can be accessed through APIs, allowing for news stations and privately developed smartphone apps to provide instant updates to the general public.

Safety is also an issue in many developing countries, and again, we can use Metro Manila as an example. The region’s widely utilized MRT rail lines are often overcrowded and sometimes dangerous. With connected technology, members of the public can already access the MRT security CCTV feeds from smartphones and web browsers, allowing them to view real time platform video to help plan their daily commutes.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages that developing countries have is that they are lacking in some areas of infrastructure. A developing city that now has the funds to invest in widespread water metering will have more incentive to use accurate and efficient machine driven meters. By contrast, a long developed city would have to weigh up the cost savings of an IoT based system, compared to the efficiency of their current metering system.

IoT Infrastructure Can Be Built on Existing Cellular Networks

Despite lack of infrastructure in some areas, LTE penetration is high in a number of developing economies, meaning that there is increased opportunity for bringing IoT services to corporations and the general public. India has LTE penetration throughout more than 50% of the population, which means that there is potential to connect more than half a billion people to the Internet of Things. China, which could be considered still developing in some provinces and cities, boasts LTE coverage across 76% of the mainland. That’s only two points behind the United States, and China has more than four times the population, allowing for massive opportunity in the consumer and public service IoT sectors.

While the developed world is no doubt leading in IoT innovation, developing countries will contribute significantly to revenue, adoption, and investment. With more than $6 trillion in worldwide IoT investment expected by 2020, developers and innovators cannot afford to ignore the world’s developing economies.

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What you need to Know about Bluetooth 5

What You Need to Know About Bluetooth 5

The rate of development in IoT is staggering. Not only are there millions of new devices entering the market every year, but there are numerous emerging technologies for wireless communications, especially those that focus on low power. Keeping track with all of the latest technologies can be difficult, even for industry professionals.

One upcoming technology that is going to be essential to IoT is Bluetooth 5. Promising more range and higher bandwidth, familiarizing yourself with this technology can offer a glimpse into one of the protocols that will power much of our wireless world in the near future.

Bluetooth 5 Requires new Hardware

In 2016, it should not be a complete surprise that a new wireless spec will also require new hardware. While newer Bluetooth 5 enabled devices will be backwards compatible, older devices will not comply with the new specification. This means that current generation devices won’t be able to take advantage of services that use the new specification exclusively.

The level of compatibility between new and old spec devices will depend entirely on developers. With literally billions of older Bluetooth devices around the world, it should be expected that developers will allow basic compatibility between new and old spec machines.

Even Better Battery Life

For some time now, Bluetooth has been well known as a low power network. For consumer devices like smartphones, headsets, and wireless input devices, this has allowed for tiny batteries and small form factor designs. While the Bluetooth Special Interests Group hasn’t specifically stated the power savings of the new spec, they have confirmed that it will use less than the previous generation’s low power mode. For isolated IoT sensors and machines, lower power draw is something that developers will appreciate.

Increased Speed

The current bluetooth spec is incapable of maintaining high bandwidth connections. With 5G fast approaching, and Wi-Fi that exists almost everywhere in developed areas, Bluetooth needed to bring an increased bandwidth solution. The new spec won’t disappoint, and will double the maximum bandwidth of version 4.2. For streaming media, the increase will be significant. Bluetooth should now be able to stream (in ideal conditions) HD video without interruption. Device to device data rates will be increased, and connectivity with Bluetooth beacons and kiosks could benefit from the improved capability.

Four Times the Range

Bluetooth has traditionally been used for machine to close machine communications and local area networks. While some IoT observers may have wished for Bluetooth to become more of a LPWAN solution, this will not be the case with version 5. However, range will be increased by up to 400%, which means better connectivity between devices, and fewer dropped packets in urban transmission. Anyone who has experienced stuttering with Bluetooth audio over distance will appreciate the new developments and (presumably) the new devices that will take advantage of them.

What does all this mean for the Internet of Things? Essentially, Bluetooth 5 promises to bring stronger connections with more bandwidth over longer distances. This could make private Bluetooth networks more viable for home automation, and may even replace Wi-Fi for network access in certain situations.

