Indigenous Connectivity Summit Participants Share Their Stories

Madeleine Redfern, the mayor of Iqaluit – the largest and only city in Nunavut, Canada – has a colorful way of describing how sparsely populated the territory is. “The seals outnumber the people.” With a population of just over 35,000 people spread out over an arctic 1,750,000 square kilometers, Internet access is a challenge. In fact, according to Redfern, her most favorited tweet was that she couldn’t tweet… because the connection was too slow.

Madeleine Redfern participated in the first ever Indigenous Connectivity Summit last November. She and other participants shared their experience and expertise to help close the connectivity gap in Indigenous communities. Many also sat down for brief interviews with the 1st-Mile Institute, a New Mexico nonprofit that has initiated a local “Broadband for All” program. The videos are now available to watch on the 1st-Mile Institute’s website.

You can also find the videos on the Internet Society’s Indigenet page, which includes resources from the Summit including the presentations, the policy brief Spectrum Approaches for Community Networks, and other ways to get involved!

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Internet Society

PTC Partners with Microsoft to Help Customers Accelerate Their Digital Transformations in IoT

PTC Partners with Microsoft to Help Customers Accelerate Their Digital Transformations in IoT

PTC Partners with Microsoft to Help Customers Accelerate Their Digital Transformations in IoT

PTC Selects Microsoft Azure as its Preferred Cloud Platform for the Industrial Sector.

PTC today announced it has partnered with Microsoft to make available the ThingWorx® Industrial Innovation Platform on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, capitalizing on the two companies’ complementary technologies and together targeting opportunities in industrial sectors, including manufacturing.

PTC and Microsoft will align the technology and expertise of both companies to deliver a robust solution for Industrial IoT and digital product lifecycle management. At the core of the solution are Microsoft Azure IoT and the ThingWorx Industrial Innovation Platform, which together enable customers to innovate their products and operations with IoT connectivity, rich contextualization, business systems orchestration, and breakthrough user engagement via mixed reality. Extending these services is PTC’s full portfolio of solutions including Creo® and Windchill® for design, manufacturing, and service, and Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality headwear.

Central to the collaboration is PTC’s selection of Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform for manufacturing customers. PTC also will be offering a managed service of ThingWorx delivered on Azure, leveraging Azure services, including Azure IoT Hub. Customers will be able to capitalize on the many benefits of Azure including speed, security, scale, and global reach. ThingWorx, combined with Microsoft Azure IoT, will provide customers with faster time to a production-ready solution, faster time to iterate and refine, access to a rich trove of engineering data, and flexibility.

PTC and Microsoft will continue to pursue joint customer opportunities in operational settings such as discrete, process, and hybrid manufacturing, oil and gas, and utilities. One recent exemplary customer win is Colfax, a leading diversified industrial technology company that provides gas- and fluid-handling and fabrication technology products and services to customers around the world. Colfax will employ PTC ThingWorx and Microsoft Azure for its company-wide industrial IoT initiatives. “These two industry leaders coming together makes perfect sense,” said Ryan Cahalane, vice president of Digital Growth at Colfax. “With ThingWorx and Azure, Colfax will be able to capitalize on the opportunities inherent in the Internet of Things to quickly grow and scale its operations.”

“This collaboration combines Microsoft’s expertise in the intelligent cloud business with PTC’s leadership position in IoT, product design, manufacturing, and service,” said Jim Heppelmann, president and CEO, PTC. “This is exactly the combination customers require to unlock the value in their digital transformation journeys.”

“We are pleased that Azure is PTC’s preferred cloud platform to help accelerate digital transformation in IoT, particularly for customers in the manufacturing industry,” said Jason Zander, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Azure.

“Combining PTC’s platform with the speed, scalability, and intelligence of Azure will enable customers to accelerate industrial innovation.”

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IoT Business News

Utilities tell their networks: “Smart grid, heal thyself”

Utilities tell their networks: “Smart grid, heal thyself”

As smart grids get smarter, utilities are increasingly looking for ways to enable them to diagnose and heal their own problems. 

In early January, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), part of the US Department of Energy, announced plans to demonstrate a system of microgrids over the coming months that can restore and maintain power after a major outage – without the need for human intervention. In other words, this work looks to build power grids that can heal themselves,

“In the aftermath of natural disasters, damage to an electrical grid can slow the recovery effort and prolong human suffering,” writes Cory Hatch of INL in an article about the research work. The same applies, of course, to any other catastrophic event or, say, a cyberattack.

The researchers chose Cordova, Alaska as their demonstration site because the small fishing village in the Prince William Sound and its electrical grid are isolated from the rest of the world, relying on hydroelectric, diesel and solar power generation.

