Help Make the Internet a Safer Place for Everyone

Ash Ball, a young person in Australia, is working to end cyberbullying as part of the Project Rockit team. Ball, one of the Internet Society’s  25 Under 25 awardees, says he believes that it’s important to empower the younger generation to step in when they see someone being harassed online.

That message is especially important today, which is Safer Internet Day, a call to action to make the Internet safer for everyone.

Linda Patiño is another 25 Under 25 awardee leading the charge. “I was a victim of online harassment, receiving kidnapping and rape threats,” she says. Patiño’s work with the Colombia-based organization Colnodo uses ICTs to promote Internet safety and gender equality. “A tool can be so harmful. I enter this world [of activism] so other girls know they are not alone, that we are creating things to help them get through this. Even though these tools have serious impacts, we are doing good change” in the world.

We all have the power to help make the Internet a more welcoming and accessible place, but Ash Ball and Linda Patiño show that it’s a community effort to do so. No one person can do everything, but we can all do something.

You can join the people who are already making a difference. You can advocate for diversity and inclusiveness so that everyone – especially the most vulnerable – has a voice in how the Internet is run, you can support innovative ways for the next billion to come online, and you can make the Internet more secure by adopting good MANRS and increasing IoT security.

You can become an everyday hero and work towards solutions to make the Internet a safer place for everyone. Learn how you can shape tomorrow!

See what a safer Internet means to other young people around the world!

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Internet Society

IBM and Nokia develop Aging in Place solution to help elderly in their homes

‘Getting old is not for sissies’, said Bette Davis, famously. That’s certainly true – and for many it’s a subject we prefer to ignore, especially if it’s happening to us. But it’s also true that aging is better than the alternative, and increasingly, technology is helping us see the way to a better quality of life in our old age.

Offering personalized wellness solutions with IoT

One such assistive initiative comes from IBM and Nokia, and it’s called ‘Aging in Place’. The solution is designed to help monitor the health and wellness of elderly people within their own homes, enabling them to stay put for as long as possible and deferring the need for assistive living care.

In December 2016, IBM opened an ‘Aging in Place’ environment in its Austin Research Lab, to try and understand the types of interactions elderly people have in their homes. Using insights from this research, Nokia and IBM have developed the Aging in Place solution, which was announced at this year’s Genius of Things event in Boston. The solution combines motion sensors in the home, a Nokia IoT-enabled wellness watch, Nokia Gateway, IBM Watson IoT Platform and Nokia Wellness applications. Together, these platforms and devices can provide personalized wellness patterns tailored to each individual, and provide early warning notifications if something seems wrong.

People using the system can elect to automatically notify select friends and family as well as care givers at certain points in the day – either to assure them that all is well, or make sure they are on the scene as quickly as possible should the occasion call for it.

Pilot and deployment

While thoroughly tested in laboratory conditions, the solution has yet to hit the market. To ensure that it’s fit for purpose, Aging in Place will be deployed as part of a pilot scheme involving 40 participants, for the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB) – an internet services provider in Tennessee. Following a successful pilot, the solution will be promoted to EPB’s existing customer base of around 140,000 subscribers.

It’s early days yet, but interest in Aging in Place is high. It could help prevent avoidable accidents and help elderly people keep in touch with loved ones, while giving them a comprehensive care solution that still leaves room for independence and privacy.

Learn more

To learn more about IBM’s work on aging and care of the elderly, visit our website.

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Internet of Things blog

First U.S.-Canada border self-driving test to take place soon

US - Canada border highway direction sign

The first autonomous border crossing is set to take place in the next few months. Auto manufacturer Continental and vehicle supplier Magna plan to send two self-driving vehicles from southeastern Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario, according to Engadget.

Parts of the route will be handled by human drivers, but the team hope most of it to be autonomous. The switch from U.S. to Canadian road signs, speed limits, and driving peculiarities will be a difficult transition for a self-driving vehicle, which normally drives in the same city for months.

See Also: Waymo’s driverless cars spend day with emergency vehicles

Continental said it will use a mixture of Lidar, radar, and cameras for the self-driving system, similar to what most automakers and tech firms use in regular tests. It did not mention which brand of car it would use for the test, although it is part of the BMW self-driving consortium.

The Michigan-Ontario border crossing is one frequented by freight trucks, which are the most likely to see automation in the near term, according to a report by market research firm Forrester.

Continental has made a few significant moves in the past six months, to make it a primary player in the development of self-driving vehicles. It started testing a shuttle route in Frankfurt and announced a major investment in autonomous software and parts.

The post First U.S.-Canada border self-driving test to take place soon appeared first on ReadWrite.