Ultimately, it will be up to developers to make the most of the new specification, which makes it an exciting addition to the options that innovators have for their future IoT services and devices.

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As with any new technology, businesses will need to find quantifiable benefits in the Internet of Things before the concept is embraced and implemented. It could be argued that connected devices are already being adopted on a wide scale: companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Qualcomm, IBM, and others already see IoT as a core part of their businesses. Even so, there are still some, especially small to medium sized businesses, that are weighing up the costs and benefits of ultra-connectivity in the world of the Internet of Things.

You do not have to dig deep to see why IoT is important. Business Insider's research division, BI Intelligence, has predicted that IoT will become the largest device market in the world over the next five years. Most analysts predict market value will reach in to the trillions, with possibly $7 trillion of total value by 2020. Any way you slice the pie, billions of dollars are on the table. These figures are promising for businesses directly involved in the manufacture and design of device services and hardware, but what about the companies that will purchase these technologies to incorporate them into operations?

Perhaps the single largest benefit will be in how Internet of Things devices can lower costs. The manufacturing sector provides an ideal case scenario. Machine to Machine (M2M) systems will allow for machinery to become more efficient, and more autonomous. Take a production line that was previously labor intensive. Sensors relying on IoT can receive orders, initiate fabrication, sign off work orders, and even package products using IoT, and with little human interaction. Even non-automated manufacturing will benefit. Orders can be taken from anywhere in the world, transferred through the cloud, and delivered to remote manufacturing facilities. These systems can collect valuable analytics that can benefit accounting, inventory management, and even resource procurement.

While this type of IoT will directly benefit businesses in manufacturing, it will also create new opportunities for project managers, engineers, and IT professionals who will be necessary in designing, implementing, and supporting these systems. It even creates the role of Chief Internet of Things Officer, the CIOTO, tasked with managing a network of connected systems, and connecting their efforts back to business goals.

Because IoT provides immediate data collection, businesses in all industries will benefit from improved decision making. Being able to analyze and distribute intelligence faster means that tedious data collection will be a thing of the past. Decisions can be made faster, and in some cases can be automated. What this spells for enterprise is, in essence, better decisions based on better data.

Hong Kong International Airport, and other mega-airports around the world, already rely on RFID technology to track luggage and freight throughout their sites. This enables luggage to be delivered by machine to the correct gate, the correct passenger carousel, or to the correct airliner, train, or delivery vehicle. Items are tracked via computer, and managed from a central control point. This reduces hands on management and labor costs. HKIA spent $50 million to develop the initial infrastructure, but widespread adoption of this IoT based technology could save the industry $760 million per year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Imagine how a similar system could benefit a SMB. Goods delivery could be RFID or barcode tracked on handheld scanners. This tracking information could be uploaded to a cloud solution, from where dispatchers, couriers, and clients could track the location and progress of a delivery. These are the kind of innovations that are driving IoT, and making it a necessary technology in a market where cost and efficiency is key, and where end users and consumers demand constant, easily accessible information.

The opportunities are there for businesses who adopt IoT today. The benefits exist whether they seek to improve manufacturing efficiency, streamline logistics processes, or even provide new ways for customers to interact and receive information. In the growing world of IoT, the question is not why should we care, but is rather, can you afford not to?

Please give us your feedback or share how the Internet of Things has touched your business below. 

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IOT and Assisted Living

IOT and Assisted Living

It is most likely the you have heard the term “internet of things” or IOT in regards to everyday things such as our televisions and phones. That is not however where this new innovation is going to end. There has been a lot of talk about the IOT stepping into the healthcare industry with things like connected healthcare.

Another area where we can expect to see the IOT playing a large role is in assisted living. It is no secret that people are living longer than we ever have before. It has even been said that the first person to see the age 150 has already been born. It should come as no surprise then that nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities are full to bursting with elderly people whom are healthy but incapable or afraid to live on their own. The IOT could help with this.

