How IoT Reshapes Industry 4.0 and the Effects of IoT on SMEs
August 8, 2020
The Internet of Things — or IoT as we know it — has introduced a new era of connectivity. From autonomous vehicles to smart kitchen appliances, IoT technology aims to create vast networks of connected devices. It has been considered a colossal milestone in the development of modern technology and has the potential to revolutionize the business landscape.
IoT-enabled management systems are a boon for small business owners. With many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) struggling to stay afloat, those that have incorporated advanced IoT systems into their daily processes have seen great benefits.
However, despite the potential of IoT to bring sustainable growth and address or eliminate issues within a business operation, some SME owners remain in the dark about how IoT technology could help them and their business.
Industry 4.0 is a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that heavily focuses on various technologies that will have a significant impact on all types of business operations. There is automation, machine learning, and interconnectivity.
Internet of Things will play a key role in the development of Industry 4.0 with its ability to connect physical devices to digital platforms to create a more suited environment for manufacturing and supply chain management.
While every industry operates on a different level, IoT is the common solution to face the upcoming challenges such as connectivity, real-time data flow and maintaining a vast network of “smart” devices.
What’s the core benefit of IoT?
The IoT has introduced a new way of thinking when it comes to connectivity and the potential of connected devices. With the ability to connect devices at a higher level and transmit information at greater speeds, companies of all sizes are able to utilize IoT-enabled systems to improve their business operations.
Once, the term connectivity was reserved for computers and smartphones. Today, the list of items with the ability to interact with each other, and exchange information over the cloud. Currently, the remote operation has extended to everything from smart heating systems that can be controlled via a mobile device to smart frying pans that can prepare your food just the way you like.
Want dinner ready before you even arrive home? You can have that done remotely, by phone, too.
IoT systems consist of a set of sensors and “smart” devices that, in a sense, talk to each other over the cloud. Sensors and devices detect the changes in the condition of their environment or collect the requested data from their designated target for the software to process, and then decide on an automated response such as issuing an alert to the responsible parties.
IoT is essentially about gathering information and using the accumulative data to improve existing business practices and promote machine-to-machine communication. Although an advanced management system can seem like a big investment for small companies, the quick ROI and drastically reduced expenses mean that IoT systems basically pay for themselves.
When Magnet 360 moved into their new office building and required an upgrade to their HVAC system, local IoT startup 75F built a sensor network for the company that cut their energy costs by up to 70%.
Different industries have different problems, and many IoT systems have been developed to accommodate their needs. Below are just some of the ways IoT systems can help different types of business.
1 – Logistics
Regardless of their size, distribution and transportation operations can be a logistical nightmare. The requirements of the transportation industry and the expectations of consumers have evolved to the point that it is no longer possible to simply plan for a series of pick-ups and hope for the best.
An experienced transport manager could plan a reasonably efficient route and attain an acceptable result a few decades ago but today, regulatory laws such as GDPR affect everything from driver hours to how IoT and telematics data are used in fleet procedures.
Compliance with the regulations as well as last-minute adjustments makes delivery schedules and transport routes more complicated than they used to be. Their complex nature is exacerbated by the huge amount of information that needs to be conveyed to coordinate different branches of a business.
IoT technology enables enhanced data flow by building a network of devices that can connect and share data. What’s more, IoT-based fleet management systems can significantly improve fuel economy, increase vehicle uptime, and boost vehicle and driver safety through continuous vehicle monitoring.
2 – Manufacturing
Coordinating the manufacturing of goods can be tedious without the right tools. Effective resource management is particularly important for SMEs, as they typically have limited resources that they cannot afford to waste.
IoT technology allows businesses to oversee their manufacturing processes in detail so that they can identify existing issues and any areas that could be improved. IoT technology can be applied to ensure proper asset usage, extend equipment service life, and provide the highest possible ROI on assets.
58% of manufacturers surveyed agreed that IoT technology was required for them to transform their industrial operations; however, the biggest obstacle preventing the adoption of IoT systems is cost.
The data gathered by the IoT devices can be used to program assembly lines to work in unison. Production output will increase as a result of the improved workflow, additionally, collected data and sensitive sensors will allow for automated fail-safes and proactive maintenance measures to be introduced.
The global usage of IoT in manufacturing is estimated to reach $45 billion USD by 2022 due to the increasing number of intelligent connected devices all over the globe.
3 – Productivity
SMEs usually have different goals and quotas to large businesses, but the basic principles are always the same: increase productivity, and revenue will increase as a result. The emergence of highly sophisticated IoT-enabled devices has had a massive impact on business productivity.
Company managers now have access to accurate and actionable data on-demand, which significantly improves decision-making processes and helps them to respond promptly to important events and emergencies.
There are several ways IoT systems can make SMEs more productive: improving collaboration between departments, streamlining fleet operations, lowering operational costs, tracking the movements of vehicles, and many other benefits.
IoT systems are so powerful in this aspect, they are expected to generate $1.2 trillion to USD worldwide through improved productivity over the next decade. Companies can utilize information gathered by IoT-enabled devices to deliver their products faster, reach their target quotas more consistently, and improve their supply chain.
With more jobs completed and the accurate estimated time of arrivals, SMEs can improve productivity, have a happier customer base, and ultimately generate more money to invest in their business.
4 – Maintenance
Keeping company assets adequately maintained is a crucial but often a complex task. For example, without proper servicing, commercial vehicles may break down during transport, causing unexpected downtime. This could spell doom for an SME without a robust contingency plan.
What’s more, heavy-duty vehicles and vehicles on the road for long hours tend to suffer damage at an accelerated rate.
IoT-enabled car trackers can detect and transmit malfunctions before they lead to more serious situations. The devices connect through the OBD-II port, giving them access to engine error codes and diagnostic reports.
OBD-II is an onboard computer that monitors vehicle data such as mileage, speed, and emissions, it can be accessed via a 16-pin port that is usually located under the driver’s side dash. Analyzing these diagnostic reports is key to identifying which vehicles need repairs and when to schedule preventive maintenance.
Research from Volvo shows that IoT-enabled preventive maintenance solutions can reduce diagnostic times by up to 70%, with a 25% reduction in repair times. Proper maintenance can help assets outperform their operational efficiency.
5 – Consumer Satisfaction
IoT systems can provide SMEs with accurate, real-time information to their customers. On-time shipments are a necessity for retaining and extending a customer base. Customers are understandably frustrated when an order has a long delivery time or extended delays. And unfortunately, shipments sometimes get lost or suffer damage during transport.
Damage and loss are especially problematic when shipping perishable goods, that need to be kept in a controlled environment until delivery. IoT-enabled devices can be augmented with sensors that can detect even the smallest changes in the condition of cargo or the vehicle itself.
As well as ensuring the integrity of shipments, IoT-enabled devices can help companies keep their customers informed with precise condition data and real-time delivery information. By keeping customers updated and keeping a steady flow of information about their shipments, businesses will see an increase in their ROI by retaining their existing customers as well as attracting new customers with their top-end quality of service.
Matt Schron, the general manager of Jergens Industrial Supply — a distributor of industrial products including safety glasses, drills, and boots — revealed that integrating IoT systems into his business helped to boost sales, lower customer costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
Jergens used IoT technology to improve their customer experience by speeding up the approval process for when their frontline workers need safety glasses and other items.
When a “smart button” is pressed on one of the racks, shelves or other locations, one of the on-site managers is alerted to approve the request by connecting to one of the wireless networks.
6 – Security and Safety
In 2017 alone, there were over 4,000 workplace deaths that could have been prevented with proper maintenance and better control over the work environment. IoT solutions offer significant advantages for the safety and security of a company’s workforce, property and goods, and vehicles and cargo.
IoT solutions can automate many security procedures and identify security flaws within an operation, helping to eliminate any vulnerabilities. Employees who feel safe and protected are frequently more productive, which can dramatically improve profit margins.
IoT-enabled fleet management systems that monitor and manage a fleet remotely provide real-time access to the location of vehicles and instant alerts in the event of accidents and emergencies, which can greatly enhance driver safety and reduce response times to accidents and emergencies.
From collision avoidance to remote immobilization, there are countless safety-enhancing innovations to look forward to.
The technology of the future – Conclusion
The Internet of Things has truly reshaped the way SMEs can conduct their operations. Technology plays a big part in managing the different aspects of a business and enhancing the quality of services. The benefits associated with IoT devices are essential for SMEs to transition into the digital age of business management.
While their business model may heavily rely on smart technologies such as AI, it doesn’t necessarily mean these small businesses are equipped with the right set of tools to manage their logistics operations and communication between different branches.
With minimal investment, IoT solutions [rewiresecurity.co.uk] can help companies improve their operational capacity, reduce expenses, and manage their resources better, giving rapid ROI. In addition, IoT solutions can be utilized to create a safer work environment, with real-time event alerts and on-demand access to vehicle and driver location data. While larger enterprises are among the pioneers of the IoT revolution, SMEs can also reap the benefits of building a sophisticated network of connected devices.
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Imagine if the internet had been built as a closed ecosystem controlled by a small set of organizations. It would look very different from the internet we know and rely on today. Perhaps this alternate version would run on a pay-per-use model, or lack tools and services that have been developed over the years by independent contributors and scrappy startups. Here is why IoT needs an open ecosystem to succeed. The Open Internet Instead, of a closed internet — we mostly enjoy an open internet. This is in part due to its origins: the internet was built to be fundamentally open, and this is what has allowed it to grow, change, and be adopted as quickly as it has been. In fact, the trend of an open approach propelling innovation is one that we see repeatedly for emerging technologies.
You must have heard the major issue the industry is facing right now? – a significant shortage of talented, skilled cybersecurity professionals. And it’s likely on pace to get worse with more than 1.8 million hit by 2022. Have you ever thought that your business could be the next victim of a cyberattack? The worse is that an estimated 60 percent of small businesses will close for up to six months after a major cyberattack. For over 25 years, the information security landscape seems to evolve at a faster clip each year. In fact, cybersecurity came in a long way and Info-Security World has been there through it all. Although, an unprecedented demand for well-trained cybersecurity workers continues to grow. But, several companies have built traditionally direct traffic from one destination to another, passing judgment about the content; shortage of qualified personnel. To develop the right cyber workforce, the tide of opinion is to make a change. Cybersecurity is the act of protecting computer systems, networks, and programs from all forms of cyberattacks. However, the flaw will always be an advantage once you adopt to hire the wrong personnel. But once you understand the basics of having the right cybersecurity workers then the deeds are well to be safe. Below, therefore, are tips for hiring and retaining the right cybersecurity professionals. 1. Don’t Rely on Experience and Certification, But Ability and Motivation to Learn Having one or more certifications sounds pretty sensible in today’s world, doesn’t it? And many business owners are always interested in those with the best. But what is certification when workers lack the ability and motivation to learn? No wonder Google, Apple, and other companies give less attention to certificates or degrees.
