5 IoT applications to make our planet great again!

The US have left Paris climate agreement against the will of most citizens. We list here 5 IoT applications that will help to decrease the CO2 emissions on top of providing a financial incentive to the stakeholders.

Connected dumpster

Connecting bins and dumpsters with an ultrasonic sensor to monitor their level of waste helps to optimize waste collection, making it less systematic. Data shows that this approach reduces waste collection by 30% in average.

In practice, this application comes with a route optimization algorithm that reduces travel times and distances, therefore, reducing CO2 emissions.

 

Connected dumpster

Solution providers: OnePlus Systems, Sayme…

 

Gas tank remote monitoring

Like connected dumpsters, LPG, fuel & oil tanks can benefit from connected ultrasonic sensors. The supplier knows when to arrange delivery or pick up and can optimize its delivery route.

Solution providers: Silicon Controls, Ijinus…

 

Street lighting

More and more cities are considering smart lighting as it can decrease their energy bills. Street light dimming systems have a break-even after 4 to 8 years depending on the cost of electricity in the country. The principle is to reduce light intensity when there are no pedestrian or cars. This approach can lead to 80% of energy savings for cities.

Another option is to use Street lighting systems which embed a light intensity schedule where light intensity is only based on the time.

 

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Solution providers: Kawantech, Sayme

 

Smart parking

In dense areas, it can sometimes be challenging to find a parking place. More and more cities are adding sensors connected to a smartphone application so that drivers can be routed to a vacant parking place directly.

This helps reduce driving time by 10 minutes and CO2 emissions by 20% on average.

 

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Solution providers: IoTMalta, Libelium, Sterela…

 

Risk management

A lot of physical tests and measurements can be replaced by connected sensors: regular actions that can be assessed remotely are causing pollution which could be avoided.

This is the case with legionella monitoring. We can now remotely assess the risk of the legionella bacteria developing by just monitoring the water temperature and linking it to a smart algorithm.

Another example is the temperature monitoring of railway tracks. For safety reasons, railway companies physically monitor the temperature of their tracks at many different points to understand train speeds because as the temperature goes up, the rails bend…

Solution providers: Spica Technologies (healthy water), Intesens (railway)…

Where things come alive.

After mesh, the Wi-Fi router is about to change again

The new Eero Beacon doubles as a nightlight.

I’m writing this article on the roof deck of my house two stories up from my modem. If I had a traditional Wi-Fi network, attempting to do much while so far from the router would result in pathetic connectivity. (And I certainly wouldn’t be streaming a Beyoncé video in the background.)

But thanks to a slew of new products and services, Wi-Fi is finally getting the attention it deserves as more and more people rely on the internet to deliver entertainment and service everywhere.

As connected televisions and mobile phones proliferated, faster connection speeds mattered in more parts of the home. Tracking speed became essential. For a while, people were willing to move to a better location in the home to stream their TV shows on a laptop or tablet.

But now we’re putting connected sprinklers in our garages, video doorbells on a front door and circling our properties in HD video cameras. Many homes now need both speed and coverage, and both in and outside of the home.

Wi-Fi has become so important that the Wi-Fi Alliance recently created a certification program for builders to help them build homes that are ready for Wi-Fi and wired for multiple access points in the home. The idea has been a long time coming.

Roughly five years ago I started talking to companies that were thinking about how to make Wi-Fi better, not just in terms of coverage, but also in terms of the services.

Taking a page from enterprise Wi-Fi networks, which have long had to accommodate many devices with different needs, companies like Qualcomm (which bought Atheros and Killer Networking) and Comcast (which bought PowerCloud Networks) join startups that are rolling out products and services that make Wi-Fi better.

These changes are happening on two fronts. The first is better coverage through mesh networks or easier-to-add access points. The second is by offering network based services such as security or parental controls through Wi-Fi routers. For example, the new Eero routers offer both better coverage through a mesh network as well as an optional $ 10-a-month-service that adds granular parental controls like ensuring Google Safe Search is on for a subset of devices and a new device security plan.

