IoT News Roundup, Part One

Kinetica predicts AI, IoT use cases will drive demand for next-gen databases ••• Mining businesses identify IoT as essential to gaining competitive edge, says Inmarsat ••• Theatro receives IoT connected retail application award ••• BuildingDNA wins smart-city solution award ••• PoLTE announces LTE cloud-computing location architecture for mobile, IoT devices ••• Kerlink supports expansion of Senet LP-WAN for commercial deployments, IoT demos.
Published: January 11, 2018

The following are news announcements made during the past week:


Kinetica Predicts AI, IoT Use Cases Will Drive Demand for Next-Gen Databases

Kinetica’s CTO and Cofounder Nima Negahban has come out with his top technology predictions for 2018. Today’s analytical workloads require faster query performance, advanced analysis methods, and more frequent data updates. For real-time analysis of massive data sets, particularly for use cases where time and location matter, enterprises are turning to new next-generation databases to explore data faster and uncover new insights.

“Based on its enormous potential, investments in AI can be expected to increase in 2018, while investments in IoT will need to show measurable return,” said CTO and Cofounder of Kinetica Nima Negahban. “The ability to operationalize the entire pipeline with GPU-optimized analytics databases now makes it possible to bring AI and IoT to business intelligence cost-effectively. And this will enable the organization to begin realizing a satisfactory ROI on these and prior investments.”

There are four major trends that are driving the adoption of next-generation analytical databases in 2018, according to Nima Negahban, CTO and cofounder ofKinetica. These include:

Trend #1 – Organizations Demand a Return on Their IoT investments: Companies continued to invest in IoT initiatives in 2017, but 2018 will be the year where IoT monetization becomes critical. While it is a good start for enterprises to collect and store IoT data, what is more meaningful is understanding it, analyzing it, and leveraging the insights to improve efficiency. The focus on location intelligence, predictive analytics, and streaming data analysis use cases will dramatically increase to drive a return on IoT investments.

Trend #2 – Enterprises Will Move from AI Science Experiments to Truly Operationalizing It: Enterprises have spent the past few years educating themselves on various AI frameworks and tools. But as AI goes mainstream, it will move beyond small-scale experiments to being automated and operationalized. As enterprises move forward with operationalizing AI, they will look for products and tools to automate, manage, and streamline the entire machine learning and deep learning life cycle. In 2018, investments in AI life cycle management will increase and technologies that house the data and supervise the process will mature.

Trend #3 – Beginning of the End for the Traditional Data Warehouse: The traditional data warehouse is struggling with managing and analyzing the volume, velocity, and variety of data. While in-memory databases have helped alleviate the problem to some extent by providing better performance, data analytics workloads continue to be more compute-bound. In 2018, enterprises will start to seriously re-think their traditional data warehousing approach and look at moving to next-generation databases either leveraging memory or advanced processors architectures (GPU, SIMD), or both.

Trend #4 – Building Safer Artificial Intelligence with Audit Trails: AI is increasingly getting used for applications like drug discovery or the connected car, and these applications can have a detrimental impact on human life if an incorrect decision is made. Detecting exactly what caused the final incorrect decision leading to a serious problem is something enterprises will start to look at in 2018. Auditing and tracking every input and every score that a framework produces will help with detecting the human-written code that ultimately caused the problem.


Mining Businesses Identify IoT as Essential to Gaining Competitive Edge, Says Inmarsat

Businesses in the mining industry are backing the Internet of Things (IoT) to help them retain their market share, as competition in the sector intensifies, the quality of seams decreases and profit margins are put under pressure.

According to the latest research from Inmarsat, the Internet of Things (IoT) will play a critical role in helping mining businesses to increase the level of automation and improve production efficiency, enabling them to compete with rivals operating in lower cost markets.

Market research specialist Vanson Bourne interviewed respondents from 100 large mining companies across the globe for Inmarsat’s ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise’ report, and found that 70 per cent of mining businesses agreed that IoT would give them a significant edge against their competitors.

Mining operators further identified how IoT would help them to bolster this competitive edge, with 41 per cent reporting that they would use IoT to increase the automation of business processes, and 44 per cent saying that it would help them to identify cost saving and efficiency opportunities.

Joe Carr, Director of Mining at Inmarsat, commented on the findings: “It is no surprise to see that mining businesses are looking to IoT to help them gain a competitive advantage. Mining businesses across the world are under constant pressure to produce the same product at a lower price than their rivals. At the same time, it is becoming harder to find high quality deposits in lower sovereign risk countries.

“This pressure is amplified in developed economies, such as Canada and Australia, where labour costs are much higher than in emerging markets, leaving operators in these territories at a significant competitive disadvantage. These businesses must drive down operating costs and improve productivity to remain competitive, and the most effective way to do this is the adoption of IoT and automation.

