Independent power to boost the IoT’ lift off

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is reported to have said that “you will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.m2mnow.biz

As the efficiency of energy harvesting improves, the range of applications for self-powered sensors goes on expanding (examples of these possibilities can be found in this recent [August 2015] White Paper from EnOcean on “Energy Harvesting Wireless Power for the Internet of Things”).   When everything is said and done, the “Internet of Things” expression among similar terms (e.g., “ubiquitous computing”, “connected objects”, “Industry 4.0”, etc.) is akin to an umbrella that embraces a profound societal transformation, i.e., the insertion, thanks to the timely convergence of a multitude of mutually-reinforcing trends, of almost anything and everything into the communications fabric. This is a tall order, which we can barely comprehend and whose power equation cannot be solved only through conventional means.  While battery reliability, safety and storage capacity continue to benefit from impressive technological achievements, and offer undeniable possibilities, they will not be enough to support the anticipated wide expansion of the Internet of Things. There will be places where changing batteries (e.g., when completely drained or defective) will be too risky or costly and where power will be required to be scavenged from ambient sources.   While independently powering “things” with size, weight, and capabilities of the likes of smartphones and tablets is not yet within reach (we are about 2 to 3 orders of magnitude below that), energy harvesting is advancing by leaps and bounds, making it, at least for the time being, well suited for low-power devices.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

“IoV”: Internet of Value – Banking Exchange

New protocol could usher in real-time payments First there was the internet. Then came the internet of things. Now, watch out for something called the…

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The Banking Community is starting to scramble when I read articles like this.  “The largest and smallest banks globally are trying to find alternatives to correspondent banking. It [correspondent banking] works, but is antiquated. You can literally FedEx money to Europe faster than you can wire it through your bank.”  IDC Financial Insights issued a recent study that lavishes attention on Ripple Labs.  “IDC expects payments through Ripple or similar protocols to grow exponentially in the years ahead. As such protocols supersede Bitcoin, the distinction between cryptocurrencies and new payment protocols will become clearer, and the banking industry will embrace the protocols.”   –  Here’s where the evolution begins  –  So, just as the original internet limped along through usenets that connected arcane university and government research offices until the World Wide Web made everything easy and interoperable, the internet of value is taking its first baby steps.  The fact that the United States still is just studying real-time payments—due to its extremely complicated and intertwined networks of stakeholders—while many developed countries already have established real-time domestic payments structures, illustrates where the situation stands.  Larsen puts it in perspective: “Soon most of our trading partners will be on real-time systems. But there still is a need to ensure interoperability between those fast systems. We’re at the very beginning of this internet of value.”

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

IFTTT’s Maker Channel Connects Your Electronics Projects To Nearly Everything

One of the big problems with DIY electronics projects is connecting them to the internet as a whole. Now, with If This Then That’s new Maker cha…

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One of the big problems with DIY electronics projects is connecting them to the internet as a whole. Now, with If This Then That’s new Maker channel, getting your Raspberry Pi or Arduino projects online is easier than ever.   With the Maker Channel, you’re basically building web hooks that trigger other events. For instance, if you press a button on something connected to a Raspberry Pi, that can trigger any of IFTTT’s other actions. For example, press a button and send an email. Basically, it makes the internet of things a little more accessible and easy to program for. MakeUseOf has a great guide and some samples for getting started with the new channel.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

3 types of data that will need to work together to run the Smart City

There’s a lot more to the IoT than just stuffing sensors in everything – data will have to work together

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(1) Traditional, boring, structured data from enterprise systems. Stuff like weather forecasts from the Meteorological Office; demographics from Government and, say; public transport performance statistics.

(2) Slightly more fun ‘big data’ from all sorts of social media (and other sources too).  This can be valuable for sentiment analysis; tailoring services and offers; all sorts of business-to-customer or perhaps city-to-customer relationships. New and exciting Machine-to-Machine (M2M) data. Now we’re talking! This is the stuff the Internet of Things (IoT) is made of, surely?  This is the future!  Well, yes and no.   OK, now let’s take the oft-used example of the smart waste bin to guide us through how we get from sensors, to real benefits for citizens.   The first thing you’ll hear in a typical Case of The Smart Waste Bin story is pretty simple.  If a bin has a sensor that can tell when it’s nearly full, it can call and request someone comes to empty it. Smart, huh? Like I said before, yes and no.   Trash might get emptied more often, but costs will go through the roof. Trucks could end up coming back to the same street to empty smart bins close to each other that just happened to call in their ‘I’m full!’ message eight hours apart. Not so smart now, huh?   Of course we can fix this. Sensors in close proximity could talk to each other to check if any other bins close by are nearly full too. Companies like Smartbin offer both sensors and a route optimisation solution for the teams tasked with emptying the trash.   (3) So here we are, already integrating M2M data and boring old structured data. Now our citizens will see the benefits of cleaner streets and they won’t be paying extra for the privilege. 

