IPv6 and IoT News

Where is the industry getting it right and wrong in Smart Homes? DT’s Rockmann tells it straight

By Zenobia Hegde

Smart homes and where the industry is getting it right and wrong. So Jeremy Cowan of IoT-Now.com asks a few question to Thomas Rockmann, vice president, Connected Home at Deutsche Telekom, to shed some light on the smart homes issue.

IoT Now: Where are we as a business sector with delivering on the promise of complete home automation and control?

Thomas Rockmann: Having too much of a focus on technology, we risk falling short of making sure that we meet consumers’ needs. So instead, our focus needs to be on creating consumer propositions that resonate across different markets and industries – e.g. telcos, utilities, insurers, etc – creating innovative new revenue generating services, which is the approach that we need to see realised to move this market forward.

The industry needs to wake up to the fact that we can create even greater value from the connected home, if we work together. Mutually exclusive ecosystems, or closed architectures, will not help anyone, least of all the customer. All it will do is result in even greater consumer confusion, weak use cases, and not drive the real growth, which is what we all want to see.

At Deutsche Telekom, we have created a white label, open smart home portfolio that enables firms across multiple sectors to build growth strategies and exploit opportunities in the market, while developing and releasing their own unique smart home propositions, which integrate into the platform’s existing open and interoperable architecture open ecosystem. Our platform has been designed to be agile and ever expandable, so it supports the services, solutions and smart home devices that our partners and third parties release.

IoT Now: Which smart home technology innovations will be significant to consumers’ needs/demands over the next 12 months?

Thomas Rockmann: We believe that smart home technology innovations need to meet consumers’ needs and demands, and this was actually part of our conference session at CES 2018, where we spoke about Smart Home Platforms: Unlocking Consumer Value.

We are continuously working on optimising the user experience starting from the set up to the daily usage via an app. As part of our White Label Smart Home pick and choose portfolio we offer a white label app, where the whole customer experience and the app are continuously under optimisation/improvement based on customer research.

There are several innovations already making themselves known in the smart home sector, from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice assistants, to Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL), community IoT, and connected cars.

AI and voice assistants: Voice control is bringing smart personal assistants and AI into more homes – where devices are learning from a user’s habits and presence. AI is everywhere now and its ongoing growth is something that analyst are already forecasting. In fact, a recent Gartner report predicts that 25% of households will use AI-powered digital assistants as the primary interface for connected home services by next year.

Major technology players are pursuing voice control and, currently, AI assistants serve two specific purposes; semantic assistance, by using AI to recognise not only the words or phrases, but also the context, and bridging the gaps between devices, […]

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IoT enables intelligent monitoring for embedded developers

By IoT Now Magazine

Embedded development has undergone a transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT) has been one of the major agents of transformation. Developers need a defined strategy for dealing with IoT and advanced tools in order to build this new breed of applications, writes Jason Chien, an IoT architect at Renesas.

In the past a coffee maker had simple electronics for power, heating water, or a timer to automatically start brewing in the morning. Nowadays coffee makers have features similar to smartphones such as colour graphics and screens and now require a way to connect to the internet and to be controllable via mobile apps. For embedded developers this technical complexity combined with IoT has challenged the ways they have traditionally worked.

For engineers a focused strategy is to have an IoT application monitor and report sensor data as a starting set of functions that can help stakeholders understand the concept and value of the application. Monitoring serves as a fundamental starting point as it allows a user to know the current condition of the environment they are trying to gather more information on. For monitoring, only one-way communication is required as data will only need to be sent from the device to the IoT cloud. Once data has been sent to the cloud, users can focus on visualising the sensor data from the devices. Most often visualising the sensor data is achieved through dashboards displayed on a website or a mobile app. The visualisation allows users to quickly and easily understand the current state of the device sensors.

In addition to a focused strategy, IoT requires engineers to use advanced tools to create their IoT applications. For engineers to even create a prototype requires technical skills from embedded to software to mobile app and web development.

A tool such as the Renesas Synergy AE-CLOUD1 enables rapid development of IoT applications using the Renesas Synergy Platform, which provides professional grade tools for building IoT products.

AE-CLOUD1 comes with the S5D9 IoT Fast Prototyping Board that can be used for prototyping then converted to a module for production. In its current form the S5D9 Fast Prototyping Board is populated with Pmod and Grove connectors for easy expansion using off the shelf modules. When you are ready to move to production, the same board can be ordered with production grade components such as shrouded locking connectors and 24V capable digital IO. In addition, the design files for the kit or module are open source and can be downloaded from github.

