Tesla Powerpack begins work on powering South Australia

Tesla Powerpack forms world’s largest lithium ion battery to help power South Australia

The 100MW Tesla Powerpack, built by industry pioneers Tesla, has now been activated – allowing it to store energy produced by a nearby windfarm and stabilize South Australia’s electrical grid.

In September 2016, a massive storm caused an unprecedented state-wide blackout in South Australia, with 1.7 million people spending the night without power and questions raised about the stability of the region’s renewable energy supply.

The event led to the coupling of the Hornsdale Wind Farm with the world’s largest lithium ion battery. The set-up can power 30,000 homes for an hour (approximately the number of properties that lost power during the blackout) and otherwise support the region’s electricity supply.

The historic deal was formed between electric car makers Tesla and French energy company Neoen, with the help of government backing. Tesla boss Elon Musk famously promised that his company would get the Tesla Powerpacks system installed and working within 100 days – or he would do it for free.

Read more: Business Secretary Greg Clark MP announces new national battery facility for UK

Building the world’s largest lithium ion battery

Musk went on to quote $ 250 per kilowatt hour for 100 megawatt hour systems, saying that Tesla was moving to fixed and open pricing across the board. The project moved surprisingly quickly in the storm’s aftermath, with the South Australian government proving its reputation as a serious advocate of renewable energy.

Tesla completed the project in around 60 days from the contract being signed, though the company reportedly got a head start on construction.

For all their environmental benefits, wind and solar energy are less predictable sources of power than fossil fuel or nuclear alternatives. The coupling of renewable technology with batteries is seen as a key way to prevent the kinds of widespread blackouts that South Australia experienced.

You can see the current composition of each Australian state’s energy production here, including live supply and demand.

Read more: Battery tech will power global smart grid ambitions

Tesla Powerpack: Unlocking the potential of renewables

“Tesla Powerpack will charge using renewable energy from the Hornsdale Wind Farm and then deliver electricity during peak hours to help maintain the reliable operation of South Australia’s electrical infrastructure,” announced Tesla. “The Tesla Powerpack system will further transform the state’s movement towards renewable energy and see an advancement of a resilient and modern grid.”

Musk claims that the 100MW battery is three times as powerful as the next largest in the world. As Australia grows more reliant on renewables, the project should help to pacify the political opponents that the aggressive move to wind and solar energy, and the resultant blackouts, cultivated.

“While others are just talking, we are delivering our energy plan, making South Australia more self-sufficient, and providing back up power and more affordable energy for South Australians,” said State Premier Jay Weatherill, who flicked the switch to activate the Tesla Powerpacks.

Rechargeable lithium batteries have been used since the 1970s, but recent large-scale deployments in electric vehicles and the energy sector has seen demand escalate, threatening a shortfall of available materials with which to make them by 2020.

Tesla’s Powerwall residential battery is being installed across homes in Australia, too. The same technology used to stabilize the South Australian grid is allowing homeowners to collect energy during the day, via photovoltaic panels, and supply it at night, even if the grid goes down.

Read more: Future Grid aims to power up the Internet of Energy with Hazelcast

The post Tesla Powerpack begins work on powering South Australia appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Future of Brick and Mortar Begins With Responsive Retail: 7 Questions With JDA

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with JDA Software GVP Product Strategy Todd McCourtie to discuss the future of brick-and-mortar stores. Successful retailing comes down to one thing: getting the right product into shoppers’ hands. That may sound simple, but success requires inventory accuracy, efficient sales associates and the flexibility to quickly adapt to shoppers’ needs in near-real time. That said, thanks to today’s emerging retail technology solutions I’m convinced that the retail industry’s future has never looked brighter! –Stacey Shulman

A picture of clothes on hangers.

Q: To start off, what are some of the challenges you see brick-and-mortar retailers facing that technology solutions can help solve?

