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Healthcare is undeniably one of the most important industries. The quality of medical treatment and patient care directly impact the quality of life. The integration of innovative technological solutions in the domain brings workflow automation, patient treatment, operation, and service improvement.

IoT plays a huge role in the healthcare. By 2020 the global IoT healthcare market is predicted to reach $163.24 billion. At the moment, 60% of healthcare providers have already adopted IoT applications and successfully use them in their work.

According to Aruba Networks research, healthcare organizations implement IoT applications mainly for patient monitoring and maintenance (73%) and remote operation and control (50%).

There is a wide range of IoT medical solutions effectively used by healthcare providers: wearables, smart pills, smart beds, biosensors, robots, glucose measurement devices, equipment monitoring devices, remote monitoring systems, RTHS (Real-time Health Systems), and more.

The connected hospital

There is a variety of IoT use cases for hospitals to integrate and make the environment totally connected. RFID and IoT-enabled devices, IoT-enabled assets and traditional IoT cross-industry applications including predictive maintenance of hospital assets, connected equipment, gathering real-time data, and tracking of healthcare devices. Going deeper there is robotics for routine tasks and complex operations.

Concerning examples, monitoring of medical equipment allows to track its “health”, predict, when some part will need replacement, alert about breaks, and automatically order repairs when required.

Beacons and motion sensors enable healthcare providers to track medical equipment, employees, and even patients in real-time, resulting in the improvement of patient care, right estimations of staff work efficiency and patient health status, and a lot more.

Speaking of connected patients, IoT technology can be successfully used for sending them automatic reminders about taking medication, health check-ups, and appointments with mobile applications. Thus, connected IoT hospitals result in more advanced data, enhanced patient treatment, cost savings, and workflow automation.

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The past decade witnessed the emergence of two of the most significant technologies- virtual reality and Internet of Things.

Virtual reality refers to the use of technology to counterfeit an environment where the digital world seems real. It aims to place the user inside an experience, consequently enabling them to interact with the 3D worlds. On the other hand, Internet of Things is all about making real-world objects connect and manipulate in the digital world.

While both these technologies work to bring augmented ease to our lives, it's the convergence of the two that offer the most promising opportunities. Becoming quickly enmeshed in the prevailing times, the two disruptive technologies have largely revolutionized the industrial platform.

The meeting point of the two technologies boasts of immense potential. Let’s understand this with some examples.

1) Telepresence

The encroachment of telepresence depicts the colossal potential of the confluence of IoT and VR. If we talk about a typical video conference, the system includes a monitor screen, sound system, and codec. You can add additional speakers or a projector screen to improve the video conference experience. However, with telepresence, it is not the same.

With an aim to extend near lifelike audio and video quality, telepresence leverages compound multi-codec, multi-monitor, and multi-speakers. It has successfully transformed the way we can communicate with others over long distances. It offers the ability to look and move freely within a real-world environment, giving the illusion of actually being present there.

Telepresence has efficaciously eliminated the time and financial constraints related to travel. Offering all the benefits of a face-to-face interaction, it has made long-distance meetings exceedingly convenient.

2) Virtual Smart Cities

An increasing number of cities around the world are looking to become “smart” in order to improve comfort, reduce costs and consumption of resources and augment the quality of life of its citizens. Consequently, for the concept to materialize, it is significant that Internet of Things along with its accessibility to public grows. This will enable adequate accurate data to be amassed in cities for analysis and forecasting.

Moving ahead, these cities need to be integrated into a well-controlled virtual environment. This will allow an accurate analysis of the prevailing city conditions as well as help in making predictions of the impending future scenario. Thus, any kind of risk or disaster can be effectively monitored to simulate its effects.

3) Healthcare

The union of VR and IoT technologies has greatly assisted the healthcare field by bringing improved ease to patients as well as doctors. A competent example of this is robotic-assisted surgery, which has been in use for quite some time now. Also known as da Vinci Surgical System, it allows the surgeons to perform a least invasive surgery. A camera along with a few tools is inserted into the body through a relatively small opening that allows the surgeon to get a full view of the operating area without exposing the patient to the ordeal of a large incision.

The system includes a 3D HD vision system and small wristed devices that revolve and bend much better than the human hand, thus enabling improved vision, control, and accuracy.

But, this is just the beginning. It is anticipated that VR surgeries will soon control real da Vinci systems, permitting surgeons to operate on patients while sitting in their offices.

Final Thoughts

Considering the potential of the two technologies, more and more companies are investing into the development of new applications of both virtual reality and internet of things and because of that, in past several years so many IoT App development companies has been evolved in the market. In the following year, it is predicted to see a growing number of integration of smart objects within virtual simulations, for purposes such as leisure, training, or damage prevention.

 

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The Internet of Things is now widely used in a wide array of business verticals like manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, and more. According to the latest research data, the number of IoT connected devices, which made up ~4,9 million things in 2015, reached the point of ~3,9 billion in 2016.

Concerning AR, Statista predicts at least three various scenarios of AR/VR growth, but they all forecast the economic impact amounting ~$29,5 billion in 2020. Having reached the decision of developing your own IoT or AR software, you need to get heads up about the pitfalls of starting this new business solution development.

Major AR and IoT solutions’ programming challenges.

Challenges may be divided into several categories: high-level business obstacles and application development problems along with the solution’s further maintenance and enhancement. The first group may include the following issues:

  • Unclear business benefits;
  • Insufficient funding;
  • A poor go-to-market strategy, and more;

While it’s quite clear how to avoid business-level problems, it’s also worth taking into account the challenges which arise during the software development process itself. The average IoT obstacles may include:

  • Infrastructure problems (devices, gateways, platforms);
  • Security concern;
  • Cross-platform compatibility;
  • Lack of support, and more.

AR development challenges encompass:

  • AR hardware;
  • Generated content;
  • Security issues, and more;

With reference to the latest Cisco’s survey, only 26% of IoT projects considered as successful by their developers, whereas more than 50% reach the jumping-off place at the strategy crafting stage. One of the key AR challenges is to correlate virtual data with the real environment, which can bring even a leading vendor to a screwjob. For this very reason, it’s critically important to have an idea of technology development nuances.

Nevertheless, the latest statistics on the number of the internet connected devices and the AR technology in various spheres shows that a business owner is a targeted consumer for the outputs. This gives extra room for the IoT and AR initiatives:

Statistics reveals the amount of investment made worldwide in IoT by sectors during 2015-2020.


Statistics shows AR technology’s market share by business spheres.

2 notable IoT/AR use cases

In the context of solving the task, below are the two living examples of successful solutions to take into account while initiating your own development project.

E.g.: IoT mobile app for smart buildings and yachts management:

The idea was to develop a highly customizable system allowing to manage numerous connected devices in smart buildings/yachts.

Challenge:

A necessity to run a proprietary protocol in remoteness from real devices.

Solution:

Multiple devices installed within a building/yacht were united into a single smart system. A proprietary text protocol which provided smooth communication between the user interface and the backend was applied for infrastructure visualization configuration, gateways, and IR-gateways communication. This permitted cutting down on customizing the part of UI for each client.

The developed IoT application allowed for managing a chain of devices, including surveillance cameras (change the angles, zoom in/out), lighting, media systems, smart locks, and more via an Android-based mobile app. This led to essential energy and budget economy. The product is now being enhanced by integrating more smart devices into the system. A similar solution may be implemented in any smart home, hotel, or yacht to introduce automation and analysis to the existing infrastructure.

