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You might have probably heard about the artificial intelligence being developed by some big researchers around the world. The current period of era is also about creating technology that not only process faster, but also works efficiently just like the human brain.

The innovation in such technologies has given rise to cognitive computing, which nothing but another miracle innovative development by a human brain to let the machine learn just like human being. Recently, IBM with its new cognitive system called as IBM Watson have entered into the segment of artificial learning to make system that is capable of learning and understanding knowledge to interact with human in a more natural way.

The cognitive computing is a self-learning technology platform that uses data mining and pattern recognition to simulate itself in a way that human brain works. The system is intended to solve some complex affairs involving big data with the power of natural learning and language processing mechanism. Cognitive computing has been claimed to be a future of artificial intelligence which has numerous application in robotics and VR.

The initiative of IBM to expand the cognitive computing adoption has been followed by IBM collaboration with SoftBank in which both the organization is trying to bring the IBM Watson in Japan. The collaboration is intended to let the Watson learn how to communicate in Japanese, and to exploit its capabilities.


The system will be in the hand of some developers and technology enthusiastic working on AI to create new services and apps in Japan which will be powered by the Watson. Japan is the one of largest country in terms of technology that is going to give a head start in the expansion of adoption of cognitive computing system around the world.

On the basis of IBM study, the cognitive computing system is going to shape the future in three following ways:

Engagement
Working with cognitive computing system will open the space of expert assistance that is not possible when human works alone. The capability of system to have a vast and deep insight will play an important role in consuming wide range of structured as well as unstructured data and knowledge. The recent announcement of USAA regarding usage of IBM Watson as an engagement advisor to military has confirmed that these systems are capable of shaping the future of humans.

Decision
Cognitive computing system works purely on evidence by processing new data and information and analysing the outcome of the action. It is going to help humans in taking better decisions using the recommendation provided by the system. The thought process of this system is backed by the quantitative confidence score that will generate the result based on the merit after evaluation of several options.

Discovery
There are several unlocked data and information which may not be discovered by human ever in the future. The adoption of cognitive system will help in discovering new research in various fields like cancer research to the life better for humans. Human researcher’s brain takes decades to formulate one single research, but the cognitive computing system can process the same data with much faster speed and deep insight of the topic.

Cognitive computing system is an amazing opportunity in transforming several industries. It’s just a matter of time and everything around us will be machine based.

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Guest post by Toby McClean

In 2016 Microsoft, IBM, and AWS each made concerted efforts to extend their IoT platforms to the edge. The main reasons for this are economics, physics and legal. Using the terminology defined in this paper; the edge is the hubs and devices in the system. In this article, we focus on the analytics capabilities that extend to the edge.

Descriptive Analytics

A descriptive analytics capability will identify what is happening. Descriptive analytics can be as simple as providing an alert if a value exceeds a certain value.

The IBM Watson IoT Platform provides an environment for defining rules that run in the cloud or on a hub at the edge. IBM announced the capability as part of the Cisco partnership and recently made it generally available.

The recent AWS Greengrass announcement allows for AWS Lambda behavior to run on a hub. A descriptive analytic is written in one of the languages supported by AWS Lambda.

The Azure platform mentions edge analytics here, but it does not provide any specific tools or extensions to existing analytics capabilities to run edge analytics.

Diagnostic Analytics

Why is it happening? Diagnostic analytics can help to determine why an alert is triggered and whether it is relevant or not. Often organizations use diagnostic analytics they develop the models for predictive analytics.

None of the three platforms offers the ability to run diagnostic analytics models at the edge. With AWS Greengrass, in theory, a diagnostic model could be developed as a Lambda and run at the edge.

Predictive Analytics

What will happen? The most common use case of predictive analytics is predictive maintenance. More and more use cases are attempting to predict positive outcomes. For example, analyzing parts that come off a production line to predict those parts that do not need further testing.

The three platforms provide cloud-based services to build and execute predictive models. However, none of them provides the ability to provision and run the predictive model at the edge.

