IoT Forum is one of the top IoT blogs worldwide

Blowing own trumpet here – but really chuffed to see that our IoT Forum blog is listed here as one of the top 50 best IoT blogs and websites!

50+ of the Best Internet of Things (IoT) Blogs and Websites

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Frictionless payment in the Internet of Things era: Visa and IBM

It took Visa 50 years to reach three billion plastic credit cards globally. A great business model for the 1960s but one that is impossible to scale in 2017. So Visa announced a partnership with IBM in Munich on February 16, 2017 to enable any device to carry payment credentials and perform financial transactions.

Your car pays for you, the gas pump takes your coffee order

Take your car. It will work like this: before you arrive at a gas station, your car wirelessly reaches out to a pump to get pre-authorization for the amount of gas you need to fill up. It also signals to the pump which grade of gas you want. All you have to do is drive up and pump the gas. Imagine that while you’re filling your tank the pump asks you if you want a coffee with one cream and two sugars. You do and you say so. When you’re finished filling up, you walk into the store and your paid for coffee is waiting for you. You grab it and go.

Transact anywhere, any time

The Internet of Things (IoT) will allow all sorts of devices to be connected to the internet and the IBM/Visa announcement will allow for these devices to be payment enabled. It means that the point of sale can be anywhere.

With a plastic credit card, to have a transaction you need a terminal and a wired phone line. With mobile connectivity and connected devices, you’ll be able to transact anything, anywhere, anytime. The partnership will work on embedding payment processing in both hardware and software.

It’s frustrating to find a parking space in a big city. Imagine that in a few years, it’s your car, not you, that is working to find a parking spot. When one is open close to where you’re going, the car reserves it and pays for it, so you just park and get out of your car. It’s fast and simple.

Experts estimate that there will be 380 million connected cars by 2021 and a staggering 20 to 50 billion devices (depending on which analyst’s numbers you believe).

Enabling new business models

This will also allow for new business models. Imagine you need to buy a washing machine. But instead of paying $ 1,000 for it you agree to buy it on a per use basis: paying $ 2.50 a load of laundry and guaranteeing at least 100 uses per year. And if you use it more you will just pay on a per use basis.

Jim McCarthy, Visa’s Global Head of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, was wearing a payment ring that Visa uses to transact. Already many payment enabled devices use biometric data for authentication and security. For instance, with Apple Pay you need your fingerprint to log into your smartphone to authenticate. Other devices currently look for the pattern of your heartbeat to authenticate you.

McCarthy cited the example of Amazon Go, a trial store in Seattle for Amazon employees. When you walk into the store, your smartphone handshakes with the store. Using a series of technologies – computer vision, artificial intelligence and others – the store tracks what you take and you walk out of the store. The payment just happens. This technologies have existed since 2010 but it is just now being put together to allow this seamless, integrated customer experience. This is the early stage of where retail is going.

Take a look at the video below to see Jim McCarthy’s discussion in full:

Jim Harris writes, consults and speaks on disruptive innovation. His last book, Blindsided, is a #1 international bestseller published in 80 countries worldwide. He speaks at 40 conferences a year around the world on disruptive innovation and works with executive teams. You can follow him on Twitter or email him.

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Smart Water Technologies Help Cities Get Smarter

Forward-thinking towns and cities are leveraging IoT technology to emerge as smart cities. What each have in common is the intelligent use of integrated solutions and a common set of goals to improve city infrastructure, create more efficient and cost effective municipal services, and keep citizens safe and more engaged in the community.

A recent MIT Enterprise Forum panel brought together experts from business, education and government in a lively discussion centered around addressing the inherent challenges cities face with water quality, safety and efficiency. Essentially, how to help cities get smarter with their resources.

The panel, entitled “Can Smart Water Technologies Quench the Thirst of our Modern Cities?” and moderated by Galen Nelson of Massachusetts’ clean energy agency Mass CEC, offered insight into the goals, projects, and emergent technologies set to address what promises to become an increasingly pressing global challenge. Experts like John Sullivan of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Professor David Reckhow of UMass and the Water Innovation Network for Sustainability Small Systems, and Scott McCarley Sr. Director of Solution Management for Smart Cities at PTC shared insight and perspective on topics like distributed water systems and informed city management systems.

Sensors and Solutions Turning Cities Smart

Today 30% of the water in city pipes is being lost to leaks. Cities, burdened by burgeoning costs and declining revenues, are forced to deal with aged existing infrastructures that include pipe corrosion and water filtration. With a 90+ audience looking on, PTC’s Scott McCarley shared the role of IoT, ThingWorx, and partner companies already building innovative solutions to solve the toughest challenges.

