IoT trends 2019

IoT is already completely entrenched in our society across end-market segments, but there are still enormous challenges around the design, development, and deployment of devices and services for the IoT, with security at the top of the list in 2019.

Here are some IoT trends for year 2019 to watch:

More device: There are four times as many devices connected to the Internet as there are people in the world, and the number of devices is increasing rapidly. There are computers, smart phones and many different kind of connected devices. Gartner forecasts that 14.2 billion connected things will be in use in 2019, and that the total will reach 25 billion by 2021,

Voice: The integration of voice into IoT devices creates an user experience that many consumers seem to enjoy. The next few years will see voice automation take over many aspects of our lives. The current major players in the IoT voice world are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri,  and Google Assistant. Microsoft’s Cortana seems to have already lost in the game as Satya Nadella says Cortana won’t challenge Alexa and Google Assistant directly; Microsoft will focus on making it a skill on other voice platforms instead. Voice won’t change everything but it will be one part of a movement that heralds a new way to think about our relationship with devices and data. Consider voice as a type of user interface to be added to the existing list of UI technologies. Voice will not kill brands, it won’t hurt keyboard sales or touchscreen devices — it will become an additional way to do stuff; it is incremental. We need to learn to design around it.Deloitte expects the sales of 164 million smart speakers at an average price of $43 in 2019. The smart speaker market will be worth more than $7 billion next year, increasing 63% from 2018’s $4.3 billion.

Automobiles: Automobiles are leading the way in IoT adoption. Gartner predicts that one in five cars will be connected by 2020. Both Google and Apple have tools that allow drivers to control calls, listen to messages and control apps using voice.

IoT clouds: Developing for the Internet of Things is a complex endeavor, and nobody wants to do it from scratch. IoT data platforms offer a jumping-off point by combining many of the tools needed to manage a deployment from device management to data prediction and insights into one service. There are many IoT cloud platforms to choose from.  All cloud platforms have their own distinctive areas of pros and cons. Ultimately the project needs and cost-effectiveness determine whom to choose. Utilizing cloud services also brings new potential risks that are good to understand already at the beginning of the project. I wrote on article to magazine issue 2/2018 on IoT cloud platforms.

Digital Twins: Digital twin tech, or a virtual representation of a product, is a critical concept in IoT that’s still being sorted out. Digital twin refers to a digital replica of physical assets (physical twin), processes, people, places, systems and devices that can be used for various purposes. Definitions of digital twin technology emphasize two important characteristics: connection from the physical model to the corresponding virtual model and this connection is established by generating real time data using sensors. Physical objects and twin models interact. Digital twins applications typically integrate internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning and software analytics with spatial network graphs to create living digital simulation models that update and change as their physical counterparts change. In various industrial sectors, twins are being used to optimize the operation and maintenance of physical assets, systems and manufacturing processes.

Edge computing: The shift from centralized and cloud to edge architectures is well under way in the IoT space. In the future, computing the edge of the network will become an increasingly important way of processing data from networked devices and sensor networksCompared to traditional centralized cloud computing, the new edge computing brings computing servers closer to the edge of the communications network. Compared to cloud centered IoT solutions, edge computing allow for lower delays and more reliable operation with respect to cloud services. At the same time, it promises improved security as not all potentially sensitive information needs to be transferred from the site to cloud. However, this is not the end point because the neat set of layers associated with edge architecture will evolve to a more unstructured architecture comprising of a wide range of “things” and services connected in a dynamic mesh. In thins kind of system data processing can be done on almost all network devices from IoT modules to gateways and in the future to 5G base stations.  Relevant standardizing organizations on this field are Edge Computing Consortium Europe, OpenFog Consortium and Industrial Internet Consortium.

5G: 5G networks start to arrive. The standards for 5G will be defined in large part by the direct integration of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices into global networks and devices. 5G networks are expected to be 10 to 100 times faster than current LTE technology. If you are in need for very high speed, your application resides inside the small 5G test networks coverage areas and your IoT device is allowed to consume considerable amount of power (more than 4G solutions), then you might be able to consider 5G. For all other cases I don’t see 5G would offer much for IoT applications in 2019. There is not yet ready 5G standards specifically designed for IoT applications. So for 2019 IoT and IIoT will need to be pretty much stick to 4G technologies like NB-IoT and LTE-M. For 5G to shape industrial computing application in larger scale than just some small tests we will have to wait till 2020. Addressing the issues behind Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices and 5G is important in next few years. Qualcomm, the largest supplier of modem chips used in smartphones, has introduced the X50 modem to give IIoT devices the ability to communicate over 5G networks. Beware of “fake 5G” marketing in 2019. The promise is that 5G will enable the future enterprise technologies everyone is predicting and waiting for: fleets of self-driving delivery trucks, virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and a world of enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) deployments — systems that will define an era that the World Economic Forum termed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”  Those promises will take years to realize, you will not see most of them in real use in 2019.

AI: Number one in Gartner’s predictions, no surprise, is artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be talked a lot with bold claims that AI goes from expert-only to everywhere. I would not expect it to be everywhere in 2019. Gartner, said in a statement, “AI will be applied to a wide range of IoT information, including video, still images, speech, network traffic activity, and sensor data.” At the moment many neural network systems are power hungry when implemented with traditional computer hardware. “For example, the performance of deep neural networks (DNNs) is often limited by memory bandwidth, rather than processing power.” By 2023, it’s expected that new special-purpose chips will reduce the power consumption required to run a DNN, enabling new edge architectures and embedded DNN functions in low-power IoT endpoints.

