Siemens Redefining its Role in Industrial Digitalization

Siemens is leaving no stone un-turned while redefining the industrial digitisation. Today, around 900 software developers, data specialists and engineers are already working together with Siemens customers at these centres to develop digital innovations for data analysis and machine learning.

New solutions are being developed on MindSphere, Siemens’ open, cloud-based operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT). To be close to its customers, the company has distributed its 20 centres across around 50 locations in 17 countries worldwide. “We’re continuously expanding our leadership role in industrial digitisation,” said Joe Kaeser, Siemens President and CEO. “With our global experience in electrification and automation and our industrial software expertise, we’re generating optimal benefits for our customers – benefits that no other companies can replicate at such high levels of performance.”

Siemens has launched its MindSphere IoT operating system across the company about a year ago. Around one million devices and systems are now connected together via MindSphere, and this figure is to reach 1.25 million by the end of fiscal 2018. Beginning in January 2018, it will also be available on Amazon Web Services. This partnership brings Siemens and leading cloud solutions provider. As a result, users enjoy the benefits of a more powerful development environment, additional analysis functions and expanded connectivity. Industrial applications and digital services can be developed and run on MindSphere.

To further accelerate the innovation process, Siemens will again increase its research and development (R&D) expenditures in fiscal 2018 and invest an additional sum of around €450 million.   Read more…

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The installed base of construction equipment OEM telematics systems will reach 4.6 million units worldwide by 2021

The installed base of construction equipment OEM telematics systems will reach 4.6 million units worldwide by 2021

The installed base of construction equipment OEM telematics systems will reach 4.6 million units worldwide by 2021

Berg Insight estimates that the global installed base of active construction equipment (CE) OEM telematics systems reached almost 1.8 million units in 2016.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.3 percent, the active installed base is estimated to reach 4.6 million units worldwide in 2021.

This includes all CE telematics systems marketed by construction equipment OEMs, either developed in-house or provided by the CE manufacturers in partnership with third-party telematics players.

Berg Insight estimates that the European market accounted for almost 0.4 million active construction equipment OEM telematics systems at the end of 2016. The North American market is estimated to be slightly larger than the European. The Rest of World represents more than half of the global installed base of CE telematics systems provided by construction equipment OEMs.

Most major construction equipment OEMs have introduced telematics offerings for its customers either independently or in collaboration with telematics partners. OEM telematics systems are today commonly factory-installed as standard at least for heavier machines.

Berg Insight ranks Caterpillar and Komatsu as the leading construction equipment OEMs in terms of the number of CE telematics systems deployed worldwide. “The leading construction equipment manufacturers by market share are unsurprisingly also by far the top players when it comes to the number of OEM telematics subscribers”, said Rickard Andersson, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight.
He adds that this is a natural development in an industry where telematics has increasingly been included as standard with the machine purchase for quite some time, gradually covering more models and equipment categories.

Mr. Andersson continued:

“Caterpillar and Komatsu together account for more than one million telematics units today.”

Berg Insight chart: installed base of active construction equipment OEM telematics units 2016-2021Other key players include Japan-based Hitachi Construction Machinery and South Korea-based Hyundai Construction Equipment as well as JCB, Volvo CE and Deere & Company which are based in the UK, Sweden and the US respectively. South Korea-based Doosan Infracore, Liebherr based in Switzerland and CNH Industrial which is headquartered in the UK all have global installed bases of construction equipment telematics units in the low tens of thousands. “Notably, half of the top-10 OEMs have surpassed the milestone of 100,000 telematics units globally”, concluded Mr. Andersson.

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Industrial asset intelligence startup Alchemy IoT closes $4M seed investment

Alchemy IoT, an IoT Asset Intelligence company helping small- to mid-sized industrial customers use AI-capabilities raised $ 4M in seed funding. The investment was led by Aweida Venture Partners.

