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Posts Tagged ‘Internet of Things

 
Machine learning

A breakthrough in the technology of artificial intelligence and its active use in practice is the trend of the last two-three years. If earlier the creation of a high-quality machine translation system required a decade, now startups can offer consumers quite a competitive product in this area within one year.

Machine learning is a new approach to information processing, it turns the machine into an intelligent device very fast. In many ways, the development boom based on machine learning programs happened due to the fact that almost everything you need can be found among free software. It is enough to download the development environment, a number of libraries and read the manual. For a week or two, you can write, for example, a program recognizing wine labels or even individuals.

AI opened a completely new universe that humanity will explore for centuries. This means that robots are getting smarter and can learn independently. They are even capable of transmitting their knowledge to each other. To do this, of course, communication infrastructure is necessary. With its help, the program, which has recently invented a new universal language, could teach the other machines.

By the way, people did not expect artificial intelligence to create a new language, it was a by-product performed while teaching machines to translate from different languages. The program has learned how to translate from the languages it hadn’t been asked to by itself. Hence, the researchers concluded that a computer system uses meta-level language for communication, a new sort of Esperanto, a universal language.

 
Robots and VR
 

Analytical agencies called 2016 the year of virtual reality technologies. According to the Digi Capital forecast, by 2020 the virtual reality market will come up to $ 30 billion. Today we have every reason to believe that in 2017 VR-technology will finally become mass.

This trend has affected robotics as well. Complex machine control via VR-helmets and screens shows that augmented reality is gaining popularity. At MWC in Barcelona 2016, all visitors were offered to try themselves as excavator operators, controlling real excavators via Oculus Rift helmet.

This is one of the main scenarios of applying VR in industry and business, which will be used in a variety of situations: unmanned vehicles control (trailers, drones, trucks), surgical operations, exploring out of reach places (the ocean bottom, mines, permafrost). However, the automation trend of the last decade is increasing in order to completely avoid people’s participation in these processes.

 
Artificial Intelligence
 

The idea of intelligent robots has been exciting minds for a long time. We are used to different fiction anthropomorphic golems, androids, perfect voice assistants. Moreover, the success of HBO Westworld recent show demonstrates that the interest in artificial intelligence is rapidly increasing.

Meanwhile, the representatives of different professions were asked to imagine AI as a professional assistant at work or even in the role of a leader. Intelligent Apps have the potential to transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier and its users more effective. The prospect of getting help from the robot frightens 25% of people, 40% are against the robot leader. However, the majority of people can easily imagine robots among their colleagues- 35% want to see a robot as a personal assistant. Every fourth looks positive on robots to take a leading position.

 
Internet of Things

The internet of Things has been labeled as “the next Industrial Revolution” because of the way it will change the way people live, work, have fun and travel, as well as how governments and businesses interact with the world.

Most of us are used to applications, which allow us to switch tracks on the audio system, to open our cars, turn on the lights, change the temperature in the room. According to Ericsson ConsumerLab research, two out of five people expect applications to remember users’ preferences and configure home appliances in the nearest future. It is as a good way to save personal time that can be spent on tasks that are more important.

 
Unmanned vehicles
 

They can either be remote controlled or remote guided, or they can be autonomous vehicles which are capable of exploring the environment and navigating on their own. With the right technology, multiple cars could “talk” to one another and reduce the chance for crashes.

Every fourth interviewee said he would feel safer if all the cars would be driven by robots. Meanwhile, 65% said they would prefer to have an autonomous vehicle rather than drive themselves.

Self-driven cars – futuristic, comfortable and safe. However, at the moment none of the existing systems can completely take over driving. Even the most sophisticated systems can fail.

 
Augmented reality
 

Approximately four out of five users believe that a complete blending of real and virtual worlds will happen just within three years. Half of the respondents are already interested in buying special gloves or shoes that would control VR-objects (for example, for playing virtual instruments).

A well-known game Pokemon GO is a good example to demonstrate the real potential of augmented reality. Many people want to use similar possibilities not only in the games but in real life as well. More than half of users would like to have AR-glasses to see better in the dark and, for example, to be able to observe criminals. One out of three would like to use augmented reality to get rid of unpleasant elements of their landscape, such as graffiti and litter. Many people dream of not seeing street signs, uninteresting shop windows and billboards.