IIoT: The concept of a Smart Factory is composed of many different physical and informational subsystems, such as actuators and sensors, control systems, product management systems and manufacturing systems that all work together.  This is a very complex system. It is critical to understand differing operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) priorities to achieve collaboration and integration. Without this, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and control projects will fail. Also finding the right Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) vendor partner is crucial to success. OPC Foundation has on initiative to extend OPC UA out to field devices to provide vendor-neutral, end-to-end interoperability beyond the plant. Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) network works well for OPC UA applications.

Value chain: IoT as an umbrella term will diminish. There are strong views that “Internet of things is not valuable in and of itself” so the conversation is going to shift away from an ambiguous buzzword to the actual use of technology. For product designers this means that when we design our connected world, we need to pull ourselves away from the cool technology that we are building and look at the system through our customers’ eyes. The sales pitch will be more like “It’s about the use cases, it’s about the solutions, it’s about the applications, managing and monitoring assets, performance management solutions, different kinds of solutions coming together to solve a problem—that’s really what the value proposition is.”

IoT platforms: IoT vendors will compete to be the destination for IoT platforms. The IoT supply chain has been moving toward more collaboration to provide development and design kits designed for specific use cases and industries. IoT development kits are sold more and more with bundled IoT could service offer. IoT cloud service providers offer and recommend hardware that is tested to work well with their platforms. IoT platform vendors will be narrowing their scope in 2019, honing in on specific use cases. Business professionals aren’t looking for one industrial IoT platform to manage every process going on at their company, they are instead looking for platforms that specialize in specific tasks.

New development kits: A new breed of development kits is incorporating the three tenets of IoT design — ease of use, security, and business value. The promise is that the design engineers don’t need to have specialized expertise in several areas like networking protocols or security-related tasks, enabling a much faster development time. One way to simplifying design work is by intelligently reusing the fundamental building blocks.

Security: Wireless IoT devices are considered a major threat to the security of industrial networks. A growing number of embedded systems are open to security threats as a result of increasing connectivity and IoT device adoption. And it’s costing OEMs a lot in terms of money and reputation. A 2018 Gartner Inc. survey found that nearly 20% of organizations surveyed experienced at least one IoT-based attack in the past three years. IoT security is already a 1.5 billion dollar market. The market research firm Garnet expects that global spending on IoT security will rise to $3.1 billion in 2021, up from $1.5 billion in 2018. It is not about the spending on IoT security products. Already “a significant portion of OEMs’ existing in-house labor cost is already dedicated to addressing security” and is rising faster than development costs. VDC pegs the worldwide embedded engineering labor spend related to security at $11.6 billion in 2017, representing nearly 8% of the overall cost of embedded engineering labor. There will be different kind of certification marks for IoT product cyber security – some mandated with laws on some countries and some voluntary. 5G is going to increase security risks. Do we understand the 5G security threats to come? Most probably not because we don’t seem to understand well even that 5G really is.

eSIM: The embedded SIM card has been spoken for a long time, and even the first smartphones in which the SIM card has been implemented with an integrated circuit have already been introduced to the market. Infineon has presented the world’s first industrially qualified eSIM. Of course, eSIM shares opinions. Many operators do not like it.

Infonomics and Data Broking: Last year’s Gartner survey of IoT projects showed 35 percent of respondents were selling or planning to sell data collected by their products and services.“Data is the fuel that powers the IoT and the organization’s ability to derive meaning from it will define their long term success,” This brings us to Social, Legal and Ethical IoT because“ Successful deployment of an IoT solution demands that it’s not just technically effective but also socially acceptable,” It is possible tha tIoT Firms Face a ‘Tidal Wave’ of Lawsuits.

IoT Governance: As the IoT continues to expand, the need for a governance framework that ensures appropriate behavior in the creation, storage, use and deletion of information related to IoT projects will become increasingly important. We also need to manage IoT devices to keep them secure and make sure that they do what they are supposed to do. A market for IoT managed services will develop to help manage and operate fragmented IoT assets. “The idea of managing the ongoing end-to-end life cycle of a connected product is becoming more important, and ultimately this managed service opportunity is going to need momentum in the coming year,”

New Wireless Technologies: IoT networking involves balancing a set of competing requirements, such as endpoint cost, power consumption, bandwidth, latency, connection density, operating cost, quality of service, and range. No single networking technology optimizes all of these.

Trusted Hardware and Operating System: Gartner surveys invariably show that security is the most significant area of technical concern for organizations deploying IoT systems. Today organizations often don’t have control over the source and nature of the software and hardware being utilised in IoT initiatives. “However, by 2023, we expect to see the deployment of hardware and software combinations that together create more trustworthy and secure IoT systems.

Home automation: Arm predicts that the intelligent home goes mainstream. In survey results they published two-thirds of respondents said technology became “more a part of my life” during 2018. Cisco Systems is saying connected homes will be a big driver for the Internet of Things. “Connected home applications, such as home automation, home security and video surveillance, connected white goods, and tracking applications, will represent 48%, or nearly half, of the total M2M connections by 2022, showing the pervasiveness of M2M in our lives,” Cisco states in its new white paper, Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, 2017-2022. The market is starting slowly. Bundled IoT services will try to motivate a slow consumer market.

