QIVICON wins innovation prize and gains new partners
QIVICON wins the European Visionary Innovation Leadership Award | New partners: Philips, RheinEnergie and myScenario.
International management consultancy Frost & Sullivan has announced smart home platform QIVICON as the winner of its European Visionary Innovation Leadership Award, naming QIVICON as the most innovative solution of its kind in 2014.
Olivia Price-Walker, Senior Consultant at Frost & Sullivan, laments:
“There are still a large number of silo solutions in the smart home space. But QIVICON is an independent platform that supports products from multiple vendors. As a result, users have a wider choice of applications. And this approach is fast turning QIVICON into the gold standard for smart home technology.”
Sophisticated lighting control – Philips
This autumn, customisable app-controlled lighting system Philips hue will be integrated with the QIVICON platform. Users will continue to benefit from the solution’s standard functionality. And in addition, they will now be able to control their LED lights via selected apps developed by QIVICON partners. Going forward, these applications will support rules and scenarios that enable QIVICON-compatible devices to interoperate with hue lights. For example, users will be able to create the perfect atmosphere for watching TV – with window shutters that automatically close, and hue lights switching to movie theatre mode. Existing Philips hue customers will be able to connect their systems to the QIVICON Home Base via any standard, commercially available router.
Susanne Schmitz, Senior Marketing Director at Philips Lighting for German-speaking countries, remarks: “Digital integration offers consumers a host of possibilities for their homes, helping them use lighting to create the perfect setting for any occasion.”
New energy partner
RheinEnergie is the fourth utility to join the QIVICON partner network. The energy supplier for the Rhine region (in Germany) develops and markets new products, promoting energy efficiency, safety and security in the home. From late 2014, RheinEnergie customers will be able to intelligently manage their energy consumption and keep track of what’s going on within their own four walls, even while they’re out.
RheinEnergie Head of Sales Uwe Schöneberg, explains: “QIVICON is an open platform that supports efficiency, security, safety, comfort and convenience in our customers’ homes. It is important for us to have a robust, reliable technology infrastructure in place that evolves in line with changing requirements and guarantees the level of data security we need.”
Simplifying complex building systems
myScenario has also become a QIVICON platform partner. The specialist for simple operation of windows, doors and solar protection systems will support development and provide expert advice. A myScenario app will soon enable customers to define complex rules and processes for themselves: for example, they will be able to program shutters to automatically close in bright sunlight or windows to shut if the home owner goes out.
Stephan Schmidt, CEO of myScenario, explains: “We are delighted with this new partnership. Currently, QIVICON offers the best way of making building automation systems more accessible to customers.”
Visitors to IFA can see QIVICON and its partner products in action in hall 4.2, at stand 100.
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The installed base of fleet management systems will reach 5.9 million in Russia/CIS and Eastern Europe by 2018
According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, the number of active fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in Russia/CIS and Eastern Europe was 2.9 million in Q4-2013.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.7 percent, this number is expected to reach 5.9 million by 2018.
The Russian market accounts for a significant share of the region’s total installed base. The top 10 providers of fleet management solutions for commercial vehicles across Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe together have an installed base of well over 1 million active units today.
The leading fleet management providers in terms of installed base in the CIS and Eastern Europe include diverse players from a number of countries. Belarus-based Gurtam is the leading FM software provider active across most countries in the region with over 300,000 commercial vehicles under management. Other top providers with more than 100,000 active FM units for commercial vehicles in the region include ENDS, NIS group, Arvento Mobile Systems and TechnoKom which are all top-ranking telematics players on their respective domestic markets. Additional key vendors include SCOUT, Mobiliz, Omnicomm and Fort-Telecom. The Russian fleet management vendor landscape has seen some significant shifts in recent time. Both M2M Telematics and Russian Navigation Technologies have lost many employees and the latter even filed for bankruptcy in 2014.
Rickard Andersson, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight, said:
“There has been an inflow of new start-ups gaining market shares at the expense of struggling Russian top telematics players.”
