IoT News Roundup

By IOT Journal

DNA selects Cisco Jasper to provide IoT connectivity ••• Grace Engineered Products acquires Civionics, enters IIoT space ••• Internet of Things World study identifies challenges in cybersecurity, scaling and implementation ••• Particle announces LTE-enabled cellular IoT module ••• Notion, HomeAdvisor integrate smart-home technology with plumbing for leak detection.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week:

PRESS RELEASE:

DNA Selects Cisco Jasper to Provide IoT Connectivity

DNA has invested in the expertise of its personnel and the new DNA Connectivity IoT service in order to become a significant operator in the global IoT market. DNA has collaborated with Cisco to launch its new IoT service, which is applicable to businesses in every industry. By pairing DNA’s extensive mobile network with Cisco Jasper Control Center, the leading global IoT connectivity management platform, companies throughout Finland can now launch, manage and monetize IoT services worldwide.

“We want to accelerate the development of Finnish IoT innovations by launching a versatile, cloud-based and continuously developing ecosystem for automatic connectivity management by a global market leader. Together with Cisco Jasper, we are able to provide our customers with optimal capabilities for the development of IoT solutions and their efficient scalability for Finnish and international markets,” says Esa Kinnunen, Director, IoT Sales and Solutions at DNA.

Enterprises on the DNA mobile network will benefit from Control Center, which will not only provide near real-time visibility and control over IoT services throughout Finland, but also has the global scale needed to easily expand those services worldwide. The Cisco Jasper IoT platform is already utilised by over 55 service providers globally, and the thousands of automated commands enabled by the platform are used to manage IoT devices across more than 550 mobile networks worldwide. Its connectivity management solutions are suitable for the diverse and changing needs of companies of all sizes.

“This collaboration will empower innovative enterprises throughout Finland to launch connected services that enhance their customers’ experiences and generate new revenue, and to scale those services globally,” said Kalle Ward, Managing Director, EMEAR, Cisco IoT. “In addition, global businesses looking to expand their IoT services into Finland can do so leveraging DNA’s world class mobile network and our Control Center IoT connectivity management platform.”

DNA is also reinforcing its position as an international connection provider by joining the IoT World Alliance as the only Finnish operator in the global network. The primary goal of the IoT World Alliance is to facilitate seamless and efficient worldwide management of IoT connections for its customers through localised and standardised services. Customers of the DNA Connectivity IoT service are also able to enjoy the benefits of the network in a centralised manner.

Despite the rapid recent growth, the utilisation of IoT in business operations and the development of public services is still in its infancy. The need for secure network devices is continuously increasing and the technological evolution of mobile networks towards the utilisation of NB-IoT and 5G technologies also creates totally new opportunities for IoT services. Providing customers with reliable two-way IoT connections and the means for their easy and real-time management are an essential aspect of overall IoT services, and together DNA and Cisco Jasper are delivering these capabilities.

PRESS RELEASE:

Grace Engineered Products Acquires Civionics, Enters IIoT Space

Grace Engineered Products announces the acquisition of Civionics—the creators of Percēv IIoT predictive sensing technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) built into each Percēv wireless sensing node maximizes battery life and enables predictive maintenance capabilities to be easily deployed on both new and legacy assets. The technology helps users find failures before they occur. Their proven industrial communications and edge processing capabilities create unsurpassed uptime benefits for both operations and maintenance managers.

In 2005, Civionics CTO, Andy Zimmerman Ph.D., and CSO, Jerry Lynch Ph.D. conceived the precursor to today’s Percēv technology. For over a decade they have successfully deployed sensors onto civil infrastructure to identify and quantify the health of monitored bridges, buildings, ships and wind turbines. With a decade of insight into the demands of predictive sensing systems in the civil ecosystem, Percēv technology found its way to industrial predictive maintenance applications.

In 2016, Gerry Roston, CEO of Civionics brought the company’s first industrial system into an automotive stamping plant where, to date, their solutions have prevented over $2 million of downtime representing a 10X return on investment.

With the acquisition, Dr. Zimmerman will be transitioning to Grace and will serve as Chief Technology Officer. He holds advanced degrees in both Civil Engineering and Computer Science and has experience developing artificial intelligence-based hardware, software, and cloud-based solutions.

“Innovation is accelerating in industrial manufacturing, and without pervasive predictive sensing the dreams and goals around Industry 4.0 will largely be unrealized,” said Drew Allen, Director of Global Business Development at Grace. “With Civionics, Grace found an industrially hardened solution and a team of premier thought leaders in this field. It is our plan to build on the company’s success by investing in their core architecture. As with our other solutions, the endgame is simple – prevent problems before they begin.”

