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All Posts (246)

Gold Level Contributor

Huawei eyes IoT role for HarmonyOS

Huawei turned its attention to the IoT opportunity as a way to bolster its HarmonyOS play, by targeting what it said were gaps in current device connectivity.

In a briefing, Wang Chenglu, president of the software unit at Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, said the company believed current approaches lack coherency, with this lack of seamless user experience hindering IoT uptake.

 

Huawei is working to ensure “the mutual connectivity, communication and integration of IoT devices in a convenient way”, he explained. It introduced a feature named Distributed Technology to its Android-based EMUI 10.1 interface to allow different devices to be combined.

Wang added the current smartphone industry had already established “a very rich ecosystem” and expressed hope developers could fully leverage it and use existing assets to cover more IoT devices with minimum cost.

As a target for HarmonyOS, Wang outlined providision of a set of software which can be flexibly deployed across multiple IoT modules instead of having different operating systems for different devices.

The company aimed to make HarmonyOS able to support a variety of devices and equipment, including car telematics systems, smartwatches, wristbands, earphones and robots.

Originally posted by
Yanitsa Boyadzhieva | August 4, 2020
Mobile World Live

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Bronze Level Contributor

Illustration: © IoT For All

Despite looking identical on the outside, the features and functionality offered by regular SIM cards for smartphones differ vastly compared to IoT SIM cards, and using a made-for-enterprise SIM can save your business a lot of time and money.

The key difference lies in functionality and manageability – a regular smartphone SIM card just provides connectivity and doesn’t include the additional functionality offered by IoT connectivity providers. These enterprise-oriented functions are precisely what makes it simpler to scale your business. 

Coverage, Cost and Contracts 

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Regular smartphone SIMs have contract terms that are bound to one local network, with differing terms and rates across foreign networks. This has several implications for businesses, which include: 

  • Tedious sourcing and managing of different connectivity providers on a per-country basis, with their respective contracts and bills. 
  • Complex inventory logistics to ensure devices are shipped with the right SIM to the right destination. 
  • High roaming charges that apply when devices are deployed in different countries or move across borders. 
  • Rigid terms predetermined by network operators (including contract periods, usage volume, pricing and packages, and billing periods). Changing contract terms, depending on the aspect, can be difficult or outright impossible. 

This is when IoT SIMs come into the picture with enterprise-focused features and operators behind them. Unlike regular smartphone SIMs that are hard to manage at scale, expensive and complex to deploy across many regions, and come with inflexible terms, IoT SIMs are the opposite and open up possibilities such as: 

  • Contract terms that accommodate your specific business needs (such as usage volume, billing date, and more). 
  • Flexibility to pause, resume and cancel a SIM card subscription, as well as ability to change terms associated with it. 
  • Availability of pay-as-you-go tariffs for additional pricing flexibility. 
  • A single SIM allows access to multiple local networks. This gives better coverage within the country since the SIM can now switch between networks, prioritizing the best available one. 

The ideal network operator of the IoT SIMs would also have arrangements in place for pricing across countries and networks, eliminating the need for using and switching between multiple SIM cards. 

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Originally published by
EMnify | July 30, 2020
IoT For All

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Gold Level Contributor

6 Do's and Don'ts of Developing IoT Products

Illustration: © IoT For All

IoT joins AI and blockchain as one of the most exciting technologies of the last twenty years. Add this to the buzz around 5G and it’s looking like IoT is about to experience a surge in practicality and popularity. As a result, more and more companies are rushing their IoT products to market, eager to ride the wave without necessarily putting that much care into their IoT product development. No matter what area of IoT you’re looking at, here are a few general Do’s and Don’ts to guide your product development process. 

Don’t: Fixate on cost

Expenses are an important factor in any development scenario, especially as far as managers and stakeholders are concerned, so it’s only natural for it to form part of your decision-making process. However, fixating too much on the cost of your system and optimizing too early can distract you from the actual work of product development and delay construction. Over 50% of IoT projects actually fail at this conceptual stage, according to AVSystem.

Do: Push for prototypes

One way to satisfy cost-conscious management but not sacrifice your development time is to focus on releasing prototypes early on. Developing minimum viable models of your intended products helps you forecast the future of their development much better. A working prototype will tell you what’s easy or difficult to build and how much actual production might cost, plus you can show it to customers for early-stage feedback that can really help your development process.

Oren Ezra of Seebo writes, “Prototypes can be used to test behaviors, software and firmware interactions in advance, that will affect the final smart product. For example, they can help to identify possible conflict areas of the product related to the operation of a microphone, speaker, and location of the Bluetooth antenna.”

Do: Use a platform

IoT platforms give you a head start in building an IoT system, but if you’re serious about your products you will probably need to write your own system software. There’s nothing inherently wrong with IoT platforms, they are great for solving particular problems and giving guidance and a framework for your products. 

But, like any off-the-shelf software, they are limited in their broadness. an IoT system that can exist happily on an existing IoT platform is could be too basic and not innovative enough to make waves in the market for some businesses. Writing your own platform allows you to be truly creative with how you set up your IoT system.

If your business is much too busy to develop it’s own platform, make sure you know what you’re looking for in a platform you purchase. Some are scalable, whereas others are more customizable, or secure.

Don’t: Underestimate manufacturing

Often IoT developers get so wrapped up in the intellectual and theoretical part of product design they forget to give proper thought to the actual manufacturing process. Designing and making products that physically work takes trial and error and particular expertise and may require special certifications, all of which often costs time and money. You need to consider manufacturing alongside your development and customer testing stage.

If possible, get into contact with the manufacturers during your product’s development. Ask them about the specifications they recommend for such a product, and whether some features would be feasible.

Do: Use cellular technologies for connectivity

This one is actually a Don’t disguised as a Do: Don’t use Wifi. It’s a simple factor of knowing your audience. While many of your customers will likely expect to be able to connect to your products via WiFi, most companies are not friendly to unknown IoT devices connecting to their networks. As a result, you’re much better off looking at cellular connective technologies like LPWA or LTE-M1, which are low cost and work well with battery-powered devices.

