Category Archives: Internet of Things

How to Manage a Future of Abundance

The influential economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin looks ahead to a world of virtually free energy and zero marginal cost production, and to a desperate race against climate change.

Most people in the business world are aware of …

(1) the convergence of computer and communications technology,

(2) the shift in energy from fossil fuels to renewables,

and (3) the movement toward self-driving vehicles and robot-driven manufacturing.

But only a few people are thinking intensively about how all these technological changes will fit together — along with changes in advanced manufacturing, water systems, agriculture, healthcare, and education — to generate rapid, widespread growth accompanied by a dramatic reduction in ecological footprint.

This systemic approach to the industrial future is the domain of economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin

He argues, for example, that both capitalism and the fossil fuel industries are hitting limits that stem from the laws of thermodynamics.

Investor-based capitalism, which focuses resources for immediate returns,…

will inevitably be replaced by a more distributed and streamlined network-based capitalism, alongside a sharing economy governed by a high-tech global commons.

According to Rifkin, this new hybrid economic system will be made possible through the provision of solar, wind, and other renewable energy on demand, facilitated by innovations such as the Internet of Things and blockchain.

In the world he envisions, the costs of producing and delivering an increasing array of goods and services will dwindle to near zero, and economies will have to learn to manage abundance — and the use of shared goods and services.

These shifts will happen during the next 40 years or so, he says, unless they are cut short by the exponentially increasing dangers of climate change and species extinction.

Even those who do not agree with Rifkin’s theory that capitalism is in the midst of a fundamental transformation must respect the exponential power of the forces he is tracking.

Intelligent technology, in particular, is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, lowering costs, replacing human labor, tracking human activity, and making many new things possible — which could be the “dark net” of authoritarian surveillance or a broadening of wealth and quality of life.

To read the full interview go to Strategy and Business site here.

RIFKIN: A new technological infrastructure is gradually coming together, brought on by digitization. The process began with the maturation of the communications Internet over the past 25 years.

Now this is converging with a second Internet, this one for renewable energy. It’s a new digital power grid, stretching across continents, which allows millions of people to produce their own wind and solar electricity and send their excess power generation back into the system.

Both of these Internets will converge, during the next decade, with an emerging digitized mobility Internet composed of increasingly autonomous electric and fuel-cell vehicles operated by near-zero marginal cost renewable energy on smart road, rail, water, and air systems.

These three systems will allow people to share communication, energy, and mobility partially in the capitalist market and partially in the emerging sharing economy.

The big bucks are in Industrial IoT

The Internet of Things continues to evolve, attempting to overcome its poor reputation for cybersecurity and making the case for wider adoption, especially by enterprises.

Consumer IoT, largely represented in smart-home automation, remains a market being targeted by Amazon, Apple, Google, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, and other technology titans.

The big bucks are in Industrial IoT, though. That market has attracted AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Verizon Communications, and hundreds of startups.

Some of those startups, such as C3 IoT and Uptake Technologies, have achieved “unicorn” status and attracted significant investments. The Chicago-based Uptake is a shining example of the industry transition from platform-as-a-service business models to software-as-a-service.

Many of the savvier startups are adding artificial intelligence and machine learning to their technology portfolios, complementing their IoT focus.

 

see full article from Semiconductor engineering here…

Smart Waste collection utilising sensors gaining traction – IoT ANZ

Although the smart waste collection technology industry is still in an early phase, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled smart bins and sensors are slowly gaining traction in ANZ and globally.

According to a recent report by US research company Navigant, the market is expected to grow from US$57.6 million (A$77 million) in 2016 to more than US$223 million (A$300 million) in 2025, with a 16.3 per cent compound annual growth rate.

“Currently, most municipal waste collection operations focus on emptying containers according to predefined schedules,” explains Christina Jung, a Research Associate with Navigant. “This is inevitably inefficient, with half-full bins being emptied, poor use of city assets and unnecessary fleet fuel consumption.”

Jung says the smart waste collection solutions of the future will be able to track waste levels and provide route optimisation as well as operational analytics – providing new opportunities to optimise waste management: “More and more municipalities and waste service managers are realising that
these solutions can help them meet sustainability goals, improve services for residents and reduce operational costs [at the same time].”