ADLINK, IBM, and Intel collaborated on enabling predictive maintenance and quality models to run on a hub at the edge. For more information see,

Analytics provisioning, configuration, and management

Being able to build analytics models is fine. But, there is a need to be able to push those models to the parts of the system where it makes the most sense to execute them. For this article, we are concerned with the ability to provision the gateways or things in the system.

Provisioning of descriptive analytics to the edge can be configured and managed from the Watson IoT Platform. AWS IoT is fully capable of provisioning of Lambdas from the AWS IoT cloud to hubs or things running AWS Greengrass. For Microsoft Azure IoT, the public documentation does not reveal anything on this aspect.

Conclusion

The article has made no attempt to make any specific recommendations about which platform is better. Its goal is to provide the reader with information in order to help them make an informed decision for their specific use case.

Hopefully, you find it useful and please leave comments and suggestions.

This article originally appeared here. Cover Photo: Tomas Havel

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I have to admit that I've been late to truly understanding blockchain. Blockchain is making inroads in the financial sector, but will also be an important part of the IoT.  I've been wanting to dive deep for a few months now but have never gotten around to it...until today. If you're like me, you have some technical depth, but blockchain and Bitcoin have been more buzzwords to know than technologies and tools that you truly grasp. You can change that today by watching these six videos.

Added bonus: all videos are less than 30 minutes in length!

What is Blockchain? <-- Two minute starter video put together by the World Economic Forum.

Security Implications of Non-Financial Uses of Blockchain Technology <-- Recorded at RSA Security Conference 2017, Dr. Tom Keenan gets it done in 10 minutes.

Genius of Things: Blockchain and Food Safety with IBM and Walmart  <-- Practical implications and use cases from two big names.

DisrupTV Featuring Steve Wilson, Constellation Research 2.10.17 <-- Great overview from a smart group of analysts. 

TED Talk: How the blockchain is changing money and business <-- by Don Tapscott

Blockchain 101 - A Visual Dem <-- This video by Anders Brownworth gets deeper and is a great primer for the mathematically inclined. Brownworth co-taught the blockchain class at MIT.

If you don't have time to watch the videos, but want the skinny right now, Constellation Research Analyst Steve Wilson breaks it down here in 500 words, with no graphics, and no analogies.

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IBM Update: IOT Transformation on Track?

There have been some interesting developments for Big Blue in the IOT space recently. Last time we reported on them, we were monitoring analysts’ worries about the semiconductor business and other divestures late last year. This year, it seems clear IBM is poised to create even more profitable opportunities in our IOT space. Let’s check in and see where they are.

Healthcare connectivity key to IOT growth

The healthcare giant, Pfizer, recently contracted with IBM to create IOT solutions for clinical trials. In a recent news article, the two have teamed up to create one of the first completely connected clinical trial environment for Pfizer’s Parkinson’s Disease medication.

For enterprise connectivity, Big Pharma has long turned to IBM for its enterprise software used in manufacturing, for finance and accounting and, of course, as an outsourced service desk delivery provider. The move to clinical uses of IBM expertise is not that much of a stretch—and cross-selling to this industry will get easier and easier as use cases -- such as the Parkinson’s trial -- gain traction.

In the meantime, to prepare for a 2019 launch of this experimental drug, Pfizer and IBM are setting up a “connected house” in Yorktown Heights, NY. About 200 people will live there, with IBM and Pfizer tracking them throughout their days (and, presumably) nights. This control group will help the team test the premise—and also will yield much valuable data for IBM to expand into similar uses for “connected houses.”

Stock recovering mightily- thanks to the Cloud

March saw IBM stock rebounding from lows late last year, largely due to a Morgan Stanley rating that took into account the company’s growth opportunities in the IOT. After experiencing fifteen months of declining revenue, it seems that March’s bounce-back reflects mostly IBM’s perceived power in the cloud.