E.g.: Equipment maintenance and service mobile app with augmented reality

The idea was to develop a mobile app compatible with numerous platforms, which would give a possibility to maintain complex industrial equipment single-handedly.

Challenge:

A necessity to ensure image recognition with absolute accuracy.

Solution:

To create a repair or service guide, a user takes a photo of the equipment as a first step. Then the image is processed by Metaio SDK, which is a basis for its further recognition by the app. The built-in image recognition helps to save on painstaking programming and therefore additional investments on the part of the user.

Afterward, each of the required equipment part scenes is supplied with a step-by-step guide by means of animated, drag-and-drop 3D objects, such as a nut, a screwdriver, etc. The system allows to include text information, as well as images and videos in the instructions. Finally, the app’s user gets the complete instructions by simply pointing the device’s camera at the equipment that needs repair. A similar solution may be applicable to any industrial enterprise, healthcare organization, or any other vertical which requires urgent fixes and updates.

The bottom line

Any AR and IoT application development challenges may be addressed with a well-thought-out plan for development, implementation, and further maintenance and enhancement. The quantity of IoT and AR applications is skyrocketing and the above examples are a living proof of the system’s effectiveness in different business spheres.

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The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs

A few days before Christmas holidays, I received an email from a customer that said “... I want to tell you that I have really appreciated your help, your professional approach and your “human touch”: they are as important as knowledge is …”.

Moved by the Christmas spirit that surround us these days, made me change my priorities of publishing the next articles and I decided to dedicate a few lines to what I consider a very important issue: What is the human touch value of the CEOs in the IoT?

I do not intend to convert this article into an analysis of the types of CEOs, or a list of the best CEOs of IoT companies (for that there will be time). 

My objective today is in making IoT´s CEOs aware, especially those of large multinationals, of their responsibility to print a human touch on their actions and decisions. Not only will the stability and quality of work of millions of people depend on them, but also the conservation of our planet in favourable conditions for future generations.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to save the World

Global Warming is very real.  Even if greenhouse gas concentrations stabilized today, the planet would continue to warm by about 0.6°C over the next century because of greenhouses gases already in the atmosphere. Its effects are already so visible that no one doubts its catastrophic consequences.

We know that the IoT can help in many ways to monitor and control Global Warning, and there are many great stories of how companies are making use of IoT technology to help save water, money … and the planet. 

In  the article “3 ways businesses can use the internet of things to save the environment“, Jayraj Nair - Global Head of IoT, Vice President Wipro-, suggest  a few steps that business leaders could take to lessen the effects of these barriers and set their companies on the right path to become champions of a more sustainable and connected future.

1.       Emphasize digital citizenship and individual responsibility

2.       Share knowledge and resources across departments

3.       Collaborate to create guidelines for tech development

We should reward those IoT´s CEOs who follow the slogan “ We develop the IoT that Save the World!..

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to build ethic AI

When I wrote  “Internet of Things – Kings and Servants” I gave great importance to the CEOs visionaries of the companies that were destined to change the world of the 21st century. CEOs like Sundar Pichai (Google) or Satya Nadella (Microsoft) have been responsible from conceptual shift for their companies, moving from “mobile strategy” to “cloud and artificial intelligence”.

Could we avoid psychopath and sociopath robots? CEOs of the Tech Giants companies need to influence in developers of AI the human touch. We do not want to live with fear surrounding by not ethic AI machines and robots. 

IoT´s CEOs involved in Artificial Intelligence must believe that machines and robots will help us to be better people. They need to boost the challenge in our future society and make sure that their Robots and Artificial Intelligence not only pursue productivity and profit but also other values eg justice, opportunity, freedom, compassion.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to ensure democracy

We cannot conceive democracy today without the free use of technology. Technology, on the other hand, that is more difficult to control by citizens. Is it possible to democratize the technology, not only the Internet of Things? Could we avoid that a handful of companies come to dominate the Technology? and therefore our Democracies.

The temptation of the power is great in the IoT´s CEOs of the companies that manipulate huge amount of data of the people, of the intelligent devices at their whim.

I thought at some point that the Countries could prevent the creation of these monsters, but their powers already transcend the States. I fear that the fight of egos, in the heights in which these CEOs live, give priority to the Highlander philosophy "Only one can be left!" And drag the dormant democracies for their technology into the vacuum of complacency.

Today more than ever, we need CEOs with a human touch that ensures the health of our democracies.

The Human touch of IoT´s CEOs to ensure equality of job opportunities

Which IoT companies have a culture that allow dissent between the CEOs and the employees? IoT´s CEOs need to understand that people are not going to do what they want them to do unless I engender equal commitment and passion on their part.

I have worked for many years in different technology companies, and I have regrettably proved that their business cultures, far from differentiating themselves, are more and more similar.

We all know cases of companies, including those of IoT, that abuse salaries of interns or inexperienced employees, but the problem of overqualification when applying to a new job is no less true. Many of us have heard numerous times: Sorry, you are overqualified. Not sure I can manage you.

I am convinced that a human touch on the part of the CEOs would help to correct these endemic problems of the current business culture. What are you waiting for?

The Human touch of CEOs to ensure a dignified life for the elderly

I was wondering a few years ago with the Smart Cities hype, How will be our life as retired workers in the Smart Cities we are building?.

In light of what I'm seeing, there are currently not many IoT´s CEOs that are worrying about the elderly. Of course, because, they consume less, they produce less, they do not understand the technology created for millennials or the digital native, the generations that is going to change the world.

Considering that all IoT´s CEOs, or at least that's what I want, will also be older people, a human touch in the investment of technology for the elderly will now make their lives more dignified in a few years.

Summary

In a time where digital premium on the physical, where business results are required not every quarter, but every day, in a time of robots, cryptocurrencies, virtual reality it is not easy to be a CEO with human touch. But to save the World, to make sure we build ethical AI, to ensure democracy in the technology, to ensure equality of job opportunities, to ensure a dignified life for the elderly, we need their human touch.

 

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With Internet of Things (IoT) progressively taking its strong hold in the industrial sector, let us find out how companies are making the most of it.  

Back in 2014, a report issued by the top management consultant company, Accenture predicted that by 2020 investment in the Industrial IoT would reach around $500 billion.  A combination of powerful data processing, cheap sensors, and machine learning has allowed the companies the leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) in industrial sector to make their industrial processes more efficient and significantly smarter than ever. 

Nowhere is IoT leveraged more so than in the rail industry, which is one of the most lucrative and profit-driven industries all over the world.  Previously rail operators would only be able to fix any problem that had visibly broken, however with the advent of IoT in industrial sector, the province of predictive maintenance has enabled operators to identify and fix any issue before services need to be stopped for the time being.  Today, it is increasingly common for all the other industries allowing companies to monitor and analyze data generated from the IoT devices, and if any changes found in data, companies can accurately predict future performance issues.  

Smarter Transportation 

It comes as no surprise that capturing, monitoring and analyzing of big data can provide industrial companies with a host of advantages. You might know that French rail provider SNCF is the biggest company that is trying to leverage big data in industrial IoT. They have started working on several projects that aim to capitalize on big data to achieve a number of things, including:  

• Predict maintenance requirements more accurately

• Integrate data from across the organization

• Improving visibility of asset health

• Reduce instances of unscheduled maintenance 

Smart Maintenance  

Smart maintenance has already shown itself in various early case studies on how to use data to make management of networks more efficient and smarter. For example, a Finnish company Sharper Shape has been using drones to map utility networks. They are leveraging big data, IoT and machine learning to identify those trees that are at high risk of falling onto the power lines. In an interview, the CEO of Finnish company Sharper Shape, Tero Heinonen said that using drones instead of humans to identify the trees that are at high risk of falling onto the power lines can cut costs by up to 30%. Moreover, drones can perform this task faster than humans.  

