Cloud Services are the Future of the IoT

By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The Internet of Things (IoT) is composed of an assortment of connected devices, but without cloud computing services, these devices wouldn’t have much more functionality than the standard household device. This is because the cloud allows devices to outsource the analysis and storage of any data that is collected through their connected sensors. The cloud’s internet-based computing methods act as the brain for IoT devices, removing the boundaries of inter-device, memory and space constrictions.

The IoT is growing at an exponential rate, making cloud services more important than they have ever been before. In order for the cloud infrastructure to accommodate for the mass amount of data being stored and transferred within the cloud, it will need to be developed at a rate similar to IoT technology. The cloud was designed on the very basis of being able to store information remotely, making it the optimum environment for the interconnectivity of internet-enabled devices. If the IoT industry plans to succeed, it is critical that the significance of cloud services is recognized.

There are many benefits offered by the cloud that would enhance the world of smart technology. The ingenious decision to move the serious data processing functionality of these devices to the cloud has opened the door for further technological advancements. Using the cloud for big data storage and analytics has done two main things that have helped enable the accelerated development of IoT technology. The first thing it does is enable devices to be smaller and use less power, making them much easier to integrate within any home environment. The second is that it makes it possible to continuously update the firmware as needed, which removes the burden from consumers and allows devices to be used for longer periods of time.

The overall accessibility and user-friendliness of IoT devices can be accredited to the power of the cloud. Having devices that every consumer can deploy within their smart homes is definitely a positive for the IoT. That being said, the cloud is able to do so much more for smart technology than simply make it easier for consumers to use devices. Creating a network of devices is entirely dependent upon having a reliable method of communication. The implementation of cloud infrastructure in IoT devices enables the ability to utilize multiple devices in a single network, while communicating simultaneously. Once multiple devices are communicating within the same cloud, the information and data that is collected can be accessed by all devices, thus establishing a more synchronized system.

This always available, web-based service is a perfect vehicle for helping the IoT thrive. Current cloud infrastructure isn’t quite large enough to support the expected rise in IoT devices over the next couple of years. That being said, more advanced cloud infrastructures are being developed to help compensate for the influx of connected technology. As the network of devices continue to grow, it will be crucial that the capabilities of the cloud are maintained as it is truly the only technology available that is equipped for storing and analyzing all the data created by the IoT.

IoT: Converging IT and OT

By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The continuously expanding network of internet-enabled smart technology is transforming the current framework that constitutes the Internet of Things (IoT). Historically, Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) have been two completely separate and distinct domains. The importance of physical equipment for monitoring and detecting change in industrial processes through OT has never been truly connected with the processes of electronic data exchange found in IT. However, the integration of wireless sensors into IoT technology is altering the infrastructure of traditional industrial processes. The convergence of IT and OT is an inevitable and necessary step in unleashing the true power of large-scale connectivity via the IoT.

The vast assortment of physical objects being connected to the internet provides manufacturers with the ability to collect and analyze data instantaneously. These networks of devices generate a plethora of data, allowing for the creation of intelligent and immediate solutions. This process is where the lines begin to blur regarding the various IT and OT processes. Traditionally OT infrastructure would require those in charge of operating and maintaining a device to physically process its data in the field. The wide-spread acceptance of gathering data via the internet has enabled workers to access any needed operational data, allowing for analysis and monitoring without having to waste more human resources.

The rapid and continuous growth of the IoT is making the integration of IT and OT environments an inevitable repercussion of increased connectivity between internet-enabled devices. The fundamental technology (software, platforms, etc.) behind OT systems are adapting to operate on a similar level to IT systems. The inherent similarities between modern OT and IT will make it easier to manage an integrated system as opposed to two separate entities. Gartner, which is an IT research company, stated “A shared set of standards and platforms across IT and OT will reduce costs in many areas of software management, and reduced risks come from reducing malware intrusion and internal errors” (Gartner). Efficiency within a company will see an exponential increase with the convergence of IT and OT.