Cellular technologies tend to use less energy, and have already been used for years in the market research shopping scanner devices of companies like Kantar.

Don’t: Assume you know everything

No matter how large your team, no matter how experienced they are, don’t fall into the trap that you don’t have anything to learn. IoT is a complex and ever-evolving field with strands of expertise that spread from marketing to manufacturing and a hundred places in between. In short: it’s very difficult for a team to be consistent IoT experts, and almost impossible for one individual to be. Remember to be humble enough to accept you could learn more. Actively seek out areas you and your team are not confident in and look for training to improve. 

However, don’t let this dishearten you. While you may not be experts in IoT, you are all experts on your own company and products. When it comes to development that’s what really matters, both during product creation and marketing. Focus on how your vision and mission are embodied in your products and the details will fall naturally into place.

Originally published by
IoT for all| July 27, 2020

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Bronze Level Contributor

Illustration: © IoT For All

As per diverse research, IoT linked devices will cross 75 billion by 2025. The scope and development of IoT are going to evolve in the coming years ultimately influencing people and companies to seek the top IoT product solutions. IoT development tools are created for tailing IoT applications across various networks and managing diverse updates to test how app changes can affect hardware responses.

If you’re looking for the top IoT development platforms or want to work with some of the top IoT development companies below is a list of some of the most popular IoT development tools and technologies.

Microsoft Azure IoT kits

Microsoft Azure created a team by coordinating with Adafruit for building six IoT kits that come Azure Certified for the need of IoT developers having single-board PCs, actuators, and sensors. Generally, developers can make use of the WiFi boards, SD cards, sensors, and colored LEDs inside the kits. Some of the IoT kits from Azure are intended for the need of top IoT product development by experts. Those who are beginners or have intermediate knowledge can try the Adafruit Raspberry Pi Kit, Adafruit Feather M0 Kit, and SparkFun Thing Dev Kit.

Arduino (IDE)

Adruino is a top IT company based in Italy famous for building microcontroller boards, and interactive kits and objects that are reputed as the most preferred IDEs among other IoT development tools. Arduino crafted a full-blown, optimized, and mature platform for interconnecting diverse hardware systems. Arduino provides a full IoT package that is enriched with many top examples and libraries that supports the industry-grade IoT app development projects.

Arduino offers IoT packages enriched with library support for top industry-grade IoT app development projects. Arduino is easy-to-use to implement strategies that any beginner can adopt and start with it.

Raspbian

Raspbian IoT IDE was built for the Raspberry Pi board offered by IoT tech specialists. With more than 35,000 packages and various examples of rapid installation that come with the use of pre-compiled software make it an important IoT development tool. Maybe Raspbian’s greatest quality is that it’s under constant development and has widened reach for computing so users receive maximum benefits.

DeviceHive

DeviceHive is an open-source machine to machine communication framework that was launched in 2012. DeviceHive is considered as one of the most preferred IoT application development platforms because it has a cloud-based API that anybody can control remotely and independently of network configuration.

The same applies to its management portal, protocols, and libraries. DeviceHive works best with applications that address security, sensors, automation, and smart home technology. As a bonus, DeviceHive’s website includes support and references from its community and online blog resources.

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Originally published by
Patrick R | July 24, 2020
iot for all

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Bronze Level Contributor

Taxis Drive Smart City Creation

Image: Wes Hicks - Unsplash

As the world has advanced technologically, the word "smart" has been applied to everything from smartphones to smart homes. Everything is "smart" now, including cities. A smart city utilizes various Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to collect data around the city, which is analyzed to better run and manage the city's resources and services. Some applications include traffic congestion, noise, and pollution control, among others.

All these applications require data, and more specifically, accurate learning requires good data. This leads to one of the major problems with developing smart cities: cities are large. Beijing is 1,600 square miles with a population of more than 20 million, while comparatively, New York City is 302 square miles with more than eight million. To collect data, sensors need to be all over the city, but it is impossible to deploy them everywhere due to cost, labor and limited accessibility to certain areas.

Pei Zhang, associate research professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, turned to taxis as a mobile sensing platform. Why? A fleet of taxis has a long operational time, a large spatial coverage, and great potential for data collection.

"Placing sensors all over a city with high density would be expensive and difficult to maintain, but managed fleets like taxis are everywhere and go everywhere in a city," said Zhang.

Despite the potential of a taxi fleet, it also brings new challenges. If sensors are deployed on taxis without any rules or regulations, the data will probably have errors and incomplete results because taxis naturally do not travel to every part of a city. Instead, they are densely situated in around popular places. "Taxis are not designed to support research," joked Zhang.

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As researchers collected data, they emphasized two main goals: a larger percentage of city area covered and a more evenly distributed coverage. On the left, 12.5% of the area is covered; and on the right, 25% is covered by the same number of vehicles.

To gain better data for accurate learning, Zhang and his colleagues developed an algorithm to create the best plan to motivate taxi drivers to drive to less popular areas-to actuate them in order to collect data via monetary incentives. The researchers emphasized two main goals for data collection: a larger percentage of city area covered and a more evenly distributed coverage. To determine which taxis to actuate for the best data, the algorithm considered several factors, including the location of a given taxi, the possible routes, the potential customers, and the need to reduce costs.

"Basically, the algorithm would tell the driver: 'follow my route, you may find more customers, but if you don't, we'll pay you the difference,'" said Zhang. "For us, we get new data along the new path and improve our overall understanding in the city."

The actuation system for city-wide crowdsourcing of data reaped positive results. The researchers saw a 40 percent improvement in sensing coverage quality and up to 30 percent increase on ride request matching rates, with only 10 percent of the baseline budget required. They have collaborated with Chinese company Environmental Thinking and currently have 146 deployments in Shenzhen and 19 in Tianjin.

As part of the collaboration, they developed a pollution mapping tool called Atmospheric Monitoring System that tracks a multitude of information about air pollution in a given place. 

