Tag: internet of things

IBM pushes low power WANs

ibm-officeBig Blue said it is cooperating with Semtech to create a new technology using low power wide area networks (LPWANs) that it says has advantages over wi-fi and cellular nets for machine to machine communication.

The long rage wide area networks (LoRaWAN) uses a spec and protocol for low power nets that uses a wireless spectrum that can contact sensor over long distance in anticipation of the emergence of the internet of things (IoT).

These networks have better mobility, security, bi-directionality and localisation as well as being cheaper than existing networks, IBM said.

Semtech, IBM and other firms have formed an organisation called the LoRa Alliance to develop and provide standardisation for the technology.

The technology promises communications of over 60 miles in favourable environments, nine miles in semi rural environments and 1.2 miles in urban environments with data rates of 300 bit/s up to 100 kbit/s.

Sensors can run on one AA battery for 10 years and AES128 keys make for good security, IBM claimed.

Applications include machines telling distributors when they’ve run out of supplies or need fixing; cities could offer smart metering; distributors can track cargo containers; and home heating firms would get alerts when oil tanks are running low.

IBM has made the LoRaWAN protocol open source to encourage standardisation.

 

Standards start for the internet of things

Internet of ThingsWhile there’s no doubt that in the next few years things ain’t what they used to be, and everything will be connected, there’s a distinct lack of standards right now.

But, according to a report from heavyweight analyst Frost & Sullivan (F&S), the move to standardise the IoT is taking shape.

It said a number of standardisation bodies in Europe and the US are working towards standard privacy policies and how devices will work together.

F&S said a committee has been formed by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute to work on machine to machine privacy standardisation.

And the Open Automative Alliance is a group of car companies and tech partners working worldwide to create a standard Android platform so that cars and mobiles will work together.

Analyst Svapnadeep Nayak said IoT needs an open architecture and worries enterprises worry because they want to maintain the integrity of their data.

Kayak thinks that by using a common cloud infrastructure with one application programming interface (API) for all sectors, IoT will bring down the costs of deployment and improve the efficiency of data streaming from gadgets and devices everywhere.

HP joins the Internet of Things bandwagon

HPMajor vendors have convinced themselves that the Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big thing, and the latest to join the band is Hewlett Packard.

HP said its own version of IoT will allow organisations to manage different sets of IoT sensors, analyse data and use vertical applications on machine to machine devices.

It also claimed to have introduced the first vertical application called the HP Energy Management Pack.

The packages are aimed at communications service providers (CSPs) and is essentially remote management to discover devices, configure the devices and control IoT traffic.

The HP Energy Management Pack is intended to allow the CSPs to give secure home automation and energy control to people, to industries and to councils.

For example, Oxford City Council might want to remotely manage public lights based on profiles, emergencies and on weather conditions. And the pack might let “smart cities” manage parking using sensors.

 

Freescale warns of insecure Internet of Things

Internet of ThingsChip company Freescale said that people are facing “the most dire challenge” the internet of things (IoT) has faced so far – the lack of guidelines for security.

Freescale said that US agency DARPA had managed to hack into a car manufacturers braking system, while the US Federal Trade Commission raised concerns about the security of interconnected systems and devices.

So what is Freescale doing about it?

The company said that it teaming with an industry body called the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmarking Consortium (EEMBC) to help IoT manufacturers and system designers bring better security to transactions and endpoints for the IoT.

It also said that it was establishing a series of security labs worldwide to work on making more secure technologies from the cloud to the end point. Freescale said it will allocate up to 10 percent of its annual R&D budgets on the Internet of Things.

It is also starting a programme to educate startups on best practices on IoT security.

 

Enterprises fail to act on cybersecurity

William Blake: War - WIkimedia CommonsIt won’t be until 2018 that large enterprises will have proper plans to protect themselves from cyber attacks causing business disruption.

And, even then, only 40 percent of these organisations will have such plans.

That’s what a report from Gartner says, which warns that chief information security officers need to set their priorities/

Gartner thinks the frequency of a cyber attack on a large scale is low, but if it does happen, the implications are sever.

Paul Proctor, a VP at Gartner warns that servers can be downed, data wiped, and digital intellectual property published to the internet – as happened with Sony late last year.

“Employees may not be able to fully function normally in the workplace for months. These attacks may expose embarrassing internal data via social media channels and could have a longer media cycle than a breach of credit card or personal data,” he said.

