IPv6 and IoT News

IDG Contributor Network: Stay smart as you approach the edge

By Michael Segal

Fundamental to harnessing the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the need for decisions to be made in real time, and it’s in addressing this that discussions have turned to the subject of edge computing over recent years.

Before the data generated by myriad of connected IoT devices is sent to the centralized cloud, edge computing sees it stored and processed locally, in distributed micro-clouds at the edge of the network, closer to where the devices are placed, and the data produced. Doing so cuts down on the need for data traffic to be back-hauled to and from a remote data center, thus making it ideal for supporting the real time data delivery required by the IoT.

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Lambda is an AWS internal efficiency driver. So why no private serverless models?

By Jon Collins

I’ve been in a number of conversations recently about Functions as a Service (FaaS), and more specifically, AWS’ Lambda instantiation of the idea. For the lay person, this is where you don’t have to actually provide anything but program code — “everything else” is taken care of by the environment.

You upload and press play. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unsurprisingly, some see application development moving inexorably towards a serverless, i.e. FaaS-only, future. As with all things technological however, there are plusses and minuses to any such model. FaaS implementations tend to be stateless and event-driven — that is, they react to whatever they are asked to do without remembering what position they were in.

This means you have to manage state within the application code. FaaS frameworks are vendor-specific by nature, and tend to add transactional latency, so a re good for doing small things with huge amounts of data, rather than lots of little things each with small amounts of data. For a more detailed explanation of the pros and cons, check Martin Fowler’s blog (HT Mike Roberts) .

So, yes, horses for courses as always. We may one day arrive in a place where our use of technology is so slick, we don’t have to think about hardware, or virtual machines, or containers, or anything else. But right now, and as with so many over-optimistic predictions, we are continuing to fan-out into more complexity (cf the Internet of Things).

Plus, each time we reach a new threshold of hardware advances, we revisit many areas which need to be newly understood, re-integrated and so on. We are a long way from a place where we don’t have to worry about anything but a few lines of business logic.

A very interesting twist on the whole FaaS thing is around its impact on server efficiency. Anecdotally, AWS sees Lambda not only as a new way of helping customers, but also as a model which makes better use of spare capacity in its data centres. This merits some thought, not least that serverless models are anything but.

From an architectural perspective, these models involve a software stack which is optimised for a specific need — think of it as a single, highly distributed application architecture which can be spread over as many server nodes as it needs to get its current jobs done. Unlike relatively clunky and immobile VMs, or a bit less flexible containers, you can orchestrate your serverless capabilities much more dynamically, to use up spare headroom in your server racks.

Which is great, at least for cloud providers. A burning question is, why aren’t such capabilities available for private clouds, or indeed, traditional data centres? In principle, the answer is, well, there should be. Despite a number of initiatives, such an option has still to take off. Which begs a very big question of — what’s holding them back?

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the public cloud model as a highly flexible, low-entry-cost outsourcing mechanism. But nothing technological exists that gives AWS, or any other public cloud provider some magical advantage over internal systems: the same tools are available to all.

As long as we live in a hybrid world, which will be the case as long as it keeps changing so fast, we will have to deal with managing IT resources from multiple places, internal and external. Perhaps, like the success story of Docker, we will see a sudden uptake in internal FaaS, with all the advantages — not least efficiency — that come with it.

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Sierra Wireless completes digital transformation of 1.9 million smart vending machines

By Zenobia Hegde

Sierra Wireless, a provider of integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), reported that the International Vending Alliance (IVA), the largest global network with 1.9 million vending machines in more than 70 countries, has selected Sierra Wireless’ Smart SIM and AirVantage® IoT Platform to support its vending service delivery.

One hundred million customers interact with IVA vending machines daily, but the vending experience has remained largely unchanged for the last 25 years. IVA’s smart “black box” solution, powered by Sierra Wireless IoT Services, is transforming the vending industry by enabling new business models and customer experiences, including cashless payment, touch screens, targeted advertising, online monitoring and more efficient management.

