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Smartrac showcases what the ‘Internet of Your Things’ has in store

By Zenobia Hegde

At Retail’s BIG Show in New York, Smartrac is not simply showing the way toward the ‘Internet of Your Things’. Together with its partners Blue Bite and Temera, the RFID and IoT pacesetter is also presenting innovative solutions and real-world examples of how brand owners and retailers can utilise it here and now.

Once products are digitised via embedded RFID technology and the digital IDs associated with the tags are securely married with the product data, the stage is set for the profitable utilisation of the newly created ‘Internet of Your Things’. On the occasion of NRF’s annual event in New York, January 14-16, 2018, Smartrac’s booth (#1675) is the showcase for several real-life applications.

Improving consumer experience

Digital content provision specialist Blue Bite is demonstrating solutions it has developed for many leading brands like Spyder and Dyne. These solutions leverage Smartrac’s NFC technology and provide enhanced product value and an improved consumer experience.

“We are excited to be featured as part of the Smartrac NRF showcase. In terms of a product’s full lifecycle from concept to production, and from a store into a user’s hands, our combined ability to provide a fully integrated, end-to-end solution is something truly unique in the marketplace”, says Mikhail Damiani, CEO and co-founder of Blue Bite.

Simplifying logistics and production processes

Luxury software applications specialist Temera is presenting an array of latest solutions tailored to the needs of the high fashion and luxury markets, for instance Interactive Fitting Room and Digital Warranty. Temera joined forces with Smartrac almost one year ago.

“It is our pleasure to join Smartrac at Retail’s BIG Show and to showcase our services and solutions that simplify our customers’ logistics and production processes, while providing anti-counterfeiting functionality and end-customer market analysis”, says Arcangelo D’Onofrio, CEO and founder of Temera.

Redefining product authentication

Besides its own Experiences customer loyalty and engagement solution, Smartrac is providing live demos of its comprehensive product authentication solution called Proofs. This solution leverages innovative NFC tags that provide a proof of authentication.

Amir Mobayen

Each time an NFC-enabled mobile device is tapped on these tags, one-time authentication tokens are generated and transmitted as a new, unique portion of a URL. Since that link cannot exist twice, it is for the very first time possible to identify copied links. To leverage that ability, Smartrac has created a Web Service that verifies the tokenised web link and hence empowers brand owners to react appropriately.

“During Retail’s BIG Show in New York, Smartrac and its partners are convincingly substantiating the claim that the ‘Internet of Your Things” not only exists, but that it also pays off for our customers. The possibilities for its utilisation are truly limitless, and we invite brand owners and retailers to visit our stand and to benefit greatly from gaining deep insights into our offerings”, says Amir Mobayen, chief revenue officer at Smartrac.

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Qualcomm and Ford collaborate on C-V2X global initiative to improve vehicle safety, traffic efficiency and support for autonomous driving

By Zenobia Hegde

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Ford Motor Company, are accelerating the development of connected cars with the extension of their long-standing relationship into the development of advanced connectivity systems for Ford vehicles and upcoming Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology testing. C-V2X is a highly advanced wireless connectivity technology for safety-conscious and automated driving solutions, which has the potential to help cities create more capable infrastructure as they look at how to connect vehicles to their surroundings, and to larger communications systems, facilitating the development and delivery of smart, connected transportation throughout the world. The technology is planned for further field validations beginning in 1H 2018.

Qualcomm Technologies’ first C-V2X commercial solution, the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset, is expected to be commercially available the second half of 2018.Depending on the results of those field validations, and a change to the current regulatory environment, this technology may be featured in vehicles in the near-future. Ford and Qualcomm Technologies are currently working together on the first announced U.S. C-V2X trials in San Diego, along with additional trials in Detroit, with both trials utilising the 9150 C-V2X solution.

As the automotive industry prepares for advancements towards 5G, Qualcomm Technologies and Ford plan to explore next-generation telematics platform concepts featuring C-V2X technology.

Using direct communication mode, C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to directly communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones, without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription.

Importantly, these capabilities supported by some of the latest advancements in wireless technology based on today’s standards, such as 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 14 specifications and ITS standards, while also providing a strong path towards 5G. This means C-V2X-enabled vehicles are designed to remain compatible with future devices, services and infrastructure that connect via 5G technology.

