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10 Steps to turn your city into a Smart City

Technology undoubtedly advances year after year transforming the daily life of each individual, but at the same time so are cities. By this we refer to the idea of ​​“Smart City”, smart cities that integrate technology to improve urban management and the quality of life of citizens.

The companies that are helping to transform cities into smart cities take into account that not all technological advances lead to what is considered a smart city, as we will see in the following 10 characteristics that contribute to the creation of a smart city.

1. CONNECTIVITY:

There are companies that build and maintain the city’s wireless infrastructures (without cables). One of the world’s leading firms is the French SigFox , an alternative network for the internet of things or IoT ( Internet of Things ), which builds wireless networks to connect low-power objects (electricity meters, smart watches, household appliances, …) They should be continuously on and emitting small amounts of data. In the IoT, mainly, they can receive from the server or the cloud a series of instructions to carry out a certain action.

2. INTELLIGENT MOBILITY:

We come across companies that have developed transportation alternatives so that there is greater fluidity in traffic. An example is the rental of electric bicycles or scooters (such as VOITIER or LIME) that lately are being found in every corner of the cities. Companies that are developing autonomous vehicles are also seen as contributing to smart mobility, both for delivery and private vehicles.

3. ENERGY RESOURCES MANAGEMENT:

These are companies that are working to increase energy effectiveness and efficiency, as in the field of renewables (Ethnogeny or Ampere Energy). Progressively, there has been talk of applying artificial intelligence to the management of networks such as electricity, something that would allow the analysis of consumption in homes and consequently manage, remotely, elements such as the thermostat of a house.

4. PARKING IN A SMART CITY:

Some companies are taking advantage of these technological advances to carry out a more efficient management of parking spaces in cities. An example is WeSmartPark, an app created in Spain that already has versions in cities like Barcelona, ​​Madrid and New York; it is an online platform in which an owner rents his parking space.

5. WATER MANAGEMENT:

Water resources are limited and optimal management is key to the development of cities. We can find companies like ACCIONA Agua or Suez, who are in charge of treating, distributing and recycling water. These companies have the “Aquadvanced” tool, which allows managing the drinking water networks of a city (any city with a large number of inhabitants) in real time.

6. ROAD TRAFFIC:

Vehicle traffic management also defines smart cities. One of the companies that play this role is TEKIA, an engineering and consulting company specialized in the sustainable application of new technologies and new organizational procedures to transport, where its mission is to optimize and make transport operations sustainable.

7. ENVIRONMENTAL MEASUREMENT IN A SMART CITY:

Smart cities, by definition, pay greater attention to the environment and a concern to maintain certain acceptable levels in air quality. Companies like LIBELIUM measure environmental pollution with wireless sensors.

8. CITIZEN SECURITY:

Lahore Smart City provides security with the help of the Companies that develop solutions to help improve public safety in large cities. AlertCops is one of the public companies, launched by the Ministry of the Interior, that connects with the Civil Guard and Police, where any citizen can report a crime or infraction.

9. SMART BUILDINGS IN A SMART CITY:

They are those that automatically manage certain elements, such as lighting or temperature, related to energy efficiency, in addition to issues such as maintenance or connectivity. PentaDom is a company specialized in home automation for smart homes and buildings, offering its customers a customized home automation system adapted to their needs.

10. MANAGEMENT OF SANITARY SERVICES:

Health is another of the main development focuses in smart cities that we have been detailing throughout the post. It is what is known as eHealth or eHealth. Application of ICT for the diagnosis of diseases and the management of health centers. In this new concept we can find a Sevillian startup called Primum Health, which allows real-time sharing of measurements such as pulse or blood pressure with the doctor.

Fuente: newsanyway

A Beginner’s Guide to Internet of Things (IoT) 2021

We can turn on the lights in our homes from a desk in an office miles away. The built-in cameras and sensors embedded in our refrigerator let us easily keep tabs on what is present on the shelves and when an item is close to expiration. When we get home, the thermostat has already adjusted the temperature so that it’s lukewarm or brisk, depending on our preference. 

These are not examples from a futuristic science fiction story. These are only a few of the millions of frameworks part of Internet of Things (IoT) being deployed today. 

IoT has redefined the way we interact, communicate, and go about our daily work. From homes to maintenance to cities, the IoT ecosystem of devices is making our world more innovative and more efficient.

In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about the increasingly connected world of IoT. This guide discusses in-depth:

  • What Is Internet of Things (IoT)? 
  • The History of IoT 
  • Examples of IoT
  • Internet of Things Ecosystem: How Does it Work?
  • Sensor Technology & IoT
  • Benefits of Sensor-Based IoT
  • IoT & Data Security & Privacy
  • Key Takeaways & The Future of IoT

What Is IoT?

Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses all physical objects – i.e., “things” – connecting to the internet and other devices. 

The definition of IoT is evolving, as the term is increasingly being used to describe objects that interact and “speak” to one another, so we can have the opportunity to be more efficient in how we do things. 

More specifically, IoT devices are characterized by their ability to gather data on their surroundings, share this data with other electronic devices, and ultimately, help the end-user gain information, solve an issue, or complete a task. 

