Why 2018 is the year of AI

Why 2018 is the year of AI

Why 2018 is the year of AI

Exclusive guest post by Thomas Rockmann, VP Connected Home at Deutsche Telekom.

We’ve been promised so much over the years, but now AI is ready to deliver. From connected cars and smart homes, through to improved ambient assisted living (AAL), AI is the common thread that unites them all.

This is the year of AI

Analysts predicted that worldwide revenues for cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems will reach $ 12.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 59.3% over 2016, and that investment will continue that trajectory, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54.4% through 2020 when revenues will be more than $ 46 billion.

The analysts might just be right this time too, as the supporting base of technology has caught up with the demands and opportunities offered by improved AI. A clear example was at CES 2018, one of the biggest annual showcases of technology, which lit up Las Vegas in early January, and much of the major noise this year was around AI and associated devices.

The trend in 2017 of big-brand-backed home speakers with baked in voice assistants has extended and diversified, with Apple and Google joining the chase, while market leader Amazon has diversified. At CES 2018, a wide range of smart home devices integrated with Amazon Alexa stole the show, including showers, mirrors, light switches, microwave ovens and cars, to name but a few. Meanwhile Samsung announced that all 2018 Smart TVs and future TVs would include the company’s AI voice assistant Bixby – not just connected entertainment, but voice enabled AI entertainment.

Of course, it is the smart companion that is at the heart of the overall concept, helping run your home, car and life whether you are at home or on the go. Most consumers find that there is a single-entry point into the smart home space, and in many cases the voice-enabled assistant is proving to be a comfortable starting point.

The market for in-home AI assistants is certainly accelerating – indeed, at Deutsche Telekom we have recently announced plans to speed up the transition to AI during 2018 with the launch of an own-brand assistant and AI-enabled consumer speaker product to control smart home devices and DT’s services such as EntertainTV.

The logistical barriers to entry are very low – unbox, plug in, connect to Wi-Fi – yet the possibilities are extensive, and the ability to connect to other smart home services enormous. From that starting point the possibility to add in smart lighting, or a connected camera or doorbell is clear, and a seamless integration to boot.

Artificial IntelligenceAn obvious area for consumers to extend this smart control into is the car, and the rise of the connected car is just beginning to demonstrate the appetite for intelligent assistants in the passenger seat. Indeed, at CES it was announced that Amazon Alexa will be embedded into Toyota and Lexus cars later this year. This announcement follows on from Volkswagen’s Car-Net App Connect, showcased last September, which allows car owners to conveniently control our Magenta SmartHome technology features while on the road. By linking an Android smartphone to the Volkswagen Car-Net App Connect, drivers will be able to control Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta SmartHome app via their vehicle entertainment system, carrying out tasks such as deactivating a security system, switching on exterior lights and controlling the home’s heating system to ensure a comfortable temperature on arrival.

It is easy to see how this wave of innovation will begin to impact on our homes and communities, allowing highly granular sharing of information to improve the quality of resident’s everyday lives. Soon the precise location of a homeowner will not impact on their awareness of – and crucially ability to respond to – a home-related event.

A neighbour can hear a smoke alarm alert, but the homeowner is still driving home? Perhaps a remote reset or battery test will do the trick – or a smart lock could be opened remotely, and manual checks made. The advent of community IoT networks will enable the sharing of key data to enable smoother, easier resolutions to a whole range of small but niggling issues, as well as more serious questions of community safety. The increased abilities of AI to personalise these, as well as recognise the differences between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ patterns will broaden adoption and remove bottlenecks and pain points, such as simplifying setup routines.

This combination of enhanced intelligence and broadening adoption will also begin to have an impact on a large but historically dormant market – the AAL market. The impact of AI on AAL will prompt a sea-change itself in the coming years, as rather than having to create a rules-based system (if I get up in the night, turn on the bathroom light), smart home and AAL systems will increasingly learn and apply context in specific situations, a key benefit in smoothing adoption.

Meanwhile, the growth of voice-enabled or enhanced AI plays particularly well in the AAL context, where the ability to control devices with semantic speech is vital for several reasons. Not only does it remove the need to physically engage with small or hard-to-reach devices, but speech control also rescues the user from engaging with the hardware, the OS, the UI – these are all invisible to the speech controller, which negates many technical barriers.

Just one example is Deutsche Telekom’s Qivicon, which interoperates with Amazon Echo via an Alexa skill. The result is that customers can control their lights, blinds, alarm systems and much more with just their voice. Different users can add an additional layer of personalisation by creating ‘situations’, such as an “Off to bed” situation where the lights are switched off in the living room and dimmed in the hallway, the heating is turned down and the blinds lowered.