AE-Cloud1 can connect to the internet using Ethernet or Wi-Fi. For WiFi connection AE-Cloud1 uses the GT202 Wi-Fi module to communicate using the 802.11n standard to a WiFi access point.

Depending on the firmware image loaded, AECloud1 can either connect to the Synergy Enterprise Cloud Toolbox or the Renesas IoT Sandbox. The Renesas IoT Sandbox is a free prototyping environment and the Synergy Enterprise Cloud Toolbox is a reference design that allows connection to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform in as little as ten minutes. Both cloud […]

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ip.access addresses the TV white space and fixed access markets as part of Microsoft-led Project Belgrade

By Zenobia Hegde

ip.access, an independent small cell solution provider is happy to announce its participation in Project Belgrade, an initiative of the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions, Microsoft. The project successfully demonstrates affordable internet connectivity for the unconnected using TV white space (TVWS) spectrum.

The project explores the potential of cellular radio technology in TVWS as a more accessible and more affordable alternative to regular copper or fibre broadband.

Nick Johnson, CTO of ip.access, said: “The internet touches almost every aspect of modern lives. Yet, even in developed markets there are still significant numbers of people who are not connected to it, either due to limited coverage and connectivity in the area or limited funds to pay for such connectivity. Our project proves that cellular technology in TVWS is a cost-effective and high quality solution to these issues.”

The project was a collaborative effort to trial the TVWS approach by building and deploying a sizeable cellular network testbed in the city of Cambridge UK, running on TV white space frequencies. The trial extended to 5 Cambridge sites where residents, in all age brackets, typically didn’t have access to home broadband.

To support them Microsoft built an open-source TVWS database client, selecting ip.access’ E40 small cell to enable the TVWS spectrum to operate. As a consequence of the trial, some residents found employment, reconnected with friends and commenced using online services for the first time.

Ben Ash

Commenting on the results of the project, Ben Ash, sales director at ip.access, said: “We’re dedicated to improving accessibility to the internet and creating solutions which will enable better, faster connectivity for internet users. We are delighted to have worked closely with Microsoft and that our E40 small cell technology has formed such a key component of this trial.”

The project has successfully proven that cellular network deployment for TVWS is a highly feasible alternative to Wi-Fi. Thanks to the affordability of small cells, the findings open up a whole host of use cases, from improved connectivity for unconnected people living in the developed world as well as providing internet access to remote areas where connectivity and coverage are inadequate.

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Cybersecurity threat to renewable energy infrastructure

By Zenobia Hegde

Renewable energy technologies have established a significant role in the energy industry. Because of their prominence and growing importance to power supplies, it is vital for the industry to develop appropriate security, and specifically cybersecurity, strategies.

A new report from energy sector experts, The Renewables Consulting Group (“RCG”), and cybersecurity specialists, Cylance Inc., provides insight into cybersecurity for the renewable energy industry, focusing on threat and impact assessment, and on measures to improve cyber protection.

Cyber-attacks targeting critical infrastructure have increased over recent years. Cybersecurity threats include ransomware, fileless attacks, advanced persistent threats (APTs) and Trojans. The security of a renewable energy asset can be broken down into two main components; physical security and cybersecurity.

A successful cyber-attack has the potential, not just to cause the loss of personal and commercial information, or cause damage to electronic resources, but also to damage a project’s physical assets through the forced maloperation of components, impact its finances by disrupting generation, or create national, or regional, energy security risks in the event of a large-scale grid blackouts.

Maintaining a secure computing environment is a top concern for IT managers across the globe. Renewable energy companies would benefit from investing in information security. Achieving a secure environment includes dedicating resources to physical security, hardware and software, internet connectivity, remote management, and training personnel.

The report makes the following cyber security recommendations for renewable energy technologies:

Environment assessment: Renewable energy companies should carry out comprehensive assessments of their current cybersecurity posture.
Asset update: Updated systems provide a last line of defence when other security measures fail so it is critical IT infrastructure is updated and staff are trained to recognise the threats.
Access management: Access to sensitive systems and data needs to be properly managed.
Predictive tools: New tools, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, can help maintain a strong security as cyberattacks and operating environments become more complex.

“RCG is not aware of any other piece of research which draws together two expert companies to produce a joint report on the cyber threat to renewable project infrastructure. If this report offers a pause for thought to all the renewable asset owners, manufacturers and maintainers; and subsequently even a single project strengthens its resistance to the obvious and increasing cyber threat out there, then Cylance and RCG will have done their job.” – RCG’s Sam Park, co-author of the report.

