5G Americas announces new report on progress towards 5G Cellular IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) market is predicted to be a key business driver of  the telecom industry  and  its upcoming next generation. IoT will require new technology requirements for its varied use cases. 5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, mentions in its latest publication of LTE Progress Leading to the 5G Massive Internet of Things (Massive IoT).

“Some cellular service providers in the U.S. are already adding more IoT connections than mobile phone connections, and the efforts at 3GPP in defining standards for the successful deployment of a wide variety of services across multiple industries will contribute to the growing success for consumers and the enterprise,” noted Jean Au, Staff Manager, technical marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and  co-leader of 5G Americas whitepaper LTE Progress Leading to the 5G Massive IoT (MIoT).

Today, Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) is already gaining  attention and  it  is anticipated that cellular-based  technologies such as LTE-M (Machine) and Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) will become  the leading LPWA standards by 2020.

Operators can choose from several Cellular IoT  (CIoT) technologies based  on their spectrum portfolio, legacy networks, and requirements of their offered services.

The generic requirements for IoT are low cost, energy efficiency, ubiquitous coverage, and scalability (ability to support a large number of connected machines in a network). Alternatively, Critical IoT applications will  have  very high demands  for reliability, availability, and low latency which could be enabled by LTE or 5G capabilities. The whitepaper is available for free download.   Read more…

 

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Internet Of Things | IoT India

The installed base of Fleet Management systems in the Americas will exceed 18 million units by 2021

The installed base of Fleet Management systems in the Americas will exceed 18 million units by 2021

According to a new report from the leading M2M/IoT market research provider Berg Insight, the number of active fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in North America was 6.7 million in Q4-2016.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.0 percent, this number is expected to reach 13.5 million by 2021. In Latin America, the number of active fleet management systems is expected to increase from 2.5 million in Q4-2016, growing at a CAGR of 12.9 percent to reach 4.7 million in 2021. The top-25 providers of fleet management systems in the Americas together have today a combined installed base of more than 6 million active units in the region. Notably, all of the top-15 players each had more than 100,000 active units in the Americas at the end of 2016. More than 40 percent of the total number of units deployed in the region is represented by the five largest fleet management vendors alone.

Verizon has as a result of an ambitious acquisition strategy captured the pole position in the fleet telematics space in terms of size.
“The combination of Verizon’s Networkfleet, Telogis and Fleetmatics operations under the same ownership has clearly cemented the US-based carrier as the overall leader from a global perspective”, said Rickard Andersson, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight.
In the Americas, Verizon is estimated to outnumber the closest competitors by a factor of three. The runners-up include Trimble, Geotab and Omnitracs which have all surpassed 500,000 active fleet management subscribers in the Americas as of the end of 2016. Zonar Systems is the fifth largest provider in the region, now majority-owned by Continental while Daimler Trucks North America has retained a minority stake.

Mr. Andersson, said:

“The OEM telematics initiatives in the Americas have intensified in recent years and most vehicle manufacturers now offer factory-installed fleet telematics solutions either independent ly or through partnerships with established aftermarket fleet management solution providers.”

Berg Insight chart: active fleet management systems in Americas 2016-2021He adds that large installed bases of OEM telematics systems are now found especially on the North American market where partner-powered systems are particularly commonplace. Telogis is for example working with vehicle manufacturers such as Ford, Hino, Volvo Trucks, Mack, GM, Isuzu and most recently Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America. Notably, also manufacturers having developed OEM telematics systems in-house have in recent years started to collaborate with aftermarket partners, for example to offer tailored functionality for specific local markets.

“Berg Insight anticipates that the partner strategy will continue to grow in popularity among the commercial vehicle manufacturers at the expense of in-house telematics development efforts”, concluded Mr. Andersson.

Download report brochure: Fleet Management in the Americas

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IoT Business News

Can IoT prevent gun violence across America’s cities?

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Local municipalities are increasingly turning to smart city technology to reduce public crime through efforts such as connected lighting, targeted surveillance and data assets.

One of the more innovative smart solutions is ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection, acoustic surveillance technology that uses sensors to detect, locate and alert law enforcement agencies of illegal gunfire incidents in real time. I spoke to CEO, Ralph A. Clark to learn more.

How does it work?