Wireless communication is expected to play important role as autonomous vehicles are expected to be ubiquitous on city streets today and in the future. By facilitating communication between vehicles and a variety of other Smart City constituents, C-V2X technology complements Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensors to help build a comprehensive picture of the world in which vehicles must navigate.

C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to provide information about the vehicle’s surroundings and identify objects that may be out of view, including accidents that are further down the road, or pedestrians that are obstructed by large trucks or buildings.

As a part of the ongoing relationship, the companies are working on automotive telematics platforms with integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modems to provide the fast, reliable and efficient connectivity needed for telematics applications, connected navigation and infotainment systems. As the automotive industry prepares for advancements towards 5G, Ford and Qualcomm Technologies plan to work on next-generation telematics concepts and solutions featuring C-V2X technology.

“Our goal is to provide the smartest and best connected, human-centered experiences for our customers around the world,” said Don Butler, Ford Motor Company. “Ford and Qualcomm Technologies believes that C-V2X holds great potential for the cars of the future. We’re excited […]

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LG Innotek offers the future of retail IoT solution

By IoT – Internet of Things

LG Innotek recently announced it will participate in ‘NRF Retail’s Big Show 2018′ (NRF 2018) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City from January 14 to 16. NRF 2018 is the one of the biggest retail trade fairs and it receives participants from 500 distribution companies and about 95 countries around […]

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Samsung is Betting Big on the Internet of Things. What Does That Mean For You?

By Chris Morris

Samsung is going all in on the Internet of things, betting that connected appliances and faster Internet speeds will result in happier customers.

Executives for the electronics giant, speaking at the 2018 CES technology show in Las Vegas on Monday, reconfirmed a vow made two years ago that all of the company’s products will be IOT-compatible by 2020–adding that 90% already are as of today. And it plans to use its existing SmartThings app to ensure that those devices can all talk to each other–from the TV to the phone to the refrigerator to the washing machine.

Samsung promised that the initiative would debut in the spring.

What that means for users will depend on which Samsung appliances they own, of course. One example is people who buy a new Samsung TV will no longer have to worry about entering user names and passwords for services like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify when they initially set up their TVs. That information will automatically entered into the TV by checking other systems in which the customer is logged in, making it a more seamless experience.

TV sets will also have personalized recommendations for movies and shows, based on a user’s overall viewing habits on all their devices. TVs will also include Bixby, Samsung’s voice-controlled digital assistant, and will be able to double as a central hub for smart products around the home, letting users do everything from see who is at the front door to adjust the thermostat.

The goal of the push, says Tom Baxter, president and CEO of Samsung’s North American division is to create an “eco-system of devices working together to produce unique experiences.”

As part of the initiative, Samsung will expand the number of smart refrigerator models it sells by introducing 14 new models that come with its integrated screen and newly expanded FamilyHub technology that lets owners stream music, leave notes to each other, and view the contents of the fridge in real time. Through Bixby, the FamilyHub will differentiate between users’ based on their voices and give custom information to them, such as their schedule for the day or commute times to school or work.

“IOT is still frustrating to a lot of people, but it doesn’t need to be,” said Yoon Lee, senior vice president at Samsung Electronics.

Samsung’s not stopping with its own products, either. The company is working closely with the Open Connectivity Forum, the world’s largest IOT standardization body, to have all SmartThings-compatible products work with the app. And the company said it has signed an agreement with a “leading European auto manufacturer” to extend this IOT integration to vehicles (letting, for instance, people check if they’re out of milk as they drive by the store).

Samsung has previously tried and failed to make its ecosystem more connected. To ensure this effort is more successful, Baxter said, the company has invested $14 billion in research and development over the past year.

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BT and Symantec partner to provide best-in-class endpoint security protection

By Zenobia Hegde

BT, one of the providers of communications services and solutions, and Symantec, the cyber security company, announced the availability of new endpoint protection solution for BT’s business customers.

Symantec’s best-in-class endpoint security technologies have been added to BT’s broad portfolio of security products and services to help customers battle the rapidly changing threat landscape with a consolidated, intelligent security infrastructure.

With advanced technologies such as machine learning, memory exploit mitigation, file reputation analysis, and real-time behaviour monitoring, Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 provides real-time threat protection, even against unknown threats, so called ‘zero-day’ attacks and ransomware.

Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security, said: “The ongoing migration to the cloud and digital transformation further raises the importance of endpoint security. By adding Symantec endpoint protection to our already broad security portfolio, we are further extending our ability to help our customers stay secure in the face of growing cyber threat. It is an integral part of our shared commitment with Symantec to help organisations of all sizes stay secure as they build on their digital future.”