With the kind of predictive maintenance and monitoring programs discussed in this blog post, we can say that network faults will become a thing of the past. Don’t you think so? However, if you also want to be a part industrial IoT, learn IoT Training and Analytics online from a reputed institute. 

With Internet of Things (IoT) progressively taking its strong hold in the industrial sector, let us find out how companies are making the most of it.  

 

Back in 2014, a report issued by the top management consultant company, Accenture predicted that by 2020 investment in the Industrial IoT would reach around $500 billion.  A combination of powerful data processing, cheap sensors, and machine learning has allowed the companies the leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) in industrial sector to make their industrial processes more efficient and significantly smarter than ever.

Nowhere is IoT leveraged more so than in the rail industry, which is one of the most lucrative and profit-driven industries all over the world.  Previously rail operators would only be able to fix any problem that had visibly broken, however with the advent of IoT in industrial sector, the province of predictive maintenance has enabled operators to identify and fix any issue before services need to be stopped for the time being.  Today, it is increasingly common for all the other industries allowing companies to monitor and analyze data generated from the IoT devices, and if any changes found in data, companies can accurately predict future performance issues.  

Smarter Transportation

It comes as no surprise that capturing, monitoring and analyzing of big data can provide industrial companies with a host of advantages. You might know that French rail provider SNCF is the biggest company that is trying to leverage big data in industrial IoT. They have started working on several projects that aim to capitalize on big data to achieve a number of things, including:  

·         Predict maintenance requirements more accurately

·         Integrate data from across the organization

·         Improving visibility of asset health

·         Reduce instances of unscheduled maintenance

Smart Maintenance  

 

Smart maintenance has already shown itself in various early case studies on how to use data to make management of networks more efficient and smarter. For example, a Finnish company Sharper Shape has been using drones to map utility networks. They are leveraging big data, IoT and machine learning to identify those trees that are at high risk of falling onto the power lines. In an interview, the CEO of Finnish company Sharper Shape, Tero Heinonen said that using drones instead of humans to identify the trees that are at high risk of falling onto the power lines can cut costs by up to 30%. Moreover, drones can perform this task faster than humans.  

 

With the kind of predictive maintenance and monitoring programs discussed in this blog post, we can say that network faults will become a thing of the past. Don’t you think so? However, if you also want to be a part industrial IoT, learn IoT Training and Analytics online from a reputed institute. 

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What if a modern office could live on its own? What if it became an ecosystem that could function clearly, without any extra controls, providing all that is needed to support work activities? Sounds too perfect, doesn’t it? However, here we are going to consider the office of the future and focus attention on crucial issues that the IoT office is able to solve.

A Few Words about Smart Office Forecast

According to MarketsandMarkets research, smart offices will be a driver of tangible growth. The current smart office market is valued at USD 22.21 bln, with this expected to reach USD 46.11 bln by 2023. This means there will be a strong demand for IoT programmers in this area.

The Internet of Things is gradually immersing all spheres of life. Smart cities, Smart homes, Smart vehicles – it is reaching almost every system in which we need to control components remotely and/or implement their interaction. The Smart office is no exception. While we can currently see a bold border between these various just-emerging technologies, in the future the border is likely to disappear and several related smart areas will merge in a whole global IoT concept combining all existing similar systems – smart cars, smart homes, smart buildings, smart offices, smart infrastructure, smart cities... In other words, when speaking about the direction of IoT in one area, we touch on other areas because all of these mutually link to each other. The result is a common impact. A Smart lock is adopted by Smart buildings in Smart cities. A Smart car merges with a Smart home at the technological level.

Having said and recognized this, what however will the Smart office look like?

The smart corporate reality already exists, and advanced tech-savvy owners have endorsed the idea of intelligent digital workplaces responsive to the needs of the staff. Currently though the technology is still driven by human capabilities and market demand – it may take up to 20 years for the Smart office to have evolved and deployed enough to be a common illustration of the ideal future work space.

The Internet of Me, or IoT in HR

A human in the context of the system – a player in the context of the team. The Smart office concept can be considered in terms of it being an item in a community involved in a closed system that is designed to provide what is needed for efficient work. We can start treating the IoT system through ‘The Internet of Me’ approach.

Popular HR editor Steve Boese has discussed his vision of HR innovations. In his opinion, the Internet of Me takes the IoT concept a step further by integrating increasingly personalized products and services into corporate culture. Thus, in the same manner that a group of people begins from a single person, such a personalized approach will find the best way to create an efficient management system. If we keep track of following issues that Smart office technology resolves, we’ll see that each issue is a problem for every employee, and we therefore see that the main mission of the IoT office is to help the employee to do their work smoothly, to easily incorporate separate employees into a solid team, and to take control of and facilitate working and personal needs in the office.

What challenges will Smart office solve?

Speaking generally, IoT allows us to automate all office activities, including parts of the workflow to deliver more efficient work results and the work environment to form the conditions and the highly-equipped workspace where an employee has all they need at hand. Any network system consisting of some items integrated as with each other or directly with processing equipment can be considered as a future IoT system. So, we need to manage this network of objects to:

  • reduce the time we spend for fulfilling any tasks;
  • evenly spread actions and tasks to avoid over- and underloading;
  • reasonably spend energy resources to reduce financial ones;
  • automate all the things to simplify system management.

IoT office solutions can serve employees as well as employers. In the Smart office context, implementation of IoT technologies can not only speed-up workflows but cover the most topical business issues. Let’s consider them.

1. An intelligent environment to make convenient conditions for work

The Smart environment provides the capabilities of a smart building. For example, the organization of an office can include automation of electric lighting and work equipment, an intelligent security system (biometric and remotely-controlled locks), smart counters to collect statistics on electricity consumption, office microclimate specifications and differences, checking of the water supply, ensuring sufficient household and office supplies, and smart support for staff requests.

When an employee enters the room, sensors identify the visitor via motion sensors or other access controllers and send signals to the lighting system and all equipment inside the room to be switched on. Lighting, computers, conditioners, air-humidifiers all start working at levels pre-set for the employee’s comfort.

On one hand, the Internet of Me works because all the conditions are changed to be favorable for the employee. From the business perspective, the intelligent environment is beneficial for employers because its usage considerably reduces office maintenance and ongoing costs.

Challenges:

  • monitoring humidity, temperature, air quality, illuminance;
  • maintaining comfortable office environment;
  • sensor monitoring and automatic device control;
  • lighting failure analysis and replacement notification;
  • roller blinds control;
  • blocking standby power (reduction of power consumption).

To provide such operations, the room is equipped with sensors that detect the environmental status and devices such as air-cleaners, air-conditioners, humidifiers, lighting wall switchers, and smart plugs, which execute programmed commands according to various scenarios:

  • turn on the office lighting based on information regarding the beginning of working hours and motion detector readings; 
  • gathering the temperature and humidity information in the office;
  • when the temperature is high, air-conditioners are automatically turned on;
  • when humidity is low, humidifiers are automatically turned on;
  • when equipment is turned off, smart plugs are also turned off to block standby power;
  • when the lighting in the office fails, the IoT system sends the administrator information about failure and turns on lighting from an extra generator if this is provided (in the case of a power cut).