To visualize the concept, think of a time you’ve gone to the restroom in a hotel, and the light has turned on by itself. Ever wonder how that happened? There is probably a motion detection sensor that detects movement, which automates and connects to the light to turn it on. 

This is only one of the simplest forms of an IoT solution, as the technology is now being used to create larger ecosystems such as smart homes and smart cities. If you read your emails through a voice-controlled virtual assistant, measure your steps and heartbeat with a smartwatch, or control your security system through your mobile phone, you’re benefiting from IoT solutions daily. 

The History of IoT

The term Internet of Things was originated by Kevin Ashton in 1999. Still, the idea has been around for much longer and dates back to the early 80s with a Coca-Cola machine at Carnegie Mellon University. 

A group of students from the university designed a system to get their campus Coca-Cola vending machine to report on its contents to avoid the trouble of having to check if the machine was out of Coke. Aside from the inventory report, they were also able to make the devices let them know whether newly loaded drinks were cold or not.   

Later, In 1990, John Romkey connected a toaster to the internet for the first time. Not long after, another group of students at the University of Cambridge used a web camera to monitor the amount of coffee available in their computer labs. 

Then, finally, in 1999, the term Internet of Things was coined by Kevin Ashton during his presentation for Procter & Gamble, a multinational consumer goods corporation. When working there as a brand manager, Ashton was assigned to help launch a cosmetics line. He noticed that a specific shade of brown lipstick always seemed to be sold out, although many employees part of the supply chain would report that color as available in the warehouse. So, Ashton gave an “Internet of Things” presentation and suggested that each product has a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that allows identifying and tracking specific objects throughout the supply chain. 

By the late 2000s to early 2010s, organizations worldwide were starting to become excited about IoT – similar to how they’re getting enthusiastic about AI and machine learning today. The International Business Machine (IBM) Corporation began to work on a Smarter Planet program, McKinsey started publishing studies on the condition of IoT technology. In 2011, Cisco announced that IoT was “born” around 2008 and 2009 when more machines or objects were linked to the web than people on the earth. 

IoT was initially most attractive to business and industrial development, where its usage is often referred to as machine-to-machine (M2M). Still, the focus has shifted on filling our homes and workplaces with smart devices, bringing benefits to almost everyone. As of right now, there are as many as 35 billion IoT devices installed all over the world – and the prospect by the end of 2021 is that the number will reach 46 billion.

Examples of IoT

Depending on their usage, we divide IoT devices into four main categories: consumer, organizational, industrial, and infrastructure applications.  

Consumer IoT refers to the dozens of personal devices, including smartphones, wearable technology, fashion products, and an increasing range of household appliances linked to the internet, continuously gathering and distributing information. 

In organizational settings, IoT is primarily widespread in the medical and facilities management field. Specifically, IoT devices are being used for remote monitoring and creating emergency notification systems for people, buildings, and assets. The COVID-19 pandemic has also urged the use of IoT for smart cleaning and smart occupancy so that workplaces of all types can return to the office with the help of technology. 

Industrial IoT (IIoT) brings devices, clouds, analytics, and people together to advance the execution and productivity of industrial processes. Industrial IoT (IIoT) enables solutions such as equipment monitoring, predictive maintenance, condition monitoring, error detection, and much more. 

Last, infrastructure IoT appliances enable monitoring and controlling operations of sustainable urban and rural infrastructures like bridges, railway tracks, and on and offshore wind farms. These technologies help the construction industry by cost-saving, time optimization, better quality workday, paperless workflow, and increased productivity.

IoT Ecosystem: How Does It Work?

IoT operates over a boundless network, and thus it requires various components to form a cohesive system. We divide these components into three main categories: input, analytics, and output. 

First, you need a device that gathers input from the real world. This is usually done through sensors that work to gather real-time data from their surrounding environment. They’re also often called “detectors,” as their primary purpose is to detect the slightest changes in their surroundings. For example, Smart ACs or thermostats work through a detector to sense room temperature and humidity and adjust accordingly. 

More often than not, these sensors/detectors can also be bundled together as part of a device that does more than just sense things: phones are made up of several sensors such as GPS, camera, compass, fingerprint detection, to help us perform a handful of tasks. 

For the sensor to connect to other devices and ultimately turn data into action, it needs a “medium of transport,” which is connectivity. Connectivity is responsible for transferring data into the online world. The most popular IoT wireless protocols and standards include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DDS, cellular BLE, Z-wave, etc. The choice of the network depends on several factors, such as the desired speed of data, transfer, range, power consumption, and overall efficiency of the network. 

After data has been collected and has traveled to the cloud through a communication medium, it needs to be processed. This is the second component of an IoT ecosystem, where all of the “smart stuff,” i.e., context and analytics, takes place. The primary role of analytical tools is to investigate a situation and form a decision based upon the insight. This can be as simple as analyzing when a room’s temperature falls within the desired range or as complex as, for example, a car that’s close to a crash. 

The very last element of an IoT system is the end-user device or user interface. This is the visible device or application a user uses to access, control, and set their preferences. A user-friendly and attractive design is a significant consideration in today’s IoT world. Companies are continuously working on integrating convenient tools, such as touch interfaces, or colors, font, voice, to put themselves on solid footing for a great customer experience. 