We are all familiar with products such as Life Alert that have been used to give seniors a sense of security in their own home. These types of things allowed seniors to remain in their homes longer than before. They are not perfect though. The fact is that the technology behind these types of monitoring devices is out dated. It relies on a live person being available 24/7 to respond to the individuals call for help. What happens when the person in question does not have the capability of triggering the monitoring device though? This is where the IOT can step in.

Recently engineers have developed sensors that can be placed discreetly throughout the home. These sensors then monitor the resident’s movements and activities throughout the day. These sensors rely not on a live person monitoring them, but on algorithms and programming that over time learn the normal habits of the person living in the home. They monitor things such as…

  • location of the resident within the home
  • light sources being used
  • bed time and awakening time
  • television watching
  • cooking
  • bathroom usage
  • leaving the home and returning
  • heating or air conditioning temperature and adjustments

Then in the case of an emergency or variations to that pattern that do not fit the normal activity within the home can notify family members or medical professionals.

Another development is something similar to that of Life Alert but more sophisticated. Wireless vital sign monitors. These devices can notify first responders of medical emergencies such as stroke, heart attack and a loss of consciousness without the person suffering having to do anything at all. Further they could notify patients of an issue well before it actually happens, such as notifying a heart patients doctor that their heartrate has been erratic over a period of time, thus indicating that further investigation may be needed. It is not hard to see that very soon we could see the IOT playing a large role in the lives of our seniors, or anyone that needs some form of assistance.  

 For more information about IOT and Healthcare please check out our new website  www.internetofthingsrecruiting.com 

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IoT and Your Utilities Services

The Internet of Things has progressed rapidly in the last decade, providing numerous benefits for consumers, industries, and even government organizations. As a consumer, it can be difficult to break through the noise to see the most important benefits of IoT, especially when the spotlight is often focused on entertainment and convenience services. One benefit of IoT that is sometimes underrepresented, is the ability for new technologies to increase the efficiency and reduce costs of utility services.

Data from the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative in Europe estimates that gross savings in a moderately sized smart city could be as much as 15% for water, 25% for waste management, and 50% for electrical lighting. Although these estimates might seem generous, they do reflect the optimism of other developed markets. As an example, data from the New Jersey Institute of Technology suggests that smart energy sensors could save the United States up to $1.2 billion dollars per year in the largest cities.

A Proven Case Study

The figures are exciting, but how exactly do they directly impact consumers? To answer this, we can look at how smart water sensors have benefitted residents in the city of Dubuque in Iowa, U.S.

In 2009, the city developed programs to introduce IoT connected sensors to consumer utility lines. Rather than traditional metering systems, residents and businesses were connected to smart meters that could automatically report data back to utility providers, allowing for real time usage monitoring and reporting. With the new meters, residents were better able to monitor their real time water usage and costs, which allowed for a 7% reduction in total water usage. The same system allowed for speedy detection of water leaks and flow problems, which were proactively monitored by the utility company. Because consumers had immediate access to their usage statistics, they could also identify leaks, faucets, or appliances in their homes that could be contributing to water waste. Considered a huge success, a similar system was adopted in the Australian city of Townsville, with similar positive results.

Considering this example of how IoT sensors have benefitted water utilities, it becomes easy to see how comparable systems could benefit electric and gas utilities. The savings aren’t just found from reducing usage and detecting leaks or faults, but also by reducing the cost of actually monitoring utility usage. Machine generated data can be interpreted by computers, eliminating the need for manual data interpretation. Meter reading at the service termination point also becomes unnecessary.

Wider Benefits that Integrate with Smart City Concepts

Using smart meters connected to the Internet of Things is clearly the future of utility metering, but there are still benefits beyond what has been discussed. With a smart city that proactively collects and interprets data, there are possibilities to improve utility infrastructure, identify trends, and plan utilities for new developments based on existing data.

Overall, the potential cost savings and benefits will far outweigh any investment that is made to modernize existing utility networks. Any city of significant size should be able to clearly measure the benefits of IoT, and the adoption rate of new technologies will serve the interests of both service providers, and the end of line consumers.