2. Smart reception service to automate meeting visitors

The smart reception desk helps to unite in-house office life with some activities from outside. If we recently had a receptionist who met visitors, in case of automated reception service, it could work in the following way – a customer uses the wallpad to call the necessary employee, and the IP camera sends the employee a notification and a recorded image of the person waiting for him.

Challenges:

  • easy calling service and searching for an employee;
  • notification of customer visit to employee’s smartphone;
  • customer identification through the camera image.

3. Smart meeting rooms

This works well in big companies of 200 persons and over. In this case, visiting a colleague can be difficult – finding a mutually convenient time and place, for example. However, the inner smart meeting system organizes all arrangements and discussions to avoid over-loading them when things are busy or under-loading when things are calm.

The smart meeting system can have several connected devices and software to provide all opportunities. Firstly, it is a web or mobile service to enable preparations for the upcoming meetings, and secondly, it is a service for remote control of devices. For example, you can customize your presentation remotely through a projector in advance, and coming to the smart meeting room, you can control the whole demonstration through your smartphone.

We should also mention that using AR and VR technologies at the junction of the IoT office can massively expand the opportunities for remote meetings – especially when thinking about very long distances.

Challenges:

  • automated convenient booking system for meeting rooms;
  • email request to attend a meeting;
  • push notifications of meeting attendance; 
  • distribution an email of meeting minute;
  • auto mode function (presentation start, complete);
  • broadcasting to employees’ smartphones and possibility to join the meeting online.

4. Smart security zone

Security inside the office can also be smart. It’s not just the outside wall that needs to be secure for many offices. The system is outfitted with door sensors, IP cameras, motion sensors, smart alarm integrators and others, providing fully-automated control of every action in the office during the day, when staff are working inside, and at night, when all people have left the office. We can treat security in general, but overall it means more ways of control, enabling control over employees’ actions to avoid information leakage and intervention against insiders. A separate direction is the use of smart locks, smart cameras, smart tracking software, etc.

Challenges:

  • intrusion detection and notification;
  • real-time camera images;
  • video recording;
  • smart locks status and remote control.

5. Smart space management service

Speaking about smart office opportunities, we shouldn’t forget about the personal necessities for employees. One example concerns the automation of restrooms and kitchens. The employee can use connected devices when – for example – going to get a coffee and relax in the lounge zone: the system will tell him before he goes there how many people are there and whether the zone has free spaces for him.

Challenges:

  • occupancy checking using Smartphone;
  • real-time update of occupancy information.

To sum up the smart office opportunity, we see that there are many corporate scenarios where IoT can make a difference to the enabling of business activities, rather than spending resources on redundant actions. This is the main idea of IoT development as a whole: the technology helps to make a system efficient, reducing all expenditure and increasing its potential.

Photo Credit: Tayloright

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Can the Public Internet Secure Our Digital Assets?

There is a lot of talk, and, indeed, hype, these days about the internet of things. But what is often overlooked is that the internet of things is also an internet of shared services and shared data. What’s more, we are becoming too heavily reliant on public internet connectivity to underpin innovative new services.

Take this as an example. Back in April, Ford Motor Company, Starbucks and Amazon announced and demonstrated an alliance that would allow a consumer to use Alexa to order and pay for their usual coffee selection from their car. Simply saying, “Alexa: ask Starbucks to start my order,” would trigger the sequence of events required to enable you to drive to the pickup point and collect your already-paid-for coffee with no waiting in line.

Making that transaction happen behind the scenes involves a complex integration of the business processes of all the companies involved. Let’s be clear: this is about data protection. For this series of transactions to be successfully handled, they must be able to share customer payment data, manage identity and authentication, and match personal accounts to customer profiles.

Because all of that critical data can be manipulated, changed or stolen, cyberattacks pose significant data protection risks for nearly any entity anywhere. The ambition of some of these consumer innovations makes an assumption that the “secure” network underpinning this ecosystem for the transfer of all that valuable personal data is the public internet. And that’s the point – it’s not secure.

As we’ve talked about previously on Syniverse's blog Synergy, the public internet poses a systemic risk to businesses and to confidential data. In short, when we are dealing on a large scale with highly sensitive data, the level of protection available today for data that, at any point, touches the public internet is substantially inadequate.

And this alliance between Ford and Starbucks is just one example of the type of innovation, across many different industry and consumer sectors, that we can expect to see a lot of in the very near future. These services will connect organizations that are sharing data and information about businesses and about consumers – about their purchase history, their preferences and requirements, and also about their likely future needs. This is potentially a very convenient and desired service from a consumer’s point of view, but at what cost?

We need security of connectivity, security from outside interference and the security of encrypted transfer and protection for our personal and financial data. And we need to be able to verify the protection of that data at all times by ensuring attribution and identity – both concepts we’ll explore more deeply in an upcoming blog post. And that’s a level of security that the public internet simply cannot provide.

Last month, an internet-based global ransomware attack took down systems and services all over the world – affecting sensitive personal healthcare data in the U.K. in particular.

Whether it is personal health records, financial records, data about the movement of freight in a supply chain, or variations in energy production and consumption, these are digital assets. Businesses, institutions and government bodies all over the world have billions of digital assets that must be constantly sent to and from different parties. And those assets require the type of high-level data protection that is not currently possible because of the systemic risk posed by the insecure public internet.

As mentioned in my last blog post on Synergy, there is an alternative. Some companies using private IP networks were able to carry on regardless throughout the high-profile cyberattacks that have been capturing headlines in the last year. That’s because those companies were not reliant on the public internet. Instead, they were all using what we are beginning to term “Triple-A” networks on which you can specify the speed and capacity of your Access to the network while guaranteeing the Availability of your connection. What’s more, on a Triple-A network, Attribution is securely controlled, so you know who and what is accessing your network and the level of authority granted both to the device accessing the network and to its user.

The public internet cannot provide or compete with a Triple-A level of security, and nor should we expect it to. It cannot live up to the stringent data protection requirements necessary for today’s critical digital assets. We cannot remain content that so much infrastructure, from banking, to transport and to power supplies, relies on a network with so many known vulnerabilities. And we must consider whether we want to carry on developing an industrial internet of things and consumer services on a public network.

We will continue to explore these issues on this blog, to highlight different approaches, and examine the requirements of the secure networks of the future. And in the process, we’ll take a look at the work being done to build more networks with a Triple-A approach.

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Have We Already Bored of Predicting IoT?

If you have read my post “Will finally be 2017, the year of Internet of Things? I do not think so.” you will have confirmed there were some analysts and companies who guessed and others who did not hit the bullseye.

As usual, numerous predictions about the Internet of Things (IoT) appear at the end of the year, some with foundation, others by interests and others by opportunism. Although I notice a certain fatigue this year perhaps due to the appearance of other cooler technologies or very likely to the lack of success and few differences from previous predictions. 

It may also be the last time I write an IoT prediction article.

Let's start by reviewing some of the 2017 predictions.

Successes and failures of IoT 2017 predictions

Sorry Morgan Stanley but 2017 has not been The Year Of Internet Of Things however is true that there is less hype around IoT.

Yes Forrester, we continue worried that there will be a large-scale IoT security breach.

As not many large IoT projects in 2017, the role of System Integrators has not been as important as IDC predicted.

Have you seen, Analysys Mason, key developments in LPWA technologies, connected cars and smart cities?

Who now, MachNation if Internet of Things platform revenue grow 116% in 2017. There are only financial numbers but we all agree with Sandhill that still many doubts how “Choose your platform.

It is true Forbes “The Internet of Things (IoT) is still a popular buzzword, but adoption will continue to be slow.” 