Mike Fey

Mike Fey, president and COO at Symantec said: “Enterprises are facing a perfect storm with a growing attack surface, intensifying regulatory scrutiny and an increasingly sophisticated cyber kill chain. Today’s attacks are multi-faceted, multi-staged and the endpoint is one of the most critical vulnerabilities.

Responding to this rapidly evolving threat landscape requires an integrated cyber defence strategy, with best-in-class systems that can work together, becoming greater than the sum of their parts. In continuing to grow the Symantec capabilities offered within BT’s security portfolio, BT’s business customers will be able to build and benefit from the most comprehensive security platform in the market.”

Symantec Endpoint Protection joins nine Symantec solutions available to BT’s customers. Customers can deploy and manage Symantec products from a unified management console.

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Largest SEMICON China Ever Targets Industry Growth

By IoT – Internet of Things

More than 70,000 players in the electronics manufacturing industry are expected to descend upon SEMICON China for technology and innovation insights to accelerate already strong industry growth. March 14-16, 2018, at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), SEMICON China 2018 will bring together top executives and technologists in six exhibition halls, the most ever […]

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Cargotec develops intelligent cargo handling with global IoT connectivity services from Orange Business Services

By Zenobia Hegde

Orange Business Services and Cargotec have signed a three-year, multimillion euro agreement for worldwide IoT connectivity that helps Cargotec keep goods moving efficiently and safely. Cargotec, with headquarters in Finland, is a provider of cargo and load handling solutions. Cargo traffic is one of the vital services that helps keep our global society up and running. Millions of items, from raw materials to consumer products, are transported locally and between countries around the clock.

Cargotec‘s business areas – Kalmar, Hiab and MacGregor – are players in their fields, and they have a unique position to optimise global cargo flows and create sustainable customer value. Kalmar offers cargo handling equipment and automated terminal solutions, software, and services that are used in ports, terminals, distribution centres and various industries.

Hiab provides on-road load handling solutions to customers operating in the land transport and delivery industries, while MacGregor offers solutions and services for marine cargo and offshore load handling.

Cargotec aims to become the global supplier in intelligent cargo handling. This requires connectivity during every stage of its customers’ lifecycles. The IoT connectivity solution from Orange will integrate intelligence into the machinery to provide better collaboration for daily operations, monitor and maintain equipment to enable the highest possible uptime and react remotely before problems arise. It will also help Cargotec develop insightful data-driven services.

The Orange IoT connectivity service provides tangible business benefits for Cargotec, enabling new digital services and delivering a much higher degree of operational efficiency, both internally and further down the value chain at the customer level.

These include: seamless IoT SIM card ordering, simple activation and tracking through a dedicated portal; one price per IoT SIM card regardless of location; and scalable connectivity reaching 220 countries and territories.

“A reliable IoT communications infrastructure, global presence, with local support everywhere in the world, and an attractive business model are vital for us to become the leader in intelligent cargo handling. We chose Orange Business Services for these reasons,” says Soili Mäkinen, CIO, Cargotec.

“Cargotec is determined to grow its business through strong customer focus and improved IoT services that are vital in its development. We are very happy to have been selected as their provider of choice and to help enable their ambitions to lead and transform the cargo handling business globally,” says Fabrice de Windt, senior vice president, Europe, Orange Business Services.

Orange already supports over 14 million connected devices through its Datavenue IoT and data analytics solution across a variety of sectors, including automotive and transport, smart cities, industry and manufacturing and daily life (smart home, healthcare and wearables).

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MediaTek Launches New Chipset to Accelerate the Growth of NB-IoT

By IoT – Internet of Things

MediaTek has announced its newest chipset, MT2621, the industry’s first dual-mode System-on-Chip (SoC) designed for Internet of Things (IoT) applications with both narrow band IoT (NB-IoT) Release 14 (R14) and GSM/GPRS connectivity. The highly power efficient MT2621 chipset brings dual-mode cellular technologies for IoT, and ensures lowest power consumption. It best supports the developments of […]

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NEC Smart City solution is now certified ‘Powered by FIWARE’ to confirm it is aligned with relevant standards

By Zenobia Hedge

NEC Europe and its advanced Smart City solution, the CCOC, has been recently certified “Powered by FIWARE”. This certification recognises that the NEC Smart City platform is fully aligned with FIWARE standards, to ease the development of new Applications in multiple vertical sectors.