“The renewable energy sector has growing significance to world energy supplies and Cylance is happy to raise cybersecurity awareness as part of our mission to secure every endpoint under the sun,” said Cylance’s Dr. Anton Grashion, co-author of the report.

The full white paper, “Cybersecurity in Renewable Energy Infrastructure”, from RCG and Cylance, is available for download here.

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Renesas Synergy Platform boosts IoT performance with IAR Systems advanced compiler technology

By Zenobia Hegde

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced an enhancement to its e² studio integrated development environment (IDE) tool for the Renesas Synergy Platform.

Through its ongoing partnership with IAR Systems, the embedded development tools supplier, Renesas Synergy customerscan now enjoy significant performance benefits by integrating IAR Systems’ advanced IAR C/C++ Compiler into the Eclipse-based e² studio IDE.

Through its optimisation technology, the IAR C/C++ Compiler can significantly reduce the application code, allowing developers to add more features to their Synergy microcontrollers (MCUs). The compiler’s industry-best execution speed for generated code is clearly documented in established speed benchmarks such as EEMBC Coremark.

Faster code execution speed enables an MCU to spend more time in low power modes to conserve battery life. Networked Internet of Things (IoT) devices use Synergy MCUs to monitor and/or control the surrounding environment and system components in home/building/industrial automation systems, home appliances, energy management systems, and healthcare and medical equipment.

Previously, e² studio users would build their applications using the standard GCC GNU compiler. This new collaboration with IAR Systems adds the option to use the IAR C/C++ Compiler directly from within e² studio, while keeping the existing option to use the proprietary IAR Embedded Workbench for Renesas Synergy IDE.

System developers can access instructions for integrating the compiler into the e² studio by downloading the latest version of the e² studio tool. Providing the IAR C/C++ Compiler as an option ensures the full potential of the Synergy Platform is unlocked regardless of IDE preference.

“Synergy Platform customers can choose from two professional software development tools – e² studio or IAR Embedded Workbench – with no license or maintenance fees and no limitation on the number of user seats,” said Mark Rootz, marketing director, Synergy Platform Business Division, Renesas Electronics Corporation. “Enabling our e² studio users to access the IAR C/C++ Compiler demonstrates our commitment to increase the value and capabilities of the Synergy Platform by helping developers get through their design process faster than ever before.”

“Adding support for our advanced compiler technology to the e² studio tool gives developers additional options for optimising their IoT applications,” said Anders Lundgren, product manager, IAR Systems. “Our close collaboration with Renesas Electronics provides Synergy Platform customers with the tools they need to speed their product innovations to market.”

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Italian scaleup Stamplay joins EIT Digital Accelerator

By Zenobia Hegde

Italian scaleup Stamplay is joining the EIT Digital Accelerator to further expand and enlarge its customer base. Legally headquartered in the UK, but with the development team based in Rome and a strong presence in San Francisco, Stamplay was founded in 2015 by Giuliano Iacobelli and Nicola Mattina.

Clients include big names such as Cisco, Lennar, Box, IBM and MSC Cruise. Stamplay’s main product is a “low code platform” (meaning that users can create apps through graphical user interfaces instead of computer programming), which allows its customers to automate and integrate business workflows spanning multiple cloud services.

This is a particularly crucial for large corporations, which nowadays use close to 1300 individual cloud services and often struggle to integrate the different applications they work with, something which is negatively affecting their capability of accessing customer information – as it’s scattered across multiple locations – and taking fast data-driven decisions.

That’s where the scaleup’s solution, an integration tool that can help bridge the gaps, comes into play.

Giuliano Iacobelli

“Some companies, for instance, use our solution to better organise the PDF documents stored inside their Box account,” Stamplay’s CEO, Giuliano Iacobelli explains. “With our product, they can extract data from them, understand what they are dealing with, and then add some metadata to make them easier to search by content,” he says.

Other interesting use cases of the scaleup’s technology include helping Cisco organising and making sense of data collected by drones used for air quality monitoring in industrial areas and streamlining the customer onboarding experience by linking together Box, Salesforce, DocuSign and other applications. For Stamplay, the decision to become part of the EIT Digital Accelerator is the next logical step of growth as the company, after fine-tuning its technology offering, is now focusing on commercial expansion and revenue growth.