A key example is the Russian newcomer SpaceTeam which was founded one year ago and now already holds a significant market share on the domestic market.
“None of the major international solution providers based in Western Europe, the US or South Africa have however so far managed to capture any leading positions in this region”, said Mr. Andersson.
He adds that Berg Insight anticipates increased M&A activities in the region in the upcoming years as the ongoing consolidation wave in Europe and North America reaches the Russian telematics market.
Download report brochure: Fleet Management in Russia/CIS and Eastern Europe
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Government investment drives UK lead in IoT
UK tech consortium delivers HyperCat – a new way for machines to work together.
A consortium of more than 40 UK-based technology companies funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Technology Strategy Board, has delivered on the first phase of its initiative to accelerate the widespread move to the Internet of Things (IoT). HyperCat is a new open IoT specification that allows machines to work together over the Internet and for applications to discover and make sense of data automatically without human intervention.
In just 12 months and with £6.4 million funding from the Technology Strategy Board, development teams from major companies including ARM, BT and IBM have worked alongside UK start-ups and UK University Departments to break down vertical data silos and find a foundation for connected products and applications to interoperate.
The HyperCat specification is an extremely simple yet powerful, thin interoperability layer for the IoT, which allows applications to explore what data and resources are available on a specific data hub, or search for particular types of resource across the Internet. For example, if an application only understands temperature measurements, HyperCat provide a means to search for and discover this type of data – buried amongst other data that the application may not understand.
“HyperCat has been designed to move us from the Internet of Silos to the Internet of Things,” explains Pilgrim Beart, CEO of IoT start-up 1248.
“Previously, applications were vertically-integrated, working only with specific services, which confines data to narrow vertical silos. HyperCat enables apps to discover data across all services, freeing machines from the human programmer bottleneck and allowing a many-to-many relationship to develop, which is the key to IoT.”
“The forces for the modularisation of IoT are creating a ground swell that will bring radical changes to the computer industry”, said Justin Anderson, CEO and Founder of IoT company Flexeye. “As new entrants to the IoT market strive to deliver revolutionary solutions at an extraordinary pace, HyperCat will help ensure that these players can securely speak a common language. I’m confident that the Technology Strategy Board’s investment in this interoperability initiative has helped put the UK in a global leadership position and will in turn support the UK economy by creating new jobs and attracting foreign investment to our shores.”
“We are using HyperCat at our Cambridge headquarters to share data such as office occupancy, energy use and even car park lighting between different applications,” said Amyas Phillips, IoT Research Entrepreneur at ARM. “By linking our infrastructure in real-time we are reducing our energy costs and generating other information including external temperature data that others can use. This is a research project but it has proven tangible benefits that consumers and Enterprises can gain from a more connected world.”
“While there is still the need for applications and services to agree on standard ways to describe data – so called ontologies – HyperCat offers a common approach to describing the information held on data hubs, thereby allowing people to find data relevant to their specific needs more quickly and easily. This will drive commercial use of the hubs and lowers the barrier to participation, particularly for SMEs,” added John Davies, Head of Semantic Technology at BT.
“We’ve been able to create whole new applications very quickly,” commented Andy Stanford-Clark, Master Inventor at IBM UK. “For example, we can take illumination data from streetlights belonging to another project cluster and display it on our own application. Being able to explore the HyperCat metadata in human and machine readable formats makes it easy to mash-up new applications.”
“Over the past few years the Technology Strategy Board has brought people together in workshops and competitions to work out what the barriers to IoT really are, which proved an excellent foundation for this work,” said Andrew Tyrer, Digital Lead Specialist at the Technology Strategy Board. “We’re delighted that so many companies managed to co-operate so successfully and are excited by the potential for HyperCat in the future to put the UK at the forefront of IoT development and deployment.”
