IoT News Roundup

By IOT Journal

One2Touch NFC platform provides continuous communications capabilities ••• Bosch showcases sensor solutions for connected mobility, Industry 4.0, logistics ••• Gemalto launches LTE Cat. M1 wireless module for IoT ••• Telink Semiconductor's RF system-on-chip passes ZigBee 3.0 certification tests ••• Senet, STMicroelectronics, myDevices demo LPWAN technology ••• Imec works with City of Antwerp, Flanders to establish smart-city Living Lab ••• Gooee partners with Lumicenter on IoT lighting products.

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One2Touch NFC Platform Provides Continuous Communications Capabilities


One2Touch, a provider of Near Field Communication (NFC)-powered continuous communication products, demonstrated its NFC platform for mobile accessories, toys and wearables at CES 2017, a technology innovation conference held last week in Las Vegas, Nev.

By leveraging the One2Touch NFC platform’s tap-and-stay capability, the company reports, mobile accessories (keyboards, for instance), as well as toys, games and wearables, can be manufactured without a need for batteries or charging. This, according to the company, enables the integration of personal smart devices to a user’s physical world.

For example, Samsung demonstrated a Star Wars-themed game at the event featuring figurines of Yoda, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Users could interact with the game via proximity sensors in fabrics, or they could use a LEGO gaming portal (by transferring the physical figurines into the game) or a LEGO sensor hub (by interacting with the game through a color sensor, a rotation senor and push buttons on a LEGO vehicle).

“At One2Touch, our vision is to push the boundaries of NFC technology and enable consumers to use NFC in their everyday lives to do so much more than mobile payments,” said Nils Knagenhjelm, One2Touch’s VP of strategic alliances, in a prepared statement. “With the exploding Internet of Things market, we’re excited about the potential of NFC’s ability to simply and seamlessly connect and communicate as long as the consumer wants, making billions of devices and accessories smarter…”

One2Touch has created an NFC-based technology platform engineered for secure and continuous communications between main or hub devices and accessories. Based on power harvesting and One2Touch’s protocol stack for continuous communication, mobile devices and accessories can both connect and communicate via NFC.

Bosch Showcases Sensor Solutions for Connected Mobility, Industry 4.0, Logistics


Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions showcases three innovative sensor-based solutions at the 2017 International CES in Las Vegas, USA. The devices help improve comfort, convenience and accountability, and new extension boards simplify the development of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

“Sensor-based connected devices and solutions lie at the heart of many applications today, including connected mobility, Industry 4.0 and logistics – and we offer some of the most innovative products in these dynamic sectors”, said Markus Lang, General Manager of Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions

In the event of an accident, a vehicle equipped with an eCall system will automatically contact emergency services. The Bosch Retrofit eCall plug is a smart device that uses acceleration sensors and intelligent embedded algorithms to detect an accident. Upon detection, it transmits data to a back-end IT system (via a Bluetooth smartphone app) to provide immediate assistance, e.g. it enables a call center to call the driver, or immediately contact the emergency services if necessary.

At CES, Bosch announces that Retrofit eCall can now be extended to Usage-Based Insurance and Concierge Services. At the push of a button, the Concierge Service connects drivers to a designated personal assistant at a service center. This personal assistant can then provide the driver with specific directions or alternative routes, and can even book hotels and restaurants.

The Transport Data Logger (TDL) ensures transparency across the entire supply chain. The TDL is a sensor-based device that can be attached to a shipment of sensitive or high-value goods. By monitoring and recording relevant parameters such as temperature, humidity, tilt, and shocks, the TDL makes the delivery process transparent and traceable.

These measurements are subsequently documented and visualized via an app. If any parameter exceeds a user defined threshold, this is recorded, providing traceability and accountability. If no thresholds are exceeded, the TDL provides evidence of an incident-free transport chain.

The ability to quickly produce a demo or proof of concept is a key time saving factor when developing IoT projects. Bosch’s Cross Domain Development Kit (XDK) is a rapid prototyping tool that enables developers to bring their IoT designs to life, accelerating and simplifying the transition from prototype to mass production.

At CES, Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions is also presenting three new extension boards expanding the feature set of the XDK. The first is the LoRaWAN connectivity extension board, which provides long-range network connectivity of up to 40 km. The second is an infrared sensor extension board enabling the detection of heat signatures, for applications such as motion detection and temperature measurement. The last is an extension board for an additional temperature sensor providing an extended temperature measurement range, which is ideally suited for industrial applications.

The XDK is a fully integrated hardware and software product with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, containing a MEMS accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope, coupled with humidity, pressure, temperature, acoustic and digital light sensors. The software development environment offers access to various API layers, together with an algorithm library and sample applications, as well as access to the online development community.