For your big data, sometimes there’s no place like home

Business Team Discussion Meeting Corporate Success Concept

As the IoT becomes more widespread, companies are coming to the realization that although IoT stands for “Internet of Things,” the reality is that these solutions are less about the things and more about using the data generated from these things.

As the volume of data that these solutions deliver grows, it is challenging traditional ways of reporting and investigating this data; these methods were never designed with the intent of showing users what’s in the data, but rather to enable self-guided exploration of data.

The problem is even more complex in industrial IoT (IIoT), where billions of data points can be generated every second from manufacturing systems and factory floors. This really presents an opportunity — not just to have data, but to generate actionable intelligence and deep insights from this dataflow.

This is where machine learning has started to make its presence known. But with all this data and all these new analytical tools, the new question that companies deploying IoT solutions becomes “where do these analytics now live?”

Here’s the truth: data no longer lives as a static object. The days of fixed data existing at rest have been replaced with time series-driven data streams that changes its state and is constantly in motion.

Think of the “Three Vs”

Think of data today across three attributes — Volume, Velocity, and Variety. With these in mind, we can start to look at where it is most appropriate for certain data to be ingested, processed, and delivered to take action on this data.

The first place where we see this new approach to data is at the edge with the emergence of edge analytics. For many applications, driving data all the way back to the cloud to be aggregated is neither timely, inexpensive, nor secure. Being able to turn your data around at the edge or on-premises allows for more efficient deployment of solutions to monitor data streams in real time for patterns and anomalies. These can then drive more intelligence business solutions that include such things as automated predictions, efficiency ratings, and time to failure analysis.

This reality is the reason behind ThingWorx Analytics, which gives IIoT solution builders key capabilities to tackle the volume, velocity, and variety of industrial data. It positions companies so they can leverage their data and build incremental business models without having to staff up dramatically to support this. Although the idea of data is not new, the role of a data scientist within a company is changing, and quite dramatically as well.

The risk of not getting the edge right

If you poorly deploy your technologies at the edge, it can turn your data scientists into what’s effectively an expensive professional services organization, turning data modeling into a laborious process driven by human performance rather than the timeliness of your data.

But in business, the right data delivered at the wrong time is still a suboptimal outcome.

The answer to this is a suite of products that can help your team quickly use modeling tools, then take those models and build automation around them to keep your data moving at the same speed as your business.

ThingWorx Analytics does this in several steps, designed to automate tasks for data scientists that were previously manual and time-consuming. This accelerates their ability to construct and deploy automated advanced analytical capabilities within solutions. The key to this is context and understanding where your data exists when applied to your internal business processes and use cases.

Without this contextual information, you cannot find the actionable data you need to make informed, proactive decisions. If there is a gap between data and action in IIoT, what bridges that gap is context. This is where we can finally have that meaningful discussion about the use of machine learning within industrial applications.

It’s important to point out that IIoT analytics look very different than previous generations of business intelligence (BI) tools. Most of the previous BI tools are still more business-assistive, providing better tools for a human to traverse data sets and build dashboards. They rely on humans to discover insights within the data. Machine learning can assist in the investigation of data often resulting in more insights from deeper and wider data sets.

New tools allow for pattern watching

The emergence of these autonomous learning technologies means an own approach. With autonomous learning you can track data streams in real time to watch patterns and anomalies. You can move past basic analysis to drive predictions and optimizations. And you can alter business or operational process in real-time to maximize a benefit or minimize risk.

In reality, even teams of humans can never deliver what machine learning can in terms of new models. And as a result, BI is trying to be used in places it wasn’t really developed for. In certain operational areas of a business, there is value still for traditional BI solutions, but they are not built for IoT at their core. And one of the advantages that define solutions such as ThingWorx Analytics is years of IP development in machine learning technologies.

If they’re done right, machine learning can improve the impact of your data scientists, decrease the time to market for new analytics, and increase the availability of those analytics to more internal teams beyond just the data team.

This represents a unique opportunity for companies to benefit from their data quickly and in a cost-effective way. But in order to do so, efficiency needs to improve. And it turns out that even with new technologies like IoT, BI, and the cloud, when it comes to data sometimes there’s no place like home.

This article was produced in partnership with PTC. Learn more about how the Thingworx Analytics platforms works and receive important updates.

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All the IoT Forum 2016 Videos in One Place

All the talks from previous IoT Forum in one place. Great talks on a range of issues affecting IoT today.

If you want to watch previous IoT Talks, you can access all of the publicly available ones from here. Great talks on IoT from some of the leading speakers, practitioners and thinkers in the industry today.

