IoT news of the week for March 9, 2018

  • Posted by admin on March 10, 2018

Haier’s business transformation takes Six Sigma to the new era:  For anyone trying to figure out what digital transformation will actually mean for their business, bookmark this article by Zhang Ruimin, chairman of Chinese appliance firm Haier. In it, he writes about a new business model Haier developed called rendanheyi. As he explains, “Ren refers to the employees, dan means user value, and heyi indicates unity and an awareness of the whole system.” He shares how Haier exported this philosophy to the acquired GE Appliance group and explains why it matters for what he calls the IoT economy. It also ties into Bill Ruh’s thinking about designing your product for the end user experience. Ruh is the chief digital officer at GE. (strategy + business)

Another vote for IoT helping the planet: We’re going to see a 1.5 times increase in energy consumption over the next 20 years. Ensuring that we produce that energy safely and don’t waste it will mean greater connectivity in the energy grid and the components that comprise the grid, according to Andy Bennett, senior vice president of IoT EcoStruxure at Schneider Electric. The article gives an overview of a related talk he gave, which combines the much-derided connected hairbrush from CES 2017 with connected breaker boxes. (Automation World)

Now your factory sensors can have NB-IoT: A company called u-blox has built and certified the first NB-IoT module to be used in harsh industrial environments. This could allow the cellular operators to take a slice of the industrial sensor market, where concerns over security and tough RF environments have many using proprietary wireless standards or even wires. (Electronic Engineering Journal)

A security challenge I hadn’t thought of: This article talks about why companies release insecure IoT products. Much of this ground has been covered before, but I appreciated its perspective on how vendors of insecure products are loathe to recall their products if they can’t patch a flaw with an over-the-air upgrade. The article notes that many startups facing a recall would go out of business, leaving users worse off. The example it gives is the first generation of the iKettle, which had a tremendous flaw. Successive generations fixed it, however, and the company has gone on to build some very cool, and secure, products. The moral here may be not to buy first-generation products from startups, but that’s a pretty crap lesson to take from this. (PenTest Partners blog)

OCF combines with industrial IoT group: The Open Connectivity Foundation, which is currently trying to create interoperability standards for the IoT, has partnered with the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). The groups will cooperate to develop an open-source integration to help devices and services work with both the OCF standards as well as the one M2M standard. I’m still waiting on more OCF users and use cases, but maybe this just takes time. (ATIS)

A thoughtful take on Alexa ads: Right now, Amazon sees tremendous benefits from the success of Alexa, but the people who make the device so compelling may not see any revenue from their efforts. Some developers do get paid for their skills, but so far, big brands are not monetizing their efforts. This article explores how that may change in the future and what an ad on a smart speaker platform might look like. (Nieman Lab)

The LoRa Alliance gets a new CEO:  Donna Moore will replace outgoing Chair and CEO Geoff Mulligan as CEO of the LoRa Alliance, the group driving the creation and use of the LoRaWAN standard. Prior to this, Moore was CEO of SpireSpark, a company that designs, builds, and manages worldwide certification, compliance, and conformance programs. She was also executive director of the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA). DLNA was a popular but glitchy standard, so my hope is that LoRaWAN doesn’t head down that path. (LoRa Alliance)

Look, it’s a new IoT blockchain effort! Alibaba has signed a partnership with Xiamen ZhongChuan IoT Industry Research Institute to promote the Waltonchain block chain for smart cities’ efforts. While much of the world focuses on blockchain technology as a speculative cryptocurrency, I’m stoked about its ability to create a unit of trust and a means for transactions between millions of machines. Other efforts in this space include IOTA, Computes, and plenty more I haven’t focused on yet. (FinanceMagnates)

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Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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