PRESS RELEASE:

Internet of Things World Study Identifies Challenges in Cybersecurity, Scaling and Implementation

Internet of Things World, the world’s largest and most comprehensive IoT conference and expo, released findings from its latest survey of more than 100 IoT decision makers on a variety of concerns related to scaling, implementation, cybersecurity, and blockchain.

These findings come at an especially important time for IoT strategy and deployment in the industry. “We have reached an inflection point where IoT is starting to accelerate to commercial mass scaling from the POC experimentation stage, so it’s imperative for organizations to have a coherent IoT deployment strategy and not left out in this period of digital transformation,” says Aru Bala, President Innovation Business at Stanley Black & Decker.

The global scaling and implementation of IoT programs remains a challenge for many organizations. The top problems companies are facing in scaling IoT operations include dealing with “legacy” devices and software (53.06%), the need for highly specialized and custom solutions (45.92%), and managing which departments will be responsible for IoT-related sensors, gateways, networking equipment, analytics, hardware and software (37.37%). Nearly half of the executives surveyed (46.94%) also stated that implementation problems plagued their IoT solution projects while an additional 12.24% singled out the lack of support for a production-quality deployment as a key hurdle.

Another current focus for the industry is cybersecurity. The survey found 36.73% of executives are not sure or not confident that their organization could secure and protect all data within their IoT ecosystem. Also alarming is the fact that half of the respondents are not maintaining an inventory of connected devices and 43.4% are not conducting vulnerability testing to identify where the weak points are in the network, and then working to shut them down.

“We are balancing two somewhat conflicting objectives with IoT: the need to apply pragmatic Infosec policies to network devices around availability, integrity, and security with the heterogeneous nature of an IoT landscape and its constrained network bandwidth. At a minimum, IoT devices need to have tripwires to protect against the most basic of vulnerabilities and control channels that are distinct from the telemetry to extend network intrusion detection capabilities to the edge,” says Dave Shuman, IoT and manufacturing industry leader at Cloudera.

The good news is that 72.16% of respondents are ensuring security is incorporated into the design and embedded into the product life cycle of the devices used. Furthermore, 61.86% are either developing an IoT security policy or enforcing one.

Managing the cross-functional nature of IoT implementation also vexes many organizations. Companies are choosing diverse strategies, with the largest group (32.65%) choosing to create a specific business strategy team tasked with implementing IoT within the company. Trailing that, 27.55% of companies are asking IT to take the helm in leading this implementation.

Early adopters are also doing some company soul searching about the role blockchain should play in their future. Forty-six percent are currently considering the use of blockchain technology in their IoT strategy. For the companies that are seriously considering how to incorporate blockchain, the biggest potential benefits that would justify investing in this technology are reducing the risk of collusion and tampering (15.05%) and building user trust with blockchain cryptography (13.98%).

Despite the hurdles outlined in this survey, the opportunity for the Internet of Things remains huge. Founder of IoT World, Gavin Whitechurch, concludes, “IoT is still very much at the base of the hockey stick in terms of its current deployment and potential growth. As the enterprise becomes increasingly serious about IoT investments, cross-sector collaboration and knowledge-sharing from early IoT deployment experiences will be what drives our new connected world forward.”

To read the full report, visit the IoT World site at https://get.knect365.com/iot-world/executive-report/.

PRESS RELEASE:

Particle Announces LTE-enabled Cellular IoT Module

Particle, the most widely-used IoT platform, today announced the release of its LTE-enabled, cellular E Series IoT module. This all-in-one cellular solution is the first commercially available LTE hardware module for IoT product creators to future proof their devices along retiring 2G and 3G networks. Particle’s LTE module includes built-in cloud and SIM support, and is certified for the newly available LTE networks designed just for IoT.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) CAT M1 network technologies are optimized for Internet of Things applications for a number of reasons. LTE hardware is less costly, offers longer battery life, and improved connectivity range. These features make novel IoT applications – such as distributed sensor networks for agriculture or hard-to-reach industrial monitoring environments – possible, whereas they were not economically feasible in the past. These features, combined with LTE’s superior coverage, will facilitate the next wave of successfully deployed IoT products. Additionally, as US carriers move to eliminate 2G networks and end new 2G/3G device certifications, Particle’s LTE E Series provides a much needed transition path for IoT product creators while avoiding costly disruptions.

“As US carriers are quickly moving to end 2G and 3G support, and global carriers plan for LTE network rollouts, the timing for an LTE strategy is more critical than ever,” said Bill Kramer, EVP of IoT Solutions at KORE, the largest independent provider combining secure managed IoT networks, application enablement, location based services, and IoT expertise into business-centric IoT solutions. “KORE partners with forward-looking, leading IoT ecosystem technology companies like Particle to drive LTE adoption. Particle’s E Series product line ensures that IoT builders can meet the new certification standards for LTE, which we see as the longest possible network lifecycle in the market today.”