Smart cities: Cities are becoming smarter and smarter in an effort to improve efficiency in operations. Smart cities bring in both benefits and risks. Between smart lighting, traffic controls, and public transportation, smart cities are bringing in a whole new family of threat vectors. Cybercriminals will target smart cities with ransomware attacks. Smart cities need to take precautions.

Silicon Chip Innovation: “Currently, most IoT endpoint devices use conventional processor chips, with low-power ARM architectures being particularly popular. However, traditional instruction sets and memory architectures aren’t well-suited to all the tasks that endpoints need to perform,” New special-purpose chips will reduce the power consumption required to run a DNN. Very low power circuit designs are important in many applications. Battery-powered designs require complex optimizations for power in the context of area, performance and functionality. Devices that work without battery and gather operating power from environment are maybe even more challenging. Clearly, sensors are a big part of any connected device, and there is a lot of innovation occurring in this market that delivers new features — think AI — all housed in smaller packaging.

Open source: 2019 Will Be the Year of Open Source in IoT and embedded systems applications. From software and even hardware, we saw more activity in open source than ever before in 2018. And the momentum isn’t likely to slow down in 2019. Arduino is pushing strongly to IoT markets with MKR1000 series of IoT boards. Raspberry Pi is very widely used in IoT systems, especially on prototyping and small scale deployments


Links to other articles for IoT trends for 2019:

Internet of Things in 2019: Five predictions

Kymmenen tulevaisuuden kuluttajatrendiä ja ilmiötä

Deloitte’s 9 tech predictions for 2019

New Chip Architectures, Sensors and Trust in Top 10 IoT Trends (Gartner presented its top 10 strategic IoT technology trends)

Week In Review: IoT, Security, Auto (predictions from Arm, Deloitte and Juniper Research)

Predictions 2019: The Internet Of Things

Gartner Identifies Top 10 Strategic IoT Technologies and Trends



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IIC and OpenFog Merge

    The Industrial Internet Consortium has united with the OpenFog Consortium to focus on IIoT, AI, fog, and edge computing.

    The Merger Is Already Progressing

    IIC president Bill Hoffman noted that the merger came about because the two consortiums shared much of the same technology community. “We merged because we had overlapping memberships and overlapping efforts in the fog and edge technical work,” Hoffman told Design News. Hoffman noted that the OpenFog emphasis will be on the edge computing side. “I think it will merge under edge rather than fog. There’s lots of interest within the combined membership, which should accelerate deliverables.”

    While the OpenFog brand will be absorbed by IIC over the next six months, a planned OpenFog event is still in place. “We are planning a Fog/Edge conference in December in Long Beach, Calif. Otherwise, we’ll incorporate fog content into IIC,” said Hoffman. He noted that ICC is open to the concept of merging with other groups if the opportunity arises. “We’re always looking, but there’s nothing on the immediate horizon.”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alexa, Tell the Nurse I’m in Pain

    “If there’s nothing else Alexa can do but distract our patients from pain, anxiety, and loneliness in the room, that’s a win,” says Peachy Hain, executive director of medical and surgical services at the hospital who has overseen implementation of the technology.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teardown of a Smart Plug (or Two)
    Breaking open the Teckin SP23 and BlitzWolf BW-SHP4 smart plugs

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

    Dialog Semiconductor is shifting its product portfolio away from smartphones following its pending $600 million deal with Apple. The chip company is looking toward connected-health products and video-game consoles for future growth.

    The SEMI-FlexTech organization announced funding for two new projects. ITN Energy Systems leads a project to develop ultra-thin charge control circuits for an optimized ultra-thin battery as a renewable, self-charging, flexible source, in partnership with Molex, ENrG, Sunray Scientific, and the University of Rhode Island.

    Filament CEO Allison Clift-Jennings is touting the use of blockchain technology in securing data transfer to networked devices. Reno, Nev.-based Filament offers a decentralized IoT platform and has raised a total of $22.8 million in private funding.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Converting Wi-Fi Signals to Electricity with New 2-D Materials

    Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have designed the first fully flexible, battery-free “rectenna” — a device that converts energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity — that could be used to power flexible and wearable electronics, medical devices, and sensors for the “internet of things.”

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sentintarkasti paikantava Bluetooth tuli nopeasti

    Nordic Semiconductorin uusi nRF52811-piiri on nyt ehtinyt näytetoimituksiin Rutronik24-verkkokaupan kautta. Kyse on yhdestä markkinoiden ensimmäisistä piireistä, joka tukee Bluetooth 5.1 -laajennusten lisäksi Thread- ja Zigbee-protokollia.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Matt Day / Bloomberg:
    Amazon’s Alexa platform, which has 80,000 skills, has yet to have a breakout hit; interviews with developers show Amazon pays up to $5,000/month for a skill

    Amazon’s Alexa has 80,000 Apps—and No Runaway Hit

    The advent of the smartphone triggered an app gold rush. So far that hasn’t happened with Alexa.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet at the Device-Level

    IoT-drive technology standards are creating new possibilities for reducing the cost and complexity of integrating Industrial Ethernet into constrained networks and devices.

    Given the overwhelming success of DeviceNet, it’s not surprising that ODVA and Rockwell Automation would be interested in pursuing technology solutions for implementing Industrial Ethernet at the device level. The result is a push to explore enhancements to EtherNet/IP for constrained networks and devices, and ultimately pursue the possibilities and advantages of a harmonized network based on Ethernet, IP, and the related open ecosystem.