The Eight Technology Strategy Board Clusters
The Technology Strategy Board project involved large brand names, IoT start-ups and Universities. They formed into eight clusters, each focussed on a particular application. Each cluster used the HyperCat specification to create interoperability within their cluster and then between clusters:
Distance (Internet of Schools Things) includes: ScienceScope, Intel, Xively, Explorer HQ, Stakeholder Design, University of Birmingham’s Urban Climate Laboratory, UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, and The Open University Department of Computing
EyeHub includes: Flexeye, Open Data Institute, Surrey University, IBM UK, Guildford Borough Council
IoT-Bay (an Interoperability Hub for IoT Services) includes: SH&BA, EDF Energy, IBM UK, Westminster City Council, BRE and University of Bristol
i-MOVE (Internet of Moving Objects and Vehicles Ecosystem) includes: Aimes Grid Services, BT, Traak, Avanti, Placr, Merseyside Transport
International Airport includes: LivingPlanIT, London City Airport, Milligan Retail, Critical Software, AppSherpas, HWC, CrowdVision, and ECM
OpenIoT includes: 1248.io, ARM, AlertMe, Enlight, Intellisense.io and Badger Pass
Smart Streets includes:InTouch, Carillion, BalfourBeatty, Amey, Lancaster University
Stride (Smart Transport IoT Data Ecosystem) includes: BT, Aimes, Ctrl-Shift, University of Cambridge, Dartt Ltd
More about HyperCat Clusters and Companies can be found at: http://wiki.1248.io/doku.php?id=hypercat
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Vodafone report shows global market for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) surging ahead
Vodafone published today its second annual ‘M2M Adoption Barometer’, a global survey of the machine-to-machine (M2M) market, which finds that M2M adoption has increased by more than 80%, with over a fifth of companies now actively using the technology.
M2M, which connects previously isolated machines or devices to the internet to make the ‘Internet of Things’ possible, is set to grow from 4.4 billion connected devices this year to 10.3 billion by 20181.
The survey, carried out by Circle Research, captured the views of more than 600 executives involved in setting M2M strategy in seven key industries across 14 countries, making it one of the leading global surveys of M2M implementation.
Three sectors have emerged as front runners in M2M with nearly 30% adoption rates: automotive, consumer electronics, and energy and utilities.
Automotive is the most mature of the sectors where M2M is now seen as an enabler for additional services such as remote maintenance and infotainment. M2M adoption in energy and utilities is also growing rapidly as ‘smart’ home and office services such as intelligent heating and connected security gain popularity.
Vodafone’s report shows that the consumer electronics sector is at the forefront of a shift from the warehouse to the living room. This uptake is being fuelled by the use of M2M in connected devices such as smart televisions and games consoles. The research shows that nearly three quarters of consumer electronics companies will have adopted some form of M2M by 2016, whether for new products, logistics or production.
Similarly, the report anticipates that 57% of healthcare and life sciences companies will have adopted M2M technologies by 2016. Take-up in the transport and logistics sector will be driven by fleet management benefits, as M2M-led routing, job allocation and maintenance schedules become even more evident.
While more firms are seeing a return on investment from M2M than last year – 46% of respondents cited a ‘significant increase’ compared with 36% in 2013 – there are still some barriers to adoption, including managing security concerns and the challenges of global deployment.
As predicted in last year’s Vodafone M2M Adoption Barometer report, the US has been overtaken by the Asia Pacific region as the geography with the widest adoption of M2M. This year’s report suggests that by 2016 the gap will be negligible with all regions close to a 55% average for adoption.
Director of Machine-to-Machine, Vodafone, Erik Brenneis said:
“This year’s report leaves no doubt that momentum is accelerating as companies begin to realise the commercial potential of the Internet of Things. This technology is transforming whole industries as companies find new ways to operate and engage with their customers. M2M is moving from the back-office to centre stage.”
Principal Analyst at Machina Research, Matt Hatton, said:
“The most interesting finding from my perspective is the range of different reasons companies are giving for deploying M2M. Historically, M2M technologies have tended to be bolted on to add an additional cool product feature or to monitor some kind of internal process. We now see M2M is becoming fundamental to how organisations do business; in some cases, M2M adoption is also creating new business opportunities. These technologies are radically changing the way in which companies serve – and communicate with – their customers.”