In long-ago-days, the trucking businesses and fleets may have refrained from adopting new technologies because of the inherent resistance to change. However, that attitude has changed drastically — especially recently. Today, more and more truckers are opening up to the use of technology as an integral part of their work. Here are five technologies a trucking business must be aware of. Are you among the truckers who are using the best technologies? Here are the top 5 technologies for truckers to be aware of. Know more and apply these to your advantage. Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) With the deadline for the ELD mandate 2019, 16th December, fast approaching, all truckers are now quite aware of this technology and are working hard to adapt to it. The ELD consists of an electronic logbook to track a driver’s ROD (Record of Duty) status, among other functionalities. The advanced technology of the ELDs ensures less chance of tampering besides reducing the costs of fleet management and ensuring 100% compliance. At this point, it’s one of the most important technologies for trucking businesses to be aware of. However, before you invest in an affordable ELD for owners and operators, make sure that it is in compliance with the FMCSA regulations.
How far have we come from the moment when the IoT term was coined in 1999, by Kevin Ashton? Well, the usage has certainly improved by leaps and bounds from the toaster, the very first IoT device. The Internet of Things definitely took off in 2014 and it is still surprising us daily. Its advantages are incredible, but they do come at a price. Benefits of IoT Easy Access Right now, you can easily access the necessary information in real-time, from (almost) whichever location you are at. All it takes is a smart device and internet connection. We use Google Maps to see where we are, instead of asking a person in the street. Booking is simpler than ever. Factual information is easily accessible, even from the latest scientific research, or business analysis. It is only a click away. Speed All this data pouring in enables us to complete numerous tasks with envying speed. For example, IoT makes automation easy. Smart offices automate repetitive tasks, thus allowing employees to invest their time and effort into something more challenging. Adapting to New Standards Though IoT is ever-changing, its alterations are minimal compared to the rest of the high tech world. Without IoT, it would be hard for us to keep track of all the latest updates. Better Time Management Overall, the IoT is an incredible time-saving tool. We can search for the latest news on our phones during our daily commute, or visit a blog about our favorite pastime, purchase an item in an online shop, you name it. Eventually, we end up with much more time on our hands. However, nothing is perfect. Disadvantages of IoT Data Breach Having easy access to data is wonderful. Unfortunately, our own private data is more exposed than ever too. Statistics (from a website: idstrong dot com) show some worrying figures. 12.7 million Americans were victims of identity theft. A credit card number is the type of information that was most compromised, followed by a debit card number. Data breaches are extremely stressful. Companies also fear them and can lose the trust of their clients for good if the cyber attack came via their website pages. The riskiest devices are said to be: smart toys for kids, off-brand IoT gadgets, second-hand smart devices, and the latest, suspicious apps (about the newest unusual devices). Dependence The IoT, obviously, is dependent on the internet connection. When there is none, it can’t be used. On the other hand, we have become increasingly dependent on the IoT’s everyday usage. Not only in business, but in our private lives. If we don’t download the desired information quickly, we are prone to becoming agitated and upset, even about the most trivial content. To this end, the IoT does not always bring out the best in us and it has contributed to the great decrease in our attention spans. Complexity Though IoT seems to be completing tasks with ease, a lot of complex operations are behind it. Consequently, if the software makes a wrong calculation, this will affect the rest of the process. The above-mentioned over-reliance can be very dangerous sometimes. At best, we won’t know how to deal with the wrong temperature in our green home. At worst, a glitch in water dam software could cause a disastrous flood. Therefore, oftentimes a mistake in IoT is not always easy to fix. To Sum Up The IoT has brought us many amazing things and it continues to surprise us in lots of sectors: business, healthcare, our private lives. As for the downsides, now that you are more aware of them, try to keep those under control. Protect your data and be aware of how automation and easy access can affect you or your business. The post The Biggest Advantages and Disadvantages of IoT appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
Some of the fast-food IoT technologies I’m about to dig into were already catching wind leading up to our current pandemic. Due to social distancing measures, it seems natural for any technology to thrive if it can help businesses operate with less person-to-person interaction in this climate. As our favorite places cautiously reopen, the following three technologies can help keep customers and employees healthy. Here are three fast-food IoT technologies that could slow COVID-19. Ordering Kiosks Being able to place an order for food indirectly has existed since the telephone. Right now, there’s a need for added layers of separation between people in fast-food restaurants. Using a kiosk to order has never been more helpful. What is an Ordering Kiosk? Ordering kiosks are large, rectangular screens that you can place an order on. The technology itself has been around since the late 1970s, thanks to people like Dr. Murray Lappe at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Major fast-food restaurants like Subway and McDonald’s began experimenting with these screens and ordering back in 2006. In a 2018 interview, then-McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook shared with CNBC that the company would be starting ambitious plans to equip 1000 restaurants every quarter with kiosks for eight to nine quarters. The alternative way of ordering would provide better customer experience and more revenue for the company. Fast-forward to summer 2019 and the investment paid off. In a Q2 earnings call last year, Easterbrook went over how the company was seeing higher average checks from customers using the order kiosks. Not Everyone is a Fan of the Ordering Kiosk, Though. Former CEO of McDonald’s USA, Ed Rensi, voiced his concerns about the growing Kiosk use about two years ago in an article with Forbes. His main problem with them was that automating these parts of the business would eliminate valuable opportunities for teens and college students who need an entry-level service industry job. Considering the valuable lessons from my own experience as a cashier back in college, I agree with the concerns. How They Help Slow COVID-19 In our current environment, things like kiosks need to be cleaned almost constantly. McDonald’s has issued reopening instructions that any restaurant using the self-order kiosks must have them cleaned after every use. The kiosks will help employees in terms of social distancing and the employees will help the kiosks to stay clean. For the time being, then, they will work together. The IoT kiosks are just one piece of the order, though. Customers who are still wary of using them (despite cleaning protocols) do have other options. By now, most major restaurant chains offer an iPhone or an Android app plus a website for placing online orders. Smartphone apps and online ordering, in general, will come in handy for this situation, plus, they all provide a massive amount of data on customers who opt-in. Pizza Hut (a pioneer of digital ordering) even developed an Xbox app a few years ago and saw over a million in sales within the first four months. More Connection than Ever Now, the beginning of an order is quick, clean, and engaging for customers. Restaurants are also beginning to focus on the end of patrons’ meals, too. If the last thing they do before leaving is have disgusted feeling about something — chances are they won’t want to come back. That’s why businesses are looking at their garbage — and IoT — to further connect with customers and end meals on a cleaner note. At-The-Source Trash Compactors Different businesses, schools, and city governments have gradually been adopting at-the-source trash compacting during the last 20 years. Similar to the kiosks, major food chains like Chick-Fil-A have been adding more trash compactors at an increased pace lately. Also, like kiosks, various ideas and household versions of trash compactors and additional refuse disposal sources have been around since the 1970s. The main reasons for restaurants adopting trash compactors and more trash disposal cans — is the operational efficiency and sustainability. Quick and easy trash disposal comes with added customer experience benefits that will be helpful in a post-pandemic environment. What is an at-the-source trash compactor? An at-the-source trash compactor is essentially a garbage can that smashes trash into a cube so the employees don’t need to go back and forth to the dumpsters as often. Fewer dumpster trips, in turn, uses fewer trash bags, reducing the plastic output in the environment. Many also have the IoT technology built-in for sending a text message or an email once the machine is full. This allows restaurants to focus on other things until the exact time one needs to be emptied. How They Help Slow COVID-19 While you might see handles on outdoor machines — and of course, the much-needed garbage can foot pedals. A compactor that has been showing up in restaurants like Chick-Fil-A all has automatic doors on them that use a motion sensor to open. Automatic doors on the trash bins will help, since making garbage disposal as contact-less as possible these next few months will be crucial. Studies that are currently underway by the CDC suggest that the novel coronavirus can survive for 48 to 72 hours on common surfaces like plastic or stainless steel. The fewer surfaces there are to touch, the better. Outside of the direct customer experience, being able to indirectly monitor when machines are full will aid workers in social distancing measures. Instead of needing to periodically go and check garbage, they can look at a computer or smartphone to know whether a compactor is full. Many chains have plans in place for the beginning and end of meal safety, but what about while you eat? In an April press release, the McDonald’s Vice President of U.S. Communications & Government relations included a list of precautionary measures that the fast-food giant will be taking to prioritize safety in restaurants. Two main areas will remain closed for the time being. The beverage bars and play places will stay closed (imagine the germs in those ball pits!) but not every contact-heavy area can be locked up. Since bathrooms will need to remain open, IoT-enabled devices may be able to help the efforts at keeping things clean. The IoT Bathroom By now, practically everything in a bathroom can leverage some type of IoT fixture. Things like soap dispensers and toilet paper rolls can be monitored for how much is left, toilets can self-flush, and lights can even indicate whether a stall is in use or the door just looks closed. Enormous amounts of data can also be sent to facilities management and customer experience teams. How They Can Help Slow COVID-19 Currently, the main adopters of smart bathroom technologies have been airports. One of the most useful benefits of the IoT-enabled bathrooms at places like the Atlanta International Airport and the Los Angeles International Airport are lights on the ceiling that indicate whether a stall is in use or not. When one is done being used, the cleaning crew could make sure it gets properly sterilized. According to the LAX COVID-19 plan, they are currently cleaning the restrooms once per hour. The ATL’s website mentions “increased frequency of cleaning of public areas” for their plan. Keep It Simple The light systems being installed at airports sound simple enough to fit in fast food. A battery-powered door lock wirelessly communicates with the light above to indicate whether the stall’s being used or not. The lights in the ceiling do require some basic wiring though, according to the website for Tooshlights, the company that provides them. After that, the status and data can be monitored remotely from a computer like the compactors and kiosks. Tying It All Together These next few months will undoubtedly be a tough time for everyone. In efforts to keep costs low and customer experience positive, various IoT systems may be an answer. Kiosks, compactors, and the bathroom will likely continue to be areas of focus for fast food chains to keep business running smoothly. Disclosure: I was an intern one summer about five years ago for Compaction Technologies, a company that makes trash compactors. I’ve cleaned out garbage cans before. I am not receiving any compensation from them or any other company mentioned/linked in this article. The post 3 Fast-Food IoT Technologies that Could Slow COVID-19 appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
Artificial intelligence and the Internet of things (AIoT) is one of the newest players on the tech scene, and it’s already garnered attention at a rapid pace. That’s thanks to its compelling combination of intelligent cognition, edge computing, and autonomous capabilities. While IoT on its own is no doubt powerful, connected networks can only take things so far even when performing at peak. When AI is brought into the same picture, things get a serious upgrade. IoT is already well established and still set to grow, with more than 41 billion IoT devices in use by 2027. What’s more, Gartner predicts that more than 80 percent of enterprise IoT projects will include an AI component by 2022. But just why is such widespread adoption on the cards? Imagine if your IoT-powered infrastructure could run with the ability to self-repair. Think, not only self-repair, but having the ability to apply predictive maintenance, and adjust to external variables automatically. AI promises to offer these gains due to its ability to analyze the vast amounts of real-time data gathered by IoT devices and make autonomous, intelligent decisions based on this data. AIoT holds the potential to drive productivity and efficiency for any enterprise that employs IoT technology. AIoT is also expected to be particularly transformative for manufacturing, autonomous vehicles and robotics. Let’s explore what happens to these industries when AI fuses with IoT. Keeping Ahead of the Manufacturing Curve with AIoT Smart factories and warehouses were some of the earliest adopters of IoT technologies. The World Economic Forum already identified over 1000 smart factories in 2018. However, as more production plants and factories join the trend, the competitive edge they hold diminishes. AI is pegged to deliver the next competitive advantage for organizations that already have their IoT infrastructure in place. AIoT will further enhance the capabilities of factory devices such as remote sensors, smart meters, and production machines as they can process the vast amounts of data and allow devices to react to their environment intelligently. Such changes enable products to reach the market more quickly, production lines to automatically respond to external market demand and offer new business insights from the operational data. Take the regular IoT setup — and add in AI. With an IoT setup, machinery can send automatic service updates to the system so that maintenance repairs can be scheduled. With the addition of AI, this process becomes fully automated. The computer systems will place orders for the parts required and the scheduling set up. Nokia production –Finland. Nokia’s production site in Oulu, Finland saw productivity increase by 30% and they’re now able to bring products to market 50% more quickly. A whole-digital approach combined with cutting-edge technology such as digital twins and intelligent automation made this possible. Farming specialists prime additions. The German digital farming specialists BASF teamed forces with Ontera inc to create an intelligent feedback system that adjusts directly in line with agricultural needs. The project uses computer vision to monitor crop and climate conditions which are fed back to the plant. If signs of pest damage or vitamin deficiency are detected, the plant will tailor the formula accordingly. The formula ensures the crops receive only the formulas they require at that point in time, reduces the production of unnecessary treatments, and helps to improve overall crop yield. AIoT fuels the era of autonomy Autonomy is another key deliverable promised to organizations that adopt IoT in their digital transformation strategies. Many public and private buildings have been keen to adopt the power of IoT to improve their operational systems and allow for real-time service adjustments. Smart heating systems are one example of how this trend is taking shape. AIoT helps to monitor variables such as weather, pollution levels, or the number of workers in specific locations and auto-adjust devices across the building. Knowing the exact occupancy numbers improves conditions for the users of the building, prevents unnecessary energy consumption, and lays the groundwork for predictive analytics. Toronto-based Ecobee uses a range of AI-powered smart thermostats that continually readjust based on incoming real-time data from occupancy and humidity sensors, exterior temperature readings, and predictions based on prior user behavior patterns. Ecobee’s latest feature even connects the system to time-in-use energy pricing that allows the AI model to prioritize energy usage when it’s cheapest. When talking about the future of AIoT, we touch on autonomous vehicles. McKinsey predicts that up to 15% of all cars will be autonomous by 2030. AI provides data to the control system so that vehicles respond to objects, control speed, and change direction accurately. In the autonomous vehicles use case, pre-existing AI will fuse with new IoT infrastructures to help cars stay up to date with traffic patterns, road closures and weather conditions in real time. The more connected devices that are built into traffic and municipal infrastructures, the stronger the benefits – such as reduced traffic – are set to become a reality. Ericsson and Veoneer partnered to develop a connected vehicle cloud to support the widespread adoption of this technology. The partnership will deliver vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity to ensure every autonomous vehicle on the road has the latest real-time data. Cloud-technology processes this data with minimal latency. How Robotics is Enhanced with AIoT The robotic sector as a whole saw significant growth in 2019, with investments of $1.1 billion in June alone. As with human intelligence, our external environment influences the decisions we make. Robots with real-time AIoT at their fingertips make smarter decisions and one step closer to realistic intelligence. Delivery robots like those made by Starship Technologies are a familiar sight in many cities and help brands deliver consumer and commercial goods quickly and reliably. These robots already rely on the power of IoT to help them navigate and reach their destinations. Now, companies are exploring how AI could help these robots communicate with customers using natural language processing. As home delivery services continue to increase in popularity, robots are extremely likely to grow alongside this trend. AIoT is also poised to make surgical robots even more helpful. Smart operating theatres are connected to medical devices, real-time imaging, and patient health data. Surgical robots can use this data to adjust decisions during delicate surgeries to improve patient outcomes. The next level of productivity and precision The power of AI is, at times, limited by the amount of readily available data for the algorithms to train, detect patterns and make predictions. As industries continue to adopt the benefits of IoT, and the number of connected devices grows, so too does the potential of AI. AIoT takes advantage of the vast pools of data that are available in these connected environments to make smarter autonomous decisions and more accurate predictive analysis. Overall this helps organizations increase their productivity, create more efficient processes and even improve overall customer experience. While industries more traditionally associated with hardware, such as manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, and robotics, are early adopters of this technology, any industry that incorporates IoT in their processes could benefit from the same productivity boosts that AIoT promises. The post These Three Industries are About to be Hit by AIoT appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
Technology is booming in the home. Technology Convergence and the Smart Home recently reported that US broadband households now own more than ten connected devices. A shortlist of the home connected devices include connected consumer electronics, connected health devices, smart locks, thermostats, security cameras, sprinkling systems, and more. But long-range wireless power promises less waste and lower cost with these smart home systems. Interoperability and connectivity are two key deciding factors in purchase decisions. As the number of devices increases in the home, so does the need to keep them consistently charged and working (no one wants the smart lock on their front door to lose power). For those smart home devices that still call for the use of traditional batteries, consumers are faced with both an enormous amount of battery waste and high replacement costs. Also, because batteries only have a small total energy capacity, manufacturers are forced to sacrifice device functionality just to extend battery life. Taking Charge Without the Waste The proliferation of devices is driving the need for a sea-change in how those devices are powered. Batteries are expensive, wasteful, and often die quickly, leaving our smart home devices unusable, sometimes for days. Annually, Americans discard approximately 180,000 tons of batteries (more than three billion batteries), of which 86,000 tons are single-use alkaline batteries that cannot be recycled. Placed end to end, the dead alkaline batteries alone would circle the world at least six times. Much of this waste ends up in landfills, not only taking up precious land but also allowing harmful chemicals to leach into the surrounding soil and waterways. Despite advances in battery and charging technologies – like longer-lasting lithium-ion rechargeable batteries — a new Zogby report talks of, “Charging America 2019.” The Current State of Power Options for Smart Home and Mobile Devices, found that 40 percent of consumers have to replace smart home device batteries multiple times per month. A New Path – Long-Range Wireless Power Not only do we need a more sustainable energy delivery approach for the benefit of our planet, but consumers are also hungry for alternative energy options. They want possibilities that will give them more excellent reliability and reduce their costs associated with having to purchase a plethora of batteries continually. 25 percent of consumers that are investing in smart home technology said that they would spend an additional 10 percent or more for a smart home device with long-range wireless power if that meant making the device more mobile, easier to install and less of a hassle to service on a reoccurring basis. Long-range wireless power is the disruptive technology that is cutting the cord. Long-range wireless power is the disruptive technology that is cutting the cord on a soon to be an archaic system of powering devices, especially in the smart home. The process? A wireless power transmitter sends safe infrared beams to a receiver (typically embedded in the devices to be powered), and a small photovoltaic cell in the receiver converts the light to electricity. The concept is similar to solar panels converting sunlight into electricity. Infrared beams can travel with little degradation over a distance, efficiently and safely providing wireless power across a room. The infrared process dramatically reducing the need for batteries, and thus decreasing the environmental footprint caused by battery waste. The infrared method of charging frees up manufacturers to create the smart home devices that consumers desire, free of the power limitations imposed by batteries. Long-range wireless charging will turn the tide on battery waste with a more sustainable way to charge not only smart home devices, but mobile phones, tablets, wireless speakers, and industrial sensors. Long-range wireless eliminates the need for batteries and power cords altogether. It’s a win-win for consumers, manufacturers, and most importantly, our planet. The time is now for this disruptive tech to enter the entire industry. The long-range technology will innovate and prepare for a new way of charging the growing prominence of smart devices in our daily lives. Just like WiFi-enabled a new class of products — long-range wireless charging can usher in the next generation of powered, eco-friendly smart devices. Image Credit: Hilary Halliwell; Pexels The post Ditch Batteries, Save the Planet with Smart Systems appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
It seems that everywhere we turn, the world is being digitally transformed, and your local supermarket could be next. We’re all used to the “non-digital” supermarket shelves — but digital supermarket shelves are likely to be the way of the future. That’s because they can deliver benefits to both consumers and supermarket retailers, so it’s a win/win situation. Here is: smart supermarket shelves — a shopping transformation. How smart supermarket shelves could benefit consumers The major potential benefits for consumers center on the capability of powered supermarket shelves to interact with smartphones. This can create a personalized shopping experience for consumers. Consider these two potential applications of smart supermarket shelf technology: 1) A digital sign that could display a relevant promotion to a shopper as they walked past. This promotion could be triggered by the types of groceries that the customer has bought in the supermarket in the past and by the supermarket shelf sensor interacting with the customer’s smartphone to detect when they were approaching the shelf. Consumer demographic data (like age, gender and cultural background) could also be used to trigger personalized supermarket shelf display information. 2) A smartphone shopping list feature where information on where customers can find grocery items that are on their list could be digitally and automatically provided to them by powered, smart supermarket shelving. What about consumer privacy issues? Of course, there are always concerns when commercial organizations collect consumer information. Those concerns usually center on how that information will be used by the organization that’s collecting it. For example, according to recent research conducted by PwC, 43% of U.S. consumers say that they would not give their personal information (such as their purchase history, location, and age) to companies to allow for more personalized experiences. However, 63% of U.S. consumers in the same PwC study said that they would be open to sharing their personal information in return for a product or service that they truly valued. These findings demonstrate the importance of retailers, such as supermarkets highlighting the consumer benefits of smart-shelf technology. The benefits for supermarket retailers The potential benefits of powered supermarket shelves for retailers include: Data-driven inventory management that enables the automatic tracking of in-store stock levels. For example, out-of-stock alerts can be sent to relevant supermarket staff to prompt restocking and reordering. Efficient restocking and reordering can help to increase sales by ensuring appropriate inventory levels. Using and being able to easily and quickly update electronic price tags, saving time compared to manually pricing stock, and eliminating the need for price checks. The ability to use flexible digital signs to market to grocery shoppers in real-time. For example, in-store promotions that can be quickly and easily adjusted to suit changing circumstances, such as new product launches or seasonal marketing campaigns. Many supermarket purchases are impulse items, so the power of delivering relevant, personalized information to supermarket consumers should not be underestimated. The ability to generate detailed analytics on consumer shopping behavior to inform store merchandising by managers and other supermarket staff. For example, customer foot traffic patterns to show where the stock should ideally be located to maximize sales. Preventing or minimizing theft. Internet of Things (IoT) technology that enables smart supermarket shelf technology Key IoT technology that enables the benefits of supermarket shelf technology to be delivered include: Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) Supermarket retailers who use ESLs will no longer have to manually price items. Instead, their prices will be digitally displayed, allowing items to quickly and easily be repriced (for example, when they go ‘on sale’ at a lower price for a limited period in order to stimulate consumer demand). ESLs can also allow retailers to reduce product waste by quickly and easily allowing the price of items to be lowered when they are nearing their expiry date. Again, this tactic can stimulate consumer demand. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags RFID tags transmit and receive data using radio waves. They can be used to help with inventory management or to alert staff if a shopper or staff member puts an item on the wrong shelf. Weight sensors Weight sensors also assist with inventory management by detecting when a product is replaced or removed on a supermarket shelf, or when consumers move to a certain area of the store. Machine learning algorithms can then be used to analyze this consumer movement data to assist with store decision-making. In addition to these IoT technologies, more traditional technologies like video cameras can be used on smart supermarket shelves for store security, to monitor inventory levels, and to gain a deeper understanding of consumer behavior in-store. For example, where consumers spend most of their time and foot traffic patterns. The bottom line Smart shelf technology offers many potential benefits for both consumers and physical store retailers, especially those in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector such as supermarkets. The bulk of supermarket purchases are still primarily made in-store, and personalized in-store shopping experiences are the next logical frontier for digital transformation according to the latest research from McKinsey. In time, personalized in-store shopping experiences may become as common as the personalization we’ve come to expect when shopping online. Image Credit: Anna Shvets; Pexels The post Smart Supermarket Shelves: A Shopping Transformation appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
There has been a lot of talk about machine learning in logistics management. The idea is simple: optimize, infer, implement and repeat. Here is: machine learning and exception management — a logistics tech game-changer. What is included in the different pillars of logistics management? A system optimizes the different pillars of logistics management that include order planning; vendor performance management; fleet capacity optimization (management); dispatch management; in-transit shipment tracking; and delivery management. Next, the system infers the points or bottlenecks within these pillars (logistical processes) which can be fixed, improved, or enhanced. These inferences or analytics are then ‘implemented’ back into the logistics set-up. The learning mechanics start back from optimization. Over-time the system evolves and improves all the connected logistics management processes. This is machine learning in logistics management. What is exception management in logistics? A logistics exception (issue) is a deviation from planned or expected process execution. Here are a few examples. Shipment loads aren’t mapped properly to available fleet options (creating capacity-mismatches and loading/dispatch delays). In-transit shipments are detained at a spot for more than two hours (or are violating service level agreements with speeding or harsh braking). Consignees didn’t receive all the SKUs (stock-keeping units) as per the initial purchase order. Every transportation management system (TMS) involves some or many human touchpoints. A person supervises these system or process interactions (touchpoints). This can be anything from checking the shipment assignment schedule and ensuring that the handlers are following the planned loading patterns. Similarly, many other touchpoints work to ensure that the gap between plans and ‘actuals’ is minimal. The goal of exception management is to minimize this gap between planned and on-ground results. Overall, the machine-learning aspect of exception management induces accountability and efficiency within the company’s and logistics network’s culture. This can be with the supervisors, warehouses, freight forwarders, logistics service providers, consignees (distribution points), etc. 6-stages of machine-learning enabled exception management system. The 6 stages are Discovery, Analysis, Assignment, Resolution, Records, and Escalation. Discovery: It detects and reports issues or anomalies within the processes. This can be through temperature sensors (cold-chain logistics), real-time movement tracking, order journey tracking (in-scan and out-scan of each SKU), etc. Analysis: It analyses and processes the issue or exception as per protocols (or learnings). It categorizes and pushes ahead all exceptions – either to an assignment or to an escalation. Assignment: It matches the exception with the right person or department (best-suited to resolve the exception on time). Resolution: It tracks the speed and effectiveness of the person’s (assignee) resolution. It moves the ‘resolution’ through multiple criteria and validations before satisfactory ‘completion’. Records: It records and analyses each exception right from discovery to resolution. The system processes these records to throw-up insights or best-practices for future applications. Escalation: This is an important aspect of dynamic exception management. The system constantly tracks each issue within the system. If at the analysis or resolution stage, the supervisor (or system) deems the issue – critical or complicated, then it’s escalated through special ‘analysis’ and resolution. It mostly includes people with different skill-sets or authority. If the system detects that an issue hasn’t been resolved in its time-frame, it’s again escalated. Through these 6-stages, the system constantly weeds-out inefficiencies from within itself. It helps propagate a more transparent, accountable, agile, and responsive culture. Furthermore, it helps reduce errors and delays, which, in turn, improves profit margins. A few new-age TMS start-ups, like Fretron, are trying to capture market share using this 6-stage exception management. Real-world applications of escalation management in logistics Let’s consider a real-life use-case for an exception management system (EMS) – a fast-growing retailer in India focusing on Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Their biggest challenge was an unorganized logistics (vendor/freight forwarder) network and weak city infrastructure. Even though the retailer had opted-in for total logistics automation, they still weren’t able to implement it to the full extent. The client was looking for a tech-enabled process and culture change. Let’s take vendor performance management as an example. The EMS helped cut down discrepancies in billing and settlements. A single synchronized TMS was able to track each order (at the SKU level) as it moved through crates, pallets, trucks, cross-dockings, and final delivery. The out-scan could automatically highlight all the missing items. The EMS would process the information and mark the exact point of deviation where the item went missing. This helped with issue resolution and also to plug these operational gaps. It cut down invoice-level disputes and hastened the settlements. The EMS enabled fast and error-free invoicing which incentivized the carriers and freight forwarders to work in a more organized fashion. Through an iterative learning process, the system improved upon itself. It brought a higher degree of transparency and accountability within the logistics ranks (in the company). On the back of machine learning-enabled EMS, the company was able to deliver on-time value (better shelf choices) for its end consumers. Conclusion: Exception management, in logistics, is a game-changer EMS successfully bridges the gap between tech-induced efficiency and on-ground employee efficiencies. It’s especially effective in unorganized or traditional markets that are riddled with such ‘exceptions.’ If machine-learning backed EMS is used in the right manner, many mid-level companies can scale fast and improve their outlook within the next five years. At this time of COVID-19, scaling faster may be the only option to save your company. The post Machine Learning and Exception Management – A Logistics Tech Game-Changer appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
Recent events have reminded all of us how much we rely on smart connected devices to accomplish daily tasks, get work done, and stay in touch with our families and friends. It’s very likely that many of these experiences will remain as examples for us in the future. It’s a good time to revisit the topic of cybersecurity. Specifically, we need to look at the current forecasts that say we will have 75 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things by 2025. The sheer numbers are beyond comprehension. We should work together to seek better standards with adequate certification schemes, including harmonized safety and security provisions to be designed directly into those devices before they arrive in markets. Do the numbers understate the potential growth in the amount and, more importantly, the use of connected devices? Devices that can sense, think, connect and act will enable a world to do many tasks that are anticipated. Automation will be making everyday activities “smarter” in ways we can only now imagine. The plethora of devices will not only sense the world, but they also will physically act on the planet. Globally, we should all be safer, and all things more sustainable for individuals and businesses. Using our devices more often for more things could also make us more vulnerable as we depend on processing and zettabytes of data utilized through increased edge computing (locally, in those devices), along with a growing reliance on the cloud. We must, therefore, step up and assume increased security measures as a core function of these smart devices. We’ll only realize the full potential of smart, connected devices if we can trust and rely on them to be safe and secure. Here’s what it’ll take: Shared Standards Currently, services like payments and eGovernment rely on ecosystems that follow globally accepted and implemented security standards, which are supplemented by strong and continually updated commonly trusted certification schemes. IoT is still in its early stages where products do not interoperate easily, and such standards and certifications are missing, but we can learn from markets with high-security standards. Another brick in the wall that’s missing is standards that entail the appropriate combination of safety and security. IoT standardization has to learn from Healthcare, Automotive, Industrial, and Critical Infrastructure standards. The trust in future IoT is to be based on independent, economically acceptable assessments and applicable to any type of IoT vertical. NXP advocates here a certification standard called “Security Evaluation Scheme for IoT Platforms” (SESIP), grounded in the Common Criteria certification scheme for highly secure components but covering the full span of IoT devices from low-end low-resources ones to the powerful edge-computing gateways. In addition, IoT devices will have unmanaged lifetimes. Absolute security does not exist; this implies that we need standards defining ways to recover some baseline functionality in case a system is compromised: resilience is key, and this is where safety and security meet each other. If some level of control can be regained there, is less incentive for it to be attacked again. IoT devices will be part of large complex systems; this implies that not only devices but also system security requirements standards are to be defined as well, globally with a focus on local requirements. Mutual recognition of security standards is needed to ensure scalability in the industry. Last but not least, in addition to security and safety, a third pillar is to be considered: privacy. IoT devices are accumulating huge amounts of personal data that needs to be protected in a secure way. For all those reasons, governments and industry need to redouble their work to develop and embrace common security standards and certification schemes for this next phase of IoT growth. One such mechanism for this collaboration is the Charter of Trust, which NXP co-founded with Siemens and other leading technology businesses. The Charter serves as a common ground for exploring the needs for shared standards, a way to collaboratively develop them, and a platform from which companies can adopt them. Anticipatory Development In our era of rapid and continual change, it’s only smart to anticipate that devices will need to either accommodate multiple security requirements and adopt to new ones as they’re developed and deployed. This challenges businesses to consider how to make devices and entire solutions more addressable and flexible too, and by those changing needs. For instance, there are currently multiple standards for vehicle-to-infrastructure communications (or “V2X”), which is core to enabling smart cars to function as part of integrated, constantly learning, and real-time networks. Add access to all of the less mission-critical functions and services, such as entertainment content and shopping, and it’s vital that designs for new vehicles take into account the likelihood that multiple standards may apply now, and perhaps change in the near future. This means designing for multiple standards; think product labels in North America that often include descriptions in English, Spanish and French, so the same products can be marketed on shelves in different countries (and made accessible to different users). It also means focusing on the secure connectivity of those devices, not just their functional safety and security, so that devices can be updated (over-the-air, or “OTA”) when needed. Again, to stretch the language analogy a bit more, many countries use different algorithms to implement similar methodologies to protect against the same sort of security risks (i.e., attacks can be agnostically identified and ranked by likelihood, frequency, potential impact, etc.). Anticipatory development challenges developers to see these common or shared requirements and address them. Security by Default Ultimately, security is not only a functional attribute of a product or network but rather an aspect of the design itself; security is something that is inherent, “built-in” versus “added on.” Security and safety are holistic system properties. A key strategy to address the emergent security challenge of 75 billion connected devices will be to continue to produce them with security by default One way to do this is to physically insert a small component into a device that provides an identifier key and a secure execution environment. Such hard-wiring of one end is what you could call “a secure handshake” (also known as a “root of trust”) makes it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to hack or trick the device (unless an evil-doer possessed the proper identifier). It’s not a software overlay. We possess potent tools to address the emergent cybersecurity challenge ahead of us: Pursuing shared standards, anticipating multiple requirements and changes, and building secure components into devices themselves can, when taken together, empower businesses and ultimately individuals and businesses to benefit from the immense productivity and quality of life advances that continued growth in smart, connected IoT devices will bring. And we have at least 75 billion reasons to build a safer IoT world. The post 75 Billion Reasons to Talk About Cybersecurity appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