I have to say that Judith Hurwitz and Associates, were right that the growth will be in industrial sector rather than the consumer sector.

Hard to fail if you consider what Moor Insights & Strategy predicted: IoT is still in its infancy in terms of dollars and deployments, and that can’t last much longer, before market frustration sets in

Brave, ADLINK and FreeWave Technologies, Inc predicted that Edge computing will become a mainstream term for IIoT. 

Internet of Things Institute - “Recruiting Will Remain a Challenge for Organizations with IoT Initiatives” and sorry Teradata not many companies looking for Internet of Things architect role.

Tier-1 operators in the US and Europe happy with Northstream because IoT revenues contributing up to 3% of total revenue in 2017. 

Telefonica IoT and Cisco Jasper trusted that LPWA expansion to harness the growing IoT.

What will be of IoT in 2018?

According with Ericsson, in 2018, mobile phones are expected to be surpassed in numbers by IoT devices.

It seems that 2018 will be the year when AI and IoT will converge. But it will also be the year in which the CIOs will be busy integrating device management into overall IT infrastructure in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the organization. This is where the adoption of application robots, natural language processing (NLP) and AI automation of processes will come into their own, offering intelligent management of IoT deployments cheaply and efficiently. 

However, 2018 will not be the year of Blockchain and the IoT, because although Blockchain-based IoT adoption rises to 5%, Blockchain is not yet ready for large scale deployments requiring reliability, stability and seamless integration with existing technology infrastructure. But promising pilot projects are beginning to emerge and the maturation of IoT and blockchain technologies and products will drive blockchain adoption in 2018.

To reinforce the ongoing investment across the industry Gartner’s Strategic Trends for 2018 back up the focus on IoT with Intelligent Things, Digital Twins and Cloud to the Edge all making the list for the coming year. 

On the other hand, Forrester affirms that finally 2018 will be the year in which the Internet of Things moves from "experimentation to business scale". Forrester also predicts that IoT platform offerings will begin to specialize in “design” and “operate” scenarios.

Punctual to his annual appointment, IDC makes its Worldwide IoT 2018 Predictions. 

One more year, Citrix leading thinkers also share their predictions.

A small  startup, Imagimob considers 6 trends in the IoT and Industrial IoT-IIOT in 2018. As you can imagine Low Power Area Networks (LPWAN), Edge computing, AI on the edge and Blockchain are included.

IoT Security repeat predictions in 2018. Forrester in the same line predict More cyber threats and design specialization.

Fog Computing, Security, and Smarter Decisions are IoT Predictions for 2018 by Saar Yoskovitz, CEO of Augury, a preventive maintenance company.

The State of IoT In 2018 for Marketers: We’re going to experience a massive increase in the number of digitally connected devices, changing the game for marketers across the globe.

IoT 2018 – the next stage: the IoT of integration, value and action

IoT Will Move From Experimentation To Business Scale - 

5 IoT trends that will define 2018 - In 2018, IoT-based ventures will have greater access to startup capital and be taken more seriously in the market. 

Only one wish for IoT 2018 from my side

In spite, I am not in this list of 17 Experts Tell The Most Exciting IoT Trends to Watch for in 2018, I have a wish for 2018: 

“I hope that in 2018, all proofs of concept become successful projects and that the most innovative startups resist the temptation to be acquired." 

Thanks, in advance for your Likes and Shares.

 

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An Open and Dangerous Place

Let’s just say it: The public internet is great, but it’s an unfit, wide-open place to try to conduct confidential business.

More and more, the public nature of the internet is causing business and government leaders to lose sleep. The global ransomware attacks this year that crippled infrastructure and businesses across Europe clearly shows the concern is not only justified but also growing.

As a result, internet and privacy regulations, like GDPR and PSD2, are front and center as governments around the world increasingly look at the web and how it’s being used. This is creating competing and contradictory objectives.

On the one hand, governments want to protect consumer privacy and data; on the other, they want to be able to monitor what certain folks are up to on the internet. And in both cases, they can at least claim to be looking to protect people.

Regardless of the difficulty of the task, there is no doubt the big governments are circling and considering their options.

Speaking in Mexico in June, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel touted the need for global digital rules, like those that exist for financial markets, and that those rules need to be enforceable through bodies like the World Trade Organization.

From a business perspective, I can applaud the ambition, but it does seem a little like trying to control the uncontrollable. The truth is that the public internet has come to resemble the old Wild West. It is an increasingly dangerous place to do business, with more than its fair share of rustlers, hustlers, and bandits to keep at bay.

The public internet connects the world and nearly all its citizens. When it comes to connecting businesses, national infrastructures, and governments themselves, trying to regulate the Wild West of the public internet simply isn’t an option. Instead, it’s time to take a step back and look for something different.

We believe organizations that want to conduct business, transfer data, monitor equipment and control operations globally – with certainty, security and privacy – should not be relying on the public internet. The sheer number of access points and endpoints creates an attack surface that is simply too wide to protect, especially with the increased trending of fog and edge networks that we’ve discussed on previous Syniverse blog posts.

Just last week, the online gaming store CEX was hacked. In an instant, around two million customers found their personal information and financial data had been exposed. Consumers in America, the U.K. and Australia are among those affected. As I said, the public internet presents an ever-widening attack surface.

Recently on the Syniverse blog, we’ve been talking about the need to develop private, closed networks where businesses, national utilities and governments can truly control not just access, but activity. Networks that are always on and ones where the owners always know who is on them and what they are doing. Networks that are private and built for an exact purpose, not public and adaptable.

Trying to apply or bolt on rules, regulations and security processes after the fact is never the best approach.  Especially if you are trying to apply them to a service that is omnipresent and open to anybody 24/7.

When we look at the public internet, we see fake actors, state actors, hackers and fraudsters roaming relatively freely. We see an environment where the efforts to police that state might raise as many issues as they solve.

Instead, it’s time for global businesses to build a new world. It’s time to leave the old Wild West and settle somewhere safer. It’s time to circle the wagons around a network built for purpose. That is the future.

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Embedded systems have become part and parcel of electronic equipment such as mobile phones, routers, modems, washing machines, microwave ovens, remote controls, RFID tags, PDAs, etc. They are low power consumption units that are used to perform some specific function of the device. For example, embedded systems are used in home automation with wired or wireless networking to control or regulate lights, security devices, sensors, audio/visual systems, sense climate change, monitoring etc. They are also used as networked thermostats in HVAC systems i.e. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems. Furthermore, in the coming years embedded systems will be the mainstay for the deployment of many IoT solutions, especially within Industrial IoT applications. The leading players in embedded systems are engaged in hardware and software development, and are looking forward to bringing these transformations into their products to take advantage of the thriving IoT market.

The chief areas which are going to be transformed are microcontrollers, microprocessors and Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS), followed by networking and memory devices, open source communities and developers. By 2020, humongous growth will be seen in the market for embedded systems. It is predicted that the market will grow with a CAGR of 22.5% to reach $226 billion by then. On the other hand, IoT will bring up a host of challenges for developers of embedded systems, as they need to develop devices which allow flawless and uninterrupted connectivity. To assist them meet the challenges posed by the internet of things, a real-time operating system (RTOS) must be designed that delivers flawless connectivity, scalability, modularity, and safety. 

What does internet of things, IoT mean for an embedded developer?