“To compete with consumers’ ever-increasing digital expectations, the vending industry needs to reimagine how we interact with our customers,” said Martijn van den Hazenkamp, CEO of IVA. “IVA’s global network has been actively involved in the creation of a new smart vending solution that will change how vending machines operate so that data can be used to drive sales and customer satisfaction. We teamed up with Sierra Wireless, a global leader in IoT, to develop the vital connectivity and data collection requirements in the solution. Working together, we will modernise the vending experience.”

Sierra Wireless’ Smart SIMs offer global coverage, allowing IVA to use a single SIM across its worldwide network. The SIMs are integrated with the AirVantage IoT platform to manage subscriptions and connectivity and to monitor connectivity services. By connecting and collecting data from its retail assets, IVA can now provide transformative services, such as preventative maintenance, restocking optimisation, automated merchandising, advertising, loyalty programs and more.

“IVA’s solution is a wonderful example of how IoT technology can breathe new life into industries that are facing new competitors and shifting consumer preferences,” said Marc Overton, senior vice president and general manager, IoT Services, Sierra Wireless. “This data-driven vending experience, designed around Sierra Wireless connectivity services, allows IVA to innovate and deliver a completely new experience for customers and more efficient management for operators.”

IVA’s solution integrates Sierra Wireless IoT services with Smart Retail Solutions B.V.’s platform for the Retail, Hospitality, Beverage, and CPG industries.

“Combining our platform with Sierra Wireless’ IoT services allows us to provide a 24/7, flexible connectivity solution to the IVA network,” said Adrian Whelan, director & co-founder, Smart Retail Solutions B.V. “We chose the Sierra Wireless solutions due to its ease of use and robustness, and the team involved has been extremely helpful with designing the solution.”

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Electric vehicles: A limiting experience & poor UI leads to limited freedom, finds Strategy Analytics

By Zenobia Hegde

Pure electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity in some markets, but also present challenges for engineers and designers. Cluster and cockpit HMI, mobile app interfaces, and charging station interfaces must be designed with the specific needs of EV users in mind.

A new report from the In-vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics surveying current owners of pure EVs, “UX of Pure EVs: Can Incentives Overcome Pain Points?” has found that the top purchase motivation for an electric vehicle was to save on costs. The cost of maintaining an EV was perceived by owners to be lower than the cost of maintaining an internal combustion engine.

Key report findings include:

Limited range is a source of anxiety for first-time EV buyers, especially those who are unfamiliar with their driving habits, or have longer commutes. However anxiety was quickly overcome after a short period of ownership.
Pure EVs were almost exclusively used for short journeys on surface streets within a town, across a town, or to an adjacent city. Owners of Teslas and Bolts displayed slightly different tendencies, due to their longer range and Tesla’s supercharging network.
EV owners have unique routing needs, as well as desires for rest and/or charging stops. While some stations are placed and designed optimally like the supercharging network reported by Tesla owners, overall, charging stations are not currently standardised or optimised for first-time use.
Even in EVs, very few integrated navigation systems provide desirable information relevant to an EV user. Up-to-date charging station and point of interest information is vital; and as with any connected service in the car, must be accessible in a practical and usable way.

Derek Viita, senior analyst and report author commented, “Outside the cockpit, charging stations present the most important touchpoint with respect to EV usability. Furthermore, in order to cover all key use cases and maximise usability for EV owners, any charge-finder app must provide information on proximity to a pre-defined route, availability, compatibility, and time-to-charge. For next EV design iterations, wireless charging would resolve many plug compatibility issues.”

Added Chris Schreiner, director, Syndicated Research UXIP, “But it is apparent that current companion apps fall short. To find a functional charger for their vehicle which is on a route or near a desired POI, EV owners must use several different connected services. This amount of planning places great time and effort on the user and is less than efficient. Any UI that elegantly surfaces information for common EV use cases would greatly streamline the out-of-car UX.”

