IoT News Roundup

By IOT Journal

FogHorn, Google Cloud partner to provide IIoT solution; Most U.S. insurance carriers are unprepared to leverage IoT data for strategic business needs, says LexisNexis Risk Solutions; STMicroelectronics to showcase connectivity solutions for smart buildings, completes Alibaba IoT validation for its products; SURE Universal predicts telcos will take over IoT; Io-Tahoe announces general availability of machine learning-driven smart-data discovery platform; author Maciej Kranz releases workbook on building the Internet of Things; Connecthings launches IoT pilot program with Capital Metro.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week:


FogHorn, Google Cloud Partner to Provide IIoT Solution

FogHorn Systems, a leading developer of “edge intelligence” software for industrial and commercial IoT applications, has announced a collaboration with Google Cloud IoT Core to simplify the deployment and maximize the business impact of Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications.

The companies have teamed up to integrate FogHorn’s breakthrough Lightning edge analytics and machine learning platform with Cloud IoT Core, a fully managed service that allows you to easily and securely connect, manage, and ingest data from globally dispersed devices.

“Cloud IoT Core simply and securely brings the power of Google Cloud’s world-class data infrastructure capabilities to the IIoT market,” said Antony Passemard, Head of IoT Product Management at Google Cloud. “By combining industry-leading edge intelligence from FogHorn, we’ve created a fully-integrated edge and cloud solution that maximizes the insights gained from every IoT device. We think it’s a very powerful combination at exactly the right time.”

Cloud IoT Core is a comprehensive set of integrated services that helps unlock business insights in real time from data across globally dispersed devices. Device data captured by Cloud IoT Core gets published to Cloud Pub/Sub for downstream analytics. Businesses can conduct ad hoc analysis using Google BigQuery, easily run advanced analytics and apply machine learning with Cloud Machine Learning Engine, or visualize IoT data results with rich reports and dashboards in Google Data Studio.

FogHorn’s Lightning product portfolio brings a groundbreaking dimension to IIoT by embedding edge intelligence as close to the source of streaming sensor data as possible. The FogHorn platform is a highly compact, advanced and feature-rich edge intelligence solution that delivers unprecedented low latency for onsite data processing, real-time analytics, machine learning and AI capabilities. By enabling data processing at or near the source of sensor data, FogHorn enriches and optimizes data published to the cloud for further processing and analysis.

The combined capabilities of Cloud IoT Core and FogHorn’s Lightning product portfolio creates an ideal foundation for optimizing distributed assets and processes in manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, power and water, renewable energy, transportation, connected vehicles, smart building and smart cities.

“Our integration with Google Cloud harmonizes the workload and creates new efficiencies from the edge to the cloud across a range of dimensions,” said David King, CEO at FogHorn. “This approach simplifies the rollout of innovative, outcome-based IIoT initiatives to improve organizations’ competitive edge globally, and we are thrilled to bring this collaboration to market with Google Cloud.”

FogHorn will demonstrate the joint solution at Google Cloud Next, July 24-27, in San Francisco, CA.


Most U.S. Insurance Carriers Are Unprepared to Leverage IoT Data for Strategic Business Needs, Says LexisNexis Risk Solutions

LexisNexis Risk Solutions has released findings from the first comprehensive research study to examine the insurance industry’s perspective on collecting, analyzing and using data created by the Internet of Things (IoT). The study found that while insurance carriers recognize the impact this data will have on the insurance industry, few carriers currently have an IoT strategy, are collecting IoT data or have dedicated resources in place. This creates a unique opportunity for forward-thinking insurers to create a competitive advantage.

The 2018 LexisNexis IoT and the State of the Insurance Industry Study surveyed 500 U.S. insurance professionals from auto, home, life and commercial lines of business to gauge how IoT data fits into their current and future business strategies, and the extent to which this data is being collected and used today. The research uncovered that while 70 percent of respondents agree that gathering IoT data is important to their organization’s current insurance strategy, only 21 percent have an IoT strategy and just 7 percent have the human and technology resources required to use it in decision making. Of those that said they currently collect data from telematics, wearables, connected home and properties, just 5 percent use it in their day-to-day analytics.

“Carriers already use data to make better decisions. But given the looming tsunami of data from the Internet of Things, we were surprised to learn how few are prepared to leverage it into their business strategies and customer offerings,” said Bill Madison, CEO of Insurance for LexisNexis Risks Solutions. “The good news is that the IoT playing field is currently relatively even. Partnering with an experienced organization to cleanse, normalize and analyze IoT data can help carriers gain a first-mover advantage in enhancing their existing portfolio and developing new products.”