The tool compiles information from weather to 24-hour graphs of particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) pollution into one platform.

"As cities becomes smarter, our system will provide high resolution and accuracy sensing information to city managers or occupants," said Zhang. "With better situational awareness, a smart city will be better able to respond to its occupants."

Originally published by
Marika Yang | July 15, 2020
Carnegie Mellon University

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Gold Level Contributor
Image Credit: Freepik.com

The Internet of Things is a key player in the digital transformation era. The number of connected devices is increasing every day. It shows the large scale implementation of IoT and the impact that it is making. As more and more devices join the transformation, IoT grows into a change agent for digital transformation and magnifies on its benefits. It enables organizations to drive improved efficiency and deliver a high-quality customer experience. When compared to other technologies, IoT is much more significant as it focuses on connecting the entire organization. Combined with the power of cloud and analytics, IoT can accelerate business growth by bringing information at the forefront of the organization’s operations.

IoT enables organizations to intelligently compute and move data across all touchpoints to drive maximum efficiency in operations. Companies can evaluate performance when data is collected and monitor the people, processes, and products. The different use cases of IoT are focused on its implementation along with the accumulation and processing of data for each project.

Digital transformation through the Internet of Things

Connected devices generate a huge amount of data. This data comes from sensing and transmitting devices. The preponderance of data is creating challenges to manage it. In different industries and segments, there’s more data now than anyone can imagine.

◙ Data in itself isn’t a useful tool. However, determining why this data is collected and how organizations are going to use it marks the true essence of the Internet of Things for digital transformation. Analyzing and utilizing data in ways that benefit society is what makes IoT an exceptional technology. Combining data and intelligence leads to innovative and smart models of operations that serve everyone. Big data and cloud are key contributors to the processing and management of data. All of these together will enable the smooth digital transformation of an organization.

◙ The next 5 years will be crucial for digital transformation as people become more and more connected every day. Enterprises have already implemented IoT technologies at a large scale and are reaping considerable benefits. Consumer adoption of IoT is also picking up speed and organizations have understood their requirements. Even though IoT has been here for some time, it is only now that it has been used to accelerate business growth and drive better performance. It is going to be a primary player in digitally transforming the industrial landscape in the future.

◙ A whole new world of technical possibilities opens up with the Internet of Things in action. IoT products communicate to the organization when they are used and wherever they are being used. This offer real-time insights into the product and helps in generating improvements in a short time. Quick data capturing will enable enterprises to make informed and better decisions. While centralized data takes time to retrieve and process, real-time information is available at hand. The generated data communicates with different sets in the environment. This enables companies to apply analytics and gather valuable insights through connected devices.

Internet of Things 2.0: Capabilities and Outcomes

Connected devices and a massive amount of data are what constitutes the entire horizon of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things 2.0 comes into the picture where all technologies are dependent on each other and build a collective pathway to digital transformation. Internet of Things is a broad term. It comprises several technologies, domains, and use cases. When it comes to the industrial segment, the industrial internet of things transformed into just the industrial internet. The distinction between consumer and industrial IoT was necessary to understand how its capabilities maximize the efficiency of each segment.

Internet of Things 2.0 is not just limited to devices and connections. It covers the entire ecosystem of digital transformation including technologies, people, processes, outcomes, and opportunities. This creates a hyper-connected world where all the variables are integrated together for achieving the digital transformation goals. IoT suggests that only data alone is not sufficient to achieve a competitive advantage. It must be leveraged using technology and innovative processes to achieve a strategic advantage in the industry.

IoT is now combined with AI and big data to achieve an efficient digital transformation. Executives in several industries now realize that IoT is crucial to making their organization a digital enterprise. It almost becomes impossible to digitally transform an organization without connected devices and intelligent systems.

Digital transformation in the hyper-connected world

As organizations progress towards digital transformation, IoT will become a norm. Instead of using as a way to transform the organization, IoT will become the way. It will be used as we use the Internet today, like an essential resource without which digital transformation will be impossible. This will result in the Internet of Transformation where every enterprise is connected and without it, no company will thrive.

Internet of Things 2.0 leverages actionable intelligence and purposeful transformation. The primary concern of organizations will be to understand how they can improve business and society. The hyper-connectedness will provide insights on how life can be made better for everyone. It will lead to a disruption in existing technologies and transform work as we see it today. IoT 2.0 is a puzzle that has various components which require careful analysis. There must be a solid starting and ending point before stepping on to the digital transformation journey.

To reach this level of digital sophistication, it is important to understand IoT at the holistic level. It must comprise technologies, device management capabilities, and offer a view of the people, processes, and products related to improvement. Actionable information will form the basis of operations under a digital enterprise.

The Internet of Things will radically transform every industry from consumer to business. It will offer operational efficiency to the companies. On the other hand, it will also simplify the digital experience and make customers more satisfied than ever. It is innovation at its best with the results that promise a digitally brighter future. 

Originally published by
Shweta Bedi /July 15, 2020
datafloq

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Gold Level Contributor

The Moro Hub data hub supports digital transformation across the region

The Moro Hub’s new centre provides and supports intelligent IoT platforms and cybersecurity and managed services to support government and enterprise customers

The hub is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), set up to meet digital transformation and operational data needs across the region.

In a separate statement, DEWA has announced it is testing the different uses of the four-legged Spot robots by Boston Dynamics in its internal operations.

Dubai 10X initiative

As an enabler of the Dubai 10X digital transformation initiative, Moro Hub’s new centre provides intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and cyber-security and managed services to support government and enterprise customers.

Aligning with the government directives, Moro Hub’s command-and-control centre enables government and enterprise clients to fast-track the adoption of new-age digital technologies such as IoT, cybersecurity, the cloud and more and support data-driven decision-making and analysis.

Commenting on the inauguration, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA, said: “We strive to achieve the objectives of the Dubai 10X initiative, which mandates the Government of Dubai to be a global leader that is 10 years ahead of all other cities through government innovation and the reformation of traditional work mechanisms.”