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The Emerging Opportunity for Monetized Edge Data

By Timothy Butler

Click to learn more about author Timothy Butler. Companies are beginning to realize the benefits of adopting Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology. Conceptually, IT leaders understand that connected IIoT devices can encourage business growth and increase competitiveness, but it seems as though there are still major hesitations when it comes to actually adopting and […]

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2G feature phones in emerging markets surge while saturated regions await 5G, finds Strategy Analytics

By Zenobia Hegde

Strategy Analytics in its newly published report Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies: 2003 to 2023 finds that while the first 5G commercial handsets will go on sale from early 2019, sales will not begin to scale up until 2021 when volumes approach 5% of global handset sales.

“5G smartphone sales will begin in China, Japan, South Korea and the USA from 2019” says senior analyst Ville-Petteri Ukonaho. “But volumes in 2019 will be in just the millions, and only barely in the tens of millions in 2020.” Few large-scale 5G networks, only a handful of 5G handset models from phone makers available, along with high-prices for 5G smartphones and lack of compelling use cases will limit sales of the next-generation devices in their first few years

“By 2021, 5G networks in key countries in Asia and North America will cover many urban centers, giving customers a reason to purchase 5G smartphones” says Ken Hyers, director at Strategy Analytics. “Nearly 5% of handsets sold in 2021 will be 5G smartphones. By 2023, as 5G smartphone prices continue to fall and next-generation wireless networks are built out across much of the developed world, 5G handset sales will number in the hundreds of millions.”

Ken Hyers

Phil Kendall, director of Service Provider Strategies noted “Our worldwide cellular forecast report finds that 5G subscriptions boosted by device economies of scale coming from China’s early involvement in network deployments will ramp to almost 600m in our moderate case scenario by 2023”.

“Meanwhile,” says senior VP David Kerr, “some older generation wireless technologies will continue to flourish. Specifically, 2G and 4G handsets will continue to have long lifespans, with both carrying on into the next decade, even as 3G devices fade away.” Strategy Analytics new report concludes that even as 5G smartphone sales are rapidly ramping up in 2023, 2G feature phones will account for nearly one in ten handsets sold that year, as new-to-mobile customers in emerging markets, particularly in Africa, purchase their first mobile phones.

The report highlights the fact that 4G LTE, currently the dominant handset technology worldwide, will remain a mainstay for mobile phones through 2023 and beyond. 4G handset sales volumes continue to grow and will do so through 2020, when they will account for 4 out of 5 handsets sold. Well into the next decade 4G LTE will be the mainstay technology powering most of the world’s handsets.

Strategy Analytics finds in its latest report that despite recent slowing growth in global handset sales, there are still many pockets of opportunity for Mobile Network Operators and Handset Vendors. There remain hundreds of millions of potential first-time mobile phone customers in emerging markets, particularly in Africa and parts of Asia. These customers are looking for reliable and inexpensive means of communication, making feature phones of particular interest to this segment.

Meanwhile, in mature developed markets like China, much of Europe, Japan, South Korea and the USA, growth is stagnating and handset replacement cycles are lengthening. 5G, while still several years off for most potential customers, represents a way to kick-start stagnating […]

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Telstra continues its growth in Europe with its network expansion and new hub in Paris

By Zenobia Hegde

Telstra, a telecommunications and technology company, announced the expansion of its business in Europe with the Telstra Programmable Network soon to be available via new points of presence (PoPs) in Frankfurt and Paris in addition to a new office in Paris that will serve as Telstra’s hub for Continental Europe.

This builds on Telstra’s already strong presence in Europe and follows recent investments including the acquisition of UK-based technology services business Company85.

Tom Homer, Telstra’s managing director for EMEA, said the expansion is part of Telstra’s strategy to grow its position across the continent and help businesses expand, particularly into the Asia Pacific region.