More information 

15 Expert tips for ensuring a successful IoT Project

As the scope of the Internet of Things continues to expand to include everything from smartwatches to smart cities, more tech companies are considering both public-facing and internal IoT projects. The IoT certainly has enormous potential, with both industrial applications—such as supply chain management and crop monitoring—and consumer uses—such as voice assistants and home automation systems. Further, for businesses, the sheer volume of real-time data that can be collected is a significant lure. 

However, developing a new product for the IoT realm comes with challenges that developers must be clear about before beginning. Without a clear use case and plan for the collected data, companies may be spending R&D dollars on a project destined to fail. Further, IoT projects face the same challenges as any new tech, including cybersecurity, compliance and user adoption. So how can companies improve their odds of success? Below, 15 industry experts from  share strategies for ensuring your IoT project comes to fruition.

1. Determine The Scope Of The Challenge Before Beginning

A key challenge of IoT is the sheer amount of data created, in many cases without any clear way to make sense of it, develop actionable insights and get it to those who need it most. Before embarking on your project, it’s important to understand the scope of the challenge you need to address so you can develop the right data model to capture and share data and then operationalize it across the organization. –,

2. Start Small

Start small, with a use case that has the most benefit for your customer. There is unlimited potential when it comes to the IoT, and you will discover more as you collect more data and see the trends and patterns in it, which can unlock more opportunities. Don’t try to solve everything at once. Taking an iterative approach with the most beneficial use case being the minimum viable product is the way to go. –,

16 Tech leaders share big potential benefits of Next-Gen Smart Cities

The concept of “smart cities”—urban areas where functions ranging from traffic management to security are improved through embedded digital technologies—isn’t new. But as technology including the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles and biometric identification continues to evolve, the list of what’s possible in next-generation smart cities continues to grow.

While issues such as biases in artificial intelligence and a lack of underlying infrastructure still need to be tackled, it’s not out of the question that within just a decade or two, city dwellers will have access to a host of services that will make everyday living easier and safer. Below, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council share the potential upgrades they most look forward to in tomorrow’s smart cities.

1. Unprecedented Efficiency

Virtually all things will be instrumented, enabling an orchestra of data that can be used to improve all aspects of the city. From smart sensors that monitor essential resources to advanced AI tools that predict failure events, everything will be connected, with ubiquitous, reliable and high-speed broadband available to enhance the way people move, communicate and live. – Michael Anderson, Expeto

2. Optimizations For Sustainability

Smart cities create robust living experiences by streamlining operations, identifying inefficiencies and capitalizing on data to make informed decisions. Like the smart home, they bring tech and data to once-unmeasurable experiences. When you can measure a given outcome of activity—for example, a thermostat adjusting to your daily routine—you can optimize for sustainability, which is good for everyone. – Branick Weix, Aryeo

3. Rapid Integration Of New Technologies

Smart cities will include the integration of advanced technologies into infrastructure planning and development. One of the things holding back emerging technologies is the fact that the infrastructure is lacking in existing cities to maximize their usefulness. Smart cities will allow rapid testing and integration of emerging technologies in real time, allowing us to see the benefits immediately. – José Morey, Ever Medical Technologies

4. Connected Classrooms

The smarter cities of the near future will foster smarter education and more immersive, tech-connected K-12 classrooms. Students will be able to access richer edtech at school and home. More consistently tech-enabled schools could close the digital literacy and education gap for underprivileged students and help create better outcomes for students of all learning styles. – Shiv Sundar, Esper

 

5. Applications Of Contextual Data

Smart cities will enable an abundance of contextual data to be applied to understanding and addressing a variety of problems. In healthcare, we know that there are many impacts on the health of patients and populations based on geography, environment, social determinants and many other localized factors, but we are not able to tap into much of that today in a real-time or dynamic way. – Jennifer Esposito, Magic Leap

6. Reduced CO2 Emissions

Smart cities not only deliver operational and network efficiencies but also offer reduced emissions for environmental sustainability, a global social imperative. Cities can be major culprits when it comes to CO2 production, but technological advancements such as connected IoT devices and modern infrastructure can offer the necessary insights to monitor and ultimately reduce emissions. – Sanjay Brahmawar, Software AG

7. Enhanced Traffic Management

While we must balance smart cities’ reliance on data collection with privacy and security needs, I’m excited about the development of traffic applications, including parking space navigation with built-in reservation and payment functions, traffic management that’s sensitive to the existence of pedestrians and bikers, and navigation optimized by optional criteria, including time, distance and energy usage. – Kazuhiro Gomi, NTT Research

8. Decreased Gridlock And Fewer Accidents

In recent years studies have shown that the average American commuter spends 42 hours sitting in traffic every year, which leads to traffic congestion and car accidents. An innovative city traffic signal program that connects road users to the grid and solves today’s traffic challenges while unlocking innovative mobility benefits for cities and creating an entirely new way of life is something to look forward to. – Phillip WalkerNetwork Solutions Provider USA Inc.