She adds, “There is a growing awareness among city leaders of the potential benefits of multi-application approaches to the deployment of smart city infrastructure. At the heart of this transformation is IoT technology that connects a range of intelligent sensors and devices to monitor and automate city operations. Areas where technology is having the greatest impact include street lighting, public safety, traffic systems and waste collection.”

Jung’s observation comes on the back of TDC, Denmark’s largest telecoms company, and Cisco forming a partnership agreement in June 2016 to deploy a digital IoT city platform in Denmark. As part of the initiative, Dublin company SmartBin deployed its sensors to a range of waste and recycling containers that were integrated with the city’s digital platform. In addition, lamp posts and traffic lights were equipped with sensors that are able to send data to a control console at the town hall and allow real time monitoring of waste production.

A similar project took place locally in Australia 2015, when the Sunshine Coast Council partnered with Cisco and Telstra to develop the so-called Smart City Framework, a portfolio of 13 municipal service areas including waste management. Here, Enevo headed by Greg Howard and its Brisbane-based partner, Smarter Technology Solutions, saw the successful initial deployment of Enevo’s smart fill- level sensors.

“Another example of an integrated smart waste collection solutions are solar-powered waste bins equipped with Wi-Fi units,” Jung says. “While many smart city initiatives propose to provide public Wi-Fi hotspots, it can be expensive to lease areas to host the equipment. However, with Wi-Fi- enabled smart bins, cities can run access points by using the solar energy already collected by the bins.”

Leon Hayes from Solar Bins Australia has been instrumental in rolling out more BigBelly solar powered compacting bins across Australia. Melbourne has an impressive amount of bins with general waste bins sat next to recycling ones.

“Yet, despite the successful [early] deployments, there is still limited demand for smart waste collection solutions due to the lack of awareness about cost [recovery] and the effectiveness of the technology.”

Data Integration

The next phase will see sensor data pulled from dozens of different sensor manufacturers via API* into established telematics systems like that of Telogis which is a global leader in providing actionable data to waste fleet operators across the markets it operates in.

There is a huge amount of cost savings to be made through fleet optimisation and route planning. With more accurate data fleet operators can make decisions to improve efficiencies and still meet performance targets for their end clients.

Low Power Wide Area Networks

The other disruptor and ultimate enabler  will be the rollout of LPWAN connectivity across the region with Sigfox firmly leading the way in the Australian and NZ market.

LPWAN connected sensors like LoRa , Sigfox and NB-IoT allow sensors to operate on batteries for much longer periods and communicate over longer distances than traditional 3G powered devices.

Enevo has yet to transition to a LPWAN version of its sensor but companies like Solar Bins Australia and PiP IoT in Christchurch have developed versions which can then push data into 3rd party systems .

Glossary Term

*APIapplication-programming interface is a set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of applications which access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.

Sources and References

Enevo Oy – Finnish based Cleantech business using IoT Devices

Pip IoT – NZ based LPWAN sensor manufacturer of IoT devices

Solar Bins Australia – Australia based distributor of BigBelly and LPWAN Sensors.

Telogis – Market leading telematics provider

Waste Management Review – parts of article originally appeared earlier in 2017.

Chep pallets looking for IoT proof of concepts

Brambles is set to put millions more into a digital arm it set up last year and poached an SAP executive to run.

BXB Digital – which takes its name from the company’s ASX code – was set up as a business in early 2016, with a view to “apply technology to collect and transform data into services that track goods, optimise operations and improve supply chain efficiency”.

It is expected to touch both business and customer-facing parts of Brambles’ operations in 60 countries.

The company is best known for its iconic blue Chep pallets, which can be found in supply chains worldwide.

BXB Digital is based in Silicon Valley and is headed up by Prasad Srinivasamurthy, who was formerly the senior vice president of internet of things and customer innovation at SAP.

Though the digital arm had little resources to work with early on – US$800,000  (A$1 million) in its start-up year – that quickly ballooned to US$10.3 million (A$13 million) in 2017, the company said in financial filings today.

