Empowering the Internet of Things by Blockchain
Blockchain has been mentioned by virtually all research firms as a rapidly accelerating evolution in technology, and it’s not just about financial services companies. For some experts, the Blockchain is even bigger deal than the Internet itself.
So far, there is an extended thought spread around the world that thinks the Blockchain is just the technology behind the Bitcoin. Indeed, it is, but the blockchain is much more than that and their applications go much further than power all cryptocurrencies out there.
In fact, this one-of-a-kind Distributed Ledger Technology has been gaining enormous attention in areas beyond its cryptocurrency roots since more or less 2014: blockchain and security, blockchain and finance or blockchain and logistics are only a few of its uncharted uses.
An announced alliance: Blockchain and Internet of Things
One of the relationships that is gaining ground lately is how the blockchain can (and it probably will) empower the growing Internet Of Things technology.
Actually, the convergence of blockchain and the Internet of Things is on the agenda for many companies and there are existing implementations, solutions and initiatives in several areas, outside of IoT and financial services too.
According to an article by i-scoop, Internet of Things applications are by definition distributed so it’s only normal that the distributed ledger technology, which blockchain is, will play a role in how devices will communicate directly between each other. That is keeping a ledger and thus trail of not just devices but also how they interact and, potentially, in which state they are and how they are ‘handled’ in the case of tagged goods.
Besides, Blockchain is designed as a basis for applications that involve transaction and interactions. These can include smart contracts or other smart applications that support specific Internet of Things processes.
The IoT devices will speak through smart contracts
This way blockchain technology can improve not just compliance in the IoT but also IoT features and cost-efficiency.
This already named alliance has been overseen by IBM Blockchain. Although it is still in the early days, many tech giants have started to research how blockchain can help the IoT and, of course, the other way around.
For IBM Blockchain, the most interesting will be the combination of AI, IoT and blockchain across industries and in myriad possible IoT applications.
“With blockchain we are pretty much adding to the changing digital infrastructure that powers so many evolutions and impacts so many areas, from analytics to security, in an environment that thus far was centralized.” said from IBM.
The company sums up three key benefits of using blockchain for IoT.
Build Trust between parties and devices and reducing risk of collusion and tempering;
Reduce Costs by removing overhead associated with middlemen and intermediaries;
and Accelerate Transactions reducing settlement time from days to near instantaneous.
Those just to name a few.
The IoT savior
However there are many challenges to solve related to this special relationship, specially on technology and future legal issues in the international matter, many experts have seen the Blockchain as the IoT savior.
In fact, Blockchain technology is able to sort out many of these challenges as they have been tested already in other areas.
Blockchain technology could provide a simple infrastructure for two devices to directly transfer a piece of property such as money or data between one another with a secured and reliable time-stamped contractual handshake. To enable message exchanges, IoT devices will leverage smart contracts which then model the agreement between the two parties.
This feature enables the autonomous functioning of smart devices without the need for centralized authority. If you then extend this peer-to-peer transaction to human to human or human to objects/platforms, you end up with a fully distributed trustworthy digital infrastructure.
Although all of these possible applications are still in the early days of development. There are already some ideas for the companies to start with. We just need to think back a few years ago, the IoT were just a might-happen technology. Now, they are already talking about how secure, recorded and monitored can be the communications between objects.
Thanks, of course, to the blockchain.
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At WETEX, Silver Spring Networks, Inc. announced the initial successful completion of the deployment of its multi-application IPv6 network canopy for Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). DEWA’s network canopy extends across the Emirate of Dubai and is based on Silver Spring’s Gen5 technology, which offers high performance, reliability, security and scalability. Silver Spring Networks is now working with DEWA towards final acceptance, with the remaining head-end integration work expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Silver Spring Networks also announced that its Gen5 technology has been integrated into smart meter devices from Honeywell Elster, to connect the first DEWA electric customers to its IoT canopy as a part of the next phase of this modernisation project. DEWA’s infrastructure modernisation efforts support the Smart Dubai initiative, aimed at making Dubai the most innovative smart city in the world.
DEWA provides services for over 700,000 electricity and 600,000 water connections across its service territory, all of which it intends to connect to the network canopy through additional Silver Spring ecosystem partners and future phases of its multi-year modernisation program. These announcements detail the update described during Silver Spring Networks’ second quarter earnings conference call on August 8, 2017.
“DEWA is pleased with its progress for the second smart initiative, Smart Applications through smart meters and Grids, in alignment with the UAE Vision 2021 and the Dubai Plan 2021, which enables DEWA to build a wide and integrated smart grid covering generation, transmission and distribution systems.