9. Better Autonomous Vehicles

The efficiency of autonomous vehicles will increase multifold in smart cities—autonomous vehicles are made for smart cities. We’re just beta testing them in our current “dumb” cities. The more they can communicate with their surroundings—traffic lights, other vehicles and so on—the better they perform. Even the roads might double as chargers for these vehicles by storing solar power. – Vikram Joshi, pulsd

10. Improved Safety And Security Systems

Next-generation security is a notable benefit of smart cities. In terms of security, smart cities mean high-tech surveillance systems and cameras equipped with facial-recognition technologies, dependable home security gadgets, efficient law enforcement systems and more. All of the above will make cities safer and more connected, consequently improving citizens’ quality of life. – Roman Taranov, Ruby Labs

11. More Efficient Municipal Services

Smart cities would likely make us safer and more productive by handling municipal functions using the unbiased and rational decision-making processes of smart technology, free from human fatigue, emotion and associated error. – Sreekanth Mallikarjun, Reorg

12. Wi-Fi-Enabled Productivity Boosts

In smart cities, Wi-Fi will be available to everyone for free. And with the IoT coming to everything (including cars), this Wi-Fi infrastructure will boost productivity and efficiency within smart cities. This includes but is not limited to contactless shopping and deliveries and cars communicating with each other, traffic lights, trains and more. – WaiJe Coler, InfoTracer

13. Easier Access To City Services

I’m hoping for more automation of city services and the ways you do business with cities. Automated permitting, online business licenses and resale licenses should be the norm. I’m hoping that for a city to be considered “smart” its leaders will be required to apply lean principles to all areas, increasing efficiency for all and effectiveness for the city. – Laureen Knudsen, Broadcom

14. ‘Customer-Focused’ City Government

I’m optimistic that smart cities will help municipalities begin to view their citizens through more of a customer-/user-experience lens. With a data-driven view of people’s daily habits, needs, desires and frustrations, governments can be of greater service to their communities than ever before, catching up to the customer service evolution that’s already taken place in the marketplace. – Vivek Ahuja, Sofbang LLC

15. Higher Civic Engagement

Civic engagement will skyrocket once cities can provide data digitally. Social media accounts that automatically notify everyone about zoning changes, voting information and public hearings would get more people involved immediately. When more information is available in more ways, people will want to get more involved to have the decisions reflect their own beliefs. – Luke Wallace, Bottle Rocket

16. Bike-Friendly Features

Futurists have long envisioned smart cities where residents and visitors can thrive. For example, in Toronto, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs has proposed the idea of bike lanes that are all-season and that include heating. This would mean cyclists wouldn’t have to contend with snow or ice in the winter and limited visibility at night. – Maddison Long, CloudOps

IoT Algorithms and APIs

IoT (Internet of the Things) has the greatest potential to advance society since the Industrial Revolution. It will rise in a world in which all kinds of things are interconnected, smart, communicating, and improving the quality of life. The devices/hardware functionality is exposed as APIs where developers can do what they want.

API Role In IoT

An Application Program Interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. It specifies how software components must interact. APIs are tightly linked with IoT because they allow to securely expose connected devices to customers, go-to-market channels, and other applications.

APIs connect important “Things” like sensors, cars, medical devices, energy grids, and thermostats to the IoT ecosystem; it’s important to deploy API management that is flexible, scalable, and secure.

APIs allow developers to build context-based applications that can interact with the physical world instead of purely through UI (proximity and location-aware). However, to truly achieve IoT, we need a REST API for every device. REST allows data to flow over internet protocols and to delegate and manage authorization.

With APIs’ help, a single app can utilize software written with multiple programming languages thanks to a unified architectural style called REST.

Developing IoT Systems

IoT means no shortage of apps, so no matter what, you’re bound to need RESTful services.

Unstructured data goes to object storage, semi-structure goes to MongoDB, Cassandra, traditional and transactional data goes to SQL, MySQL, and so on. As a developer, it’s challenging to deal with proprietary APIs exposed by these data sources. For example, to integrate one unstructured, semi-structured, and structured database in the app, we will have to deal with at least three proprietary APIs.

When plotting connections within an IoT system, nodes are devices, and arcs are APIs. Indeed, to fully realize the benefits IoT has to offer, OT assets will need to be designed with web technologies built directly into them, such as HTTP for interaction, SSL/TLS encryption, and authentication for data security, and JSON for data format. This approach is available today through RESTful architecture.

REST APIs typically use methods of the HTTP specification to perform different actions. For example, POST, GET, PUT, DELETE can be logically mapped to SQL CREATE, SELECT (READ), UPDATE, and DELETE functions. This is known as CRUD, and it means that everything you might want to do to a piece of data stored on a remote server can be done predictably.

APIs

The real trick in an Internet of Things product is moving data in an efficient and fast way—so at the heart of any IoT implementation rests the API(s).

Device people and software people rarely understand each other. For the device folks, the API is the product and the app developers are the primary consumers. When building APIs for devices, we need to understand the needs of the consumers in terms of design and the preferred protocols that mimic dominant web architectures.