The power of AI to unify use cases and ‘level up’ human engagement with the nuts and bolts of technology will perhaps prove one of its most widely felt impacts. While 2018 may not see a complete sea change in the ability of the technology, it will certainly deliver a considerably enhanced base of integrated devices in the hands of consumers, which will in turn refine use cases as well as improve the underlying systems. Welcome to the future!

For more information, visit: https://smarthome.telekom.net/

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The future of IoT spells blockchain and AI – the reality of blockchain today mainly spells cryptocurrency and hype

The future of IoT spells blockchain and AI – the reality of blockchain today mainly spells cryptocurrency and hype

The future of IoT spells blockchain and AI – the reality of blockchain today mainly spells cryptocurrency and hype

An article by Nicolas Windpassinger**, Global Vice President of Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert Partner Program and the author of the IoT book Digitize or Die*.

The future of the Internet of Things (IoT) on various levels is an integrated one. Especially, the mix of IoT, blockchain and cognitive computing will lead to myriad new outcomes.

In my digital transformation and IoT book ‘Digitize or Die‘, blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence are mentioned several times. The standardization of the IoT, for instance will create the conditions for more interoperability, connectivity, “digital trust” with blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) distribution between heterogeneous components and systems.

Blockchain technology, in many cases combined with AI, doesn’t just promise to be the missing link enabling peer to peer contractual behavior without any third party to “certify” the IoT transaction. It also answers the challenge of scalability, single point of failure, time stamping, record, privacy, trust and reliability in a very consistent way.

How the mix of IoT, AI and blockchain is shaping the future of business

I am convinced that blockchain and AI will unlock the promises of IoT. In fact, we already see a lot of this happening in the EcoXpert environment of smart building and energy systems where convergence is the name of the game and existing silos are being replaced by new solutions. IoT ecosystems take center stage in these solutions and inevitably come with advanced data analysis, using AI, to meet changing customer expectations.

In a broader IoT perspective, blockchain is increasingly joining that mix of technologies as well. An example of where it fits, on top of the mentioned ones, and where it is gaining attention is that of IoT, blockchain and security.

Obviously, I don’t stand alone in seeing that convergence of IoT, blockchain and AI becoming ever more important and shaping the foundations of the future of business. According to research firm IDC the future of Enterprise Resource Software (ERP), which it calls Intelligent ERP, even largely consists of a mix of IoT, blockchain and cognitive (with other factors). IDC predicts that by 2021 a fifth of the largest manufacturers will depend on a secure backbone of embedded intelligence, using IoT, blockchain and cognitive, to automate large-scale processes and speed execution times by up to 25%.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies: the different realities and views of the enabling technology of Bitcoin versus cryptocurrencies at the World Economic Forum 2018

Many people confuse blockchain with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While blockchain, as an enabler, is really the technological foundation of these cryptocurrencies, its application areas stretch far beyond. This does not mean that cryptocurrencies have no future. However, that future, is not easy to predict and opinions largely vary.

At the World Economic Forum 2018, cryptocurrencies were a highly discussed topic. In the wake of high fluctuations across virtually all cryptocurrencies, opinions on Bitcoin and others went from high skepticism, calls for regulation and statements that especially the blockchain technology mattered to concerns regarding illicit activity in the crypto world. Yet, there were also forecasts that, after the current state of concern, volatility and, indeed, hype, cryptocurrencies would enter a far more stable stage and be here to stay.

The craze and hype regarding cryptocurrencies and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) indeed is not really helping. January 2018 was probably one of the months that broke all records concerning the volume of opinions and news defending cryptocurrencies, skeptical and fear-mongering opinions and launches of more initiatives.

The cryptocraze: KODAKCoin and how to see your stock price boost

Kodak, the bitcoin effect
One of the most covered and surprising moves was that of Kodak. In my book I cover how Kodak missed the boat of digitalization, whereas its main contender, Japan’s Fujifilm entered the local market of Kodak, rapidly grabbing an increasing share of the market of digital cameras, which were invented at Kodak.

Yet, Fujifilm ended up taking the right decisions while Kodak wasn’t ready to embrace digital photography and, soon after, the smartphone with built-in cameras, two deadly technological disruptions that were dealt with entirely different by both companies.

Kodak is now also – indirectly – entering the crypto-world. With an ICO on January 31st, a company that licensed the Kodak brand kicks off a blockchain for digital rights management for photographers under the Kodak brand (KODAKOne) and a cryptocurrency called KODAKCoin. Moreover, a second brand license partner is launching a Kodak-branded bitcoin miner, Kodak KashMiner, with a wrong ROI model as time and computer power are tightly linked to Bitcoin’s ROI.