IoT is All About the Data – Andy Stanford-Clark, IBM

Andy considers how IoT is transforming businesses by considering the four main areas that IoT can create value:

  • Industry Transformation – Evolving new business models
  • Applications & Solutions – Optimising operations and enhancing performance
  • Platforms – Building and managing IoT solutions
  • Devices & Networks – Connecting what matters.

Andy argues that it doesn’t matter whether data is big or little, it only matters if you can create actionable insight with it. He probably won’t create a controlled explosion using hydrogen in this talk but he will blow your mind.



How Does a Project Planned 10 Years in Advance to Use Ideas That Weren’t Yet Invented? – Marie Gilmour, Crossrail

Digging tunnels and constructing stations under Europe’s largest capital city, London, makes Crossrail the largest construction project in Europe by some margin. Such projects inevitably have long timelines and planning cycles. Marie talks about how the Crossrail Innovation Programme, designed to seek innovative solutions to integrate into the project, has sought and deployed new solutions. What are the challenges a mega project of this type has in bringing new ideas into a highly structured and regulated environment? What problems are Crossrail looking to solve and how should an innovation driven business engage in the programme?


The Near Future for Connected Cars – John Miles, Cambridge University

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built the first powered vehicle is 1768. It was steam powered. It would have been impossible to conceive then that the cars and transport systems of the near future would be more reliant on software than steam to make them operate. John discusses some of the latest innovations that mean cars and transport systems will be an integral part of a network that is better, safer and cheaper for users. As work starts on testing Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, the future of transport has never been more exciting. What will stop us from seeing fleets of self-driving cars on the roads of Britain in 2018?


Regulation: What is it Good For? – Paul Egan, IoT UK

At the risk of making himself the most unpopular person in the room, Paul will argue the case that regulation has stimulated technological advancement.


Holy Maloley, That IoT Kettle is Leaking! – Ken Munro, Pen Test Partners

From kettles to toys it seems there is nothing that cannot be internet enabled and controlled with an app. There are downsides though. What if your product leaks information, or can be used to sabotage a network, or even endanger personal safety? With live demos you’ll see how popular devices can be hacked and abused, and what you can do to prevent it. You’ll also learn about the benefits of baking security into products, by enabling over-the-air updates, avoiding costly product recalls and being a truly trustworthy brand.


Why are Smart Gateways & the Blockchain Important in the IoT? – Charalampos Doukas, ICT30 AGILE

Charalampos (Harry) talks about how the open source hardware and software, alongside smart gateways and the blockchain, can solve some of the challenges presented by the vast array of platforms available for connecting IoT objects (>200 at last count). These isolated platforms offer similar features with almost no interoperability between them and many of them will disappear. Data collection and processing, IoT apps execution, device management should happen closer to the user network.

Charalampos shows why the blockchain and smart gateways are an important part of the IoT puzzle and how entrepreneurs can work with the AGILE project, with open calls for seed money for startups to help build the IoT of the future.


Carrier Partnering as a Route to Recurring Revenue – Phani Pandrangi, Kii

IoT device manufacturers and solution developers are always looking for well-established channels that they can leverage – and carriers are actively looking to monetize IoT in ways beyond just being a connectivity provider. Phani considers some ways that Haltian, KDDI and the Pomo Watch are helping carriers create recurring revenue and interoperability add-on models with such partnerships. What are the advantages and potential challenges with such approaches?


Building and Selling the Business Case for IoT – Richard Sims, TTP

One of the biggest challenges in IoT is proving the business case for the adoption of new technology.  TTP has been working with Mayflower to deploy Smart Street Lighting Systems across the UK. Over 300,000 streetlights are now deployed. Smart Street Lights add ‘intelligence’ to an otherwise ‘dumb’ device, but someone has to pay. Richard discusses how the Mayflower system has been sold to local authorities by presenting the business case for the energy and maintenance savings. He will also offer some insight into the technology and deployment challenges they faced along the way as well as some real-world numbers on kWh saved.


A Fresh Approach to Making Innovation Work in a Mega Corp – Richard Browning, BP

BP is huge, revenue of $ 228 billion in 2015 puts it among the largest 20 companies in the world. Like most organisations of that size, it can be a challenge to bring new ideas into the business and innovate effectively. Richard discusses how he’s leading an initiative to change this with a rapid ‘do-learn-do’ approach that can be applied to existing challenges or be inspired by new technologies in the market. Actively seeking startups and disruptive ideas, the approach is aimed at working and testing new ideas within the organisation with the potential to then scale across the global business as well as being introduced to other BP business partners.


Unlocking the IoT Door – Mike Hogg, Zuhlke

Dorma+Kaba is one of the top 3 global security and access control companies. Mike discusses how the company, together with Zuhlke, is developing and delivering innovative business models that leverage the IoT and enable transformation from a product to a service led business.


