IoT economics ‘increasingly compelling’, argues Verizon in new report

A new market research report titled “State of the Market: Internet of Things 2017” published by Verizon, states that IoT is at the core of digital transformation in 2017, 73% of executives either researching or currently deploying the technology.

There are 8.4 billion connected devices in use today, up 31% from 2016, the study adds.

The report suggests that the economics of IoT are increasingly compelling and the B2B space will benefit first, generating nearly 70% of potential value enabled by IoT. It highlights four key concerns that stand out for over 50% of business executives when exploring IoT, they are: standards, security, interoperability and cost. It is due to these qualms, along with apprehension around scalability and simplicity, businesses are reluctant from fully deploying IoT, with many still in proof-of-concept or pilot phase.

The report also highlights issues such as simplicity and integration, cost, and security, on how businesses should be thinking about IoT moving forward and addresses many of the concerns expressed by executives surveyed.

IoT platforms, such as Verizon’s ThingSpace, will become even more seamless and streamline the deployment of applications, giving developers simplified access to new tools and resources for IoT use cases, the report noted. New CAT-M1 technology and chipsets will reduce costs of connectivity and enable more widespread adoption by businesses large and small, while securely collecting, analysing and integrating data will continue to be at the forefront, with solutions like Verizon’s Security Credentialing, (based on a standard adopted by the GSMA) and software-defined perimeter services, which help protect at the platform, network and device level. Latest from the homepage

IDC argues huge opportunities afoot for the global IoT services market

Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities exist for service providers of all types across every global region, according to the latest analysis from research firm IDC.

In its latest market report, titled “Worldwide Internet of Things Services Forecast, 2017-2021”, IDC argues the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions represented 52.2%, 34.4% and 13.4% of the worldwide IoT services market opportunity in 2016. It states that project-based services represented the highest percentage of market opportunity in the year, and will gain nearly one point of market share to 56.7% by 2021, amounting to $ 30.8 billion.

Rebecca Segal, group vice president, worldwide services at IDC, said: “Service providers have a real opportunity in the IoT services market to show significant value to their customers by helping plan, implement, support, and operate IoT initiatives.”

Another report on similar lines from GSMA, as reported by this publication, argues that early deployment of commercial low power wide area networks (LPWAN) in licenced spectrum is said to boost IoT revenue to an estimated $ 1.8 trillion (£1.36tn).

According to the report, 12 mobile operators have launched 15 such commercial services, which includes AT&T, Telstra and Verizon (LTE-M), as well as China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, LG Uplus, M1, Turkcell and Vodafone (NB-IoT). The Americas region is expected to see an estimated $ 534 billion, or approximately a third of the total revenue. Latest from the homepage

Manufacturers embracing the IIoT set to rise dramatically by 2022, new report argues

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is set to transform manufacturing – and according to a new report from Zebra Technologies, the number of organisations achieving a fully connected factory will rise ‘dramatically’ in the coming five years.

According to the company’s 2017 Manufacturing Vision Study, almost two thirds (64%) of manufacturers say they expect to be fully connected, using a combination of technologies including RFID, wearables and automated systems, by 2022. Half of the 1,100 global decision makers polled said they expect to adopt wearable devices in their plant within five years.

As technology moves through, outdated processes get thrown out. More than three in five (62%) of those polled said they still use pen and paper to track manufacturing steps, a number which is expected to drop to one in five by 2022. Only a third (34%) of respondents expect to rate quality assurance as a top concern for their organisation in five years, inferring that technological improvements made throughout the manufacturing process will have an impact on the finished product.

Voice technology is also set to ramp up dramatically, with the survey noting the largest companies – those with revenues greater than $ 1 billion – set to benefit most.

“The results of Zebra’s 2017 Manufacturing Vision study prove that IIoT has crossed the chasm, and savvy manufacturers are investing aggressively in technologies that will create a smarter, more connected plant floor to achieve greater operational visibility and enhance quality,” said Jeff Schmitz, SVP and chief marketing officer at Zebra.

Writing for this publication in February, Alex Vilner asked the question: do manufacturing engineers really want IIoT right now? The answer from this study appears to be yes, but all in good time. “In the world of manufacturing engineering, the general consensus on new technology is ‘build it, prove it, build it again, prove it again…and then prove it again’,” he wrote.

“There is simply too much at risk – tight delivery schedules, millions of dollars in machinery, and even human safety – to risk incorporating a connected sensor that may perform correctly.”

The survey quizzed respondents from a variety of industries, from automotive, to high tech, to tobacco and pharmaceuticals. Latest from the homepage

Canonical argues IoT monetisation bigger challenge than security for professionals

You can try and clue up on the Internet of Things (IoT), read all the articles and go to all the meetings. But the question remains: can we make money on this?

According to a new study from Canonical, the company behind Linux operating system Ubuntu, more than half (53%) of industry professionals say quantifying return on investment (ROI) was their biggest immediate challenge. This was followed by device security and privacy, cited by 45% of those polled, and lack of IoT infrastructure, cited by 40%.

More than a third (34%) of respondents, comprising developers, vendors and enterprise users, added that ‘quantifying the business benefits’ of the IoT should be the primary goal to encourage greater adoption. A quarter (24%) argued an improved understanding of the technology’s benefits was key, while 17% opted for improved security.

Given monetising the IoT was seen as the biggest issue, the report delved into various routes for achieving ROI. Almost four in five (78%) said they would expect to make money through value added services, with hardware rentals (57%), one off hardware fees (55%), ongoing software and security fees (55%) and consultancy and deployment (54%) all much of a muchness below.

One other method considered by the report is an IoT app store, or an ‘app store for things’. Organisations can theoretically offer add-ons to existed connected devices, tying in to the 55% who said they wanted to make money through ongoing software fees.

“In a world where every connected device generates data, the opportunities for monetising this data are limited only by your access and your imagination,” the report notes. “We’re likely to see a number of until now unpredicted methods of monetisation emerge as the industry develops further.”

You can read the full report here.

Postscript: As part of its research, Canonical used Meltwater, a monitoring tool, to scrape a year’s worth of news and found more than 23,000 English language articles had been published on IoT security between June 2016 and 2017. This publication is responsible for 94 and counting. Latest from the homepage

New research argues morality can be programmed into driverless cars

Remember the Moral Machine? The program from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) aimed to collect data from users on a variety of ethical dilemmas over driverless cars. Given the choice between killing pedestrians or crashing the car and killing its occupants, for instance, which would be the better course of action?

Now, a new study from researchers at the University of Osnabruck argues self-driving vehicles can be programmed for the big moral decisions after creating a ‘value of life’ model for every object, whether human, animal, or inanimate, that could be involved in an accident.

Research participants were placed in the driver’s seat of a virtual car heading down a suburban road before obstacles were presented in the two lanes ahead of the driver, with participants asked which of the two they would save. To qualify for the test itself, participants to complete a trial setting where they had to avoid pylons, in order to immerse themselves with the VR setting. Users were given a slow and fast speed setting to make their decisions.

Issues and biases in the study were taken care of, for instance assessing whether users would normally use the left hand or right hand driving lane, or whether participants would more likely stay in the starting line or panic and move across – an omission or panic reaction bias.

“We argue that the high contextual dependency of moral decisions and the large number of ethically relevant decisions that self-driving cars will have to make, call for ethical models based on human decisions made in comparable situations,” the report concludes. “In the confined scope of unavoidable collisions in road traffic, simple value of life models approximate human moral decisions well.

“With respect to trust in the public eye, their simplicity could constitute a key advantage over more sophisticated models, such as neural networks.”

You can read the full article, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, here. Latest from the homepage