It will now get an even bigger budget for 2018; Brambles said it will invest US$7 million more than planned this coming year, bringing its total pot to US$17 million (A$21.4 million).

The company did not provide much detail on where the extra money would go, apart from into “smart asset and data analytics” works.

Recent job postings indicate a focus around “deep data science techniques”, IoT and cloud, as well as creating proof-of-concepts that enable the company to engage on innovation projects with its customers.

Internet of Things (IoT) revolution continues across ANZ

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is here, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Gartner has predicted that an estimated 25 billion connected things will be in use by 2020. According to BCG, this will mean $267 billion will be spent on IOT technologies, products and services. To put this staggering growth in another perspective, IoT sensors and devices are expected to exceed mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices in 2018.

Harnessing the power of the IoT will be crucial to future success. Sixty-five percent of 1000 global business executives surveyed say they agree that organisations that leverage IoT will have a significant advantage. But 19% still say they have never heard of it. Put yourself in a position to take advantage of the IoT with this primer on the latest trends and applications.

The current state of IoT

The Internet of Things had existed before you had probably even heard of the term. In 2008 there were already more “things” connected to the Internet than there were people. By 2015, IoT market size was up to $900 million, and this is expected to grow to $3.7 billion by 2020.

Virtually every sector has started harnessing the power of the IoT. Adoption rates vary, but significant results are being achieved in manufacturing, distribution, logistics and marketing. Currently, most “smart” devices aren’t in your home or your phone. They are in factories and offices. But smart homes will become an increasingly significant part of the industry over the next few years. It’s estimated that by 2019, 1.9 billion connected home devices totalling around $490 billion in revenue will be shipped to consumers.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the rate of growth is going to slow anytime soon. Only 0.06% of things that could be connected to the internet actually are. That means just 10 billion of the 1.5 trillion things that currently exist are connected—leaving plenty of room for new IoT innovations.

The latest trends in IoT

As adoption of IoT continues to surge, a handful of trends have begun emerging that will shape the industry in 2017 and beyond. Below are six trends you should be watching out for.

  • Businesses will deliver more services: Expect services, not products, to become the main revenue streams of companies in the IoT industry. Products will become a way of introducing consumers to the broader (and more lucrative) service.
  • Cities will get smarter: In the same way that smart technology is improving homes, expect smart systems such as street lights, parking machines and public transport to provide safer, more cost-effective solutions to cities.
  • Voice commands will dominate: We are already seeing the popularity of Amazon’s Echo, and Google and Microsoft are also developing speech-activated virtual assistants. Expect even more focus on audio commands to occur in 2017.
  • Security will improve, but so will attacks: The question of security will become more prominent as attacks on connected devices grow. Security will improve, but so will the number of data breaches.
  • Smart homes will become the standard: The adoption rate of smart home technology hasn’t been substantial, but expect growth to quicken as products such as the Echo increase in popularity.
  • Global corporations will dominate: Corporate giants such as Samsung, Google and Intel will dominate every aspect of the IoT, either by buying up specialised companies or through their own research departments.

The global B2B opportunity of IoT

The IoT will create the biggest opportunities for business to business applications. This is despite coverage of IoT  focusing on consumer products. According to research by McKinsey Global Institute, nearly $4 trillion worth of economic value could be generated by 2025 from B2B activity (factories, offices and agriculture) alone.

B2B opportunities will also be far greater in the developing world than other aspects of IoT. Advanced nations can expect to gain over 60% of the economic impact of IoT on average. This will be even more disproportionate in some settings such as homes, where advanced economies can expect over three-quarters of the economic impact. But because most of the economies of developing countries focus on manufacturing, they will be hotbeds for IoT adoption. As a result, the benefits of IoT will be shared much more equally between advanced and developing economies.

The key benefits of IoT for leaders

As with any other form of revolutionary technology, the IoT offers a wealth of benefits for those leaders who can harness its power.