 
Security Paradox of “smart” devices
 

More than half of the respondents use applications and trackers that transmit alarm and danger warnings. Using such apps people expect to increase their personal safety level. The paradox is that 60% of those who feel more secure with a smartphone admit that would try to avoid those situations while not having a phone in the pocket. People rely on their smartphones capabilities too much. Meanwhile, they won’t know what to do if they lose the device or the battery dies. Three out of five people, who believe that the smartphone makes their lives safer, are in a bigger danger.

 
Social fragmentation
 

For every third respondent social networks have become a main source of information. However, social networks do not connect people from all around the world, on the contrary, they form small groups and communities. There is a chance that this fragmentation will only increase: every week, every day individuals exclude each other from friends or refuse to accept connection requests based on the opinions of other people.
 
We all know that making predictions about the course of technology’s future is challenging. Surprises can appear in any direction. Now we can only imagine those amazing opportunities we are going to explore in the nearest future.

Feel free to share your thoughts about technology prospects for the near future in comments below!

 

Darya Bertosh

Darya Bertosh

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By 2020, more than 24 billion internet-connected devices will be installed globally — that’s more than 4 devices for every human on earth.

The Internet of Things first reached users on PCs. Then it migrated to smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and TVs.

This growth surely brings several benefits, as it will change the way people fulfill everyday tasks and potentially change the world. Having a smart home is undoubtedly cool and will amaze your guests, but smart lighting can also reduce overall energy consumption and lower your electric bill.

New developments would allow connected cars to link up with smart city infrastructure to create an entirely different ecosystem for the driver, who is simply used to the traditional way of getting from Point A to Point B. And there are many other examples of positive changes IoT may bring to our lifes.
But with all of these benefits comes risk, as the increase in connected devices gives hackers and cyber criminals more entry points.

Late last year, a group of hackers took down a power grid in a region of western Ukraine to cause the first blackout from a cyber attack. And this is likely just the beginning, as these hackers are looking for more ways to strike critical infrastructure, such as power grids, hydroelectric dams, chemical plants, and more.
 

 
What is already being done to Secure The IoT?

The great thing about IoT security is that previously ignored, it has now become an issue of high concern, even at the federal government level. Several measures are already being taken to gap holes and prevent security breaches at the device level, and efforts are being led to tackle major disasters before they come to pass.

Now security firms and manufacturers are joining ranks to help secure the IoT world before it spins out of control. IT giant Microsoft has started taking measures and has promised to add BitLocker encryption and Secure Boot technology to the Windows 10 IoT, their operating system for IoT devices and platforms such as the Raspberry Pi.

BitLocker is an encryption technology that can code entire disk volumes, and it has been featured in Windows operating systems since the Vista edition. This can be crucial to secure on-device data. Secure Boot is a security standard developed by members of the PC industry to help make sure that your PC boots using only software that is trusted by the PC manufacturer. Its implementation can prevent device hijacking.

The IoT security issue has also given rise to new alliances. A conglomeration of leading tech firms, including Vodafone, founded the Internet of Things Security Foundation, a non-profit body that will be responsible for vetting Internet-connected devices for vulnerabilities and flaws and will offer security assistance to tech providers, system adopters and end users.

Other companies are working on setting up platforms that will enable large networks of IoT devices to identify and authenticate each other in order to provide higher security and prevent data breaches.

 
What should we know to protect ourselves and minimize risks of hacking attacks?

Security must be addressed throughout the device lifecycle, from the initial design to the operational environment:

1. Secure booting: When power is first introduced to the device, the authenticity and integrity of the software on the device is verified using cryptographically generated digital signatures. In much the same way that a person signs a check or a legal document, a digital signature attached to the software image and verified by the device ensures that only the software that has been authorized to run on that device, and signed by the entity that authorized it, will be loaded. The foundation of trust has been established, but the device still needs protection from various run-time threats and malicious intentions.