REST and JSON APIs generally enable software engineers to avoid reinventing the wheel when building new apps. We are witnessing the growth of businesses and solutions thanks to high-quality software with robust and user-friendly APIs. There is a lot of potential to leverage data, and there are numerous development opportunities on both the device side and software side.

Source: iotforall

Author: Agilytics Technologies Pvt Ltd.

How to choose the best IoT platform

While it is more often than not that service providers overlook the importance of selecting a robust IoT platform as a basis for their IoT solution, a well-picked Internet of Things platform can provide supreme capabilities for deployment, maintenance, monitoring, management, and updating your IoT devices to empower your business and ensure its steady growth. Want to know more about IoT platforms? Check out the guide below.

Why is choice important?

IT experts commonly agree that the role of the Internet of Things in the development of enterprises should not be underestimated, especially in light of the estimated double-digit figures for its market value growth in the years to come. Thanks to the rapid expansion of IoT technology, getting IoT devices online isn’t a challenge anymore; what poses the real difficulty nowadays is getting them to work together securely and efficiently to grow your enterprise. Therefore, as the backbone of every professional IoT deployment, an IoT platform not only has to offer a range of fit-for-purpose solutions for here and now; it needs to provide future-proof technology that would go in step with your business roadmap for the future.

Key criteria

There should be no doubt that device management is at the heart of every IoT deployment. Therefore, the need to manage, monitor, maintain, and update your set of connected objects should be at the forefront of the list of priorities for any IoT project, no matter if it’s an ecosystem consisting of millions of connected devices or a small-scale initiative. Yet, in times of constantly growing consumer expectations and fierce market competition, it doesn’t seem quite enough to choose an IoT platform that would be able to stand up to the task of randomly managing some number of IoT devices.

Far from it — in fact, many factors in the decision-making process need to be taken into account to ensure that the deployment is carried out securely and with an eye for the future. Apart from analyzing the limitations and highlighting the requirements behind a specific IoT use case, some key technical evaluation criteria should be considered while picking the right solution:

Security

First and foremost, any IoT deployment in the making should have a firm and secure basis for development. Ensuring comprehensive security tools for your IoT project is meant to minimize the threat of compromising confidential data of the company or (what’s even worse) third parties and avoid the subsequent risk of losing business integrity. Therefore, IoT platforms specializing in device management should be reviewed in terms of the security solutions they offer. What is more, such functionalities as over-the-air software upgrades (SOTA) or secure DTLS data encryption have evolved from mere conveniences to must-haves.

Scalability

It is crucial to realize that together with enterprise growth, business needs are very likely to change. While handling one hundred smart devices won’t pose difficulties to any IoT platform designed for device management, the complexity and the number of objects being included in the system rise exponentially. Therefore, it is key to check if your IoT platform of choice can boast a portfolio with multi-million object deployments. This knowledge will come in handy when your enterprise starts expanding: your IoT platform will grow with your business.

Interoperability

It is important to remember that data is usually sent via multiple channels and using various IoT protocols due to considerable fragmentation within the IoT environment. Every time a new technology is introduced into a given IoT ecosystem, integration capabilities between devices may be significantly reduced, which in turn may cause further fragmentation and more security threats.

As a response to this challenge, a number of solutions have been proposed to date, including standard-based LwM2M, which is an IoT protocol used for telemetry and device management. Thanks to its structured and well-defined data model, it offers wide-ranging integration possibilities even in the application layer. Also, when picking an IoT platform, attention should be paid to its cross-vendor and cross-platform interoperability features to avoid vendor lock-in. It is also important to be in possession of devices compatible with the Lwm2M standard.

Time to market

This important factor is mainly determined by the IoT platform’s capability to configure the devices seamlessly and out of the box.

Provide stability and credibility

Before you sign up for any IoT platform service, be sure to check the provider to verify their market position, experience in handling similar deployments, and overall business credibility. Go through their customer success stories and references, pay attention to vendor responsiveness and the amount of support they actually offer. This will help to avoid getting tangled up with short-lived startups that offer nothing but empty sales talk.

Platform life expectancy

When selecting an IoT platform, you probably would like to stick to your choice for a longer time to avoid service instability and the resulting financial losses. For a specific deployment to be future-proof, it is essential that the platform that supports it is meant to be around at least for several years has a proven track record and can evolve together with the market (which in some cases may be hard to determine). While it may also happen that your enterprise outlives the IoT platform it uses, the vendor should offer tools to migrate the deployment to another platform seamlessly so that your investment doesn’t go to waste.

Platform compatibility

Ensure that the vendor tries to suit the platform to your needs instead of making your project suit their product capabilities. Also, it is worth paying attention to matching your software language with the platform’s main code. While any modern IoT platform should cooperate with any computer language, it may be better to pick the one with its libraries written in the same language as your software.

Pricing

Being one of the critical considerations, the pricing model of each provider should undergo an in-depth analysis, which is for obvious reasons. After putting forward attractive initial rates, some providers may try to sneak higher prices just before making the deal or keep dark about additional but vital costs.