  • Innovative business models: A wealth of user data will give rise to innovative new business models that have the potential to completely change market shares. It is already happening in the form of app-based transport-as-a-service providers such as Uber. As companies are better able to track how and where consumers are interacting with their products these new revenue streams will become even more proliferate.
  • Optimised operations: Smart devices can learn and improve operations in a way that humans can’t. Integrated sensors will capture data that can be used to improve efficiency and predict when maintenance issues may arise.
  • Improved inventory tracking and management: Smart devices will allow businesses the opportunity to completely automate inventory management; allowing staff time to focus on more demanding tasks.
  • More connected remote workers: If every device in an organisation is connected to the same network, employees will be able to work remotely like never before. Tasks that previously had to be completed in person, such as machine operations, will now be possible from anywhere in the world.

Essential IoT skills

Leveraging the power of IoT requires a highly specialised and in-demand skill set. Hiring the right talent will be key to your success. But you’ll also need to cultivate your enterprise’s culture in order to remain on the cutting edge of this constantly evolving industry.  Here are the essential IoT skills that you need to add to your team.

  • Security engineering: The more connected your business becomes, the more at-risk you are to cyber attacks. Data breaches have become increasingly common, and consumer awareness of data security is growing every day. A talented cyber security team is crucial to protect yours and your customer’s data.
  • Big data analysts: As the wealth of available data grows, data scientists are in increasingly high demand. The rate at which your company can pivot and improve will depend on how well you can analyse big data.
  • Machine learning: The smarter your products and systems are, the more likely you are to succeed. Hire data scientists who can create machine learning algorithms that will help devices make predictions and take action as a result of pattern identification.
  • Circuit design: Computer chip design and development will need to be adapted as smart devices gain new capabilities. Being able to create increasingly complex circuit boards more efficiently gives businesses a much-needed advantage.

Key challenges of IoT

Executives won’t be surprised to hear that this level of technological change is not without hurdles. How you react to and overcome these challenges will determine the success of your business.

Organisational alignment

To succeed on a global scale, organisations will need to completely rethink company structure and job roles. IT will no longer be a department; it will be a role that spans the entire organisation. Intra-departmental collaboration will need to be encouraged as big data connects sales, marketing and logistics more tightly than ever.

Interoperability

In the same way that teams will need to change how they work together, devices will also need to communicate more efficiently to realise the full benefits that IoT offers. Increased interoperability between devices has the potential to add $4 trillion to the economy. But the vast majority of “smart” devices used at the moment only communicate with the manufacturer. It’s estimated that 40-60% of the IoT’s total economic value won’t be realised until interoperability is improved.

Security

Greater connectivity exposes businesses to extremely high risks of cyber attacks. Everyone of a business’ millions of connected devices and sensors is a potential entry point for hackers, and one attack can bring down an entire company. But it’s not just break-ins that executives need to be concerned about. Risk from the black market of fake sensors and video data could be worth more than $5 billion by 2020. Cybersecurity is currently less than 1% of the total security budget for enterprises. This will need to increase significantly in the future.

IoT has the power to transform industries and revolutionise the way businesses use data. The ability to harness IoT’s opportunities will give global leaders an enormous competitive advantage. But leaders need to cultivate the right set of skills within their team, and a data-driven mindset, to transform this opportunity into reality.

EV fast charging – Blockchain and IoT – Singapore

Singapore Startup Blockchainfirst on Jan. 26 launched a blockchain-enabled EV/multi-purpose charging station that accommodates electric cars, motorbikes and bicycles. The “Ethan BIoT Charging Station,” as it’s been dubbed, is the first of a planned series of blockchain-enabled commercial products the company intends to introduce this year.

Intended for use by by governments (B2C), companies (B2B/B2C) and individuals (P2P), Ethan BioT Charging Stations have four main features, Blockchainfirst founder Juergen Schaar explains in a Jan. 26 news report:

  • Fast-charging of electric vehicles (EVs) “Type 2 IEC 61851–1” e.g. BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf
  • Charging of electric motorbikes and bicycles
  • Payment with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, either via a standard Wallet App e.g. Jaxx or via RFID/NFC Card
  • An optional, built-in IoT OIracle with as many as six sensors for capturing environmental data, such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), temperature, humidity, acoustics, light and pressure.