Data from connected devices can put real-time insights in the hands of insurers, which can create new business opportunities, help tailor product offerings, promote more proactive underwriting and claim resolution and personalize consumer interactions.

Yet, one reason the insurance industry is lagging could be that most carriers think of IoT at a tactical rather than a strategic level. When asked to define IoT, most did so in tactical terms like “a network of connected devices.” Few respondents discussed IoT in terms of strategic uses for underwriting, claims and other analytics.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed believe the ability to collect and use IoT data will define industry leaders. However, while few are leveraging IoT today, most carriers believe their counterparts are ahead. This suggests that many are taking a wait-and-see approach and will use existing in-house systems until the Return on Investment (ROI) of IoT is proven in the competitive landscape.

While the study didn’t find any clear-cut segmentation among lines of business or by job function, it identified two main groups – deemed Trend Spotters and Skeptics – based on the question “How important is gathering IoT data to your business in the next five years?”

Trend Spotters are 100 percent in agreement that IoT is extremely important to their future strategy, as opposed to zero percent of Skeptics. Across the segments, Trend Spotters tend to work in commercial and auto insurance lines while Skeptics tend to work in home and life.

Nearly half (48 percent) of Trend Spotters believe investing in IoT will give them a competitive advantage in the future, while only 22 percent of Skeptics think the same. Similarly, more Trend Spotters tend to believe that operational issues like security, storage and analysis are difficult challenges to tackle, but understand that they are all part of the process. Skeptics, on the other hand, tend to view those issues as much more challenging.

For complete findings, download the 2018 LexisNexis IoT and State of the Insurance Industry Study whitepaper.


STMicroelectronics to Showcase Connectivity Solutions for Smart Buildings, Completes Alibaba IoT Validation for Its Products

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, is teaming with Tapko Technologies GmbH at Light & Building 2018 to demonstrate a highly integrated and space-saving connectivity solution certified for the popular KNX standard for building-automation applications.

On display at the Tapko Technologies booth, E30, Hall 9.1, the STKNX functions as a complete KNX transceiver for twisted-pair wired connectivity in Tapko devices, with power circuitry on-chip in a uniquely compact footprint of just 4mm x 4mm. It can be used for connecting devices like smart lights, switches, HVAC controllers, alarms, or smart appliances to KNX twisted-pair networks.

As well as its unique space-saving advantage, the STKNX helps customers get new building-automation products to market faster as part of a complete network-node solution that includes the KNX software stack, co-created by ST and Tapko. The stack is ready to run on any host microcontroller from ST’s STM32 STM32 is a registered and/or unregistered trademark of STMicroelectronics International NV or its affiliates in the EU and/or elsewhere. In particular, STM32 is registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office. family. The quick-start evaluation kit, EVALKITSTKNX, is also available, containing everything needed to build a KNX node including a STM32F103RBT6 microcontroller, Arduino-compatible headers for custom function expansion, and a sample LED-dimming application.

At Light & Building 2018, automation innovator Vimar S.p.A (booth C72, Hall 11.1), one of the first companies to adopt the STKNX in new designs, will demonstrate the first product of a technically advanced new range containing the transceiver.

“We are utilizing the STKNX transceiver as an important part of our new generation of products for home and building automation systems,” said Alessandro Ravagnin, Systems Marketing Manager Vimar SpA. “Light & Building 2018 sees the world premiere of our new, future-focused product line, which delivers unprecedented performance over wired fieldbus connectivity. As is the Vimar way, we have combined comfort, security, and energy efficiency — the main pillars of smart home and smart building — with a unique user experience, great aesthetic appeal, and a perfectly coordinated ecosystem.”

Domenico Arrigo, General Manager Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics, commented, “Our successful cooperation with Tapko has delivered software and hardware for product developers to create highly functional and stylish building-automation products that enhance both the convenience and the appearance of homes and offices.” The STKNX transceiver is available now in 0.5mm-pitch 24-pin VQFNPN24. Please contact your ST sales office for pricing options, sample requests, and support tools.

In addition, the company has announced the validation of its LSM6DSL 6-axis inertial sensor and LPS22HB pressure sensor for Alibaba IoT’s ecosystem, which enables users to create complete IoT (Internet-of-Things) nodes and gateway solutions with better time to market.

Announced last year, AliOS Things is a light-weight embedded operating system for Internet of Things, developed by Alibaba. The company recently announced the release of AliOS Things v1.2, which includes a sensor-based component called uData. The ST sensors that have passed the AliOS validation have been integrated in uData and the two companies are cooperating on the development of IoT systems that aim to improve end-user experiences.