    . A number of factors are potentially coming together to advance the prospects of EtherNet/IP specifically for use with “constrained” networks and devices. These include:

    Unprecedented IoT opportunities have led the IETF standards organization ( to create IP-stack optimizations for constrained devices and networks (RFC 7228).
    Enhancements are applicable to both low power wireless (6TiSCH) and wired networks, and offer open standard solutions.
    Possibilities include elimination of TCP overhead (UDP-only), new abilities to compress messages (6LoWPAN), expansion of the address space (IPv6), security optimization (OSCORE), and an ability to shrink the web server used on devices (CoAP).

    The paper states that: “numerous industries flooded into IEEE to develop enhancements for enabling Ethernet to displace other networks at the edge. The resulting Single Pair Ethernet suite offers reduction in wiring, node cost, size, and power consumption, delivering communication and power over a single pair. A 1000 meter variant targets process plants and other large sites. A deterministic Ethernet bus variant targets very constrained devices, such as in-cabinet components.”

    IEEE Contributions

    Key industry participants have formed the OPEN (One Pair EtherNet) Alliance to promote a variety of Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) solutions, and are working toward open standards solutions within the IEEE.

    Work within IEEE on Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) is anticipated to deliver Ethernet communication and power over cables as long as 1000 meters (including many installed cables) into intrinsically safe environments.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Electronic Design with Low IQ

    Sponsored by Texas Instruments: As the Internet of Things matures, quiescent current becomes an ever-more important specification when making design decisions. Here’s what you need to know.

    As it turns out, low IQ is a good thing. A least when you’re designing electronic equipment for low power consumption.

    A device’s quiescent current, or IQ, is an important parameter to understand for battery-powered, energy-efficient designs. This article defines IQ and explains how it affects the design of switch-mode power supplies and the equipment they serve.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The benefits of CANopen IoT

    CANopen Internet of Things (IoT) is intended for networks without embedded internet protocol support, allowing access to local and remote CANopen networks using web protocols and communication services.

    What is CANopen IoT?

    One of the challenging issues is the end user has typically no detailed information on the fieldbus interface. Usually, the fieldbus system is transparent for the end user. Nevertheless, fieldbus systems often require geographical addresses such as device identifier, or device parameter addresses, to allow access to a specific network participant or a dedicated function. A pool of harmonized functions is accessible from anywhere in and outside the embedded fieldbus network.

    The end user can rely on and control the harmonized functionality independently from the hardware platform and communication technique without having knowledge of fieldbus details. CiA suggested using logical addressing as system-wide and technology-independent identifiers for CANopen elements. This addressing method allows users to request functions such as data monitoring and process control without knowing CANopen. However, the system itself still has to be pre-configured by a technician who knows CANopen.

    any industrial terminal, tablet, cell phone, remote desktop, etc. might serve as a human-machine interface (HMI) for diagnostic services. Bypassing the limiting central host controller opens possibilities for remote diagnostics and maintenance.

    However, providing visualization typically demands a lot of memory. Small sensors, which do not have the required memory resources, can provide visualization using an HTTP and Websocket with a broadband internet connection.

    he functions are CANopen communication services and parameters mapped with logical addressing into Restful HTTP or Websocket. The functions are requested/collected either straight or through the cloud using an existing internet infrastructure. The requester/collector is the web-based application while data provided is the application server located in the CANopen IoT gateway.

    Web or cloud

    For example, the CANopen IoT gateway may either tunnel HTTP requests/responses to the web app or through the cloud. Through the cloud, the communication path has to comprise the edge gateway having all tunneled data prepared for cloud-conform processing.

    The CANopen functional part communicates with the CANopen embedded network while the gateway provides the data obtained there to the other gateway functional parts. The IoT functional part prepares the embedded CANopen data in JSON format and maps it into the Restful HTTP request/response to transmit to the CANopen network/web-based application.

    Since CANopen process data or diagnostic information may occur upon an event with data dynamically updated to submit to the web, using a Websocket protocol may optimize the bidirectional communication. A Websocket session is established by the web app.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Making Agriculture More Precise — and Bountiful

    Second Green Revolution
    Indeed, we may be on the threshold of the Second Green Revolution. Crops are being sewn and fertilized using fancy new tractors with cabs that resemble cockpits, gathering and wirelessly transferring field data collected by myriad sensors that can be used to maximize yields during the growing season while planning next year’s crop.

    Among the biggest innovations of the last five years has been the introduction of cloud-based platforms that use steadily improving broadband connections to collect and organize field data swept up by sensors.

    “Farming is really a team sport,” said Jeremy Leifker, who oversees John Deere’s Operations Center, which currently connects a growing ecosystem of more 100 software tools. Farmers work with equipment dealers, agronomists, county agricultural agents and, now, software vendors to boost yields while operating sustainably.

    Leifker estimates the Operations Center is currently pulling in as much as 15 million field-sensors input per second. The rollout of 5G wireless technology with its IoT capabilities could provide real-time data capture to help make better decisions.

    Growers connect with the ops center via web-based interfaces or iOS and Android devices in the field. Still, Leifker noted, connectivity remains an issue.