He added: “Digital adoption in the region is expected to accelerate as organisations significantly invest in smart infrastructure technologies in their drive towards digital transformation. Launching state-of-the-art smart cities command and control centre empowers governments and enterprises to leverage end-to-end smart cities and smart building solutions without compromising on data security and business continuity.

“Clients can enjoy accessible, reliable, secured cloud-based smart infrastructure solutions with proactive monitoring.”

Regional clients can benefit from smart city solutions in areas such as intelligent buildings, fire alarm monitoring, video surveillance, environmental monitoring, energy management, and associated services using artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics.

Moro Hub has also signed a partnership with Microsoft and Johnson Controls International that will help to establish a collaborative ecosystem and go-to-market strategy to offer its range of smart city services.

Use of Spot robots 

DEWA also announced that it intends to use Boston Dynamics’ Spot robots in its internal operations in areas such as detecting faults, testing connection points of high-voltage cables, detecting leakage in water pipes and conducting security and monitoring patrols.

“Adopting the Spot robots in DEWA’s internal operations is part of our strategy to use the latest AI and robotic technologies. This contributes to achieving the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which aims to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and increase its contribution to a knowledge-based national economy that depends on innovation and future technological application,” said Al Tayer.

Through its Digital DEWA arm, DEWA aims to become the world’s first digital utility to use autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage while expanding the use of AI and digital services.

Originally published by
SmartCities World News Team | July 13, 2020
SmartCities World

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Bronze Level Contributor

Residents fleeing New York City for upstate because of COVID-19 could provide a windfall in tax revenues to hundreds of towns, which is expected to boost a huge LED-IoT streetlight upgrade program sponsored by the New York Power Authority. (Pixabay)

COVID-19 has caused deaths, unemployment, bankruptcies and even predictions of mass departures of residents from densely crowded cities like New York.

The flip side of that last calamity is residents fleeing New York City will often seek homes in suburban and rural communities.  For hundreds of towns and smaller cities in upstate New York, municipal revenue officials are getting ready to collect healthy increases in rental and home sales taxes.

That expected tax windfall for smaller communities bodes well for a massive project being coordinated by the New York Power Authority to install 500,000 new LED luminaries on streetlights in hundreds of communities in the state of New York.

The $250 million NYPA project offers low-interest loans and other assistance to cities and towns to pay for the new energy-efficient LEDs  that are expected to last 25 years. City officials can also attach sensors and other gear to the streetlight components to monitor weather, pollution, noise and help with traffic controls. The streetlights are connected and can act as a backbone for the various smart city IoT tech, including remote management to identify outages and maintenance needs.

So far, 50,000 LEDs have been or currently are being installed in cities such as White Plains, Albany and Rochester. The project is the largest LED streetlight conversion in the U.S. and is expected to be complete by 2025.

“While 2020 and possible 2021 will be down years economically with COVID-19, because of mass emigration from cities like New York City, suburban and rural municipalities are expecting big upticks in revenue from and rental and sales taxes,” said Jesse Scott, manager for key accounts at NYPA. “Because LED street lighting conversions with added IoT sensors are revenue neutral and often cash flow positive, they are prioritized by cities over more capital-intensive projects.”

Scott anticipates those factors should help NYPA maintain its production schedule.  While the entire rollout costs $250 million, cities should see $50 million to $100 million in energy and maintenance costs over the 25-year life of the luminaries, he said.

However, he said some municipalities are anxiously awaiting on a federal stimulus bill that would provide financial support to state and local government budgets.  Those cities will wait for word on that bill before making any significant financial investments, he added.

Scott said NYPA is on track to having half of the 500,000 lights converted by net year.  “The LED or radio frequency mesh asset control nodes on the lights have already accelerated participation rapidly,” he said. “This technology didn’t exist five years ago.”

Because the economics are so compelling, most LED conversions will occur before rollouts of 5G.  “Outside of New York City and Syracuse, we have yet to see widespread deployment of 5G small cell technology.  We may see some communities forego immediate savings and wait and see what the future holds with 5G, but that could be a big gamble,” Scott said.

“As the FCC tightens guidelines on how municipalities can charge for antenna attachment agreements, the pendulum is swinging in favor of the telecom companies,” he added.

Originally published by
Matt Hamblen | Jul 9, 2020
Fierce Electronics

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Gold Level Contributor

5G, Edge, and Industrial IoT

New 5G networks will transform many industry domains in the next several years. From factory floors to healthcare, financial services, and even entertainment, industries will enter an entirely new phase of connectivity thanks to 5G.

In addition to significantly higher speeds and throughput, 5G Networks can take advantage of network virtualization to carve out “network slices” for IIoT’s unique needs. While this will be a game-changer for many industries, manufacturing can significantly benefit from higher bandwidth, lower latency and more reliable wireless networks!

5G: Transforming the Factory Floor

Currently, most factories are connected by wired connections with traditional Fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet, serving as a backbone for connecting field-level equipment to control systems and PLCs. New standards such as OPC-UA allow connecting the factory to the enterprise by providing a structured and secure way for data access and control.

The second phase of the 5G specification, 3GPP Release 16, targets factory automation with ultra-reliable, low latency communication (uRLLC), enhanced massive type communication (eMTC), and enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB). The most notable enhancements are in areas of latency and reliability, addressed towards realizing the mission-critical use-cases in an industrial environment.

5G Networks could provide factory floors critical capabilities in terms of low latency, high reliability and supporting a significantly higher number of devices. Additionally, 5G enabled devices could “offload” some of their processing to the network allowing for less complex and cheaper devices.

Impact of 5G “Network Edge” on IIoT

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) requires a multitude of technologies complementing each other to deliver the improvements in automation, efficiency, and agility. It requires dashboards, device communication & management capabilities for managing diverse device types, real-time streaming for actionable intelligence, machine learning capabilities for identifying patterns and predicting behavior, and AR for augmenting manual guidance and training.