The LSM6DSL is a system-in-package featuring a 3D digital accelerometer and a 3D digital gyroscope that operates at 0.65 mA in high-performance mode and enables always-on low-power features for an optimal motion experience for the consumer. High robustness to mechanical shock makes the LSM6DSL the preferred choice of system designers for the creation and manufacturing of reliable products. The LSM6DSL supports main OS requirements, offering real, virtual and batch sensors with 4Kbyte for dynamic data batching.

The LPS22HB is an ultra-compact piezo-resistive absolute pressure sensor that functions as a digital output barometer. Dust-free and water-resistant by design, the sensor enables high accuracy and low-power operation. It is available in full-mold package with silicon cap and six 20µm holes guaranteeing sensor moisture resistance, relative accuracy of pressure measurement 0.1 mbar, and very low power consumption (e.g. 12µA in Low-Noise mode).

“The validation by Alibaba of ST’s LSM6DSL and LPS22HB sensors is an important achievement. Creating and connecting nodes quickly and securely is facilitated by the holistic platform of AliOS, which cuts time to market for users and allows them to create IoT systems in China quickly for applications in smartphones, smart watches, smart locks, smart parking and beyond. On top of this, Alibaba is collaborating closely with ST to integrate more products in the platform, offering compelling IoT solutions for customers,”said Collins Wu, Marketing Director, Analog and MEMS Group, Greater China & South Asia, STMicroelectronics.


SURE Universal Predicts Telcos Will Take Over IoT

As the IoT continues its explosive global growth, “smart” hardware devices have been taking up all the media headlines. However, smart devices are only as valuable as the software that runs them. The smart money is migrating to software, recognizing the benefits and services software brings to consumers, and the business opportunities it creates for vendors.

“The IoT can’t reach its potential without a standard-based solution and a sustainable economic model,” says Viktor Ariel, PhD, Founder and CEO of SURE Universal, makers of the first universal software platform for IoT devices that’s compliant with the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) standard for interoperability and security. “Hardware is ultimately a commodity business, and devices only offer value through software. “Through its ability to control the complete ecosystem of connected devices, our software brings IoT hardware to life. Connected devices are the ‘things’, while SURE software platform is the soul of the IoT.”

Telcos in particular are well-positioned to dominate the smart home/IoT space says Ariel, because they hold an insurmountable lead on hardware and services penetration of households. “Products like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Voice may get all the headlines, but both of them are dwarfed by the number of mobile phones, internet routers, and set top boxes out there,” says Ariel. “The Telcos are already in your handset, already in your living room; they rule the hardware world, and already handle service, support and data easily.

For Telcos and other service providers, the missing pieces aren’t new gadgets, but interoperability, security, and most importantly, a business model that can work alongside their existing models. SURE Universal’s OCF-compliant software offers all of these benefits; we make new IoT and smart home deployments easy, fast, safe, and profitable.”

Using SURE Universal Platform, the operators can choose their own IoT hardware based on any existing radio protocol, such as, Wi-Fi, BLE, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Lora, NB-IoT while SURE is providing the API for connection between the OCF application layer and the smart device radio protocol. This way the operators avoid the hardware supplier lock while enjoying the interoperability and security of the OCF standard.

SURE Universal is employing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) business model because it is completely aligned with the most prevalent Telco revenue model. For Telcos and other providers, SURE Universal’s revenue model is a low-overhead business extension that also provides an interoperable, secure, accessible, and cost effective solution for the many devices used in today’s smart home and IoT.


Io-Tahoe Announces General Availability of Machine Learning-Driven Smart-Data Discovery Platform

Io-Tahoe LLC, a pioneer in machine learning-driven smart data discovery products that span a wide range of heterogeneous technology platforms, from traditional databases and data warehouses to data lakes and other modern repositories, has announced the General Availability (GA) launch of the Io-Tahoe smart data discovery platform. Io-Tahoe is making this announcement from theGartner Data & Analytics 2018 Summit, where it will showcase its newly enhanced product at booth #S20. Io-Tahoe was designated as a Cool Vendor in Gartner’s “Cool Vendors in Data Management 2017”; the company was listed as Rokitt Astra, which it acquired in May 2017.*

The GA version includes the addition of Data Catalog, a new feature that allows data owners and data stewards to utilize a machine learning-based smart catalog to create, maintain and search business rules; define policies and provide governance workflow functionality. Io-Tahoe’s data discovery capability provides complete business rule management and enrichment. It enables a business user to govern the rules and define policies for critical data elements. It allows data-driven enterprises to enhance information about data automatically, regardless of the underlying technology and build a data catalog.