We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Silver Spring Networks to bring the company’s proven Internet of Things technology to DEWA customers, first through smart electric services and beyond into other smart applications, which can help contribute to making Dubai the happiest and most innovative city in the world.” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.
“We’re very pleased to achieve the delivery of the high-performance canopy network – a significant project milestone for DEWA – to help reliably deliver electricity, water and other new services across Dubai,” said Burak Aydin, general manager – EMEA, Silver Spring Networks. “We are committed to offering the newest innovation available through our standards-based technology, and look forward to helping bring smart grid benefits to DEWA customers in Dubai during the next phase of our deployment.”
As a longtime proponent of open standards, Silver Spring’s technology is based on Wi-SUN mesh technology (IEEE 802.15.4.g). Silver Spring’s standards-based networking platform will enable DEWA to support a wide range of device vendors across its network canopy.
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Increased connectivity is everywhere, as technology companies manufacture everything from heating systems to refrigerators, and render them smart and internet-ready. In the same light, modern warehouses are far more than just a facility in which to store inventory. Leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) and the latest supply chain management technologies, a “smart warehouse” can now boost productivity, efficiency and speed throughout the supply chain.
From sensors to wearables and smart equipment, the internet-enabled technology and devices can positively impact the logistic management. Billions of IoT-enabled systems will be in circulation within the next few years, and the impression they will have on how companies control and distribute orders is likely to be substantial, say industry experts at Technavio.
How is IoT transforming warehouse management?
Internet of Things is intelligence personified. Connecting devices at your home or office seamlessly- IoT is also proficient at connecting devices that may not be classically associated with information technology. This creates a treasure trove of data and in the instance of inventory management, enables the creation of smart warehouses.
A smarter, productive and accurate way to manage warehouses utilises the scalability and dependability as offered by the Internet of Things technology. With IoT, every item processed is tracked and recorded on inventory management systems throughout the supply chain procedure. Products can be easily located by ID numbers irrespective of where they are, and if they are inbounding as part of a shipment or are on their way to a customer’s doorstep.
The inner workings of an IoT inspired smart warehouse
Today, cloud-based inventory systems are the most used techniques in warehouses, allowing inventory management systems to give organisations better visibility into their own inventory levels, item location, forecast demand, expiration dates and more. The products usually have a barcode label or a RFID tag, so that they can be scanned and identified by the connected systems.
With the introduction of IoT in warehouse management, the ability to track and communicate with products will significantly increase. RFID tags will now hold more information about an object and will be proficient at communicating that information to an inventory system. RFID tags will be built into items, which can precisely send data about temperature, traffic, damage to the object, weather and much more.
IoT’s versatility is a key factor in effective warehouse management
Internet of Things is poised to rejuvenate the global delivery and logistics industry, relieving undue stresses that are building up due to non-strategic management, and impacting the companies, retailers and consumers alike. Additionally, IoT also has a progressive role to play in other related industrial verticals as well. Conclusively, IoT vendors are stepping into an era of tremendous opportunities, provided they are aware of and are reactive to the changing market dynamics.
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By Barb Darrow
Hitachi the global Tokyo-based conglomerate, is combining three of its U.S.-based tech units–Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight Group, and Pentaho–into a single company to be called Hitachi Vantara.
The new company will compete in the Internet of things sector against such players as General Electric
, as well as Microsoft
, and Google
–all of which field their own IoT platforms, says Stacy Crook, research director at IDC.
However, Hitachi Vantara execs say it will not complete directly with Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform to sell basic computing, storage, and networking to customers.
“This is all about standing up end-to-end solutions that can run on-premises or on Azure or Amazon,” says Bobbi Soni, Vantara’s chief solutions and services officer and another HDS veteran. “Our strategy is to bring industrial IoT expertise, our software and ability to manage and run technology. We don’t think many companies are in a position to pull all those things together.”
With the reorganization, one entity will sell HDS’s data center infrastructure, Insight’s big data software, and Pentaho analytics. Together, those companies claim annual revenue of $4 billion. HDS purchased Pentaho in 2015 for a reported $500 million to $600 million.
Hitachi Vantara will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., but will be independently managed, Soni tells Fortune in advance of the announcement at Hitachi’s Next Conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Vantara management also looks a lot like HDS management: HDS chief executive Ryuichi Otsuki and president/chief operating officer Brian Householder are assuming the same positions at the new company. The company will also be bsed in HDS’s Santa Clara, Calif. headquarters.
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One priority will be to push Insight’s Lumada Internet of things technology as a platform for connected devices in industrial settings. In the industrial Internet of things, sensors on factory floors, in mines, in airplane engines, or some other remote or hostile location are designed to send data to an aggregation point, where it can be aggregated and analyzed in order to help manufacturers fix problems before they become dangerous.