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What's on the Horizon for IoT and CCTV?

What’s on the Horizon for IoT and CCTV?

Smart devices are transforming the world that we live in, but is change always positive? When it comes to the internet of things (IoT), there are two strongly opposing viewpoints. Some see connected devices as a natural evolution of technology and the internet, with far reaching benefits for consumers, industry, and general business. There is also another viewpoint that sees IoT as too risky, too pervasive, and frighteningly unregulated.

The truth may be somewhere in the middle, although both viewpoints raise valid concerns and benefits. If designed and implemented correctly, IoT can increase efficiency, reduce cost, improve safety, and deliver convenience. However, without necessary attention to security and good judgement, IoT technologies can compromise privacy and sensitive data. When considering both viewpoints, it can help to look at a single technology group, such as CCTV cameras with internet connectivity.

The Benefits of Wireless CCTV Cameras

CCTV cameras and IoT can provide clear benefits over older systems. They can backup footage to local or cloud connected storage, which can then be made available for any user with internet access to the system. An embedded chip could also allow for live streaming so that monitoring can be performed off-site, without the need for wired infrastructure. This can reduce costs and improve convenience, while also shattering the old notion that monitoring requires a dedicated video room, staffed by full time employees. Smart cameras can even be configured to record and notify an elected group or individual when movement is detected. This essentially combines the functions of a video monitoring system and an intruder alarm, in a single technology.

With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why businesses and home users would be interested in a networked CCTV system, but when the risks are considered, connected cameras may become less appealing.

What are the Dangers of Current and Future Devices?

A CCTV system that is connected to the internet can theoretically be breached by any party, from anywhere in the world where there is internet access. Unauthorized access can mean that cameras could be disabled or hijacked to steal footage, potentially leaking sensitive trade or manufacturing information. In the case of domestic cameras, unauthorized access can open up the home to prying eyes. Not only can privacy be invaded, but criminals could potentially use cameras to track people’s movements and schedules to plan burglaries, home invasions, or other crimes.

What looks on paper to be a robust and futuristic security system, could just as easily be made to serve malicious parties, so what is the solution?

Security is Key

Like with most IoT devices, security will be the all-important layer that determines whether the benefits can be enjoyed without compromising privacy or increasing the risk of data theft. In commercial business and industry, there are typically more resources available to ensure that networks and devices are secured. Data transfer can be encrypted, and wireless and wired networks can be made safe through enterprise level firewalls and other safeguards. In the home, security is less likely to be effectively managed. Many home CCTV users may be ignorant to the needs of security, and may even be unaware of whether their home network and devices are secured.

This presents a significant challenge which should be addressed in two ways. Manufacturers and innovators have a responsibility to develop IoT systems that are secure by design, with safeguards in place to ensure that even user error cannot compromise the security of a system. At the same time, there needs to be a push to educate consumers (private and business) on the importance of security and the risks of poorly protected IoT devices like CCTV cameras. Government bodies can potentially strengthen security implementations and awareness through regulation and legislation.

With analysts expecting up to 50 billion embedded chip devices to be in use by 2020, it is essential that security and education challenges are met, so that IoT can reach its full potential without compromising the safety and security of organizations and users around the world.

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Connected Healthcare is Becoming Vital

How Connected Healthcare is Becoming Vital

There is one word that describes the direction that the health care industry is heading, “connectivity”. This catch all term is used to describe using the internet to increase the reach of medicine. This is also known as the internet of things (IOT) and it is nothing new. It is however relatively new to healthcare.

The goal of connected healthcare is to empower both the providers and patients. Using connectivity, a provider can make use of remote patient monitoring, and consultations without the need to be face to face. This may seem like a moot point to some, but it would enable doctors to reach patients that they have never been able to before. Connected healthcare would also allow things like our cell phones and tablets to send real time medical information to our healthcare providers.