ShotSpotter uses acoustic sensors that are strategically placed in an array of 15-20 sensors per square mile in order to reliably detect and accurately triangulate gunshot activity. Each sensor captures the precise time, location, and audio snippet associated with boom and bang sounds (impulsive noise) that may represent a gunshot. This data is first filtered by sophisticated machine algorithms that are then further qualified by experts at the 24×7 Incident Review Center at ShotSpotter to ensure the events are in fact gunfire. As Clark explained:

“We have machine classification techniques that we use that can automatically filter out local noises that aren’t gunshots.  And then we process the data through our incident review center. Typically gunfire can be heard as far away as a mile, (unlike fireworks and car backfire) It’s a very distinct noise that has certain sharpness and features that we can extract. Then there’s also the idea of how our sensors participate in the solution. With gunfire you frequently find that the sensor participation is directional. So, it typically happens in a northeast fashion versus a firework which tends to be much more omnidirectional and where the sensor participation will be 360 degrees.”

Additionally, Shotspotter can append the alert with any other critical intelligence such as whether a fully automatic weapon was fired. This process takes less than 45 seconds between the actual shooting and the digital alert (with a precise location dot on a map) popping onto the screen of a computer in the 9-1-1 Call Center.

Clark noted that Shotspotter had two different use cases:

“One is kind of a policing, public safety solution. Which you think of in terms of square miles of coverage. to deal with ongoing, urban violence. The other use case is security use case where you are covering much smaller area and more concerned with the unthinkable happening like an active shooter situation (such on a school campus). It’s more of an alarm type of solution for the rare, if ever, event of an active shooter, And I would say our technology worked very well in both those situations, I mean we’re in the business of detecting, locating and alerting on gun violence in real time and there’s no other company in the world that has our amount of experience dealing in this area in the urban environment.”

What is the impact on crime statistics and gun violence?

I was curious to learn about how the detection of gun activity could reduce the incidence of gun violence. As Clark discussed:

“When you understand how pervasive the problem of gun violence is in many of our cities, there’s certainly a deterrent aspect when you can  can expect a very quick and precise response anytime someone fires a gun. This means that communities suffering from gun violence now begun to see a much more precise, more coordinated respectful response by police to the event. It changes the relationship because now you have communities that aren’t afraid to provide that little bit of insight or intelligence of who they think might be involved in these situations and help police identify and intercept them before they hurt and kill somebody.

The other thing about gun violence that is not very well understood by most people is that actually very few people that are driving most of the gunfire. This is not a problem of an entire community where everybody has a gun and everybody shooting. It’s more likely the case that 60 to 70 percent of the Gun violence being perpetrated by a handful of individuals. Like 10 or 20 people, and to deter and prevent and intercept even a small number of those even smaller number of folks that are involved means we see a reduction in shooting.”

In New York alone, since deploying ShotSpotter in March 2015, ShotSpotter provided 1,672 alerts on where guns went off, 74% of which, weren’t reported by 911. Cops said ShotSpotter helped recover 32 firearms, including 13 on cases with no 911 call, and has led to 21 arrests. Eight of those arrests had no 911 call.

See also: Can a blockchain- IoT hybrid finally give us smart guns?

Currently, federal homicide prosecutors are using ShotSpotter analysis and evidence to determine if a gunshot has, or has not occurred, the location of the gunshot, and the precise location of the shooting. SST has been admissible in court cases in 17 states as well as in federal court.  Financially,  Shotspotter is funded through city and police budgets and “often there’s  funding that comes from different federal agencies like the ATF, Department of Homeland Security, or even HIVE they have funds for security that they use to make safer neighborhoods.” Currently, it’s deployed in over 90 cities around the world including San Francisco, Kansas City, and Boston.

Interestingly, the company has also been doing some work on conservation in Africa to deter rhino poaching and blast fishing — where explosives are uses in place of nets or fishing line, in effect killing the coral reef as well as the sea life. Shotspotter is a great example of how sensor technology and data analytics can respond to a complex social problem.

The post Can IoT prevent gun violence across America’s cities? appeared first on ReadWrite.

ReadWrite

IoT developers can learn from America’s smart meter mistake

In 2009, experts thought they had the solution to America’s household energy waste: smart meters.