Improving efficiency is only one of the many benefits of implementing an integration system between IT and OT systems. The convergence between these two fields will provide businesses with more information to make smarter decisions in terms of business processes. The integration of IT and OT will enable further analysis of products through data, which will lead to performance improvements that can increase the satisfaction of consumers. Being able to coordinate efforts between IT and OT within an organization is a cost-efficient method in reducing missteps in decision-making.

Will Net Neutrality Impact the Future of IoT?

By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The debate over net neutrality has the potential to transform the current infrastructure of the internet. Net neutrality is primarily focused on whether Internet Service Providers (ISP) should be able to provide “fast lanes” or throttle speeds based on bandwidth consumption, and as a measure to provide quality internet speeds. Certain corporations such as Netflix provide services that consume mass quantities of data, which can drastically slow down internet speeds for other users. If situations like these enable ISPs to be able to charge large data consumers for quality service, then there will be an impact on a corporate level that could trickle down to the level of individual consumers. Net neutrality has the potential to alter the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) as more internet-enabled devices are generating data and using bandwidth.

The issue of net neutrality has been around for a several years at this point, but IoT technology has barely been a part of the discussion. Most wireless devices haven’t reached the surface of the net neutrality debate due to the fact that most devices consume minimum amounts of data and require very little bandwidth. This is beginning to change as internet-enabled devices are increasing in quantity in an effort to create truly integrated smart homes. Even though individual devices don’t utilize that much data on their own, IoT devices can use a moderate amount of bandwidth when multiple devices are unified within a network.

Large networks of smart devices can have a minor impact on internet speeds for in-home Wi-Fi, but IoT devices are unlikely to consume enough data to drastically affect wireless communication on a larger scale. These devices may not be data-heavy, but they do rely on internet speeds to optimize functionality. Brian Kelly, co-founder of Golgi, stated, “When it comes to connectivity, speed is everything. Eighty percent of smartphone users now expect apps to load in three seconds or less” (TheNextWeb). This is synonymous with IoT expectations as most smart devices are integrated within smart phone applications. The speed and convenience of the IoT is what makes it unique and accessible for the average consumer.

Most consumers are opposed to ISPs being able to charge for better service. The current IoT infrastructure could increase in complexity if the government allows ISPs to throttle internet speeds and limit bandwidth consumption for internet consumers. However, the government, and a majority of the consumers and small businesses, are against tampering with internet speeds and that is unlikely to change. Title II of the Communications Act, which was established within the past couple years, bans throttling, blocking and paid prioritization of any type.

It is safe to say the IoT will generally be unaffected by the issue of net neutrality. The ability to freely use the internet is something that is coveted by most internet users, thus it is unlikely that there will be any successful dismantling of the Communications Act. Even in the improbable event that ISPs were given the power to control the internet, there wouldn’t be any dramatic impacts for the IoT. This is due to the fact that these networks of devices are not consuming bandwidth in quantities even remotely close to that of companies like Netflix. The future of the powerful, efficient, and internet-enabled smart home is in good hands.


How Big Data Affects Networks in the Internet of Things

By Joe Duncan, Marketing

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been talked about as an industry dealing in data, because of the massive amount of information produced by sensor technology. In fact, harvesting data from connected devices has become one of the key excitements concerning IoT technology, as it allows for the drastic advance in the analytics of failure, evaluation, implementation and efficiency. With the newfound information, businesses and industries can know sooner and with more accuracy how their products/production are being affected by external factors. This information could be used in an industrial environment to regulate the humidity of a manufacturing facility when dealing with a sensitive material, or it could be used in the context of a grocery store advertising different coupons to a regular customer who is known to never purchase coffee. In these cases, advanced data analytics is crucial to the development of quick fixes when opportunities arise. Efficacy and speed is the name of the game.

However, the difficulty that has already begun to arise with this technology is the volume at which this data is gathered. Cisco throws out the fact that the past 2000 years have garnered about 2 exabytes of data altogether, while in the current era we are generating that amount every day. Questions arise about the value of all this data, and how to sort through it effectively so that a timely response can be implemented. One suggested resolution has been in the development of more advanced network technology at the local level. With the cloud being a big source for the analytics of IoT data, there is progress to be had by moving that process back to the device itself. This has process has been called moving toward the Edge, or more simply, Edge IoT analytics.

