IoT News Roundup

By IOT Journal

Qualcomm Ventures, M Ventures invest in Wiliot to scale IoT with battery-free Bluetooth ••• IoT platform provider Ayla Networks announces $60 million in Series D financing ••• Solace facilitates adoption of message queueing protocol standard ••• ForeScout Technologies reports companies experiencing anxiety due to IoT security concerns ••• New app from Smart Parking eases search for spots in Cardiff ••• Mocana, Xilinx, Avnet, Infineon, Microsoft join forces to secure industrial control and IoT devices ••• Accruent acquires BlueCielo, accelerates European expansion.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week:

Qualcomm Ventures, M Ventures Invest in Wiliot to Scale IoT With Battery-Free Bluetooth


Wiliot, a fabless semiconductor start-up company, has closed an investment round with Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated, and M Ventures, the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company. The announcement was made in conjunction with the opening of the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) Conference in Amsterdam where the company will make its first public presentation to leaders in the packaging industry.

The latest investment round comes on the heels of a Series A Round financing effort that yielded $14m with forward-thinking strategic technology investors Grove Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, and 83North Venture Capital. This first round closed in January, the month Wiliot was founded. In all, Wiliot has raised a total of $19m in its first 10 months as a semiconductor company.

Wiliot, whose research and development arm is based in Israel, is on course to develop a wireless technology that will eliminate a reliance on batteries or wired power to vastly accelerate the Internet of Things with the vision of creating a world of "Smart Everything." The new technology, which powers itself by harvesting energy from radio waves, enables a sensor as small as a fingernail, as thin as a sheet of paper, and an order of magnitude reduction in price and cost of maintenance.

"This new technology will allow a sensor/radio/processor combination to be embedded in products, packaging, walls and furniture so that these things can be smarter and communicate with other Bluetooth devices, including smartphones," said Tal Tamir, CEO and co-founder of Wiliot. "We will enable everything to be intelligent and every place we go and anything we wear, touch or use will include sensing, connected, passive devices with an unlimited lifetime." The possible applications are wide-ranging in scope, including but not limited to connected packaging and products such as apparel, more accurate indoor location and affordable Real Time Location Systems that will revolutionize asset tracking.

"Wiliot's passive semiconductor technology under development could disrupt the marketplace, highlighting the vast potential of passive Bluetooth's low cost, size and long-term cost of ownership in a variety of applications," said Samuel McLaughlin, Research Analyst, ABI Research.

With proof of concepts scheduled to start in 2H 2018, and a delivery to market date in early 2019, Wiliot's technology will revolutionize the current Bluetooth beacon marketplace which after more than five years has reached a floor on reductions in cost, size and ease of maintenance that have hindered their widespread adoption.

"The range of new applications is endless given the level of miniaturization and lack of power dependency," said Boaz Peer, Director, Qualcomm Ventures Israel. "As we look at the IoT space, we see battery-free Bluetooth technology as the next great leap, driving exponential growth for the entire IoT ecosystem, from smartphones and Wi-Fi hubs to battery powered beacons."

Wiliot was formed by a group of wireless engineers experienced in building new products and the ecosystems required for their success. The group's previous start-up, Wilocity, was acquired by Qualcomm in 2014 and was a Gigabit Wi-Fi pioneer, pushing the boundaries in terms of power consumption and connectivity.

"The quality and experience of the founding team at Wiliot, coupled with their passion to envision a more pervasive IoT, gives us the comfort that Wiliot will significantly change the game, particularly in the medical field, while expanding use and acceptance at a far larger scale," said Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director New Businesses, M Ventures.

IoT Platform Provider Ayla Networks Announces $60 Million in Series D Financing


Ayla Networks, the global leader in Internet of Things (IoT) platform-as-a-service (PaaS), has announced that it has raised $60 million in Series D financing led by Run Liang Tai Fund (RLT) and Sunsea Telecommunications Co. Ltd. The funding will be used to further expand Ayla's product capabilities to help large enterprises extract IoT data and transform it into business intelligence, and to expand its ecosystem network of partners and application providers.