“Our new office in the La Défense area of Paris will be a hub for our European business. This hub will be crucial for our expansion across the continent. We already have entities in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden as well as an indirect channel partnership with IPSILAN, a French technology services consultancy, to distribute Telstra’s Cisco-based unified communications solutions. We will triple the size of our team in the city and have a dedicated group of people serving customers in the media industry, which is a key vertical for us,” said Mr Homer.

“As organisations in Europe look to digitally transform their businesses, whether it’s to capture opportunities in new markets, create new products and services or improve efficiency, they are increasingly seeking integrated solutions for their network, security and cloud infrastructure, as well as advice on implementation and management,” said Mr Homer.

“Our vision is to deliver an advanced network together with value-adding technology services such as consulting, security and collaboration solutions, so businesses in Europe can realise the full potential of cloud computing and meet the rapidly growing demand for data and applications,” added Mr Homer.

The new PoPs will offer flexible and dynamic access to the Telstra Programmable Network, a leading digital platform for enterprise network services built on Software-Defined Networking.

The Telstra Programmable Network provides near-real time on-demand connectivity to clouds, data centres and a partner ecosystem through one portal, transforming the traditional networking experience. Businesses with operations in France and Germany will be able to optimise their IT through the automated provisioning of new applications and services, real-time data insights on network usage and consumption-based pricing without the need for significant infrastructure upgrades.

“The availability of the Telstra Programmable Network builds on the significant capacity investments we have made in the region, which include PoPs in Copenhagen, Düsseldorf and a second one in Paris that provide access to virtual private networks via Telstra’s IPVPN solution,” said Mr Homer.

“The strength of our high bandwidth, low latency network, which includes the largest and most diverse subsea network in Asia Pacific with links to Europe, as well as our presence in key markets means we can provide both the connectivity and the expertise for businesses looking to expand.”

This latest expansion follows Telstra’s acquisition of Company85, which provides data centre, workspace, cloud, security and network services, in June last year.

“Our acquisition of Company85 was another step in strengthening our position in […]

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Diversey brings transparency to the laundry process with IntelliLinen

By Zenobia Hegde

Diversey introduced its IntelliLinen laundry dispenser powered by Diversey’s Internet of Clean (IoC). The IntelliLinen system provides real-time and remote transparency of energy and water consumption, chemical accuracy, machine downtime and day-to-day operational costs to prevent costly disruptions and errors within laundry operations.

“Technology for laundry operations needs to evolve in order for businesses to improve productivity,” said Hans de Ridder, vice president – Global Fabric Care & Laundry Platform, Diversey. “By harnessing the power of the IoC, IntelliLinen dispensers pull essential data for managers to bring laundry care to a whole new level.”

Part of Diversey’s Internet of Clean platform, the IntelliLinen dispenser connects to any mobile device to give teams visibility of the entire wash process together with actionable insights.

It highlights where laundry managers can reduce water and energy consumption, where chemical dosage can be more accurate, re-wash levels can be reduced, which machines are being under used or creating bottlenecks, where hygiene compliance is compromised and more. This in-depth insight helps minimise disruptions and improves a laundry’s wash results, productivity, budget control, sustainability and hygiene compliance.

“Whether used by on premise laundries at hotels or hospitals, or industrial facilities servicing numerous organisations, IntelliLinen enhances control over and improves the transparency of the laundry operation,” added de Ridder. “Now, managers can achieve the results they want each and every time, and ensure the best guest experience at the lowest operational cost.”

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Senet, ST Microelectronics and Tago partner to create value from connected products and user interactions

By Zenobia Hegde

Senet, a provider of cloud-based software, global connectivity service platforms and network buildout for the Internet of Things (IoT), is partnering with ST Microelectronics, a global semiconductor provider serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and Tago, an end-to-end cloud platform provider that transforms the way businesses create value from connected products and user interactions, for an upcoming webinar geared to educate participants on how they can take advantage of this growth opportunity and create asset tracking and cold chain applications using LoRa technology and easy to use IoT application development tools.