Gemalto Launches LTE Cat. M1 Wireless Module for IoT


Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, is launching a leading edge LTE Cat. M1 wireless module for IoT solutions. The new Cinterion® LTE Cat. M1 solution takes network efficiency and simplicity to new heights, delivering LTE for Machine-Type-Communication (MTC) and improved power savings that enables battery life of 10+ years, for some use cases. The new module is ideal for use cases not dependent on speed, but rather requires network longevity and improved indoor coverage such as asset trackers, healthcare solutions, smart meters and industrial sensors.

The new wireless module is the first IoT solution based on a dedicated LTE Cat. M1 chipset. The low-power, wide-area (LPWA) module offers extended coverage, including improved in-building and in-ground penetration. The solution operates on the highly efficient LTE spectrum and is capable of supporting more than 10 frequency bands from a single hardware device. This eliminates the need for multiple variants providing simplified global deployment and a fast time to market. In the future, the new module will be able to run LTE NB-IoT protocols on the same hardware, giving customers a future-proof path to the latest network standards. Sharing the same footprint as existing Cinterion products, the LTE Cat. M1 solution enables easy migration from 2G and 3G devices. Development samples are available immediately before debuting on the Verizon 4G LTE Cat M1 network in early 2017, which is scheduled to achieve nationwide US coverage by the end of Q1 2017.

“Supported by all major mobile equipment, chipset and module manufacturers, LTE-M1 provides an important path forward as we move toward a universal standard for IoT communication,” said Johan Fagerberg, CEO of Berg Insight.”LTE-M networks co-exist with 2G, 3G and traditional 4G networks, allowing easy evolution while ensuring the same security and privacy expected from GSM and cellular technologies.”

“The LTE market for IoT is vast and requires connectivity solutions for a range of devices, from low-power, low-bandwidth applications addressed by LTE-Cat M1, to higher performance, wider bandwidth use cases best addressed by LTE Cat 1 or Cat 3,” said Chris Schmidt, Executive Director Device Technology at Verizon. “We are pleased that Gemalto continues to deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions to meet the evolving needs of Verizon’s LTE customers by developing a Cat-M1 module for use in a variety of IoT verticals, including smart grid, agriculture, fleet, asset tracking, and smart city applications.”

“Gemalto’s LTE-M1, LTE Cat. 1 and VoLTE Cat. 1 solutions ensure that highly efficient 4G connectivity is available for every type of IoT application,” said Andreas Haegele, Senior Vice President M2M at Gemalto. “With steady double-digit IoT growth expected in the coming years, Gemalto is committed to delivering cutting edge products that connect, secure and monetize the expanding IoT.”

Telink Semiconductor’s RF System-on-Chip Passes ZigBee 3.0 Certification Tests


Telink Semiconductor, developer of highly integrated low power chips for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, has announced that its ZigBee RF SoC has passed the ZigBee compliant platform tests based on the latest ZigBee stack specification using DSR Corporation’s ZBOSS 3.0 ZigBee 3.0 wireless stack, and thus can start to provide a ZigBee 3.0 SDK (software development kit) to its customers.

The ZigBee 3.0 compliant platforms certification ensures that the ZigBee solutions (TLSR8646 and TLSR8626) offered by Telink Semiconductor conform to the latest ZigBee Alliance requirements, providing seamless interoperability among the widest range of smart devices and gives consumers and businesses access to innovative products and services that will work together seamlessly to enhance everyday life. This includes applications such as home automation, lighting, energy management, smart appliance, security, sensors, and health care monitoring products.

Telink Semiconductor worked with its strategic partner, DSR Corporation (DSR), to pass the latest ZigBee compliant platform certification based on DSR’s ZigBee 3.0 wireless stack – ZBOSS 3.0. The latter is a portable, high-performance ZigBee 3.0 software protocol stack allowing all device roles and featuring extensive support for various cluster libraries, predictable memory budgeting and optimized power consumption.

ZigBee 3.0 simplifies the choice for developers creating Internet of Things (IoT) products and services. It delivers all the features of ZigBee while unifying the ZigBee application standards found in tens of millions of devices delivering benefits to consumers today. ZigBee 3.0 standard enables communication and interoperability among devices for smart homes, connected lighting, and other markets, which means more diverse, fully interoperable solutions can be delivered by product developers and service providers.

Telink Semiconductor provides customers with a full set of development tools for ZigBee applications, including reference schematics and layouts, integrated SDK, tool chains, reference application source codes. For customers looking to develop new ZigBee 3.0 applications, the ZBOSS stack will also be included as part of the Telink Semiconductor SoC offering. This complete package will enable faster time to market and ease of new product rollout.