A: Today’s retailers are looking for answers to the same questions that have always challenged the retail industry. How do I manage my inventory? How do I deliver a great customer experience? Moreover, how do I optimize my workforce for maximum results? Technology can help here, but what has really emerged is that as some retailers have tried to solve these challenges they’ve ended up cobbling together islands of technology. So it’s been very difficult for them to get that full 360-degree view of the store that leads to actionable results. I think that’s where we see opportunities emerging through technology solutions that can seamlessly support retailers with their immediate problem, which is how can they make sure they’ve got their inventories in the right place in the store.

 

Q: Can you talk a bit about how improving inventory management can solve several retail issues at once?

A: There’s a couple things. First, it’s not just a missed sale if the inventory is not in its place, but it affects the customer experience. Whether a retailer offers an inviting and easy-to-understand sales process is completely irrelevant if the product isn’t on the shelf. So, to me, that’s where it starts. If retailers have inventory visibility they can start to do localization because they’re seeing the real-time demand. A great example that focuses on localization is the question of why do sweaters arrive at Phoenix, Arizona, stores in May? It makes absolutely no sense. If near-real-time inventory management solutions are in place, then retailers have insights into the buying habits of individual stores and communities. They can then instantly replenish inventory, or not, based on the demands they’re getting from the store.

 

Q: How are JDA and Intel technology solutions uniquely positioned to address the localized inventory management solutions you mentioned?

A: I was hoping you’d ask! I’m excited to share that JDA and Intel have teamed up to offer retailers an intelligent technology solution to help manage and overcome age-old business challenges: the JDA Store Optimizer, supported by the Intel Responsive Retail Sensor. It tracks inventory accurately, so you always know where items are located and how many are in stock while also automatically updating store associates’ tasks. Having near-real-time inventory data makes it easy to run lean, save time and money and replenish products as needed with little risk of shortages, overstocking or preventable returns. The JDA Store Optimizer then uses this precise inventory data to automatically identify, prioritize and assign tasks that sales associates need to carry out to optimize operational efficiency, while freeing the store manager to spend more time making decisions that will improve store performance and increase revenue.

To put it simply, we know the future of retail because we’re building it with Intel. So we see the problems of today and both companies see what we need to do to solve them, but with an eye to the future.

 

Q: Data security is a hot topic these days. How is that being addressed with this retail technology solution?

A: When we deal with privacy, we always talked about opt-in [being] enabled right into the platform. From an application provider perspective, the core platform is built from the ground up with security in mind. We also want to make sure that data can be isolated per application, so that if a retailer has their specific set of data they’re bringing, it’s only for them and they know they can trust that verified data. So, that kind of end-to-end security is built in from the ground up. Then there’s end-to-end data encryption, as well, to help guarantee the security and privacy of the data.

 

Q: What about privacy? How is that being addressed with this solution?

A: From my perspective, privacy is very personal. Some people are completely OK with giving that away; other people are very guarded about it. Only 43 percent of shoppers say they are comfortable giving up personal data to a retailer — even if it is to improve their shopping experience. This is a relevant and prescient issue to retailers today. And so, when we’ve tried to approach it, we’ve said there needs to be a way to opt in; a loyalty program is a great way to do that, for example.

 

Q: Can you give us an example of some of the early results you’re seeing from a retailer that has piloted the JDA Store Optimizer?

A: I certainly can. We’re working with a specialty retailer in North America and are excited to see that we’re getting enormous response. I just received an email stating how pleased the associates are in that environment because they’re able to spend more time focusing on relevant customer engagement and that’s great news for us to hear. We know that this is so important from data that we have about customer behavior. Most consumers say that they want associates who are more knowledgeable and will leave a store empty-handed if they do not get the right person with knowledge to help them with purchasing products. A recent study shows that two in three shoppers who tried to find information within a store say they did not find all the information they needed; when they were unable to find the complete information, 43 percent of customers left the store frustrated; 22 percent said they were less likely to buy from that retailer and 41 percent more likely to shop elsewhere. It is so important to have engaged, knowledgeable and able sales associates and the JDA Store Optimizer enables sales associates to get back to the business of being available to customers rather than just running around the store in search of inventory.

