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covid-19 (21)

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As the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves, some use cases have fast-tracked their way into the spotlight as a result of the global pandemic.

Devices are connecting humans like never before from remote work and learning to streaming video and gaming content. In addition, in-person visits to the doctor have in some cases been replaced by telemedicine, so much so that Forrester predicts that patients will attend over one billion virtual care visits this year.

But that’s not all that’s changed. As these IoT use cases propel into the mainstream, there are changes impacting how IT architects design the underlying storage that enables them.

What’s Changing in the IoT Data Journey?

 

Automation and Supply Chain Resilience

Consider the data demands of distribution and fulfillment in the supply chain: they’ve been massively disrupted because of the impact the pandemic has had on shipping conditions and distribution centers. Before COVID-19, typical requests would go to a central data center where the request would be disseminated to the biggest hub closest to the consumer with most of the supplies in stock. The result: a two-day delivery that set the standard for the industry so long ago.

But even that has gotten significantly more complex with the enormous surge in demand for shelter-in-place supplies, groceries, electronics, and so on. Massive distribution is a challenge because of the sheer volume of requests. However, it’s not the technology that’s led to longer delivery times; it’s the human factor that has not been able to keep pace. Systems in the supply chain rely heavily on humans to fulfill orders, especially in the “last mile.”

Automation can help move parts faster amid these accelerated demands. Automated IoT devices such as robots or autonomous vehicles can assist from the factory to your doorstep. As these devices both generate and rely on increasing volumes of data, storage is essential at every step in the data journey.

Connectivity: The Need for Speed

Connectivity speeds, reliability and large bandwidth for multiple people with multiple IoT devices are increasingly important in today’s new world. The ability to access data when you need it and quickly get insights is critical. Data infrastructure must be set up to ensure data can be transmitted, received, stored and analyzed when and where it’s needed. The closer it is to the source, the less latency there is, which translates into faster time to insights and value.

The aim of companies working with a vast array of IoT devices is to place specific storage solutions where they are most needed to ensure that data is handled appropriately across its entire IoT data journey. Edge computing is more important than ever before as it helps deliver a positive user experience for use cases like HD videoconferencing, distance-learning, or telehealth.

Acceleration of 5G

The pandemic may be a catalyst that will accelerate the demand for 5G. The newly dispersed workforce still requires quality virtual connections, which will continue to drive demand for high-speed, low-latency connectivity everywhere, even on the go.

5G is also helping industrial IoT move forward by enabling more reliable autonomous manufacturing processes with new standards for ultra-low latency in factories. The processing power required for 5G is tremendous, and along with that comes the requirements for data storage. IoT devices such as robots and cameras are being used to track assets throughout the supply chain and collect data such as temperature and vibration to track shipping container openings. Using IoT-enabled devices on transportation routes can help optimize route planning by collecting in-transit, supply chain data.

AR and VR Expand Beyond Gaming

Since the pandemic, AR/VR is being increasingly used in more use cases, connecting people with connected devices such as cameras, tablets, and phones.

For companies developing new technologies or running a global business, the required expertise won’t always be in the same location of a problem that needs to be solved.

Instead of flying an engineer halfway around the world, teams can turn to AR or VR to meet virtually in the same lab, looking at the same thing, on a common whiteboard while working in augmented reality.

In the post-pandemic world, AR and VR could make a new generation of remote viewership possible. Audiences might use AR and VR to immerse themselves in their favorite events, games, movies, or shows. With advancements in edge computing, a suite of technologies will enable the next generation of remote viewership, opening up new revenue possibilities for sports and performance artists, and reaching broader audiences.

Distance learning might utilize AR and VR to create immersive learning experiences. Online learning could become a standard extension for classroom-based education. Schools might partner with IT departments to create distance learning “tech kits” for their students, including take-home laptops, networking equipment, and desktop data storage solutions.

General-Purpose Architectures No Longer Cut It

Many businesses still use general-purpose architecture to manage their IoT data. But most often, general-purpose compute architectures do not fully meet the needs of IoT workloads. This method falls short of the accessibility, capacity, reliability, and scalability requirements necessary for IoT applications because a general-purpose, commercial architecture does not take into account the various elements an IoT system can face.

Purpose-built architecture uses devices, platforms, systems, and solutions that maximize the value of data for real-time IoT use cases. Your storage strategy has to be designed specifically for IoT.  Consider a cell tower, an underground mine, or a windmill where IoT devices may be both remote and able to withstand harsh environmental conditions such as temperature or humidity. Storage cannot be an afterthought; instead, systems architects need to work with the storage experts early on to design an architecture that addresses the system’s unique needs.

IoT in the New Normal

The importance of storage is undeniable as it plays a role in all of these data scenarios, at home and in business settings and across the supply chain. It must be considered as part of an organization’s business strategy. Not only does storage support human and machine-to-machine communications, but when combined with AI, IoT and 5G, storage enables companies to access data quickly to gain insights. Access to such data, at the right time and at the right place, will be important as new post-pandemic business models develop in the new normal.

Posted by: 
Western Digital - IOT For All

 
 
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Gold Level Contributor

The pandemic is accelerating smart city tech

Retrieved from PXHere

It's incredibly difficult to look for a silver lining in the midst of a pandemic when all you can see is the carnage it's caused in its wake. Millions of people have lost their lives. Millions have lost their jobs. We've all lost any semblance of normalcy, and it looks like this will be our reality for the foreseeable future.

But believe it or not, there is a silver lining in all of this.

Disease outbreaks are a grim reminder of how one incident can snowball into a global nightmare, but they also have a long history of changing things for the better. London got its Victorian sewer system after the cholera epidemic claimed the lives of 30,000 people. The Spanish flu, one of the worst pandemics in history, brought about better ventilation standards for buildings.

COVID-19 is poised to bring about the same widespread change as other pandemics have by accelerating the adoption of smart city technology across the world. Klaus R. Kunzmann, the former head of the Institute of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Germany, describes the coronavirus outbreak as being "a lubricant for the smart city."

Let's unpack this.

Familiarity incites higher levels of trust

Technology is so enmeshed in our world that it's hard to imagine life without it. Yet, many people are only comfortable with technology as far as smartphones and computers go; anything else feels too dystopian or invasive. 

Smart cities have been around since the 1990s and gained traction following the financial collapse of 2008, but their adoption has been slow-going since then. Consolidating smart technology into a city's existing infrastructure comes with a hefty price tag, but it's also met with skepticism and unease by many people across the world. 

The pandemic has now exposed people to conditions that make smart city tech easier to swallow. Its impact on the economy, the community and the healthcare sector have local governments and citizens clamoring for change. Citizens are now more open to smart city solutions than ever before, which has opened the door to rapid expansion. 

While modern technology will eventually influence everything about a city's infrastructure, there are a few areas where digital transformation has become the most urgent.

Intelligent traffic management

Smart traffic management systems are replacing the outdated, manual processes that cities have used for so long. For the first time, technology allows cities to respond to changing environments in real-time.

Even a simple shift to smart traffic lights could reduce street congestion by upwards of 25%. Waiting for a red light to change if there's no traffic coming from the other direction will eventually become a thing of the past. Instead of following a predetermined time setting, smart traffic lights will respond to what's happening in the moment. 

Digital grids not only make it possible for traffic lights to communicate with one another to enhance traffic flow and decrease congestion, but they also give city managers the ability to implement better traffic policies, like prioritizing pedestrians in school zones during the most active times of the day. 

Originally written by
Ronald Chagoury Jr., Vice Chairman Eko Atlantic | October 21, 2020
for Smart Cities Dive

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Gold Level Contributor

The automated, contactless elevated temperature detection solution is designed to help identify potential Covid-19 infections in facilities with thousands of people.

Nokia is launching an automated, zero-touch elevated temperature detection solution designed to help identify potential Covid-19 infections in facilities with thousands of people.

The Nokia Automated Analytics Solution for access control also confirms mask compliance in large environments with multiple accesses.

How it works

The solution uses a thermal camera to capture video footage and takes individual temperature readings (accurate to +/- 0.3 degrees Celsius) for every person that enters the screening site.

An analytics engine quickly processes the video clip to determine whether the individuals require additional screening, or are not complying with mask-wearing rules. 

If an irregularity is detected, a centralised, organisation-wide view is presented and a real-time SMS or email alert is automatically sent to personnel in the field to initiate track-and-trace or post-detection actions. 

Nokia claims the entire process takes place in near-real time and the human-less operation enables scaling to very large environments with thousands of people and multiple access points.

Organisations can also expand the solution to support other ongoing use cases to protect employees and building assets, including predictive surveillance, machine maintenance and security threats.

“Whether in factories, ports, offices, airports, schools, or outdoor screening centres, mission-critical networks and digital automation solutions play a leading role in ensuring supply resilience, business continuity, and workers’ safety in real-time,” said Amit Shah, head of analytics and IoT for Nokia.

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Individual temperature readings are taken for every person entering the site

The technology uses an open architecture and has a suite of analytics with a flexible set of automation workflows and rules to adapt the solution to each organisation’s needs. The company has deployed the solution at multiple locations, including its own Chennai factory to monitor employee safety and plans to deploy the solution for enterprise customers across multiple industry segments.

“As the factory reopened to production and over 1,000 employees returned to work, we abided by local regulations for monitoring temperatures and mask usage for every single person entering and leaving the site,” said Sudarshan Pitty, head of the Nokia Chennai Factory. “The Nokia Automated Analytics Solution has enabled us to ensure regulatory compliance in an automated way, round the clock with zero misses in real-time.”

Pitty continued: “This solution has enabled us to boost employee availability by reducing the waiting time in queues and removing the need to assign additional staff to carry out manual checks.”

Leo Gergs, research analyst, ABI Research, reckoned the solution is an example of the important role that network infrastructure vendors can play in fighting the spread of a global pandemic, such as Covid-19.

He added: “Furthermore, the modular architecture allows easy repurposing of the solution to use cases such as port or smart city traffic monitoring and therefore to address the ever-increasing demand for automated data analytics capabilities, which will continue to rise in line with further enterprise digitalisation.”

Nokia suggested that once concerns about Covid-19 subside, organisations can repurpose the solution to support other use cases to protect employees, site visitors and facilities, including predictive surveillance and machine maintenance, security threats and anomaly detection, and customised industry-specific analytics.

Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld News Team | October 16, 2020
SmartCitiesWorld

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Gold Level Contributor

Image: Chuttersnap - Unsplash

A new report from Vodafone Business suggests that IoT adoption will accelerate due to COVID-19.

Vodafone’s report, 2020 IoT Spotlight, features responses from 1,639 businesses around the world.

Erik Brenneis, IoT Director at Vodafone Business, said:

“IoT has grown up. It’s no longer just about increasing return on investment or providing cost savings to businesses: it’s changing the way they think and operate. And it’s giving them an opportunity to redesign their operations and future-proof their business model.”

73 percent of businesses (76% in the Americas) that were considering adopting IoT technologies say that COVID-19 has accelerated their plans.

Of the businesses which are already using the IoT to some extent, 77 percent (84% in the Americas) report increasing the pace of their projects amid the pandemic.

While the pandemic brought much to a halt, the research suggests businesses are looking for increased automation to help deal with such unforeseeable circumstances in the future.

87 percent of businesses now say that the IoT is vital to their success (92% in the Americas). 73 percent believe that organisations who fail to embrace the IoT will fall behind within five years. 

Businesses have had to rapidly adapt to support things like working from home during the pandemic. With winter approaching, when respiratory illnesses thrive, all businesses should ensure they remain prepared for further lockdowns and/or restrictions.

84 percent of IoT-adopting firms said that the technology was key to keeping business flowing during the pandemic. 84 percent now regard the integration of IoT devices with workers as a higher priority.

Almost all (95%) of the companies surveyed that are already utilising the IoT are reporting that they’ve achieved a return on their investment. 55 percent claim their operating costs have decreased by an average of 21 percent.

Businesses also report being able to do more thanks to the IoT. 84 percent claim they’re now able to do things they couldn’t before—while 59 percent say IoT data is becoming essential to support their company’s decision-making.