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Infosys and SMART Enterprise to deliver Innovations in Machine to Machine Communication and Internet of Everything
Interconnected, intelligent solutions to help firms listen, respond, and predict better.
Infosys and SMART Enterprise (the enterprise business group of SMART Communications, Inc., the leading wireless provider in the Philippines) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop new industry solutions in the areas of Machine to Machine (M2M) Communication and Internet of Everything.
These solutions are aimed at enabling organizations to listen, respond and make predictions based on machine-generated data. Infosys and SMART Enterprise will leverage their proven expertise in technology and intelligent communication to design industry solutions across arenas such as connected healthcare, retail, home security and connected cars.
Infosys and SMART Enterprise will:
Empower global businesses to nurture new growth avenues by harnessing technologies, like Big Data, Cloud, Mobility and Social Media, to draw insights from data collected from machines
Establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) at SMART Enterprise, Philippines to serve as a collaborative forum to foster innovation and co-create new integrated solutions in the M2M and Internet of Everything space
Work closely with the local innovation ecosystem to draw on their collective best practice and intellectual capital
Leverage high performance solutions from Infosys, to design customized offerings for providers – including those who are a part of the Conexus Mobile Alliance in Asia and Japan
Dheeshjith V.G., Senior Vice President, Unit Head – Growth Markets, Infosys:
“To sustain growth in today’s digital economy, forward looking enterprises are seeking new ways to deliver a more positive and differentiated customer experience while reducing cost and simplifying technology.”
“The teaming up of two innovative companies, Infosys and SMART Enterprise, will help businesses better understand their customers and market conditions, which are dynamically changing in our ‘connected’ world. Open collaboration with the ecosystem will allow our clients to test new concepts for intelligent systems while simultaneously reducing risk.”
Jovy I Hernandez, First Vice President & Head, PLDT ALPHA Enterprise and SMART Enterprise, Sales & Marketing:
“We share a vision that the ‘Internet of Everything’ will help enterprises rely on their remote assets and connected devices to transform their business. The Centre of Excellence is expected to accelerate solutions development, streamline product delivery and give rise to new business models that help enterprises run more effectively and stay competitive. We believe that the SMART-Infosys relationship backed by the Center will allow us and our clients to have more efficient operations and generate new revenue streams.”
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Microsoft joins key industry groups to deliver on promise of the Internet of Things
Post from Kevin Dallas, General Manager, IoT, Microsoft.
The Internet of Things (IoT) represents an undeniable opportunity across a range of industries, a topic many of my colleagues have covered at length over the past few months. We believe that there is a critical set of work our industry must undertake in order to make sure we deliver the right set of platforms and services to realize the IoT opportunity.
Microsoft is committed to being an active participant in these discussions, and today I am pleased to share that we are joining two key industry efforts to help drive the right set of industry outcomes for IoT:
Microsoft has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and its founding members AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel in a collaboration that extends across industry, academia and government. The IIC’s goal is to reduce customers’ required time and complexity for building intelligent systems through open interoperability standards and common architectures to connect smart devices, machines, people, processes and data.
Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, which was established in December 2013 to address a major challenge facing IoT, enabling smart, connected devices and objects to work together regardless of brand, operating system and other infrastructure considerations. AllSeen Alliance members are collaborating on a universal software framework, based on AllJoyn open source code, which allows devices to autonomously discover and interact with nearby products regardless of their underlying proprietary technology or communications protocols. Microsoft joins Cisco, Haier, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm Connected Experiences Inc., Sharp, Silicon Image, Technicolor and TP-Link, in addition to more than 40 other member companies.
We believe the promise of IoT lies in making new and existing devices smarter by connecting them to services in the cloud. At Microsoft, we are focused both on a powerful device platform and great services through Microsoft Azure to deliver great technology to developers, partners and customers.