 

Q: How do you see artificial intelligence coming to bear and being a part of this platform in the future?

A: Artificial intelligence can help us precisely because we don’t live in a static world. If store shelves were always perfectly stocked and arranged then we probably wouldn’t have much of a need for it. But we live in reality. People buy things so the stock is changing constantly. Things are shuffled as people look at them. Customer behavior enables an opportunity to use pattern matching and artificial intelligence to really go look at those environments and say, hey, these events have happened where there’s a $ 5 item covering a $ 100 item that was really supposed to be on display; let’s have an associate go fix that to give me insight into the ROI of an endcap. Was it actually stocked properly? Did people interact with it? I think we can learn over time, make it much better and make that store truly responsive. In a way, the store itself is learning. The platform helps the store learn so it can keep up in near-real time with the changes that are happening in consumer behavior and the retail environment. Moreover, there’s no lag time. You’re not being caught unaware.

Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post Future of Brick and Mortar Begins With Responsive Retail: 7 Questions With JDA appeared first on IoT@Intel.


IoT@Intel

Future of AI-driven Brick-and-Mortar Begins with Responsive Retail

We don’t live in a static world. When I “look” toward the future, I see sensing, machine learning and deep learning leading us toward a time when artificial intelligence (AI) could enable more secure and actionable retail insights with tremendous results. I envision stores using technology that always knows if shelves are stocked or not, with merchandise arranged so that retailers can gain deeper insights into inventory delivery, immediate availability, and to stay ahead of the fashion trends that drive a near constant change in stock. I imagine a store where shuffled merchandise doesn’t mean lost merchandise but instead uses technology to know where items are located and uses pattern matching via machine learning and artificial intelligence to really understand the retail environment.

Connected retail technology could also enable retail staff to say, “Hey, there’s a $ 5 item covering a $ 100 item that was really supposed to be on display; l need to fix that so that I can have can have the insight into the ROI of this endcap.” It could enable them to know that a store is merchandized properly. That people interact with endcaps and individual items.

We at Intel, along with our partners, understand that retailers are looking for answers for real-time inventory management – from ordering and delivery tracking to delivering great customer experience through merchandising insights and optimizing a workforce for maximum results – a 360-degree view. I’m encouraged to see retailers moving down this path. Unfortunately, many times the quick pace of digital disruption has resulted in islands of technology that have been cobbled together, making it difficult for retailers to glean that full 360-degree view of the store that leads to actionable insights. As technology leaders, we can help enable technology solutions that seamlessly support retailers.

A woman shops for shoes.

 

Localizing Inventory Management Solutions

From my perspective, improving inventory management can solve several retail issues at once. It’s a quick, cost effective entry point for most retailers. Why? First, it’s not just a missed sale if the inventory is not in its place, but it affects the customer experience. Whether a retailer offers an inviting and easy-to-understand sales process is completely irrelevant if the product isn’t on the shelf. So, for me, that’s where it starts. Inventory visibility allows for immediate localization because they’re seeing the real-time demand. Imagine a sales associate wondering, for weeks, if Christmas sweaters have arrived into a Phoenix, Ariz., store only to find out they are not due to arrive until May? It makes absolutely no sense yet hiccups in the supply chain like this occur every year. If a near real-time inventory management solutions was in place, then the retailer would have direct insights into the supply chain and could make merchandise adjustments, and understand the buying habits of not just customers, but individual stores and whole communities. The retailer could then instantly replenish inventory, or not, based on real-time demand.