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

Facebook M: Meet the Social Network’s Answer to Siri and Google Now

What M, Facebook’s answer to Siri and Google Now, can and can’t do.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: blogs.wsj.com

Facebook Inc.‘s new M service, now tested by a few hundred users in the Bay Area, is trying to tackle some of the the challenges associated with artificial intelligence-driven personal assistants by tapping “old-school customer service representatives.”   –  The assistant—which runs inside Facebook Messenger—is informed only by user questions and not the vast troves of data Facebook has on the user. Artificial intelligence works to understand questions or task requests, texted by the user, but actual human “trainers,” sitting at Facebook, decide the next steps. In a counter-intuitive way, Wired writes, this human-machine combination, may “actually be a step forward for AI.  With a few thousand data-points, you can start to build a model,” Alex Lebrun, founder of the startup Facebook acquired to build the tool, tells Wired. By recording every step the “trainers” take to fulfill a particular request, Facebook could eventually generate a massive roadmap that will help drive a system based on deep learning. Facebook and its competitors are investing heavily in AI, which is important to their businesses. In the meantime, M’s human component is proving invaluable helping the app’s testers cancel superfluous cable-TV packages.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Company and Research Focus

Internet in space: nbn’s plan to bring broadband to rural Australia

nbn is set to launch two satellites to bring high speed broadband to rural Australia. Here’s how they work.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: theconversation.com

The nbn – formerly the National Broadband Network – was established with a mandate to provide broadband to all Australians.

A key challenge in realising this goal is addressing the widening gap in the digital connectivity between the bush and urban areas. The initial estimates suggest approximately 1 million premises would be outside fixed line coverage by 2021. Satellite and fixed wireless technologies are bridging this gap.    As such, nbn has ordered two purpose-built satellites based on Space Systems Loral’s 1300 Series Satellite Platform. The satellites are named Sky Muster, which was chosen by competition.   The company also plans to explore a third satellite post-2021. The first of these two satellites, Sky Muster NBN-1A, is due to be launched within two months. But nbn is still waiting for a launch date for its second satellite, Sky Muster NBN-1B. These satellites will be placed in geosynchronous Earth orbits (GEO) located 36,000km above the equator.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Technology focus

Samsung Leads The Smartwatch Market

This chart shows the top 10 smartwatch manufacturers by unit sales in 2014.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.statista.com

Who are the main players in the smartwatch market? Like the smartphone market, Samsung is going to be Apple’s main competitor. The South Korean technology behemoth sold approximately 1.2 million units in 2014, ahead of second placed Pebble with 700,000. The top three was rounded off by Fitbit who sold 600,000 smartwatches.

See on Scoop.itWearable Tech and the Internet of Things (Iot)

The Predicted Wearables Boom Is All About The Wrist

This chart shows a forecast of worldwide wearable device shipments.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.statista.com

A recent forecast by IDC seems to confirm that prediction: IDC’s analysts expect worldwide wearable device shipments to grow from 19.6 million units in 2014 to 45.7 million this year and reach 126.1 million units by 2019.   However, speaking of a wearables boom in general seems like a stretch when considering the numbers in more detail. According to IDC, the market’s growth will be fuelled almost exclusively by smart watches and wrist-worn fitness trackers, which are expected to account for 9 in 10 wearables shipped this year. Meanwhile no other type of wearable device is expected to break through to the mainstream anytime soon, as our chart nicely illustrates.  – Not sure I agree with this prognostication, but it is an interesting suggestion.

See on Scoop.itWearable Tech and the Internet of Things (Iot)

Fitbit Fends Off Apple to Retain Wearables Market Lead

Despite the arrival of strong competitors such as Apple and Xiaomi, Fitbit has retained the lead in the global wearables market in the second quarter of 2015. The maker of fitness tracking devices shipped 4.4 million units between April and June, an increase of more than 150 percent over last year’s June quarter. Fitbit’s focus on fitness tracking functionality appears to resonate well with customers who value simplicity over the added functionality of competing devices….

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Overall, the wearables market more than tripled in size compared to last year’s second quarter. Between April and June, 18.1 million wearable devices were shipped around the world according to IDC’s estimates.  Despite the arrival of strong competitors such as Apple and Xiaomi, Fitbit has retained the lead in the global wearables market in Q2 of 2015. The maker of fitness tracking devices shipped 4.4 million units between April and June, an increase of more than 150% over last year’s June quarter. Fitbit’s focus on fitness tracking functionality appears to resonate well with customers who value simplicity over the added functionality of competing devices.

See on Scoop.itWearable Tech and the Internet of Things (Iot)