Taking it a step further the aim is going to involve using medical data in news ways. Rather than your medical file sitting unused in a cabinet somewhere the aim of connected healthcare is to compile the data in a way that lets your healthcare provider identify areas in which your day to day life may need improvement. Using this data, you and your provider would then be able to create novel solutions to the issue.

The question still remains though, why is connected healthcare becoming vital? We just explained what it is and some of the benefits but where is the “need”?

It is quite simple; out healthcare network would resemble that of a spider web if we connected all of the facilities with string. You have your imaging done at the hospital, your bloodwork done at a lab and your general check-ups done at your doctor’s office. Then there are outpatient procedures, specialists and countless pharmacies. In days past the only thing that connected these medical facilities were phone and fax (or you transporting your paperwork), which was in no way ideal. The margin for error was simply too great. What’s more it could take days for results of testing or procedures to make it where they needed to go.

What connected healthcare is allowing us to do is use the internet to digitally transmit records, prescriptions, files and test results almost instantaneously. For some this may not seem necessary, the fact is however that our providers are dealing with more and more patients every single day. One example of this would be the fact that the workload of a medical secretary has nearly doubled in the last decade, and where more volume is added the risk of mistakes also increases. Using a digital method for transport will eliminate a lot of the potential for human error within our healthcare network.

That is truly only the start though. Using connected healthcare doctors, specialists, surgeons, imaging techs and pharmacists can all have access to the most up to date and accurate information about their patients. Undoubtedly this will come to benefit us all in ways we cannot even imagine.  

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Smarter Cities and How They Can Serve Humanity

Communications technology is progressing at a phenomenal rate, especially when it comes to wireless communications and the ever growing Internet of Things. While many observers and media outlets focus on the benefits of devices and how they will impact consumers, producers, and service providers, there are also huge benefits to be gained by modernizing cities, and progressing towards a smart city model.

A smart city is any city where technology is used to improve public services, safety, and efficiency, and the development of such cities will have major economic and social benefits for individuals and organizations within them.

Major Benefits of Emerging Smart Cities

While many of the consumer technologies in the IoT industry have focused on consumer convenience and entertainment, smart city technologies are aimed more at improving quality of life and providing economic advantages within urban areas.

Transportation

One major area of focus for smart city developers, is transportation. Smart city planning requires that transportation is completely integrated, with mass automation. Big data plays a significant role, as connected sensors record data ranging from traffic statistics, to public transport vehicle location, or even the number of pedestrians who are using a major controlled crossing at any time of the day. A smart city will collect this data to aid urban planning, making it easier for cities to plan new infrastructure.

A smart city can also better manage its transportation infrastructure in real time. Sensor data can help to reroute traffic using electronic road signs, or could automatically adjust signal light timing at major intersections, depending on real time congestion and traffic flow. Rather than urban planners reacting to accumulated data over long time periods, smart cities will have immediate access to sensor data which can be interpreted by machines almost immediately, allowing for traffic management changes to occur within minutes, rather than days or months.

Safety

Safety in large cities has always been a major concern, and a significant area of expenditure for governments. Smart traffic management aids road safety, but other areas of personal safety can also be improved with smart cities. Automation can control lighting in public areas, allowing for increased security. Sensors can alert public services when maintenance needs to be performed on street lighting and traffic signals, and data can be used to increase efficiency of maintenance schedules, resulting in cost savings for large cities. Public cameras can deter and detect crime, and sensors can be used to detect gas leaks, fires, or air quality risks in public spaces. With the integration of location beacons in emergency vehicles, fire, police, and ambulance services can better coordinate coverage in high risk areas, and respond to incidents with increased speed.

Utilities

The benefits even extend into utilities. Sensors on electrical lines can detect faults and control electricity flow in real time. Water lines can also be monitored by IoT connected sensors, allowing for the real time detection of leaks and flow problems. Advanced sensors can even test for water quality along mains. Sensors on gas lines will also increase safety and reduce waste from inefficiency. According to data from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, wide scale smart energy sensors could save the United States up to $1.2 billion dollars per year, and efficiency improvements with other utilities would only add to the potential savings.