Several distinct modules and components go into manufacturing of Blockchainfirst’s Ethan BIoT Charging Stations:

  • A charging controller for the charging cycle and communication with the car
  • Electrical components e.g. relays, power supply, etc.
  • An industrial Ethan BIoT© Device
  • The optional IoT Oracle for capturing environmental data.

At the system’s core is a custom-designed industrial SOC (System On Chip) with cryptographic functions built in.

The Singapore-based blockchain product/systems developer and consulting company introduced a set of Ethan BIoT devices at International Blockchain Week 2016 in Shanghai. This included a connected remote control gate/door opener, vending machine (candy), smart electricity meter and light bulb, Schaar noted.

Positive feedback received from exhibition/conference participants, the blockchain development community and others served to confirm Blockchainfirst’s belief that the organization was on the right track. That led the company to invest more in developing practical, easy-to-use blockchain-enabled products, Schaar recounted.

Blockchainfirst isn’t the first to introduce a blockchain-enabled electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Germany’s Slock.it launched a beta version of its Share&Charge peer-to-peer (P2P) EV charging station and mobile app last September.

Both Blockchainfirst and Slock.it used the Ethereum platform to develop their EV charging station blockchains.

Ultimately, we aim to extend this concept to bring value to operators of mobility services, to easily share or rent their mobility assets, including energy, parking spots, and eventually even the vehicles themselves

Slock.it co-founder and COO Stephan Tual

…and for Distributed Energy Microgrids

Innovators are combining blockchain and IoT tech elsewhere in the power-energy sector, particularly in the distributed energy-microgrid market space. ¨The earliest adopters of blockchain will likely not be utilities, but other stakeholders,” Navigant Research principal research analysts and report authors Stuart Ravens and Neil Strother wrote in recently released market research.

“At present, those leading the research into blockchain are the owners of distributed energy resources (DER) and startups seeking to sell directly to them.¨

One promising application is using blockchain apps, smart contracts and distributed databases to integrate distributed energy resources into micro- and larger power grids, E7 Ventures founder and CEO David Cohen explained in a Microgrid Media interview.

¨Blockchain technology can be used to synchronize both real-time pricing signals for fast-response grid services with real time phasor control systems in order to balance microgrid operations with the distribution system and wholesale market operations,¨ Cohen said.

¨In essence, blockchain can provide the visibility and accountability to enable transactive energy systems by integrating both electrical, ‘cyberphysical’ and financial systems.”

IOF2020 The Internet of Food & Farm

 

The Internet of Food & Farm (IoF2020) consortium has been selected for a large subsidy from the European Commission to investigate and foster a large-scale implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) in the European farming and food domain.

IoT is a powerful driver that has the potential to transform the entire farming and food domain into smart webs of connected objects that are context-sensitive and can be identified, sensed and controlled remotely.
IoF2020 consists of 73 partners from 16 countries and is coordinated by Wageningen UR. The project builds around 5 trials, in the areas of fruit, vegetables, meat, arable and dairy, with 19 use cases.

In these use cases technology readiness levels of IoT technologies will be upgraded, whilst at the same time building a societal ecosystem to improve take-up of these technologies.
The subsidy is part of the prestigious Innovation action: Large Scale Pilots (Internet of Things) and further builds on results of the AgriFood projects in the EU FIWARE program. IoF2020 started 1 January 2017 and will run 4 years.

The Industrial IoT Stack – GE , IBM and Cisco challenged by the newcomers

Snippet from CB Insights – With connected devices like Nest and Sonos breaking into the mainstream, the IoT has become one of the most-discussed tech trends of the last twenty years.

But the IoT extends well beyond the home and consumer-level gadgets. Asset-heavy industries like manufacturing, logistics, mining, oil, utilities and agriculture have also begun to apply IoT systems to improve efficiency and results.

With machines and specialized sensors collecting data at every step of production, the potential gains from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are enormous.

Just in 2016 alone, startups bringing digitization to industry saw more than $2.2B of investment.