The webinar, titled “Developing and Deploying Asset Tracking and Cold Chain Applications using LoRa” will take place on Thursday, April 5 at 11 a.m. ET. It will discuss how asset tracking is one of the most financially impactful and fundamental use cases for the IoT and that companies who create tracking applications using LoRa technology can benefit in several key areas.

WHO: Speakers include:

Steve Ball, senior director Consulting Services, Senet
Alec Bath, applications manager, ST Micro
Fabio Rosa, CEO, Tago

WHEN: Thursday, April 5 at 11 a.m. ET

WHERE: Register here

WHAT: The webinar will discuss and address several key issues including:

Discover new solutions to your solution design challenges
Broaden your expertise with an understanding of disruptive IoT technologies
Learn how an ecosystem of LoRa technology and solution providers can help you speed time to market with your IoT applications
See technology in action with demonstrations of application development tools

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Huawei showcases future-oriented smart airport ICT solutions at passenger terminal EXPO

By Zenobia Hegde

Huawei is showcasing its comprehensive smart airport ICT solutions under the theme of “Leading New ICT, The Road to Digital Aviation” at the Passenger Terminal EXPO 2018. The exhibition is one of the airport industry’s most preeminent events, gathering more than 7,000 delegates and 225 exhibitors representing the worldwide aviation ecosystem to discuss the latest developments and innovations.

Huawei is collaborating with partners such as TravelSky, Brilliant Technologies, Terra Vision, Huadong Electronic Information & Technology, and Crystone, to showcase a full suite of Smart Airport ICT solutions for visualised efficient airport operations, visualised airport safety and personalised passenger services. By improving operational efficiency and safety, and optimising the passenger experience, Huawei’s solutions enable the aviation industry to build smart airports of the future.

During the EXPO, Huawei is also holding a signing ceremony to announce a strategic partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Through this strategic partnership, Huawei will leverage its new ICT solutions and expertise to support IATA’s efforts in accelerating digital transformation of the aviation industry.

Huawei is also announcing the successful deployment of its OceanStor 9000 storage solution at Hamad International Airport, helping one of the leading airports in the Middle East meet its substantial storage requirements for the next five years.

Yuan Xilin, president of the transportation Sector of Huawei Enterprise BG, said in Huawei Global Aviation Summit 2018 “The concept of a smart airport is now becoming a reality around the world as airports adopt innovative ICT which enables digital and visualised flight services, passenger services, and airport operations.”

“Huawei’s solutions based on new ICT such as cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and featuring cloud-pipe-device collaboration, deliver a one-stop innovative ICT infrastructure platform to help aviation customers build future-oriented smart airports. We aim to bring significant benefits to customers in terms of safety assurance, airport operational efficiency, and service quality, creating the best-in-class travel experience for global passengers.”

Huawei’s smart airport solutions drive safety, efficiency, and services to optimise the travel experience

Huawei’s booth at the Passenger Terminal EXPO 2018 features a full range of airport scenarios, including terminal building safety and security, apron operations, and passenger experience. The scenarios highlight the capabilities of Huawei’s Smart Airport ICT solutions throughout the airport from flight flow to passenger flow.

Airport operational safety: Huawei Smart Airport Visualised Safety Solution provides 4K intelligent cameras connected through a broadband video backhaul using agile Passive Optical Networks (PONs). The backend video cloud platform provides the scalability to host video surveillance images and videos as well as intelligent video analytics applications developed by Huawei’s partners.

By using intelligent panoramic video surveillance technology, the solution enables the visualised safety management of airfields, terminal buildings, and public areas. Cameras with facial recognition technology help ensure the operational safety of terminal buildings and allow passengers to be identified throughout the terminal using a unique biometric token. The solution delivers smooth and simplified processes to greatly enhance the overall safety of the airport and the passenger experience.

Airport operational efficiency: Huawei Smart Airport Visualised Operations Solution features an […]

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