Significant Advantages for Stakeholders and Residents

The worldwide smart city technology market is expected to be worth almost $30 billion within the next seven years, a figure that illustrates the huge level of interest from cities and their technology partners.

Smart cities are not just about reducing the costs and resource requirements of the cities themselves, because the benefits will be directly felt by all who live and work within these urban areas. Convenience and quality of life can be improved, and city savings may translate to reduced local rates and taxes, while allowing for increased investment into key infrastructure and public services.

What do you see as the future of smarter cities.   Please call if you would like to discuss and see how we see them unfolding   Click here for a free Consultation 

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Why is the IOT Catnip to Hackers ??

Why is the IOT Catnip to Hackers?

The latest developments in IoT security will protect the companies that use them from disastrous hacks

Rob Enderle writing in CIO Magazine May 20 about a new security certification for IOT products lauded the new offering and cited other measures that responsible IoT businesses must take to secure the future of their companies. His opinion piece couldn’t come at a better time.

Those of us watching the IOT “back door” swing open to hackers have been wondering how and when a product certification like this would become industry standard. Underwriter Laboratory’s Cybersecurity Assurance Program (CAP) just might work. But it’s only a start.

The three-level certification process, according to Enderle, will work fine as long as it’s subject to a “rigorous audit process.” However, he also agrees that using a remote network hub with security stopgaps in place (which is what most are doing now) won’t do a thing to protect wireless devices.

Where we are now, where we need to go

During the NXP/FTF Technology Forum 2016, a group of panelists was asked if the Internet of Things was secure yet. What do you think they answered? Yes, they said, no.

Here’s the rub—and the same thing that Enderle writes about: The connected devices in cars, homes, phones need to have specialty security hardware to stop many attacks. Another missing link, according to Global Business Development Manager Damon Kachur at Symantec, is the need to institute “a massive education process compelling security providers to educate consumers on how to operate their devices securely.”

Using cryptography, requiring several rounds of authentication per day, and manufacturers hiring hackers to break into their IoT devices before they put them on the assembly line—these were also solutions that Forum panelists came up with to secure the IoT.

Horror stories averted?

The stories with the highest profiles are those that see connected cars taken over and crashed; cell phones hijacked and set on fire; and that Target breach, when hackers stole credit cards from Target headquarters using the building’s HVAC systems to get in. What else do we need to do, besides work on certification processes and make sure that before we build the next IoT device, we’ve protected it from hackers?

It’s clear that businesses engaged in the IoT revolution need to make security “job one”. There are heartening signs that this indeed is the case. A recent Accenture paper on IOT security claimed that “businesses surveyed by the World Economic Forum identified cyber-attack vulnerabilities as their most important IoT concern.” And an article last month in Forbes reported that venture capitalists are now “following the money” to underwrite cybersecurity start-ups: “Boston-based Lux Research says investment in “cyberphysical” security startups rose 78% to $228 million in 2015, and will increase to $400 million this year. The report cites rapid adoption of IoT tech, with the potential threats it brings in the area of internet connectivity in cars, homes and factories.”

Businesses that are eager to make money on the IOT without being willing to spend the money on securing it will be increasingly prone to customer data breaches and other high-profile disasters that will close their doors—and slow the adoption of IoT devices—and spending—for years to come. Smart companies need to make an investment in securing their latest IoT game changing use-case or product-- or their customers and partners won’t want to make an investment in them.

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An Internet of Buildings (IoB) that really works and can’t be hacked?

The IOT holds great promise for nearly every aspect of society and, of course, is rife with business opportunity, as well. One of the most exciting opportunities on both fronts remains the opportunity to create connected buildings.

The U.S. Department of Energy poses the challenge in this way: “Buildings will no longer be passive objects that consume resources, but rather active participants engaged in the energy system and our community.”

What exactly is meant by “connected buildings” on a practical level? Some of these characteristics include:

  • Buildings are self-aware and continuously anticipate and adapt to changes in weather, time of day, occupant needs, and socioeconomics.
  • Buildings will transact with utilities (including electricity, gas, and water), local power sources, and other buildings to provide services that will benefit building owners, utility operators, and the entire community.
  • Buildings will minimize their life-cycle cost while meeting their objective functions through optimizing energy and water use, enhancing health and the productivity of occupants, contributing to a cleaner environment, and actively supporting better living.