"Ayla has amassed more than 100 large enterprise customers by solving their challenges regarding how to securely connect, manage and apply intelligence to all of their connected devices and sensors," said David Friedman, Ayla CEO and co-founder. "The Ayla platform blends critical capabilities related to security, privacy, data policy and management with a massively configurable capability for our customers to ingest data from any sensor and IoT cloud. The platform makes it easier for enterprises to apply intelligence and analytics to broad sets of heterogeneous data sets to transform the data into real business value."

According to Friedman, Ayla's early focus has been in markets such as HVAC, large and small appliances, water management and home control. More recently, the company has expanded into serving large retail, industrial, telco and service provider, and medical markets. From these markets, the amount of data flooding into the platform is growing 5x year over year. With this growth come significant opportunities for Ayla's customers to leverage applications provided by Ayla and its ecosystem partners to drive new services and enhance operating efficiency.

"Ayla has established itself as a leader in IoT technology, and it has established a solid presence in global markets," said Sean Cai, partner at Run Liang Tai. "We invested in Ayla to help them continue their product leadership and enable them to grow much faster."

As part of the funding round, Ayla is partnering with Sunsea Telecommunications, a public company serving the Chinese telecommunications market, to much more aggressively build out its presence in the rapidly expanding Chinese IoT market. Ayla and Sunsea IoT, a subsidiary of Sunsea Telecommunications are forming a joint venture, named Ayla Sunsea, that will sell and deliver Ayla's offerings to customers with headquarters in China.

"Ayla has won some of China's largest manufacturers, especially in the home appliance and air conditioning segments," said Phillip Chang, Ayla co-founder and general manager of Ayla China. "The partnership with Sunsea will make available far more resources to support our customers, and Sunsea's China market knowledge and relationships will allow us to expand much faster in the large telco and enterprise opportunities inside China."

"Ayla is the leading global provider of enterprise-grade IoT PaaS. We are partnering with Ayla based on our companies' shared beliefs about the needs and promise of the Chinese IoT market," said Ping Liu, chairman of Sunsea. "Ayla's extensive IoT expertise and success with Chinese manufacturers complements Sunsea's deep telecommunications proficiency and local relationships position the joint venture to become a premier IoT provider in China and provide a compelling solution to best serve our local customers."

Solace Facilitating Adoption of Message Queueing Protocol Standard


Solace, the leading provider of open data movement technology, has announced several developments in its campaign to support the rapidly accelerating market adoption of Advanced Message Queueing Protocol (AMQP) 1.0, an open standard for passing business messages between applications and organizations. AMQP frees companies from vendor lock-in at the data distribution layer by providing a standards-based way of reliably transmitting information between diverse applications within and between enterprises, powering microservices, and feeding process and analytics engines the information they need.

"As more companies migrate applications to cloud and hybrid environments, more people are realizing how important it is to eliminate the risk of lock-in so they can maintain complete flexibility in their distributed application infrastructure," said Solace CTO Shawn McAllister. "That's why the time is right for mass adoption of standardized messaging protocols and APIs as companies stream real-time data between applications and enterprises, and AMQP is the natural choice for inter-application messaging, much like MQTT has emerged as the protocol of choice for the Internet of Things."

Solace has added support for AMQP 1.0 to its Virtual Message Router product, enabling customers to easily send and receive messages via any message exchange pattern or quality of service. With this addition, Solace offers the only enterprise-grade multi-protocol message broker that supports AMQP, JMS, MQTT, REST and WebSocket. To help users implement AMQP messaging with its Virtual Message Router (which can be downloaded for free at Solace's AMQP 1.0 support has been verified with many open source APIs including those for Apache QPID, JMS 1.1, JMS 2.0, Node.js and Python to ensure ease of use and broad application choice.

