IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 23rd November 2017

This week, Ajit Pai announces a plan to overturn existing net neutrality regulations, a new augmented reality app lets you interact with elephants and other endangered species through augmented reality, and a new report projects super soaring revenue for the Internet of Industrial Things.

Internet of Elephants game teaches about endangered species with AR

Anyone who’s a fan of Pokémon Go will be familiar with the idea of placing virtual creatures in the physical world. Now, a Nairobi-based startup called ‘Internet of Elephants’ is doing a similar thing with elephants and other endangered animals. The company’s gaming app (also called ‘Internet of Elephants’) allows users to virtually follow endangered animals in their real-world environments to learn more about them. Players can select an animal and follow them around in the physical world to observe their behavior.

IIoT revenue will beat the $ 1 trillion mark by 2027, says report

A new report from Navigant Reports projects that revenue for the Industrial Internet of Things will exceed $ 1 trillion by 2027. Despite identifying some initial barriers to entry for administrators – namely, unfamiliarity with hardware, software and service options – the report recognized the IoT’s clear value in lowering costs and improving equipment maintenance.

Is this the end of net neutrality? The FCC will decide on 14th December

Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai has announced a widely contested plan to scrap net neutrality. For those unfamiliar with the concept, net neutrality is the idea that all data should be treated equally by internet service providers (ISPs.) That means they don’t get to choose what is sent more quickly (and consequently costs more to access) and what is blocked or slowed down. In February 2015, the FCC voted for stricter regulation of internet service providers (ISPs) in order to protect neutrality – requiring ISPs to offer open access for all digital content to their networks. Now, Pai wants to overturn this order, arguing that the regulations “depressed investment in building and expanding broadband networks and deterred innovation.” The FCC will hold the final vote on 14th December.

Lightform transforms projectors into AR machines

Lightform has raised $ 5 million to fund its augmented reality projectors. The little device plugs straight in to the back of most projectors, then scans the space around it and brings augmented reality to any surface in its field of range. You can also add AR and media effects to the way the projector interacts with what it’s projecting on. The total funding to date is $ 7.8 million – enough to fund the manufacture of some 2,000 units.

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IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 23rd March 2017

This week, Apple steal two headlines with their acquisition of automation tool Workflow and the release of a new, cheaper iPad. There’s more on the automated vehicle front too, as startup DeepScale raises $ 3 million for its AI perception technology to help make self-driving safe. Read on for the latest from the connected world.

Apple’s got a brand new iPad, at a surprisingly low starting price

Apple’s got a sexy new tablet for us to moon over – and it’s cheaper than you might expect. The new model came out yesterday and features a 9.7-inch Retina display (for better brightness) and a zippy A9 processor replacing the A8X. The 32GB version starts at $ 320, presumably to the chagrin of Samsung, who priced their recently unveiled Tab S3 at $ 600. If you want the 128GB iPad version you’ll have to part with $ 459 however – quite a step up from the entry-level price.

Apple acquires automation tool Workflow

More news from Apple as they acquire Workflow – a powerful automation tool for iPad and iPhone that allows strings of commands to hook together apps and functions. It allows users to group together various actions, so that they can execute complicated tasks with just one tap, essentially automating much of the process. Financial details are under wraps so far, but it seems clear that the deal has been finalized.

New Google Maps feature lets you share location with friends

Google Maps has a new feature that lets you share your location with friends and family – for a time period of between 15 minutes to 3 days, depending on how long you set it for. Through the new feature, users can give friends directions to their location, and even pick one person to give long-term access to their location. Google Maps aren’t the first to air functionality of this sort – Uber users can share their ride location with a friend who can follow their progress on a map, and Facebook lets you virtually wave at nearby friends.

University of Eastern Finland opens Sm4rtLab IoT hub

The University of Eastern Finland (UEF) has a new IoT hub, offering its students access to cloud services, virtual reality and augmented reality. The new service, Sm4rtLab, means universities and businesses can share the cost of pricey equipment through a co-purchasing scheme, so that university and even school students could receive affordable photonics teaching.

DeepScale raises $ 3 million to make self-driving cars safe

DeepScale, a startup out of Mountain View, California, has raised $ 3 million for perception AI to help make self-driving safe. The funding will help automakers use industry-standard low-wattage processors – designed to work alongside sensors, mapping, computer vision and control systems to power more accurate perception and render vehicles ‘crash-proof’.

In-car voice-activated app Drivemode raises $ 6.5 million

Another story around safe smart cars, but this time it’s the drivers that are key. Drivemode, the popular in-car app on Google Play, has raised $ 6.5 million from Panasonic, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Innovative Venture Fund Investment and Miyako Capital, among others. The app uses an eyes-free interface designed to allow drivers to access certain smartphone functions purely by voice, lessening unhelpful distraction when on the road.

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