The CCOC will manage information at large scale and gather Context Information coming from different and highly distributed sources such as end users, sensor networks and all kinds of information systems, including social networks, processing it in order to perform smart actions, including prediction and prescriptions.

CCOC (Cloud City Operation Centre) solution collects real-time data of information from around a city, it automates the analysis, and allows for the swift provision of municipal services, which in turn reduces the workload at monitoring centers.

The public operational costs can be reduced using NEC’s technology to crunch and visualise the data, which means city planners can focus on taking decisions for the public welfare, improving the daily operation and coordination of multiple city services, bolstering security and ultimately improving the Quality of Life for residents.

Jose Luis Mate

As an official partner of FIWARE, Mr. Jose Luis Mate, CTO of Public Services at NEC Europe, commented, “NEC deeply believes in openness and collaboration. Our product strategy for digital transformation is fully based on it as well, and there is no better representation of those values than FIWARE. We leverage their implementation-driven software to build smarter applications in sectors such as Smart Cities.”

NEC is one of the first providers to be awarded with the “Powered by FIWARE” certificate, because of its strong support and close following of FIWARE architecture, protocols and best practices that are implemented in all Smart Cities projects.

FIWARE is an Open Source initiative whose mission is to build an open sustainable ecosystem around public, royalty-free and implementation-driven software platform standards for the development of Smart Applications in multiple sectors.

The FIWARE platform provides a rather simple yet powerful set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and also combines components enabling the connection to the Internet of Things with Context Information Management and Big Data services on the Cloud.

The specifications of these APIs are public and royalty-free. An open source reference implementation of each of the FIWARE components is publicly available so that multiple FIWARE providers can emerge faster in the market with a low-cost proposition.

NEC is also a platinum member of the FIWARE Foundation e.V. NEC was the first Japanese company to join the Foundation and has joined the board of directors and technical steering committee of the FIWARE Foundation, the foundation’s decision-making authorities, thereby contributing to development, standardisation and promotion of the FIWARE technology to accelerate smart city and smart industry businesses utilising IoT (Internet of Things).

NEC’s CCOC (Cloud City Operation Centre) will be on display in the NEC booth during Smart City Expo World Congress, which is being held 14-16 November 2017 in Barcelona. For more information, click here.

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ETSI creates City Digital Profile group on smart cities

By Zenobia Hedge

ETSI is pleased to announce the creation of a new Industry Specification Group “City Digital Profile” (ISG CDP) that will help accelerate the delivery of integrated citizen services and provide a technology road map for city leaders who will benefit from standardised solutions from their suppliers.

In providing this technology framework and clear roadmap for technology investment and deployment, market confidence levels in the city infrastructure investments should increase and in addition this will cities the possibility to replicate those solutions across domains, between cities and on a large scale. Smart services are intended to improve the overall quality of living in the city and make them attractive to citizens, investors, business, innovators, visitors and tourists.

The City Digital Profile ISG will enable cities to procure smart solutions with confidence that those solutions will be extendable, configurable and interoperable with similar services from other cities and providers. City administrators will therefore deliver advanced services to their citizens, whilst respecting essential environmental factors, sustainability objectives and reducing the overall cost of deployment.

“I am excited that this group will enable city leaders and suppliers to work together to mass market replication of citizen centric systems that are innovative, agile and creative while also fully standards compliant, secure, resilient and cost effective,” says Paul Copping, convenor of the City Digital Profile ISG, and chief innovation officer at DG Cities Ltd in Greenwich, London.

Initial cross domain city applications will include:

Health and social care (disability entitlement; housing benefit and rent payment; housing condition, assisted living and vulnerability)
Building management and connected homes
Urban lighting
Water and waste management and energy
Transportation and mobility
Environmental issues such as pollution and resource optimisation

Other key issues such as citizen related data retention and privacy protection will also be considered, in co-operation with such groups as oneM2M, the ETSI founded partnership project and the ETSI Technical Committee Cyber.

The kick-off meeting of the ISG will take place on 20-21 November 2017 at ETSI headquarters where the group will elect its chair and vice chair and decide on the future work and priorities.

ETSI will also be a speaker at the Smart City Expo, in Barcelona from 14-16 November in Barcelona, as well as organising a dedicated session alongside the main event to present the ISG CDP concept.

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