Summary

Considering the criteria presented above, it is recommended that individual offers of IoT platform providers should be analyzed in detail before choosing the right solution for your business. In this way, you will be able to avoid getting influenced by the sales pitches presented by some of the market players that don’t necessarily match the actual reality of their product. Contrary to the argument that one-size-fits-all solutions are best, a well-crafted IoT platform should be backed by significant expertise and background in the IoT-specific areas to yield a comprehensive and fit-to-purpose solution that would be able to empower your enterprise effectively.

Source : www.iotforall.com

Electric charge points

A charging point is the device that powers the electric vehicle. There are many types with different features: power, charging time, installation cost…
Remember that the use of an electric vehicle reduces
– CO2 emissions
– Noise
– Pollution
– Maintenance and fuel costs

If you want to know, What an electric charge point is? and how to install it?. Download the information guide designed as a part of the MAtchUP project. 

Source lasnaves.com

The real cost to develop an IoT product

The two most common concerns for companies getting into IoT are the cost of initial software development (or “integration”) and ongoing expenses after devices have been deployed. As key stakeholders ponder over the ever-present build vs buy dilemma, the ones who lean towards building often tend to significantly underestimate both.

So what goes into IoT product development and maintenance? What kind of budgets and timelines should you as an entrepreneur plan for if you choose to invest in building your own software rather than choosing one of the available platform solutions? We’ll try to break it down for you in this quick overview.

This article is specifically focused on IoT software; we can talk about hardware in another post. We can also spend a whole new article talking about the true hidden costs of integrating IoT into business operations. E.g., preparing your organization, getting all of the right departments to use the new tech, customer support needs you never thought about, etc. If you would like to hear about that, put it in the comments section.

Software Components and Expertise Required

Let’s take a look at a minimum set of software products you would need today to run a connected product, business or service.

Firmware

Firmware is software that is uploaded and then runs on the hardware. It provides a low-level control for the device’s specific logic. Networks and connectivity are a part of firmware development and crucial for any IoT implementation.

Expertise required: embedded development: C, C++

When you work with electronics, firmware development is the key piece of software, and it is very beneficial to have your own engineering team working on it. Firmware development can be split into two parts: writing code that runs the business logic and controls the device’s electric circuit and code that manages the connectivity and data transfer to/from the cloud.

You would also need resources to test the firmware. Count in another QA specialist or trust your engineers. An important element to consider is integrating firmware over-the-air updates (OTA or FOTA) from the very beginning. It can mitigate a lot of issues but can also create a lot of trouble when executed poorly. 

FOTA technology allows manufacturers to remotely install new software, release patches and bug fixes, or update features and services after the device has been deployed to the jobsite, home, or office. FOTA involves recurring costs, mostly on the Cloud side. Often this functionality is covered by IoT platforms.  

As with any other software development, in a long-term perspective, expect fixing bugs, releasing new versions, dealing with memory leaks, providing technical support, etc. The major ongoing expenses you would face are human resources to perform all of these tasks.

Once your company collects enough data for analysis, another piece could become important: optimized ML models that can run on the device. For such development, you would need a data scientist familiar with embedded tech experience. 

Cloud

Cloud is any service made available to users on-demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers. The IoT servers have different purposes, like administration, monitoring, data gathering, and analysis.

Expertise required: Backend development based on a choice of technology, big data processing, DevOps (maintenance and support).  

You can develop your own server application or use services like AWS, Azure and build on top of that. If you decide to build your own backend, you would need highly skilled engineers with a deep understanding of the solution chosen and a support team to maintain the system once deployed. 

Count in at least one DevOps engineer to keep an eye on the system when in production.

DevOps

Recurring costs, apart from salaries, are cloud hosting, domain names rent, SSL/tls certificates purchase and updates, storage, and backups.

Depending on whether you choose to develop your own backend or stick to a ready-to-use solution, the initial investment range will vary. However, running a cloud server will always involve recurring costs and will only increase once your business scales up.

Applications 

Once the device is connected, in today’s reality, you would need a user interface to interact with the device or service, configure it, control and monitor remotely, visualize processes, etc. It can be a touch control, a mobile app, a web app, a voice app (e.g., Amazon Alexa skill), etc.

Working with deployed connected products usually requires two different apps: customer-facing applications and applications for internal company use (device management, analytics, device health tracking, data traffic). 

Expertise required: design thinking, product ideation, UX, visual design, mobile, and front-end development.

Application development ideally starts early when a company defines a business case, common use-cases, user experience, and product lifecycle in general. It’s an iterative process similar to any software development. Generally, it can be split into phases: requirements, UX (user experience) + visual design, web and mobile application development, delivery, support.

Note that a really high bar has been set for great user experience, design, and friendly apps during recent years. 

Any software development is an ongoing process. While your product is live, you will be facing bug fixing, optimization issues, support questions, redesign requests, new features development, etc.

Data Management and Maintenance costs

In this term, we have to separate the hosting and maintenance costs. The hosting cost is more affordable in the long run and helps to eliminate multiple risks compared to the cost of having a team maintain a cloud on their own.