In order for us to collectively realize the full potential of IoT, it’s imperative we have the right conversations as a community to enable these new and emerging devices and cloud services to be able to communicate and interact properly. It’s a big moment for the industry, and we face a critical choice – do we adopt a standards-based approach that enables scale and interoperability, or do we allow the industry to fracture into miniature ecosystems that encourage lock-in and forces customers to work harder to get the benefit out of the more than 212 billion “connected things” IDC predicted we’ll see by the end of 2020?
In many ways, our opportunity is similar to the early days of the Web. Imagine if the http protocol was not a standard adopted by everyone? Would the Web have been as impactful in creating the global connectivity and business opportunities that have defined the past two decades? These are industry challenges. No single company will solve these problems, and the need to make sure we are on the right path together is stronger than ever as new devices and services are launched almost every day.
Our recent Windows, Azure Intelligent Systems Service, and Azure Machine Learning announcements represent some of our most recent examples of the investments we’re making in a comprehensive and robust M2M/SCADA platform to power the Internet of Your Things.
We look forward to engaging with IIC and AllSeen Alliance members to develop technologies that will improve peoples’ lives while fostering the interoperability, security and the dependability of the systems on which the world is built.
Source: Microsoft blog
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Tele2 and NetComm Wireless announce M2M partnership
Tele2 AB (Tele2) and NetComm Wireless Limited today announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to create new Machine-to-Machine (M2M)/Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities for vertical markets.
This is achieved by transforming asset management capabilities in areas such as industrial automation, security, smart cities and healthcare.
The alliance forms part of a broader collaboration between leading M2M/IoT ecosystem partners selected by Tele2 and NetComm Wireless to provide end-to-end solutions easily applied to a broad range of M2M/IoT applications across key industry sectors.
NetComm Wireless’ M2M/IoT devices provide the network connection and remote management components, enhancing operational and cost efficiencies by allowing businesses to monitor and control mission-critical equipment and valuable assets over the Tele2 network.
Rami Avidan, Head of Tele2 M2M Global Solutions, comments:
“Tele2 set out to build partnerships that make it simple and viable for business customers to deploy M2M/IoT across their entire organisation and we look forward to working with NetComm Wireless to deliver the seamless connection, customization and control capabilities needed to achieve this objective.”
David Stewart, CEO and Managing Director at NetComm Wireless, comments:
“The European wireless M2M/IoT market is experiencing solid growth and we are pleased to partner with Tele2 to satisfy the strong demand that we have seen coming from a wide range of industries across Europe and globally.”
NetComm Wireless’ industrial-grade 3G/4G M2M devices feature a Software Development Kit (SDK) for flexible customization and are equipped with industry standard protocols for remote device management capabilities so business customers can troubleshoot, upgrade firmware and rollout new applications via the Tele2 network in real time.
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Is LTE the Future of M2M?
Guest post by Eva Enanoria, LeadingQuest
The concept of interconnected devices and smart monitoring systems that require less or no human intervention used to be so limited and mostly powered and operated by either large corporations or the government itself. But as technology shifts its focus on the Internet of Things and M2M technology, manufacturers, application developers and even consumers begin to embrace new trends, and businesses begin to venture into new markets. The consumer’s view of connected products is epitomized by the use of Smartphones, wearable technology, mobile and cardless payment transactions as well as the new connected car technology. However, on a business to business side, the concept of connected devices has become an integral part, embodied in telematics applications, smart grid technology, telemetric applications in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, home security as well as healthcare.
The deployment of M2M has been around for years. And one that propelled its continued development is the involvement of 2G communication networks, since it is sufficient for low bandwidth applications. Over 90 percent of existing M2M wireless modules operate on 2G, according to Beecham Research. However, 3G technology has become a standard for most consumer technology products, driven by the increase in demand for smartphones, tablets, dongles and mobile connectivity in general, thereby prompting the need to migrate some of these older networks. In fact, one of the major telecom operators in the US has announced the shutdown of their 2G networks to proactively steer subscribers to 3G connectivity, offering a relatively huge increase in speed. 3G offers a good number of advantages for M2M devices as well, such as larger amounts of data are being transmitted and more complex applications across different industries can be supported. However, the shift can bring about quite an incremental cost for operators, which may hinder the whole process.