To date, Lumada itself has been more of a roadmap than a sellable product. But that will change now, says IDC’s Crook. “The big reveal is now that Lumada will be a standalone commercial offering and sit at the middle of Hitachi’s IoT strategy,” she says.
Hitachi, Crook explains, is bringing together all these related assets it already had and telling a better story about how they work together.
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INFINITI recently launched the Toronto INFINITI LAB, the luxury car brand’s technology accelerator program designed to grow companies focused on Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city initiatives. The Toronto program is produced in partnership with Multiplicity, a Toronto-based nonprofit that provides education and mentorship to startups. INFINITI LAB launched in Hong Kong in 2015, and […]
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On February 22nd, Brambles announced the establishment of BXB Digital, a team based in Silicon Valley and led by Prasad Srinivasamurthy. The team’s purpose will be to investigate and implement industrial Internet of Things technology into the company’s assets, which include over 500M pieces of unit-load equipment.
Brambles is an Australian company and one of the most highly valuated stocks on the Australian Securities exchange. The company specializes in supply-chain logistics and has operations in over 60 countries across 4 continents, with the most significant regions being North America and Western Europe. The company primarily operates through its CHEP and IFCO brands.
Mr. Srinivasamurthy is uniquely suited to his leadership role in BXB Digital, having served as Senior Vice President, Customer Innovation & Internet of Things for SAP, a leading global enterprise software company.
By integrating IoT technology into its already vast network, Bramble hopes to gather important data which, once analyzed, can be used to implement countless optimizations to its various supply chains.
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Telit is collaborating with Yokogawa, a global leader in the industrial automation and control, test and measurement, aviation, and other business segments, on a brand new Industrial Internet of Things architecture created with the goal of propelling Yokogawa’s business model into a connected future. By combining Telit’s robust technological portfolio of communication modules, sensor onboarding, and device management capabilities with Yokogawa’s 100+ years of experience in providing devices, analytical instruments, and other industrial solutions, Yokogawa will be able to create new value for its customers.
Telit will contribute three critical components to the Yokogawa IIoT Architecture: A broad portfolio of wireless IoT communication modules whose common form factors necessitate only one hardware design per global deployment, a diverse collection of industrial drivers and edge analytics which enable a robust sensor onboarding capability, and powerful connectivity and device management capabilities.
Through collaboration with Telit, Yokogawa will be able to provide an end-to-end sensor to cloud solution composed of sensing, control, and cloud-based processing. Telit’s cloud platform will act as an industrial-class device on-ramp to Yokogawa’s managed cloud architecture, ensuring bi-directional device compatibility and control with a host of industrial sensors. Telit offers seamless remote device management capabilities including configuration, provisioning, and updating using ad-hoc or custom schedules applied to infinitely customizable groups of devices. Telit technologies integrate seamlessly to Yokogawa’s managed cloud architecture, enabling hyper-scale ingestion of millions of events from industrial assets and devices.
Commenting on this initiative, Tsuyoshi Abe, a Yokogawa vice president and head of the company’s Marketing Headquarters, emphasized the following: “For its 100th anniversary in 2015, Yokogawa came up with Co-innovating tomorrow as its new corporate brand slogan. Accordingly, we are making efforts to develop new solutions and create new value in collaboration with our customers and partners.” He went on to say, “Telit’s expertise in the Industrial Internet of Things segment combined with their outstanding portfolio of Internet of Things technology will allow us to accelerate our development of services. This added agility is exactly what we need to create that value.”
“The Internet of Things has a tremendous ability to transform businesses and industries,” said Fred Yentz, CEO of Telit IoT Platforms. “Telit is working with forward-looking and innovative organizations around the world to harness that potential. To that end, I would like to thank Yokogawa for their trust in Telit to help drive the spirit of co-innovation into their business and the industry.”
Yokogawa and Telit will hold a joint presentation on their Industrial Internet of Things collaboration at Telit IoT Innovation and the IoT Evolution Expo, both occurring February 7th through the 10th in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
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R/GA Ventures has selected ten companies that will participate in its first ever UK-based venture program, the R/GA IoT Venture Studio UK. The companies include a diverse mix of the next generation of entrepreneurs and startups that are using Internet of Things technology to transform everything from food waste to board games. Launched in collaboration with Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, the program officially starts today and is to be housed at R/GA London’s new connected headquarters. Participating companies in the R/GA IoT Venture Studio UK Program are:
- Den is building the next generation of light switches and plug sockets, for the world.
- DigiSEq is the global standard for delivering payment, access, loyalty, and guaranteed provenance to the Internet of Things and into the world of traditional manufacturing.
- Flock provides pay-as-you-fly insurance for drones.