“Although Amazon (AMZN) continues to lead overall in the cloud space, within the private and hybrid cloud space, IBM looks to be out front. Katy Huberty, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, believes that the market has, in fact, “underappreciated” IBM’s growth potential, as reflected by its share prices.”

The turnaround is related to IBM’s investment in “strategic imperatives… in cloud, analytics, mobile, social, and security technologies” with “IBM’s total cloud revenue (growing by) 57% on a year-over-year basis to $10.2 billion.” Analysts watching this movement will continue to upgrade the stock—and companies looking to invest in gamechanging cloud technologies to gain competitive advantage—will sit up and take notice, as well.

SAP partnership in Cloud computing allows companies to “dip a toe into the IOT”

When we talk about the IOT among ourselves, chances are we are operating from a set of assumptions that the general business community does not share. Everyone sees the opportunity. But some companies don’t have a clear path to leveraging it. Enter an IBM-SAP cloud partnership.

This partnership will allow businesses who want to “dip a toe” into IOT technologies continue to use classic, SAP enterprise infrastructure while introducing cloud-based services over time. The IOT investment might gain sign-off more quickly if the SAP-IBM partnership allows decision-makers to trust their providers more—and which companies are more ensconced in corporate IT than SAP and IBM?

“SAP’s collaboration with the 104-year-old tech giant appeals to established companies that have shied away from outsourcing operations or want use a combination of their own data centers and those in the cloud.”

First Quarter IOT Champs?

So what’s going to happen on April 18, when IBM is scheduled to report 1st Quarter earnings? That depends on who you talk to. Goldman Sachs is maintaining a neutral rating—and the stock is generally thought to be overvalued by about $3 to $10—once again, depending on who you talk to.

As we started out saying, IBM’s focus on healthcare is seen to be its “white knight” in this regard. Using its Watson capabilities, IBM is actively searching for hospital and pharmaceutical partners in oncology, in particular, to build a Watson-based information repository which will “deliver…quick access to the top-tier cancer care exclusive to MSK oncologists, enabling them to provide elite cancer treatment to their patients anywhere in the world.” Using Watson technologies to fine-tune offerings in the IOT, particularly in healthcare, seems to be IBM’s “ticket to ride” for IOT opportunities in the future.

Leveraging its global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT) in Munich, Germany will be key to IBM’s IOT momentum, as well. Their focus since the center opened in December of 2015 has been on “launching a series of new offerings, capabilities and ecosystem partners designed to extend the power of cognitive computing to the billions of connected devices, sensors and systems that comprise the IoT.” This strategy will play out to its fullest later this year and in the next five years, as the company solidifies its leadership role in the IOT space.

Stay tuned to these pages for more on the players in IOT, or give me a call with IOT recruiting needs. An IOT-enabled CIO responsible for M2M and manufacturing connectivity? Check out our latest article on the IOT-powered ride you’re in for in 2016.

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Notable IoT Announcements at CES 2016

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170,000 attendees from across the globe and 3,600 vendors gathered amongst 2.4 million net square feet of exhibit space debuting the latest products and services across the entire consumer tech ecosystem just concluded CES 2016.

It’s come a long way since spinning out of the Chicago Music show in 1967. Products that have debuted at CES include the videocassette recorder, the compact disc player, HDTV, Microsoft Xbox and smart appliances.

Each year there seems to be a new category in consumer electronics added to the mix. In 2015 the big buzzword was the Internet of Things and it’s weight carried over to 2016 with more than 1000 exhibitors unveiling IoT technologies. For a community like ours focused on the industrial side of the IoT, what does a consumer electronics show have to do with our world?

A lot actually.  

Here are the notable announcements from CES 2016:

 

WiFi HaLow

For industrial IoT heads this is probably the most notable announcement to come out of the show. The Wi-Fi Alliance® introduced a low power, long range standard dubbed Wi-Fi HaLow™ .