"Building on open source and open standards is a key characteristic of the SAP Cloud Platform offering," said Christoph Liebig, head of strategic product management for SAP Cloud Platform at SAP. "This helps our customers and partners to leverage open ecosystems and knowledge. SAP Enterprise Messaging, SAP's messaging-as-a-service on SAP Cloud Platform, is key for creating resilient and performant cloud applications. We're pleased to see open standards like AMQP also evolving here and are also planning to support AMQP 1.0."

"The increasing popularity of AMQP 1.0 has been a key enabler of the revolution that is sweeping the air traffic management industry as part of what's called System Wide Information Management or SWIM," said John Bernard, Business Development Lead, Harris Air Traffic Management. "SWIM is all about the simple, secure, standardized exchange of information between the diverse applications that support aircraft and airport operations, and will be a key step to leveraging IoT to empower aviation. The degree to which Solace has embraced AMQP 1.0 has helped Harris' customers in the aviation industry improve air safety, operational efficiency and passenger service, and generally encourages innovation by making it easier to get information where it's needed."

In addition to supporting AMQP in its own products, Solace is leading the development activities within the Apache ActiveMQ community to create a .NET Message Service (NMS) API that will make it easy for .NET developers to send and receive messages in a similar way to the popular Java Messaging Service (JMS) API. This new NMS API will use the AMQP 1.0 protocol and will be interoperable with most AMQP 1.0 message brokers and AMQP 1.0 APIs in many other languages. The NMS API, which is under open development, will be supported by robust documentation and tutorials that help developers get started. Interested parties are encouraged to view the work in progress at and to contribute to its development within the Apache community.

Support for AMQP in the Solace Virtual Message Router and the 3500 series of Solace Message Router Appliances is generally available now.

ForeScout Technologies Reports Companies Experiencing Anxiety Due to IoT Security Concerns


ForeScout Technologies (NASDAQ: FSCT), a leading Internet of Things (IoT) security company, has revealed new findings about the impact IoT and operational technology (OT) are having on organizations and the cybersecurity dilemmas they are causing within security and LoB teams. The commissioned survey, conducted by leading independent analyst firm Forrester Consulting on behalf of ForeScout, unveiled that security and LoB leaders are experiencing high levels of anxiety due to IoT/OT security concerns, largely due to the negative business ramifications a security failure can have on critical business operations. Furthermore, the majority of these organizations (82%) struggle to identify all of their network-connected devices, and when asked who is primarily responsible for securing IoT, IT and LoB leaders did not have a clear answer or delineation of ownership.

"The survey results demonstrate a dynamic shift in the way organizations are starting to think about security and risk as it relates to IoT. Each new device that comes online represents another attack vector for enterprises and it only takes one device to compromise an entire network and disrupt business operations, which can impact the bottom line," said Michael DeCesare, president and CEO at ForeScout. "Securing IoT is not just a cybersecurity issue, it is a business issue and operating at any risk level is too much. Enterprises need full visibility."

According to the survey results collected from over 600 global enterprise businesses, 77 percent of companies agree that the increased usage of connected devices creates significant security challenges. As a result, 76 percent of respondents said IoT-related anxieties are forcing them to rethink their IT and LoB security strategies.

"IoT and OT bring significant benefits to organizations around the world," according to Forrester Research. "Enterprises are heading in the right direction when it comes to IoT security investments and our hope is to bring greater awareness to both the challenges as well as the best practices. However, this survey brings to light that more is needed to be done around IoT security."

IoT is causing a new level of complexity and the potential for negative business impacts if a security failure occurs. Survey results show that over half of the respondents (54%) stated that they have anxiety due to IoT security, with LoB leaders having higher amounts (58%) compared to their IT counterparts (51%). Understanding the magnitude that a breach can have on enterprise operations and not receiving high-level assurances from IT that their devices are secure, can cause higher levels of anxiety in LoB leaders than IT. In addition, overall distress is due to added costs and time needed to manage these devices as well as a lack of security skills.