“Smart meters will allow you to actually monitor how much energy your family is using by the month, by the week, by the day, or even by the hour,” President Barack Obama proclaimed that same year, heralding the U.S. government’s $ 3.4 billion Smart Grid grants.

Now, nearly a decade later, if you judged smart meters by their ubiquity, you’d think the initiative was a success. More than half of American homes now have smart meters, with deployments set to top 70 million by the end of 2016. But household energy use trends tell a different story. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential energy consumption has remained roughly unchanged since 2009.

So why haven’t smart meters cut consumption? The reason becomes rather obvious when you look at these early-bird Internet of Things products. They offer up useful information — but only if the user actually goes looking for it. And the problem is that users simply aren’t: The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative found just 8 percent of Americans use their energy company’s online energy analysis tools.

A Smarter Meter Needs a Smarter Roadmap

To understand the smart meter situation, think about a different energy transaction: purchasing fuel for your car. Gas pumps provide in-your-face, real-time information about energy use, causing customers to care quite a bit about their gasoline expenditures.

Smart meters may be more high-tech than gas pumps, but their problem is not the technology itself. While working with EKM Metering on Encompass, we realized that the issue is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind interface that’s engineered without users in mind. And the problem isn’t limited to smart meters; rather, it keeps the IoT industry as a whole from gaining traction.

If IoT brands are to electrify the consumer market, they’ll need to follow the steps of brands like Fitbit, which creates connected fitness trackers famous for their seamless interoperability. Using If This Then That (IFTTT), users can hook their Fitbits to hundreds of other products and services, then interact with those third-party products and services from their very wrists.

Unlike past tech products, nothing about IoT devices works in isolation. IoT devices like smart meters interoperate with other devices to deliver a service that no single device could. It’s that interconnectedness — along with the necessary unification of the user experience — that requires IoT product developers to put additional effort into their product roadmaps.

Respecting the User Step-by-Step

Because the IoT universe is so vast, no one approach to product road-mapping works for all designers. The important part is understanding where IoT roadmaps require additional planning compared with their peers. So if you’re about to create a product roadmap for a new or existing IoT device, take care to follow these steps:

1. Establish a problem statement. If a connected device can’t solve one or more specific problems for its users, then it won’t ever succeed. Figure out what those problems are at the start so that every subsequent decision you make works toward connecting users with actionable solutions.



2. Define user personas. Do you know exactly who is likely to use your IoT product? Don’t speculate: Develop nuanced user personas, test assumptions with a prototype, and ensure every choice you make during development serves those specific users. The main reason products fail is a lack of product-market fit, so don’t sink millions into development before you’ve found it.


3. Create empathy maps.Imagine how the user you defined in the prior step might interact with your IoT product. Use sticky notes and a large sheet of butcher paper to map out what your customer is seeing, thinking, hearing, and doing while using your product.



4. Generate solutions. Only once you understand what your target users need should you begin brainstorming solutions to those needs. Remember that not all exciting or innovative ideas actually benefit the user, and sometimes boring ones — like the gas pump’s price display — actually do more good than high-tech alternatives.


5. Create epics. After you’ve prescribed an answer to target users’ problems, start thinking about the major features and functions of your solution. Separate these into epics — larger chunks of work with many user stories — and write them on sticky notes so they can by physically moved around and grouped together. Color code them by project themes such as “onboarding flow” or “user interface.”

6. Prioritize epics. With product stakeholders, sort epics according to feasibility, desirability, and viability. Designers, in particular, must consider the user’s needs, while developers can speak on features’ technical challenges. Remember that with IoT products, the device’s connectivity, hardware, and user interface should receive the most attention.

Getting IoT roadmaps right is all about the pre-work. Smart meters haven’t taken off as expected because their interfaces just don’t reflect how users think about household energy. Had their creators introduced the meters with intuitive home energy apps that provide push notifications during energy surges or outages, the outcome could have been very different.

Don’t make the same mistake. When you’re road-mapping your IoT product, take special care to understand the problem you’re trying to solve, know your target user, and get the product into the hands of real users to guide development decisions. Then, once your IoT product hits the shelves, it’ll connect with customers right out of the box.

Do you have any further advice for IoT developers? Let us know in the comments.

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