Companies able to invest in the stability and speed of their networks will have the ability, with the development of advanced data analytics through the IoT, to predict and resolve problems earlier. In addition, the cost in bandwidth to transport this massive amount of data to the cloud is far greater than analyzing it locally. Businesses and institutions interested in being competitive as the IoT progresses will have to capitalize on network technology which leverages computer capacity closer to the local network and to the device itself. Reliance on servers for the analytic and decision-making process will become obsolete as the increased volume of data makes that process expensive and inefficient.

The creation and sustainment of networks will go through massive changes as the IoT progresses. A high demand for local analytics will notably adjust the way we do networks especially when it comes to their efficiency and security.

How Singapore is Envisioning the Internet of Things

By Joe Duncan, Marketing

Many of the countries in the Global Far East have made definitive innovations to the Internet of Things (IoT). According to the OECD, Korea is leading the world in devices online per 100 inhabitants at 37.9, with the next closest competitor ranking in at 32.7 (The US weighs in at a measly 24.9). In addition, China’s efforts to establish a solid base in the Internet of Things has been intensive; GSMA reported in 2015 that, “China leads the world in the adoption of M2M services, with 74 million connections at the end of 2014, representing almost a third of the global base.” And although these numbers are compelling, Singapore’s vision for a Smart Nation has already begun to show what a Smart City might look like.

The Smart Nation Initiative, as the Prime Minister’s Office explains it, “adopts a people-centric approach to rallying citizens, industries, research institutions and the government to co-create innovative solutions.” The idea is that government, big business, startups and everyone else would get involved in the creative process. Government agencies are releasing much of the data gathered from sensors around the city into the public domain for use in analytics and as a good-faith invitation to participate in the generation of IoT solutions. Public transit is already partnering with mobile applications like Beeline and MyTransport to ensure streamlined service in transportation, but maybe the most exciting development so far has been in their emphasis on smart home technology.

The Housing and Development Board of Singapore has extended smart home solutions to 3,200 homes in the Yuhua estate, including “elderly monitoring systems that provide peace of mind to caregivers of loved ones, and Utility Management Systems that help manage household utilities usage.” Singapore intends to extend the Internet of Things through a collective community of sensors and a unified platform. As far as specific technologies are concerned, maybe Singapore isn’t any farther along than anyone else. Products for the IoT are still developing to their fullest potential, and there is still so much progress yet to be made before the smart home is a widespread occurrence.

On the other hand, Singapore’s developments do show a great deal of movement in the big picture. By creating an environment where the IoT can thrive by facilitating city-wide programs and encouraging the expansion of Smart initiatives. In effect, Singapore is working to support a network infrastructure with public sensor data and extensive connectivity. The benefit of this will be that products released into this setting will have more initial use-cases, a higher rate of acceptance and will be able to interact with the IoT infrastructure already in place.

Learn more, here:

The Internet of Things: Changing Big Data Analytics

By Nathan Rockershousen, Technical Writer

The collection of data through large datasets is becoming increasingly popular among businesses. The prominence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a surplus of data that is now being utilized for statistical analysis. Big data analytics and IoT devices are interconnected in the sense that IoT devices enable companies to access large quantities of information. This information is then used to help gather details about the consumer and the product. IoT technology is transforming the collection of data and the information that the data provides allows for the development of more advanced IoT devices.

As more devices become connected to the internet, there will be more data that companies will be responsible for sorting through. Once IoT technology matures and becomes widely adapted, big data analytics will no longer be optional. The analytical value in having access to large datasets that are continuously updating can be substantial for any organization. Not investing in big data technology that can sort through the immense quantity of the data gathered will be a major hindrance in maintaining IoT devices. Will Hayles, a technical writer for Outscale, reinforces this concept by stating, “Without the proper data-gathering in place, it’ll be impossible for businesses to sort through all the information flowing in from embedded sensors.” This essentially means that the inability to utilize data efficiently will create obstacles in terms of competing with other IoT-based companies as analytics can provide insight into consumer wants and needs.