    ‘Software feeding the world’
    Emerging software tools focused on more precise application of pesticides are part of broader decades-old movement called “integrated pest management.” The approach seeks to replace the traditional broadcasting of pesticides with targeted application of weed and pest killers, bringing with it the double advantage of polluting less and saving a few bucks.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why predictive maintenance hasn’t taken off as expected

    A recent Bain & Company report suggests predictive maintenance is just one area of industrial IoT that hasn’t met expectations.

    “Two years ago, predictive maintenance was forecast to be one of the most promising uses of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).”

    Predictive maintenance hard to implement, hard to derive value

    According to Bain, there have been problems on the both sides of the ball: First, implementing predictive maintenance has been harder than expected, and second, deriving valuable insights from the data gathered has also turned out to be unexpectedly challenging.

    But wait, it gets worse.

    It seems that “predictive maintenance is just one of many IoT use cases that customers have had difficulty integrating into their existing operational technology and IT systems.” While investment in proof-of-concept projects continues, the Bain report said, actually turning that into successful mainstream implementations hasn’t been able to keep up. Long-term enthusiasm for the technology remains strong, the survey showed, but many industrial organizations now foresee implementation taking longer than initially predicted. (Bain still predicts the industrial IoT market to double by 2021, topping $200 billion.)

    Suggestions for IoT vendors

    To overcome these issues, Bain says, analytics firms, industrial technology makers and cloud service providers must help their customers gain deeper experience in industry-specific applications and offer more complete, end-to-end IoT solutions.

    In the short run, though, that may not be so easy, for a variety of reasons.

    First, industrial IoT vendors and users don’t always agree on what’s important and what’s ready for prime time, the Bain survey revealed.

    Software deficiencies also remain a problem. According to Bain, “Device makers and other vendors of industrial and operational technology need to dramatically improve their software capabilities—not a historical strength for most of them.” The report notes that many vendors are spending freely on acquisitions to accumulate the required capabilities.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Beyond Proofs of Concept: Scaling the Industrial IoT

    Customers are finding it harder to implement the industrial IoT than they expected. Here’s how vendors can help.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Production, growth hurt by Skills Gap
    Report from Deloitte, The Manufacturing Institute points to digital skills needed for the future.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet at the Device-Level

    IoT-drive technology standards are creating new possibilities for reducing the cost and complexity of integrating Industrial Ethernet into constrained networks and devices.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Angela Chen / The Verge:
    Voice-enabled tech has given rise to voice analysis research that provides insight into human behaviors, but raises concerns about privacy and accuracy

    Why companies want to mine the secrets in your voice

    Voices are highly personal, hard to fake, and contain surprising information about our mental health and behaviors.

    Voicesense makes an intriguing promise to its clients: give us someone’s voice, and we’ll tell you what they will do. The Israeli company uses real-time voice analysis during calls to evaluate whether someone is likely to default on a bank loan, buy a more expensive product, or be the best candidate for a job.

    It’s one of a crop of companies looking for the personal insights contained in our speech. In recent years, researchers and startups have taken note of the rich trove of information that can be mined from voice, especially as the popularity of home assistants like Amazon’s Alexa make consumers increasingly comfortable talking to their devices. The voice technology market is growing and is expected to reach $15.5 billion by 2029, according to a report by business analytics firm IdTechEx. “Almost everyone talks and there’s a plethora of devices that capture voice, whether it’s your phone or things like Alexa and Google Home,”

    Voice is not only ubiquitous; it’s highly personal, hard to fake — think about the incredulity surrounding the falsely deep voice of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes — and present in some of our most intimate environments. People speak to Alexa (which has erroneously recorded conversations) in their homes, and digital voice assistants are increasingly used in hospitals.

    “We can provide predictions about health behavior, working behavior, entertainment”

    The company has tested the product for seven years and with over 1,500 patients, according to CompanionMx chief executive Sub Datta. The product, which spun out of another voice analysis company called Cogito, has received funding from DARPA and the National Institutes of Mental Health. Results published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research suggest that the technology can predict symptoms of depression and PTSD, though further validation is needed

    In pilot studies, 95 percent of patients have left audio diaries at least once a week, and the clinicians access the dashboard at least once a day, according to Datta. These numbers are promising,

    The bank provided voice samples from a few thousand debtors. (The bank already knew who had and hadn’t defaulted on their loans.) Voicesense ran its algorithm on these samples and classified the recordings into low, medium, and high risk.

    “What happens when the algorithms are wrong?”

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Could 5G Be the Missing Puzzle Piece for Self-Driving Cars?

    At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, 5G took the spotlight as the next big technology paradigm shift. What does that mean for self-driving cars hitting the market in the near future?

    Ever since the Internet of Things (IoT) became part of our world, the promise has always been that the number of connected devices would be in the billions. According to, by 2025 there will be at least 75 billion devices connected to the internet. In an attempt to help manage those devices, to ensure each one has the required speed and data bandwidth, telecommunication companies and organizations have begun investing in 5G, the new generation of wireless communications.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cellular-V2X (vehicle-to-everything) is a developing communication platform that leverages LTE and, in the future, 5G communications. C-V2X provides an integrated solution for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-network (V2N) using cellular networks.

    5G Automotive Association (5GAA) is a global cross-industry organization of companies from the automotive, technology, and telecommunications industries working together to develop end-to-end solutions for future mobility and transportation services.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Prototyping IIoT Platforms Just Got Easier

    Sponsored by Digi-Key and ON Semiconductor: No need to start from scratch with these SoCs and wireless development kits.

