IoT news of the week for June 22, 2018

  • Posted by admin on June 23, 2018

Rigado gets $ 15 million for edge services: If a company wants to create some kind of connected service, it has a long road ahead. It must figure out the connected devices it wants to use (or build), what cloud it wants to use (or build), and get a basic level of monitoring and orchestration set up. Then the complexity of building actual applications on that basic platform will begin to emerge. It’s those applications/services that create the real value, but getting to them can take years of work. To solve that challenge, Rigado helps companies by taking on all of that basic infrastructure itself. It offers a box that customers can connect their devices to that handles management and security; the data is then sent to Microsoft Azure. The company used to sell the basic modules (and it still does), but like many companies embarking in the IoT space, it found that its customers were confused by them. That’s why Rigado added the gateway layer and an easier-to-implement user interface for customers that want to build connected services. With this funding it looks like it’s found a market investors believe in. (Geekwire)

Crate.io gets $ 11 million: I’m so glad that instead of having to explain what Crate.io is doing, I can just send you to this awesome article at The Next Platform, which explains it all and puts Crate.io’s database technology into context. The tl;dr version is that it is more flexible than a lot of the existing time series databases that the IoT world is so excited about and it can handle SQL queries. But go read the details if you care about this sort of thing. (The Next Platform)

AT&T is launching its NB-IoT network: We discussed this on the podcast, but for those who don’t want to listen, the big takeaway here is that NB-IoT, with its smaller data rates, is gaining ground in the U.S. After T-Mobile announced it would build an NB-IoT network this year, Verizon followed suit, saying it would have one in place nationwide before the end of 2018. Now AT&T is saying it will cover Mexico and the U.S. with an NB-IoT network before the end of next year. This is a bit of a shift for the U.S. carriers. They have already invested in LTE-Cat M1 networks, which offer faster data rates of around 1 Mbps — about four times the rate of NB-IoT networks. However, it is bad news for companies such as Ingenu and Sigfox, both of which are promoting other low-power networks for the internet of things. (AT&T)

Building smarter buildings: This article looks at the challenges that smart buildings can help address and exposes some surprising facts. For example, half the buildings in the U.S. were built between 1970 and 2000, which means their mechanical parts are rapidly breaking down. Using predictive algorithms, building managers can get ahead of some of the problems before those parts break and the problems become even bigger. The story covers companies working to make buildings more comfortable, as well those focused on predictive maintenance and reducing energy use. (Medium)

MIT’s making a smart outlet: Smarter infrastructure will have to become part of smarter buildings, which is why this research on a smarter connected outlet from MIT caught my eye. A traditional smart outlet lets users turn devices that are plugged into it on and off from their phone. It might also measure energy consumption. MIT’s proposed outlet is much smarter. It understands the current required by specific appliances and tracks it against the draw of the appliance that’s plugged into it. This stops the outlet from automatically interrupting the circuit unless it’s absolutely necessary. Currently, outlets are equipped with electronics that run older algorithms, which automatically turn off the outlet if it perceives a problem. But MIT says those are overly sensitive. And adding newer electronics and algorithms could provide more data to building management systems, which could then be used to save on electricity costs, optimize energy usage, or more. Unfortunately, MIT’s grand vision of this outlet being part of an overall smarter building is doomed without some good IoT standards. (New Electronics)

MIT’s making a super tiny chip for the IoT: MIT scientists have developed a really power-efficient navigation chip called Navion that could be used for insect-sized drones or even smart pills that travel through the body taking measurements. The chips is about 0.03 square inches and uses only 24 mW. Despite being tiny and power-sipping, it can process camera images at 171 frames per second. (Engadget)

A fascinating data donation project: The City of Ontario is offering developers and researchers access to the health data it has on all of its citizens. This is awesome, in that it could enable new insights into disease and treatments, boost competition, as well as let developers build products that could make patients’ lives easier. However, it also opens up the possibility of the data getting sucked up by companies trying to get insights for marketing purposes or worse. It’s also easy for data to travel to other providers and be used for nefarious purposes, something U.S. telecommunications providers have recently discovered. U.S. telcos have stopped selling their data to third parties after one of their data buyers resold the location data to the police. In this case, the data could be anonymized, but there’s no word on people being able to opt out. (Quartz)

Get your suit out for a trip to D.C.: The Federal Trade Commission will hold hearings later this year to try to figure out what to do about data collection, privacy, new business models, etc., and how a variety of new technologies might “require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement law, enforcement priorities, and policy.” The FTC lists several areas of concern and is soliciting public comment through August 20. So go visit the site and speak your mind. (FTC)

I bet Marc Benioff has some comments for the FTC hearings: The CEO of Salesforce wrote an essay in Politico calling for the creation of a national privacy law. He said it should include transparency around data collection and what it is used for, the ability of a consumer to control their data, and punishments for companies that violate the law. I have a lot more elements to add, such as a requirement that a device or service that a consumer pays for should not force that consumer to share their data in order to use the product, and that companies that collect data track both who they sell it to and what those companies do with it. (Politico)

I wrote about IoT security: You can read it at the link. (IEEE Spectrum)

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