 

5G with its low latency, high security, and bespoke networks, enables factories to take full advantage of sensors and the IoT for asset monitoring and automation, along with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Much of this will happen on-premises, but also increasingly in the cloud. IIoT platforms that can integrate with cloud hyper-scalers–like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure–will be key enablers for a 5G-enabled IIoT ecosystem.

To support latency-sensitive applications at the 5G Network Edge, Amazon and Verizon jointly announced the introduction of AWS “Wavelength Zones.” This would short-circuit the trip from the device to the AWS Cloud by embedding a portion of the AWS infrastructure within Verizon’s data center.  Microsoft is also leveraging its past work with AT&T and has recently launched Azure Edge Zones.  Additionally, Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Affirmed Networks aims to bring cloud-based 5G networks to the market.

While the 5G specifications mature, the “network edge” could serve as a hot spot for innovation between the hyper-scalers, carriers, and IIoT platform providers to deliver latency-sensitive IIoT applications for industrial automation.

Originally published by
Software AG | July 8, 2020
iot for all

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Bronze Level Contributor

Image credit: CCO Public Domain

An international study has used data from a major home Internet Protocol (IP) security camera provider to evaluate potential privacy risks for users.

IP home security cameras are Internet-connected security cameras that can be installed in people's homes and remotely monitored via the web. These cameras are growing in popularity and the global market is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2023.

For the study, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science and Queen Mary University of London tested if an attacker could infer privacy-compromising information about a camera's owner from simply tracking the uploaded data passively without inspecting any of the video content itself.

The findings, published at the IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (6-9 July 2020), showed that the traffic generated by the cameras could be monitored by attackers and used to predict when a house is occupied or not.

The researchers even found that future activity in the house could be predicted based on past traffic generated by the camera, which could leave users more at risk of burglary by discovering when the house it unoccupied. They confirmed that attackers could detect when the camera was uploading motion, and even distinguish between certain types of motion, such as sitting or running. This was done without inspecting the video content itself but, instead, by looking at the rate at which cameras uploaded data via the Internet.

Dr. Gareth Tyson, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, said: "Once considered a luxury item, these cameras are now commonplace in homes worldwide. As they become more ubiquitous, it is important to continue to study their activities and potential privacy risks. Whilst numerous studies have looked at online video streaming, such as YouTube and Netflix, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which looks in detail at video streaming traffic generated by these cameras and quantifies the risks associated with them. By understanding these risks, we can now look to propose way to minimize the risks and protect user privacy."

Originally published by
TechExplore | July 6, 2020

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Gold Level Contributor

Some years ago, in the middle of Brittany (France’s westernmost region), the mayor of a small village, Saint-Sulpice-la-Forêt,  nearly fell from his chair when he found out the content of his mail on a sunny morning. 

A water bill was ridiculously high in comparison to previous years. This was due to the leak in their distribution system they hadn’t noticed for over a year, which amounted to the equivalent of 26 swimming pools!

And that’s not all, looking closer, every single year, gas and electricity bills were also going up for no apparent reason.

IoT: The Answer to Heterogeneity

What’s necessary to know is that in these French villages (thousands of them throughout all the country) public buildings are very heterogeneous, following the impact of political history.

Usually, with up to 200 years old for the Townhall (first Empire), between 100 and 20 years old for the schools (Third Republique), and other very recent facilities like the sports halls. Churches are much older, but not the public buildings.

So each of those constructions has its own particular structure, heating, and water system. They have been made and refurbished one by one for decades, which is even more complex with systems mapping or, for example, water leak detection.

In Saint-Sulpice-la-Forêt, with only 27 sensors deployed on water, gas and electricity meters, and in the (very few) public buildings in the village, the money saved on energy consumption reduction will exceed the costs of the IoT installation (20K€) after the 5 years time frame. Thanks to smarter use of heating and early leak detection, from one day to another, a small team of the Townhall could have a precise idea of real-time consumption in all parts of the town and know where to focus their renovation investments. 

Simple Management System

As you can presume, services for a town of this size don’t have enough resources to hire specialized engineers. So an intuitive front-end solution, in the language of the country, is totally crucial. In a village of this size, the main user of the platform will be the mayor himself.

It’s important not to focus on features and gadgets, but to have a straight outcome mindset. The end-user needs to look at his tablet and understand right away:

  • the real-time consumption for each building
  • if it’s normal use or not
  • how to decrease the consumption

As for the last point, the support of a bigger public organization with an experienced HR department will come in handy.

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Originally published by
Benjamin Daix | June 29, 2020
iot for all

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Bronze Level Contributor

Berg Insight, the world’s leading IoT market research provider, today released a new market report covering the cargo tracking market.

The number of active tracking devices deployed for cargo loading units including trailers, intermodal containers, rail freight wagons, air cargo containers, cargo boxes and pallets reached 7.5 million worldwide in 2019. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4 percent, this number is expected to reach 23.2 million by 2024.

In terms of installed units, trailer telematics is today the most developed market, followed by tracking devices for general cargo applications and intermodal containers. The markets for tracking solutions for rail freight wagons and air cargo containers are considerably smaller but are estimated to grow substantially during the coming five years. The total market value for trailer and cargo container tracking solutions reached an estimated € 1.1 billion in 2019. Growing at a CAGR of 16.2 percent, the total market size is forecasted to reach € 2.2 billion in 2024.

Berg Insight ranks ORBCOMM as the largest vendor of tracking solutions for cargo loading units, having a significant installed base of trailers as well as containers. ORBCOMM is together with SkyBitz, Spireon, CalAmp, PowerFleet and Samsara the leading players on the North American trailer telematics market in terms of number of active units.

The European trailer telematics market is smaller than the North American and is dominated by Idem Telematics, Schmitz Cargobull, Transics/WABCO and CLS Group. Five major vendors on the container tracking solution market are Malaysia-based Envotech, China-based ZillionSource, France-based TRAXENS and Sierra Wireless and Geoforce based in the US. Mecomo and Agheera, both based in Europe, are major vendors in the adjacent swap body segment. Nexiot, Siemens, SAVVY and DOT Telematik based in Europe and Amsted Rail based in North America are significant vendors of tracking solutions for rail freight wagons. Sensitech, Roambee, OnAsset Intelligence and Controlant are notable players in the general cargo segment, also offering solutions for air freight cargo tracking.