“Today’s digital business is driving new requirements for data discovery,” said Stewart Bond, Director Data Integration and Integrity Software Research, IDC. “Now more than ever enterprises are demanding effective, and comprehensive, access to their data – regardless of where it is retained – with a clear view into more than its metadata, but its contents as well. Io-Tahoe is delivering a robust platform for data discovery to empower governance and compliance with a deeper view and understanding into data and its relationships.”

“Io-Tahoe is unique as it allows the organization to conduct data discovery across heterogeneous enterprise landscapes, ranging from databases, data warehouses and data lakes, bringing disparate data worlds together into a common view which will lead to a universal metadata store,” said Oksana Sokolovsky, CEO, Io-Tahoe. “This enables organizations to have full insight into their data, in order to better achieve their business goals, drive data analytics, enhance data governance and meet regulatory demands required in advance of regulations such as GDPR.”

Increasing governance and compliance demands have created a dramatic opportunity for data discovery. According to MarketsandMarkets, the data discovery market is estimated to grow from $4.33 billion USD in 2016 to $10.66 billion USD in 2021[i]. This is driven by the increasing importance of data-driven decision making and self-service business intelligence (BI) tools. However, the challenge of integrating the growing number of disparate platforms, databases, data lakes and other silos of data has prevented the comprehensive governance, and use, of enterprise data.

Io-Tahoe’s smart data discovery platform features a unique algorithmic approach to auto-discover rich information about data and data relationships. Its machine learning technology looks beyond metadata, at the data itself for greater insight and visibility into complex data sets, across the enterprise. Built to scale for even the largest of enterprises, Io-Tahoe makes data available to everyone in the organization, untangling the complex maze of data relationships and enabling applications such as data science, data analytics, data governance and data management.

The technology-agnostic platform spans silos of data and creates a centralized repository of discovered data upon which users can enable Io-Tahoe’s Data Catalog to search and govern. Through convenient self-service features, users can bolster team engagement through the simplified and accurate sharing of data knowledge, business rules and reports. Here users have a greater ability to analyze, visualize and leverage business intelligence and other tools, all of which have become the foundation to power data processes.

The latest version of Io-Tahoe and its new business aligned Data Catalog feature is available now. For more information, visit:


Author Maciej Kranz Releases Workbook on Building the Internet of Things

Maciej Kranz, the New York Times bestselling author and vice president of strategic innovation at Cisco, announces the release of “Building the Internet of Things: A Project Workbook.” The interactive, first-of-its-kind companion to Kranz’s book by the same title provides readers with a proven, step-by-step roadmap and considerations before, during and after launching a first or next IoT project.

Through a series of instructional checklists, scores, questions, an ROI calculator and first-hand guidance from Kranz, readers across industries can identify their organization’s IoT opportunities, evaluate their IoT readiness, create and implement a proven plan that incorporates the right people, processes and technologies.

Upon completion of their IoT project, readers will be able to accurately assess results, measure value, set benchmarks and apply lessons learned to their next IoT initiative. The “Building the Internet of Things” companion workbook is ideal for frontline business, operational and technical leaders, line-of-business influencers and decision makers at all levels of any organization eager to take advantage of IoT technologies.

“Although IoT deployments are finally gaining traction, many companies still struggle to get their projects off the ground and uncover IoT’s transformational power – the ability to create new business models, new markets and new value propositions,” Kranz said. “As a follow-up to ‘Building the Internet of Things,’ this workbook provides quick, practical advice for anyone passionate about capturing the full potential of the IoT in their organization. I hope readers will use it to jump start or accelerate their IoT journeys, bringing the entire industry closer to widespread adoption and transformational results.”

The workbook draws on Kranz’s more than two decades of pioneering, hands-on experience and research connecting technologies with networks for industrial applications before IoT became a buzzword. Kranz’s workbook will be used as the basis for curricula and courses developed by Elephant Scale, specializing in corporate training and educational courses on IoT, big data, data analytics and machine learning.

“This workbook can serve as a standalone guide to hit the ground running with your IoT project, while it also pairs perfectly with Maciej Kranz’s first book, ‘Building the Internet of Things,'” said Mark Kerzner, co-founder and president of Elephant Scale. “Together, the books provide a powerful combination of practical, how-to steps and contextual insights on successful IoT projects. With so much hype around IoT, it is exceedingly difficult to find a straightforward resource to augment big data and data science training programs. Now, we have the definitive guidebook on IoT that industry needs to start and scale their own IoT projects.”