    Step #1: Do a site survey.
    Step #2: Choose a technology.
    Step #3: Build or buy?
    Step #4: Identify a power source.
    Step #5: Begin prototyping.

    Wireless Development Kits

    When prototyping an IIoT system, chances are you will need to spend more time on the wireless technology selected. Prototyping kits are available for some technologies.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IO-Link: The backbone of the smart factory

    You’ve likely heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it not only connects your internet-enabled devices to each other, but enables them to communicate and share data to improve your quality of life

    You may think that factories are already efficient based on the quality of products you buy today and the price at which you can purchase them. In reality, factories have numerous inefficiencies that an interface like IO-Link can help reduce. The IO-Link Consortium and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61131-9 standard established a bidirectional, manufacturer-independent communication protocol for sensors and actuators. The specification also defines a mechanical interface that is fully backward-compatible with existing field buses, such as Profibus, Profinet and EtherCAT, used today.

    Let’s look at few key advantages of IO-Link and how they are helping drive factory automation:

    Bidirectional communication. Today’s factories primarily use one-way sensors, meaning that they only provide data based on standard input/output (SIO)/digital output switches. So if a red wagon in a toy factory comes down the line painted green, the one-way sensor alerts engineers of the fault. But that isn’t helpful if someone actually ordered a green wagon. IO-Link’s bidirectional protocol enables factories to easily update sensor parameters, enabling custom orders without going to the factory floor to reprogram each sensor. Bidirectional communication also provides factories real-time information about cable breaks, overtemperature conditions, output shorts and transfer diagnostics. In some cases, the sensor can even alert the factory that it is nearing its end of life.
    Manufacturer-independent. Manufacturers who follow the IO-Link standard will produce sensors and actuators that operate, not only with their other products (sensors, programmable logic controllers [PLCs]), but with competitor solutions. A standard interface, cable and connector gives factories the ability to develop a process that delivers products based on their key requirements, while maintaining a high level of efficiency and flexibility.
    Communication protocol. IO-Link’s point-to-point communication protocol enables up to 32 bytes depending on the required cycle time. Additionally, the IO-Link master can store sensor and timing parameters. This key feature enables engineers to easily switch out faulty sensors and download parameters to the new sensor automatically, further reducing downtime and increasing factory efficiency.
    Backward compatibility. As I mentioned, SIO/digital output switches are the primary interface to the PLC today. There are many SIO sensors installed in factories today, and the thought of replacing them with a new technology is an overwhelming one. The IO-Link authors recognized this and mandated that the connector for IO-Link must use not only the same connector/pinout as the installed base, but also the same cabling, so that manufacturers could easily update their factory lines.

    Both IO-Link and SIO use the C/Q (or OUT) signal for data.

    Is your factory smarter than a fifth grader?

    TI’s TIOL111 IO-Link transceiver and TIOS101 digital output switch will enable the next generation of sensors and actuators in factories, while providing features that further optimize product offerings and simplify bill of materials.

    You can take advantage of the pin compatibility between the TIOL111 and TIOS101 devices to develop a complete portfolio of both IO-Link and standard input/output (SIO) enabled sensors without using two separate printed circuit boards (PCBs) for each offering. Each device supports the interfaces intended while also supporting a high level of integrated protection, including:

    16kV International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61000-4-2 electrostatic discharge (ESD).
    4kV IEC 61000-4-4 electrical fast transient (EFT) Criterion A.
    1.2kV/500Ω IEC 61000-4-5 (surge).
    ±65V transient tolerance.
    Reverse polarity up to ±55V.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IO-Link Technology Enables Smarter Factories

    A key enabler of Industry 4.0 is IO-Link. An IEC-standardized, bidirectional communication protocol, IO-Link brings data from the factory floor to the plant level for factory efficiency, sensor diagnostics, maintenance, and more. With IO-Link, plant managers can easily receive sensor health updates and plan for upcoming sensor maintenance or replacement.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why is Interconnection Mission Critical on the Road to Smart Traffic?

    Emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G mobile networks, and machine learning are driving smart traffic fast forward. Traffic technology raises massive interest around the world. Intensive research, testing and investments of new digital solutions is under way by companies, academic institutions, cities and governments.

    For instance, one initiative for smarter and more secure traffic is active here in Finland: The Traffic Lab. It is a test lab open for new digital traffic solutions, and there’s even a 5G test network available. One aspect is quite astonishing: it provides a testing environment for autonomous vehicles – on normal roads in live traffic! Another unique aspect is that here manufacturers and developers can test whether their traffic technology survives arctic weather conditions.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Making Flight Safer With the “Internet of Airplanes”

    The Virtual Sky platform was developed to fuse and analyze flight sensor data correctly, reliably, and quickly. Virtual Sky would serve as a model extension of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System

    This “Internet of Airplanes” will use Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment to selectively share some of the massive amounts of sensor data – meteorological, mechanical, environmental – modern airplanes collect, providing airplanes in the same neighborhood with an accurate assessment of present conditions.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can Drones Provide Agricultural ‘Ground Truth’?

    And, unlike airplane and satellites, drones equipped with thermal and multispectral sensors can fly below the clouds.

