IoT trends for 2017

According to Intel IoT is expected to be a multi-trillion-dollar market, with 50 billion devices creating 44 zettabytes (or 44 trillion gigabytes) of data annually by 2020. But that widely cited 50 billion IoT devices in 2020 number is clearly not correct! Forecast of 50 Billion Devices by 2020 Is Outdated. In 2017 we should be talking about about some sensible numbers. The current count is somewhere between Gartner’s estimate of 6.4 billion (which doesn’t include smartphones, tablets, and computers), International Data Corporation’s estimate of 9 billion (which also excludes those devices), and IHS’s estimate of 17.6 billion (with all such devices included). Both Ericsson and Evans have lowered their expectations from 50 billion for 2020: Evans, who is now CTO of Stringify, says he expects to see 30 billion connected devices by then, while Ericsson figures on 28 billion by 2021.

Connectivity and security will be key features for Internet of Things processors  in 2017. Microcontroller (MCU) makers will continue to target their products at the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2017 by giving more focus on battery life, more connectivity of various types, and greater security. The new architectures are almost sure to spawn a multitude of IoT MCUs in 2017 from manufacturers who adopt ARM’s core designs.

ARM will be big. Last year, ARM’s partners shipped 15 billion chips based on its architectures. The trend toward IoT processors will go well beyond ARM licensees. Intel rolled out the Intel Atom E3900 Series  for IoT applications. And do not forget MIPS an RISC-V.

FPGA manufacturers are pushing their products to IoT market. They promise that FPGAs solve challenges at the core of IoT implementation: making IoT devices power efficient, handling incompatible interfaces, and providing a processing growth path to handle the inevitable increase in device performance requirement.

Energy harvesting field will become interesting in 2017 as it is more broadly adopted. Energy harvesting is becoming the way forward to help supplement battery power or lose the need for it altogether. Generally researchers are eyeing energy-harvesting to power ultra-low-power devices, wearable technology, and other things that don’t need a lot of power or don’t come in a battery-friendly form factor.


Low power wide area networks (LPWA) networks (also known as NarrowBand IoT) will be hot in 2017. There is hope that f LPWA nets will act as a catalyst, changing the nature of the embedded and machine-to-machine markets as NB-IoT focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and enabling a large number of connected devices. The markets will become a kind of do-it-yourselfers paradise of modules and services, blurring the lines between vendors, users and partners.  At the same time for years to come, the market for low power wide area networks (LPWA) will be as fragmented and  is already in a race to the bottom (Sigfox, said to be promising costs approaching $1 per node per year). Competing technologies include Sigfox, LoRa Alliance, LTE Cat 1, LTE Cat M1 (eMTC), LTE Cat NB1 (NB-IoT) and other sub-gigahertz options almost too numerous to enumerate.

We are starting to see a battle between different IoT technologies, and in few years to come we will see which are winners and which technologies will be lost in the fight. Sigfox and Lora are currently starting well, but telecom operators with mobile networks NB-IoT will try hit the race heavily in 2017. Vendors prep Cat M1, NB1 for 2017: The Cat M1 standard delivers up to 380 Kbits/second over a 1.4 MHz channel. NB-1 handles up to 40 Kbits/s over 200 kHz channels.  Vendors hope the 7-billion-unit installed base of cellular M2M modules expands. It’s too early to tell which technologies will be mainstream and which niche. It could be that cellular NB-IOT was too late, it will fail in the short term, it can win in the long term, and the industry will struggle to make any money from it. At $2 a year, 20 billion devices will contribute around 4% of current global mobile subscription revenues.

New versions of communication standards will be taken into use in 2017. For example Bluetooth 5 that adds more speed and IoT functionality. In 2017, we will see an increase in the number of devices with the new Bluetooth 5 standard.

Industrial IoT to gain traction in 2017. Industrial applications ultimately have the greater transformative potential than consumer products, offering users real returns on investment (ROI) rather than just enhanced convenience or “cool factor”. But the industrial sector is conservative and has been slow to embrace an industrial IoT (IIoT), but is seems that they are getting interested now. During the past year there has been considerable progress in removing many of the barriers to IIoT adoption. A global wide implementation of an IIoT is many years away, of course. The issues of standards and interoperability will most likely remain unresolved for several years to come, but progress is being made. The Industrial Internet Consortium released a framework to support development of standards and best practices for IIoT security.

The IIoT  market is certainly poised to grow. A Genpact research study, for instance, indicates that more than 80% of large companies believe that the IIoT will be essential to their future success. In a recent market analysis by Industry ARC, for instance, the projected value of the IIoT market will reach more than $120 billion by 2021. Research firm Markets and Markets is even more optimistic, pegging IIoT growth at a CAGR of 8% to more than $150 billion by 2020. And the benefits will follow. By GE’s estimate, the IIoT will stimulate an increase in the global GDP of $10 to $15 trillion over the next 20 years.

Systems integrators are seeking a quick way to enter the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market. So expect to see many plug and play IoT sensor systems unveiled. There were many releses in 2016, and expect to see more in 2017. Expect to see device, connectivity and cloud service to be marketed as one packet.

IoT analytics will be talked a lot in 2017. Many companies will promise to turn Big Data insights into bigger solutions. For industrial customers Big Data analytics is promised to drive operational efficiencies, cut costs, boosting production, and improving worker productivity. There are many IIoT analytic solution and platform suppliers already on the market and a growing number of companies are now addressing industrial analytics use.

In 2016 it was all bout getting the IoT devices connected to cloud. In 2017 we will see increased talk about fog computing.  Fog computing is new IoT trend pushed by Cisco and many other companies. As the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves, decentralized, distributed-intelligence concepts such as “fog computing” are taking hold to address the need for lower latencies, improved security, lower power consumption, and higher reliability. The basic premise of fog computing is classic decentralization whereby some processing and storage functions are better performed locally instead of sending data all the way from the sensor, to the cloud, and back again to an actuator. This demands smarter sensors and new wireless sensor network architectures. Groups such as the Open Fog Consortium have formed to define how it should best be done. You might start to want to be able to run the same code in cloud and your IoT device.


The situation in IoT security in 2016 was already Hacking the IoT: As Bad As I Feared It’d Be and there is nothing that would indicate that the situation will not get any better in 2017.  A veritable army of Internet-connected equipment has been circumvented of late, due to vulnerabilities in its hardware, software or both … “smart” TVs, set-top boxes and PVRs, along with IP cameras, routers, DSL, fiber and cable modems, printers and standalone print servers, NASs, cellular hot spots, and probably plenty of other gear. IoT world at the moment is full of vulnerable devices, and it will take years to get then replaces with more secure devices. Those vulnerable devices can be used to make huge DDoS attacks against Internet services.  The 2016 October 21 cyberattacks on Dyn brought to light how easily many IoT devices can be compromised. I expect that kind of incidents will happen more in 2017 as DDoS botnets are pretty easy to build with tools available on-line. There’s no question that everyone in the chain – manufacturers, retailers and consumers – have to do a better job securing connected devices.When it comes to IoT, more security is needed.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Week in Review: IoT
    Riot Micro’s chip; startup funding; IDC’s IoT forecast.

    Vancouver, B.C.-based Riot Micro has brought out the RM1000 baseband modem chip for the cellular Internet of Things. The device is said to use Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi techniques to provide low-power and lower-cost connectivity, like short-range wireless systems. The chip is being marketed to module manufacturers and OEMs developing narrowband IoT and LTE-M products for applications in asset management, automotive electronics, home automation, industrial equipment, point-of-sale systems, smart energy, and vending machines.

    ICONICS has introduced the IoTWorx Industrial IoT software automation suite, which supports multiple operating systems, including various Linux distributions and Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and IoT Core.