I think there is another shift coming. Instead of buying access points or fancy routers, we’re going to see Wi-Fi and services embedded in more things. Your connected television or a personal assistant might have a Wi-Fi extender built in. I’ve already talked to a big-name vendor that is exploring this idea and there’s a light switch company called Nuro Technologies that has embedded a Wi-Fi repeater into every one of its switches to ensure the best coverage.

So while today we’re buying stand-alone boxes that provide a mesh network, we’re already seeing the size of those boxes shrink and come out of the typical modem closet. Eero’s new systems offer a $ 149 product called a beacon that plugs into an outlet and can double as a nightlight. Plume, which recently signed a deal with Comcast, makes a “pod” that plugs into the wall to extend coverage.

Such devices are easy for an unsophisticated consumer to add to the network. Comcast says it plans to sell Plume pods to customers who complain of poor Wi-Fi. Then, the next evolution in routers will be for them to disappear entirely into devices. For that to work, customers are going to have to go all-in on a vendor, or the big Wi-Fi companies will have to work hard on the integration between devices.

Yet, I think that may happen, especially as ISPs and other big brands pursue services revenue associated with the smart home.

 

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

Texas makes self-driving cars legal again, no human driver required

google-self-driving-car-in-texas

Texas, like Finland, never had a law blocking self-driving cars from public roads, until Thursday when Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that set out the rules of the road.

The re-legalization makes a few things clear for automakers and tech companies testing their autonomous vehicles in The Lone Star State. First, self-driving cars without a driver remain legal, as long as the car has a specific amount of insurance and is able to record video, according to a report by The Texas Tribune.

See Also: Lyft and nuTonomy announce self-driving R&D partnership

The manufacturer must accept liability for all accidents on the road, an agreement that both Waymo and Uber have both fought against in other states.

Removing the need for a driver could push self-driving tests in Texas to Level 4 autonomy, which means fully autonomous except in certain environments, like heavy snows.

Michigan is the only other state which allows self-driving cars to be tested without a driver inside to take control. California and Arizona are looking into legislation that would legalize driverless vehicles, but so far we only have two states.

All of this state legalization may be null and void before too long, if a Republican House of Representatives bill passes through Congress. The bill would make the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the national regulator for all things self-driving, and allow up to 100,000 cars a year to be exempt from the NHTSA’s rules.

The post Texas makes self-driving cars legal again, no human driver required appeared first on ReadWrite.

ReadWrite

Startup Profile: Tempow has an idea to make Bluetooth cool again

Tempow, a French startup, has created technology that allows you to stream audio to multiple Bluetooth speakers. Tempow promotes it as a wireless splitter for listening to music and watching TV, but the applications of the technology are wide-ranging.

The basic tech is software running on a smartphone (tablets, PCs and televisions are in the future as well) that allows the device to send audio to any number of available Bluetooth devices rather than just one. The company’s initial use case is the ability to turn several Bluetooth speakers into a larger audio system. Other use cases could allow consumers wearing different pairs of Bluetooth headsets to stream a TV program in two different languages if the TV program supported it.

I met two engineers from Tempow at Bluetooth World last week, and was excited by the possibilities.

For example, a tour guide could stream their commentary to everyones’ Bluetooth headsets in a museum (in the appropriate language). In education, students who are hard of hearing or require a translation could get the information streamed directly to their headset.

The base technology doesn’t address things like translation. All it does is let the device stream to multiple speakers. But companies can add such features on top of Tempow’s tech if it becomes popular.

An immediate challenge for the company is that the software doesn’t work on iOS devices because Apple doesn’t let just anyone have access to the Bluetooth radio on its handsets and tablets.

A future challenge is that the company might become a victim of its own success. Its technology sits on top of the existing Bluetooth radio standard. At some point, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group might see the value and appropriate the tech into the standard (or find another way to accomplish a similar goal). Should that happen, and if Tempow doesn’t have a huge base of manufacturers already using the tech, it could lose out.

