Tag: internet of things

Internet of things means $100 billion spend

Nuclear power plant - Wikimedia CommonsGovernments around the world are waking up to the security implications as the internet of things is set to pervade the world and will spend an immense amount of money to improve cyber security.

The internet of things is a catch all term for a time when just about anything you care to imagine has semiconductors inside, able to communicate with just about everything else.

ABI Research said that it estimates that cybersecurity spending will hit $109 billion by the end of this decade, with governments in North America and Europe spending and spending again on security for network, for systems and for data.

The governments, said ABI, will concentrate on security for the financial, energy and defence sectors as they are the ones most targeted.

The energy sector is under particular threat, with attacks on industrial control systems.

However, there are sectors which are particularly vulnerable, including utility companies, said Michela Menting, practice director at ABI Research.

She said: “IT spending will dominate cyber security investment for critical infrastructure protection to the detriment of securing operational technologies in industrial settings.”

Use Facebook to talk to your heating

washingmachineA report suggests that pretty soon now we’ll be friending our washing machines, heating, lights and cars and telling them what we’ve had for breakfast. If we didn’t already know.

Scientists from the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil suggest that interfaces of social networking sites are likely to change to allow us to interact with things connected to the internet.

The internet of things, say the authors, could hook up with weather feeds so that your heating turns on when snow is expected.

And as things get ever more connected, you might even find that your gadgets defriend you because you’re not really needed at all.

The scientists at Bahia say that we will soon find ourselves waking up to what they dub a “social web of things”.  Think, for example, that in the future you can send a text message to your house to fiddle about with the heating. You will not be necessary in the future, and, says the team: “The archicture could be extended to remove the intermediate, us, from the equation and so give us domestic bliss with minimal intervention.”

Internet of things: it’s trouble

Internet of ThingsThe much touted internet of things will bring a world where just about everything has microcircuitry from lightbulbs to coffee machines.

But, according to a report from ABI Research, there are enormous security and other risks associated with its implementation.

Those include safety, consumer privacy and data protection, the firm said.

Further, this type of network has risks in all of its core layers and when manufacturers create devices they are cost conscious and may not implement the safeguards that are the ideal.

“Manufacturers are still trying to find their feet and justify investment in secure design, development, and product lifecycle,” according to Michela Menting, a director at ABI Research.

Nevertheless she cites some companies that are taking the lead in making the internet of things safe rather than sorry.

Those include Arrayent, Hewlett Packard, Microchp, NXP Semi, Sonatype and Wind River.

LTE poses security threat

locksThe rise of the internet of things, which is likely to mean billions of devices are connected to LTE has security fallibilities that need to be quickly addressed.

That’s according Dr Martin Nuss, chief technical officer of Vitesse Semi, speaking to an audience at 4G World.

Nuss said that small cells are an integral part of LTE, LTE-A deployments and Carrier Heterogenous Networks. Their accessibility makes them easy to hack, he said.

Even though LTE networks are far more secure than wi-fi hotspots, but small cell based stations using LTE and located at street level is a new security risk.

Small cell backhauls are also likely to happen over third party access provider networks that don’t have the same standards as wireless operators.

Nuss also warned of timing security. Small cell susceptibility t GPS jamming and spoofing is another problem.

By 2018, he said, small cells will be everywhere and so implementing them is a matter of careful network planning and awareness of the risks.

Homes to be packed with gizmos

chateauIn just eight years time, ordinary family homes will be bursting with technology.

That’s a prediction market research firm Gartner is making for 2022.  Its report said a home in affluent societies, at least, could have over 500 smart devices.

So what are these devices to be?  It estimates a wide range of domestic equipment will become “smart”, inasmuch as they’ll include some level of sensing and intelligence and the ability to communicate wirelessly.

And such vacuum cleaners and washing machines won’t cost more to have “smartness”, with semiconductor economies of scale meaning that a chip won’t cost more than about one US dollar.

Your cooker will be smart, your TVs will be smart, your fitness equipment will be smart, your security will be smart, your toaster will be smart. Everything will be smart as the internet of things starts to cast its spell over our world.

But it won’t be all plain sailing, because ordinary people might not want all this “smartness”.  Products which incorporate intelligence must be easy to use and not require a degree in geekiness. And if smartness can’t be relied upon and start failing – well your house might not be such a home.

Samsung shows off Tizen watch

samsung_gear_s_pure_white_2_storySamsung has opened the kimono in its new Tizen based watch which has a curved 2-inch Super AMOLED display.

Although the Gear S smartwatch will not be much different from its predecessors, it will be the first Samsung smartwatch to offer 3G support. This means there will be no need for a Bluetooth connection to sync the wearable with a smartphone, though Bluetooth and WiFi support will still be there.

The Gear S has a dual-core 1GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM along with 4 GB of internal storage. It will also have GPS support and will serve for navigation purposes using Nokia’s HERE maps. Samsung says the wearable will have up to 2 days of battery life which it puts down to the use of Tizen.

It has the usual standard features like a heart rate sensor, a compass, an ambient light sensor will also be included. For the health-savy, all the S Health offerings will be there and Nike+ will be supported as well.

The device will go on sale this October and no word on the price yet.

 

 

Gartner thinks of Internet of Thongs

LOD_Cloud_Diagram_as_of_September_2011While the Internet of Fangs is not with us yet, analysts at Gartner claim that the hype surrounding it has reached its peak.

Each year the research firm puts out a Hype Cycle of emerging technologies, in which it provides a report card for various trends and buzzwords.

This year the Internet of Thongs (IoT) tops the list above some other words such as wearable user interface and consumer 3D printing.

Gartner believes that emerging technologies go through a natural process in which they are triggered by some innovation, then they rise to a peak of inflated expectations.

Big G thinks that as the technologies mature, markets become hacked off that they failed to bring about a cure for cancer before they start to become mainstream and just part of everyday technology.

This year the list is topped by IoT, wearable user interfaces and natural-language question answering which are also just about at the top of their hype. All three of those technologies will be commonplace in the market within 5 to 10 years, Gartner predicts.

Some buzzwords do make it into the mainstream. Cloud computing was something that as just hype and talked about non-stop before it became real. Hybrid Cloud Computing is headed that way, but was still more hyped. Not to mention Chipzilla and the Vole.

Big Data and in-memory database management systems are just beyond the peaks of their hype, while gamification which is when you give rewards using game techniques is coming down from its peak hype. Last year, big data topped the list as the most buzzworthy of tech terms.

3D printing appears everywhere.  Consumer 3D printing is at the peak of its hype, while enterprise 3D printing and 3D scanning are both maturing toward mainstream, according to Gartner.

Gartner has a look that the buzzwords of tomorrow too. These include autonomous vehicles, predictive analytics, smart robots, holographic displays, software-defined anything, quantum computing and the connected home.

Gartner said that its hype graph is useful for companies to work out when it is the best time to release their product.

What worries us is when the Tibetan monks jump on the bandwagon and we get the Internet of No-Things.

Giants battle over the internet of thongs

intel_log_reversedMicrosoft has joined Qualcomm and other technology companies in a bid to establish standards for the Internet of fings, fangs, thongs and things, writes Nick Farrell.

The Qualcomm-backed AllSeen Alliance attracting people who want to promote protocols for how smart devices should work together.

Microsoft joined 50 other members in the AllSeen Alliance, including major consumer electronics players Panasonic, LG and Sharp.

However this is not the only standards consortium out there  and chipmakers that compete with Qualcomm plan to launch a rival standards consortium as early as next week.

It looks like we will have another standards war similar to that sparked by the Blu-Ray and HDTV standard.

Apple – known for strictly controlling how other companies’ products interact with its own, in June announced plans for HomeKit, which will integrate control of devices like garage door openers, lights and thermostats.  Of course  Apple gear will be slavishly adopted by Apple fanboys who are keen to have Coldplay playing on their fridge, but will probably not be seen elsewhere.

Last week, Google said it partnered with Mercedes-Benz, Whirlpool Corp and light bulb maker LIFX to integrate their products with Google’s Nest thermostats and smoke detectors.

So far the biggest player, Intel, has stood like Lord Stanley on the sidelines of the Battle of Bosworth waiting for one side to start calling for a horse.  While saying it is keen on the Internet of Thongs,  it is thinking of the internet of bags.

Intel fails to shine

Brian KrzanichDespite getting swept up in hype over the internet of thongs, Intel’s predictions for 2014 are unlikely to bring much succour to its shareholders.

Reporting its fourth quarter results last night, its net profit rose 6.4 percent for the period ending in December but revenues only grew 2.6 percent.  Mind you, it still turned in a gross profit of 61 percent, which is no peanuts by any corporation’s standards.

CEO Brian Krzanich claimed the results were solid and the PC market is stabilising.

But its lucrative server market appears to be suffering with only a  one percent rise in its unit sales.  Krzanich said the firm had overestimated recovery in the corporate sector.

Intel is predicting a “flat” 2014 but Krzanich hopes that smartphone and tablet sales will pick up this year.  Both Intel and Microsoft have been outflanked by a change in habits from customers who prefer to swipe immediately rather than wait a good while for Intel-Microsoft tablets to boot up.

Cloud faces fresh security risks

netthingsA report from Zscaler examines security threats ahead and said the diversity of devices used to access data make it difficult for organisations to stay ahead.

The Zscaler 2014 Security Cloud Forecast says that attacks on DNS servers are increasing and one of the problems is that “tens of thousands” of Internet DNS are not secured. And attackers use DNS techniques mimicking load balancing, with malware using DNS to conceal command and control networks. Companies, in 2014 should monitor DNS traffic, particularly on new domains.

Cloud services rely on HTPPS and SSL for encryption but by the end of this year, the industry standard will become 2048-bit keys rather than 1024 bit.  Visibility becomes as much as five times more difficult with this move.   SSL will be enabled by default for many web services next year.

The move to BYOD – bring your own device – is “the weakest link”, said Zscaler.  When businesses move corporate data to the cloud and people use mobile devices there is no real security appliance between data and device. Zscaler warns to expect mobile attacks using email, web and malicious third party apps.

And the “internet of things” also brings its own problems, Zscaler warns.  Accessing these multiple devices using smartphones is insecure but there is no minimum base level security in place. “In 2014, attackers will make attempts on the internet of things in homes, businesses and in critical pieces of infrastructure,” the report concludes.

Internet of video things will be next really big thing

Internet of ThingsThe internet of things might have to be renamed the really big internet of video things. As names go it’s not as catchy but it reflects the reality that in a little more than four years from now, we will be outnumbered by video-enabled devices connected to the internet.

This is according to research from the Broadband Technology Intelligence service, which is part of IHS and is based in the US.

At present there are thought to be 4.3 billion video-enabled devices connected to the internet. This catch-all term of ‘video devices’ comprises things like tablets, smart TVs, games consoles, smartphones, connected set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and PCs and the like.

By 2017 this will increase to 8.2 billion, more than the number of homo sapiens likely to be kicking about at the time.

In 2005, PCs accounted for 93% of all connected devices. By the end of 2017, PCs will comprise only 23 percent of the connected installed base. Smart TVs will be at 5%, consoles at 2%, and smartphones and tablets collectively representing 67%.

This proliferation will change the way people watch TV, movies, news and access many more services besides. It will introduce many of the same problems of disintermediation that has affected the mobile phone sector – customers’ loyalties lie not with the network they use, but the handset they bought, they detect little value in the network and price has been driven down.

Unsurprisingly, there will be modest growth in mature markets, 10% or so in North America and Western Europe, and double that in Asia-Pac, mostly down to increasing demand in China.

Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see an additional 145 million new connected video devices added to the total.

According to Merrick Kingston, a senior analyst at Broadband Technology: “On average every human being in the world will possess more than one Internet-connected video device by the year 2017 – a major milestone for the electronics market.”

And in so doing he demonstrates why it pays to be careful when playing with statistics, as clearly not everyone in the world will own on average 1.1 video devices.

Kingston goes on to clarify this point by saying: “In practice, ownership of Internet-connected hardware will be concentrated among users whose homes are equipped with broadband connections. We’re quickly approaching a world where the average broadband household contains 10 connected, video-enabled devices. This means that each TV set installed in a broadband-equipped home will be surrounded by three Internet-connected devices.”

A number which rings true in the home of this average hack.