One solution along these lines that I’m particularly excited about is the JDA Store Optimizer, supported by the Intel Responsive Retail Sensor. Built on Intel technology, it offers retailers an intelligent technology solution to help manage and overcome retailer’s business challenges. It tracks inventory accurately, so you always know where items are located and how many are in stock while also automatically updating store associates’ tasks. Having near real-time inventory data makes it easy to run lean, save time and money and replenish products as needed with little risk of shortages, overstocking, or preventable returns. The JDA Store Optimizer then uses this precise inventory data to automatically identify, prioritize and assign tasks that sales associates need to carry out to optimize operational efficiency, while freeing the store manager to spend more time making decisions that will improve store performance and increase revenues.

A hand touches a kiosk screen.

 

Enhancing Data Security and Privacy

Along with inventory insight, data security and privacy are also hot topics with retailers. When retailers deal with privacy, they approach it from an opt-in, as an enabled right into the platform. From a purely application perspective, the core platform is built from the ground up with security in mind. It’s also important to make sure that data can be isolated per application, so that if a retailer has a specific set of data they’re bringing that it’s only for them and they know they can trust that verified data. This kind of store-to-cloud security is built in from the ground up. Then there’s end-to-end data encryption, which helps strengthen data security and privacy.

From my perspective, privacy is personal. Some people are completely okay with giving away their details; other people are very guarded about it. Only 43 percent of shoppers say they are comfortable giving up personal data to a retailer—even if it is to improve their shopping experience. This is a relevant and prescient issue to retailers today. Our approach is that there needs to be a way to opt-in, a loyalty program is a great way to do that. If you paired that with opt-in facial recognition through smart video systems in stores, then the solution could also tap into more anonymized demographics to inform store layouts and endcap optimization. Do families with children tend to spend time in certain areas of the store? What about groups of female or male shoppers? That kind of anonymized demographic information could provide valuable insights.

As we approach close to 50 percent of shoppers opting-in to share their data, it’s clear that a growing number of consumers see the value in a more personalized experience. I really think it’s about what level shoppers want to opt-in and loyalty programs are probably the best approach. Moral of the story is we’re not creating the big brother state of retail. People are asking for more personalized experiences and technology can help enable that for them.

A shopper is pleased that her local store uses the Intel Retail Sensor Platform for inventory tracking. As a result, she just scored the best bag ever.

 

Enabling Tremendous Insights

Consumers also say that they want associates who are more knowledgeable and they want to get the right information from the right person. They want

associates who are knowledgeable about products and can recommend products which would be of best value to them and of highest quality. A recent study shows that 2 in 3 shoppers who tried to find information within a store say they did not find all the information they needed; when they were unable to find the complete information, 43 percent of customers left the store frustrated; 22 percent said they were less likely to buy from that retailer, and 41 percent more likely to shop elsewhere. It is so important to have engaged, knowledgeable, and able sales associates and the JDA Store Optimizer enables sales associates to get back to the business of being available to customers rather than just running around the store in search of inventory.

I think we can learn even more over time to make store truly responsive. In a way, the store itself is learning. The platform helps the store learn and as the store learns, it keeps up in near real-time with the changes that are happening in consumer behavior, and the retail environment. Moreover, there’s no lag time. You’re not being caught unaware.

As we’ve seen, successful retailing comes down to one thing: getting the right product into shoppers’ hands. That may sound simple, but success requires inventory accuracy, efficient sales associates, and the flexibility to quickly adapt to shoppers’ needs in near real-time. Thanks to today’s emerging retail technology solutions I’m convinced that the retail industry’s future has never looked brighter!

Visit intel.com/retail to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post Future of AI-driven Brick-and-Mortar Begins with Responsive Retail appeared first on IoT@Intel.


IoT@Intel

A new era for Arduino begins today

BCMI, the company founded by Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis and Tom Igoe, co-founders of Arduino, announces that today it has acquired 100% ownership of Arduino AG, the corporation which owns all of the Arduino trademarks.

Following the acquisition, Mr. Massimo Banzi becomes the new Chairman and CTO of Arduino. Dr. Fabio Violante will be appointed as the new CEO, replacing Mr. Federico Musto who will pursue other opportunities outside Arduino AG.