    Solace announced the Solace Cloud, a managed messaging service. It is aimed at developers of microservices, IoT systems, mobile applications, and real-time data streaming. Solace Cloud supports popular standard messaging protocols, such as AMQP, JMS, MQTT, REST, and WebSocket.

    ASSA ABLOY, the owner of Yale and other lock brands, this week completed its acquisition of August Home, the startup supplier of smart locks and other home security products.

    Aspen Technology acquired the Cipher Industrial IoT cloud-native software and edge connectivity assets of RtTech Software.

    Inuitive Ltd. and SoftBank Corp. will collaborate on development of artificial intelligence technology, deep learning, and advanced 3D sensing with computer vision capabilities for future IoT implementations.

    The International Data Corporation (IDC) has updated its Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide, forecasting global spending on the IoT will hit $772.5 billion next year, a 14.6% increase from 2017’s $674 billion. IDC predicts IoT spending will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 14.4% through 2021, exceeding $1 trillion in 2020 and reaching $1.1 trillion in 2021. IoT hardware will account for $239 billion in 2018, mostly for modules and sensors.

    The Wi-SUN Alliance reports half of organizations investing in IoT initiatives surveyed in the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, and Denmark have a fully implemented strategy in place, while 36% have a partially implemented strategy. Three-quarters of companies in the oil and gas industry have fully implemented strategies, while 59% of technology companies are fully implemented and 57% of energy/utilities companies have fully implemented strategies.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lexumo, an Internet of Things Security Startup, Calls It Quits

    Boston-area cybersecurity startup Lexumo has shut down, a source close to the company confirmed to Xconomy.

    Lexumo spun out of Draper Laboratory—the not-for-profit R&D center next to MIT—two years ago, pitching software it said could help find and fix vulnerabilities in open-source software written for connected devices and embedded systems. The company’s “Internet of Things” security play attracted at least $4.9 million in venture funding from Accomplice, .406 Ventures, and Draper.

    In January, McCall told Xconomy the company employed 15 people and had plans to double its staff.

    But the company apparently decided to shutter its operations less than a year later.

    Lexumo isn’t the only company that saw a business opportunity in securing connected devices, and it probably won’t be the last.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kone lifts placed some channels on the elevator wall

    Finnish lift manufacturer Kone has attached screens to the elevator, from which you can watch some of the most popular channels. The first elevator was introduced at the Myyrmann shopping center in Vantaa. The content of the social media channels associated with the shopping center, such as Facebook and Instagram, is on display.

    Some elevator has an interactive wall that shows Shopping Center customers can produce with falconry wall-to-wall material and comment on other items produced so that they appear on the wall in real-time.

    “The idea is that renters of a shopping center can take advantage of some wall by publishing fast, here and now -type marketing. For example, a hairdressing salon or a medical center can tell you that it has free time right now or the restaurant can market the remaining doses at the end of lunch time at a special price, “says Mari Laaksonen , Commercial Manager at Citycon.


  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Preventing IoT Edge Device Vulnerabilities

    Security issues around IoT edge devices are rarely mentioned in literature, however, the projected billions of IoT edge devices out in the wild makes for a vast attack surface.

    Security issues around IoT edge devices are rarely mentioned in literature, however, the projected billions of IoT edge devices out in the wild makes for a vast attack surface. Should hardware designers be concerned about security for IoT edge devices?

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Light Switch For The Lazy

    [Will Donaldson] has whipped up a quick hack for anyone thinking of dipping their toe into home automation — or otherwise detest flicking off the bedroom light before navigating their way to their bed: a remote control light switch!

    This remote switch uses a sg90 servo, an Arduino Uno, and pairs of ATtiny85s with HC-05 Bluetooth modules assembled on protoboards.

    Remote Control Bluetooth Light Switch

    This will be the first project in a series entitled: “Optimised Laziness: Over Engineered Solutions to Remarkably Trivial Problems”

    Ever been lying in bed late at night reading or watching Netflix on your laptop? The worst part is of course crawling out of bed to turn off the lights. Here is an over engineered solution to that remarkably trivial problem.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart city applications enabled by LEDs dominate the discussion at SALC 2017 (MAGAZINE)

    The transition to LEDs in street lights is happening rapidly, but it’s the symbiotic network and control technology that can enable smart city applications which excited the IES SALC crowd, reports MAURY WRIGHT.

    Relating the message back to Austin, he said the city cares a lot about being a technology hub in areas such as wireless communications, so the city authorities would naturally be interested in technology-focused smart city and smart lighting initiatives. Moreover, Austin remains a very artistic-driven community and aesthetics are very important to the city.
    Aesthetics matter

    Regarding LED lighting in the city, Lehr said, “It’s not just the safety, [although] the safety is very important, but the aesthetics.” Based on his experience with projects, he said, “The lighting proposals that have a community touch, not just a cost-savings touch, or a public safety touch, but the ‘light the community’ [angle] gets the attention of our city council, gets the attention of the policymakers.” He said that if the proposal talks about the aesthetics for the community, the impact and the size of the installation grows in magnitude.

    One other surprising concept mentioned by Lehr was augmented reality (AR) technology. He noted, “It is appealing to us.” What he meant was the use of AR in a way that allows the community and municipal officials to see what a lighting project might look like once it’s completed. He said AR can get buy-in from the community in that the motivation for a project is doing something good for the community. He said AR was also being evaluated as a maintenance tool for city services including street light maintenance.

    As for smart and connected street lighting, Lehr said Austin is looking for places to locate intelligence, and street light poles or what he called a “multipurpose lighting infrastructure” are an excellent candidate. The city wants to monitor vehicle and pedestrian traffic, among other applications. But again, he said the smart pole has to be pretty.
    Interoperable controls

    Lehr’s talk hinted at smart interconnected lighting, and soon the conference would move decidedly in that direction for the bulk of the presentations. One of the most compelling came from Isabelle Lessard, an engineer and project manager with the city of Montreal, QC, Canada. And the compelling point was interoperability, as you will soon learn.

    At the onset of an LED conversion program, Montreal had what you might term a dysfunctional situation in street lighting. The city had around 133,000 fixtures and 146 different models installed. Around 96% were high-pressure sodium (HPS) luminaires. Lessard said the city needed to streamline the system and at the same time move to LED technology. Moreover, the city decided to install wireless controls at the same time it retrofitted to LED sources; Lessard said the city wanted to eliminate the need to visit each pole twice and controls were clearly in their future.

    The challenges ranged from simple to complex. For instance, Lessard said 45,000 of the fixtures are decorative in nature. And she pointed out that most wireless nodes that are unobtrusive on top of a cobrahead luminaire mounted 30 ft in the air are just ugly on a decorative fixture mounted at pedestrian scale. The city had to find controls that could be mounted inside the fixture.

    But it was the city’s insistence on a multi-vendor interoperable smart-lighting system that garnered the most notoriety. Lessard said controls vendors discussed future interoperability but in reality were expecting customers to be reliant on their proprietary technology, and added, “That was in contradiction with the city’s open data mindset.” And the city wanted to be able to scale up the deployment later without being tied to a vendor.

    Changing the market

    Lessard said there was no solution on the market that met the project goals. “What was the next step?” she asked. “We changed the market.” Because Montreal authorities were entering the market with the potential procurement of 135,000 fixtures, they felt that they could have vendors make concessions and they asked for interoperability on all functionality. Moreover, the interoperability would have to be proven in bench tests.

    They sought a distributor or energy services company that could deliver three vendors that would supply field gear – both network nodes for the luminaires and network gateways. And the bidding company would select one company to supply the central management software that had to work with the varied gear in the field. Ultimately, the city got four qualified proposals and selected the best one based on criteria including cost, but also the interoperability testing, experience of the bidder, and technical compliance.