Timeline and Budget

I’ve been working in software development for over 20 years, and I don’t believe that any high-quality software can be developed in less than 9 months. Add a time buffer for bug fixing, requirements, and documentation writing, and you get a 12 month period – a more realistic timeframe. If you disagree, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Building IoT Software

As you can see, building your own IoT software from scratch is not a cheap endeavor, especially with a team based in the USA. If you have all of the right people on board and have a bulletproof ROI model for your IoT investment – go for it, build in-house. But if you are an OEM whose main focus remains on their core products and you care about optimizing costs and your time to market – then you are probably better off leveraging a solid IoT platform. Those folks have already spent those years (and in most cases, millions) building out the software you need and testing it out with real clients, in real-world conditions, with all of the priceless learnings that come with that.

Source www.iotforall.com

15 Tech pros on the best IoT applications on the market right now

From voice assistants to smart home devices, the Internet of Things is rapidly changing both how we live and how we work. With a projected 83 billion IoT connections by 2024, this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

 

As the IoT continues to grow and add new functionalities, it’s important to understand what’s currently available and how these devices can transform life for consumers and businesses. Below, 15 tech experts from Forbes Technology Council discuss the best IoT devices and applications on the market right now and why each is so valuable.

1. Touchless Transaction Devices

The best IoT devices include those that enable touchless transactions, such as contactless payment and data collection and tracking devices. From a standpoint of cleanliness, these include any devices that reduce the transmission of germs and help to end the pandemic. Additionally, in the work-from-home era, home automation has become extremely popular, which also reduces contact transmission in the home. – Kevin Beasley, VAI

2. Personal Fitness Devices

The best IoT devices are those that support personal fitness, which has become a leading issue in our current time. The ability to go to health clubs has been diminished by regulations, and many individuals choose to avoid it for health reasons. What has kept me and others sane through this period is the Peloton bike. – Thomas McElroy, Level-1 Global Solutions, LLC

3. Ingestible Diagnostic Devices

Myriad ingestible medical devices are coming to market with multiple different use cases. The ability to ingest a “pill” that then pulls data from inside your body and delivers that information back to deep learning frameworks is huge. Forget wearable tech—ingestible tech is something that can replace that market. – Damian Ehrlicher, Protected IT

4. Health Monitors

As an avid fitness geek and cyclist (and overall geek), I like to monitor everything I can about how I am feeling and recovering—both more important than ever in the era of Covid-19. Devices such as WHOOP and the Oura Ring see patterns, understand our health and compare data with millions of users and athletes around the world. I have been impressed by how they’re able to detect Covid-19 early and improve recovery. – Jason CarolanFlexential

5. CGM Devices

As a Type 1 diabetic, seeing continuous glucose monitoring devices moving to support the IoT is a huge advance. The benefits of delivering seamless remote monitoring of blood glucose for parents when their children are out or sending alerts directly to medical professionals are huge. Given the potential size of the market and the effect these devices can have on well-being, they top my list. – Al KingsleyNetSupport Limited

6. Infrastructure IoT

The best IoT devices on the market are the ones we don’t ever see. The critical infrastructure all around us that keeps the cars moving through your city and the water pumping to your house are performing invaluable tasks for us every day, and most of us are totally unaware. Consumer IoT development is exciting, but infrastructure IoT is where the real magic happens. – Dick Wilkinson, New Mexico Supreme Court

6. Fleet Management Software

The most interesting innovation happening in IoT right now is not with the devices themselves—which are mostly sensors and processors—but instead with fleet management and monitoring software. Being able to maintain the health and security of multiple generations of both hardware and software via a set of low-cost devices that are sent out into the field is huge. – Joaquin Lippincott, Metal Toad

7. Sensor Hubs

The best IoT devices incorporate the intelligence required to both sense key parameters of the real world that surrounds them and convey vital telemetry upstream for analytics that maximizes situational awareness. For example, sensor hubs on trucks can provide fleet dispatchers with information about the engine, cargo and even the driver—all essential to ensuring on-time deliveries. – William Bain, ScaleOut Software, Inc.

8. Click Boards

There are a lot of innovative IoT devices on the market today, and the possibilities are endless. However, particularly beneficial is the vast click board portfolio from MikroElektronika, which includes over 1,000 devices. These click boards have become the critical starting point for every IoT project and are a key component of the IoT ecosystem. – Wolfgang Thieme, BehrTech

9. Firewalls

By far, the most important IoT device for businesses is the network firewall you implement to protect, track and control your IoT devices and your network. Put all your IoT devices on a common, separate Wi-Fi network. Most “next-gen” firewalls have threat detection and intrusion prevention. Monitor those reports and talk to your IT department to interpret them. IoT devices attempt to discover the rest of your network and routinely send data back to the manufacturer. – Jim Nekos, Edge Technology Group

10. Climate Control Devices

Climate change is probably the most critical challenge facing humanity today. States and countries have been experiencing more frequent and longer power outages due to harsher weather conditions and record-setting temperatures. The IoT can help to tackle climate change through connected devices such as the Nest thermostat, which can play a pivotal role in managing peak demand and grid stability. – Ahmad (Al) Fares, Celitech – Cellular Data Platform

11. Voice Assistants

The best IoT devices out there are voice assistants. In the future, there will be no keyboards, no buttons, no touch screens and so on for anything from TVs to cars and more—it will all be voice-driven. Even though it is taking a long time to get there, we are closer than ever to that being a reality. Imagine walking around the world with no devices on you and being able to ask for what you need. – Mercedes Soria, Knightscope