“This is the beginning of a new era for Arduino in which we will strengthen and renew our commitment to open source hardware and software, while in parallel setting the company on a sound financial course of sustainable growth. Our vision remains to continue to enable anybody to innovate with electronics for a long time to come,” said Mr Banzi.

“I’m really excited and honoured to join Massimo, the co-founders and the amazing Arduino team as CEO. In the past two years we have worked very hard to get to this point. We envision a future in which Arduino will apply its winning recipe to democratize the Internet of Things for individuals, educators, professionals and businesses,” said Dr. Violante.

Arduino Blog

A Truly Smart and Connected Home Begins with a Solid Foundation

A picture of a woman interacting with a wireless device.

 

Attendees flocking to CES last week were expecting, as they do so every year, Christmas in January: The newest, coolest consumer electronics, including the latest in smart and connected home technology. With the explosive growth in the Internet of Things, Intel has been focused on improving connectivity in the home, laying an important foundation for the smart homes of the future. Not only have we been building partnerships with service providers like Comcast, but also the industry OEM leaders who offer routers, gateways, and network-attached storage devices like ARRIS, ASUS, Belkin, Lenovo, Netgear, Phicomm, QNAP, and VTech.

Many of us already run numerous devices that are simultaneously connected to the Internet: the laptop, the kids’ tablets and video game consoles, the streaming video on TV, home security systems, everyone’s phones—never before have such huge demands been placed on the humble home Wi-Fi. And with more unceasing demands on the home network, consistently maintaining solid and reliable connectivity over a large footprint is no easy feat.

For this reason, we introduced Intel Home Wireless Infrastructure at CES to deliver consistent Wi-Fi performance and expanded in-home coverage. This new technology is optimized for a wide range of connectivity scenarios and supports virtually all client devices in the home network. Any home network can be intelligently managed for consistent and power-efficient performance while also providing optimal coverage. The ultimate goal is to make connectivity just like any other home utility, so the homeowner rarely needs to think about it. Switch it on, and it’s reliable, ubiquitous, and always on—everywhere and every time you need it.

This, along with the latest technologies from our partners, showcased the full potential of a well-connected home—connectivity that makes it possible to deliver a smart home that is perceptive, responsive, and autonomous to ease household management, enrich daily life, and provide peace of mind.

Speaking of peace of mind, the more devices that are connected, the greater amount of data that is vulnerable, so a reliable and secure gateway for the home network is essential. Here are some powerful new solutions that we featured at CES:

  • Comcast’s new advanced home wireless gateway, capable of delivering up to 9 GB per second over Wi-Fi in the home; supports voice, home monitoring, and automation applications; and will be the device that Comcast uses to make 1 GB-per-second Internet speeds possible. This first version of the new advanced gateway is based on the Intel Puma 7 SoC.
  • McAfee Secure Home Platform, which protects devices on home networks from hacks and attacks from the moment they connect. The platform also includes an easy-to-use mobile app to give consumers a flexible way to manage and secure their connected devices in the home, apply parental controls, and receive alerts in real time.
  • Intel also showcased how it is serving the growing demand for bandwidth on home access technologies. For copper access, Intel debuted a new member of the Intel AnyWAN transceiver family, a highly integrated G.Fast/VDSL/ADSL multimode device that allows operators to serve the latest technologies with gigabit rates over telephone wires—while keeping DSL backwards modes for smooth migration.

It’s through technology advancements and ongoing collaborations like these that make greater connectivity and security possible for the smart and connected home. Home networks are easier to set up, without an engineering degree. In other words, living spaces that are truly smart.

Were you able to attend CES? What smart and connected technologies did you see that you think will transform the way we live and interact with our homes?

For more on Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoTLinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

The post A Truly Smart and Connected Home Begins with a Solid Foundation appeared first on IoT@Intel.


IoT@Intel