The integration of IoT technology and big data has the potential to create higher expectations for technological innovations. Simply being able to collect data from IoT devices will not be sufficient. Companies need to implement some sort of analytical platform that can sort through the vast amount of data gathered. Big data analytics and the IoT are interdependent. When organizations are able to access information about their products, they are able to immediately update the technology to provide new and improved content to users in addition to being able to improve any issues. Essentially the influx of data is creating a higher standard for technological innovation. Any business that does not wield the power of big data analytics will quickly lose relevance due to an inability to recognize the potential for improvement that is provided by collected data.

The adoption of big data analytics within the corporate environment is inevitable as wirelessly enabled devices begin to play a larger role in the consumer lifestyle. This change will not happen overnight, but it is crucial that organizations start to develop the analytical tools necessary to manage vast amounts of data. This means that the infrastructures of many businesses will need to be modified in order to compensate for the changing nature of IoT technology.

An Industrial Strength Web

As the Internet of Things takes shape, factories of the future will have to be ready to deftly manage a cascade of data — a challenge that will put plant operations, infrastructure, and culture to the test.

Things are due to change on the factory floor. The machinery, systems, and processes manufacturers use to produce goods are on track to gain a digital voice, audible courtesy of the next frontier in digital communications — the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Should that come to pass, industry could be turned on its head.

A subset of the Internet of Things (IOT), a growing web of connected, networked communications devices and products, the IIoT, or Industrial Internet, may be the more practical, “blue-collar” version. It references a future where the very means and tools of production are wired up en masse to produce highly detailed and revealing operational data. From there, the hope is that data can be extracted, crunched, shared, and ultimately leveraged by stakeholders far and wide over potentially vast digital networks.

> To read more, download the PDF here.

IoT sensor data leads to industry innovations

Ready or not, the Internet of Things () is here to stay and the data it generates will be the driving force for future innovation and efficiency. According to Frost & Sullivan, 40 percent of all IoT data generated by 2020 will come from connected . This data has already begun to affect many industries, and as IoT gains popularity, the uses for this data will grow.

Three industries that already are seeing the importance of gathering  data include manufacturing, marketing, and smart cities.

Read more at Embedded Computing Design or download the PDF now.

Data Analytics and the Internet of Things

One of the major promises that discussions of the Internet of Things (IoT) have put forward, is the advances to be made in consumer insight. The idea is that sensors and connected devices can send data on an open loop back to the manufacturer for analysis. This process would presumably secure many advances in a wide variety of things; not only would companies be able to understand their clients, but sensors may even be able to tell us more about the product in general. For example, pedometers on livestock have given scientists more knowledge about when cows are in heat, allowing for a 66% increase in insemination rates.

Many have referenced discoveries such as these to be the real goldmine of the IoT. Using big data analytics, manufacturers could generate the type of insight that could propel future developments. However, the concept of big data analytics is still a bit fuzzy to most people. A lot of the general knowledge of analytics is overshadowed by the half-belief that information is fed to a group of ancient mystic palm readers who come up with practical applications for the infinite mass of soundbite data. In reality, the sorting mechanism used to interpret the data from connected sensors is rarely earth-shattering and could even be accomplished on a closed loop. This is critical to keep in mind, especially as companies make decisions regarding data security.

Read more at ReCode.

Join Us at IoT DevCon 2015!





 May 6-7, 2015
Where: Hyatt Regency – Santa Clara, CA
Table #: S6
Silver Sponsor

Machine-to-machine methods, (or M2M), intelligent embedded and/or smart fusion have been around in some form for many years. The Internet of Things (IoT) goes way beyond this capability and interconnects virtually unlimited numbers of smart objects and changes the way we interact with our environment. To help rein in the vast world of IoT, the IoT DevCon will focus on technologies ranging from the ultra-low power microcontrollers to the multicore-enabled aggregation hubs to the software and security infrastructure required for monitoring and management of the enormous bundles of data.

Conference Website:

Session Title: IoT Standards: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
When: May 6, 2:15pm-2:40pm

The Internet of Things (IoT) was named the most hyped technology of 2014 by Gartner, and designers are responding by feverishly working to add connectivity to products in all industries, especially in the connect home, medical devices, industrial automation and transportation. Connected products require a new approach to design. This session will dive into the 10 things designers need to consider when developing IoT devices.