“Our goal is now increasingly to target aggressively the enterprise sector. With this in mind, we believe that EIT Digital, with its pan-European network of business developers and top expertise in access to market operations, can represent the perfect fit to support our efforts,” Iacobelli says.

The company will also join EIT Digital’s Digital Infrastructure Action Line, which is focused on enabling digital transformation by providing secure, robust, responsive and intelligent communications and computation facilities for markets.

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Huawei full series of scenario-based Massive MIMO AAUs products to be released at MWC 2018

By Zenobia Hegde

At the pre-MWC briefing in London, Huawei revealed that a full series of scenario-based Massive MIMO AAU (MM AAU) products would be released at the MWC 2018. These products accommodate various 5G deployment scenarios and make operators ready for 5G in advance based on 4G networks.

Using Wireless AI technologies that simplify O&M, these AAUs provide several times better user experience compared with common 4G network construction technologies and better meet the requirements of prospective mobile Internet services.

MM AAU series products to be released are all 5G ready. The “Dual 200” MM AAU was launched at MBBF 2017. It operates on the C-band and applies to large-capacity deployment in urban areas. Other MM AAUs will be released at the MWC 2018, including the dual-band MM AAU and MM AAU EasyBlink. The dual-band MM AAU realises the co-deployment of C-band and other bands, and features the best engineering performance. The MM AAU EasyBlink is a new-generation product designed specifically for pole sites.

The multi-user spatial multiplexing technology of Massive MIMO works with the large capacity feature and high-speed single-user experience feature to provide Gbps-level cell throughput and ultra-large user capacity. They also provide exclusive bandwidth and QoS guarantee functions the same as wired networks. Massive MIMO is one of the important air interface technologies of 5G and is the core technology to differentiate 4G and 5G networks.

The “Dual 200” C-band MM AAU solution is suitable for large-capacity scenarios in urban areas. This cost-effective product meets the future capacity evolution requirements for the next 5 to 10 years. This way, only one-off hardware deployment and site visit are required, significantly reducing related engineering and maintenance costs. The AAU is the industry’s first 3D-MIMO product boasting ultra-large capacity and bandwidth.

It can cope with the challenge of operators’ C-band spectrum acquisition. A single AAU module provides 200 MHz bandwidth capability on the C-band to save antenna space and reduce network construction costs. This AAU can achieve a peak rate of 10 Gbps per cell, meeting the large-capacity service demands in the future.

For operators that have C-band and other frequency bands, two MM AAUs are required for the deployment of Massive MIMO on two bands. However, the number of antennas is limited at some existing sites and the load-bearing capacities of towers are incapable.

As a result, two MM AAUs cannot be installed. The dual-band MM AAU solution can resolve these issues. This product supports C-band and another band using 200 MHz bandwidth. It can effectively expand the application scenarios of the band other than C-band, and also support the 5G-oriented evolution to simplify the antenna space and reduce the overall engineering costs.

For areas where above-mentioned solutions are not considered feasible, the EasyBlink simple pole site solution serves a perfect choice to improve 5G coverage.

In the future, 5G networks will grow increasingly complex, equipped with multiple bands and RATs. Massive MIMO in the 5G era will be nearly a hundred times more complex compared with that in the 4G era. Through Wireless AI technologies, O&M can be dramatically simplified with efficiency enhanced […]

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Integration Objects’ OPC .NET Client Toolkit to easly build your OPC Client In C# .NET or VB .NET

By integration objects

Integration Objects announced recently the release of its new version of OPC .NET Client Toolkit product. Integration Objects is world-leading software solutions provider specialized in operations and manufacturing intelligence, industrial internet of things, command and control systems, cyber security for the chemical, oil & gas, process and manufacturing industries, power and utilities and defense. If […]

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Riding on IoT Revolution, Global Connected Retail Market to be worth US$82.31 Billion by 2025, reports TMR

By IoT – Internet of Things

A recent business and commerce publication by Transparency Market Research (TMR) has observed that the demand in the market for connected retail is expanding leaps and bounds and a number of players are connecting to the value chain. There are widespread possibilities with the growing field of the Internet of Things (IoT), paving a reliable […]

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Cloud Services to Increase U.S. GDP by $2 Trillion over the Next Decade

By IoT – Internet of Things

Oracle Modern Finance Experience — Oracle recently published a report examining the potential impact of cloud services on the United Stateseconomy. Authored by Dr. Michael Mandel, senior fellow at the Mack Institute of Innovation Management at the Wharton School and commissioned by Oracle, the report estimates that a cumulative US$2 trillion will be added to U.S. […]

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