The category breakdown is as follows:

  • Sensors & Connectivity

    • Connectivity — wireless network providers like SigFox and Ingenu act as the telecoms for the IoT age. Most companies here provide LPWAN (low-power wide area network) connectivity, which is popular radio band for IoT devices because existing cellular systems aren’t power- and bandwidth-efficient enough for systems sending small packets of data. Some, like Senet use the LoRaWAN spectrum, and others like SigFox work with ultra-narrowband specifically for low-power devices. 

    • Sensors & Monitoring — some companies in this area are solely sensor or system on chip (SoC) makers like Ineda Systems, but the category also includes more “full stack” (but industry agnostic) sensor and monitoring platforms like SamsaraHelium, and Electric Imp.

    • M2M / Satellite — sometimes Industrial IoT assets operate in rural and less connected parts of the world. Satellites can be a more effective way for sensors to transmit data, and companies like Kepler Communications offer a space-based communication network. With similar advantages in isolated industrial environments, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is a more decentralized way to pass information between devices, and companies like Filament are applying blockchain architecture to do so with low-power industrial sensors.

  • Edge Devices & Connected Objects

    • Inspection Drones — startups offering drone hardware or image analysis services for industrial inspection. Some startups like Skycatch have individual use cases, such as construction. Recently, drone makers famous for their consumer drones like 3D Robotics have moved into the inspection space. While it’s mostly aerial drones for now, the category encompasses all types including underwater drones and pipe inspecting drones such as those made by RedZone Robotics.

    • 3D Printing — leveraging materials science and robotics, companies like Desktop Metal and Carbon 3D are bringing the customization benefits of 3D printing to an industrial scale. 3D printing tech is starting to go beyond just prototyping tools to being production-scale for making parts, which is why corporate venture arms of GE and BMW are investing here.

    • Industrial AR/VR — headsets and mobile AR specifically tailored for industrial settings and field service. Daqri and Atheer are well-funded headset makers that focus on enterprise and industrial settings. Others like Scope AR do similar work in field service using mobile and tablets, employing AR to highlight parts on industrial equipment while connected to support experts in real-time.
    • Wearables — IoT sensors worn on the body in industrial environments. Strong Arm Technologies makes a safety wearable and some industrial smartglass makers like Ubimax and Upskill also have wearables offerings.
    • Robotics & Exo — industrial automation robots along with exoskeletons that augment human abilities. Companies like Rethink and Righthand Robotics both make the classic arm-shaped industrial robots for manufacturing. Clearpath Robotics does warehouse robotics, as well as a host of ruggedized ground and sea-faring drones. And companies like Kindred and Sarcos are developing worker exoskeletons that can help handle heavy materials or be remotely operated for inspections.
  • Universal Platforms & Edge Intelligence
    • Universal Platforms — cloud vendors here commonly market themselves as general platform-as-a-service (PaaS) companies that allow other IoT and IIoT companies to manage and maintain the capture of data from their device networks. This includes the mostly industry-agnostic platforms like C3 IoT and Altizon that do cloud analytics for industrial companies.

    • Fog & Edge Computing — computing done at the “edge” or closer to the sensor is a trending shift occurring within the IIoT architecture. Companies like Saguna Networks do edge computing (close to the point of collection), whereas a company like Foghorn Systems does fog computing (think a lower-hanging cloud that’s done on-site like a LAN). Both methods allow mission-critical devices to operate safely without latency of transmitting all data to a cloud, which can also save big on bandwidth.