Alchemy’s Layout Screens

Alchemy’s main differentiation from similar IoT analytics companies is that it eliminates the need to write complex code for customers. Its SaaS (software-as-a-service) application called Clarity is used for asset health monitoring, operations, and maintenance. The system provides extensive API support, from IoT APIs to analytics APIs and component as well as admin APIs. The REST APIs integrate with both cloud-based IoT platforms or directly with customers’ equipment which allows them to access data from assets.

The application’s core features include sensor data monitoring, AI-based analytics, notifications/alerts, and custom capabilities (such as events and dashboards). Alchemy markets its product by stating that it eliminates the need for data scientists and custom coding, though it appears that Clarity would most likely handle regular usage scenarios and leave out edge cases that so often are a norm in industrial use cases.

“Our mission is to make AI-powered IoT a ‘no-code’ proposition, one that any industrial company can quickly start and put to use to gain fast value. Too many of today’s IoT solutions require a massive budget and an extraordinary amount of customization to even getting started – we aim to disrupt and change that.” Victor Perez, CEO Alchemy IoT


Postscapes: Tracking the Internet of Things

IoT news of the week for Dec. 15, 2017

On net neutrality: Thursday the FCC repealed 2015 rules that enshrined network neutrality into law along partisan lines (the same way the law was enacted originally, albeit with years of conversation and negotiating.) I don’t have much to say beyond what I wrote earlier, so if you want my opinion, my essay from two weeks back is pretty clear. (StaceyonIoT)

Qualcomm is bringing Wi-Fi gesture tech to homes: Qualcomm has signed a deal with a company called Cognitive Systems to bring motion detection to home Wi-Fi networks. Cognitive makes an existing security product called the Aura, which tracks disruptions in Wi-Fi signals to detect motion in the home. Aura WiFi Motion will become part of the Qualcomm Mesh Networking platform, which router makers can use inside their gear. The platform will also connect with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT. Providers using Qualcomm’s mesh chips include eero, Google Wifi, and the Linksys Velop. So look for updates soon.

Dotdot is now out! Dotdot is a relatively new IoT standard created by the ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group. The two organizations launched this at CES in January and then we didn’t hear much about it. But now the two groups say Dotdot will work over Thread’s IP network with essential elements such as the opening of a certification program and the Dotdot Commissioning application available in summer of next year. Could this make the smart home standards muddle easier? Frankly it feels like too little, too late.

One more thing on Dotdot: This was a fun little design article on how Dotdot’s design came to be. It’s old, but I just saw it. (Fast Co)

Alexa could be your maître d’: Amazon’s Echo can be used in office conference rooms and in the home, but what about putting Alexa inside a restaurant? My former colleague Chris Albrecht takes a look at what Alexa could do there. And before you think this is nuts, know that I spoke with a CIO of a major restaurant group who is actively discussing Alexa in the kitchen with Amazon. (The Spoon)

Foxconn brings AI into factories: The startup founded by tech superstar Andrew Ng, who headed up Google and Baidu’s AI efforts, has signed a deal to bring smarter automation to Foxconn’s factories. Ng’s startup, Landing.ai, is training machines to recognize flaws in circuit boards and for other tasks inside the factories. It’s also trying to train humans whose jobs are going to be affected by increasing automation availability. China is becoming less competitive as a hub for low-labour costs, which means some manufacturing is moving. However, with these types of investments, manufacturing can still cost less while China reaps the benefits of investments in AI training data for factories.  (Reuters)

Gemalto is in play: This week French security firm Atos made an unsolicited offer for Gemalto, which makes security chips used in payment processing as well as SIM cards and eSIMs. Gemalto rejected the 4.3-billion-euro ($ 5.1 billion) offer, but Atos is not backing off. Gemalto says the deal undervalues the company, which has not performed well in the stock market recently. However, analysts question if the two businesses belong together, specifically wondering what happens to Gemalto’s SIM card business. (Bloomberg)

Amazon sells the Echo in more places: Amazon said late last week that it would sell its Echo devices in more than 80 countries, but what it didn’t say was that Alexa, its assistant, would learn to speak the corresponding local languages. And that missing information gives a hint about Alexa’s future. (VentureBeat)

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How to Engineer Growth of Consumer IoT Adoption

How to Engineer Growth of Cellular IoT Adoption

How to Engineer Growth of Cellular IoT Adoption

An article by Marc, Editor at IoT Business News.