In the IoT space with billions of sensors to be placed everywhere, the industry is in need of a low power Wi-Fi solution. Wi-Fi HaLow will be a designation for products incorporating IEEE 802.11ah technology. Wi-Fi HaLow operates in frequency bands below one gigahertz, offering longer range, lower power connectivity to Wi-Fi certified products.

Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance said, “Wi-Fi HaLow is well suited to meet the unique needs of the Smart Home, Smart City, and industrial markets because of its ability to operate using very low power, penetrate through walls, and operate at significantly longer ranges than Wi-Fi today. Wi-Fi HaLow expands the unmatched versatility of Wi-Fi to enable applications from small, battery-operated wearable devices to large-scale industrial facility deployments – and everything in between.”

Many devices that support Wi-Fi HaLow are expected to operate in 2.4 and 5 GHz as well as 900 MHz, allowing devices to connect with Wi-Fi’s ecosystem of more than 6.8 billion installed devices. Like all Wi-Fi devices, HaLow devices will support IP-based connectivity to natively connect to the cloud, which will become increasingly important in reaching the full potential of the Internet of Things. Dense device deployments will also benefit from Wi-Fi HaLow’s ability to connect thousands of devices to a single access point.

The bad news? The Wi-Fi Alliance isn't planning on rolling out HaLow certifications until sometime in 2018, and even if it gets here, it might not be the de-facto standard. There are others vying for the crown.

 

AT&T

AT&T held a developer summit at the Palms Resort which was all about emerging technologies, products and services. A year ago, AT&T launched the M2X Data Service, a cloud-based data storage service for enterprise IoT developers. At CES they announced the commercial launch of Flow Designer, a cloud-based tool developed at the AT&T Foundry that lets IoT developers quickly build new applications. They also said that they are on track to have 50% of their software built on open source. They are working with OpenDaylight, OPNFV, ON.Lab, the Linux Foundation, OpenStack and others. Rachel King of ZDNet has an interview with AT&T President and & CEO Ralph de la Vega here.

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Ericsson

Ericsson and Verizon announced joint activities to further the development and deployment of cellular low-power wide-area (LPWA) networking for a diverse range of IoT applications. Ericsson introduced three IoT solutions for smart homes and cities:

  • Smart Metering as a Service puts consumers in control and enables utility companies to offer "smart" services to consumers in the future.

  • User & IoT Data Analytics enables controlled access and exposure of data from cellular and non-cellular devices and creates value through cross-industry offerings.

  • Networks Software 17A Diversifies Cellular for Massive IoT, supporting millions of IoT devices in one cell site, 90 percent reduced module cost, 10+ years battery life and 7-time cell coverage improvement.

 

IBM Watson

Last year, IBM announced a USD 3 Billion investment in Internet of Things, and in October, they announced plans to acquire The Weather Company, accelerating IBM's efforts in the IoT market that is expected to reach USD 1.7 trillion by 2020.

They furthered their commitment with five related IoT announcements at CES: Softbank, Whirpool, Under Armour, Pathway Genomics and Ford. What IBM does with Watson in the consumer space will carry over to the industrial space and vice versa. With the tremendous volumes of data from IoT, Watson’s advanced power of cognitive computing will be one way to exploit this new resource. Fortune’s Stacey Higginbotham has more here.

 

Intel

Lady GaGa aside, Intel made one announcement at CES which I think got through a lot clearer than Qualcomm’s 14 announcements! Rather than focus on technical aspects, Intel announced innovative technologies and collaborations aimed at delivering amazing experiences throughout daily life - which we often forget to do as we get enamored by the 1’s and 0’s. From unmanned aerial vehicles and wearables to new PCs and tablets, Intel made sure their chip was in it. On the industrial front was the DAQRI Smart Helmet, an augmented reality helmet for the industrial worker, powered by an Intel® Core™ M processor.

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Qualcomm

Qualcomm made a mind-boggling 14 announcements in the CES time frame. Probably the most interesting was the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X5 LTE modem (9x07). Qualcomm said the chip has multimode capability and supports LTE Category 4 download speeds up to 150 Mbps. It’s designed to be used in a range of mobile broadband applications and in IoT use cases that demand higher data rates.