2. Device authentication: When the device is plugged into the network, it should authenticate itself prior to receiving or transmitting data. Deeply embedded devices often do not have users sitting behind keyboards, waiting to input the credentials required to access the network. How, then, can we ensure that those devices are identified correctly prior to authorization? Just as user authentication allows a user to access a corporate network based on user name and password, machine authentication allows a device to access a network based on a similar set of credentials stored in a secure storage area.

3. Firewalling and IPS: The device also needs a firewall or deep packet inspection capability to control traffic that is destined to terminate at the device.

4. Updates and patches: Once the device is in operation, it will start receiving hot patches and software updates. Software updates and security patches must be delivered in a way that conserves the limited bandwidth and intermittent connectivity of an embedded device and absolutely eliminates the possibility of compromising functional safety.

What is evident is that the IoT will play an important role in our lives in the near future, and its security is one of the major issues that must be addressed via active participation by the entire global tech community. Next several years will show whether all of the innovations will revolutionize the world or will bring us to a new era of digital insecurity and chaos. Time will tell.

 

yana-khaidukova

Yana Khaidukova

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altabel

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Technology is winning its everyday challenges at a pace faster than ever before. As compared to the previous year, tech trends have become embedded to practically every sphere of digital business. There is constant growth of software spending on technologies because technology is now rooted in every sphere of digital business. For entrepreneurs and self-starters it is necessary to leverage strategic technologies to reach target audiences next year.
 

What is to become mainstream in 2017?

AI & Advanced Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning (ML) are represented by many technologies and techniques such as deep learning, neural networks, natural-language processing. They have a potential to create more advanced systems that are able to adapt. Such systems will be able to change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs. But the trend is to develop ML and AI to autonomously operated systems in long-term perspective. These techniques are likely to be introduced into almost every sphere of digital business as inborn components within a decade.

Virtual & Augmented Reality

The world is now ready for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology while early-stage devices are springing up in different spheres. Much work is done to transform interaction of human beings to the next level by moving them to immerse environment with the help of VR. It allows undergoing training in remote places or creating certain scenarios under pre-established criteria. As for AR, it can blend the real and virtual worlds, which has great potential for application in lots of businesses. It is estimated by market researchers that worldwide revenues for the AR/VR market will grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020. That is why many observers claim that the year 2017 to be a starting point (or at least a transition period) of AR/VR versions of practically every application to emerge.

Intelligent Things

Robots, drones and vehicles-these intelligent things have spread tremendously through the current year. But what potential do they have for the coming year? It is predicted by Gartner agency and other research firms that the apps that control IoT devices will also use machine learning and AI. This means that all the ordinary elements of environment, from toothbrush to your car, may become interconnected and collaborate to make decisions in everyday practice. Major advancements are yet to come. Experts claim that solutions to tie every app which controls intelligent things together into a single, seamless user experience are to be made in the year 2017.
 

Digital Twins

Next year is predicted to be the time when digital twin’s idea will spread to most remote parts of the world. It is a software replica of a physical thing or system which uses sensor and physics data. The sphere of application of a digital twin will widen with the time and by the year 2020 they will likely to be used for improving operations and creating new things.

Conversational systems

Intelligent objects are predicted to have some form of conversational interface in the near future. And the coming year, in particular, is likely to produce a device mesh when there will be a merge of different interaction techniques resulting in innovative digital user experience. It is now represented by a trend in app development which lets users interact with apps through texting. The next year is likely to provide such solutions to other intelligent objects which surround us in everyday life.

Mesh App and Service Architecture

MASA- or “Mesh App and Service Architecture” is considered to be an IT-system which enables communication, collaboration and learning within some digital ecosystem. Such architecture will hold together and interconnect different services to enable users gain experience through shifting across different sections (e.g., desktop, smartphone, vehicles).

Adaptive Security Architecture

There is much room for new smart devices for better learning and protecting. It is especially necessary in the vulnerable system of IoT which can be brought down by DDoS attacks. The idea behind adaptive security architecture lies in recruiting AI smart solutions within security tools. IoT is now becoming a special frontier for security specialists. Will 2017 become a year when new remediation tools and processes will be embedded into IoT intelligent devices? The answer is to be given soon.

These are some of major tech trends we’re in store for in 2017. They seem strategic and have lots of potential to grow to autonomous systems, like in case with AI and advanced machine learning. Some of the abovementioned trends are likely to take off next year; others will boost their presence in the digital business in several years. But even ordinary people will soon be able to experience the world where boundaries between real and digital blur.