“Using automation to reduce labour requirements can make a big difference to an operator’s bottom line. For example, an Australian open pit mine might employ 100 truck drivers each earning AUD$200,000+ per annum, which is then replicated on staff working on the trains, and the maintenance personnel. IoT will be critical in enabling mine operators to reduce the amount of manual extraction and transportation of raw materials, as it will allow for the introduction of more autonomous infrastructure, such as fleets of unmanned trucks and trains. Autonomous technology can also enable an around-the-clock, 365 days-a-year operation, removing the need for shift change and improving safety by removing the person from the environment, further increasing productivity.”

Carr concluded: “We are currently working with some of the mining industry’s largest operators to deliver increased automation, which in turn results in increasing speed across the mining process, helping to reduce average cycle times and improving productivity. Mining technologists are increasingly aware of the importance of satellite connectivity in their mines, understanding that IoT solutions cannot function without reliable connectivity to gather and transmit data from connected sensors and devices to control rooms.”

With many mines located outside terrestrial or cellular network coverage, satellite communication networks can offer more reliable connectivity that is central to profitable mining and crucial in an emergency event. In addition, Inmarsat can provide connectivity in deep, open pit mines and even underground, using repeaters. With up to 99.9% uptime, Inmarsat’s L-band services are enabling IoT solutions in mines globally, even in the most remote and hostile environments.


Theatro Receives IoT Connected Retail Application Award

Theatro, pioneers of the world’s first intelligent assistant and voice-controlled mobile communication platform, today announced that the IoT Breakthrough Awards has named Theatro as IoT Connected Retail Application of the Year in the Industrial and Enterprise IoT category. Winning products and companies were selected based on a variety of criteria, including most creative and technologically advanced products and services, with the goal of recognizing “breakthrough” connected technologies and companies.

“We are excited and honored to be recognized by the IoT Breakthrough Awards as the IoT Connected Retail Application of the Year,” said Chris Todd, CEO and President, Theatro. “Today’s customer expects the in-store experience to be as quick and frictionless as online shopping. As such, Theatro strives to connect associates to each other and enterprise information systems using voice, IoT and mobile technologies, so they can be more responsive to customer inquiries, create an enhanced in-store experience and meet customers’ demands.”

By better connecting associates to each other and the enterprise system, Theatro’s IoT platform enables associates to offer more context-driven assistance and a better retail experience for all parties. According to Theatro’s research, on average, retailers have seen 12 percent savings in time and 77 percent faster associate response times with Theatro solutions. Additionally, 91 percent of associates claim that, with Theatro, they can serve customers better.

The IoT Breakthrough Awards program recognizes excellence in Internet–of-Things technologies, services, companies and products in a range of categories, including Connected Home and Home Automation, Connected Cars, IoT Security, Wearables, Industrial IoT, Enterprise IoT and many more. More than 3,000 award nominations from organizations and individuals from all over the world were submitted to the awards this year for consideration.


BuildingDNA Wins Smart-City Solution Award

BuildingDNA, the leader in visual intelligence for smarter, safer buildings, today announced that its platform has been selected as winner of the “Overall Smart City Solution of the Year” award from IoT Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global Internet-of-Things (IoT) market today.

“BuildingDNA is honored to receive IoT Breakthrough’s Overall Smart City Solution of the Year award,” said Joe Hernandez, BuildingDNA CEO. “A smart city starts with smart buildings and we are harnessing IoT technology to make buildings safer and more efficient. Thank you to IoT Breakthrough for recognizing our innovations.”

The mission of the IoT Breakthrough Awards program is to recognize the innovators, leaders and visionaries from around the globe in a range of IoT categories, including Industrial and Enterprise IoT, Smart City technology, Connected Home and Home Automation, Connected Car, and many more. This year’s program attracted more than 3,000 nominations from companies all over the world. All nominations were reviewed and evaluated by an independent panel of experts within IoT industry, with the highest scored nomination selected as winner for each category.

“We are migrating from “smart cities” as a concept for the future and now seeing cities commit to firm plans and infrastructure decisions to begin a true smart city transformation,” said James Johnson, managing director, IoT Breakthrough. “With powerful applications in public safety, business continuity and building maintenance, we see BuildingDNA as a key Industrial IoT and Smart City leader and we are thrilled to recognize them with our 2018 IoT Breakthrough Award for the Overall Smart City Solution of the Year.”


PoLTE Announces LTE Cloud-Computing Location Architecture for Mobile, IoT Devices

PoLTE, providers of advanced location solutions for a hyper-connected world, today announced its Lite-Touch Architecture to calculate positions in the cloud, not on the device. This patented approach is designed to enable location services for the next generation of billions of small, inexpensive and power-constrained mobile devices as they seamlessly move indoors and outdoors.