Senet, STMicroelectronics, myDevices Demo LPWAN Technology


LoRa Allianceä membersmyDevices, the Internet of Things solutions company; Senet, the first and fastest growing North American provider of public, low-power, wide-area networks (LPWANs) for long-range Internet of Things (IoT) applications built on the LoRaWANä protocol; andSTMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, today announced that they have collaborated to showcase demonstrations of the first real-time, multi-target location tracking using the LoRaWAN low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) protocol along the Las Vegas Strip during CES 2017.

Illustrating the ability to rapidly deploy commercial LPWAN and the ease in which fully functional real-world IoT solutions can be brought to market, this live, real-time demonstration is part of STMicroelectronics’ delivery of a personalized experience for their customers and partners attending CES. Key components of the demonstration include LoRaWAN-supported radio technology and automotive-navigation chips from ST, custom application dashboards from myDevices, and public LPWAN connectivity and services delivered by Senet. CES attendees can view the demonstrations at the myDevices IoT Creation Suite at Mandalay Bay and by invitation only to ST’s private demo suites.

“ST has enabled its STM32 microcontrollers and other relevant components to operate on the LoRa network,” said Bob Krysiak, Executive Vice President Global Mass Market and Online Marketing Programs and President Americas Region, STMicroelectronics. “ST’s leadership in Internet-of-things (IoT) solutions is enhanced by partnerships with market pioneers like Senet and myDevices, and we’re leveraging that technology strength during CES 2017 to show a unique multi-target, LPWAN-based location-tracking application.”

LoRaWAN-supported radio technology: ST has integrated the LoRaWAN network stack into its STM32 Cube firmware infrastructure and will be installing its TESEO™ III automotive-navigation ICs into limousines transporting guests to multiple CES event locations around Las Vegas. GPS data will be converted to encrypted packets sent to LoRaWAN-supported radios for location tracking.

Public low power wide area network: The commercially available Senet network provides secure data transmission for the CES demo and is fully operational now to support IoT application development and commercial IoT solution rollouts throughout the Las Vegas area. LPWANs based on the LoRaWAN protocol are unique in their ability to handle devices in motion, making them the ideal technology for asset tracking and other mobile IoT applications. With broad experience in nationwide network rollout and the resources for rapid expansion, Senet deployed fully operational LPWAN coverage in Las Vegas in less than 30 days from start to finish. View Senet’s coverage map for commercial deployments throughout North America.

“As proven by the rapid commercial rollout of our network in Las Vegas, Senet is the only LPWAN operator able to deliver commercial grade LPWAN services at a low cost and with speed and scale across North America – ranging from 60 days or less for broad outdoor coverage and as little as a few days to a few weeks for indoor coverage,” said Will Yapp, Vice President of Business Development for Senet. “This collaboration with trusted partners ST and myDevices is yet another example of how businesses can gain valuable insights from actionable data that hasn’t been available until now.”

IoT Application enablement: Leveraging the asset tracking capabilities of myDevices’ Cayenne IoT project builder, individuals can visualize real-time and historical sensor data to display the locations of the limousines transporting guests. Within the context of this demo, the ability to examine and visualize data for business insight will help STMicroelectronics maximize its return on investment at CES.

“STMicroelectronics and Senet are members of our IoT Ready Program which enables device manufacturers and connectivity providers to integrate their products and services directly inside our Cayenne IoT Project Builder. Over 100,000 Cayenne developers can now drag-and-drop Senet and ST products and services directly into their IoT projects.” said Kevin Bromber, CEO of myDevices. “The collaboration involved with developing this real-time location tracking demonstration illustrates the speed in which partners within the LoRa Alliance can easily prototype and deploy complete IoT enterprise solutions. Our goal is to offer an offer an on-ramp for developers to quickly prototype and deploy real IoT and LoRaWAN solutions.”

Imec Works With City of Antwerp, Flanders to Establish Smart-City Living Lab


How can the Internet of Things change the future of the average citizen? To answer this question, imec joins forces with the City of Antwerp and the Flanders region to turn Antwerp into a Living Lab in which businesses, researchers, local residents and the city itself will experiment with smart technologies that aim to make urban life more pleasant, enjoyable and sustainable.

“Making life in cities more pleasant and sustainable, using everything that our technology has to offer, that is what Smart Cities is all about,” says Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for the Economy. “And imec, as a world-class research center, is the right partner to make this happen. With imec’s expertise, we can build a smart city with an open, secure and scalable infrastructure. A smart city where everyone has the opportunity to develop ideas and work together to create the future of Antwerp and the Flanders region.” Through imec, Flanders will invest €4 million annually in the City of Things project, in addition to the required project resources.