What’s your idea of the tech trends for 2017? Please feel free to share your thought in the comments below.

 

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach

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As the Internet of Things begins to revolutionize businesses, economies and our society, IoT platforms are coming up being the core basis in the overall IoT infrastructure. IoT platforms, in simple words, are just about connecting the sensors to data networks and integrating with back-end applications to provide insight into huge volumes of data.

However developing for the Internet of Things is a complicated undertaking, and almost nobody chooses to do it from scratch. IoT data platforms provide a starting point by integrating many of the tools needed to operate a deployment from device control to data prediction and grasp into one service. Ready-built IoT platforms can meet the needs of any company and smoothly accommodate constant growth and change. In the light of the possibilities offered by IoT, many high tech companies started taking advantage of it. For the time being there are more than 300 hundred various IoT platforms on the market and the number is continuing to grow. So, let’s see what features of IoT platforms take into consideration while choosing one for your business.

Before selecting an appropriate solution which may be suitable for your organization, you must determine:

1. Three different types of IoT platforms. Here they are listed from most complex to least complex:

  • Application enablement and development (AEP/ADP): This encompasses platforms that offer modules, widget-based frameworks or templates for producing (with minimal or no coding) actual end-user applications. These platforms are capable of turning data into either intelligence or action very quickly. The vivid examples of such platforms are Oracle, ThingWorx and etc.
  • Network/Data, and subscriber management (NM): In the wireless carrier and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) space, this kind of platforms try to streamline connecting cellular M2M data, so you don’t have to build much of the data infrastructure behind it. For instance Cisco and Aeris do network management as well as device management, while Jasper and Wyless do more sheer network management.
  • Device management (DM): These platforms are more about monitoring device statuses, troubleshooting issues, configuring embedded device settings and administrating the provisioning and health of the endpoints. Usually in the IoT space this fairly elementary software is provided by hardware vendors. Like both Digi and Intel provide pure device cloud management.

While these platforms can be found as distinct standalone products, it is becoming increasingly common to find vendors that combine two or all three types in a single offering.

2. Implementation, integration support and device management. Device management is one of the most significant features expected from any IoT software platform. The IoT platform should maintain a number of devices connected to it and track their proper operation status; it should be able to handle configuration, firmware (or any other software) updates and provide device level error reporting and error handling. Ultimately, users of the devices should be able to get individual device level statistics.

To make implementation smooth, the provider should possess convincing manuals, blogs and feasibly lively developer-community around the IoT platform.

Support for integration is another vital feature expected from an IoT software platform. The API should provide the access to the important operations and data that needs to be disclosed from the IoT platform. It’s typical to use REST APIs to achieve this aim.

3. Comprehensive Information Security. There are four main technological building blocks of IoT: hardware, communication, software backend and applications. It’s essential that for all these blocks security is a must-have element. To prevent the vulnerabilities on all levels, the IoT infrastructure has to be holistically designed. On the whole, the network connection between the IoT devices and the IoT software platform would need to be encrypted and protected with a strong encryption mechanism to avoid potential attacks. By means of separation of IoT traffic into private networks, strong information security at the cloud application level, requiring regular password updates and supporting updateable firmware by way of authentication, signed software updates and so on can be pursued to enhance the level of security present in an IoT software platform. Nonetheless while security ought to be scalable, it is unfortunately usually a trade-off with convenience, quick workflows and project cost.

4. Flexible Database. There are four major “V” for databases in IoT space:

  • Volume (the database should be able to store massive amount of generated data)
  • Variety (the database should be able to handle different kind of data produced by various devices and sensors)
  • Velocity (the database should be able to make instant decisions while analyzing streaming data)
  • Veracity ( the database should be able to deal with ambiguous data in some cases produced by sensors)

Therefore an IoT platform usually comes with a cloud-based database solution, which is distributed across various sensor nodes.

5. Data analytics.

A lot of IoT cases go beyond just action management and require complicated analytics in order to get the most out of the IoT data-stream. There are four types of analytics which can be conducted on IoT data:

  • Real-time analytics (on the fly analysis of data),
  • Batch analytics (runs operations on an accumulated set of data),
  • Predictive analytics (makes predictions based on different statistical and machine learning technologies)
  • Interactive analytics (runs numerous exploratory analysis on either streaming or batch data)

While choosing the right IoT platform, it’s better to keep in mind that the analytics engine should comprise all dynamic calculations of sensor data, starting from basic data clustering to complex machine learning.

6. Pricing and the budget. The IoT platform market features a diversity of pricing methodologies underlying various business strategies. And sometimes providers’ costs aren’t always transparent. Thus it’s very important to check out all the nuances of your provider’s pricing pattern, so you are not plainly bought into introductory teaser rates or into the prices for the base model.

Further you should bear in mind that you licensing cost for the chosen platform is just the beginning. The major expense can turn out to be the integration itself, as well as hiring consultants (if you are not able to do it on your own) to support the system.

Therefore, it’s extremely vital to brainstorm what your entire IoT system will look like at scale and choose which features are most critical to you chiefly — and only afterwards decide what sort of platform you need.

A lot of companies do this backward. They get the IoT platform and believe they’re getting the complete necessary solution—then realize the mistake half a year into development. Thus it’s critical to be aware of this before you get started.

Also it should be mentioned that some companies don’t use IoT platforms—they’re developing their own platforms in-house. Yet, depending on how you want to go to market, it may be clever to research pre-built options. Depending on your situation, you may save a lot of time and money by partnering with one of these platforms.

Have you ever faced the difficulties of choosing the IoT platform for your business? If yes, can you please let me know what kind of difficulties? And what do you think is it better to use a ready-built IoT platform or develop your own from the scratch? Looking forward to getting your ideas and comments.

 

Anastasiya Zakharchuk

Anastasiya Zakharchuk

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altabel

Altabel Group

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If the experts’ estimates regarding IoT are correct, it means that in 5-10 years there will be more than 50 billion interconnected devices in the world. And they all will generate zettabytes of data, which can be and should be collected, organized and used for various purposes. Hence the tight correlation between IoT and Big Data is hard to ignore, because IoT and Big Data are like Romeo and Juliet – they are created for each other. The unprecedented amount of data produced by IoT would be useless without the analytic power of Big Data. Contrariwise, without the IoT, Big Data would not have the raw materials from which to model solutions that are expected of it.

What are the impacts of IoT on Big Data?

The IoT revolution means that almost every device or facility will have its own IP address and will be interconnected. They are going to generate a huge amount of data, spewing at us from different sides – household appliances, power stations, automobiles, train tracks and shipping containers etc. That’s why the companies will have to update technologies, instruments and business processes in order to be able to cope with such great amount of data, benefit from its analysis and finally gain profit. The influence of Big Data on IoT is obvious and it is conducted by various means. Let’s take a closer look at the Big Data areas impacted by IoT.

Methods and facilities of Data Storage

IoT produces a great and stable flow of data, which hits companies’ data storage. In response to this issue, many companies are shifting from their own storage framework towards the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model. It’s a cloud-based solution, which supports scalability, flexibility, compliance, and an advanced architecture, creating a possibility to store useful IoT data.

There are few options of models in the modern cloud storage: public, private and hybrid. Depending on the specific data nature, the companies should be very accurate while choosing a particular model. For instance, a private model is suitable for the companies who work with extremely sensitive data or with the information which is controlled by the government legislation. In other cases, a public or hybrid option will be a perfect fit.

Changes in Big Data technologies

While collecting the relevant data, companies need to filter out the excessive information and further protect it from getting attacked. It presupposes using highly productive mechanism that comprises particular software and custom protocols. Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) and Data Distribution Service (DDS) are two of the most widely used protocols. Both of them are able to help thousands of devices with sensors to connect with real-time machine-to-machine networks. MQTT gathers data from numerous devices and puts the data through the IT infrastructure. Otherwise, DDS scatters data across devices.

After receiving the data, the next step is to process and store it. The majority of the companies tend to install Hadoop and Hivi for Big Data storage. However there are some companies which prefer to use NoSQL document databases, as Apache CouchDB and others. Apache CouchDB is even more suitable, because it provides high throughput and very low latency.

Filtering out redundant data

One of the main challenges with Internet of Things is data management. Not all IoT data is relevant. If you don’t identify what data should be transmitted promptly, for how long it should be stored and what should be eliminated, then you could end up with a bulky pile of data which should be analyzed. Executive director of Product Marketing Management at AT&T, Mobeen Khan, says: “Some data just needs to be read and thrown away”.

The survey carried out by ParStream (an analytical platform for IoT) shows that almost 96 % of companies are striving to filter out the excessive data from their devices. Nevertheless only few of them are able to do it efficiently. Why is it happening? Below you can see the statistics, depicting the main problems which most of the companies are facing with the data analysis procedure. The percentage figure points out the percentage of the respondents to the ParStream survey confronting the challenge.

• Data collection difficulties – 36%
• Data is not captured accurately – 25%
• Slowness of data capture – 19%
• Too much data to analyze in a right way – 44%
• Data analyzing and processing means are not developed enough – 50%
• Existing business processes are not adjustable to allow efficient collection – 24%

To perform the action of filtering out the data effectively, organizations will need to update their analysis capabilities and make their IoT data collection process more productive. Cleaning data is a procedure that will become more significant to companies than ever.

Data security challenges

The IoT has made an impact on a security field and caused challenges which can’t be resolved by traditional security systems. Protecting Big Data generated from IoT arouses complications as this data comes from various devices, producing different types of data as well as different protocols.

The equally important issue is that many security specialist lack experience in providing data security for IoT. Particularly, any attack can not only threaten the data but also harm the connected device itself. And here is the dilemma when a huge amount of sensitive information is produced without the pertinent security to protect it.

There are two things that can help to prevent attacks: a multilayered security system and a thorough segmentation of the network. The companies should use software-defined networking (SDN) technologies combined with network identity and access policies for creating a dynamic network fragmentation. SDN-based network segmentation also should be used for point-to-point and point-to-multipoint coding based on the merger of some software-defined networking and public key infrastructure (SDN/PKI). In this case data security mechanisms will be keeping pace with the growth of Big Data in IoT.

IoT requires Big Data

With the emerging of IoT step by step many questions arises: Where is the data coming from IoT going to be stored? How is it going to be sorted out? Where will the analysis be conducted? Obviously, the companies which will be able to cope with these issues the next few years are going to be in prime position for both profits and influence over the evolution of our connected world. The vehicles will become smarter, more able to maintain larger amounts of data and probably able to carry out limited analytics. However as IoT grows and companies grow with IoT, they will have many more challenges to resolve.

What do you think about the evolving of Big Data in IoT? Have you already experienced the challenges of Big Data in IoT? And do you have any ideas about the progressive solutions to these challenges? I’ll be happy to hear your opinion in the comments below. Please, feel free to share your thoughts.

 

Anastasiya Zakharchuk

Anastasiya Zakharchuk

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altabel

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IT Trends

Is Nordics pioneering IoT? From remote
control to autonomous connected things
and intelligent decision making. Initiatives from
Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland:
start-ups and industry leaders engaged.

 
Nordic countries are leading the way in the Internet of Things, the latest ‘Connected things’ study by TeliaSonera shows. There will be ~4 connected devices per person in the Nordics by 2018, Gartner Inc. predicts. Currently the Scandinavian region has 4 times as many connected “things” per person as the rest of the world.

map

The TeliaSonera report forecasts the Nordic market for IoT devices will grow by 23% annually, to €9.1bn by 2018: with Sweden placed first, Norway and Denmark – placed 2nd and 3rd,  and followed by Finland.

Connected vehicles, connected building and connected people are the three driving forces for developments in connected cars, smart homes and digital health.

 

internet of things

The fastest growing segment of IoT in Scandinavia is ‘connected people’ which includes not only people, but also animals. The market for connected people is expected to grow by 59% annually until 2018. ‘Connected vehicles’ (anything that transports passengers or cargo) sector is forecast to increase by 36% annually. ‘Connected buildings’ sector is expected to grow by 23% annually until 2018, when there will be, on average, 3 connected building devices, such as security, energy and HVAC, per household in the Nordics.