Still, I like the way the team of 10 is thinking, and love the options such an advancement on Bluetooth offers.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

Digital Transformation: Never Run Out Of TP Again

Cape Town, South Africa --- Cheering crowd in stadium --- Image by © Ocean/Corbis

Toilet paper may be the butt of many jokes, but it is a very real need. From schools to airplanes, offices, and homes, toilet paper is a requirement of daily life.

What does this mean for demand? It means that when we don’t predict it accurately, problems ensue. Luckily, digital transformation is here to save the day. With the help of Big Data, businesses of the future will be able to predict paper needs much more accurately. That will help prevent troubles like running out of TP in a packed stadium.

But like most things, it’s not that simple. A complex series of steps leads to this less aggravating and smarter future. In this article, we’ll discuss why predictive analytics are useful in a variety of situations. We will also address how sensing demand can also lead to greater energy efficiency, and discuss how this plays into customer service.

Stadium service

Stadiums and toilet paper have a long and storied history. Anyone who has ever been to a game and found themselves in a grungy bathroom with no bathroom tissue knows that. And as the fans of the this 2014 Belgian soccer match demonstrate, TP can be used for more than meeting bathroom needs.

While running out of toilet paper at home might be an annoyance, running out in a crowded situation like a stadium at halftime can be downright disastrous. Fortunately, paper and packaging business models are increasingly able to combat such problems.

By sensing demand before a facility such as a stadium runs out of a resource, companies can meet needs better—which leads us to the question of exactly how a stadium might sense demand.

Studious sensors

It is neither efficient nor effective to put people in charge of monitoring the status of all the bathrooms in a giant stadium. That’s the status quo, and we’ve all seen how well it works. In the digital economy, however, there’s a much better way: sensors.

Sensors are small, relatively cheap mechanisms that are easy to deploy and that can measure a variety of factors. Indeed, the Internet of Things is built on the idea that someday our world will be populated by objects carrying sensors—roads that measure car traffic, say, or stoves that learn and cater to our eating habits.

Simply putting sensors in things so they can measure data may seem like a relatively small example of digital transformation. In reality, however, it has huge implications. Sensors at a paper plant can help gather and correlate mill-processing data in real time, helping companies produce more efficiently and meet customers’ expectations more reliably.

Back to stadiums: Sensors in stadium bathrooms can measure how many people come in and out. That way, instead of checking manually, stadium staff members can simply read the data from various bathrooms to see which ones are most likely to need restocking. Not only does this improve the customer experience, it makes life easier for workers as well. Over time, it makes it easier to predict which bathrooms will need more restocking, as companies analyze traffic flow in stadiums and learn from the patterns.

And then there’s the fact that Industry 4.0 – the smarter, more efficient way of doing business – is a whole lot greener.

Lean, green efficiency

It is no secret in business that lean manufacturing is a major factor in success. The reason is obvious: Waste is not profitable. Companies that don’t carefully track their efforts, keeping what works and discarding what doesn’t, aren’t likely to succeed. This is no less true in the new digital economy than it was before.

With sensors to track what works and what doesn’t both on the factory floor and with customers, companies can be much more efficient. No longer do they need to estimate demand and hope to hit the target. Instead, a constant flow of data from customers can give businesses much more accurate numbers. The result is a better way of doing business that results in less waste. Less waste is not only better for the environment, it’s better for business.

Heightened sustainability also increases customer engagement. Why? Because customers who believe in what companies are doing are more loyal, more interested in talking about them and to them, and more interested in what they’re going to do next.

The future of paper

Digital business will bring changes in the ways we use TP and other commodities as the paper and packaging industries adopt technology to better predict where paper is needed, meeting demand with smarter supply. This will both cut waste and ensure satisfied customers.

Maybe one day, we’ll never run out of TP in stadiums again.

For more, see How Digital Transformation Can Save Paper And Packaging.


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine