IoT News Roundup

By IOT Journal

Cisco's Connected Factory for Industry 4.0; HARMAN, IBM Watson Internet of Things intro cognitive rooms that bring connected experiences to consumers; Blockchain, IoT Consortium progresses toward ecosystem protocol; Opto 22 joins EdgeX Foundry, solidifies support for open IoT edge solutions; Agenda released for IoT Slam Live Internet of Things conference; COMPUTEX 2017 to showcase IoT innovations.

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Cisco’s Connected Factory for Industry 4.0

Machines that make up a modern factory create more than just sweatshirts or submarines. They create lots and lots of data. This data can tell you everything from how efficient the machine is to how likely it is to break. For plant managers, being able to see and act on this data is key. It holds the secrets to new product introduction velocity, real-time margins, and productivity stats at the worker level. It even allows access to a so-called ‘product pedigree’ – so they can so they can track a product from start to finish.

To help plant managers tap into that data, Cisco is introducing three new pieces to the Connected Factory portfolio. In doing so, we are laying the foundation for Industrie 4.0. And our own Digital Network Architecture, or DNA, is powering it. Welcome to the next generation of smart manufacturing.

1. Time Sensitive Networking now supports the IE4000 Switch family: A new standard that protects the data and makes sure those critical applications are running on the network. And, what you purchase today will work tomorrow.

2. Cisco IoT Intelligence Platform: Not looking for just another visualization platform? This one is unique. It can extract data from a variety of sources – and it can tie together all the existing data threads in the plant. Oh, and it’s also analytic-engine agnostic. Reporting is easy – just drag and drop data in a simple interface.

3. Industrial Network Director: Made with operators in mind – not just IT. Factories have full control of the plant network. They can also set-up faster and risk less downtime. Plus, it offers true plug-and-play functionality. Install your managed switch and rest assured that the proper security, settings, and functionality are set. No manual programming required

Data must be actionable. Cisco Connected Factory brings the power of real-time data to manufacturing. Our solutions provide full visibility, with a focus on three things:

• Simplicity: Use Cisco’s trusted network to get the most out of your factory floor.
• Security: We know this is top of mind, our security solutions have you covered.
• Better intelligence: The more you know, the faster you can act.

As the leader in networking, our rich history gives us a unique lens into the manufacturing world. We understand that a smart network is necessary to get to the ‘right’ data, and we know the impact that kind of insight has into the business. Together, with our growing list of ecosystem partners – we can help manufacturers get the most of their businesses.


HARMAN, IBM Watson Internet of Things Intro Cognitive Rooms that Bring Connected Experiences to Consumers

HARMAN Professional Solutions and IBM (NYSE: IBM) Watson Internet of Things (IoT) has unveiled Voice-Enabled Cognitive Rooms. Using IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence (AI) technology and HARMAN AKG microphones, JBL speakers and AMX AV control and switching systems, the companies bring highly connected experiences to medical facilities, corporate offices, hotels, cruise ships and other hospitality environments.

In addition to the current in-market solutions, HARMAN is part of IBM’s cognitive collaboratories based in its $200 million Watson IoT global headquarters in Munich. In this facility, HARMAN is demonstrating the capabilities of its in-room cognitive concierge in a conference room setting. At the same time the HARMAN team is also working with IBM designers, researchers and others to put IoT into the hands of enterprise customers.

IBM’s cognitive technologies are embedded into HARMAN soundbars and alarm clocks with other form factors being developed, that users can interact with using natural language. Now consumers can simply ask questions or issue commands with their voice when in a room. These requests are then sent to the Watson cloud and Watson IoT services, which work with HARMAN’S technology to allow people to easily control their in-room subsystems without having to physically perform any manual tasks and trying to figure the new systems out. For example, now when an employee enters a conference room they can start a video conference, launch a presentation and more using their voice. In the future, these tasks will be executed automatically based on what the system has learned about the employee based on previous meetings. The system gets smarter about the person and their preferences over time.

These capabilities are on display at IBM’s Munich office. In addition, customers such as Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, who also helped develop a healthcare solution that leverages these capabilities, plan to deploy this solution in hospital rooms, which will give patients the opportunity to interact with in-room speakers connected to the IBM Watson IoT Platform. As a result, they will be able to enhance their hospital experience by operating lights and window blinds without any manual assistance while asking questions about the hospital facilities or requesting background information on their physician all via natural language.

“We’re solving a very distinct problem in hotel, hospital and conference rooms, where people experience unfamiliar environments yet need to perform very simple tasks, such as changing room temperature, adjusting the lighting, opening the blinds, initiating conference calls or launching a presentation,” said Kevin Morrison, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions for HARMAN Professional Solutions. “Voice-Enabled Cognitive Rooms by HARMAN make for a natural and intuitive experience, especially for weary travelers or patients with special needs.”

These voice-enabled cognitive rooms also function as an in-room concierge that can answer general questions or site-specific questions developed by the facility and featuring custom answers created by staff. For example, a hotel guest could ask “What time is checkout? “or “Where is the gym?” while a hospital patient could ask “What are the hospital’s visiting hours?” or “Can you tell me more about my doctor?” Leveraging HARMAN’s expertise in API integration, users can even employ Watson for service requests, including amenity replenishments, restaurant reservations, late checkout, room service, shuttle service and more.

“The enterprise and entertainment market possibilities are massive, as IBM and HARMAN seek to connect people more intimately with their environments through cognition and natural language processing,” said Harriet Green, General Manager, Watson Internet of Things, Customer Engagement and Education, IBM. “The result of this collaboration is simple, we are leveraging Watson and AI to bring connected environments to a multitude of locations, from hotels to hospitals and offices where they are transforming every day experiences. We look forward to continuing our work with HARMAN by developing new IoT-powered innovations.”

Leveraging key Watson APIs such as Natural Language Understanding and Speech to Text, these rooms also provide users with limited mobility and vision impairment a closer level of interaction with their environment. Now with Watson, guests can speak naturally to the system without rigid syntax requirements, using simple commands like “would you turn off the lights?”

Voice-Enabled Cognitive Rooms also feature enterprise-grade software tools that can help in-house technical and guest service staff members increase operational efficiency. For example, housekeeping staff can simply say, “Send up an engineer to fix the shower” in their native language. Watson’s multilingual capabilities enable organizations to accommodate a wide variety of users from different countries with an ever-growing list of supported languages.

Like other solutions on the market, the system is activated by a “wake word.” However, unlike other devices, the wake word for Voice-Enabled Cognitive Rooms by HARMAN is fully customizable. This allows businesses an additional opportunity to brand their experience. In addition to JBL speakers, the system includes AMX NX-1200 Integrated Controller, the AMX MassioMCP-106 6-Button ControlPad and the AMX Metreauۓ-Button Ethernet Keypad.


Blockchain, IoT Consortium Progresses Toward Ecosystem Protocol

Earlier this year, a group of five enterprises and six startups gathered to start to advance the blockchain and Internet of Things ecosystem. Skuchain and Chronicled in collaboration with the members of this group has launched an IoT “thing” registration API supporting Ethereum, Quorum, and Hyperledger blockchain implementations.

The protocol allows users to register multiple kinds of weaker identities, including serial numbers, QR codes, and UPC code identities, and bind them to stronger cryptographic identities, which are immutably linked across both physical and digital worlds using blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology is driving a broader trend towards securing digital identities of people, organizations, and physical objects. Machines capable of cryptographically-secured transactions can prevent hacking, data breaches, and more of the problems that plague digital economies.

The launch of the common registration protocol brings industry and commerce legacy systems one step closer to secure interactions with cryptographic networks. This will fundamentally change the approaches to computing that underpin IoT device identities, sensor data, and business logic.

In support of the protocol, members of the group are moving forward with several proof of concept projects at the intersection of blockchain and IoT. Not only does this demonstrate the broader commercial and industrial potential of this technology, it supports the blockchain and IoT ecosystems and advances progress in these sectors.

Among these projects, Cisco is exploring using the protocol to register device identities and associated data, whereas Bosch has completed work to register automobile odometer readings on the blockchain to prevent fraud. Startups are also working towards POCs. Chronicled is completing a POC wherein pharmaceutical serializations and temperature tracking data are logged on the blockchain and Skuchain is using the technology, along with smart contracts, to support supply chain functions and efficacy in the aerospace industry.

Stephan Tual, COO at, a German-based technology company that recently raised a $2M seed round said, “We are very excited to support the linkage of IoT technologies and blockchain technologies, and look forward to building many use cases with clients and partners.”

Maurizio Greco, CTO of Chronicled said, “In the days of the railroad industry, there was a need to create standard dimensions for the gauge of the rail and width between the rails. Similarly, in the IoT and blockchain space, by creating standards around basic functions, such as registering cryptographic public keys to blockchain systems for ‘thing’ identity verification, we can set a strong foundation for the growth of this exciting new industry.”


Opto 22 Joins EdgeX Foundry, Solidifies Support for Open IoT Edge Solutions

As a continued step in the company’s long history of supporting and adopting open standards and specifications in the industrial automation and process control markets, Opto 22 has announced it has joined EdgeX Foundry as a founding member. EdgeX Foundry is an open-source project hosted by The Linux Foundation, building a common open framework for Internet of Things (IoT) edge computing and an ecosystem of interoperable components to unify the marketplace and accelerate enterprise and Industrial IoT.

The EdgeX framework makes it easy to quickly create IoT edge solutions that have the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs.

“In order to curb the complexity of industrial IoT, it is essential to have a strong ecosystem of vendors and community members come together to build a common open framework for IoT edge computing,” said Philip DesAutels, Senior Director of IoT with The Linux Foundation and Executive Director of EdgeX Foundry. “We are excited to have Opto 22 join us as a founding member to achieve this goal.”

Industrial IoT (IIoT) is delivering significant business value by improving efficiencies and increasing revenue through automation and analytics, but widespread fragmentation and the lack of a common IoT solution framework are hindering broad adoption and stalling market growth.

“Achieving cohesive, value-add Industrial IoT solutions depends on a successful ecosystem that can drive interoperability and digital transformation,” said Benson Hougland, Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy for Opto 22. “Together with other EdgeX Foundry founding members, we will develop a common framework to help align IoT adoption and business objectives.”

Designed to run on any hardware or operating system with any application environment, the EdgeX framework will quickly and easily deliver interoperability between connected devices, applications, and services, across a wide range of use cases. A demo of the EdgeX platform will be on display at Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany from April 24-28, 2017, in the Opto 22 booth (Hall 8, Stand F31).


Agenda Released for IoT Slam Live Internet of Things Conference

The Internet of Things community (IoT Community), the world’s largest network of CxOs and IoT professionals, has announced the agenda for its inaugural IoT Slam Live Internet of Things conference taking place June 21 – 22, 2017 at the Archie K Conference Centre, Raleigh, Durham, North Carolina, USA and broadcasting globally online via the cloud.

The event provides the global IoT community with a unique opportunity to learn from expert and elite IoT practitioners that are designing, developing, and shaping the future of the IoT landscape.

With expert contributions from CxOs and elite IoT practitioners at IBM, SAS, Zebra Technology, Vertiv, Spirent, Microsoft, Blue Archive, Legrand, GE, Wipro, Entringa, Kollabio, Accenture, Enlighted, Inventhys, Virtual Radiologic, CA Technologies, Exosite, Covisint, Cerner, Intertrust, T M Forum, Geisel Software,, Riot Micro, Shadecraft, Bex UX, Gatehouse, Economic Strategy Institute, Cosourcing Partners, and Sogeti, amongst other leading lights from the IoT ecosystem, the IoT Slam Live 2017 conference features the most significant advances in IoT and is a must-attend event for anyone seeking to learn about best practices of IoT.

The full IoT Slam Live 2017 Conference program, topics, themes, and list of speakers can be viewed at

“We are excited to announce the agenda for the inaugural IoT Slam Live 2017 Conference. We are delighted to unveil this complete world-class program on schedule,” said Bill Mortimer, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Spirent Communications, and IoT Slam Organizing Committee Chairman. “As we received great submissions, we have another tremendous line-up of world-class speakers and content for this next instalment of the IoT Slam series and our first in-person meeting. We are very pleased to deliver an event that features real-world industry use cases and meaningful take-aways that will provide actionable insights on key industry themes. We look forward to welcoming and hosting members of our IoT Community and the broader enterprise industry in-person in Raleigh, NC and, if you cannot attend in person, we encourage you to join the event in the cloud, on June 21-22, 2017.”

Commenting on the announcement, David Hill, Executive Director of the IoT Community said, “We are excited to showcase another world class line up of IoT thought leaders and practitioners at the inaugural IoT Slam Live event. Our IoT Slam Live agenda delivers the most comprehensive and cutting edge IoT education which demonstrates where the IoT Community is headed in 2017 and beyond. We invite the IoT Community to join us June 21 – 22 in RTP and for members around the globe, to plug into our online live broadcast. The launch of the Agenda coincides with our global community membership breaking through 20,000 elite IoT Practitioners. We are grateful for every member’s participation, involvement and contributions to making our community the global centre of gravity for the IoT space.”

Also commenting on the announcement, Chris Sullivan – Global Healthcare Practice Leader, Health Slam Chairman, and IoT Community Vice Chair said; “Today we announce the results of the efforts from the past 2 months c.f.p. discovery period, where we invited IoT thought leaders to come forward and bring their best and brightest ideas to present to our elite community of IoT practitioners; We were humbled with the quality and calibre of submissions from our members old and new, who came forward and are now all set to speak at IoT Slam Live – collectively advancing the IoT landscape narrative – showcasing real world best practices – to enable the secure, rapid and reliable development and operation of IoT. It is also an exciting day for the IoT Community as our Individual Membership has broken through 20,000 elite IoT practitioners. We take this opportunity to thank each and every member one and all for their continued support and participation in making us the world’s largest, vibrant and engaged community of IoT professionals and practitioners.”


COMPUTEX 2017 to Showcase IoT Innovations

COMPUTEX, the leading global ICT show with a complete supply chain, IoT and startup ecosystems, will feature the latest innovative Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and applications at its IoT-focused SmarTEX exhibit.

Following its very successful debut at COMPUTEX 2016, SmarTEX will again provide a glimpse of future lifestyles and commerce made possible by IoT. At SmarTEX, attendees will find IoT applications in trending information and communications technology (ICT) categories including security solutions, smart home and entertainment, wearables, Internet of Vehicles (IoV), automotive electronics and smart technology solutions.

“The Internet of Things and the Internet of Vehicles are the most disruptive and rewarding forces in tech, and SmarTEX provides a unique opportunity for representatives of regional and global businesses to discover the latest innovations in IoT, build new partnerships, and establish their ideal positioning in the IoT ecosystem,” said Walter Yeh, president and CEO of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the organizer of COMPUTEX. “Nearly 130 companies in SmarTEX will be showcasing new and groundbreaking smart technologies that already influence our lives today, and will have an even greater impact in the future.”

Among COMPUTEX exhibitors this year are industry leaders involved in designing, developing, and delivering solutions for the Internet of Things, home security, smart homes, entertainment, wearable technologies, automotive electronics, and smart technology solutions.

These SmarTEX exhibitors are at the forefront of an IoT market that Gartner, Inc. forecasts will include 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. Gartner also forecasts that total spending on endpoints and services will reach almost $2 trillion in 2017.

SmarTEX at COMPUTEX will take place in Exhibition Hall 1 of the Taipei World Trade Center. Exhibitors will include a broad spectrum of international suppliers, distributors, system integrators, and manufacturing companies.