The healthcare sector is thriving by making health services and medical system more efficient for patients. The integration of technological advancements and the convergence of emerging technologies have expanded the reach of proactive and preventive care worldwide. Still, there is a lot of room left for improving healthcare facilities and enhancing the sharing of the patient’s health information between clinicians and healthcare facilities. Every year, more than 50% of deaths occur due to chronic and fatal diseases like cancer, stroke, and heart disease. These diseases have affected the quality of life and health of many people globally. Now, technology can lend a helping hand in increasing the effectiveness of preventive and therapeutic care for such diseases. Are we talking about diagnosis or treatment technology? Healthcare is capable of providing a personalized experience to patients. These days, we witness a paradigm shift in both medical device manufacturing and healthcare app development industries in favor of the end-users or patients. Internet of Things-enabled medical technology is responsible for this reactive care paradigm in the healthcare sector. As forecasted by BI intelligence, the number of healthcare IoT devices will grow from 95 million in the year 2015 to 646 million in the year 2020. It is an unchallenged fact that the medical community can deliver high-quality healthcare services if individuals care for their health and preventive pre-diagnoses care. The convergence of IoT and healthcare technology makes this possible by revolutionizing reactive and proactive healthcare services. IoT-powered healthcare services can enhance data collection and analysis, increase patient usability of services, and empower service providers and patients alike. From predicting to the prevention of the onset of diseases and respond to other health-related complications, the IoT technology can assist clinicians and the healthcare executives to act more rapidly. For example, the patient’s data regarding lab tests, history, and other clinicians’ therapeutic options can help healthcare service providers improve their responses during any emergency situation. Role of IoT in Medical Services Physicians have to spend a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the patient’s data. As the number of patients keeps on increasing, it is difficult for them to analyze all aspects of every patient’s health condition along with analyzing health data. There, IoT-enabled technologies come into the picture. These technologies alleviate these difficulties by providing specific information to physicians that can help them make informed decisions in real-time. What’s more, physicians can also spend more time on sensitive issues of the patient’s health and focus on major aspects. Here are the top three healthcare domains on which IoT can have a major impact. Clinicians can get a concise and holistic data of Patient’s condition with other physicians’ reviews Healthcare professionals can get a better insight into patient rehabilitation through data Easy and effective transfer of data between healthcare providers Simply put, IoT has started providing many benefits to the healthcare sector and facilitate healthcare service providers to transform the traditional procedures into patient-centric procedures. For example, IBM Watson has developed Knowledge Integration Toolkit (KnIT) for discovery. It consists of a three-phase process of exploration, analysis, and interpretation of the healthcare procedures. KnIT uses Watson’s AI platform to read and analyze scientific papers. Here, Watson enables clinicians and healthcare service providers to get rid of data analysis while allowing them to spend time on improving the patient’s conditions and vitals. Companies like Biotricity are pioneers in developing remote patient monitoring technology. These companies build medical devices that fetch the real-time patient data and transmit the same for analysis within the cloud securely. This IoT-powered technology can facilitate communication across various devices and the system. It is designed to communicate data over a secure network and facilitate better data analysis for healthcare providers. As a result, the healthcare company can serve patients in a better way. Physicians can get real-time actionable data with feedback. Taking the example of Biotricity, the company has a remote patient monitoring technology known as Bioflux. This technology can improve patient care and reduce inefficiency. Ultimately, it assists doctors to save lives. Let’s go through the key benefits of IoT-powered healthcare technology and its importance in the modern healthcare industry. Key Benefits of IoT-based Medical Technology in the Healthcare Sector Here we mention five major benefits of IoT-enabled medical technology. Get and share alerts real-time- Many IoT devices work on a 24/7 basis, and therefore, they can play a significant role in the health industry. If any unusual findings or data are detected, these devices immediately alert the user. In a way, such devices can help patients to get emergency treatment and prevent the condition to get worsened. More engagement- Just like customer engagement, patient engagement has also become a buzzword in the modern healthcare system. IoT-based medical technology enables the patients to get more control over their health journey and encourages them to participate in the healthcare program with more confidence. Cost reduction- The greatest advantage of IoT devices is they can reduce operational inefficiencies that cost a lot to the company. Official research has predicted that IoT will continue to reduce these costs by 25% or $100 billion every year. IoT-based healthcare technology can help patients to prevent any emergency situation or making the condition worse thereby saving a lot of money. Telehealth promotion- The telehealth approach can be implemented in the best possible manner with the help of IoT technology. It facilitates the patient to receive healthcare services without physically going to the physician’s clinic. The telehealth concept is a technological boon for people who live in remote or rural areas. More effective and relevant data- IoT devices can collect useful and relevant data across different industry sectors. In the healthcare sector, such devices monitor the patient’s conditions round-the-clock and fetch better-quality data for the specialist’s reference. Also, IoT-enabled medical devices are programmed to analyze, interpret, and report the data instantly. Do you want to know the future of IoT-enabled medical technology? Read on to know the scope of IoT in the healthcare sector. Future of IoT-enabled Medical Technology The thriving healthcare sector will rely more on healthcare app development services in the future. Customized healthcare apps will fetch real-time data and help clinicians predict and control any possible disease outbreaks. IoT wearables can be connected with healthcare apps to change the face of healthcare services globally. Ingestible sensors, smart glasses, hearables or hearing-based wearables, and ‘moodables’ or devices that are used to relax patients with stress disorders, depression, and ADD. As a result, there is a significant decrease in suffering or pain and cost. Let’s take an example of a stroke algorithm. It is based on the severity of stroke during EMS (Emergency Medical Service). Thanks to this algorithm, the ambulance staff can get real-time information and use advanced tools to identify the type of stroke and assess the patient’s condition. Based on this, the ambulance can take the patient to the most suitable hospital for specific treatment. Traditionally, healthcare services remain inadequate to provide personalized experienced to patients especially when the number of patients keeps on increasing worldwide. In other words, patient engagement is reducing day-by-day and the incidents of nonadherence are increased. Clinicians and healthcare staff find it difficult to cope with the growing number of patients and manage every process smoothly. There, IoT-enabled medical technology can transform the processes into more result-oriented and patient-focused procedures. It provides real-time, relevant, and medical-grade information of every patient to healthcare professionals. What’s more, it facilitates patients and physicians to record, share, and reinforce critical data on a 24/7 basis. In a nutshell, the future of healthcare services is an IoT-enabled medical technology and we will witness its exponential growth in the coming years. However, one should not utilize IoT without taking protective measures in healthcare services. It is fair to mention that clinicians or specialists should remain vigilant for protecting the patient’s confidential data. The patient-related data is usually stored in the cloud, but there is always a risk of a data breach. Therefore, while making the most of the IoT technology, the effective plan for protecting the patient’s data should be in place. The post IoT and Healthcare Technologies Converge for Better Patient Care appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
It’s safe to say this decade has gotten off to a rocky start. The 2020s were presumed by most experts to be defined by the fourth industrial revolution, or the coming future of work, or the rapidly-shifting business landscape. The novel coronavirus had other ideas. Instead, employers have been suddenly confronted with little supply or demand, while employees have often been told they cannot leave the house let alone return to work. The “new normal” is, unfortunately, here for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, I want to remind people that there is light at the end of the tunnel even when it feels like this pandemic is set to drag on forever. For every downturn, there is an inevitable upswing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) holds great promise for the post-pandemic world. Believe it! The current crisis – one which insists upon shelter in place orders and social distancing – plays to the strengths of remote devices. Asset tracking, inventory management, and condition-based monitoring at the click of a button are all set for greater long-term investment to build better and safer businesses. Similarly, IoT enables employees to get back to work with fewer risks or perform their tasks safely from home. The technology’s long-term prospects will only improve as it helps a variety of industries to better overcome manufacturing shut-downs and supply chain interruptions. However, it is important to note that any uptick to connected devices within business operating models will need to address underlying security concerns. Let’s explore why, when integrated conscientiously, connected devices offer a way out of this crisis. Back up to speed International business is scrambling to get safely back to work after four months and counting of shutdowns, limited supply, and stifled demand. If time is money, as the old adage goes, then it is understandable why business big and small is so keen to come back online. As a result, many are turning to connected devices to continue production in accordance with health guidelines. Connected Devices Remote asset management powered by connected devices, for example, is increasingly working to monitor machinery without people on the ground. Microsoft Azure offers remote IoT monitoring solutions that are transforming the capabilities of manufacturing companies across the world by allowing teams to collect vital data from multiple remote devices, visualize this information on a dashboard, and respond accordingly to alerts. IoT devices in the supply chain, meanwhile, allow teams to remotely access information that they need to track shipments, monitor their inventory, prevent theft or damage, and anticipate future inefficiencies. IoT sensors in this context deliver data to team members in distributed locations, enabling them to take immediate action to keep everything running smoothly. Remote security solutions are working to care for the workers who are back on duty. A variety of IoT “things” are available for the workplace to ensure adherence to social distancing guidelines, such as cameras and sensors that detect body temperature, crowd density, or if people are wearing facemasks. Amazon, for example, is using smart cameras backed by AI to detect whenever warehouse workers come too close to one another. Back on the job Connected devices not only help workplaces get back up to speed but allow employees to get on with the job. Tech is enabling things that even 10 years would not have been possible to carry out remotely. From hearing aids (widex dot pro) that can be calibrated by health professionals from anywhere on earth. There are also, applications that help family members and caregivers to monitor elderly loved ones from afar, and connected devices that are helping essential workers to perform their duties while protecting the most vulnerable. For the general worker, there has been a massive move to the remote thanks to IoT interconnectivity. More people than ever before are working from home and enabling businesses to function despite the hurdles imposed by the pandemic. Interestingly, this trend looks here to stay regardless of the pandemic. Remote workers are proving to be effective collaborators, productive workers, and more flexible in their work-life balance. In fact, 74 percent of CFOs surveyed by Gartner expect at least some of their employees to continue working from home after isolation measures are lifted. There is a case to be made that more remote workers will result in better device performance. Employees around the world are getting so used to real-time interaction like video conferences and online calls that it is reasonable to predict that consumers will soon expect this from their connected devices. In this sense, low latency will be integral to improve – especially as research shows there is only a window of 0.1 of a second if device designers want their “users to feel like their actions are directly causing something to happen on the screen.” Back to reality Connected devices are helping workplaces to continue processes from afar and empowering employees to keep working from wherever they choose. These are major benefits during a health crisis which restricts movements and