    The installation began at the beginning of this year. Thus far the city has 100 gateways installed

    Lessard said that as a customer, you should demand the capabilities you need and vendors will work harder than you might expect to meet your requirements. For Montreal, the payoff is flexibility and independence from relying on a single vendor. And the city expects to add more functionality to its street-light network going forward through sensors for snow level, pollution, and more

    One other aspect of the Montreal project that’s interesting is the inclusion of energy metering in the luminaires.

    Many of the wireless nodes on the market can be equipped with a revenue-grade metering chip. There are many reasons for metering street lights and providing tariffs based on the meter, starting with public pressure on utilities to provide transparency into their billing. Traditional street light tariffs are based on a flat calculation of hours multiplied by rated wattage multiplied by rate, but citizens want more accuracy and municipalities are looking to acquire and own their street lights and need accurate energy data. With meter chips, you can potentially even monitor energy use in real time.

    He said the utility agreed to ±1% meter accuracy for all outdoor lighting. The tight accuracy specification is due to the fact that the in-node meters measure relatively low Wh (watt hours) per fixture as opposed to utility-grade meters measuring aggregate power in a facility at the kWh level and requiring ±2% accuracy.

    Smart city applications

    Of course, there are many other potential applications for interconnected outdoor lighting. Most involve adding sensors to poles that can send data back to the cloud for processing

    Alvarez said, “Cities around the world are reinventing themselves – are trying to understand how they migrate from what is considered to be the physical cities of the 20th century, cities that are built of bricks, of buildings, of roads and streets to digital cities, cities that have layers of information embedded to them.” The data comes from a variety of systems and transactions inherent in the digital cities. “We are sort of figuring out what that data means and scale, and what that data can be used for,” said Alvarez. “And there’s a role for that if we think about street lighting.”

    But Alvarez warned that we have to think differently about street lights. He said that while the lights are ubiquitous, the focus has always been about cost and quality of light. He stated that data is now a third variable that is a source of urban knowledge.

    He did cite some advantages street lights offer in enabling the vision he would espouse. We’ve heard these before. They are ubiquitous and powered. The size is right. Cameras can ideally be mounted up top and sensors for air quality and other things can be mounted 8 ft above the ground. He said the pole is an optimal form factor for sensors.

    Alvarez’s lab has been working with Philips Research on trial projects in Cambridge to find use cases that make sense.

    Part of the work is getting multiple uses out of one sensor such as a camera. If you install a camera on a pole, you should be able to use it to monitor pedestrians, automotive traffic, parking, and more. You have to decide what an application needs in terms of accuracy and other characteristics such as latency.

    Consider the numbers. To monitor moving cars on a roadway, you need to capture data at 15 frames/sec, which equates to a data throughput of 5 Mbytes/sec. To process that data, Alvarez said you need a “pretty beefy computer on board,” which would be expensive; or you need an architecture to transmit the data, which may create latency problems. With parking, you may only need to sample one frame every 30 seconds. That takes the data throughput down to 11 kbytes/sec (see table). But both applications utilize the same sensor.

    Smart city architects will have to carefully select the combination of sensors that might be deployed and how they are used. Temperature sensors are cheap and generate little data. You can install them anywhere. Cameras are also getting very cheap, but dealing with the output stream can be expensive. Thermal sensors, which can be a surrogate for a camera, are much more expensive but can lower the data rate and also eliminate privacy concerns that are common with cameras.

    Back to a more positive topic, let’s hope that the optimism surrounding smart cities and smart lighting is in fact going to lead to broad deployment of connected street lights. It’s clear today that a lighting manufacturer can’t get in the door at a potential customer site without a network and controls offering. But conversation around the SALC lunch­tables indicated that the controls are often still eliminated late in the purchase process as a way to cut costs.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fluke 3550 FC Sensor Recognized as Breakthrough Product of the Year

    The Fluke® 3550 FC Thermal Sensor has taken top honors in Processing’s 2017 Breakthrough Product of the Year Awards. The awards recognize product, technology, and service solutions that made significant contributions in the process industries within the last year and that are expected to have impact for years to come.

    This is the first honor for the Fluke 3550 FC Thermal Imaging Sensor, which was launched in August 2017, and the 28th for the underlying Fluke Connect® system — the company’s full-feature reliability platform that permits Fluke tool and sensor users to receive, store, analyze, and report electronic measurement data from more than 40 Fluke Connect wireless test tools and sensors.

    Visually inspect thermal patterns on multiple assets
    The Fluke 3550 FC Thermal Imaging Sensor is the first thermal imaging condition monitoring sensor to visualize thermal patterns on multiple assets. Alarms can be set to notify the user when the center-point temperature exceeds preset parameters. The sensor communicates directly with the Fluke Connect cloud for continuous streaming of thermal images, enabling managers to detect problems by visually inspecting sequential thermal images remotely.

    The compact sensor can be placed in areas that are dangerous or difficult to reach, reducing the risk to technicians. Images and measurements can be viewed on smart devices or computers allowing anytime access to key data to conduct smarter evaluations.

    The sensor can operate in high-performance mode to capture the most accurate images over an 11- to 14-hour period or in energy-saving mode to capture sequential images for up to three days.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Helsinki strives to become the most efficient and intelligent city in the world. Urban challenges can only be solved by technology, said Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori today in the 100 Glass of Technology Technology Center in Tekes! event.
    – We are looking for a city that uses digitalisation the best. This is evident for example in the development projects of Kalasatama and Jätkäsaari, Vapaavuori said.

    ABB’s Country Director Pekka Tiitinen told the Event Center at Telakka that Kalasatama is a good example of using the new intelligent technology. Kalasatama is the world’s first ring-type ring-topology smart grid for smaller voltages. Usually, the ring structure is used in backbone networks.

    This gives the network more switches and users can monitor their own power consumption in real time. – This is part of the techniques that enable future smart homes. And smart people are still very few, “Tiitinen recalled.


  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Make RFID Tags Practical Enough to Make Sense

    Four rapid fabrication approaches for printed circuits were compared in the production of RFID tag antennas for the European and U.S. frequency standards.

    In theory, radio-frequency-identification (RFID) tags provide the means of adding wireless labels to clothing or other merchandise almost anywhere and at any time, if those RFID tags can be made inexpensively enough to be practical. To find out, a research study took a look at four different ways to prototype flexible UHF RFID tags: based on ink-jet printing, wax-based ink deposition, cutting plotter shaping, and screen printing. An RFID chip from manufacturer Impinj (Seattle, Wash.) was used with the antennas as part of the evaluation.

    The antennas were fabricated on layers of polyimide (PI) Kapton HN material from Dupont (Wilmington, DE) with all four fabrication processes used to form antennas. O

    The different RFID tags were evaluated for tag sensitivity and radiation pattern, which is useful when analyzing tag behavior when varying its angular position with respect to the RFID reader antenna. Measurements on the tags representing the four different fabrication processes were performed at both the European RFID standard frequency of 866 MHz and the U.S. standard frequency of 915 MHz. The metal traces for both antennas are 1 mm wide. The gaps between adjacent metal lines ranges from 1 to 2 mm in the TP antenna and always 0.76 mm for the TM antenna case.

    During the study, all of the fabrication processes were found to be suitable for constructing RFID antennas with acceptable performance for the U.S. and European RFID tag standards.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Decentralized Fleet Tracking with Blockchain

    Asset tracking is a trend, but this project intends to work in a decentralized way storing each action, event or alert in a blockchain.

    Asset tracking systems are a trend nowadays for the sake of security, resource optimisation and more. And as time goes on, we notice that by decentralizing asset tracking with a blockchain, we can validate each action of the assets as a transaction. That validation will be done by participants of the chain, making public (in some way) those actions and transactions in a secure space.