“This research proves IoT is an essential technology for businesses that want to be resilient, more flexible, and quicker to adapt and react to change,” concludes Brenneis.

Originally published by
Ryan Daws - TechForge Media | October 2, 2020
IoTnews

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Gold Level Contributor

(Image source - pixels)

Coronavirus made us all come up with new solutions. We have figured out distance learning, zoom meetings, social distancing, and not going insane while sitting at home all day. We did a pretty decent job. However, now we have to learn how to go back to life before the pandemic hit.

It is not as easy as it seems, and it is hard to say whether things can go back to what they have used to be. Some aspects of our routines will definitely change, and we still have to be very careful. Covid-19 is still an issue, we do not have a vaccine yet.

Businesses started to reopen, though. We can not sit at home forever. Considering everything that was said before, businesses have to develop strategies that ensure employees` safety. Otherwise, you will either shut the whole thing down after a week, or no one will agree on coming back to the office. In fact, 93% are willing to continue their remote working journey. So if you want to make them go offline, you have to convince them to do so. 

5 Benefits of Reopening the Business with IoT

The ones who have already reopened report using more IoT than they have ever done before. “IoT is extremely beneficial at times like this: you need fewer employees, and you don’t have to control safety measures on your own,” – PR expert from Essay Tigers explains. 

IoT is needed when you reopen your business. You will want IoT’s fine-tuned help implemented into your business life.

#1 Distance Monitoring

Now that schools have started to reopen, many parents get concerned about how teachers will manage to teach their children without getting too close to them. Also, how can a teacher monitor how close students get to each other? The adult distance monitoring is applicable, too, especially as adults seem prone to harsher consequences of the COVID virus.

Research has shown it’s harder to keep the distance between adults. 47% of adults report feeling much lonelier than they have done before the coronavirus outbreak. This stat is not surprising since a lot of people live alone. During the worst part of the virus, we could not meet our friends.

Sitting at home for weeks did not contribute to our feeling of happiness and being content with life. People lacked socialization, and now they starve for human interactions. You can only imagine what will happen in the office as soon as employees see their colleagues after months of being apart. There is so much tea to be spilled.

Even if your employees do not get very excited about meeting each other, during the re=entry to work, one can get easily distracted from the real world. When you are absorbed in tasks, you tend to forget that you have to keep your distance — you just want everything to be done efficiently.

Discussing serious matters while being 1,5 meters apart does not seem as productive as the quick interactions at an employee’s desk in the past. Now, something private requires going to a separate room and then the requisite cleaning instead of quick low-voice, close interactions.

Companies have started to develop different strategies to make sure that coworkers keep the distance and not get everyone infected.

Many of these companies now track the mobile phones of their employees, and it is wrong. The question of privacy was acute a long time ago, and it is getting even worse now. If you have access to people’s phone, it means that you track them 24/7. Workers would rather not be tracked outside of the office. 

IoT can help you monitor the required distances with your employees. You can give out bands at the beginning of the workday and get them back by its end. Every time two devices get too close to each other, owners will get notifications, and as a manager, you will get one also. It will remind people of social distancing without you having to watch them on the camera or track their phones.

You can also find out who doesn’t care about safety measures, and educate them on why it is essential for everyone to follow the rules to keep your business open and their paychecks coming.

#2 Temperature Monitoring

As we know, having a temperature is not a good sign. It may mean that the person has gotten a virus and can share it with everyone. 

It seems reasonable to measure (or take) each employees temperature at the beginning of the day. If an employee has a temperature at the door, you merely send that person home before they even enter the office or a store. Yet, one can have no fever in the morning and end up with a fever later in the day. 

Do you have to measure temperature repeatedly throughout the day? It seems like a lot of effort, and it takes quite some time if you have a lot of employees. Taking temperature readings will slow down the working process; workers will get distracted and get out of their productivity streak. 

IoT has come up with a solution to this exact problem. You can install sensors that do automatically take temperature screenings. As soon as a fever is detected on someone, you can quickly take notice of that person, isolate them from the group, and send them home. 