By offloading computation-heavy location calculations from the device to the cloud, the PoLTE positioning solution makes location positioning available to a wider variety of devices, including those that are constrained by battery life, memory, processing power, size and cost. This includes IoT-based applications that historically relied on GPS, with its high rate of power consumption, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with their added, size, cost and network complexity.

The Lite-Touch Architecture is built on top of PoLTE’s patented Positioning over LTE location technology capable of geolocating LTE-based devices anywhere, at any time, leveraging only the native LTE Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) signals that already exist between a device and the existing cellular network. As desired, the device can quickly relay bits of data over PoLTE’s open location interface to PoLTE’s cloud-based environment where the location is computed.

“Our cloud-based location computing architecture will unleash IoT solutions from the current constraints of location technologies,” said John Dow, CEO of PoLTE Corp. “By offloading location calculations to the cloud, we are enabling a highly efficient, end-to-end LTE positioning solution for chip manufacturers, IoT solution providers, OEMs and enterprises.”

“In addition, our approach reduces the implementation time and costs for companies in the IoT ecosystem looking to include location capabilities, whether it’s an IoT sensor or a wearable consumer device,” said Dow. “We believe that this new technology can become the default technology of choice for cellular-enabled devices.”

Beyond the benefits of the Lite-Touch Architecture, PoLTE’s technology is able to achieve superior performance through the patented use of super resolution algorithms, which can provide upwards of 10 times the resolution or location accuracy as compared to other positioning approaches and is the foundation of PoLTE’s best-in-class accuracy. This ultimately provides a complete and cohesive view of a device’s location – inside or outside – all without the need for mobile network operators to add costly location infrastructure or for venue owners to significantly increase the density of their Wi-Fi networks or deploy costly purpose-built Bluetooth location solutions. Furthermore, PoLTE’s technology ensures user privacy utilizing the inherent security of the LTE signal and network.


Kerlink Supports Expansion of Senet LP-WAN for Commercial Deployments, IoT Demos

Senet, a leading provider of cloud-based software, global connectivity service platforms and network build-out for the Internet of Things (IoT), and Kerlink (ALKLK – FR0013156007), a specialist and global leader in network solutions dedicated to the IoT, today announced a collaborative expansion of Senet’s global Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWA) in the Las Vegas area to support a variety of commercial solution offerings, market trials and proofs of concept.

Powered by Kerlink’s 64-channel WirnetTM iBTS gateways to expand Senet’s public outdoor network coverage, the network also will provide indoor connectivity for Senet’s partners to demonstrate IoT applications at this year’s CES.

In addition to expanding Senet’s network coverage and capacity, the roll out represents the first production network in North America to support LoRaWANä geolocation. This functionality uses a different technology than GPS, eliminating the requirement for costly and battery hungry processing GPS requires. This functionality is supported by Senet’s LoRa end-nodes, and can be used for a wide range of applications requiring location determination for battery powered endpoints that do not require the precision of GPS. Demand for these services is significant, with a third of the world’s 15 billion connected devices forecasted to be critically dependent on geodata by the end of 2020, according to Machina Research.

The IoT is a broadly covered topic at CES, including sessions on smart homes, connected cities, healthcare and wearable technology, along with several dedicated demonstration areas for IoT infrastructure. To run demo applications on the Senet network during CES, companies simply need to register on Senet’s Developer Portal to coordinate access.

“Strong ecosystem partnerships and critical technical advantages have allowed Senet to become a leading IoT connectivity-software and solutions provider,” said Dave Kjendal, CTO of Senet. “We are pleased to be working with trusted partners like Kerlink to bring geolocation and other enhanced features to market in order to meet the demands of mass scale IoT deployments.”

“We are excited to support expansion of Senet’s Low Power Wide Area Virtual Network in Las Vegas, which will bring new IoT benefits like geolocation to companies in the region, and enable a variety of innovative IoT demos at CES,” said Carlos Briceno, senior director of sales and business development for Kerlink Inc. “It also marks Kerlink’s first large IoT network deployment in the U.S. and an expansion of our international footprint, following roll outs across Europe, and in South America, New Zealand and India.”

Senet partners demonstrating applications on its network at CES include MultiTech (booth #2214, Westgate Resort & Casino), Sagemcom (Venetian, Lvl 3 – Murano 3201B), Semtech (booth #2215, Westgate Resort & Casino), STMicroelectronics (Wynn Encore Hospitality Suites), Tektelic (Venetian Tower – Suite 31-201), and TrackNet (LoRa Alliance booth #2121, Westgate Resort & Casino).

Teams from Senet and Kerlink will be at CES for meetings with customers, potential customers and media. To schedule a meeting with Senet, please contact Ken Lynch at Kerlink will demonstrate its products in its hospitality suite at the Venetian Palazzo. To meet with Kerlink representatives, please contact Carlos Briceno at