interactions. Thus, it is clear that connected devices are set to play an important role in restarting the global economy in the face of this pandemic. However, the move toward more devices in the workplace must occur simultaneously with the move toward better security protocols. Research indicates that 57% of IoT devices are vulnerable to attack. Given the tendency of large scale crises to result in increased cyberattacks, it’s more important than ever to ensure the security of cloud networks and IoT devices. Any increase to remote workers should sound alarm bells for CTOs. As previously written on ReadWrite, managers in a conventional office setting enjoy automatic oversight of employee behavior. The oversite protection is all but removed when people work from home and engage in cybersecurity practices that are less than safe. This rise of “shadow IT” – the use of IT-related hardware or software by a department or individual without the knowledge of IT within the organization – presents security challenges since team members can accidentally expose private data. Private data hacks are proving to be an issue for organizations big and small, public and private. In a recent alert, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the cyber division of the US Department of Homeland Security, urged remote employees to secure “devices being used to remote into work environments with the latest software patches and security configurations.” The only way companies will overcome the flaws of IoT security is to protect devices and users from the ground up. Organizations must develop enterprise-wide frameworks to minimize exposure to new attack vectors and implement end-to-end security. They should also implement security guidelines and standards, as well as staying on top of device updates and testing. Ultimately, businesses should make “Secure by Design” practices an organic part of their IoT system infrastructure in order to ensure security from day one. For manufacturers and other industries, it is best to apply an assembly line approach to cybersecurity. The assembly line approach to cybersecurity means having a strategy for each part of the onboarding process, from education to frequent testing to network segmentation to device fencing. While such security protocols might be costly for companies, the reputational and bottom-line damage from hacking could be far more expensive. Look at the positives. Overall, the positives far outweigh the negatives in further integrating connected devices during times like these. The International Monetary Fund reports that there is “an uncertain recovery” ahead due to the one-two punch of an economic downturn during a health crisis. For their part, connected devices help to return some certainty to this economic recovery by empowering employees and employers to get on with their working lives in this turbulent start to the decade. The post How IoT Supercharges the Covid-19 Recovery appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
What’s the first picture in your head when you think about a smart home? My guess would be that it’s probably of an app or a voice command turning the lights on in your house. Indeed, it is, but it’s not a complete picture of a proper smart home. Here is: smart homes in 2020, a home transformation guide. Smart homes comprise different accessibility features, which make it easy for you to control your smart devices without moving around the home much. In addition to that, a recent study suggests that by 2023 the smart home market would grow at 10% each year and reach $ 107 billion dollars. Defining a Smart Home It is a home automation system that can control lighting, temperature, entertainment units, appliances, and security systems of your home. These devices are typically connected to a central gateway, which is controlled by an electronic device called a hub. These electronic devices act as controllers and can use commands from a user to perform actions. Some examples include Google Nest Hub, JBL Link View, Amazon’s Echo, and Samsung SmartThings Hub v3. How does it all come together? The easiest way to understand this would be to imagine a switch for your lights and electronic appliances in your phone. You can use your phone to turn the lights on or off, set the temperature, control your appliances, and set the entertainment units in your home. A simple list of the basic items you’d need to begin: Smart Lighting Systems for your Smart Home. The global smart lighting systems market size is projected to reach $ 38.68 billion dollars by 2026, according to a report by Allied Market Research. Lighting represents a total of 19% of the world’s energy use and accounts for approximately 6% of all the greenhouse emissions. These figures are really a cause of concern if you care for the environment we live in. Under these circumstances, smart lighting systems can certainly prove to be of help in saving energy, and resources for the future and there is a wide variety of options to choose from, whether it is a bulb that connects through Bluetooth, Wifi or DALI they are all energy savers. A smart lighting system can understand commands given through an app or a controller, which can make it change its color or turn it on and off. Simple right. The min-cost of a smart bulb is around $ 40 dollars on amazon.com. The biggest players currently advancing in this market are Phillips, Cisco, and Syska Lighting systems. Check out Phillips Hue Lighting systems here. Keeping in mind the current climate change and its effects on all of us, this could be a starting point for you to contribute to saving energy and help build a sustainable environment. Thermostat Controllers A thermostat controller senses the temperature of a room it’s installed in and performs actions based on set preferences. Usually, you’ve seen one in action inside an automatic Air Conditioner where the AC gets off after a certain time that you’ve set or after the room temperature reaches the desired level set by you. Be that as it may, thermostats nowadays also have the ability to detect activity in your house and set temperatures accordingly. Some of them have built-in motion sensors that help them do this. There are a lot of smart thermostat controllers available to choose from in the market. A few of them are Honeywell Home T9, Nest Learning Thermostat, Ecobee Smart Thermostat with voice control, and Microsoft’s Glas thermostat. Our choice is Microsoft’s Glas thermostat, which is connected to Cortana. It can analyze the air quality, control the heating or cooling in your home, schedule temperatures, save a plan for up to a week, and can give you some more information about the current condition of your home. It costs about $ 319 dollars. Some Stats According to a report, the Smart Thermostat market is projected to reach $ 8.78 billion dollars by 2026. Just to give you an insight, back in 2014, Google bought Nest Labs for a soaring $ 3.2 billion dollars, which is almost twice the amount they spent to buy YouTube back in 2006. Through this, you can identify the value which smart homes promise for the future. Almost half of our electricity bills comprise heating and cooling systems that we use, and smart thermostats can really help in a big way to control our energy consumption. It’s really a smart idea to use a smart thermostat in your office or home and see the difference in your electricity consumption and contribute to saving the planet. Smart Security Systems In the case of security systems, the whole point of it is to cover entry and exit points of your home along with safe spaces within your home. It involves things like doors and window sensors, surveillance cameras, motion sensors, and high decibel alarms. A lot of components are involved in making your home fully secure, and depending on the size of your home, you can expect the pricing of these components. Smart home security systems would definitely require a mesh network installed within your home for optimum performance of your security devices. A 3 pack wireless mesh network from Google costs around $ 245 dollars on amazon and covers approximately 4500 sq. ft. for optimum wifi connections. A Reality Check! But if you really don’t have the time to do all of it, then there are home security service companies like Frontpoint, Simplisafe, and Vivint, which can take care of the installation and service. Services provide you with after-sale services like monitoring, calling the police in case someone is trying to break and enter. They will even call an ambulance on your behalf in case of an emergency. The prices start at as low as $ 50 dollars per month. The global connected home security systems market is projected to reach $ 32.5 by 2026 according to a report by business wire, and considering the atrocities being committed around us in the times we live in, investing in securing your home seems like a priority. Smart Entertainment Units Smart entertainment units have been in play for a long time now. You must have heard about a smart TV back in 2015 first if you were a tech geek. But the general population came around to it in the past 3 years. Now, there are tons of smart entertainment units available to choose from starting from: Smart TV’s Wifi Enabled projectors, Bluetooth Smart speakers Gesture Control Devices You must be thinking about smart refrigerators as well by now, don’t fret, we’ve got that covered in our smart appliances section below. So starting with smart TV’s there are a lot of options available in the market starting at a price of $ 140 dollars. The leading players are LG and Sony, but you can view all of the choices out there. Then there are smart projectors available at a starting price of $ 89 dollars and smart gesture control devices available at a starting price of $ 97 dollars on amazon. Our favorite part is smart speakers and audio systems, which can be connected to your smart hubs easily and are a must-have for a smart home. Options include Bose Soundlink systems, Amazon echo, and echo plus. If you invest in Amazon Echo, you can save on spending some extra pennies. Because amazon echo also acts as a smart hub and runs with Alexa. These smart audio systems are available for as low as $ 19 dollars on amazon. Smart Appliances Once you’ve got your smart entertainment needs taken care of. It’s time to look at some smart appliances. There are a lot of options out there, but first, let’s jot down the basic items you’d need to begin with. Here is a list of items that we think are used almost every day in every household. Smart Refrigerators Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Connected Microwave Ovens Smart Blenders Toaster with Display and remote control Connected Washing Machines Yup, that’s a long list, but be comfortable and choose whatever you need first according to your preferences. The smart refrigerators start at around $ 1700 dollars if you’re looking for an Award Winning LG Insta View Refrigerator. Whereas Samsung has its own smart refrigerators starting at $ 3099 dollars. Additionally, there are robotic Smart Vacuum cleaners from iRobot starting at $ 369 dollars, which can be connected with Alexa and can be controlled with voice commands. Moreover, it’s a Smart Microwave oven time, another must-have from our list, which can be bought at a starting price of $ 119 dollars from GE on Walmart. In truth, my choice is the interesting June Oven Starting at $ 499 dollars. Both these products can really help smooth your cooking experience, but June Oven carries more love to it. A few other smart items you may consider You can easily buy a smart blender on Walmart by Nutribullet for $ 98 dollars. Another interesting feature is that their app lets you take a look at all the nutritional values of the smoothies you make. Likewise, there’s a smart toaster available in the market by Williams Sonoma, which lets you control the process through a touch screen attached to it, and you decide how crisp you like your toasts. Another trending appliance for your smart home is a smart washing machine. Both LG and Samsung are in the market with Smart Washing Machines, which can be managed by Alexa and Google Assistant. Their starting price is $ 2579 dollars. Even though you’d still need to make an effort and decide which clothes require washing but having the ability to control your machine remotely goes a long way in helping your cause to stay neat and clean. Reports suggest that the smart home appliances market is expected to reach $ 38.35 billion by this year. Smart Hubs You need to have a smart hub controller in order to have universal control over all of your things. Most smart things are compatible with modern smart hub controllers like a) Google Nest Hub priced at $ 230 dollars b) Amazon Echo Show 5 priced at $ 90 dollars c) JBL Link view priced at $ 300 dollars and e) Samsung smart things hub starting at $ 60 dollars. There are a few devices above which might require you to download their own apps. But don’t worry, you can configure the app with Alexa or google assistant and make it work from your hub. Most of the hubs mentioned above use AI to understand more about your preferences and suggest actions based on them. There are chances that you’ve already invested in a device like Amazon echo. Because of its popularity and affordable pricing. If you haven’t yet, then choose any of the options mentioned above. Do you live in a big house! meaning 3000 sq. ft. or more. In that case, you might need two hub devices to make things work from anywhere within the house. If your house is less than 1500 sq. ft. One hub device, along with a mesh network, would be enough to control everything. Final thoughts on making your house a smart home There are a lot of factors to consider in turning your house into a smart home. To make it easy, our suggestion is to pick up one thing at a time and move your way up. A smart home can provide different experiences for different occasions and mood settings. There are a lot of settings to configure and play with. They sometimes seem like endless fun experiments. Now let’s figure out the costs involved in it. An average American house is built up in approximately 1525 sq. ft. and includes the following items. Based on the information above we’ve noted a few things below with their costs involved: Lighting System for a minimum of 45 bulbs – $ 1800 dollars Thermostat Controller – $ 240 dollars Security System – $ 50 dollars per month Smart TV – $ 140 dollars Speaker System – $ 19 dollars Refrigerator – $ 1700 dollar Vacuum Cleaner – $ 369 dollars Microwave Oven – $ 119 dollars Washing Machine – $ 2579 dollars Google Wifi Mesh (pack of 3) – $ 245 dollars Smart Hubs – $ 60 dollars These 11 items would cost you around $ 7, 321 dollars at the minimum. Well, Now that you’ve got things sorted out — maybe it’s time to get to it. Good Luck. The post Smart Homes in 2020 – A Home Transformation Guide appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....