#3 Know How Many People There Are

All the businesses know the rule that it is allowed to have only a certain number of customers and workers inside the buildings, based on how big and airy they are (buildings, not people). When there are many employees or your shop is quite big, and many clients can come in, it becomes complicated to count them. 

You may have seen security near the entrance with a notebook and a pencil who tries to count and not let more people in that it is recommended. Still, it is tough to keep the focus on both countings constantly, writing numbers down, and securing the door. If more than 50 people in the store, it is nearly impossible for a human to keep the situation under control.

IoT is there once again to help you. There are exceptional cameras that can count how many people are inside. So make the job of security people easier, get exact data in a matter of seconds, and spare yourself from the stress that you will not have to pay tons of money if someone checks your shop/office, and there are more people than it is allowed.

#4 Facial Recognition Is a Way to Go

In times like this, all businesses try to engage a bare minimum of employees so offices aren’t too crowded. It’s simple if you have a lot of staff and not that many rooms. With the help of IoT, you can minimize the number of security workers. 

You see, when people go through a security check, they interact with the same person. If the first person to come into the office was infected, he could infect security personnel. Consequently, all the people to enter after the person are at a high risk of getting the virus too. 

It can also help with employees who continually forget their badges or credentials. One can barely leave their face at home. You will no longer get irritated by such employees, and they need not stress about whether they have all the required documentation with them.

#5 Track Interactions Between Your Employees and Clients

In the worst possible case, when someone gets Coronavirus, owners usually panic and send everyone home again. Employees panic because of the employer’s panic, and don’t leave their home offices after two weeks: they are only scared, and it’s understandable. What if you could not shut everything down by sending home only those who had contact with the infected person?

While using IoT, you can track down the information about who interacted with who. Due to social distancing, it is unlikely that people meet as many coworkers as they had before the pandemic. Basically, you can see who is potentially sick, send them home, and continue working.

It might be risky though. Sometimes it’s better to double-check everything or, in that case, send everyone home so they can properly isolate themselves.

Conclusion

Coronavirus is changing our lives and makes us work in order to come up with new solutions and tricks. IoT managed to ensure your employees` and customers` safety. You can control social distancing, check the temperature, count people effortlessly, reduce the number of workers, and define the potentially infected staff. 

We highly recommend using these technologies so that you can promise safety to your employees and make them leave their homes. Moreover, you will not be forced to close everything down again in no time. 

Still, it is better to seriously think about whether it is actually reasonable to reopen. A home office is the safest idea, after all.

Originally published by
Stacey Wonder | September 29, 2020
readwrite

 

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Gold Level Contributor

Without robust cybersecurity systems, smart cities are flawed, writes Haider Pasha, chief security officer for the Middle East and Africa at Palo Alto

As we work our way through what living with COVID-19 means for our societies, there’s a growing body of opinion that smart city technologies could be helpful to how governments and business leaders respond in the future. For example, Professor Jason Coburn, who studies urban health at the University of California, Berkeley has written about how smart city planning could slow future epidemics, using technology to prevent diseases from spreading while helping to ensure the availability and safety of critical resources, including water, transportation and healthcare.

However, the more connected devices there are, and the more data collected there is, the greater the opportunity for cyber-attackers. Smart cities must be secure by design to prevent cybercriminals being able to access sensitive data, disrupt critical IT systems in traffic management, internet access and more.

According to ABI Research, many cities are already seeing the benefits of using smart city technologies in managing the pandemic, including:

  • Remote temperature sensing using artificial intelligence, and autonomous last-mile delivery of critical equipment and supplies
  • Data sharing using smartphone data and crowd sourcing for location tracking visualised via real-time dashboards. This helps to enforce social distance guidelines and monitor the delivery of medical goods
  • Deploying drones with facial recognition technology to track those who are infected with the virus to ensure they don’t break quarantine and risk spreading the virus

Smart cities, built on the concept of digital municipal systems that do everything from controlling traffic grids to ensuring water quality, preceded COVID-19 and have long been popular. Research by IDC conducted pre-pandemic forecast that $189.5 billion (about £144 billion) will be spent worldwide on smart cities initiatives by the year 2023. Furthermore, it indicated that more than half of global spending on smart cities projects is concentrated in three use cases: resilient energy infrastructure, data-driven public safety and intelligent transportation.