While the initiative cannot be compared with that of ‘open cryptocurrencies’ and there is a lot more to it as mentioned in my blog post on the Kodak initiative, the reaction on the news was a clear indication of this current cryptocraze.

After the announcement, at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018, the stock price of Kodak skyrocketed. It has continued to be relatively steady with occasional spikes until now. Whether it’s a strategy of Kodak or a side-effect of a brand licensing partnership as the company has several, for now is hard to tell. Whether the initiative(s) will work is even harder to tell.
Chart: Kodak stock price
What is for sure, though is that it seems to suffice to announce a cryptocurrency and an ICO to see your stock price go up in a way that clearly shows an overvaluation of it. Creating a cryptocurrency is not so difficult, just have a look at the list of all the recent ICOs: https://coinmarketcap.com/all/views/all/.

The difficulty is to create an ecosystem that drives value into your currency, making it unique and trustworthy. A cryptocurrency is only worth the trust people put into it. And as far as IoT is concerned, the technology enabling it all, blockchain, looks far more promising.

* About the Book
IoT book: Digitize or Die by Nicolas WindpassingerUnderstand, master, and survive the Internet of Things with one simple and pragmatic methodology broken down into four steps. Digitize or Die is used by front-line business decision makers to digitize their strategy, portfolio, business model, and organization. This book describes what the IoT is, its impacts and consequences, as well as how to leverage the digital transformation to your benefit.

Inside these pages, you will learn:

  • What the IoT means to all businesses
  • Why the IoT and the digital revolution is a threat to your business model and survival
  • What you need to understand to better grasp the problem
  • The four steps your company needs to follow to transform its operations to survive

** About the Author
With 15+ years of computer networking industry experience, Nicolas Windpassinger is the Global Vice President of Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program, whose mission is to connect the technologies and expertise of the world’s leading technology providers, pioneer the future of intelligent buildings and the Internet of Things, and deliver smarter, integrated and more efficient services and solutions to customers.
As a result of his work, Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program has been granted a 5-Star rating in the 2017 Partner Program Guide by CRN®, which is part of The Channel Company group. The 5-Star Partner Program Guide rating recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs.
Nicolas has been recognized by The Channel Company’s Top Midmarket IT Executives list. This annual list honors influential vendor and solution provider executives who have demonstrated an exceptionally strong commitment to the midmarket. The Channel Company, has recognized Nicolas as one of 100 People You Don’t Know But Should in the IT channel for 2017.

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IDEMIA and Arkessa Partner on eUICC to Drive Growth in Industrial and Enterprise IoT

IDEMIA and Arkessa Partner on eUICC to Drive Growth in Industrial and Enterprise IoT

IDEMIA and Arkessa Partner on eUICC to Drive Growth in Industrial and Enterprise IoT

IDEMIA, the global leader in Augmented Identity for an increasingly digital world, and Arkessa, a leading M2M/IoT connectivity service provider, have today announced the extension of their partnership to deliver eUICC and Subscription Management services to global Enterprise and Industrial IoT customers.

Arkessa’s connectivity management services include a global cellular footprint built on international roaming and local network integrations with the leading mobile network operators (MNOs) reducing barriers for IoT.

The platform now includes IDEMIA eUICC and subscription management services and brings consistency and reliability to the installation process and operational performance. The ability to switch or localise SIM profiles without the burden of recalling or visiting devices gives Enterprise IoT customers greater freedom to customise according to business needs, technical or commercial.

This freedom, combined with a range of radio technology choices from 2G, 3G, 4G, NB-IoT, LTE Cat M to 5G, is accelerating Cellular IoT adoption on a global scale. The combined capability of Arkessa and IDEMIA will simplify and reduce the barriers for large scale Enterprise IoT deployment.

The eUICC based solution is transforming how OEMs design and deploy enterprise-grade IoT solutions. OEMs in all sectors most notably in the Automotive, Consumer and Household appliance markets, can now build global connectivity into their products which enable a superior user-experience resembling what is usually only seen with premium smart-phone or e-reader devices. IoT devices do not typically have screens making the network services the critical components in delivering a zero-touch provisioning and operational experience.

Yves Portalier, Executive Vice-President for Connected objects activities at IDEMIA declares:

“Arkessa’s multi-network MVNO platform coupled with IDEMIA’s eUICC and Subscription Management services mean that we can deliver future-proofed and secure connectivity solutions globally and for all types of IoT businesses.”

“We appreciate Arkessa’s leading go-to-market position thanks to their strong international channel partnerships.”