Impressive, but connected devices are only the first stage of IoT. “Enabling connected things to exchange and comprehend each other’s data, regardless of place, manufacturer or format, is key to realising the full potential of IoT, ” said Anders Elbak from IDC. So the aim is that “connected cars transform into intelligent transportation systems, connected medical devices into digital health and connected homes into smart cities.”

From the business prospective, Elbak pointed out  that “very few [companies] acknowledge the business transformation opportunities” – or how to best make use of the vast amounts of data ‘connected devices’ generate to enable intelligent decision making, research and development and predictive services.

In the study by Accenture the Nordics are placed among the countries with the most conducive environment for Industrial IoT, along with the US, Switzerland and the Netherlands; while China, Japan, and Germany are just mid-table performers.

Recently in the Scandinavian region there have been several promising practical initiatives in the field of IoT, on radar both in start-ups and industry leaders.

In Norway, Nornir’s ‘smart home’ project addresses the expected elderly boom problem by providing the opportunity for them to live at home. The smart home environment accommodates intelligent sensors that monitor changes in the environment and the security system which recognises individualized patterns deviations and gives instant alerts to the ‘stakeholders’ if smth happens out of the ordinary.

Also one of the first worldwide real-time data linking systems is being implemented in Norway by Synaptic Technologies, and their Real Time Web (RTW) ambitiously strives to be a world-wide open platform for everybody to share and exchange readable or writable machine data online and for intelligent objects to be connected.

In Sweden, the startup Automile is tapping into telematics and untraditional cloud-powered fleet management. CEO Jens Nylander explained old legacy solutions typically require quite expensive physical installations and modifications to the car – meaning dependency on retailers and installers. Targeting primarily at smaller business, Automile operates on a SaaS model where the device itself is free and users pay a subscription fee. Interesting that big names like ABB and Ricoh International are now among the customers.

Thingsquare, Swedish IoT pioneer, provides the software platform allowing you to connect all your products with smartphones wirelessly.

Also the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has introduced a cloud-based communications system for road safety: the tech is piloted in Sweden and Norway, where weather conditions can be suitably extreme, and it’s hoped the system will be standard in Scandinavia already in 2016 and is even a part of the governmental program.

The Swedish multinational provider of communications Ericsson recognises “Networked Society” as its core directive to align with IoT thinking aiming at connecting 50 billion devices by 2020; all in order to benefit its subscribers.

In Finland the IoT initiative is represented by BaseN Platform – a highly scalable and easily distributed IoT platform, enabling required scalability for hosting millions of things.

These are just a few interesting starts, still many more to mention are: from Sweden – Yanzi Networks, one of Intel’s innovation labs,  Imagimob with Artificial Intelligence innovation for torso body tracking through embedded, wearables and mobile devices,  Connode with unique position in Smart Metering Market, Springworks known for its machine-to-humanity (M2H) connectivity innovaton, FarmDrones with a connected solution for farmers to increase productivity and crops yield,  Watty with the next generation energy product, Ewa Home, hidn Tempo, Minalyze; from Norway – Nordic (Semiconductor); from Finland – CyberLightning with its Smart city concept at the industrial scale, etc.

Have more interesting examples, or wish to share your point of view? You are welcome to leave your comment here.

 

Helen Boyarchuk

Helen Boyarchuk

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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

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js

JavaScript is celebrating 20th anniversary in 2015. It’s a language with a changeable history and carries a lot of baggage from its childhood, but as it leaves its teenage years behind it, now it’s a language that has finally grown up. JavaScript made a revolution in web by allowing scripts to run in a browser. But after its initial popularity soon the reputation was spoiled and JS was often associated with poorly written, cut-and-pasted code that was used to create annoying pop-ups and cheesy ‘effects’. Thus we see that JavaScript had some annoying weaknesses as a programming language.

On the other hand, we can observe that JavaScript has “ubiquity” that other programming languages don’t have. One must admit that you just need a browser to run, which means that anyone with a smartphone or computer is capable of running a JavaScript application. JavaScript has made the dream true that Java was available on all platforms by using the browser as its virtual machine. And now thanks to Node.js, it can run without a browser.