The Internet of Things — or IoT as we know it — has introduced a new era of connectivity. From autonomous vehicles to smart kitchen appliances, IoT technology aims to create vast networks of connected devices. It has been considered a colossal milestone in the development of modern technology and has the potential to revolutionize the business landscape. IoT-enabled management systems are a boon for small business owners. With many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) struggling to stay afloat, those that have incorporated advanced IoT systems into their daily processes have seen great benefits. However, despite the potential of IoT to bring sustainable growth and address or eliminate issues within a business operation, some SME owners remain in the dark about how IoT technology could help them and their business. Industry 4.0 is a new phase in the Industrial Revolution that heavily focuses on various technologies that will have a significant impact on all types of business operations. There is automation, machine learning, and interconnectivity. Internet of Things will play a key role in the development of Industry 4.0 with its ability to connect physical devices to digital platforms to create a more suited environment for manufacturing and supply chain management. While every industry operates on a different level, IoT is the common solution to face the upcoming challenges such as connectivity, real-time data flow and maintaining a vast network of “smart” devices. Industrial Uses of IoT What’s the core benefit of IoT? The IoT has introduced a new way of thinking when it comes to connectivity and the potential of connected devices. With the ability to connect devices at a higher level and transmit information at greater speeds, companies of all sizes are able to utilize IoT-enabled systems to improve their business operations. Once, the term connectivity was reserved for computers and smartphones. Today, the list of items with the ability to interact with each other, and exchange information over the cloud. Currently, the remote operation has extended to everything from smart heating systems that can be controlled via a mobile device to smart frying pans that can prepare your food just the way you like. Want dinner ready before you even arrive home? You can have that done remotely, by phone, too. IoT systems consist of a set of sensors and “smart” devices that, in a sense, talk to each other over the cloud. Sensors and devices detect the changes in the condition of their environment or collect the requested data from their designated target for the software to process, and then decide on an automated response such as issuing an alert to the responsible parties. IoT is essentially about gathering information and using the accumulative data to improve existing business practices and promote machine-to-machine communication. Although an advanced management system can seem like a big investment for small companies, the quick ROI and drastically reduced expenses mean that IoT systems basically pay for themselves. When Magnet 360 moved into their new office building and required an upgrade to their HVAC system, local IoT startup 75F built a sensor network for the company that cut their energy costs by up to 70%. Different industries have different problems, and many IoT systems have been developed to accommodate their needs. Below are just some of the ways IoT systems can help different types of business. 1 – Logistics Regardless of their size, distribution and transportation operations can be a logistical nightmare. The requirements of the transportation industry and the expectations of consumers have evolved to the point that it is no longer possible to simply plan for a series of pick-ups and hope for the best. An experienced transport manager could plan a reasonably efficient route and attain an acceptable result a few decades ago but today, regulatory laws such as GDPR affect everything from driver hours to how IoT and telematics data are used in fleet procedures. Compliance with the regulations as well as last-minute adjustments makes delivery schedules and transport routes more complicated than they used to be. Their complex nature is exacerbated by the huge amount of information that needs to be conveyed to coordinate different branches of a business. IoT technology enables enhanced data flow by building a network of devices that can connect and share data. What’s more, IoT-based fleet management systems can significantly improve fuel economy, increase vehicle uptime, and boost vehicle and driver safety through continuous vehicle monitoring. How IoT Helps in Automation and Manufacturing 2 – Manufacturing Coordinating the manufacturing of goods can be tedious without the right tools. Effective resource management is particularly important for SMEs, as they typically have limited resources that they cannot afford to waste. IoT technology allows businesses to oversee their manufacturing processes in detail so that they can identify existing issues and any areas that could be improved. IoT technology can be applied to ensure proper asset usage, extend equipment service life, and provide the highest possible ROI on assets. 58% of manufacturers surveyed agreed that IoT technology was required for them to transform their industrial operations; however, the biggest obstacle preventing the adoption of IoT systems is cost. The data gathered by the IoT devices can be used to program assembly lines to work in unison. Production output will increase as a result of the improved workflow, additionally, collected data and sensitive sensors will allow for automated fail-safes and proactive maintenance measures to be introduced. The global usage of IoT in manufacturing is estimated to reach $45 billion USD by 2022 due to the increasing number of intelligent connected devices all over the globe. 3 – Productivity SMEs usually have different goals and quotas to large businesses, but the basic principles are always the same: increase productivity, and revenue will increase as a result. The emergence of highly sophisticated IoT-enabled devices has had a massive impact on business productivity. Company managers now have access to accurate and actionable data on-demand, which significantly improves decision-making processes and helps them to respond promptly to important events and emergencies. There are several ways IoT systems can make SMEs more productive: improving collaboration between departments, streamlining fleet operations, lowering operational costs, tracking the movements of vehicles, and many other benefits. IoT systems are so powerful in this aspect, they are expected to generate $1.2 trillion to USD worldwide through improved productivity over the next decade. Companies can utilize information gathered by IoT-enabled devices to deliver their products faster, reach their target quotas more consistently, and improve their supply chain. With more jobs completed and the accurate estimated time of arrivals, SMEs can improve productivity, have a happier customer base, and ultimately generate more money to invest in their business. Preventive Maintenance 4 – Maintenance Keeping company assets adequately maintained is a crucial but often a complex task. For example, without proper servicing, commercial vehicles may break down during transport, causing unexpected downtime. This could spell doom for an SME without a robust contingency plan. What’s more, heavy-duty vehicles and vehicles on the road for long hours tend to suffer damage at an accelerated rate. IoT-enabled car trackers can detect and transmit malfunctions before they lead to more serious situations. The devices connect through the OBD-II port, giving them access to engine error codes and diagnostic reports. OBD-II is an onboard computer that monitors vehicle data such as mileage, speed, and emissions, it can be accessed via a 16-pin port that is usually located under the driver’s side dash. Analyzing these diagnostic reports is key to identifying which vehicles need repairs and when to schedule preventive maintenance. Research from Volvo shows that IoT-enabled preventive maintenance solutions can reduce diagnostic times by up to 70%, with a 25% reduction in repair times. Proper maintenance can help assets outperform their operational efficiency. 5 – Consumer Satisfaction IoT systems can provide SMEs with accurate, real-time information to their customers. On-time shipments are a necessity for retaining and extending a customer base. Customers are understandably frustrated when an order has a long delivery time or extended delays. And unfortunately, shipments sometimes get lost or suffer damage during transport. Damage and loss are especially problematic when shipping perishable goods, that need to be kept in a controlled environment until delivery. IoT-enabled devices can be augmented with sensors that can detect even the smallest changes in the condition of cargo or the vehicle itself. As well as ensuring the integrity of shipments, IoT-enabled devices can help companies keep their customers informed with precise condition data and real-time delivery information. By keeping customers updated and keeping a steady flow of information about their shipments, businesses will see an increase in their ROI by retaining their existing customers as well as attracting new customers with their top-end quality of service. Matt Schron, the general manager of Jergens Industrial Supply — a distributor of industrial products including safety glasses, drills, and boots — revealed that integrating IoT systems into his business helped to boost sales, lower customer costs, and improve customer satisfaction. Jergens used IoT technology to improve their customer experience by speeding up the approval process for when their frontline workers need safety glasses and other items. When a “smart button” is pressed on one of the racks, shelves or other locations, one of the on-site managers is alerted to approve the request by connecting to one of the wireless networks. 6 – Security and Safety In 2017 alone, there were over 4,000 workplace deaths that could have been prevented with proper maintenance and better control over the work environment. IoT solutions offer significant advantages for the safety and security of a company’s workforce, property and goods, and vehicles and cargo. IoT solutions can automate many security procedures and identify security flaws within an operation, helping to eliminate any vulnerabilities. Employees who feel safe and protected are frequently more productive, which can dramatically improve profit margins. IoT-enabled fleet management systems that monitor and manage a fleet remotely provide real-time access to the location of vehicles and instant alerts in the event of accidents and emergencies, which can greatly enhance driver safety and reduce response times to accidents and emergencies. From collision avoidance to remote immobilization, there are countless safety-enhancing innovations to look forward to. The technology of the future – Conclusion The Internet of Things has truly reshaped the way SMEs can conduct their operations. Technology plays a big part in managing the different aspects of a business and enhancing the quality of services. The benefits associated with IoT devices are essential for SMEs to transition into the digital age of business management. While their business model may heavily rely on smart technologies such as AI, it doesn’t necessarily mean these small businesses are equipped with the right set of tools to manage their logistics operations and communication between different branches. With minimal investment, IoT solutions [rewiresecurity.co.uk] can help companies improve their operational capacity, reduce expenses, and manage their resources better, giving rapid ROI. In addition, IoT solutions can be utilized to create a safer work environment, with real-time event alerts and on-demand access to vehicle and driver location data. While larger enterprises are among the pioneers of the IoT revolution, SMEs can also reap the benefits of building a sophisticated network of connected devices. The post How IoT Reshapes Industry 4.0 and the Effects of IoT on SMEs appeared first on ReadWrite. 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The year 2020 is overcome with the COVID-19. But the virus isn’t the only threat to our security. 