As the internet of things, IoT solutions are present across several industries, it gives a wonderful opportunity for embedded system developers too. For an embedded developer, it’s not all about linking multiple devices to the internet. There is much more than just connecting devices to the internet. Internet of things (IoT) for embedded systems is more about gathering, monitoring, and analyzing large amounts of disparate data from different sources and summarizing it into useful and actionable information to enhance the way services and devices are being used today.  

Hope you find this post helpful. If you did, share it with your colleagues and friends. For any query related to this post and career in IoT, you can comment down below. 

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The current political events in Barcelona provide us with a barely-needed reminder that we live in changing times.  I was in the city as part of the Trustonic team exhibiting at IoT Solutions World Congress last week and took some time to speak with fellow vendors. I soon saw some fantastic product demonstrations that drew my attention - I wanted to learn more. Frequently though, the response to: “This looks great - how is it secured? How do we know the data is trustworthy?” was a puzzled look and a “It uses our cloud and we secure that” or “It runs on a secure OS”.  Sometimes the response was worse: “It’s a closed network. You couldn’t attack it”.

It didn’t fill me with confidence. Everyone has a secure solution, it seems. But how do we know that it’s secure? Who has validated it? The questions and the perplexed looks continued. I slept uneasily.

I don’t want to criticise the IoT solutions that I saw – they were interesting and point to an exciting future for us all. Unfortunately, securing these solutions isn’t exciting and probably won’t draw a crowd to your stand. It’s rare to see ground-breaking security solutions making the news – consumers just expect it these days. Of course, you can expect a media frenzy if you’re breached. There have been some horrifying examples already and we are still in the early days of this industry. IoT solutions need to be secure by design – or, to put it another way, the components of the solution must already be secure when they are deployed. With the headache (and tedium) of security taken care of, the industry would be free to innovate and dream up even more exciting products.

I was showing an IoT security demo built on a Samsung ARTIK board, which already has Trustonic TEE technology embedded. It showed an IoT device connecting to Amazon Web Services (AWS), cryptographically proving itself to be secure and having a trusted identity, thus enabling it to become automatically registered on the system. Perhaps not as exciting as an IoT boat or sports bike sharing data in real time, but it demonstrated that, by embedding a truly secure OS (one that’s Common Criteria certified and FIPS-140-2 approved) combined with a Root of Trust installed in the factory (think of this like a digital birthmark), an IoT device can be trusted pretty much automatically. Once you have an inherently trusted device, you can be confident that data from its sensors is also trustworthy.

Shakespeare wrote “Love all, trust a few”. So, love all the cool and exciting IoT products – but only trust the few which are truly secure.

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A recent study by Cisco suggests that 75% of IoT initiatives will fail. However, there is growing pressure to invest in IoT. Ensuring the success of enterprise IoT initiatives is definitely not easy given technology immaturity, culture obstacles as well as well as the challenges of traditional organizational structure. So put the odds of success back into your favor using a customer-centric, integrated team (IT) philosophy.
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Why Edge Computing Is an IIoT Requirement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s Next

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

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

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

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

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

What is an IoT Platform?

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

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

Considerations In Choosing The Right IoT Platform

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

#1 Bandwidth

#2 Scalability

#3 Protocol

#4 Security

#5 System Performance

#6 Redundancy and Disaster Recovery

#7 Interoperability

#8 Edge Intelligence 

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

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

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

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Believe it or not, but the possibilities that the Internet of Things, IoT brings to the table are countless. The internet of things, IoT continues to be the next big thing in technology, and now the new phase of the internet of things is pushing everyone hard to ask questions about the data collected by sensors and devices of IoT.  

Undoubtedly, the internet of things, IoT will generate a tsunami of data, with the swift expansion of sensors and devices connected to the IoT. The sheer volume of data being produced by the internet of things will rise exponentially in the upcoming years. This generated data can provide extremely valuable insight to figure out what’s working well and what’s not. Moreover, the internet of things, IoT, will point out the issues that often arise and provide meaningful and actionable insight into new business opportunities and potential risks as correlations and associations are made. 

Examples of IoT Data:  

  • Data that improves productivity of industries through predictive maintenance of equipment and machinery 
  • Data that assists smart cities in predicting crime rates and accidents   
  • Data that creates truly smart living homes with connected devices    
  • Data that provides doctors real-time insight into information from biochips to pacemakers 
  • Data that gives critical communication between self-driven automobiles          

That’s great news, but it’s not possible for humans to monitor, analyze and understand all of this data using traditional methods. Even if they reduce the sample size, it will simply consume too much of their time.  Undoubtedly, finding actionable insights in terabytes of machine data is not a cakewalk, just ask a data scientist. The biggest challenge is to find ways to analyze the deluge of performance data and information that the internet of things, IoT devices creates. The only possible way to keep up with the terabytes of data generated by IoT devices and sensors and gain the hidden insights that it holds is using Artificial Intelligence, commonly known as AI.  

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IoT    

Artificial intelligence, also known as machine intelligence (MI) is the intelligence that is exhibited by machines or software. John McCarthy, the person who coined this terminology back in 1955, describes it as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines". In a nutshell, AI is a branch of computer science that emphasizes the creation of an intelligent machine that thinks intelligently, the way intelligent humans think and works and reacts like humans.   

In an IoT environment, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can aid business enterprises take the billions of data points they have and prune them down to what’s really helpful and actionable. The general principle is akin to that in retail applications i.e. review and analyze the data you have collected from different sources to find out similarities or patterns, so that better business decisions can be made.  

To be able to figure out the potential risks or problems, the collected data has to be analyzed in terms of what’s normal and what’s not. Abnormalities, correlations, and similarities need to be identified based on the real-time streams of data generated. The collected data combined with Artificial Intelligence makes life easier with predictive analytics, intelligent automation, and proactive intervention. 

Artificial Intelligence in IoT Applications  

  • New sensors will enable computers and smart devices to “hear,” gather sonic information about the user’s ambience   
  • Visual big data will allow computers and smart devices to gain a deeper insight of images on the screen, with the new AI app that understands the context of images

These are some of the promising applications of Artificial Intelligence in the internet of things, IoT ecosystem. The potential for highly personalized services are countless and will dramatically change the way people live. For example, Amazon.com can suggest what other books and movies you may like, helping Saavn and Gaana to determine what other songs you may love listening, and your family doctor would receive notification if you’re not feeling comfortable.  

Here Are Some Challenges Facing AI in IoT

  • Artificial Stupidity
  • Complexity
  • Safety
  • Ethical and legal Issues
  • Compatibility
  • Privacy/Security 

What’s Next? 

Gartner has predicted that by the end of next year, 6 billion connected devices will be requesting support, which means that processes, technologies, and strategies will have to be in place to respond to them. It is important to think of connected devices less as ‘things’, but more as customers or consumers of services in themselves. The need for Artificial intelligence, AI will become more prominent at the stage when the number of connected devices and sensors increase manifold.

Hope you find this post helpful. If you did, share it with your friends and colleagues. For AI and IoT Courses Online, you can do some research on Google to find the best institute that suits your needs and budget.

For any query related to this post, you can comment down below. Thanks for your time. 

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Save IoT, Save The World

When looking for a title for this article, I remembered the famous phrase from TV serie Heroes, "Save the cheerleader,  Save the world". Sorry if one more time I abuse of shocking headlines to attract more readers. 

Is the Internet of Thing (IoT) in danger? In light of the latest events I have attended in Berlin and London and news like this "Intel To Amputate Three Modules For Internet Of Things, Including Joule", I really believe  IoT is falling into the Gartner´s Trough of Disillusionment phase  and we need IoT heroes to push it faster towards the Plateau of Productivity phase.