“We are excited about the LTE-M1 product as it sets us on the right path for long-term sustainability of the connectivity elements of our solution,”said George Tsintzouras, CEO of Alert Labs, maker of smart water sensors for home flood detection. “Working with Particle has put us in the position to move to the new hardware seamlessly, keeping us focused on improving the service we deliver to our customers.”

The LTE modules are part of Particle’s existing E Series suite — an enterprise-level collection of cellular IoT solutions (including 2G, 3G, and now LTE models) — that come bundled with the Particle Device Cloud, Device OS, and Particle’s extensive collection of developer tools. Particle’s pre-integrated cellular solution provides a faster, far less complicated path to market by taking care of the vast majority of the challenges that plague commercial IoT development — not least of which includes the extensive, time-consuming, and costly certifications required of connected devices (e.g. FCC; PTCRB; and Carrier-Specific).

“We launched our cellular development kit, the Electron, to give our developer community access to the power of cellular,” said Zach Supalla, Co-Founder and CEO of Particle. “The following industrial E Series line made go-to-market with 2G/3G scalable for enterprises. Now with our LTE module, businesses will evolve alongside the quickly-changing cellular landscape without missing a beat.”

“We are pleased to see Particle launch their E Series family of products which are based on Qualcomm Technologies’MDM9206 LTE IoT global multimode modem, a purpose-built solution designed to support global multimode capabilities, including both eMTC (Cat M1) and NB-IoT (Cat NB-1), as well as 2G/E-GPRS, said Serge Willenegger senior vice president and general manager of 4G/5G and Industrial IoT for Qualcomm Technologies. “The MDM9206 LTE IoT modem is designed to facilitate the development of cost-effective, low-power devices designed for multi-year battery life and greater coverage compared to traditional LTE.”

The LTE lineup includes two LTE CAT-M1 models (LTE B13 and LTE B2/4/5/12) and is fully certified, low profile, surface mountable for industrial environments, and powered by Qualcomm’s MDM9206 IoT Modem and u-blox’s SARA-R410-02B module.

“Particle’s LTE E Series is a key partner for our LTE Cat M1 / NB1 modules optimized for professional connectivity,” said Suresh Ram, President of u-blox Americas. “Our Sara-R4/N4 series provides a distinct small footprint, low power consumption, and a robust design specifically supporting IoT products – all bundled in Particle’s new product line.”

Customers can order a Particle E Series Evaluation Kit which includes an E Series Evaluation Board with LTE global connectivity, a sample IoT sensor (temperature), and accessories to build an industrial proof-of-concept for $89. Customers can also order individual LTE E Series modules starting at $69 per module. Shipping lead time is 6-8 weeks.

PRESS RELEASE:

Notion, HomeAdvisor Integrate Smart-Home Technology With Plumbing for Leak Detection

Notion, the complete home awareness solution powered by a multi-purpose IoT smart home sensor, today announced a first-of-its-kind integration with HomeAdvisor, the Colorado-based marketplace connecting homeowners to prescreened professionals for home projects. The integration with HomeAdvisor, called Plumber Matching, marks Notion’s first partnership with a service provider to enable homeowners to immediately contact a local and available plumber when a water leak is detected.

Notion’s low-cost and easy-to-install home monitoring system gives homeowners the flexibility to monitor and receive real-time alerts on things happening across their entire home—from motion and temperature changes to sounding alarms and water leaks. By utilizing HomeAdvisor’s “Instant Connect” technology, Notion has layered on professional services to empower users to take action on water-related events quickly and easily, before significant damage occurs.

Here’s how Notion’s Plumber Matching works: When Notion detects a water leak, a homeowner receives a notification with an option to connect instantly with a professional plumber. After the homeowner fills out their contact information, HomeAdvisor’s technology matches them with an available plumber. Once matched, the plumber will call the homeowner directly to schedule service.

“We’re thrilled to partner with HomeAdvisor to solve real problems for homeowners and amplify what they can do to make their home as safe as possible,” said Brett Jurgens, CEO and co-founder of Notion. “We’ve started with Plumber Matching knowing that water is the biggest threat to a home, but we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. We’re excited to roll out our partnership with HomeAdvisor to deliver a more fully automated and stress-free life to homeowners across the country. This is what home automation should really be about.”

According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year, and results in an average insurance claim of $8,000. The integration between Notion and HomeAdvisor bridges the gap between major home damage and the challenge of finding a trusted professional to quickly resolve the incident, assess damages, and start repairs.

In addition to its integration with HomeAdvisor, today Notion is also launching multi-user support, enabling a homeowner to share access to their Notion system with other people they trust, like family members or neighbors. The feature will allow additional managers to monitor a home’s activity and set individual alert preferences.