12. iPhone 12

The iPhone 12, with built-in LiDAR capabilities, is the best device on the market right now. This device takes us one step closer to creating a digital copy of our world. The inbuilt LiDAR technology allows limitless possibilities for mass augmented reality integration, which will allow us to overlay and enhance the real world with digital capabilities. – Alex Dzyuba, Lucid Reality Labs

13. Smartwatches

For an IoT device to demonstrate its value, it must promise convenience while having the ability to make decisions when its owner can’t. A smartwatch not only provides conveniences such as communication but can also act if the user is unable to—for example, detecting a fall, heart arrhythmia and other issues. As the safety, security and insurance ecosystem grows, this IoT device will become even more instrumental. The next step is the connected car. – Spiros Liolis, Micro Focus

14. Tile Trackers And SmartTags

Tracking devices such as Tile Trackers and SmartTags are amazing. With the introduction of the sticker versions, their usability has greatly increased, and I believe the size will go down even further in the future. Add to that global, low-cost satellite connectivity from companies such as Swarm, and we are looking at never losing anything again. – Vikram Joshi, pulsd

15. The Combination Of Personalized IoT Devices Working Together

In recent decades, we have experienced a transition from mass production to mass personalization. How do we personalize products and services at scale? The answer is with real-time information coming from a secure yet diverse set of IoT devices—cars, TVs, refrigerators, thermostats, medical devices and so on. The IoT of the future is not a single device but a highly personalized platform. – Augusto Perazzo, Me in Te

Source: Forbes.es

10 ways to boost IoT Security in Smart Homes

If your home is connected, it needs to be protected. IoT devices are the core technology behind the idea of smart homes, and while the latest devices have addressed patches that made their predecessors vulnerable to security breaches, the onus is still on the end user to ensure that their IoT security is up to date.

To help, 10 members of Forbes Technology Council suggest key steps that homeowners can take to protect their IoT systems from hacks, keeping their data and homes safe from malicious users.

1. Install Latest Security Patches

Make sure your IoT devices have the latest security patches installed and keep a close eye on what ports are open/exposed to the outside world from your device. This will keep your perimeter under control, while security patches will help you fight against the latest threats emerging on the market. – Naveen Bachkethi, CBNITS

2. Segment Your Network

Assume the devices will be hacked, so segment your network with the ability to isolate the network, thereby mitigating zero-day exploit impact. Group them together so that you can control network access by manufacturer and use. – Gavin McMurdo, IStreamPlanet

3. Have A Strong Password Policy

IoT devices are typically hacked because of poor passwords or a default password is never changed. Passwords to access your device or to connect to your network should be complex with a minimum of 15 characters, and to be extra secure, you should change them regularly. – Michael Hoyt, Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.

4. Use Multifactor Authentication

If you have the option, use multifactor authentication with your IoT device. Two-factor or multifactor authentication requires you to log in with a second code that’s usually sent through a text message or email. You can use this strategy to add an extra layer of security to your device, which will help keep your data safe. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

5. Keep Your Router Updated

Keep not just your IoT device patched and passwords regularly changed, but the router as well, as it’s often the first line of defense. The Mirai botnet exploited default IoT passwords to great effect. – Ed Adams, Security Innovation

6. Take A Layered Approach

Gone are the days when you just need to protect the front door. There is no more front door, meaning a layered approach to security is essential. Use top-notch tools for monitoring, logging, anti-malware, and intrusion detection. Be on the lookout for any increase in abnormal traffic, whether messaging, network, or system usage, as that’s a top sign you’ve been hacked. – Maddison Long, CloudOps

7. Don’t Use The Default Security Settings

Double-check that you’re not using the manufacturer default security settings. A common mistake is that consumers simply take for granted that the default settings on Wi-Fi and other connected devices are sufficient. They’re not. Make sure to audit your default settings to make sure firewalls and multifactor authentication is active. And above all, change and strengthen your password. – John Shin, RSI Security

8. Maintain A Global Access Map

As consumers use more connected devices and appliances at home, it is important to maintain a “global access map” to have clear visibility of who has access to what. One vulnerability is voice assistants being located near exposed doors or windows while controlling critical actions like opening a garage door or turning on an oven! – Ahmad (Al) Fares, Celitech – Cellular Data Platform

9. Create A Separate Registration Email

Create a separate email alias for all of the registrations (instead of your normal one) and use it. Think “least privilege” and only give access to things that are required for it to work. Ask yourself, “Do I really need that?” The best security is “no.” As I once told a client, “You want this system to be totally secure. Then don’t take it out of the box.” – Thomas Polk, Midwest Eye Consultants, P.C.

10. Ask The Manufacturer About SSL/TLS

Ask the manufacturer if they are using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS). We are all familiar with sites using security certificates. Whenever you see the HTTP change to HTTPS, there is a certificate in play. IoT devices call a website just like a browser does. The problem is too many IoT devices are calling sites without enough security. Asking the manufacturers about SSL/TLS will raise the issue. – David Moise, Decide Consulting

Source : Forbes.com