    This approach allows the organisation to reach the CAP theorem, which affirms that there is no system that can cover that, but even this is violated by the blockchain. The blockchain can have:

    Partition tolerance
    Having these 3 main features in an operation, the organisations can ensure that any action, event or transaction over its assets can be stored, validated and propagated, avoiding the missing information.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Redpine Flexes ‘Lowest-Power’ Wireless MCU

    The IoT market has long proven elusive for its myriad main-chancers. Lately, however, some of those suitors are feeling comfortable enough to proclaim, at a recent industry gathering, that IoT is finally what’s happening.

    Moreover, the IoT market “is expanding,” said Tim Vehling, president of Redpine Signals, in a recent interview with EE Times.

    Clearly, there is no shortage of wireless chips on the IoT market, with many chips today claiming to offer both low power and multi-protocol support. But signs of a market shift on IoT are visible. Vehling observed many IoT device designers are now looking for combo wireless chips capable of supporting “a huge throughput and a longer range at a very low power.”

    Think battery-operated IoT devices, he said. Connected devices like wireless video (home surveillance, for example) and drones fall into that category. For IoT apps involving video, Wi-Fi is critical.

    Ultra-low power
    Separating Redpine’s new Wi-Fi combo chips from similar IoT chips is its claim to absolutely ultra-low power. At Redpine, “We are confident that we are offering the industry’s lowest Wi-Fi standby associated current of less than 50uA,” said Vehling. This represents a significant reduction of power, he said. The standby capacity of Redpine’s own previous version of Wi-Fi-capable IoT chip was 1 milliamps. Redpine’s new chips are manufactured by using a 40nm process technology.

    Vehling cited Texas Instruments and Cypress Semiconductor as Redpine’s closest competitors, but in terms of standby power, he believes that Redpine offers “the lowest based on anything that has been publicly announced by other companies.”

    Cypress, for example, announced last September for IoT market a new Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo chip, called CYW43012, using 28nm process technology. The chip consumes “about 0.003mA on a 3.6V rail and 90uA on a 1.8V rail in an associated Wi-Fi standby state,” according to the company.

    Integrated into Redpine’s new multi-protocol wireless connectivity chips are dual-band (2.4/5GHz) 802.11abgn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4 for Thread or ZigBee connectivity.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Love the Amazon Echo? Meet these 3 open source projects

    The past few years have seen a huge surge in the number of consumer devices with voice control features that have hit the market.

    First came the voice assisting smartphone, with Google Assistant and Siri, and now making their way into the rest of your house with always-listening devices like Amazon Echo and starting this week, Google Home.

    But where does open source fit into the picture? Is voice-controlled, connected future destined to be forever dominated by a few proprietary choices of custom-built hardware/software combinations that are essentially black boxes to their users? We hope not!

    In fact, there are a few open source tools for voice control out there already, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the field grows as the technology becomes more pervasive. Looking for a weekend project? Check out a few of these options.

    Alexa Skills Kit

    This only scratches the surface of some of the many ways that one can explore voice control with open source tools.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Solving smart clothing design challenges with printed flexible sensor technology–flexible-sensor-technology-

    From fitness trackers and smart watches to virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) headgear, wearable devices now permeate the everyday lives of consumers worldwide. People have come to rely on wearables to monitor their health and well-being, keep them connected to the outside world, and provide endless opportunities for engagement. Analysts predict that the wearable technology market will reach US$51.60 billion by 2022, driven by these consumer preferences for sophisticated gadgets, the growing incorporation of next-generation displays in wearables, and their intersection with the rapidly rising popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected devices.[1]

    As enabling technologies in flexible and printed electronics continue to improve, the field of wearable devices is already moving beyond rigid devices to encompass a host of smart textile-based bodywear, neckwear, eyewear, headwear and footwear. This article will focus on the challenges associated with designing smart clothing, and how flexible, printed sensor technology can provide solutions.

    Existing technology approaches

    Integrating sensors and their companion electronics into smart sports gear has been going on since 2002, when miniaturized electronic devices began replacing the probes, electrodes, and masks worn by athletes in training labs.[4] These approaches relied on standard available silicon-based sensors, microcontrollers (MCUs), Bluetooth transceivers, and batteries.

    More recently, flexible and printed sensor technologies have been implemented as a solution. Sensoria’s smart socks, for example, use chemically treated textile patches as variable resistors and weave in flexible, silver-based conductive yarn that connects each sock to a magnetic Bluetooth anklet, which then transmits data to a smartphone-based app. These approaches are still rather costly, and highly complex to design. In 2015, two pairs of socks and an anklet retailed for $200.

    The flexibility of the sensing device is critical to accurate data acquisition in rehabilitation applications as well as performance training. The sensors must be able to maintain a signal, even when bent at the most extreme angles. This is not possible with rigid silicon-based sensors.

    Sensor washability and durability are also important factors in smart-clothing applications. If they can’t be washed, they must be replaceable. As such, new printed sensor solutions must be low-cost and easily replaced.

    Power consumption is another design challenge, as wearing a battery adds to the wearer’s discomfort. Printed sensors use less than 1% of the system power budget, with 99.9% attributed to the companion MCUs and wireless devices.

    Printed sensor technology requires materials science mastery, in addition to development of the electronics. The materials themselves must be sensitive to different stimuli, and the ability to isolate one stimulus from another is essential.

    Design considerations for printed sensors

    The most difficult aspect of implementing printed sensor technology in smart clothing is the integration of the sensor with nonprinted electronics, such as a microcontroller, Bluetooth device, and power source. While these devices may eventually be printed, they don’t lend themselves to the format, and it would require years of costly development.

    From the perspective of the clothing designer, one of the main hurdles to overcome in designing smart clothing is the lack of technical knowledge for integrating sensors and electronics. To optimally assist them in achieving their design goals, partners must provide clothing companies with technical know-how that encompasses not only the finished printed sensor and its integration with the system electronics, but also an understanding of the best materials to use in that sensor.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Open-Source NB-IoT Shield for Arduino

    This completely open-source LTE shield uses the latest and greatest CAT-M NB-IoT technology optimized for low-power IoT devices!

    With the emergence of low-power IoT devices with cellular connectivity and the phase-out of 2G (with only T-mobile supporting 2G/GSM until 2020), everything is moving toward LTE and this has left many people scrambling to find better solutions. However, this has also left many hobbyists facepalming with legacy 2G technology like the SIM800-series modules from SIMCOM. Although these 2G and 3G modules are a great starting point, it’s time to move forward and SIMCOM recently announced their new SIM7000A LTE CAT-M module at a developer’s conference. How exciting!

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Things Network brings its products to market for easy development of low power, long range IoT networks

    With the help of The Things Gateway, The Things Node and The Things Uno, anyone can get started with the Internet of Things using Semtech’s LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology. The Things Network promises that anyone can setup a local network in 5 minutes, build an Internet of Things (IoT) prototype in 60 minutes and a proof of concept in a day. The products are now available in stock

    The Things Network – a collaborative Internet of Things data network, started in Amsterdam by covering the city with an open LoRaWAN™ network.

    Currently, there are over 28000 users part of this global community spread across 550 cities around the world. To accelerate the growth and support the global community, a Kickstarter campaign was organized which led to the crowdfunded development of The Things Gateway, Node and the Uno.

    Premier Farnell was chosen as the partner for the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of these products. The Things Gateway, Node and Uno were created with LoRa-based hardware and software solutions from Microchip Technology. The LoRaWAN modules are fully certified

    The Gateway, Node and Uno also contain Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® chips, a microcontroller, secure key storage, Flash memory and various analog blocks from Microchip.