He also pointed out that avoiding a compromise in a large computer enterprise “is just not possible”. Instead, those responsible should concentrate on firewalls, antivirus and vulnerability management, as well as increasing detection and response capabilities.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will expand the attack surface so enterprises need to pay better attention, and spend more money on preventing attacks.

Enterprises will adopt internet of things

Internet of ThingsA report commissioned by Verizon looks today at enterprise adoption of the internet of things (IoT).

While only 10 percent of organisations currently are using IoT extensively, that picture will rapidly change.

Verizon said it saw a 45 percent increase in its IoT business last year, and a 135 percent increase in activations using 4G LTE, year on year.

The highest growth sector is manufacturing which saw a 204 percent increase in 2014, but other sectors are showing big growth figures too – finance and insurance experienced a 128 percent increase and media and entertainment 120 percent increase.

Verizon has a dedicated IoT VP. Mark Bartolomeo said: “IoT covers a multitude of solutions from wearable devices, to remote monitoring of energy management devices to industrial transportation.”

He said Verizon has seen a number of new entrants creating an IoT “roadmap”.

Currently, Verizon estimates that by 2020 there will be around 5.4 billion connections globally.

Internet of things provokes security questions

Internet of ThingsLarge enterprises seeking to get to grips with the internet of things (IoT) will have a whole new series of challenges to meet.

That’s according to Gartner, which said identity and access management (IAM) won’t be able to scale or to manage the complexity that the IOT brings to enterprises.

The problem is that enterprises will need a method to define and manage the identities of entities – by which Gartner means people, services and things, inside one framework.

This Gartner calls the Identity of Things (IDoT) which will have to be able to include all entity identities and also to define relationships between these entities.

It all sounds very complex but it is a problem that chief information officers (CIOs) will have to learn.

Gartner did not say whether such definitions have even been thought of yet, but is holding a conference on March 16-17th in London to hammer out the different problems and approaches.

 

It’s the internet of everything

Internet of ThingsSome call it the internet of things (IoT), some call it the internet of everything (IoE) and some even call it the internet of fangs (IoF).
These terms are not, as yet, perfectly defined and there is a complete lack of standards defined, just like in the “cloud” space.  But there’s one thing for sure, and that is it’s going to be worth a lot of money so as many vendors as possible are getting on board the gravy train.
Future Market Insights (FMI) prefers the IoE and said that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4 percent between 2014 and 2020.
It will be the Asia Pacific market which will kick off the growth, synched to the arrival of big data. That’s because there will be investment in so called “smart cities” and smart grids, financed by the Indian, Chinese and Japanese governments.
FMI divides the market into business to business (B2B) and IoE vertical markets.
The verticals include manufacturing and public sector, but the health care sector will grow by 20.6 percent CAGR during the period, followed by utilities.
The major players in the market are Cisco, Samsung, IBM, Apple and Accenture – these vendors had over 50 percent market share in 2013.

 

British firm promises flexible displays

FlexEnable's prototype fabA company based in Cambridge claimed that by the end of this year it will produce properly flexible displays by the end of this year.
FlexEnable is aiming to position its OLED displays into mobile products, wearables, surface displays and imaging systems.
On its website it says that the display could be used on smartphones with wraparound displays that can open out into tablet size.  The material is flexible enough to be folded in half.
It also envisages including screens that are so flexible they can be built into clothes and follow the curves of the body.
It also sees its displays being built into both cars and aircraft designs, using complex curves and irregular shapes.
The technology also has medical uses, creating flexible x-ray sensors. The technology can be as thin as 25 nanometres. It provides reference kits to its clients so they can make their own products. The company also claims to have created graphene based displays.
FlexEnable is a spin off of Plastic Logic and believes its technology will become an element of the internet of things.

 

Organisations anticipate internet of things

Internet of ThingsAlthough there’s still a clear lack of standards with different vendors vying to take the lead, many organisations are getting ready for the internet of things (IoT).
Companies including Intel, Qualcomm, Google and others want to have a big stake in the future of IOT.
And there’s no doubt the hype is generating interest.
That’s the conclusion of market research company Gartner which said in a study that 40 percent of businesses think the IoT will have a “significant” impact in the next three years.
Nick Jones, a senior analyst at Gartner, said: “Only a small minority has deployed solutions in a production environment. However, the falling costs of networking and processing mean that there are few economic inhibitors to adding sensing and communications to products costing as little as a few tens of dollars”.
But even though many organisations are anticipating the IoT, few have put executives in leadership roles.
The main concerns of the  people surveyed are security and privacy.  And there is a shortage of people with the relevant skills to plot the future.