Andrew Orrock, CEO at Arkessa says: “We are excited to extend our partnership with IDEMIA and take a leadership position in Enterprise IoT solutions and services. The control, flexibility and global reach of eUICC is having a profound impact on IoT businesses and we see an astonishing opportunity pipeline across the whole range of sectors that Arkessa serves. Healthcare, automotive, robotics, household and office appliances, drones, retail and vending are all strong examples.”

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Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and 18 Others Compared in MachNation’s Newest IoT Platform ScoreCard

Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and 18 Others Compared in MachNation's Newest IoT Platform ScoreCard

Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and 18 Others Compared in MachNation's Newest IoT Platform ScoreCard

MachNation announces the availability of its IoT Application Enablement Platform (AEP) ScoreCard for 2018, an in-depth rating of 21 Internet of Things (IoT) platform vendors.

According to MachNation forecast data, IoT platform revenue will grow 89% in 2018. MachNation forecasts that 2018 IoT platform revenue will reach USD3.3 billion with increased purchasing from enterprises in manufacturing, automotive, logistics/distribution, utility and smart cities sectors. Rather than building their own platforms, MachNation finds that enterprises are choosing to purchase cloud-based offerings from best-in-class IoT AEP vendors.

chart: IoT forecasts - IoT application enablement and device management platform revenue 2017-2026“MachNation’s fourth annual ScoreCard is the industry’s largest, longest-running, most complete, independent evaluation of IoT platforms,” said Dima Tokar, CTO and head analyst, MachNation. “Enterprises, service providers, systems integrators and application developers use MachNation’s ScoreCard to gain critical information about top-tier platforms in the global market.”

Many of the IoT platforms evaluated in the ScoreCard are separately evaluated in MachNation IoT Test Environment (MIT-E), MachNation’s hands-on test and comparison lab. MachNation is the only firm in the world that conducts hands-on tests of IoT platforms and makes test-based comparison data available for platforms like Microsoft IoT, Amazon AWS IoT, IBM Watson IoT, Software AG Cumulocity IoT and others.

MachNation’s ScoreCard contains several quadrants and matrices to help clarify a muddy, yet booming platform ecosystem. The ScoreCard ranks vendors using 15 detailed technical and business criteria including developer focus, deployment models, operational sophistication, partnerships and strategy.

“Platform vendors all have similar marketing for their products,” said Samuel Hale, analyst and testing specialist, MachNation.

“If you’re serious about understanding platform differences, you need to dig deeply into their products and capabilities. Our ScoreCard and MIT-E do that.”

According to Hale, “In order to capture the key trends in the ecosystem, we completed an in-depth analysis of the following vendors: Amazon, AT&T, Axonize, Ayla Networks, Bosch, ClearBlade, Ericsson, HPE, Huawei, IBM, InterDigital, Microsoft, Oracle, PTC, Relayr, SAP, Scriptr.io, SiteWhere, Software AG, Telit and TheThings.iO.”

For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/2H9q2vJ

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Semtech’s LoRa Technology Help Saves Alzheimer Patients in Real-Time

Semtech’s LoRa Technology Help Saves Alzheimer Patients in Real-Time

Semtech’s LoRa Technology Help Saves Alzheimer Patients in Real-Time

The police in Korea plan to give Lineable’s Silver, a wearable Internet of Things (IoT) device, for free to actively locate Alzheimer patients.

Semtech Corporation announced that Lineable, a Seoul-based startup manufacturer of GPS trackers, has integrated LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) in its new wearable safety device, Silver.

Lineable’s Silver device, co-developed by the National Police Agency of Korea, SK Telecom and SK Hynix, is specifically designed for patients with Alzheimer’s. Through a hybrid GPS system, caregivers are notified when patients leave the house or out of the designated safe zone.

Many patients are not constantly monitored by a supervisor, and in Korea, about 10,000 Alzheimer patients go missing each year. Silver is currently being used by the police in Korea and the police plan to distribute 3,000 devices each year to Alzheimer patients, free of charge. During its first month of service in October 2017, the Silver device helped save six patients and in three months, it helped save 20 more patients.

“The Lineable LoRa-based device provides a universal solution for tracking Alzheimer patients at a low cost due to its low battery consumption and wide network coverage,” said Harris Shim, Head of Business Operations at Lineable.

“SK Telecom has created the first nationwide LoRaWAN™ network and Lineable is one of the first companies to develop a solution that leverages Semtech’s LoRa Technology to track people’s location.”

“Lineable’s Silver wearable technology has already seen early success in Korea by being able to locate Alzheimer patients in real-time,” said Vivek Mohan, Director of Wireless and Sensing Products Group at Semtech. “The LoRa-based device is able help the community and its police force by providing a technology that gives families peace of mind.”

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