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Originally published by
IoT Business News | June 29, 2020

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Gold Level Contributor

How Drones Are Keeping the Lights On

The image of the all-seeing dystopian drone is back in the public imagination. In the wake of COVID-19, reports of drones policing public spaces, enforcing social distancing guidelines, spraying disinfectant, and monitoring temperatures in a crowd have ignited imaginations and created concerns of the surveillance state.

However, these dystopian images are unlikely to come to fruition. The use of drones for functions such as public health monitoring or policing is at the concept stage, as public agencies look for new ideas in fighting the pandemic. Already we see many of these drone-use cases disregarded as impractical. 

On the other hand, outside of the public eye, the industrial adoption of drones has been on the rise. Drones and drone software are currently reshaping how many well-established businesses run their operations in a post-pandemic world. From keeping agricultural fields intact to allowing utilities to “keep the lights on” for those sheltering at home, drone technology’s impact is undeniable. 

Drones are already here, and not as public health hall monitors, but as the perfect socially-distanced worker for our essential industries. 

The WFH Challenge for Field Workers

As a result of the pandemic, we’re seeing increased drone usage in primary and secondary industries, such as construction, agriculture, and utilities. Drone technology has become instrumental in helping companies return to work, all without putting employees at risk and enabling remote collaboration. 

Industrial businesses have long faced challenges measuring progress in the field or on their job sites. For example, while farmers can track how many seeds they’ve planted, and what inputs they’ve applied, understanding the health and variability of crops across their 100-acre fields can be challenging. Similarly, for construction workers and project managers, understanding the progress, safety, and quality of more substantial commercial projects with hundreds of workers can be taxing. According to a 2016 report by McKinsey, agriculture and construction remain the least digitized of all industries.

These issues have now been compounded by shelter-at-home directives, as teams and contractors face reduced access to physical job sites. And despite the gradual lifting of these restrictions, companies and personnel still face risks and are devising new sets of best practices that prioritize worker health and safety amidst the ongoing pandemic. 

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Originally published by
Mike Winn - CEO and Co-founder, DroneDeploy | June 26, 2020
IoT For All

 

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Bronze Level Contributor

A collaboration between Qualcomm and Infinite is another attempt to get smart city tech rolling. This combination offers the services and products of the two companies as a service business model. (Pixabay)

Qualcomm will collaborate on smart cities deployments with Infinite Computer Solutions using an Internet of Things-as-a-Service business model, the companies announced Tuesday.

Their approach is designed to reduce the fragmentation that has dragged down IoT-related smart city projects in recent years, with many vendors attempting to sell proprietary technologies to cities and other governments.

The Qualcomm approach with Infinite will rely on offering companies and governments disparate systems of sensors and networks that are platform agnostic with a unified  management view of an end-to-end IoT platform that is coupled with analytics and AI, officials from the companies said.

“Multiple companies have tried this before and failed,” said Sanjeet Pandit, head of Qualcomm’s smart cities initiative in an interview with FierceElectronics. “We will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and cellular with 5G coupled with hardware and security and experience.  Previous attempts have been Huawei-ized or IBM-ized but ours is open and platform agnostic.”

Infinite will bring its Zyter SmartSpaces software for integration of disparate IoT elements, said Sanjay Govil, chairman of Infinite.  The work with Qualcomm will be Infinite’s entry into IoT, but the company has been active with healthcare, events and defense customers for three years.  Working with Qualcomm “will be right in our sweet spot for how to connect disparate systems for a unified view,” he said.

The system will be able to ingest data from legacy or new sensors or cameras to interpret data, Pandit added. “This approach reduces fragmentation and the reduces the cost to be paid by customers across multiple verticals,” he said.

On June 9, Qualcomm announced a separate collaboration with JLC Infrastructure and IGNITE Cities to develop smart and connected tech.

Originally published by
Matt Hamblen | Jun 23, 2020
Fierce Electronics

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Gold Level Contributor

FogHorn, a developer of edge AI software for industrial and commercial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, has launched a new product line to improve the safety of workplaces and help mitigate the spread of contagious illnesses.

Lightning health and safety solutions are out-of-the-box packages of its Lightning Edge AI platform preconfigured with use-case specific machine learning models and visualisation dashboards.

Edge intelligence

Out-of-the-box solutions allow organisations to rapidly deploy edge intelligence and AI and immediately derive insights to common problems, FogHorn reports.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way organisations view health and safety,” said David King, CEO, FogHorn. “By proactively monitoring worker temperatures, coughs and social distancing, organisations can mitigate the impact of future outbreaks of any sickness in the workplace.”

He continued: “As well, organisations can protect the monitored employee data with FogHorn’s streaming analytics at the edge, as all images, videos and other data are processed in real-time, by not transmitting the data off-site or to the cloud.” 

According to FogHorn, health and safety monitoring has been a largely manual task and technology solutions address only specific use cases, such as temperature monitoring. But the challenge for organisations to ensure workplace safety and reduce health risks requires an enterprise-wide solution that automates monitoring through video and other sensors and spans multiple use cases.

The Lightning Health & Safety Solution suite includes a range of out-of-the-box solutions that can be used individually or together to create a comprehensive system. An enterprise edition of the solutions is also available that can include further customizations, data science and integrations with customer’s existing IT systems, video management software, and access control systems.

Solutions include:

  • health monitoring: elevated temperature detection, cough detection, hand washing monitoring, social distancing monitoring, and mask / facial covering detection
  • safety monitoring: personal protective equipment, including hard hats, footwear, eyewear, vests, and boots
  • hazard detection: custom solution engagements are also available including crane and falling debris warnings, leak detection and spill hazards.