    With over 1500 gateways to be shipped and distributed in over 50 countries around, the existing coverage of The Things Network will double. A majority of the orders are from European cities with an active community in place

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Integration creates smart, high-performance buildings

    Building owners are requesting integrated systems and smart buildings. Lighting and HVAC designers can work together to create these integrated designs.

    The systems that lighting designers, HVAC engineers, electrical engineers, building-technology engineers, fire protection engineers, low-voltage electrical designers and integrators, and high-performance design engineers develop and specify are inherently interconnected. Designers can no longer design each of these systems separately. Truly integrated teams that reach across discipline silos to collaborate and innovate will meet the building owner’s needs.

    The integration of lighting and HVAC systems has moved beyond the simple considerations of adding capacity to HVAC systems to accommodate added heat from light fixtures. The study of integrating these two systems is much more than the simple study of wattage from light fixtures.

    In the 1950s, fluorescent light sources were developed as a more efficient and longer-lasting light source, providing 60 to 80 lumens/Watt. Use became rampant and often led to over-illumination and to daylight being shut out of the interior of commercial spaces.

    Over the past few years, LEDs have proved to be a robust, long-lasting, and highly energy-efficient light source, providing approximately 100 lumens/Watt.

    LED light sources are low-voltage and run on dc power natively. To enable LED light sources to be used in the ac-dominated electrical world, LED light sources are equipped with a power supply or driver that transforms the ac power to dc power. Transforming at the light sources causes some loss of efficiency.

    There are systems being developed that use dc power within buildings, which would increase the efficiency of the LED systems. This type of system is interesting to contractors because the cabling can be Cat 5 or Cat 6 cables, similar to a low-voltage information technology (IT) system. These dc systems could also be designed to transmit and receive HVAC system equipment information on the same plug-and-play network.

    If the power generated by the solar-array system can be run on dc systems and backed up when the sun is not shining, the systems can be up to 20% more efficient.

    Integrated controls

    At a large scale, integrated controls take all systems used in the building, such as lighting, daylighting, sensors, HVAC, and IT systems, and control them together on one system. This can provide the building owner and facilities staff with one system to learn to operate and maintain. It makes sense to have a singular control for all systems or multiple simple systems that communicate with each other. As they are all interconnected, the efficiency of each system has a direct impact on the efficiency of the next. Each system ideally will be able to automatically adjust to suit the current requirements for light levels, temperatures, user controls, and time of day.

    Many buildings already have this type of control system with an energy management system (EMS) or building management system (BMS). In many cases, the lighting control system, as one example, would be kept separate from the BMS but be connected via one connection point on a BACnet, LonWorks, or another type of linked system. This approach has been used in some cases because facilities teams have been divided into different disciplines. That is, the lighting facilities team is completely separate from the HVAC systems facilities team. Just as engineers and designers must strive to be more linked, facilities teams need to be more integrated and collaborative starting early in the design process to maintain integrated controls.

    Integration does not have to stop at lighting and mechanical systems. Systems engineers also can integrate with structural systems and building-technology systems. Teams have been developing ideas around tying these systems into the structure of the building to ensure that wireless controls can function in all spaces. This type of system will mean that there are dead spots within the building, which is expected by building owners and occupants.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LEDs Need a Sensor Interface

    The IoT-Ready Alliance invites engineers to help define and implement an interface between LED lights and sensor modules.

    The IoT-Ready Alliance is a non-profit group of companies and thought leaders coming together to create a common standard for IoT-enabled light fixtures. It will define a standard interface between light fixtures and a sensor/communication modules, allowing multi-vendor interoperability between the huge number of light fixtures in the market and the dynamic world of IoT sensors.

    Much like USB ports on computers, the IoT-Ready standard will allow for a huge variety of sensor and communication modules to plug into LED light fixtures. These devices can be added to the light fixture at the factory during fixture manufacture, or in the field at any time.

    The alliance encourages all leading lighting, building management, and IoT companies to become a member and help shape the development and implementation of the standards. Both fixture-integrated and external sensors are being addressed, and the standards will include definitions for electrical interfaces, connectors, and mechanical form-factors.

    The Internet of Things is dramatically transforming the commercial building industry. It is empowering building owners to efficiently implement solutions that reduce energy consumption, enhance productivity and provide better conditions for building occupants.

    LED light fixtures typically boast a lifetime of 15 years or more. The relatively small adoption rate of IoT sensors means that we are condemning these buildings to be unintelligent for at least the next decade.

    The immediacy of this set of issues is a major challenge. According to a recent study from Wintrgreen Research, the LED lighting market is anticipated to grow 45% per year and reach $63.1 billion by 2020. We cannot miss this critical opportunity to ensure all new LED fixtures are future proof, so whether they are installed with a smart IoT sensor or not, they at least have the capability to add sensing intelligence in the future.

    IOT-Ready Alliance™

    The IoT-Ready Alliance™ is an industry organization working to make it easy for all LED lighting fixtures and the buildings they are installed to be made “smart’ by simply plugging in a compatible IoT sensor.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia Suri: Data is a new currency

    Tekes yesterday organized a smart city and traffic focused on 100 Glass! event. It was decided by Nokia’s CEO, Rajeev Suri, who knocked out companies with their own views of the smart city. Surin says the data is a new currency.

    Surin says that we are facing the fourth industrial revolution. Where previous annulment took away each century, the transition to the digital industry takes place in one generation. – The effect of change will be massive and affect all life and industry.

    According to Suri, Nokia has worked with over 40 cities for the use of intelligent technologies around the world. At the heart of development, there is a sustainable and high quality telecommunications network.

    - The network is both the intelligent city’s brain and its nerve network. It connects everywhere, connects the city’s various organizations and data centers, connects the entire structure to the cloud and still generates a IoT platform for data collection, Suri described.


  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The smart city needs 5G network and IoT technology

    A working smart city is built on telecommunication connections that work in addition to information, assured Tekes 100 Glass! Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri said yesterday. Almost 600 experts in the field participated in the event despite the winter rush.

    The biggest event in Tekes’ smart programs organized by the Helsinki Shipyard in 100 Lenses! brought together experts in the field and nearly 70 Tekes-funded smart city projects from companies and research institutes. In addition to the urban structure, the event included talk about robot trucks, 5G and various transport solutions.

    “The prosperous city of the future is human-minded and intelligent. Its energy, transport and construction solutions need to feature high-tech (eg 5G, VR / AR, 3D printing) and research, “said Karin Wikman , chief of the Fiksu kaupunki program at Tekes.

    “The main objective is to raise Finland to become the most attractive testbed in the world, both for research and development and for investments for the best domestic and international players,” said Mika Lautanala , Senior Vice President, Strategy and Programming at Tekes.



  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ultrasonic Sensors Measure Up in Home-Automation Applications

    Sponsored by Texas Instruments: Long used in sonar and more recently automotive systems, this venerable technology lives on in modern products for the home.

    Ultrasonics or ultrasound is a radar-like system that uses ultrasonic signals at frequencies above those typical for human hearing, usually above 16 to 20 kHz. The 40- to 70-kHz range tends to be most popular. Its main application is object detection and distance measurement.

    Ultrasonic sensors are already widely used in automotive applications and a variety of industrial applications. Now, though, new potential applications are being discovered in the home-automation market.

    Ultrasonic object detectors work like radar. A transceiver consisting of a transmitter transducer radiates a signal toward a target. That target reflects or echoes the signal back to the transducer receiver at the source (Fig. 1). These transducers are usually of the piezoelectric type, with 58 kHz being a common signal frequency.