 

Samsung

The President and CEO of Samsung Electronics, BK Yoon, delivered the opening keynote speech CES, calling for greater openness and collaboration across industries to unlock the infinite possibilities of the Internet of Things. Mr. Yoon announced a timetable for making Samsung technology IoT-enabled. By 2017, all Samsung televisions will be IoT devices, and in five years all Samsung hardware will be IoT-ready. He also emphasized the importance of developers in building IoT and announced that Samsung will invest more than USD 100 million in its developer community in 2015.

 

ZigBee Alliance

The ZigBee Alliance, a non-profit association of companies creating open, global standards that define the Internet of Things for use in consumer, commercial and industrial applications, announced that it is working with the Thread Group on an end-to-end solution for IP-based IoT networks. The solution will become part of the ZigBee Alliance’s comprehensive set of product development specifications, technologies, and branding and certification programs.

 

I’m sure there were many more industrial Internet of Things announcements. Let me know what I missed in the comments section below.




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IoT Big Swings

Last week Tom Davenport, a Distinguished Professor at Babson College, wrote about “GE’s Digital Big Swing” in the Wall Street Journal. As he cites in his latest piece, there are many others taking big swings in digital and IoT overall. (BTW - If you’re not following Tom, you really should do so now. His thoughts are a perfect mix of research and practice covering big data, analytics and changes in the digital landscape.)

During my time at Pivotal, I was witness to the digital big swing that GE took and saw the energy, effort and resources they were committing to make sure that whatever they made that could be connected to the Internet - jet engines, power plants, surgical image machines - would capture all data to improve products and the customer experience. I don’t think GE watchers - investors, competitors, partners - fully understand yet the enormity of this bet.

They keep making moves. This week the company announced the creation of GE Digital, a transformative move that brings together all of the digital capabilities from across the company into one organization.

Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, said, “As GE transforms itself to become the world’s premier digital industrial company, this will provide GE’s customers with the best industrial solutions and the software needed to solve real world problems. It will make GE a digital show site and grow our software and analytics enterprise from $6B in 2015 to a top 10 software company by 2020.”

GE, the industrial giant, a Top 10 software company? That’s taking GE’s slogan “Imagination at Work” and making it real.

Much like the cloud trend before it, the IoT trend is something where all major vendors are investing.

Yesterday at Salesforce’s behemoth customer conference Dreamforce, the company announced the Salesforce Internet of Things Cloud. Based on a home-grown data processing technology called Thunder, Salesforce touts their IoT Cloud as empowering businesses to connect data from the Internet of Things, as well as any digital content, with customer information, giving context to data and making it actionable—all in real-time.

With perhaps a nod of guilt to marketing hype, other notable big swings include:

  • IBM - The company has created an Internet of Things business unit and plans to spend $3 billion to grow its analytics capabilities so that organizations can benefit from the intelligence that connected devices can provide. According to IBM, as much as 90 percent of data that is generated by connected devices is never acted on or analyzed.

  • Cisco - Its approach focuses on six pillars for an IoT System - network connectivity, fog computing, security, data analytics, management and automation and an application enablement platform. You can buy all the pieces of the system from Cisco, of course.

  • Samsung - They are betting on openness and industry collaboration. By 2017, all Samsung televisions will be IoT devices, and in five years all Samsung hardware will be IoT-ready. They also recently open sourced IoT.js, a platform for IoT applications written in JavaScript, and JerryScript, a JavaScript engine for small, embedded devices.

  • Monsanto - Their near billion dollar purchase of The Climate Corporation is combining The Climate Corporation’s expertise in agriculture analytics and risk-management with Monsanto’s R&D capabilities, and will provide farmers access to more information about the many factors that affect the success of their crops.

In the wake of these giant big swings will be new and exciting startups - sensor companies, chip players, software, analytics and device makers. If you know of a compelling start-up in the industrial IOT space, drop me a line at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.




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