Leveraging streaming video analytics and sensor fusion, Lightning health and safety solutions automates monitoring, derives real-time insights and generates alerts when policy violations occur, or unsafe health conditions are detected.

Audio streams and video and thermal cameras collect information and send data to the Lightning solutions. Lightning publishes real-time SMS or email alerts of any compliance violations and those insights are also shown on a dashboard that can be deployed at building entry points, employee break rooms, near production lines and in management consoles that safety and compliance staff can access using any web browser.

Originally published by 
SmartCitiesWorld news team | June 17, 2020
Smart Cities World

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Gold Level Contributor

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic put the reliability and security of communications networks under the spotlight as millions of people reverted to work, care, and learn from home, says Steve Buck, SVP product and operations, security business unit at Mobileum. Many have commented that out of necessity, the digital transformation of many industries accelerated more in the last few months than they have in the last few years.

Healthcare, for example, saw dramatic increases in telehealth adoption. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has taken the acceleration of digital transformation in health one step further by supporting digital diagnostics. For example, digital thermometers that can be used to track the spread of the flu in real-time, saw a spike in usage as the pandemic spread in the US. In April, Livongo Health, a provider of remote IoT monitoring solutions for chronic diseases, raised their quarterly guidance, following the increase in adoption of their services spurred on by COVID-19.

Time to reassess security

The rise of IoT adoption has always been viewed as an exciting development in communications services. However, as the adoption of applications increases, such as health monitoring, now is the time for network providers to critically assess the network security implications of IoT devices.

IoT network security is complex. Not only does it involve managing diverse hardware, firmware, operating systems, communications protocols across 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G networks, but the attack plane of your network is 100 times larger than what it was just a few years ago as millions of IoT devices are flooding the market – many with limited or outdated security firmware. And it is already happening today.

A security vulnerability in the Zigbee low-power IoT protocol that is used by Philips Hue smart lights and many other IoT products, for example, was first identified in 2017. Three years later, this same exploit still works. It begs the question every time you switch off the lights at night: is this the light bulb that may launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack and bring down the network?

Added to this, IoT devices may be autonomous, roam, and applied to network slices – which will have their own level of security requirements depending on the industry use case and application. These complexities combined show that old approaches to network security are no longer adequate for IoT.

Three questions to ask yourself

Instead, three critical questions should be asked to determine how secure your network is against IoT vulnerabilities:

  • How are your on-net, inbound, and outbound IoT roamers protected from signalling attacks?
  • Do you know if the IoT devices are behaving as they should?
  • Can you identify if a rogue device is acting in isolation or is part of a wider attack?

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Originally published by
Anasia D'mello
IoTNow

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Image: Adobe

As government agencies and businesses get back to work, technology companies Cradlepoint and Rigado join forces to provide a flexible IoT-based safe workplace solution.

Rigado, an IoT solutions provider, has joined Cradlepoint’s Technology Alliance Partner programme to introduce a flexible IoT solution to help US organisations get back to the workplace safely under Covid-19 restrictions. Cradlepoint is a provider of cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions.

Rigado’s Safe Workplace IoT solution, hosted on Microsoft Azure IoT Central, will be the first to use Cradlepoint’s new NetCloud Edge Container Orchestrator (NCCO) for deploying and managing application containers on its wireless routers.

The return to work

As businesses, government agencies and commercial property owners begin to welcome employees back to the workplace, they need to adhere to local and national Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) safety guidelines. These guidelines can include checks for shared spaces and desk occupancy and social distancing, and cleaning status.

The Safe Workplace solution is based on Rigado’s Edge Connect platform and uses an open IoT architecture with plug-and-play cameras, sensors and devices to provide critical workplace safety functions required under Covid-19 protocols and best practices.

The integrated IoT solution provides occupancy monitoring, cleaning management and safety signage for common areas, restrooms and desks.

Safe Workplace leverages Cradlepoint wireless routers for secure and reliable connections between Rigado IoT gateways and applications hosted in Microsoft Azure IoT Central. By contrast, closed IoT architectures require third-party sensors and devices to integrate with proprietary APIs. This proprietary approach restricts the diversity of IoT devices available and increases the time it takes to bring new innovative solutions to market.

“Rigado’s open IoT framework enables us to combine best-in-class sensors, cameras and devices with Cradlepoint wireless routers to quickly deliver a flexible and extensible solution to the market,” said Kevin Tate, chief marketing officer at Rigado.

“Because of the breadth of plug-and-play IoT devices available, customers can start using our Safe Workplace immediately and expand it over time without worrying about interoperability issues.”

The Technology Alliance Programme (TAP) aims to bring together curated ecosystem partnerships and technologies to deliver a portfolio of Connected by Cradlepoint solutions for wireless branch, mobile and IoT networking. TAP solutions currently in process target public safety, fleet management, enterprise IoT and private LTE.

Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld news team | June 11, 2020
Smart Cities World

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Qualcomm's OneTouch GoSafe tech will check whether a person has a mask on and temperature before entering a building. The concept takes IoT to the smart building vertical. (Qualcomm)

Qualcomm recently announced a portable Android-based body temperature and facial recognition scanner that can be tied to building access control to help schools and businesses reopen safely after months of pandemic. 

It is one of various Internet of Things products from Qualcomm powered by AI and fast processors that fit under the heading of smart city innovations.  In this example, however, the urgency of the pandemic has come into play. 

Several similar building access products with body temperature abilities have cropped up on the market, but Qualcomm says its OneScreen GoSafe system is unique in allowing live video assistance for real-time entry approval.  Another distinguishing feature is that Qualcomm offers GoSafe as a service paid on a monthly basis or for an up-front cost. (Pricing was not disclosed.)  By comparison, one of several competitors, 98.6 Labs, offers something similar as a kiosk device starting at $3,000.