2020 is also set to revolutionize the world with advancements that will shape the future of lives and businesses, alike. We now have 5G and IoT to Artificial Intelligence, Cloud technology, and Machine Learning. These technologies will become an integral part of our daily lives in creating efficiency, saving time, reducing costs, and unlocking new opportunities. Though this optimistic language is something you hear quite often (and it’s not untrue to a large degree), the more the world transforms towards a digital future, the higher the rise in threats of Cyberattacks. Modern technology is set to increase the amount of data we create online, and protecting this data will be one of the defining arcs of this decade. From system security to network security, businesses will face challenges in optimizing their cybersecurity to prevent malicious attacks from being successful. It is hard to prevent malicious attacks because these technologies are new, vulnerabilities are less known, scalability harder due to a lack of familiarity, thereby making all of these ambiguities an excellent target for bad actors to exploit. So let’s take a look at some of these technologies, modern regulations in place, and what businesses can do to combat this threat with regards to their cybersecurity. The Advent of 5G and It’s Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities As 5G trials and roll-outs happen, we are entering a new era of communication and innovative consumer services. As the adoption of 5G will require companies and people to switch to all-software networks, the cycle of constant updates might result in security vulnerabilities. These frequent updates are similar to the updates of smartphone software, but those about 5G networks can lead to security risks. Risks are something that early adopters will have to deal with since the number of 5G connected devices that send and receive information increases and remote access becomes much more commonplace, cybersecurity experts will have a huge challenge in front of them. With increased users and use, expanding the bandwidth for 5G will present opportunities for experts looking to exploit these vulnerabilities. As enterprises and cities become 5G powered, the attack surface will become much larger, putting the burden on governments and private enterprises to pump up and revolutionize their security tools and strategies to safeguard their devices, networks, and applications against malicious attackers. One problem that early adopters might face due to a lack of security infrastructure could be the authorization and identification of a 5G network. Access to the system can allow a significant threat to data and security, and perhaps these early users might adopt a stringent no-trust policy with regards to 5G network access. Don’t Think Phishing Is Over Though technology is evolving rapidly in the digital landscape, cybersecurity experts will have to deal with phishing attacks. These attacks are often targeted to penetrate a network or infect the users of the network itself. Though phishing is a generally well-known attack, hackers and malicious actors are becoming smarter (thanks to technological evolution), and their attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated. So like 2019, security measures against Phishing will also be necessary for 2020 as well. Exploits such as email phishing are hard to eliminate as a problem since you can’t really disable emails altogether, and hackers know that. Phishing is also an easier way to get inside a network as opposed to other modern hacks, such as exploiting a zero-day vulnerability. Companies today have to always beware of these phishing emails since they only take one wrong click by someone with access to admin credentials on a network to open a backdoor that allows malicious actors to get in, take control, and corrupt the company’s network. The problem that most experts face is that there is no one solution to stop phishing attacks from succeeding. At the end of the day, these attacks can boil down to a reckless click, human error, and lack of knowledge. Blocking downloads without confirmation, assessing the email before opening any links directly, and using anti-malware and anti-spyware software to block or monitor potential malicious activities could help you mitigate the harm but not necessarily prevent it entirely. A.I. and ML Based Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Can’t be Ignored As the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence market grow, their application in different business operations, systems, and infrastructure will be a challenge to overcome. These technologies are incredibly resource-intensive and will require significant efforts to make them secure against potential attacks. AI and ML-based devices and software have to be trained with the help of data, and experts will have to keep a keen eye on the kind of data that is being used. Data duping to corrupt the learning process of the Machine Learning algorithm can be injected to hamper the training process. This can lead to the algorithm working seemingly fine but producing wrong results, which could, in the case of analytical products and applications, cost businesses millions of dollars. How experts monitor and analyze the data will play a crucial part in the future of A.I and ML since the data set being used can be a security vulnerability that will have to be dealt with. In the current climate, this is a less severe issue due to A.I and ML operating in specialized environments, but once businesses begin to scale these processes, there are bound to be vulnerabilities. When processes such as threat analysis and data review become completely automated, malicious actors could exploit these processes to misguide companies and manipulate results without any obviously apparent problems. Furthermore, the technology itself can be used to discover new vulnerabilities, breakthrough security measures, and tools, and penetrate systems through the same algorithm that is being used to protect networks. California Consumer Protection Act(CCPA) Is Now In Effect. The California Consumer Privacy Act can be considered California’s GDPR. It became active from January 1, 2020, pushing the world of business in a new direction, with more accountability measures being ensured to re-establish the lost trust between consumers and companies. A company to client relationships in these cases was and still is dependent on the sharing of personal information for better and more targeted services, something that lawmakers think has been misused. The bill established new consumer rights relating to the access, deletion, and sharing of personal information that businesses collect from their users. If your business is collecting user information, under CCPA, your business has to provide a reason as to why you’re collecting this information, what this information is, how you will use this information, and guide users through the process of deleting that information from your database, if they choose to do so. The concerns with regards to cybersecurity and data protection became news after the claim of Huawei’s 5g technology being a possible threat of the security that resulted in the US government banning all US businesses from dealing with the Chinese tech giants. In such a world, the burden on Tech companies to ensure maximum data protection came into a significant highlight, with more and more people pushing for stricter regulations and demanding accountability from service providers to ensure that the data of their customers are in safe hands. The CCPA enforces businesses to implement a process that allows them to obtain the consent of a parent or a guardian and the minor if they’re between the age of 13 and 16 to collect and share their data for the business’ purposes. This comes with the additional “Right to Say No to Sale of Personal Information” which is to be provided through a web link on the homepage of a business’ website that redirects users to a page where they can opt-out their consent protecting their data and personal information from being sold by the business legally. Businesses and Companies are required to update their respective privacy policies with the newly required information, including but not limited to the description of California residents’ rights While these are the more straightforward laws that are placed within the CCPA to ensure privacy protection and data protection, another measure the CCPA takes is to ask businesses to avoid sending opt-in requests to residents who have opted out of the option for a period of 12 months. The used terminology, which is “avoid” while does leave a gray area for businesses to use, it takes into account that business activities mainly revolve around data gathering, in the absence of which companies cannot promote specific deals or show ads, for which a 12 month mandatory waiting period could be detrimental to the functioning of the business. The power of GDPR can be seen through the European Union’s 1.5 Billion Euro fine for anti-trust AdSense advertising. This fine, which was levied in 2019, brought the overall EU anti-trust bill to 8.2 Billion Euros. GDPR expects companies to use data responsibly and its breach weighs significant financial damage to businesses, creating a force that ensures that companies adopt the best data protection, regulation, and use policies. CCPA is a similar force, being in effect from the beginning of the year. It expects businesses in California to adopt the best security practices and comply with the regulations set to protect consumers. For businesses based in California, transitioning to CCPA compliance is crucial, and it has to be done as soon as possible, to limit the potential fines that might be coming their way. For businesses that are not California-based, planning to make this change and implementing it is also crucial. It’s likely that other states such as New York will most likely adopt their own version of the CCPA, even if it is not adopted by the Federal government. Hiring security specialists, focusing on compliance, and devoting resources to ensure that there is a successful transition to a post-CCPA world is something that businesses in 2020 should be looking towards. Microsoft and Linux – The future is Cloud The future of Windows seems to be shifting towards a cloud-based platform. Cloud PCs will work similarly to how other cloud-based platforms and services work. Most likely, users will have to pay a subscription to gain access to a pre-set app bundle to run on the PC. What makes Microsoft more interesting is their adoption of Linux and transitioning towards a Linux-based operating system. Sounds confusing, right? Well, you need to grasp hold of it if you are planning to continue using any resources from Microsoft shortly. The future of Windows might stay the same on the front-end, with cloud-based PCs providing a similar UI to the Windows OS we’ve grown up accustomed to, but on the back-end, Microsoft might deploy a full-Linux setup. A fulltime Linux setup is happening because most VMs are now running on Linux iterations. Even Microsoft Azure has around 40% of its machines running on Linux at the moment. There are a few substantial benefits of using on the Back-end, especially for businesses. Here are the benefits: Migration from an older PC to a new one, its updates, and patches will become easier than before. The service will upgrade the hardware, take care of the updates and release them directly, and deal with migration For businesses, Linux is a much better platform for security. Linux is a safer platform for storing sensitive data with only the admins having the root access, helping keeping system vulnerabilities in check. The service is more likely to adopt a more robust security system than you would on your own hardware, which means that you will gain access to enterprise-grade security, helping you combat the rising threat of cyber-attacks. For businesses, it is imperative to start investing in robust security infrastructure, and at Tekrevol, we’re trying our hand with some as well. From a security standpoint, Linux is key to OS in the next decade. If you too have a wide range of OS applicability critical to your internal systems, you really need to know how Linux can make your security more concrete. How Will Cybersecurity Trends Impact Business strategy? According to one study by Accenture, 68% of business leaders think that there is an increased risk of a cyber-attack on their business. The year 2020 will be one where tackling these threats will become a primary focus of business leaders and entrepreneurs. Combating this problem will require these leaders to acquire more knowledge, skills, and tools to improve their organization’s security protocols. Protocols includes network protection and data protection against possible breaches. We can expect an increased demand for network security specialists, ML design security specialists, and system security experts. In general, the demand for security specialists across technologies will also increase. Businesses will have to incorporate new risk assessment models for technologies such as IoT, 5G, and AI-based products. According to Gartner’s press release, cybersecurity risk is one of the top concerns that chief audit executives have with regards to their businesses. In 2020, businesses will come to a tipping point where they will either develop strategies and technologies that help combat the risk of cyber vulnerability, or the lack of evolution will hurt their performance in the market. Similarly, one can foresee big corporations acquiring digital security startups for record-high acquisitions to keep up with this rising threat. How businesses achieve compliance with government regulations and establish strict security protocols with regards to modern tech will define their success in the year 2020. So, if you’re a business owner looking to scale, transferring your focus towards establishing a robust security infrastructure has to be a central part of your business strategy. Wrapping Things Up: The future is digital, there is no denying it but simply focusing on the possible benefits isn’t going to cut it. For businesses, it is crucial to realize their responsibility towards consumers and take the necessary steps to ensure data protection and other cybersecurity avenues. It is also vital for them to focus strongly on the security of their own platforms, services, and products to ensure that the adoption of modern technology drives positive results. The technologies we’ve talked about have great potential, but the journey into the world of technology requires avid preparation to ensure security and safety. Businesses today have to invest more into optimizing their security, create new strategies, implement new infrastructure, and leverage modern tools to ensure that they are ahead of the and ready to fight any cyber-threats that may come their way. The post Cybersecurity, Modern Technology and Business Threats appeared first on ReadWrite. Read more.....