    Ultrasonic Applications

    The concept of ultrasonics has been around for many decades, as is the case with the U.S. Navy’s sonar systems. Early TV set remotes exploited ultrasonic tones to change channels and volume. And ultrasonic sensors have been used in distance-measuring applications. Other common uses today include:

    Object detection and ranging in automated robots (e.g., self-guiding vacuum cleaner)
    Liquid-level measurement in tanks
    Parking assist in cars
    Blind-spot detection in cars in side rear-view mirror assemblies
    Kick-to-open tailgates on SUVs
    Liquid-flow metering

    Also known as a Smart Trunk Opener (STO), this system has grown significantly over recent years, especially in SUVs and high-end passenger vehicles.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Threat Modeling the Internet of Things: Modeling Reaper

    Part 1 of this series put forth the premise that if we want to make a safer Internet of Things

    Recall that a simple threat model consists of three steps:
    1. Cataloging the assets at play.
    2. Brainstorming the threats to those assets.
    3. Scoring (prioritizing) those threats to create a mitigation strategy.

    In Part 2, we mentioned that the OWASP IoT Project page contains a typical list of IoT project assets

    Recall from Part 3 of this series that you can use the STRIDE acronym to help you brainstorm threats to the asset list. STRIDE stands for:

    • (S)poofing of user identity

    • (T)ampering

    • (R)epudiation

    • (I)nformation disclosure

    • (D)enial of service

    • (E)scalation of privilege

    Reaper is fascinating because it doesn’t just contain one infection threat vector; it contains at least nine! If we take those nine vulnerabilities that Reaper is using to infect IoT devices and put them in a table

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IoT’s Many Different Forms
    Industrial and consumer IoT are developing in multiple guises.

    The Internet of Things is settling into widespread industrial applications, along with precision agriculture, while consumer IoT continues to find its way into the home through smart speakers and their digital assistants, such as Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home.

    “IoT is not a technology. Not at all,” says David Pugh, technology analyst at IDTechEx. “It builds on lots of other technologies. It’s a business model. And it’s about getting value out of the data produced. We’re talking about devices talking to devices. We’re not talking about mobile phones. We’re not talking about Apple Watches. We’re talking about machines talking to other machines.”

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The IoT Is Alive And Well
    Rumors of its lackluster growth appear to be company- or segment-specific.

    The IoT has been growing steadily since the term was first coined by Kevin Ashton, who began using RFID inside of Procter & Gamble to manage its supply chain. He moved from there to MIT to develop open standards for making RFID ubiquitous. The idea caught on in a very big way, which is why we are still being bombarded by predictions of humongous numbers of things being connected to other things with some or no human interaction.

    It’s hard to state the case for billions or trillions of things. The numbers vary so widely that it’s hard to tie any credible projections to them.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Preventing IoT Edge Device Vulnerabilities
    Billions of edge devices provide a vast attack surface.

    Securing The Industrial Internet Of Things

    A good security solution should not impact operations, reliability or profitability.

    Objects, sensors, actuators and controllers that were once designed for stand-alone operation are now increasingly connected by means of intelligent software and networks – forming the basis of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). To be sure, GE defines the IIoT as “a network of a multitude of devices connected by communications technologies that results in systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, analyze, and deliver valuable new insights.”

    IIoT infrastructure, as well as the data it generates, must be protected against a wide range of cyber threats. Vulnerable devices can be hijacked and even physically disabled, while unencrypted or unverified data transmissions can be intercepted, leaked or spoofed. A leak or deliberate falsification of sensitive data could cause a halt in factory operations, electrical blackouts or malfunctioning water treatment centers.

    Despite the real-world risks, IIoT operators are understandably concerned that implementation of a comprehensive security solution could pose integration challenges and incur additional costs. As such, the most effective security solution is one that does not negatively impact operations, reliability or profitability. Put simply, a practical, simple and secure solution that can be easily and widely adopted by IIoT OEMs and service providers is far more effective than a ‘super solution’ with only limited adoption.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Silicon Labs to Acquire Sigma Designs

    Silicon Labs announced a deal to acquire fellow chip vendor Sigma Designs for $282 million in cash.

    The acquisition broadens Silicon Labs’ IoT connectivity product portfolio to include Z-Wave, a mesh networking technology using low-energy radio waves for Internet of Things (IoT) smart home devices. There are currently more than 2,100 certified, interoperable Z-Wave devices available from more than 600 manufacturers. Sigma Designs is one of two chip vendors that provides Z-Wave chips.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Visible Light Spectrum, Temperature Sensors Target IoT

    Austrian analog chip vendor Ams rolled out two new sensors in the last week to support multiple IoT applications in health and wellness in lighting and smart buildings and the monitoring of temperatures in the cold supply chain.

    The AS7264N sensor provides precise measurements of biologically influential blue light, while the AS6200C is a digital sensor system providing a digital temperature sensor for temperature control and temperature logging applications.

    The new AS7264N is a tri-stimulus sensor which provides measurements of color that closely match the human eye’s response to the visible light spectrum. The sensor also accurately measures blue-light wavelengths, which researchers have linked to important health effects such as disruption or management of the circadian rhythm, accelerated eye aging and eye strain.

    The sensor is based on the ams AS72xx product platform which includes a family of light and color sensors from near-UV to near-IR for spectral and lighting applications.

    The AS6200C is a digital temperature sensor IC which offers highly accurate measurements in the temperature range -20°C to +10°C. Aimed at designers of refrigerators and data loggers in cold-chain storage equipment, the IC’s measurements are accurate to ±0.2°C between -20°C and 10°C, the temperature range over which storage equipment for perishable goods operates. The sensor’s accuracy is guaranteed over the device’s supply voltage range of 1.8V to 3.6V.

    The AS6200C is intended for use in equipment for storing and transporting food, pharmaceuticals, flowers and other perishable goods, as well as in domestic and commercial refrigerators. It is very well suited to data loggers that comply with the EN12830:1999 class 1 standard. It is available in production volumes. Unit pricing is €0.60 in order quantities of 1,000 units. An evaluation board for the AS6200C digital temperature sensor is available from the ams online store.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Add IoT to cargo handling

    Cargotec introduces the Global IoT solution for Orange Business Services in its products. The Million Euros IoT Agreement brings more intelligence to Finnish hardware and facilitates their monitoring and maintenance.

    Orange’s IoT service covers the ordering of seamless SIM cards, smart activation and tracking through the portal, simpler SIM cards at all locations, and scalable connections covering 220 countries and territories.

    “Reliable IoT communications system, global presence with local support and an attractive business model are vital for us on our journey towards the market leadership of intelligent cargo handling,” says Soili Mäkinen , Cargotec’s IT Director.


  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly

    Battery-powered solutions are expanding the realm of industrial automation to virtually all external environments, enabling remote wireless devices to thrive throughout the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

    Industrial automation no longer is constrained to the factory floor. With the help of wireless communications and advanced lithium battery technology, the landscape is expanding rapidly to incorporate increasingly remote and hostile environments.

    The explosion of wireless technology has fueled rapid expansion of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), allowing billions of wireless devices to become seamlessly networked and integrated while being liberated from the power grid. Battery-powered devices have brought wireless connectivity to virtually all industrial sectors, including process control, asset management, machine-to-machine, systems and systems control and data automation, transportation infrastructure, energy production, environmental monitoring, manufacturing, distribution, health care, and smart buildings, to name a few.

    Critical to this growth surge has been the evolution of low-power communications protocols, such as ZigBee, WirelessHART, and LoRa (a long range, low power wireless platform), and related technologies that permit two-way wireless communications while also extending battery life.