City of Things is a collaborative project between the City of Antwerp, Flanders and imec. The nerve center for this initiative is located at StartupVillage, the location from which imec also runs its Antwerp startup and incubation operations. During the period from 2017 to 2019, the City of Antwerp intends to invest €650,000 in the project. According to City Councilor for the Economy Caroline Bastiaens: “The city is targeting four strategic priorities: mobility, security, sustainability and digital interaction with citizens.”

The City of Things project will roll out a fine-grained network of smart sensors and wireless gateways located around Antwerp’s buildings, streets, squares and other city objects. This network will connect the citizens with a whole range of innovative applications. The ensuing digital innovation is expected to enforce the city’s economic clout. And with the insights gained from the project, Antwerp and its businesses will learn how to collect the data they need to take well-informed decisions and develop innovative smart applications. Shortly, the seaport of Antwerp will also join the initiative, becoming an incubator for similar smart ideas.

“For the cities of tomorrow it’s all about the survival of the smartest,” says Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever. “Monitoring is the key to knowledge – so that’s exactly what we are going to do. Thanks to this unique collaboration, Antwerp is heading for a new golden age. In the coming years, the city will build a strong position in smart city technology, nationally and internationally. It is also the first step in putting Flanders firmly on the world map as a knowledge region: Smart Flanders, we call it.”

Imec has major ambitions. The Antwerp Living Lab is designed to grow into the largest living lab in Europe for Internet of Things applications. “Together with the City of Antwerp and Flanders, we have the ambition to become a leading player in the connected world,” says Luc Van den hove, CEO of imec. “The City of Things project allows us to join the city residents, developers, entrepreneurs, the government, and research centers and universities around one common goal: developing innovative solutions for better cities. Antwerp will become a living technology lab in which everyone can make a contribution to a sustainable, forward-looking society.”

The Antwerp Living Lab already has a number of projects up and running. These include vans operated by Bpost, the Belgian postal service, which have sensors to measure the air quality throughout the city, sensors whose data can be used to improve the city’s air quality. Another project involved the company Restore, measuring energy consumption in real-time and smoothing out usage spikes with the aim to ensure more efficient, cheaper energy production. With network operator Orange, we study how the project’s goals can be achieved using NarrowBand-IoT. This new technology enables communication of small data volumes over extended periods at hard-to-reach places, at the same time ensuring that the batteries of the connected devices can keep going for up to 10 years. The preparatory work on a host of other projects, e.g. concerning mobility, is underway.

A smart city will make life, living and working more enjoyable for local residents, visitors and businesses alike. Privacy and security are, of course, of great importance.

Caroline Bastiaens, City Councilor for the Economy: “Antwerp is an ideal city to establish this Living Lab. The city is big enough to test applications properly, yet sufficiently small to keep the cost and time required for development under control. Antwerp also has an interesting mix of offices, industry and retail, meaning that various applications can be developed to cover all needs.”

In recent years, Antwerp has developed a blooming ecosystem of start-up businesses and growth companies involved in digital innovation. Currently, the city has more than 350 start-ups and ten growth companies that have newly raised more than half a million euro capital, as well as nine incubators and accelerators, the StartupVillage, exciting corporation such as Nokia, and an extensive international network. “And last but not least,” concludes Mayor Bart De Wever, “our city council is very open to innovation.”

Gooee Partners With Lumicenter on IoT Lighting Products


Smart lighting start-up Gooee, creator of the first ‘full stack’ cloud-based platform that connects lighting manufacturers to the IoT, has extended its international reach to South America by partnering with the Lumicenter Lighting Group, the Brazilian provider of conventional and LED lighting solutions. This partnership will enable Lumicenter to integrate and further develop Gooee’s IoT-enabling technology within its lighting products.

Once connected to the Gooee ecosystem, Lumicenter’s clients, which are in sectors that include corporate, industry, shopping malls, retail outlets, hospitality and the home, will have a portfolio of internal/external lighting solutions that offer better value for money and increased functionality. This is realised through enhanced lighting control, energy management, LED analytics and, for proximity marketing in retail applications, beacon management.

Marcos Vertuoso, CEO at Lumicenter Lighting, says: “With the IoT platform designed by Gooee the possibilities of offering value services for our clients will be a huge differential for Lumicenter.”

Jan Kemeling, Chief Commercial Officer at Gooee, adds: “We have now signed agreements with leading lighting brands in Europe, the US, Japan, India, China and Australia, and the Lumicenter partnership marks a significant step into the new, rapidly growing and exciting South American region.

Lumicenter Lighting has a significant presence in the Brazilian market and through the integration of Gooee’s technology, designed to manage the high volume of transaction data from on-premise environments and provide a platform to develop applications and data visualizations, it can develop an innovative service offering to its customers in any vertical sector.