McCarley gave the audience a glimpse into some of the solutions and how IoT platforms like ThingWorx set the foundation on which real-time, real-world applications have been developed that are helping cities build their Smart capabilities. In France, 20% of drinkable water is spoiled by leakage attributable to aging pipes. By implementing smart water grid solutions, a city can reduce consumption and thus save money.

Companies like Aquamatix, are implementing wastewater facility systems, equipping cities with real time sensor monitoring, and building ‘greywater’ water recycling capabilities around the world.

Another partner, Itron, Inc, is currently developing water main leak detection systems. In the not distant future, augmented reality will play a larger part in these answers, offering a literal view into real-time operating conditions, and the location of pipes and leaks under our streets. .

Adoption and the role of ROI

A smart city project must be financially sustainable. It is not enough to think about funding for just the initial stages of a project, as any project must live long enough to change the life of the city.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, $ 1.7T is the estimated annual potential economic impact of the IoT for cities. ROI drives projects. It’s got to make economical sense to get a project off the ground. As more cities begin to implement solutions, the demand for efficiencies and cheaper services will grow. McCarley noted that platforms like ThingWorx enable systemic efficiencies while accelerating scale across existing systems, disparate assets, and communications networks.

John Sullivan from the BWSC is looking to advanced technology much like the kind McCarley described to help Boston take the lead on water efficiency. Boston is one of the first cities to install smart water meters; by tri-angulating data from multiple meters, analytics detects system leakages.

The panel agreed this kind of discussion helped to frame a more comprehensive storyline and global need that expands beyond water.  With just minutes left in the evening, the panel took questions from an audience clearly hungry to hear more from the panelists. You can watch the full recording of the panel session, Smart Water—Smart Cities: A Cleantech Event.

Smart cities represent a unique opportunity to apply the power of IoT to everyday environments, to improve the quality of the very roads, buildings, and public services that we use each day.  Join McCarley for a Smart City webcast on March 16 at 11 am EST  to discuss how IoT can bring value to utility and energy stakeholders.

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Where to Win with IoT: Use Cases, Verticals, and Opportunities

Everyone knows the IoT is growing. Whether you look at funding, data generated, or market acceptance, you can see how IoT is transforming the business landscape. But where are the best opportunities, and how should companies position themselves to take advantage of them?

Where are the opportunities? Everywhere

If you look at the opportunities by market segment, Automotive is by far the strongest, particularly in OEM Telematics and After-Market Telematics (numbers from ABI Research). Together, these segments make up nearly 47 percent of the estimated 202o market of $ 196.5 billion for IoT software and service. Fleet management is also large, showing the near-term importance of transportation in general.

Does this mean you should focus your IoT efforts around penetrating this potentially profitable vertical? Not at all. The IoT software and service market will reward those who focus on their industry expertise—and the market for every segment will grow dramatically.

Market segments like agriculture and user-based insurance will grow at an average annual rate of around 40 percent. Home security and video surveillance will together be a $ 26 billion market.

Other analysts, including Gartner and McKinsey, partition the market somewhat differently, but they too see growth in various segments, from Smart Cities to healthcare. The factory floor will be particularly significant. Smart Cities includes such things as smart commercial buildings, public services, and utilities, and has seen strong growth in number of connected things.

Takeaway: there’s plenty of the IoT market to go around. Worry less about the size and growth rate of a particular segment and more about what benefit you will bring to your customers.

How do you take advantage of your specific opportunity? An IoT platform

The hidden transformation IoT enables is building the connection between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT). In most businesses OT and IT are separate sides of the house and do their business largely separately.

The data flows from connected assets, products, and services will make it essential for these two groups to work together. The only way to achieve that in a reasonable amount of time, with minimum disruption, is to base the integration on a capable IoT platform.

According to both Gartner and ABI, IoT Service Provider revenue is expected to grow at an annual average of 17 percent to 2020—but the share of that revenue related to the use of IoT platforms at 21 percent. IoT-platform-enabled providers will grab a larger and larger share of the market.

Takeaway: support your efforts with an IoT platform, and ensure that your customers get the benefit of your expertise quickly and efficiently.

How do you succeed in this new world? Be a smart mover

Being a first mover is good. Being a smart mover is even better. No one will survive in this market alone. Everyone must partner, team, and be a member of an ecosystem. With an IoT platform to enable and support integration, you can succeed.

Join us for an upcoming webinar that will highlight the size and scope of the global IoT market, technologies and capabilities that are key differentiators, emerging and actionable settings and use cases in the market.

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