    Soil and moisture mappers provide plenty of useful data once farmers figure out how to organize and make sense of it. Big farm equipment makers like John Deere have made it easier to collect and wirelessly transmit field data captured by drones or ground sensors.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Making Agriculture More Precise — and Bountiful

    What does seem to be gaining traction are relatively inexpensive software tools running on what amounts to a Farm Cloud that can increase yields while lowering operating costs. The tools are part of what venture capitalists like Andreessen Horowitz (known for the tagline: “Software is eating the world”) insist is a shift toward “data-driven” precision agriculture. Promoters also see the transition to carefully calibrated use of fertilizers and pesticides along with high-yield seeds as an extension of the Green Revolution launched in the middle of the 20th century.

    Second Green Revolution
    Indeed, we may be on the threshold of the Second Green Revolution. Crops are being sewn and fertilized using fancy new tractors with cabs that resemble cockpits, gathering and wirelessly transferring field data collected by myriad sensors that can be used to maximize yields during the growing season while planning next year’s crop.

    Among the biggest innovations of the last five years has been the introduction of cloud-based platforms that use steadily improving broadband connections to collect and organize field data swept up by sensors.

    “Farming is really a team sport,” said Jeremy Leifker, who oversees John Deere’s Operations Center, which currently connects a growing ecosystem of more 100 software tools. Farmers work with equipment dealers, agronomists, county agricultural agents and, now, software vendors to boost yields while operating sustainably.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

    Apple purchased a portfolio of eight granted and pending patents that belonged to Lighthouse AI, a smart home security camera startup that ceased operations near the end of 2018.

    CTIA, the wireless industry association, approved AT&T’s HARMAN Spark as the first device certified under the trade group’s Internet of Things Cybersecurity Device Program. The HARMAN Spark is a plug-in device that is said to turn any car manufactured after 1996 into a connected car.

    Bipartisan legislation regarding cybersecurity standards for Internet-connected devices was introduced in Congress this week.

    FogHorn Systems reports that NTT Data selected its Lightning software to provide on-premise real-time analytics and artificial intelligence to their industrial clients.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The benefits of CANopen IoT

    CANopen Internet of Things (IoT) is intended for networks without embedded internet protocol support, allowing access to local and remote CANopen networks using web protocols and communication services.

    The CAN in Automation (CiA) Special Interest Group (SIG) CANopen IoT designed specification CiA 309.5. It allows CANopen embedded network users to access their local and remote CANopen networks using web protocols and communication services such as Restful HTTP, Websocket, and MQTT.

    What is CANopen IoT?

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Connecting quality data to process data

    Using advanced analytics can help assure product quality and overall operational efficiencies. See case study example.

    Product quality has always been, and will remain, a constant focus and challenge for process manufacturing companies. Today’s changing landscape brings new ways for the industry to strive for, and achieve, operational excellence by using Big Data. Big Data and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has opened new ways to improve product quality. Self-service advanced analytics, in particular, allows subject matter experts (SMEs) to contribute to operational excellence and meet corporate quality and profitability objectives.
    What defines product quality?

    A modern definition of quality is “fitness for intended use,” which implies meeting or even exceeding customer expectations. Another way of defining quality is what impacts the product quality before the customer uses it in these three ways

    1. Raw material
    2. Production line
    3. Product storage and shipment conditions

    Quality control or quality assurance?

    Quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) ensures product quality. QC and QA are closely related, but different concepts. QC detects errors in the product while QA prevents quality problems.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Manufacturing and process facility trends: Optimization

    Technology update: Optimization is among key trends for manufacturing and process facilities highlighted in the media session at ARC Forum 2019.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Gaining the edge in automation

    Edge computing advances give users more options for architecting automation systems as well as flexible communication and programming choices.

    Traditional automation architectures are built around centralized programmable controllers connected to remote field devices and instruments. However, this concept is shifting as computing power is progressively embedded near the edge of automation systems using new types of intelligent components.

    Programming options

    Programming for these edge components can take many forms. Traditional programmable logic controller (PLC) users usually will look for ladder logic or other IEC 61131-3 programming languages. However, a flowchart-based programming language is often better suited for the application.

    Python or C/C++ might be preferred for more advanced calculations and data processing. Some edge computers can accommodate these programming languages and others

    Universal translator

    Communications flexibility is another hallmark of edge computing. An edge programmable industrial controller is equipped with various communication ports and supports a wide range of protocols so it can connect with numerous local intelligent systems such as PLCs.

    Edge computing components support operations technology (OT) protocols such EtherNet/IP, Modbus, BACnet, those from OPC Foundation, and others. It also supports information technology (IT) protocols and development tools such as TCP/IP, simple network management protocol (SNMP), message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT), and Node-RED. This suite of interfaces effectively “flattens” and simplifies the system architecture

    Familiar features

    Classic automation systems relied on centralized and dedicated HMI hardware and/or software, sometimes proprietary and usually very expensive. Today’s users have been trained by their home computers, consumer devices and smartphones to expect rich HMI options almost everywhere.

    Picking the right control system

    When specifying edge computers ask if it can it:

    Serve as a standalone controller and HMI for one machine?
    Replicate one machine to many and enable them to communicate with each other and with local plant systems?
    Extend control to a larger supervisory system and publish data to the cloud? If so, can it publish some data now and the rest later?

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sensors, Networks Enable Precision Agriculture

    Two powerful trends – the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics – are generating lots of press for their industrial and infrastructure applications. But there is another application space that is quietly gaining momentum in the application of these technologies: food production. Farmers are improving yields, reducing loss, and reducing cost by making more targeted use of resources such as fertilizers and water. The starting point for this “precision agriculture” is data, which sensors and wireless networking play key roles in gathering.