 

Intel buys German chip company

Intel Q4_14_ResultsGiant US microprocessor combine Intel has paid an unknown amount of money to snap up a Germany chip company.
Lantiq, owned since 2009 by a private equity company makes semiconductors used in different applications including broadband, wi-fi, and fibre connections.
Lantiq was sold to private equity company Golden Gate for a quarter of million euro. Lantiq was originally a wing of Infineon.
It’s believed that the Intel acquisition is part of its attempt to be a major player in the much hyped “internet of things”.
But while there is no doubt that the internet of things will generate a lot of revenue, there is no one standard and other companies, including Qualcomm and Google want to grab a share of that market too.

 

Intel carries on wasting money

Intel Q4_14_ResultsChip giant Intel is being stubborn about its mobile strategy and will continue to throw money at the problem.
The firm has attempted to make headway in the tablet and smartphone market but has wasted around $7 billion so far without very much result.
Now, according to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, there’s evidence that Intel is going to carry on wasting money in a segment that has brought it nothing but woe so far.
Digitimes said that it is in cahoots with Chinese firms Spreadtrum and Rockchip and wants to continue to compete with Qualcomm and Mediatek in these markets.
The report claimed that it has licensed its X86 tech to both companies in a bid to ramp up its mobile business.
The report said Spreadtrum will release a number of system on a chip devices in the second half of this year.
Intel apparently wants to be a leader in the much hyped “internet of things”.

 

Connect your kitchen to the internet of things

Internet of ThingsAn estimate by Gartner analysts predicts that connected kitchens are going to save us 15 percent by 2020.
Gartner says the potential of kitchens being connected to the internet of things means there are big business opportunities for companies.
An example would be when your smart fridge detects you’re a bit low on milk or bacon so auto connects to your favourite grocer to make a delivery.
But Gartner warns there’s still a lack of standards related to the internet of things.  IT companies will have to mix up different elements from a variety of different providers.
If your kitchen is connected, your car is going to be even more connected.
In the same report it said that by 2020 there will be quarter of a billion connected vehicles.
James Hines, a research director at Gartner, said: “The connected car is already a reality and in vehicle wireless connectivity is rapidly expanding from luxury models and premium brands to high volume mid market models.”

 

Ubuntu gets snappy with the internet of things

frog-mouth-crocodile-blair_42596_990x742The Linux OS maker Canonical wants to extend its Ubuntu Snappy Linux technology to power the Internet of Things.

Ubuntu is best known as a popular Linux operating system for servers, cloud and desktops. Now Canonical is tweaking Ubuntu to power embedded devices and IoT.

The key to this is apparently the Snappy Ubuntu Core technology. Snappy Ubuntu Core was first announced on December 10, 2014, as a cut down version of Ubuntu.

Snappy was supposed to be a cloud technology but has been seen as a wizard thing to run embedded devices.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, said that the use of Snappy could improve the security, reliability, and efficiency of update mechanisms and help to isolate apps from one another.

This fixes a problem with IoT that its operating systems are harder to upgrade – which makes them insecure.

Shuttleworth said that Snappy updates can be delivered as smaller, more efficient transactional updates. It also has an update rollback feature, which can enable an application to be reverted if the update is unsuccessful for some reason.

He said that Snappy has very efficient bandwidth usage, making it ideal for IoT embedded devices. With

Shuttleworth told eWeek that Canonical could deliver an update for something like a Heartbleed or Shellshock vulnerability, completely independently of the lawnmower control app that would come from the lawnmower company.

With IoT, anything and everything can be connected to the Internet, even potentially a lawnmower, and it is usually up to the vendor to provide patches for any security issues.

To help capitalize on the IoT opportunity, Canonical now has an entire Internet of things division within the company.

While it sounds grandiose that we have a whole Internet of things division, this is an extremely efficient repurposing of the technology we already have,” Shuttleworth said.

 

Internet of Things promises analytics boom

Internet of ThingsThe growth of devices with internet protocol (IP) capabilities will generate a boom in big data and analytics revenue.
That’s the prediction from ABI Research which said in a report that integrating, analysing and storing data from the internet of things (IoT) will be worth as much as $5.7 billion this year.
That figure will expand over the next five years and represent a third of all big data and analytics revenues, the research outfit predicts.
Analyst Aapo Markkanen said that trying to make sense of data from machines and sensors has its own challenges, including deep domain expertise in analysis and time series databases held in storage.
That is leading to the birth of many startups aiming to exploit a gap in the market.
Some existing vendors including Datawatch, Informatics, Software AG and Splunk are ready for the IoT world.