It has also raised concerns among M2M module operators. If moving 2G to 3G is expensive, then the migration of 3G networks to Long Term Evolution (LTE), which may eventually happen in the relatively near future, can cost a hefty of bucks from equipment upgrade to support the technology. Although, it appears to some that 4G/LTE is not what M2M communication and development really needs. While it offers better, faster connections for mobile data users and consumers, it may be a different scenario altogether for M2M module providers and operators. Aside from a powerful hardware premium requirement, the migration to LTE needs more bandwidth, band fragmentation that adds cost and making it more complex, especially that 90 percent of existing modules still operate on 2G networks. LTE especially in its very early stage of development, may bring inconsistency in coverage for mission-critical applications. This is where most of the reluctance of M2M operators comes from.
On the other hand, many operators and end users are already exploring LTE in their M2M solution deployment. 4G/LTE implementation has begun in some regions in Europe and is now gradually implemented in the US. A report LTE for M2M: The Long-Term Opportunity Begins Now, from Heavyreading.com, identified that one reason users are considering LTE is for future-proofing. According to the report, they would rather pay a premium for LTE hardware today, as opposed to replacing 2G devices when operators decide to shut down their networks, which could be more expensive. It makes much sense as no one really knows how long these 2G networks can remain active. Another consideration for LTE is its spectral efficiency. With LTE, operators expect to reduce the cost of delivering services that use the current communication technologies. It is expected to help them turn a profit on these applications. The report also noted that prices for LTE modules have already decreased to as low $80 and are still expected to decrease by 20 percent annually as vendors and operators continue to look for ways to decrease these premiums.
It is true that thousands of different applications utilizing M2M technology to leverage the Internet of Things, are planned, some are even in testing phase. Some existing M2M modules have already migrated to 3G and some may be ready to move to the next level. And at the rate that technology is evolving, data consumption and demand are rapidly increasing as well, so it is very likely that LTE will become the new standard, and older technologies will eventually be phased out. Network operators would still need to consider network depreciation and the cost to operate these networks, LTE or otherwise. Other considerations may include availability of modems, other technology and coverage, new service pricing models, and legislation.
LTE will be the future of mobile connectivity, no doubt. But is LTE is the future of M2M? That is yet to be seen, as it may take a while before LTE adoption of M2M solutions can grow considerably.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are sole property of the author and do not reflect the opinions of M2M World News unless specifically stated.
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DOCOMO to Offer Japan’s First eSIM for M2M Devices
NTT DOCOMO, INC., a personalized mobile solutions provider for smarter living, announced today it will offer Japan’s first Embedded Subscription Identity Module, or eSIM, a new type of SIM that works on mobile networks of various international operators, for M2M Devices.
DOCOMO’s eSIM, which is able to register phone numbers and other subscription-identity data of DOCOMO and other international operators in machine-to-machine (M2M) devices, such as connected automobiles, industrial equipment and many more, will be available to business customers from June 30.
Conventionally, connecting a M2M device to a local mobile network requires a SIM offered by the operator. DOCOMO’s new eSIM, however, will enable a single embedded SIM to load subscriber identities issued by multiple mobile operators. This will simplify manufacturing and inventory-management tasks over operator-specific SIMs, a major advantage for transnational M2M enterprises and solution providers. Also, subscriber identities stored in the eSIM will be interchangeable as the user moves from country to country with their M2M device, leading to enhanced operability.
DOCOMO’s eSIM will be available as a M2M solution for corporate customers using the docomo M2M Platform in Japan.
The eSIM is an emerging technology in the global M2M industry. DOCOMO, a member of GSMA, has been actively involved in the establishment of an eSIM global standard, which was officially released in December 2013. Going forward, DOCOMO is committed to offering advanced M2M services to support Japanese and international business customers.