The rate of adoption of consumer IoT tech products has been underwhelming. The Accenture 2016 Digital Consumer survey showed a 1% growth in demand for devices such as smartwatches, connected security cameras, and personal drones. That wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t speaking about one of the most hyped technological advancements of the decade.

Some of the disappointment over Consumer IoT (CIoT) adoption rates can be blamed on high expectations. Ever since it was conceived, the Internet of Things has been a victim of overoptimistic forecasts. Those who made those forecasts were often subjected to harsh reality checks. But the 2016 survey brought some other problems into the limelight. Security is a major problem for IoT. Consumers can’t find the value in CIoT devices to justify their cost. There’s a steep learning curve to using CIoT devices. You don’t need an engineer’s skill set to see that there’s a disconnect between the industry and the consumers.

Addressing the Main Concern

Consumers can’t be blamed for their lack of trust in IoT security. In 2016, the Mirai malware hacked hundreds of thousands of IoT devices and used them for a DDoS attack. The same year, hackers DDoS-ed the heating controllers in two buildings in Lappeenranta, Finland. They managed to effectively disable the heating by making it reboot over and over again. This is a big problem when the daily mean temperature is around 30°F. The CloudPets leak was also significant. Information of half a million of owners of CloudPet’s IoT toys was stolen by hackers.

It doesn’t surprise that 96% of organizations and 90% of consumers think the government should step in and regulate IoT security. That’s what the results of this year’s Gemalto survey showed. The survey also said that IoT manufacturers and service providers devote only 11% percent of their budgets to security. And 92% of them saw an increase in sales or product usage after adding security measures.

The Trust Issues

Trust will be a major roadblock to increased CIoT adoption as long as the devices and services are seen as unsafe. People will not buy products that might compromise their personal safety, or the safety of their information. We’ve seen some companies, such as MasterCard, make big moves to fortify their fences. Companies with smaller budgets should do whatever they can to add security features if they want to grow. Sitting and waiting for the blockchain to solve IoT’s security problem is not an option.

Data access and management is another opportunity for the CIoT industry to increase consumer confidence. Consumers’ concerns over the safety of their data are well documented. Allowing consumers to see and manage their data can be a great way to start bridging the trust gap. However, just making it possible to access and manage data will not suffice. Manufacturers and service providers will need to make it reasonably easy to access and manage data. The steep learning curve should be reduced for all aspects of usage of IoT devices and services, including data access and management.

Adding Value

Commercial IoT devices and services should be on the cutting edge of product and service personalization. Interconnected devices offer an unprecedented opportunity to capture consumer data. Service providers build their offering around the devices. They can leverage the data to deliver personalized services with a clear and realistic value proposition.

Accenture’s Digital Dynamic Consumer report gives an insight into the types of services consumers want. 18% are interested in starting to use health assistant services within the next 12 month. 16% are interested in smart trip and personal assistants in the same timeframe. 12% are interested in using entertainment and event advisors.

Things look even better in a 5-year period. 60% of consumers will be interested in health assistants, 59% in trip assistants, 56% in personal assistants, 51% in entertainment advisors, and 50% in event advisors. CIoT manufacturers and service providers need to look at the services consumers want the most. Then, they need to engineer the solutions that will make those services available, affordable, and easily usable.

Engineering through the barriers to CIoT adoption will not be easy. The first step, building trust, would require industry players to quickly deal with issues that have been plaguing IoT for a long time. It would also require them to work with the consumers to achieve a satisfying level of data transparency and control. At the same time, the transparency and control measures cannot be implemented in a way that makes CIoT devices less valuable to the users. Adding value is the number two concern that should be addressed in parallel with security and data usage.

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