The other part of the article's title, "Save the World," may sound pretentious, but the world need to be save. This year hot spring and summer is confirming even the most disbelieving that Global Warming is very real (Read more at " Global Warming, Christmas and the Internet of Things" and in spite I do not consider that only IoT can save our blue planet, per recent events like "Portugal forest fire", IoT can help and much.

If we cannot control runaway pollution of our air and water, the world will end

Source: Ron Lake, Technology Evangelist at Galdos Systems Inc.

Let's go by parts.

Has the Interest in IoT Slowed Down?  Some Symptoms

The IoT no longer fills single events. Now events like Internet of Things World Europe 2017 or IoT Tech Expo Europe in Berlin need help from other technologies like AR/VR AI, Blockchain, or 5G to attract exhibitors and visitors.

The heroes of IoT have lost their past evangelizing enthusiasm. What IoT heroes need to do?

  • The IoT Industry heroes need to focus on Customer Value. It is important that IoT heroes address real pain points rather than creating something gimmicky.
  • IoT Heroes can not do it alone, partnership with other heroes are absolutely essential for success in the Internet of Things.
  • IoT heroes need to be more creative with new Use Cases. As sensors continue to decrease in cost and IoT-specific networks get rolled out, everybody expect the number of use cases to increase exponentially.
  • Raise awareness about the major concern, IoT Security
  • IoT heroes should follow the trends by pairing connectivity with AI/Blockchain/AR/VR heroes

How can IoT save us from world challenges?

Gary Atkinson, Director of Emerging Technologies at ARM, identifies five main challenges that the planet is heading towards:

1.       We’re running out of agricultural land

2.       Water is our rarest commodity

3.       Energy needs to be cheaper to be efficient. 

4.       Healthcare is a growing problem

5.       Transport - Everyone will be able to afford cars, but won’t be able to afford to pay for fuel.

Save IoT, Save Agricultural land

If we all expect that IoT Agricultural solutions will be cheap, will have a long-lasting battery (+10 years), and will emit signals at least 5 miles, the smart farming will be a reality and we will not have excuses to save agricultural land.

Additional info:

Save IoT, Save the Water

Water is currently the most precious natural resource on planet Earth.

On the occasion of World Water Day, tech giant IBM entered into a pact with Ireland’s Dublin City University for a collaborative R&D pilot to leverage the internet of things (IoT) technology to help protect water.

The IoT could for instance make desalinisation coming to a cost-effectiveness point. India uses mostly a pivot irrigation system, which means 30% of land is lost and 50 to 60% of water is lost by evaporation. The switch to tape based irrigation could save 2/3 of the water used.

Back in 2014, HydroPoint Data Systems utilised the Internet of Things (IoT) to help with water conservation efforts. According to the company and its partners, this system saved local people some $137m in expenses and 15 billion gallons of water in the first year alone.

Additional info:

Save IoT, Make Energy renewable and cheaper

Smarter, more efficient energy consumption it’s been the dream of environmentalists for decades. Now, it’s possible through the power of Internet of Things devices. Because of their connection capabilities, energy consumption such as the power in a commercial building or even smart home can be constantly monitored and adjusted.

Energy consumption could be reduced thanks to a smarter consumption and the implementation of micro generation storage. Knowing that lightning is the second biggest consumer of energy (after motors), and that there are about 1 billion streetlights in the world, upgrading streetlights infrastructure would strongly impact the world consumption.

Experts said that thanks to the Internet of Things, we can move from about 13 percent aggregate energy efficiency to 40 percent in the next 25 to 30 years.

Creating a new connected economy powered by renewable energy will cause a temporary surge in productivity worldwide as grids are modernized and infrastructure is rolled out. Installing wind and solar is labor intensive, for example, so for two generations, people will have plenty of work to do.

Additional info:

IoT company SkyGrid which is based in Melbourne and Sydney, is developing a smart hot-water system in partnership with hot-water company Quantum Energy. The aim is to intelligently control when a building’s hot-water systems are switched on, so that energy isn’t wasted heating water when no one is around to use it – something that currently wastes as much as 50% of a system’s power.

  • EnLight works on streetlight efficiency
  • Freestyle has partnered with engineering firm PowerTec, on an intelligent energy grid for Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Sensors and controllers in the grid intelligently manage energy sources to sway energy consumption towards renewables without sacrificing the reliability of the supply.
  • Top 10 Internet of Things Companies Disrupting the Energy Industry -
    • PingThings is combining big data and machine learning to change the way that state utility grids operate.
    • Actility employs IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication to reinvent the way the energy sector operates.
    • Tibber is a personal assistant that can regulate a house’s energy consumption and buy more energy if the need arises.
    • Wattz is implementing solar power solutions that rely not on the sun’s light, but capturing ambient light from LED and compact fluorescent bulbs to recharge the batteries in IoT devices.
    • Positive Energy uses IoT devices and software to optimize the functional efficiency of industrial buildings and smart homes alike. 
    • Smappee allows users to turn devices on and off remotely. It also has the capability to monitor solar panel output values and gas and water usage in real-time.
    • GasZen allows customers to convert their traditional “dumb,” or non-networked, propane tanks into smart tanks that can be monitored by both the gas provider and the user remotely. 
    • 75Farenheit, beyond their ability to predict and adapt to changing climates, they offer analytics and suggestions on how to make the operation of a building more efficient.
    • Inspire Energy is giving citizens the power to become a part of the growing clean energy movement.
    • Verdigris Technologies primary target is energy consumption and waste.

Save IoT, Save Healthcare

Despite incredible improvements in health since 1950, there are still a number of challenges, which should have been easy to solve.

In a 2016 report by Deloitte we can read “Change is the new normal for the global health care sector. As providers, payers, governments, and other stakeholders strive to deliver effective, efficient, and equitable care, they do so in an ecosystem that is undergoing a dramatic and fundamental shift in business, clinical, and operating models. This shift is being fueled by aging and growing populations; the proliferation of chronic diseases; heightened focus on care quality and value; evolving financial and quality regulations; informed and empowered consumers; and innovative treatments and technologies — all of which are leading to rising costs and an increase in spending levels for care provision, infrastructure improvements, and technology innovations.”

The IoT has brought many exciting advances to healthcare, improving patient experiences, increasing the quality of care provided, as well as updating and streamlining healthcare operations. From digital assistants to ‘smart’ medicine bottles, a new wave of connected devices could help people live independently for longer.

According with Goldman Sachs, IoT functions would produce an estimated $32.4 billion in annual revenue (45% from remote patient monitoring, 37% from telehealth, and 18% from behavior modification). But Healthcare IoT not only increases revenue, IoT reduces this cost by offering a more cost-effective method of managing chronic illness. The $305 billion estimated savings is accounted for by a combination of chronic disease management and telehealth.

Additional info:

Save IoT, Save Transportation 

I leave this topic for a special post in the coming months.

Key Takeaway: Save IoT and IoT will enable Save the World

As I have commented many times the IoT is a Journey. Those who have been more time in the race know that there are easier and other more difficult stages, but not for that reason we abandon the hardness of climbing one of them.

 If we have not yet achieved that the IoT has a unique definition, it is not surprising that the term could disappear for reasons of business marketing. Nor does it matter that technologies such as AI, VR / AR, Robots, Blockchain, join to IoT to solve world problems. We could call it "Unified Information Technology".

The World of 2017 has some immense problems but It is scary to think about the challenges it for the next 10, 20 50 years. As we have seen IoT must play an important Enabler to Save the World. 