GoSafe relies on Qualcomm AI technology and a Snapdragon Octa-Core processor for optional facial recognition.  It will even be able to tell if a person is wearing a mask before allowing entry when connected to a building security system.  The GoSafe device looks like an oversized smartphone (11 x 5 inches) that can be mounted on a wall or a pedestal or placed on a table top stand.  Managers can tie the data detected at each entry to a management console.

GoSafe was first announced May 14 and is being piloted on a Qualcomm building at its headquarters in San Diego, according to Sanjeet Pandit, head of Qualcomm’s smart city initiative.  Various colleges are evaluating the product along with other Internet of Things devices under the heading of Qualcomm’s smart city accelerator efforts.

Qualcomm has matured in its smart city approach, learning to deploy IoT technology through smart vertical segments such as universities, hospitals, construction safety efforts and more, Pandit said.

“You have to go tech by tech and go vertical,” Pandit said in an interview with FierceElectronics.  “The future is to deploy with smart verticals. You cannot paint the town red with smart tech.  You have to make sure you are enhancing the efficiency of human life.”

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Originally published by
Matt Hamblen | Jun 9, 2020 
Fierce Electronics

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Building operators and employers will rely on smarter cleaning solutions in the future
 

Smart buildings innovator Igor has introduced a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) UV-C disinfection solution to help clean building spaces without human intervention.

The Nexos Intelligent Disinfection solution pairs ultraviolet (UV-C) lighting with Internet of Things (IoT) controls to enable widespread, automated disinfection of surfaces.

Healthy buildings

As more spaces reopen as Covid-19 lockdown measures ease and workforces start to return to work, intelligent disinfection solutions will become even more crucial to both building owners and employers.

“Building owners and business operators are anxious about keeping their employees and customers safe.

According to Igor, healthy building scientists advise owners to incorporate a ‘layered’ approach to disinfection in the design, operation and management of better buildings.

It claims its solution fits well with this strategy, as the solution’s PoE connectivity makes it easy to integrate several other disinfection systems beyond UV-C lighting, like intelligent air purifiers or gas vaporisers. With all solutions unified within Igor, executives have a comprehensive view and data-rich evidence of the proactive actions taken to prevent virus outbreaks in their buildings.

“As more spaces reopen, intelligent disinfection becomes even more crucial,” said Dwight Stewart, founder and chief technology officer, Igor.

“Building owners and business operators are anxious about keeping their employees and customers safe. Igor’s turn-key, rapid-deployment solution kit instantly provides maintenance-free automated disinfection, minimises human contact and creates an audit trail of data.”

Aware of the potential dangers of UV-C lighting, Igor technologists designed Nexos Intelligent Disinfection to connect with other smart devices, such as occupancy sensors and motion detectors. The solution can also be configured to work with smart locks and warning lights to further prevent humans from entering a space that is being cleaned, notes Igor.

The solution can also be configured to work with smart locks and warning lights to further prevent humans from entering a space that is being cleaned

In May 2020, the Nexos Intelligent Disinfection solution received funding from Clean Energy Trust, a non-profit that supports early stage cleantech startups in the Mid-Continent region of the US, to bring the solution to the global market.

Clean Energy Trust utilised support from the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) programme, a technology innovation platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

“We’re very excited about the possibilities Igor has opened up with its PoE-based smart building platform,” said Erik Birkerts, chief executive officer of Clean Energy Trust. “Dwight’s vision to solve very specific problems, exemplified by Nexos, has proven to be a game-changer for the built environment. He and the Igor team are democratising building automation by innovating around very deployable, off-the-shelf technology.”

Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld news team | May 4, 2020
Smart Cities World

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By Ludovic F. Rembert, Head of Research at Privacy Canada.

You can’t swing a selfie stick in a crowded room without smacking into someone talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI).

These two technologies have been front and center in headlines for a few years now and seem to be moving from the “interesting idea” phase into the “wow, that’s actually helpful” phase.

But then along came the COVID-19 pandemic and the world changed beneath everyone’s feet. Before they knew it, governments and healthcare organizations were in the battle of their collective lives trying to understand and contain this scary disease as it spread quickly from ground zero in Wuhan out to the world at large.

The interesting thing to note is that the IoT and AI seem to be custom made to offer a huge helping hand in the fight, as both are inexplicably entwined with the concept of Big Data.

To put it into simple terms, the IoT allows us to collect data quickly and on a vast scale, while AI is the brainpower that analyzes and makes sense of that data faster than any team of humans ever could. How will these technologies apply in a post COVID-19 world?

Existing IoT Devices Put to Work

The nice thing about how the IoT has developed is that prior to being pressed into service for the COVID fight, the technology had already evolved to the point where many useful devices already existed.

It wasn’t like everything had to be designed from scratch. There were a few adaptations, often related to security and the protection of personal medical records, and then they were ready to go.

Today, IoT companies are teaming up with NGOs and governments by developing new technology solutions that can be used to help fight COVID and provide relief to people and businesses.

These include:

Connected Thermometers: By now, you probably have personal knowledge of how hospitals and stores use scanners to check temperature as people enter. Since fever is one of the fundamental COVID symptoms, this IoT technology allows millions of devices to feed data into a national database that allows for the production of real-time maps showing at a glance where fevers might be spiking. This is invaluable information for getting a jump on a hot spot.

Wearables: Sensors that can be worn by patients and staff allow for the real-time flow of data related to vital signs like the aforementioned temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen, and more. One type of smart wristband records when the person wearing it touches their face, an action determined to be one of the primary means of spreading the disease. Another type of wristband tracks recent arrivals to a country to ensure they are adhering to the home quarantine period.

Accounting: COVID-19 has also greatly affected the way businesses conduct payments and accounting, especially as companies have been forced to transition to virtual collaboration and remote work. Implementing IoT in accounting changes the flow of data because it enables accountants to receive all financial-related knowledge and real-time data digitally. Both of these will enable faster issue assessments and risk analyses, and will further allow businesses to respond to issues much faster than they could otherwise. In the future, it is very likely that business accountants will need to become well-trained in the IoT.

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Originally Posted by
IoT.Business.News
Date: June 01, 2020

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