    For example, the highway addressable remote transducer (HART) communications protocol has been providing a critical link between intelligent field instruments and host systems for decades, employing the same the caller ID technology found in analog telephony and operating via traditional 4-20 mA analog wiring.

    it costs roughly $100 per foot to install any wired connection, even a basic electrical switch

    Choosing the ideal power source

    The vast majority of remote wireless devices are powered by primary (non-rechargeable) lithium batteries. In addition, certain applications are well-suited to be powered by an energy harvesting device in conjunction with a rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery to store the harvested energy.

    Specifying an industrial-grade battery involves multiple parameters, such as energy consumed in active mode (including the size, duration, and frequency of pulses); energy consumed in dormant mode (the base current); storage time (as normal self-discharge during storage diminishes capacity); thermal environments (including storage and in-field operation); equipment cutoff voltage (as battery capacity is exhausted, or in extreme temperatures, voltage can drop to a point too low for the sensor to operate); battery self-discharge rate (which can be higher than the current draw from average sensor use); and cost considerations. Industrial-grade lithium batteries most commonly are recommended for applications that demand the following:

    Reliability: The remote sensor is in a hard-to-reach location where battery replacement is difficult or impossible, and data links cannot be interrupted by bad batteries.
    Long operating life: The self-discharge rate of the battery can be more than the device usage of the battery, so initial battery capacity must be as high as possible.
    Wide operating temperatures: Especially critical for extremely hot or cold environments.
    Small size: When a small form factor is required, the battery’s energy density must be as high as possible.
    Voltage: Higher voltage requires fewer cells.
    Lifetime costs: Replacement costs over time must be taken into account.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Using energy management software to lower costs

    Energy management software is designed to measure costs and deliver quantifiable results for companies, from 5% to 25% annual energy cost savings. It can also be integrated with the cloud to lower energy costs and provide more immediate, hands-on data for users.

    Companies seek ways to save on operational costs while striving to be environmentally responsible. Energy management initiatives can help. This involves ensuring all possible energy sources and users are identified and measured. Energy management software analyzes factors such as:

    Consumption rates, such as kilowatt hours (kWh) provided from electric, wind, solar, or cogeneration sources; or l/hr from steam; or cu3/h from gas; or gph from water.
    Costs, such as money spent on electricity, steam, water or gas.
    Conditions, such as people per hour for occupants; hours of equipment runtime; lumens of sunlight; cubic feet per minute (CFM) in air handling units; square feet in zone footage; degrees in outside air temperature; or units in component counts.
    Carbon elements, such as measured carbon dioxide or methane.

    A comprehensive energy analysis tool should be able to deliver the back-end calculations, key performance indicator (KPI) analytics, rapid data historian storage andretrieval abilities, reporting, and visualization tools to manage and reduce an organization’s energy costs and carbon footprint.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Xage emerges from stealth with a blockchain-based IoT security solution

    Getting the myriad of devices involved in the industrial internet of things provisioned and communicating with one another in a secure way will be one of the great technological challenges facing companies in the coming years. Xage (prounounced Zage) emerged from stealth today with a blockchain-based security solution that could help simplify this.

    “This is an area where a wave of change is sweeping through the industry. Security is a foundational element of this innovation,” Greatwood told TechCrunch.

    He said that Xage is building a security fabric for IoT, which takes blockchain and synthesizes it with other capabilities to create a secure environment for devices to operate.

    “The blockchain is operating like a distributed, redundant tamper-proof data store. It connects with policies pushed from the cloud or configured locally. The [security] fabric enables the devices and AI and people to communicate with each other and controls the flow of information,” he explained.

    Xage emerges from stealth with a blockchain-based IoT security solution
    Posted 3 hours ago by Ron Miller (@ron_miller)

    Getting the myriad of devices involved in the industrial internet of things provisioned and communicating with one another in a secure way will be one of the great technological challenges facing companies in the coming years. Xage (prounounced Zage) emerged from stealth today with a blockchain-based security solution that could help simplify this.

    The company also announced that Duncan Greatwood has joined the company as CEO. Greatwood is an experienced entrepreneur, who sold Topsy to Apple in 2013 and PostPath to Cisco in 2008. These exits have given him the freedom to pick and choose the projects he wants to work on, and he liked what he saw at Xage from a technology perspective.

    “This is an area where a wave of change is sweeping through the industry. Security is a foundational element of this innovation,” Greatwood told TechCrunch.

    He said that Xage is building a security fabric for IoT, which takes blockchain and synthesizes it with other capabilities to create a secure environment for devices to operate. If the blockchain is at its core a trust mechanism, then it can give companies confidence that their IoT devices can’t be compromised. Xage thinks that the blockchain is the perfect solution to this problem.

    They do this by building a trusted network of people, machines and applications on the blockchain, which creates an irrefutable connection among these different entities and prevents anyone who has not been given explicit permission from gaining access.

    “The blockchain is operating like a distributed, redundant tamper-proof data store. It connects with policies pushed from the cloud or configured locally. The [security] fabric enables the devices and AI and people to communicate with each other and controls the flow of information,” he explained.

    Greatwood says this is helping solve a huge IoT security challenge because of the tremendous risk that’s inherent when everything can talk to everything. “Any to any communication at the edge with many devices is the worst case scenario for security because you are creating the maximum attack surface,” he said.

    But, he says, Xage’s blockchain approach flips that because the more participation you have, the more secure it’s going to be. “The more participants you have, the more security you have, the more redundancy you have, the harder it is to attack the system and break the consensus the blockchain is there to establish,” he said.

    The company is working with IBM on the Hyperledger Fabric project to build their blockchain along with some of the Ethereum technology.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IoT Reference Architecture: In search of a universal solution

    All technological solutions have architecture – a skeleton that is used to build a conceptual solution for a future project. IoT solutions aren’t an exception, and as a direction under development, its architecture is still open for standardization. So, the question remains: which IoT architecture can be specified as a reference one?

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Radar Health Monitor Coming Soon to IoT-Connected Homes

    Last year, researchers from Kyoto University and Panasonic Corporation developed a wireless radar-based device that could instantaneously and accurately measure the body’s vital signals such as respiration and heartbeat – and now they’ve made it even better. The sensor combined radar with signal analysis algorithms to measure how the body moves as the heart beats.

    “The device now utilizes the 79 GHz frequency band, instead of the previous 60 GHz. We also incorporated CMOS semiconductors. As a result, range and resolution improved, and it’s now only about one tenth the size – as big as a smoke detector.” Because of the new frequency band, the sensor can now measure the heart rates of multiple individuals in the same room, separated by as little as 3 inches.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LED lighting design considerations for smart cities

    “Smart City” refers to the integration of communications and physical assets into a cohesive network to facilitate a safer, more livable, and more energy-efficient environment for the people who live there.

    In a Smart City, real-time information is provided to administrators from a city-wide deployment of sensors and monitors. Depending on the design, the collected data can enable any number of capabilities, such as monitoring weather and air quality, adjusting traffic signals to relieve congestion, adjusting mass-transit schedules to meet changing demand, and more rapid deployment of emergency responders.

    While the Smart City installations throughout the Unites States – and the rest of the world – vary, one common denominator is the use of outdoor LED street lighting as the “anchor” for integration of the various sensors needed to collect data. This means that in addition to suitable lensing and housing designs that direct the output light to where it’s needed while minimizing glare and skyglow, an optimal outdoor LED lighting design needs to include additional performance features for Smart City realization. Here are some of things to think about:

    Energy Monitoring and Metering – because city administrators need data in order to evaluate the overall performance of the outdoor lighting system and identify ways to make the system more efficient, lighting should include capabilities for data collection and transfer. Relevant data includes ambient light levels, on-time, energy consumption, and status (e.g., full on, dimming level), transferred at pre-determined intervals to the network hub for collection and analysis.