  • Applied Sensor Networks
    • Fleet — sensor networks and solutions for connected trucking fleets. Companies like Veniam are focused on the connectivity aspect, where others like Vnomics sell optimization and vehicle monitoring technology.
    • Oil & Gas —  companies using connected sensor networks in the oil industry include GroundMetrics (locating wells), Tachyus (extracting oil and gas), and Aptomar (spill safety).
    • Agriculture — companies like Blue River Technology and Farmbot are bringing robotics to agriculture. Others like Farmers Edge and Terravion are about capturing and analyzing farm data and tractor telematics for more efficient production.
    • Smart Grid – startups in this area develop tech that enables more efficient distribution of electricity, gas and water, and often market to utility companies. TrilliantTendril, and BluePillar are smart-meter enabled solutions for utilities and large enterprises to manage usage and reporting.
    • Factory — Eigen Innovations and the companies in this category are more vertical-specific platforms for manufacturing analytics. Eigen, for example, uses video and sensor data on factory floors to ensure process and quality control.
    • Warehouse — robotic movers and RFID sensor systems that target the warehouse. Fetch Robotics, for example, does material transport on warehouse floors. Alien Technologies, one of the most well-funded startups in all of IoT, does RFID tagging tech for the supply chain.
  • Advanced Analytics, Edge Intelligence & Protection
    • AI, ML, Predictive Analytics — software that allows companies to find insights and derive predictive analytics such as when machines will need maintenance. Most companies in the category are like Maana and work by applying AI to mining machine data, but others, like Augury Systems, offer a full sensor suite that detects machine anomalies and offers predictive analytics.
    • Cybersecurity — companies in this category develop cybersecurity solutions for IIoT and industrial control systems (ICS) in heavy industry. The IIoT has already suffered serious hacks; a German steel mill suffered “massive damages” after hackers accessed a blast furnace that workers could not properly shut down. Bastille Networks is one company that focuses on protecting the wireless transmission of IoT and RFID devices, and Claroty is a well-funded company working on protecting industrial control systems.

Full article – can be found here

3 Innovations in Sustainable Tech – IoT in action

According to Larry Alton – When we think about sustainable technology, we tend to think about solar panels, electric cars, and even low-tech concepts like passive solar design. These are all important innovations, but they’re also rather static.

Unlike so much of the technology in our world today, these aren’t things that get smarter through use. To push sustainability further, it’s time to turn to the Internet of Things (IoT).

From powerfully efficient wearables to entire smart cities, the IoT is powerfully positioned to change how we think about the environment, natural and built.

Keep your eyes on these three tools making sustainability smarter.

Small Devices, Big Potential

As a society, we’ve come to love wearables – fitness trackers, smart watches, and even wearables used for sleep. But for such ingenious little devices, they’re highly energy dependent. Forget to plug in your Fitbit and you won’t be able to check the time, never mind measure your heart rate.

Now, a new generation of wearables is making a break from the charger with multi-source energy harvesting technology. These new devices aim to embrace not just solar, an easy solution, but also pressure and temperature-sensitive perovskites. A family of mineral, one type of perovskite is used in solar cells, but others can turn pressure resulting from motion into electricity in much the same way. Since so many wearables are focused on activity tracking, they’re the perfect setting for this energy-friendly tool.

Smarter Solar

Solar power is a mainstay of the sustainability movement, one of the first examples people think about when environmentalism and alternative energy come up. This is with good reason – as a widely accepted solution, there are financial supports for solar panel installation, a variety of options, and a popular understanding of solar power as a tool, even in domestic settings. Kids do science projects involving solar power; it’s renewable energy 101.

In today’s era, however, we need to start thinking about solar in much more complicated ways as solar becomes intertwined with IoT. IoT is all about data and, suddenly, so is solar. This isn’t just passive energy anymore.

Today’s solar power systems are often tied to much deeper data systems that optimize energy output, something only possible because of IoT. This data then allows the panels to automatically reposition themselves, shifting based on the position of the sun. The same goes for wind turbines and other types of renewables.

The City as Computer

We can add pressure-sensitive cells to wearables and power up our solar panels like never before, but is this enough to mitigate global warming, pollution from drilling, and other environmental concerns? On an individual level, no, but when an entire city adopts sustainable technology integrated with IoT – well, that’s another story.

In Los Angeles, for example, a city known for its traffic and accompanying pollution, the entire city is programmed for sustainability. Across the city, sensors monitor air and water quality and traffic. Other systems determine urban walkability, housing issues, and more, all with the aim of increasing green jobs in the city. All combined, these systems can dramatically reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Imagine if all major cities adopted this technology – well, we may just be headed in that direction.

Renewable technology, on its own, is highly valuable. Yet, when integrated with IoT, it becomes much more powerful. As we deepen the relationship between these tools, we position our society to step away from more harmful energy sources and harness renewables at the next level of efficiency.