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5 reasons the Maker Movement will drive the Internet of Things
By James Mack, KORE Marketing & Channel Development Manager [June 2014]
Making things is cool again! Looking into retail, big chains are out and homemade kitsch is in. In the gaming realm MineCraft and several thousand ‘build your own’ game clones are sweeping the internet. People are fleeing their safe ‘nine to five’ traditional jobs to start up their own business and in true Internet of Things style the frontier DIY spirit is pushing some great innovation in both the consumer and B2B space.
So, why do I think hobbyists and communities of everyday Joes like you and me have a chance to go head to head with the big boys in IoT?
Here are a few reasons:
An essential part to the Maker Movement is the concept of play and to give people the freedom to let their wild ideas loose. This is the type of creativity that gives birth to revolutionary ideas that fundamentally redefine the way we live, work and play.
The main benefit here is that these are the products being developed out of love for the purpose of creativity and problem solving, as opposed to the “innovation” that major corporate and enterprise firms are trying to force. I’m not saying every hobbyist, amateur or maker is some altruistic techno-saint, but what I am saying is when your livelihood doesn’t depend on you being forced to come up with ideas to add wheels to a microwave and constantly think outside of the box, that’s where the real magic can happen. It’s the difference between saying, “we could make more money if…” and “wouldn’t it be cool if…”
2. Rapid Prototyping
Makers aren’t concerned with waiting around for approvals, or for the tools to come along to let them build things. They have an idea or a problem that needs solving and they just go out and get it done, it might not be elegant but it will work eventually!
Some great prototyping solutions are coming out of companies like Libelium, Arduino, u-blox and Gemalto and once you throw in some excellent resources like mbed or github it’s easier than ever for aspiring developers to test their ideas. You build your ideal M2M/IoT application on one of these concept boards, collaborate with other developers and can get something together to gauge demand and test the market in a matter of weeks.
3. Working around limitations
It’s interesting to watch the shifting mindset of Mobile Networks as IoT and M2M becomes more prevalent. As carriers realise the potential revenue that will come with the growth of connected devices they are slowly moving towards a more open and accessible network which will speed developers to market.
While we sit back and wait for that to happen, makers are busily utilising anything and everything at their disposal to overcome the barriers of using a cellular network. This can be anything as simple as utilising Bluetooth, zigbee or WiFi to more complex and innovative solutions like extended radio networks or even companies like SIGFOX.
4. Reductions in complexity
It all comes down to that much loved adage, work smarter not harder. I’ve been to so many tradeshows and events where “experts” take to the stage and throw insider jargon and complicated diagrams up to scare potential adopters into using their expertise. Take the shift in Big Data over the years as an example, where those championing the benefits of spending millions of dollars on infrastructure have been replaced by people evangelising using cloud storage and event driven analytics. We’re poised to see a similar thing in the IoT space where companies are now talking about a giant all encompassing solution to be replaced by lots of smaller nimble organisations doing one part of the eco-system extremely well.
Reducing complexity is a necessity in the maker space, it’s not just about reducing cost but about reducing time. If you’re excited about what you’re creating you want to create it that much faster so you can watch your dream become a reality.
5. Community development
This may be the most important factor in overcoming one of IoTs biggest hurdles, Security. Last month Wired had an excellent article called “Why Gadgets in the Internet of Things need to be
programmed to Die.” The biggest thing I took away from this article was not the concept of killing devices which are no longer supported by developers to prevent security holes, but the
idea of opening end of life devices/applications up to the community to continue the support.
Open source is a pillar of the Maker community with everything from software, designs and even revolutionary mass transport systems (Thanks Elon Musk!) being available online. By building IoT devices around either Open Source development from Day 1 or having an end of life plan which opens the firmware up to the community, when it’s no longer supported, is going to dramatically reduce the questions around security.
So what are you waiting for? Stop dreaming and start making! Get out there and claim your piece of the IoT pie – there’s plenty to go around…
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