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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.

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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

Business Development Manager

E-mail: helen.boyarchuk@altabel.com
Skype: helen_boyarchuk
LI Profile: Helen Boyarchuk

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

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

It is expected that within the next 5-7 years there will be billions of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). However, on the way to this bright future, there are certain practical barriers.

The traditional model of the Internet of Things requires a centralized system for data processing, which handles all the data from connected devices. Nevertheless, this approach is seriously flawed in terms of cost of lifecycle and business model in general. For example, a company that produces “smart TVs” should support a centralized processing infrastructure and data management of the device for more than 20 years. While it earns revenues only once, when selling this device. This imposes restrictions on the Internet of Things. So far it is available only in the premium devices or those that are rarely used.

Nowadays, most of the IT companies are competing in invention IoT platforms and systems.

IBM: Adept

IBM’s solution is to use the web’s most innovative p2p technologies to create distributed cloud environment which means that all the devices will be integrated together. Thus, every device will be self-sufficient for managing and will use distributed public infrastructure to communicate with other devices. In this way, producing company won’t have recurring costs in maintenance. Such a system will be stable for the lifetime of the devices, and it will be equal to its clouds. The network will be fully autonomous, while the device remains in it, without requiring the cost from producer. However, centralized control becomes almost impossible with all the potential billions of devices on the network.

Their system Adept will rely on three different technologies to resolve a number of issues related to IoT development and commercialization: Block chain, famous from the crypto currency bitcoin, will allow IoT devices to communicate and interact with one another, BitTorrent (provides a stable and capable data distribution system ) and Telehash (private messaging protocol with end-to-end encryption).

Apple: Homekit

Apple is not idle in the IoT field. They introduced a new ‘smart home’ platform – Homekit this summer (2014).

Homekit is a framework and network protocol for controlling devices in the home. It promises a seamless user interface for organizing and controlling connected devices, all part of iOS 8. As part of this announcement there is also a new microcontroller SoC (system on a chip), containing a low-power WiFi, ZigBee and Bluetooth. It combines what had been separate components into a fully integrated unit. As with many other Apple products you will need a certificate, in this case Apple’s MFi certification (Made for iPod, Made for iPhone, Made for iPad).

Google: Nest

In January 2014, Google showed its commitment to the emerging Internet of Things by purchasing Nest for $3.2 billion. Nest’s main product is a learning thermostat connected to the internet that uses sensors, regional data, and learning algorithms to preemptively change the temperature of your house automatically. Thus, Google gains a direct entry point into the home to collect data, learn, and possibly advertise to end users in the future. Google’s purchase of Nest was considered an important indicator that the Internet of Things is poised to explode.

Microsoft: Windows 8.1 for IoT

Microsoft does not want to be left behind and has its own plan to bring Windows Developers to the Internet of Things with its new version of Windows 8.1 – operating system tailored for the Internet of Things. This version of Windows is designed to use in microcomputers, wearable electronics, and possibly, toys and household gadgets. At this point the preliminary version is only available to developers. Windows 8.1 distribution for the Internet of things weighs only 174 MB. For comparison, the size distribution of the full version of Windows 8.1 is around 3 GB. Slim enough to work on a single-core processor Intel Quark with a clock frequency of just 400 MHz. But the boot time is poor – 2 minutes instead of the traditional 3-30 seconds.

Intel: Galileo

The first platform that is compatible with Windows 8.1 for the Internet of Things is Intel’s Galileo. It is built around a processor, Intel Quark has 256 MB of RAM, a slot for cards format SD, two ports USB, PCI Express interface and a network adapter Ethernet 10/100 Mbit / s, and a pocket friendly price of just $ 50.

Samsung: Smartthings, Smart Home

Samsung, Intel and Dell announced in July 2014 that they are combining forces to create a new wireless standard for the Internet of Things, connecting sensors, appliances and gadgets to the Internet in the home, business and automobile. The Open Internet Consortium will include hardware component builders Broadcom and Amtel as well as embedded software provider Wind River.

Also it would be unfair not to mention the fact that Samsung has bought an internet of things (IoT) company called Smartthings (the startup that makes smart-home controllers) for about $200 million. Samsung is planning to use it to bolster its smart home plans. Smartthings will run as an independent entity within Samsung, and will continue to support its existing customer base. This system provides a smartphone app that users can employ to control features and functions around the house.

Smart Home platform will provide users with three main services: Device Control, Home View, and Smart Customer Service. Device Control will allow users to access customized settings for all of their devices on their smartphone or on their Smart TV. Home View allows users to take advantage of the cameras built into many of Samsung’s connected appliances to take a look at what’s going on at home. Smart Customer Service will notify users whenever it’s time to service an appliance, and also provide assistance in after-sales servicing.

Other companies such as Vodafone, Cisco, MediaTek, etc are also a part of this great revolution in IT environment, and most of them have very prospective projects.

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IoT Top10 Companies

Nevertheless, one should accept that the Internet of Things requires some technical and educational level from the society, and while in some countries this seems to be difficult to put it into practice, the Scandinavian region, more specifically – Sweden, invests in such projects at the national level. The vision of its industry is to increase competitiveness and to use innovation effectively in such social spheres as healthcare, welfare and sport. Business life is focused on getting benefits by implementation of IoT technology as well.

The connected world is too big to belong to somebody exclusively. So will Apple, Windows, IBM, Oracle, Google and others be able to all work together in this IoT universe? Or will the grand idea of a seamlessly connected Internet of Things environment slip away?

Will be thankful to hear your opinion on this subject. Share your thoughts here in comments or send me a message.

 

Svetlana Pozdnyakova

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

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


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