IoT heroes, save the IoT, Save the World.

 Thanks in advance for your Likes and Shares

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For all the value and disruptive potential that Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provide, corporate buyers face a dilemma. Today’s IoT technologies are still immature point solutions that address emerging use cases with evolving technology standards. Buyers are concerned that what they buy today may become functionally or technologically obsolete tomorrow. Faced with this dilemma, many defer buying even if the IoT solutions they buy today offer tremendous value to their organizations.

This post describes a planning strategy called “future-proofing” that helps managers, buyers, and planners deal with obsolescence.

What causes IoT solution obsolescence?

An IoT solution, whether you buy it now or in the future, can become functionally obsolete for several reasons, as described in Figure One.  Unlike more established technologies, today’s immature and fast evolving nature of IoT solutions, amplifies the risk of early obsolescence.

For example, today there are multiple Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity options – SigFox, LoRa, RPMA (by Ingenu), Symphony Link (by Link Labs), NB-IoT and LTE-M. While each option has advantages and disadvantages, a subset of these will eventually “win” out as technology standards, business models and use cases emerge.

Similarly, there are 350+ IoT platforms in the marketplace today (source: “Current state of the 360+ platforms”, IoT Analytics, June 9, 2016). While many of these platforms target specific applications and industry segments, consolidation is inevitable as there are more vendors than the market can eventually support. The major IoT platform vendors (Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, GE, et al), currently on a market share land grab, will drive consolidation when they begin to acquire select vertical platforms to gain rapid access to those markets.

What is Future-Proofing?

According to Collins English Dictionary (10th edition), “future-proof” is defined as:

“protected from consequences in the future, esp. pertaining to a technology that protect it from early obsolescence”

Because of the high cost of enterprise technologies, many buyers perceive obsolescence as bad. To them, future-proofing means keeping the technology as long as possible in order to minimize costs and maximize return on investment (ROI). Their companies have standardized their business processes, policies and even their technical support on the technologies that they have bought. When a solution goes End of Life (EOL) and transitions to a newer version, it means that managers will have to recertify and retrain everyone on the “new” solution all over again. In general, transitions happen over a period of months (and sometimes years) in large global companies. During this time, multiple generations of the solution will co-exist, with each requiring different processes and policies.

In today’s fast moving IoT market, planned and unplanned obsolescence will be the norm for the foreseeable future. The traditional concept of “future-proofing” doesn’t apply, and can lead to significant, adverse business disruption.

In the era of cloud based solutions and IoT, future-proofing is not about outguessing the future, and choosing the “right” solution so as to never have to “buy” again. Nor is it overbuying technology now to avoid buying in the future. Finally, future-proofing is not about avoiding change. Future-proofing is a solution lifecycle management strategy. It is a continuous process to maximize solution flexibility and options, while making deliberate choices and managing risk.

What does a future-proof IoT infrastructure look like?

In planning the future-proofed IoT infrastructure, managers must first understand its key characteristics, and then define specific requirements for each of those characteristics. At a high level, these characteristics include:

  • Usable– the infrastructure and solutions achieve all functional needs with no loss in performance, security, service level agreements (SLA) over the desired time period.

  • Scalable – supports future needs, applications, devices

  • Supportable – resolves technical, performance, reliability, SLA issues

  • Changeable – addresses “lock-in” and facilitates migration to updated solutions on your schedule based on your needs

  • Economical – the total cost of ownership of the solution stays within forecasted ranges

A framework for future-proofing your IoT infrastructure

Change is constant and cannot be avoided. The driving principle behind future-proofing is managing change, not avoiding or preventing it. This principle recognizes that every solution has a useful functional life, and that what is functionally useful today may be obsolete and discarded tomorrow.

A properly designed future-proof plan provides the organization with options and flexibility, rather than lock-in and risk. It prevents suboptimal decision-making by managing the infrastructure on a system level, rather than at the individual component level.

Future-proofing your IoT infrastructure is a three step process (Figure Two). It is not a “once and done” exercise but must be done annually to remain relevant.

Plan and Design

The first step of the future-proofing process is to identify and place the various IoT infrastructure, systems and solutions into one of nine actionable categories. These categories are shown in Figure Three. The horizontal rows represent the “change” category, while the vertical columns represent the timeframe decision timeframe.

The actual classification of the IoT infrastructure solutions into one of the categories is determined in conjunction with IT, operations and the business units. Key considerations for determining the “future-proof category” include:

  • Usability/functionality – functional utility, compliance with standards, performance against needs, SLAs, and performance

  • Scalability – ability to meet current and future needs, anticipated change in standards

  • Support – resources, expertise, reliability

  • Ease of transition –contractual agreements, technology interdependence/dependence, specialized skills

  • Economics – maintenance costs, licensing/content/subscription fees, utilities, new replacement costs, transition costs

Source and Build

Once the proper categorization is completed, the second step is to procure the necessary solutions, whether they are hardware or software. This requires that a sourcing strategy be put into place over the desired time period. The terms sourcing and buying are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Sourcing is about ensuring strategic access to supply while buying is more transactional. In executing the future-proofing plan, procurement managers must understand the supplier product lifecycle, and develop specific tactics.

As an example, a large global company decides to standardize around a specific IoT edge device (and specific generation) and technology for the next five years. In order to maintain access to this supply during this time period, it employs a number of tactics, including:

  • Stocking of spare units to be deployed in the future

  • Placing large “Last time” orders before that version of the solution is discontinued

  • Sourcing refurbished versions of the technology

  • Incorporating leasing as sourcing strategy

  • Negotiating contractual arrangements with the vendor to continue the solution line

Support and Monitor

The third step in the future-proofing strategy is to keep the IoT infrastructure and solutions operational over the desired time period. This is relatively easy when the solutions and technologies are being serviced and supported by the vendors. However, as vendors transition to newer technology and solution versions, buyers may find limited support and expertise. This problem is amplified the further you are from the original end-of-life date.

To keep the infrastructure and solutions fully operational during this time, companies must employ various reactive and proactive tactics. Some of these include:

  • Incorporating and installing vendor firmware updates to maximize functionality, apply bug fixes and extend useful life. Vendors may issue firmware updates on both End of Life and current generation solutions.

  • Purchase warranty and extended warranty and maintenance service contracts to assure access to support

  • Develop in-house maintenance and repair capability

  • Negotiate special one-off engineering support services with the vendor or their designated contractors

About:

Benson Chan is an innovation catalyst at Strategy of Things, helping companies transform the Internet of Things into the Innovation of Things through its innovation laboratory, research analyst, consulting and acceleration (execution) services. He has over 25 years of scaling innovative businesses and bringing innovations to market for Fortune 500 and start-up companies. Benson shares his deep experiences in strategy, business development, marketing, product management, engineering and operations management to help IoTCentral readers address strategic and practical IoT issues.

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Being direct part of the worldwide development community for "Internet of things" and connected device and working day by day on architectural topics and talking to many experts in this area, I've mentioned that indeed the technologies behind IoT are well known but the definition of IoT itself is very diverse. My key experience was while I was participating the Security of Things conference in Berlin this year. The discussions what IoT is and what is IoT not started already during the icebreaking session the evening before the first official day and continues in the same manner during the next two days. I've heard statements like "Every PC is an Internet of things device" over "Any internet connectivity must be disabled (to guarantee security)" up to "We log the values of a digital thermometer by hand and enter them in a specific AWS-based Back-End to run analytics on it ... therefore we converted our thermometer to an Internet of things device". This experience gave me the impulse fin
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