    Dimming and Color Tuning
    Over-voltage protection

    Maintainability and upgradability – GPS location, luminaire status, sensor status, input voltage and current, and internal temperature are the types of information that a Smart City outdoor lighting product can provide to facilitate repairs or component upgrades with minimal downtime.

    Interoperability – the ANSI C137 Lighting Systems Committee defines interoperability as “the ability of systems or systems components to transmit, receive, interpret, and/or react to data and/or power and function in a defined manner”. Even though the terms are not equivalent, interoperability is often confused with the term “compatibility.”

    Security – last, but definitely not least is the consideration of network security.

    Smart City implementations will undoubtedly grow as part of the on-going conversion to LED technology for outdoor street lighting.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Cryptocurrency Without a Blockchain Has Been Built To Outperform Bitcoin

    Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency on a hot streak — plenty of alternative currencies have enjoyed rallies alongside the Epic Bitcoin Bull Run of 2017. One of the most intriguing examples is also among the most obscure in the cryptocurrency world. Called IOTA, it has jumped in total value from just over $4 billion to more than $10 billion in a little over two weeks. But that isn’t what makes it interesting. What makes it interesting is that it isn’t based on a blockchain at all; it’s something else entirely. The rally began in late November, after the IOTA Foundation, the German nonprofit behind the novel cryptocurrency, announced that it was teaming up with several major technology firms to develop a “decentralized data marketplace.”

    Though IOTA tokens can be used like any other cryptocurrency, the protocol was designed specifically for use on connected devices, says cofounder David Sonstebo. Organizations collect huge amounts of data from these gadgets, from weather tracking systems to sensors that monitor the performance of industrial machinery (a.k.a. the Internet of things). But nearly all of that information is wasted, sitting in siloed databases and not making money for its owners, says Sonstebo. IOTA’s system can address this in two ways, he says. First, it can assure the integrity of this data by securing it in a tamper-proof decentralized ledger. Second, it enables fee-less transactions between the owners of the data and anyone who wants to buy it — and there are plenty of companies that want to get their hands on data.

    A Cryptocurrency Without a Blockchain Has Been Built to Outperform Bitcoin

    The controversial currency IOTA rests on a mathematical “tangle” that its creators say will make it much faster and more efficient to run.

    The rally began in late November, after the IOTA Foundation, the German nonprofit behind the novel cryptocurrency, announced that it was teaming up with several major technology firms to develop a “decentralized data marketplace.”

    A what, now?

    Though IOTA tokens can be used like any other cryptocurrency, the protocol was designed specifically for use on connected devices, says cofounder David Sønstebø. Organizations collect huge amounts of data from these gadgets, from weather tracking systems to sensors that monitor the performance of industrial machinery (a.k.a. the Internet of things). But nearly all of that information is wasted, sitting in siloed databases and not making money for its owners, says Sønstebø.

    Now, here’s where things get really interesting. Instead of a blockchain, IOTA uses a “tangle,” which is based on a mathematical concept called a directed acyclic graph. Sønstebø says his team pursued an alternative approach after deciding that blockchains are too costly—it has recently cost as much as $20 per Bitcoin transaction because of high demand—and inefficient to operate at the scale required for the Internet of things.

    Part of Sønstebø’s issue with Bitcoin and other blockchain systems it that they rely on a distributed network of “miners” to verify transactions. (For more: “What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters”)

    So IOTA has dispensed with the miners. Instead, when a user issues a transaction, that individual also validates two randomly selected previous transactions, each of which refer to two other previous transactions, and so on. As new transactions mount, a “tangled web of confirmation” grows, says Sønstebø.

    Sounds great, but as Sønstebø notes, IOTA is still in “very early-stage beta.” And the high-profile names participating in its data market pilot—including Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom, and Fujitsu—suggest IOTA is onto something.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MediaTek Claims First Health Biosensor for Smartphones

    Claiming an industry first, MediaTek announced a biosensor that monitors six types of health functions — including tracking heart-rate information, blood-pressure trends, peripheral oxygen-saturation levels and more — from a smartphone.

    The MediaTek Sensio MT6381 is a software and module package designed to deliver health data via optical, electrical and processing components. The customizable device will allow smartphone manufacturers to make handsets with health-monitoring functions while eliminating the need for multiple sensors, according to MediaTek.

    The Sensio will also provide manufacturers the flexibility to develop proprietary applications or leverage third-party applications and developer add-ons, the company said in a press statement.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Driving Research into Intelligent Agriculture

    Initiatives throughout the world are taking shape to develop “smart” or intelligent agriculture to boost food security as the world’s population grows.

    Earlier this year, I had written about a farm automation project in the UK that successfully harvested its first barley crop using only autonomous vehicles and drones, with an output of 4.5 tonnes that would be used to make beer. Since then, I have seen significant initiatives around the world, from Europe to India to New Zealand, to introduce “smart” or intelligent agriculture, especially with concerns about food security as the world’s population grows. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that global demand for food will increase 60 percent between 2006 to 2050.

    With this in mind, the German research organization Fraunhofer has signed a letter of intent to collaborate with the Portuguese research funding agency FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) for developing intelligent agriculture systems.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Engineering for Privacy Requires Standards

    Common sense guidelines and standards are needed to help engineers create products that respect privacy and give users the rights to their own data.

    Companies across all industries are dealing with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May, giving enhanced privacy protection to personal data. The related EU-wide Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) will open up customer transactions and data to third parties with appropriate consent.

    Methods and common practices to meet these requirements are not established yet, a potential roadblock for product developers. The Kantara Initiative is working to address this challenge with its recently launched Consent Management Solutions Work Group.

    iWelcome and Launch Kantara Initiative Consent Management Solutions Work Group

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Consumer Space Drives Service Robot Sales

    Recent market studies on global trends in service robots conclude that the consumer-robot category is growing faster than any other kind. In 2020, service robots for domestic or personal use could well account for 40 million units sold — some of them by robotics startups, which are also on the rise.

    The service-robot category covers just about all robots other than the fixed-in-place, industrial machines designed to do one main job very accurately and very fast. Service robots vary widely in form and function and sell in far higher unit volumes than industrial robots. Most analyses distinguish between professional service robots, such as those used in military or medical applications, and robots for domestic and personal use, such as smart vacuums and toys. Professional service robots are more complex, command a higher price tag, and account for annual unit sales in the tens of thousands. Domestic and personal-use robots are simpler, cost much less, and sell in the millions of units per year. Most robots of both types are produced in the United States.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The customized standard solution is great for many

    Infrastructure for industrial objects is often a patchwork made up of many pieces, involving many different designers, subscribers, suppliers and users. In designing the constraints, it is often difficult to balance between whether components are tailor-made or standardized.

    - In large entities, sometimes the designers of the different areas focus on their own plot. For example, the designer of a machine frame may not be aware of the kind of electronics that must be placed on the machine. This results in problems when looking for a suitable case for electronics to be fitted, “says Ville Davidsson, Sales Director at Rittal’s Industrial Solutions.

    According to him, procurement managers often have their own wishes and production managers themselves. – Standard solutions bring cost-effectiveness at the procurement stage, but the use of customized components from the start can, in turn, facilitate the commissioning phase, Davidsson says.

    Between two extremes, Davidsson finds the third, intermediate option. – In many cases, the most cost-effective solution is to tailor a standard solution with small modifications to suit your intended use. For example, a component vendor may open or use a pre-assembled mass-produced case.

    Customizing a standard option recommended by Davidsson for your own needs will speed up implementation. – Depending on the situation, delivery of a customized component may take up to a couple of months. The lightweight customized standard product will be completed in about three weeks, counts Davidsson.

    - I’ve noticed that if the component supplier experts will be included in the consultation process as early as possible, delivery time can be optimized



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