What Problems Will IoT Solve? – Alison Vincent, Cisco

Alison comes to the IoT Forum fresh from the finals of the ‘Little BIG Awards’, a Cisco supported programme aimed at helping 11-13 years olds to think about how technology might change the world and develop projects that address the challenge:

“Show us how you think your life could be made better by connecting everyday things together”.

The initiative is tied to national curriculum and combines teamwork, problem solving, creativity, research, planning, thinking about how ideas can make money as well as a requirement to present and demonstrate their ideas. What problems does the next generation believe technology should solve?


How Can We Sell IoT to the Mainstream? – Nick Lansley, Nick Lansley’s Innovation Lab

Nick discusses why understanding the needs of your potential customers is key to adoption of new technology for in B2C and B2B markets. How do you make innovation happen successfully in a large business with very established business processes? How can you use IoT and connected home technologies to help customers appropriately? How can you engage customers by simplifying their home lives with technology without spooking them?


Can IoT Save the High Street? – Eva Pascoe, The Retail Practice

Retailing on the high street has evolved over at least 2,000 years but has changed as much, if not more, since 2000. We are in the middle of a retail revolution. How will the revolution change your shopping experience 20 years from now?


We Need Aspirins, Not Vitamins to Fund Smart Cities – Daniel Clarke, Cambridge County Council

The objective of Smart Cities is simple. ‘How do we make people’s lives better?’ Discovery projects, funded with government capital to stimulate discussion and find the killer Smart City applications offer the potential of everything from cost reduction through economic stimulation. The IoT will only scale successfully if these projects are funded to scale.

Cities have limited budgets with huge competition for very limited resources. Private companies will not deploy significant resources speculatively without a clear route to profit.

Dan considers whether a focus on aspirins ‘easing budgetary pain’ over vitamins ‘stimulating growth’, would help cities adopt and fund IoT enabled Smart Cities.


In the Jaguar Filled Jungle, Small Cats Can Still Thrive – Alexandra Willard, Taurus Consulting

In the connected vehicle sector, existing automotive businesses are investing billions of dollars in innovation. A few startup companies are emerging, Zubie being the best funded and most influential. US investors have also backed other startups with 8 figure investments (Mojio and Automatic).

Can startups compete? Yes, but they have to be careful.

New value propositions and business models are evolving, large companies are looking to startups for innovation. Huge sums are being invested in startups by companies that need to change but many of these activities are doomed to fail from the outset. Alexandra considers why this is so and more importantly, the three critical factors needed to make such collaborations work.


The Internet of Dugongs – Simon Hodgkinson, Smart Earth Network

A simple, yet elegant, IoT enabled project that arose out of a meeting between attendees at last year’s IoT Forum is helping to protect an endangered species – the dugong. The project, run from around the island of Busuanga has historically relied on a combination of helicopters and divers to spot and record dugong sightings in an attempt to generate a database of the numbers, locations and threats to the dugongs which are vulnerable to poaching, loss of habitat and fouling fishing nets. These methods were expensive and produced incomplete data.

The new solution is simple – it allows local fishermen – the only people to regularly sight the dugongs – to record the location, time and date of sightings by using a specially developed app on an Android phone. Many of the fishermen are not literate and so the app has no written elements but simply requires the fishermen to take a picture of the dugong. The app records the location, time and date of the photo, and track of the boat so that areas where there have been no sightings are also known.


IoT; You’re Doing it Wrong! – Craig Hollingworth, Concirrus

“The Internet of Things allows you to know information that you previously couldn’t economically know. With that knowledge, you can operate a different business process.”

Craig Hollingworth, co-Founder at Concirrus, has built his IoT business on a simple premise: if a customer can understand the potential to transform their existing business model, the technology piece becomes relatively trivial to deliver. He argues that there is too much attention being paid to the technology behind the Internet of Things when the benefits IoT delivers accrue to companies that consider how their business model and business processes can be reengineered before they write a line of code.


Low Cost, Fast-to-Market Paths to Scale Hardware Products – Francois Fortun, Premier Farnell

Critical elements for successful product driven companies are focusing on value add and USP while keeping time-to-market and initial investment costs as low as possible. Francois will show how using an ‘off the shelf’ hardware platform, customized for specific end product functionality and cost targets can achieve this. Using some Raspberry Pi-based examples, he will illustrate some of the key things to consider when building and scaling IoT hardware from prototype to short production run.


Ones to Watch (Playlist)

Some of the brightest prospects in the Internet of Things today giving five minute pitches on how they are going to change the world.

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