Comprehensive Study on the Internet of Things Projects


 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes the idea of familiar physical objects being connected to the Internet and possessing the ability to identify and communicate themselves to other devices.  The IoT has become an increasingly growing topic of conversation lately. It’s a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. People expect that the Internet of Things Projects would revolutionize the world, bringing forth the 4th Industrial Revolution.

 

The Internet of Things has evolved from the convergence of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), microservices, wireless technologies, and the Internet.  This convergence aids in breaking the walls between information technology and operational technology, and it has allows unstructured machine-generated data for analysis to retrieve any insights that would serve as catalysts for improvements.  The IoT is significant because a physical object can now be represented digitally and becomes something more significant than the purpose by itself with people calling them as smart devices. No longer does the purpose of these devices relate to just the user, but it is now connected to surrounding objects and providing and retrieving data from databases.

 

Internet of Things Projects are ushering in a new era of technological development that would dramatically improve the growth of the Internet of Things.

 

Increased Funding for IoT

A company named Uptake which is based in Chicago is currently on a rapid investment track.  The startup has closed two funding rounds for a total $207M. Uptake (which was founded in 2014) is now valued at around $2B and currently employs close to 1,000 employees.  A majority of the employees in the company are fresh data scientists and software engineers that the company hopes will transform Uptake into the premier data analytics hub for the Industrial Internet of Things.  Another company named Preferred Networks is based in Japan. Preferred Networks focuses on Analytics and AI for IoT and has also received $172M in combined funding from companies such as Toyota Motor Corporation and Mitsui & Co. Like Uptake, Preferred Networks was also founded in 2014.  

 

These are other notable IoT startup funding rounds

  • View ($200M – Series G – Smart Intelligent Windows)

  • Ring ($109M – Series D – Smart Home Security)

  • Forgerock ($88M – Series D – Security for IoT)

  • Actility ($75M – Series D – LPWA/IoT platform)

  • Ayla Networks ($60M – Series D – IoT Platform)

 

Developing the IoT Cloud

Cloud backends (IaaS) are crucial for the deployment of Internet of Things.  So essential in fact that Amazon and Microsoft added many new features to their IoT cloud offerings. For example, Microsoft launched the "Azure IoT Edge" and it allows small devices to run services of the cloud even when not connected to the cloud.  In a similar move, Amazon has announced their plans for furthering device management and device security features. Another giant has also joined the party. Google launched its "Cloud IoT Core" service allowing for easier registration of IoT devices to the cloud and a "protocol bridge" that supports common IoT protocols.  Google's move into the IoT cloud is a sign that all significant providers of cloud infrastructure have now realized that IoT operations require a different set of tools and services when compared to the legacy cloud offerings.

 

The activation of the NB-IoT

Narrow-Band to IoT (NB-IoT) is a new connectivity standard tailored to remote devices that requires a battery to operate.  It is the essential connectivity initiative. Large telecom operators around the world back up NB-IoT, and this is the reason why a large-scale adoption is almost inevitable.  Deutsche Telekom is one of the first operators to launch their NB-IoT service in Germany and the Netherlands officially, but it was Samsung that started the first consumer device that runs on NB-IoT.  

 

The US IoT Cybersecurity Act

One of the most talked about news in IoT was the IoT cybersecurity attack on Dyn servers.  After that attack (and other attacks), governments around the world have been devising a myriad of strategies to combat IoT Security by implementing legislation for the Internet of Things Security.  However, governments are struggling to find suitable laws that can make IoT devices safer and more secure. The bill only made a few advances. One of them was the creation of the “Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act” which Senator Mark Warner introduced to the United States Senate. The aim of the bill is for an open minimum-security standard for connected devices.  Unfortunately, the law is still in its early stages and is not guaranteed to pass the house and would initially be applied only to government-owned IoT devices but the bill could serve as an essential guide for IoT globally as it faces one of the most critical issues that both businesses and consumers face with IoT devices: lack of trust in IoT security.

 

Blockchain

With the rise of digital currencies, the similar underlying technology called blockchain has entered the conversation. Aside from applications in payment, distributed cloud storage, and contract administration, the technology is linked to the Internet of Things. “Trusted IoT Alliance” is one of the most important organizations to watch out.  It has the vision of fostering the development of a blockchain-enabled, trusted Internet of Things. With a focus on securing the IoT, the Alliance is led by large firms such as Bosch, BNY Mellon, Cisco, Gemalto, and the U.S. Bank.

 

Merging and Acquisition Deals of Companies

Itron bought Silver Spring Networks at a price tag of $830M.  Itron is a leader in the deployment of Smart Meter and is also a US-based energy technology firm while Silver Spring Networks is a specialist of mesh connectivity technology.  This acquisition has an IoT technology rationale. Silver Springs had seen some momentum in its RF mesh connectivity technology which Itron finds very useful in the development of new technology.

 

Other notable acquisitions and mergers in the Internet of Things:

 

  • Cisco/Viptela ($610M – Network Virtualization)

  • Nokia/Comptel ($347M – Software-based data communications solutions)

  • Dialog Semiconductor/Silego ($306M – Semiconductors)

  • Sierra Wireless / Numerex ($107M – Managed IoT solutions)

  • Software AG / Cumulocity (undisclosed – IoT device management)

 

These mergers and acquisitions can drastically increase the rate of technology development for the Internet of Things Projects.

 

Edge Analytics

Edge analytics describes a technology architecture where there is a local performance of intelligent decisions instead of going to the cloud.  This technology takes place in gateways, on the device itself or even on the sensor. Only pertinent data is transmitted to the cloud in Edge analytics. Aside from that, edge analytics can also describe in real-time the local decision making and machine learning activities. US technology giant Dell announces that it would be investing $1B into distributed edge intelligence for the IoT.  Dell pursues Distributed Core model of computing where edge systems and devices need to respond in real time for effectiveness.

 

Edge analytics will also play an important role in low bandwidth and/or low latency environments. T he most critical part will be the interplay between the device and the cloud in which the cloud performs many of the non-critical tasks and large-scale data storage.  A technology to look out for is 5G internet connection. With the use of 5G internet connections, incredible high throughput and low latency tasks are possible. These tasks are needed in the Internet of things.

 

Fully self-driving cars

Google made the first fully fledged self-driving car on a typical road.  It is dubbed as the most amazing IoT-based advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.  Machine learning functions moved to the camera and enable the car to react instantly is an excellent example of edge analytics.  Google Waymo runs a ride-sharing fleet of autonomous minivans (Chrysler Pacifica) that the residents of Phoenix, Arizona can use.  Google may have changed the rules of business in the automotive industry. Through Waymo, the company has developed self-learning artificial intelligence based on IoT data that is impossible to copy.  If it is true, then it may be taken as the first instance of a company controlling a market through proprietary algorithms.

 

Voice-enabled home gateways

Amazon and Google have been battling for Smart Home domination.  Amazon Alexa is the #1 consumer IoT and Amazon’s sales of Echo have dramatically increased.  In the US, the sales of the smart speaker have more than doubled compared to previous years. Amazon and Google became the hub for a bright home of the future. Other companies have also started to fight for that spot in smart dwellings of the future.  Apple with the Homepod and Samsung with Bixby are notable contenders.  Smart speaker manufacturers such as Harman Kardon Invoke and Sonos One are also joining the competition.  With several companies vying for domination in smart homes, who knows what the smart homes of the future would be like.  

 

These are some Internet of Things Projects that will influence our lives in the coming years.  New technologies will emerge and would make IoT into a more intuitive and user-friendly system.  The future ahead is a promising one and certainly worth looking forward to.

 

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16 Oct 2018


By XYZies
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