It is well known fact that simple text editor – is all you need to write a program in JS. JavaScript has a low barrier to entry when it comes to development. And we also must agree with GitHub that JavaScript is one of the most popular languages. This means that help is often easy to come by and there is a lot of JavaScript code out there. Furthermore, one should not forget that it also means that code’ libraries are well tested and many issues have already been solved.

After a first decade, which was a period of awkward childhood, JavaScript was growing up like most of the teenagers. People changed their mind with the revolutionary advent of Ajax. jQuery then made people using JavaScript to build some new applications and Node has taken it all to a whole serious level. JavaScript established itself as a powerful and flexible language with some cool features such as:
– Prototype-based Inheritance
– Closures
– JSON (subset of the object literal notation of JavaScript)
– Asynchronous event-driven programming
– Functions as objects

Frameworks and Libraries

Lots of frameworks and libraries have been written to mitigate problems and improve JavaScript for programming. JavaScript framework is the set of pre-written JavaScript code that helps to ease development of the JS based applications. This framework is also known as JavaScript libraries, which enhance the use of this programming language in many ways.
We have already shared some posts about the JavaScript frameworks in the past. JavaScript framework can be found anywhere on the web with different type of working capabilities. We have selected few of them to keep an eye on, and we hope you will find our compilation useful.

1) Angular.js

Open-source web application framework. It aims to simplify both the development and the testing of such applications by providing a framework for client-sidemodel–view–controller (MVC) and model–view–viewmodel (MVVM) architectures, along with components commonly used in rich Internet applications.

2) Ember.js

Open-source JavaScript application framework, based on the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern. It allows developers to create scalable single-page web applications by incorporating common idioms and best practices into the framework.

3) Meteor (MeteorJS)

Open-source JavaScript web application framework written using Node.js. Meteor allows for rapid prototyping and produces cross-platform (web, Android, iOS) code. It integrates with MongoDB and uses the Distributed Data Protocol and a publish–subscribe pattern to automatically propagate data changes to clients without requiring the developer to write any synchronization code. On the client, Meteor depends on jQuery and can be used with any JavaScript UI widget library.

4) Backbone.js

JavaScript library with a RESTful JSON interface and is based on the model–view–presenter (MVP) application design paradigm. Backbone is known for being lightweight, as its only dependency is on one JavaScript library, Underscore.js. It is designed for developing single-page web applications, and for keeping various parts of web applications (e.g. multiple clients and the server) synchronized. Backbone was created by Jeremy Ashkenas, who is also known for CoffeeScript.

5) Knockout.js

JavaScript implementation of the Model-View-ViewModel pattern with templates. Main principles are: a clear separation between domain data, view components and data to be displayed; the presence of a clearly defined layer of specialized code to manage the relationships between the view components. These features streamline and simplify the specification of complex relationships between view components, which in turn make the display more responsive and the user experience richer.

6) Ext JS (Sencha Ext JS)

JavaScript application for building interactive cross platform web applications using techniques such as Ajax, DHTML and DOM scripting. Ext JS includes interoperability with jQuery andPrototype.

7) D3.js (D3)

JavaScript library for producing dynamic, interactive data visualizations in web browsers. It makes use of the widely implemented SVG, HTML5, and CSS standards. It is the successor to the earlier Protovis framework. In contrast to many other libraries, D3.js allows great control over the final visual result.

Conclusion

JavaScript will be one of the most important languages to learn and invest into over the next few years. Website development is into a single-page web application that relies on JavaScript to do the heavy lifting on the client side (in this case, usually JS goes with modern front-end frameworks such as Backbone or Angular.js). The advantage of using Isomorphic JavaScript is increasing the popularity of JS. The data that is transported from databases is often stored in JSON format. The possibility of using a combination of HTML, CSS and JavaScript let you build an application for iOS, Android and FireFox OS. JavaScript has existing libraries, plugins, APIs and other cool stuff to be broad used in The Internet of Things (IoT). JavaScript is becoming the language not just for the front and back end of web development, but also for interacting with a huge number of modern devices.

To sum up, I must admit that now is the perfect time to get started with JavaScript projects, as it moves into its 20s, and has finally grown up for starting to go places!
What are your opinions about JavaScript future, its libraries and frameworks? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

Svetlana Pozdnyakova

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com


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