The system will include switches that can isolate one part of a microgrid, enabling undamaged parts of the grid to continue to function during an emergency. It will also employ equipment that monitors changes in the grid in real time. If the grid is damaged or disabled, those parts that are still functioning will have the intelligence to ensure that critical public services – medical centres and emergency shelters, for example – still have power. “In a sense,” writes Hatch, “the system is smart enough to reconfigure itself.”

Read more: GE to provide Enel with software for monitoring power plant assets

Growth market

The idea of self-healing in utility grids is not, in itself, a new one – although this INL experiment takes it to another, more all-encompassing level. Still, there are plenty of utilities worldwide that are looking to introduce new technologies on a more incremental basis to make grids smarter, so smart they can diagnose and heal any problems they experience.

In fact, according to a report issued this week by analyst firm Research & Markets, the global self-healing grid market will reach $ 2.7 billion by 2022, up from around $ 1.7 billion in 2017.

“The self-healing grid market is driven by factors such as the government policies and legislative mandates for T&D [transmission and distribution] utilities, complexity in distributed energy generation, and the need for protection of electric utilities from cyber attack,” write the report’s authors. The key players in the self-healing grid market include ABB, Siemens, GE, Eaton and Schneider Electric.

Read more: Battery tech will power global smart grid ambitions

Schneider and Stedin

For example, energy management giant Schneider Electric has worked with Dutch utility Stedin to create a decentralized, underground self-healing network – the first of its kind in Europe, according to Schneider executives. The self-healing unit is based on Schneider’s Easergy T200 Remote Terminal Unit. These are units are installed in electricity substations and can communicated with each other via a virtual private network.

If a fault occurs, the control centre is notified – but there’s no need to wait for an operator response, because the units will use Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure IoT platform to work together on identifying faults, isolating and repairing them.

Today, in the case of an outage that might previously have lasted two hours, the self-healing system cuts the time of re-energizing the unaffected parts of the grid to under 30 seconds.

Coming soon: Our Internet of Energy event will be taking place in Berlin, Germany on 6 & 7 March 2018. Attendees will hear how companies in this sector are harnessing the power of IoT to transform distributed energy resources. 

Internet of Energy DE

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Internet of Business

Three technology players bring their best to form QodeNext

To provide value to the customers, Intellicon, Essae Technologys and Intercode Solutions have announced joining of their forces. They are coming together to exploit the strengths of the individual companies. The merged entity is named as QodeNext.
The new Rs 100 Cr QodeNext would position itself to serve the requirements of many of its existing customers in the markets they operate. The new products will serve the Internet of Things (IoT), Manufacturing 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence needs of their existing and new customers.
Intellicon can offer Track and Trace, Warehouse Management, Asset Management solutions to existing customers of Intercode and Essae. Essae will offer consumable solutions in the form of self adhesive labels and ribbons to the combined client base.
Intellicon has strengths in providing software solutions, Essae in self-adhesive label manufacturing and Intercode in ribbons manufacturing. And, all the three players are associated with Zebra Technologies Corporation.
Combining these strengths is going to provide a huge cross selling opportunity for the combined entity and provide the customers with a total automation solution under one roof.

The AIDC market in India is only at start of hyper-growth stage, there is a lot of potential for growth in this space. Solutions offered under QodeNext has a great potential to move into markets outside India as well. There is certainly competition from about 150 companies but the value offerings of the new entity (QodeNext) would put them in a very good stead.

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Internet Of Things | IoT India

These students made their own Guitar Hero-like video game

If you’d like to create your own simulated guitar from scratch, you’ll want to check out this project by Cornell ECE students Jake Podell and Jonah Wexler. It uses four conductive strings on the neck to sense which note is selected, along with a pick wired as input to tell when the string has been plucked.

An Arduino Uno takes these inputs and feeds them to a computer via USB serial. Information is then transmitted over Bluetooth to a PIC32 microcontroller, which displays a scrolling fretboard on a TFT screen.

The pseudo-musician must strum along to the song shown—Ode to Joy in this case—hearing a strumming sound for correct notes, or an annoying beep for errors.

Similar to the classic music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, we use a TFT to display notes that move across the screen towards a strum region, produce guitar plucks and undertones of a song, and keep track of the user’s score. The user plays notes on a wireless mock guitar built with carbon-impregnated elastic as strings and a conducting plectrum for the guitar pick. The guitar is connected to an Arduino Uno which communicates wirelessly via Bluetooth to the PIC32. The goal of this video game is to learn the basic finger movements of holding down strings and strumming at the correct time for novice guitar players. The project can easily be extended for more advanced finger movements on the strings and strum timing for those with more experience.

You can see more of the project in its write-up here and in the video below!

Arduino Blog