- Hoxton Analytics offers privacy-conscious in-store analytics which counts and profiles people based on their shoes.
- Iota Labs automates smart home devices using accurate indoor positioning.
- KG Protech provides a hardware-enabled software solution for the next generation of automotive training.
- ScreenCloud makes it super simple for a business to turn any screen into a digital sign. They believe that as consumer hardware is now of commercial grade it is more important that customers get to use fantastic software at affordable prices and that our attention shifts towards compelling content and away from the big black boxes showing it.
- Sensible Object makes games that combine beautiful things, custom hardware and digital apps into new kinds of play.
- Snaptivity is an innovative robo-camera infrastructure that drives fan engagement at live Sporting & Music events by capturing the emotions and reactions of ecstatic, scarf-waving and hi-fiving fans.
- Winnow is on a mission to prevent food waste. They believe that food is too valuable to be wasted and that technology can transform the way we make food.
All companies will have access to resources from R/GA for the duration of the program, as well as input and collaboration from mentors, clients and partners of R/GA. The program will emphasize opportunities for business development, pilots, and partnerships, and will enable the companies to develop and grow new business models and technologies that will drive disruption using IoT.
This program will build on the innovative format of the previous R/GA Venture Programs by focusing on both growth-stage and early-stage companies and immediate business opportunities designed to create a path to category leadership and scale. As with all R/GA Ventures programs, R/GA will provide the selected startups with direct access to its award-winning business transformation, strategic marketing, branding, design and technology services, as well as access to its network of clients, industry partners, global brand leaders, mentors and investors.
Also joining the program as Entrepreneur in Residence is Jon Bradford, founding partner of Motive, cofounder of F6S and previously MD at TechStars London, who brings with him deep expertise and a broad network to support the companies.
“R/GA looks forward to working collaboratively and closely with the ten companies in order to help create real momentum for each of them in their respective markets,” said Stephen Plumlee, Global Chief Operating Officer, R/GA and Managing Partner of R/GA Ventures. “As this is R/GA’s first ever IoT Venture Studio to be housed in London, we’re delighted that nine of the chosen start-ups are UK based.”
“These startups are bringing the disruptive and refreshing power of the internet to the real world. They show us that Internet of Things technologies are now mature, and ready for business,” said Matt Webb, managing director of the R/GA IoT Venture Studio UK. “We look forward to welcoming investors, any interested corporates, and R/GA clients to the Venture Studio, to explore partnerships and to get a glimpse of the future.”
The program will conclude on May 4th with invite-only demo event at which each startup will present to industry leaders, partners, and customers from the technology and innovation community.
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Chances are your small business already uses Internet of Things technology for day-to-day tasks. Smartphones, for instance, have become a standard tool for any businessperson to stay on top of emails, projects, finances, and processes. And now, IoT and cloud networks provide seamless interaction between managers and employees with smartphones, computers, and IoT hardware to […]
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PTC announced that Etisalat Digital, the newly established business unit of Etisalat, one of the leading telecommunications providers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, has chosen the ThingWorx® Internet of Things (IoT) platform to develop IoT solutions in the United Arab Emirates and across the Middle East region to capitalize on the growing IoT opportunity in the Middle East region. The agreement enables PTC to extend ThingWorx into a new market and further position itself as a global leader of IoT enablement for the world’s leading companies.
ThingWorx will serve as the platform on which Etisalat Digital will build its new solutions for markets that include smart industry, smart buildings and cities, and fleet management. PTC’s open cloud platform architecture will enable Etisalat Digital to build a comprehensive ecosystem of IoT partners and solutions.
“Working with Etisalat further illustrates the importance of building an Internet of Things strategy around a robust platform that enables customers to seamlessly integrate the components that lead to IoT success,” said John Stuart, divisional vice president, global sales and partners, PTC. “With this agreement, PTC expands its technology into another new region, further demonstrating the potential for ThingWorx to be at the heart of IoT innovation around the globe.”
“The Internet of Things holds significant potential in the Middle East region and we believe it will be a major component of growth in the digital solutions ecosystem,” said Francisco Salcedo, senior vice president of digital solutions, Etisalat. “Collaborations like this one with PTC enable Etisalat to provide an array of solutions and strengthen Etisalat’s position as a leader in the IoT space, capitalizing on the opportunities in the region.”
ThingWorx, the centerpiece of PTC’s Internet of Things technology portfolio, is comprised of a rapid application development platform, connectivity, machine learning capabilities, augmented reality, and integration with leading device clouds. These capabilities combine to deliver a comprehensive IoT technology stack that enables companies to securely connect assets, quickly create applications, and innovate new ways to capture value.
Visit www.ptc.com to find out more information and news.
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