“How ready is your organization to leverage the Internet of Things? How do you get ready to do it? Any company wanting to capture the IoT opportunity must first ask itself these questions, but until now we’ve had few practical answers. Finally, in ‘Building the Internet of Things – A Project Workbook,’ Maciej Kranz reveals the proven formula for how most any organization can identify, plan, prepare, deploy and reap the benefits of IoT. It’s an important contribution to industry in the digital age, and a must read for IoT practitioners and their teams.” – Vernon Turner, principal and chief strategist, Causeway Connections; former IDC SVP of IoT

“Following up on his best-seller, ‘Building the Internet of Things,’ Maciej Kranz delivers a companion workbook on the nuts and bolts of IoT implementations for enterprises and startups alike. This engaging and interactive workbook quickly takes frontline managers through all the essential steps for a successful IoT implementation, including how to assess your own readiness, build a business case, form your co-development team, and combine the right technologies to achieve your own business goals. – Scott MacDonald and Whitney Rockley, co-founders and managing partners of McRock Capital

“‘Building the Internet of Things – A Project Workbook’ is a practitioner’s guide to being successful in creating value with IoT deployments. In the 30+ years that I have known Maciej Kranz, he has always been a leader in out-of-the-box thinking for accelerating good ideas. This book captures his many years of experience in developing innovative business models with IoT technologies. The book will also capture your creative energy and then focus it with guided exercises and a self-scoring system for immediate feedback. A busy manager will appreciate the simple and engaging prose for helping to fast track the journey into the world of IoT.” – Stephen Brobst, chief technology officer, Teradata Corporation


Connecthings Launches IoT Pilot Program With Capital Metro

Connecthings launched today a pilot program to deliver real time Capital Metro bus schedule and service alert information to riders who are blind or visually impaired. The program, which will run for the next sixty days at sixteen Capital Metro bus stops across downtown Austin, was developed in partnership with RATP Dev USA, Capital Metro’s bus service operations and management partner, BlindSquare, the world’s most popular accessible GPS application for people who are blind or visually impaired, and BlueCats, manufacturers of the world’s most advanced Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons and intelligent internet of things (IIoT) asset tracking solutions.

This digital infrastructure, powered by Connecthings, works in connection with the BlindSquare app to transform how transit riders, who are blind or visually impaired, interact with public transportation in Austin. Through the app, riders can now get real-time bus schedule and service alert information automatically when in proximity to the stop. BlindSquare brings the riders to the stop, and supports the continuation of the journey to the destination of choice when exiting the bus.

“Technology is a remarkable thing. Every day new developments, devices and discoveries are made which have the potential to change the world as we know it,” said Laetitia Gazel Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings. “For riders who are blind or partially sighted, Connecthings, Capital Metro and RAPT Dev are breaking down key communication barriers that can inhibit the lives of those who are, in this case, visually impaired. This pilot program will demonstrate how easily and efficiently transportation systems can deliver information to riders from the first mile to the last mile.”

“The use of beacons, especially integrated with smart mobile apps, provides the potential of many useful applications that can benefit the community,” said Joe Iannello, Capital Metro vice president and chief information officer, and President of Austin CityUP. “This initial demonstration in Austin with Connecthings, BlueCats and BlindSquare is a first step in exploring some of those benefits.”

“We push back on the void of darkness, replacing it with the illumination of information – daily.” said Ilkka Pirttimaa, CEO of BlindSquare. “With BlindSquare we support independent travel – a necessary ingredient for life, employment and pure fun for all – now delivered by Capital Metro/Austin Public Transit, a service ready, willing and now able to close the void for riders in Austin who are blind.” At launch, the pilot program will only be open to a select number of “beta-riders” that will use the app on a daily basis while providing feedback and input for optimizing and improving the service.

“Quality service and innovation are benchmarks of our core services and those of our transportation partners like Capital Metro,” said Sandy Freeman, Vice President, Innovation & Product Delivery at RATP Dev U.S. “This is especially true of our Paratransit services where we make it as easy as possible for any passenger to reach any destination, at any time. Testing this technology in Austin demonstrates our dedication to technological innovations in transportation.”

This program is just one of many services that can be enabled by Connecthings in a smart city environment. In addition to delivering real-time bus information to the blind and visually impaired, the same information can be access by other riders via push notifications. In June 2017, Connecthings joined AustinCityUp, a smart city consortium of companies, organizations, and individuals collaborating on activities that advance Austin, TX through digital technologies, data collection, analytics, and modeling.