IT and LoB respondents cited budget constraints (IT 45%; LoB 43%) as the greatest barrier to investing in IoT security, followed by senior leadership skepticism. Without the added investment, security professionals continue to rely on their traditional security approach to protect IoT/OT (40%). This strategy prevents organizations from being able to identify all network-connected devices, which opens the door for greater security risk and potential compliance complications.

In fact, if audited, 82 percent said they could not identify 100 percent of the devices connected to their network. Additionally, over half of respondents (59%) cited that they are willing to tolerate a medium to high risk level in relation to compliance requirements for IoT security. A true concern as 90 percent of companies are expecting to see their volume of connected devices increase over the next few years.

The study supports a clear disconnect between IT and LoB leaders, highlighting potential ownership issues around securing process-specific IoT/OT devices. When asked who is primarily responsible for securing IoT/OT devices on an enterprise network, 44 percent of IT respondents versus 36 percent of LoB respondents stated security operations center (SOC) professionals.

However, LoB respondents were more likely than IT to prefer a dedicated LoB IT staff or LoB practitioner to be responsible. While most companies tend to keep security under the purview of IT, it is becoming more critical for collaboration amongst asset managers, LoB teams and the network teams that are adopting and deploying these connected devices. This is important for enterprises as they consider their IoT security strategy, including managing default security configurations and enabling proper visibility of all devices.

The survey shows that a combination of top-down executive support, proper security tools and audits instill greater confidence in device visibility. In fact, 48 percent of all respondents stated that improving awareness and visibility of IoT devices is a top priority for improving IoT security and 82 percent of respondents expect their IoT/OT security spend to increase over the next one to two years. When considering the adoption of IoT security solutions, more than half of the respondents (55%) said integration with existing security systems was the most important criteria.

Commissioned by ForeScout, Forrester surveyed 603 IT and LoB decision-makers that are directly involved in their organization's network, data and endpoint security processes. Participants were asked about challenges with IoT security and overall awareness of devices on their network. Organizations were located the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand, and had employee counts of 2,500 or more.

New App from Smart Parking Eases Search for Spots in Cardiff


Cardiff is bidding farewell to the pain of finding a parking spot as a new smart parking system that helps drivers find an available parking space using the new 'Park Cardiff' smartphone app will go-live this week. Working with parking technology firm Smart Parking Limited, Cardiff Council has installed 3,300 sensors in 'paid-for' and disabled parking bays.

Cardiff Council is the first Council in Europe to roll out this technology across its citywide road network. Councillor Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport at Cardiff Council has set out his vision to get as many people as possible to use alternative forms of transport.

Cllr Wild said: "Although our priority is for people to use public or alternative forms of transport, we accept that there will still be a requirement for people to use the private car. Given this, we want to provide the technology to make parking as easy as possible, so that people don't have to drive around the city to find a parking space. "

Cllr Wild continued: "Now that we have invested in this scheme, we want people that park in and around the city centre to download the free app – it is easy to use and will help both the motorist and the Council. Congestion and driving at low speeds significantly increases pollutants form cars, so we want people to find a space and park as quickly as possible."

Vehicle detection sensors are embedded into the road and detect whether or not the parking bay is occupied using infrared technology. Populated with data collected through the sensors, drivers in Cardiff can download an app, called Park Cardiff, to search and view a real-time map of parking availability and be directed to an empty space. The Park Cardiff app is now available for iOS and Android devices on the Apple Store and Google Play store.

Park Cardiff can also connect users to Cardiff's mobile parking payment service - provided by MiPermit – which comes with free confirmation and reminder texts. Smart Parking's bay sensor system has already been successfully deployed in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, South Africa and Europe. The full rollout follows a successful pilot project in which 225 sensors were installed in streets including Museum Avenue and Sophia Gardens Car Park.

Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking's Group Chief Executive Officer, said he is delighted that Smart Parking technology is playing a key role in helping to transform the parking experience in Cardiff. "The launch of the Smart Parking system is an important step in realising Cardiff's vision of being a high quality, liveable smart city. Through the use of this innovative technology and the information it gathers, the city now have the opportunity to better understand the dynamics of traffic and parking."

"The Park Cardiff app will deliver major benefits for people who need to park in central Cardiff. It will make finding a parking space easier so that drivers can reach their destinations faster and more conveniently and make a contribution to reducing the congestion and pollution associated with drivers speculatively searching for a space to park."

Mocana, Xilinx, Avnet, Infineon, Microsoft Join Forces to Secure Industrial Control and IoT Devices


Mocana, the leading provider of IoT security solutions for industrial control systems (ICS) and the Internet of Things (IoT), announced a partnership with Avnet, Xilinx, Infineon Technologies and Microsoft to introduce an integrated, high-assurance industrial IoT system that meets the latest cybersecurity standards. The system is comprised of advanced hardware and software built on the Avnet UltraZed-EG system-on-module (SOM), designed to be flexible and rugged for industrial IoT and small-form-factor IoT devices.

The hardware plus software combination includes Mocana's security software operating on the Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC, leveraging the capabilities of Infineon's OPTIGA TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0 security chip. The integrated system interoperates with the Microsoft Azure cloud and is the first of its kind solution that makes it easier and more accessible for large and small companies to bring IoT devices and services to market that are secure and compliant with industrial cybersecurity standards.

"Securing our connected world is of critical importance," said Srinivas Kumar, vice president of engineering at Mocana. "A major challenge for developers of IoT edge products is their lack of familiarity with cybersecurity standards. Our partnership with industry leaders Avnet, Xilinx, Infineon and Microsoft intends to ease this burden by providing a robust hardware plus software cybersecurity design that can be replicated or modified by system designers to fit their application needs."

By 2020, analysts predict that there will be more than 20 billion connected devices, including automobiles, industrial equipment, public/private infrastructure, transportation systems and medical devices. Ensuring that IoT devices are secure is critical to the safety and reliability of systems. Furthermore, device manufacturers must meet stringent cybersecurity standards, such as IEC 62443-3-3, FIPS 140-2 and NERC CIP 003-3. Device designers and developers need a robust platform that includes both hardware and software for IIoT.

"Industrial IoT cybersecurity is both difficult and essential," said Christoph Fritsch, director, industrial IoT, scientific and medical at Xilinx. "These industry leaders share a vision to remove barriers to IIoT adoption by reducing risk, cost and speeding time to market for any customer that wants to innovate and move their business forward but has been searching for the best approach to protecting against evolving cybersecurity threats from the edge to the cloud."

The joint solution is comprised of a comprehensive suite of secure hardware and software technologies that can be embedded into IoT and IIoT devices, including:

• Avnet UltraZed-EG system on module (SOM): High-performance board-level circuit that integrates a system function in a single module.

• Xilinx Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC: Heterogeneous, multi-core ARM processing system with programmable logic for scalable and comprehensive IIoT edge platforms.

• Infineon OPTIGA TPM 2.0 PMOD: Peripheral module comprised of a secure chip that generates hardware and software keys based on Trusted Computing Group (TCG) standards.

• Mocana IoT Security Platform: Comprehensive cybersecurity software solution that integrates with embedded applications to handle authentication, certificate management, device and data integrity, confidentiality, and encryption and control.

• Microsoft Azure IoT Device SDK and Azure IoT Edge runtime: Software that facilitates building secure cloud and intelligent edge applications.

The integrated solution will allow developers to leverage the following capabilities:

• High-performance SOM integrated with a TPM PMOD.
• FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptographic engine.
• Scalable X.509 PKI-based certificate management, authentication and device enrollment using OCSP, SCEP, EST (RFC 7030) or IKE.
• Secure, encrypted transport using SSL, SSH, wireless (802.11) and IPSec.
• Hardware Root of Trust Boot and Measured Boot signed by a TPM with remote attestation.
• Secure client to enforce cryptographically signed firmware updates.
• Support for IoT messaging and network protocols AMQP, DDS, MQTT, OPC UA and TSN.
• Ability to bring the power of the cloud to the edge through the Microsoft Azure IoT Edge.
• Ability to connect to the Microsoft Azure IoT Hub to securely process and analyze industrial IoT data.

"In partnering with industry leaders Xilinx, Infineon, Microsoft and Mocana, Avnet is now able to deliver industrial-grade security to IIoT targeted applications," said Jim Beneke, vice president, engineering and technology at Avnet. "The pre-integrated solution ties together the various hardware and software security elements in a proven platform, so designers can get to market quicker without risking the security of their IIoT system."

"IoT architecture is complex, and an IoT system is only as secure as its weakest link," said Joerg Borchert, vice president of the chip card and security division at Infineon Technologies Americas. "For this reason, care must be taken at every level from the chip up to the cloud to securely control applications, data and systems. In order to help customers design and deploy secure systems, Infineon has teamed with other trusted expert leaders in the ecosystem to provide comprehensive reference implementations that leverage best practices to address security from the ground up."

Accruent Acquires BlueCielo, Accelerates European Expansion


Accruent, the world's leading provider of software and services that enable organizations to manage the full lifecycle of their physical resources, has acquired Amsterdam-based BlueCielo, a global advanced Asset Lifecycle Information Management (ALIM) provider.

BlueCielo's Meridian solutions manage engineering information throughout asset lifecycles, connecting maintenance with engineering, supporting concurrent engineering for facility modifications and improving data handover. More than 1,200 companies around the world depend on BlueCielo Meridian solutions to ensure compliance, control costs, improve safety, protect their brand reputation and extend the lifespans of decades-old assets.

"BlueCielo increases Accruent's depth and breadth by adding engineering information management to our portfolio of innovative physical resource management solutions," said John Borgerding, CEO of Accruent. "This acquisition adds a complementary best-of-breed solution to our portfolio, and it establishes a new strategic growth platform with a strong geographic footprint in Europe and adds expertise in industry sectors such as pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and chemicals."

The BlueCielo acquisition is the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions fueling Accruent's growth. Successive acquisitions of strong, growth-oriented companies with complementary products and global presence have resulted in scale, world-class support and depth and breadth of solutions that is unrivalled. Recent acquisitions include Lucernex, a leading global provider of Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), and Verisae, a leading provider of cloud-based solutions that connect facilities and assets to the maintenance and service network through the Internet of Things (IoT).

"The BlueCielo team and I are excited to join Accruent," said Willem-Jan Scholten, BlueCielo CEO. "Our customers will benefit from Accruent's world-class support infrastructure and the advantages that Accruent's scale brings to our operations, development and cross-application innovation. We look forward to expanding our growth by introducing integrated engineering and asset information management to improve asset and facility lifecycles to thousands of additional loyal Accruent customers and new markets."

"Accruent's acquisition of BlueCielo will provide strategic benefits to both companies, as well as customers and prospects," said Kevin Prouty, vice president for IDC Energy Insights, a global provider of information technology market intelligence. "BlueCielo's Meridian asset lifecycle information system adds the ability to manage all asset content and documentation into Accruent's asset lifecycle management capabilities."

The acquisition, effective immediately, includes the continuation of all existing BlueCielo product development, support, sales and channel resources. BlueCielo customers and business partners will be provided with a series of communications on relevant aspects of any changes and will be invited to Accruent's annual INSIGHTS conference April 8 – 11, 2018, in Austin, Texas. BlueCielo Partners and colleagues will learn more at BlueCielo's annual Synergy conference January 15-18, 2018, in Lisbon, Portugal.