Smart Buildings: A brief history

Most people don’t think of the first “smart” buildings and think of the lowly thermostat. However, that technology was really the first step toward a “self-aware” building. As you might imagine, other controls introduced during the early days of building management were of the order of the thermostat and managed manually. In the 1980s, many of these systems became digital and by the 1990s, Building Management Systems (BMS) might have been computerized, might have yielded reports that helped facilities manage resources better—however these systems were often fragmented.

From “Green Biz Insights” June 23, 2014

These challenges culminate today in the difficulty of creating open protocol for many different structures under different ownership. We are now seeing important efforts to that end by governments and businesses that collaborate together to forward the promise of smart buildings. These initiatives and the data they generate contribute to an interrelated web of information – a data-rich ecosystem that benefits both the structures’ occupants and the communities where they stand.

Just two short years ago, a Green Biz article proclaimed, “We are now in the era where big data technologies enable us to capture data from different sources, in diverse formats and with varying context. From being a catalyst, data is now becoming a driver of actions. Less human effort is required to manage even though the complexity around data has increased massively. We are essentially at the cusp of what we call the era of 'Internet of Buildings.' This will be the future age of Internet of Buildings, where we will see interoperability and seamless data interchange.”

So how far have we come?

The Present State of the IOB

According to an article in TechVibes, In February at the IBM InterConnect 2016, Siemens Building Technologies Division and IBM’s Watson IoT Business Unit  “announced cloud-based solutions that will leverage Siemens’ building expertise and IBM's Internet of Things capabilities to maximize the potential of connected buildings and the data they create, helping corporate real estate owners across multiple industries drive business results and meet energy efficiency goals.”

IBM's open standards-based Watson IoT Cloud platform can solve a lot of the open protocol issues that industry wonks were bemoaning in 2014. The move toward open standards platform integration in other cities and for other IoB initiatives will ensure that the “language” of connected buildings converges. Then, smart buildings can speak seamlessly among themselves in smart cities that protect resources and create additional opportunities for improving the lives of the people who live there. 

Keeping the IoB secure

Other solid news from the IoB front include government and industry partnerships to control the security risks inherent with the advent of “smart cities.” Entities as diverse as the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis, Stanford University’s Center for the Internet and Society, Drawbridge Technologies, IBM, and others in the public and private sectors have mustered efforts to institute changes. These ensure that “risk assessment methods and security measures (that) often don't scale well from the asset or system to the level of political jurisdictions” are adjusted to manage threats to smart buildings, and, by extension, smart cities.

A recent research report identified the threat of a “shadow” IoT” built right into several North American connected buildings that were managed by the same company:

“A survey of building automation system software by researchers at IBM X-Force found that the systems suffer from a range of security issues, from weak authentication and authorization controls.

“Administrative web interfaces used to provide remote access to the systems also are vulnerable to application based attacks and lack basic security controls,” said X-Force researcher Paul Ionescu.

In a “red team” exercise performed for the firm, the IBM researchers found they were able to compromise the company’s main monitoring and control server, which was used to manage several locations in North America. Ionescu told Security Ledger that the attack exploited a weakly secured DLink router that was used to link the building automation system to the Internet.”

In the same article, we learn that “the compromise of Target Stores in 2014 was linked to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems running within Target’s headquarters.” This incident made the papers when consumer credit cards were compromised; however few knew about the follow-up report blaming the BMS at headquarters. These public relations incidents have the capacity to make a public that is already leery of the “Big Brother” implications of having their house “watching them.”

As we enter the era of smart buildings and smart cities, it’s clear that IoB companies, in partnership with government, need to seek a common goal: Keep the IoB safe and keep working together to ensure that the IoB revolution lives up to its name—but does not include the infighting and disruption that has characterized non-techie revolutions across time.

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