    There are essentially three platform types involved in precision agriculture: aerial, ground-based mobile, and stationary systems.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s Next for Human-Machine Interface: Touchless Control

    There’s a race on to market the first devices with touchless / gesture control. LG led the pack at MWC, and Google and Apple appear very close on its heels. Those two could possibly introduce products featuring this kind of human-machine interface (HMI) before 2019 is out.

    The two latest trends in HMI technologies are voice activation and touchless or gesture control. Voice-controlled products received a lot of attention at Embedded World in Nuremberg

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IoT Is the Top Technology for Developers

    Of all the emerging technologies, product developers point to IoT as the most important, though security remains a challenge.

    According to a survey of developers by Avnet, IoT is cited most often as the most improved and the most important technology. This is followed by sensor technology, which is an integral part of IoT. Avnet surveyed 1190 members of its and Element 14 communities to find out how they’re focusing their development efforts and what challenges they’ve faced over the past year.

    Results from the survey include:

    26 percent of developers agree that IoT was the most improved technology over the past year. IoT also tops the list of most important technologies (37 percent), followed by sensors (24 percent).
    An overwhelming majority (81 percent) of developers working at startups say IoT security is a major roadblock when launching new products and services.
    One in 3 developers have recently looked for partners to help bring products to market. When looking for a partner, 76 percent of developers prefer the flexibility of choosing specialized expertise.

    IoT technology was cited by respondents as the most significant growth in importance, up 14 percent from last year, followed closely by drones and robotics projects, which were up 8 percent. More than a quarter of developers (26 percent) also noted that IoT is also the most improved technology of the past year, followed closely by artificial intelligence at 25 percent.

    Security Is Among the Top Issues

    Developers believe that security remains the biggest technological hurdle in IoT deployment (81 percent). Time-to-market is also a great challenge, according to respondents. They say that cost is the biggest challenge once they move from design to manufacturin

    Seeking Partners in Technology

    The survey revealed a trend toward finding new partnerships and collaborations for development. More than a third of developers (37 percent) seek a partner to help them bring a product to market. “It’s a telling statistic. What we see is the product developers are using tech they have familiarity with,” said Merriman. “They find a comfort zone and then run into challenges or problems.”

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Your Earbuds Will Become Your Most Powerful Health Monitor

    Forget Fitbits and smart watches. In the next few years, the most advanced fitness and medical monitor will be your headphones. Smart headphones, or “hearables,” will do way more than pump up the bass—they’ll monitor your heartbeat, detect when you’re stressed, and track your brain waves.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:


  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Big Data City – Urban Life in the 21st Century

    It will be tight in the cities of Europe and North America. More and more people are moving into urban areas, and not just since yesterday. The administrations of the affected cities need more and more information to be able to work efficiently, people have to get used to ever-narrower living spaces, and environmental pollution can be added to all this.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Week in Review: IoT, Security, Auto

    Internet of Things
    Second-tier cities in the U.S. that can’t attract projects like the Amazon HQ2 are welcoming the testing of autonomous vehicles, smart city technology, and advanced surveillance techniques

    The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is working with IBM in implementing Internet of Things technology to improve operations and service.

    Ingram Micro aims to make IoT implementations easier and simpler through its new IoT Marketplace. The distributor is offering development kits including sensors, gateways, and other components for IoT projects.

    Sprint brought out the Curiosity IoT Estimation Tool, software that provides immediate access to customized Sprint Curiosity IoT data pricing for small and medium-size businesses, along with enterprise customers.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Reliable Power for the Industrial Internet of Things

    Sponsored by Digi-Key and RECOM: One may want to rethink the make vs. buy power-supply decision when attempting to meet IIoT requirements.

    All electronic equipment requires a dc power supply. Power supplies for industrial and factory-automation equipment are a special case, though. Not only must they operate in what is considered a hazardous environment, but they must also be small, efficient, reliable, and economical. They’re a tough combination of design goals to achieve.

    If you’re designing equipment for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) or the Industry 4.0 movement, you must meet those challenging goals. For that reason, you should carefully consider a make vs. buy decision on the power supply. Why make your own if the budget allows you to acquire power supplies made especially for these applications?

    IIoT Power Sources

    Plenty of power-supply vendors are out there. But if you’re shopping for a supply targeting IIoT and related products, take a look at Austrian-based RECOM. Distributed by Digi-Key, the RECOM product line includes both ac-dc and dc-dc supplies to fit almost any IIoT application.

    Some of their basic features are:

    Compact design: small size, low profile.
    Designed for PCB mounting.
    Low standby-current consumption.
    Wide input voltage range (85 ac-528 V ac; 120-370 dc)
    Wide operating temperature range (−40 to +85°C)
    Common dc output voltages (3.3, 5, 12, 15, 24, 48 V).
    Overvoltage, overload, and short-circuit protection.
    Required U.S., European, and international safety certifications.
    EMC-compliant; internal class B EMC filter included.
    Low cost with three-year warranty.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sensors, Networks Enable Precision Agriculture

    Two powerful trends – the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics – are generating lots of press for their industrial and infrastructure applications. But there is another application space that is quietly gaining momentum in the application of these technologies: food production. Farmers are improving yields, reducing loss, and reducing cost by making more targeted use of resources such as fertilizers and water. The starting point for this “precision agriculture” is data, which sensors and wireless networking play key roles in gathering.


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