There is huge potential still to be tapped for systems that improve how communities work, live and play. San Francisco’s smart power grid and Barcelona’s digitised waste management systems are just two examples of tens of thousands of smart cities initiatives that are improving the lives of residents.

Nevertheless, without cybersecurity, smart cities are flawed. The more things that are connected, the greater the opportunity for cyber-attackers to infiltrate systems, exfiltrate sensitive data and disrupt potentially critical systems in law enforcement, public health and other municipal applications.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices should be of particular concern because their use in smart cities is growing exponentially. According to the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association, the number of active IoT connections in Europe alone is expected to grow to 740 million by 2026. Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks threat intelligence arm’s 2020 IoT Threat Report found that 98 per cent of all IoT traffic is unencrypted, meaning that any cybercriminals that have successfully bypassed the first line of defence can collect and sell exposed personal or confidential information. Smart cities are great in terms of the new capabilities they bring, but it can all come crashing down around elected officials, government department heads, local businesses, citizens and visitors if cybersecurity is not a top priority.

Secure Smart Cities by Design

Smart cities must be ‘secure by design’. Connected systems for first responders, environmental controls, public internet access, traffic management, green energy and more must be based on rock-solid, intuitive and automated security protocols and policies from the start.

Cybersecurity that is ‘bolted on’ after systems are in place – and maybe after data breaches have already occurred – is next to worthless. Hackers are resourceful and highly collaborative – add-on security initiatives won’t work. One big reason why is the dramatic proliferation of endpoints – different forms of sensor-based systems and devices as gateways for hackers to the cloud where they can access far more.

This expansion of the attack vector is even more problematic when you consider that IoT devices, both for commercial and industrial applications, have innate security challenges because they often can’t support the memory requirements for many cybersecurity protocols. Then, add in the reality that humans—municipal workers, citizens, visitors and businesspeople piggybacking onto municipal Wi-Fi systems—are often weak links in the cybersecurity chain because of poor security hygiene.

Achieve Cyber Resilience

City, region and national leaders can achieve cyber resilience, but a big obstacle to overcome is, ironically, governance. The lack of governance on smart cities initiatives on a wide range of issues such as data handling, privacy policies, access privileges and more, is highly problematic. For example, when hiring a vendor to install smart streetlights, if government officials and their technical teams don’t have the right governance policies in place, there will either be delays or insecure lights installed. If they are insecure, hackers could access back-office systems through the lights, and data exfiltration or worse could result.


Good cybersecurity hygiene by all stakeholders involved in smart cities is imperative. Strong authentication policies, such as frequent and regular changing of passwords, multi-factor authentication and increased adoption of biometrics, are essential. This needs to be a personal commitment by anyone accessing smart cities digital services, but automated policies mandated and installed by the governments must also be created.

In addition, municipalities need people looking after the smart cities programs who have cybersecurity experience and expertise. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire a team of security engineers, but you do need leaders and practitioners for whom cybersecurity is a familiar discipline. They need to be able to see the big picture and ensure that the technical and operational details are in place.

Tick off the Cybersecurity Checklist

There are key questions that non-technical municipal leaders—elected officials and governmental department heads—must be ready to ask their chief information security officer, CIO and other technical executives who have cybersecurity oversight. These include:

  • What is our documented incident response plan?
  • What are our governance strategies for securing systems, applications, data and identities?
  • Should we allow our legacy IT systems that most likely are not secure by design to connect with newer systems and devices?
  • What kind, and what frequency, of cybersecurity testing are we doing? What metrics do we receive on those tests, and what do we do about the results?

Successful smart cities initiatives require a checklist with four major elements: visibility, to make sure you see what is actually happening in those systems; analytics, to identify risks and abnormal systems and network behaviour; control, to manage and, if necessary, to compartmentalise key systems against threats, and coordination among all key constituents to ensure that security is ‘baked in’ for smart cities initiatives. To avoid hackers infiltrating networks and stealing private data, all stakeholders in smart cities need to ensure their municipalities are fully protected. Adopting the ‘secure by design’ mantra is crucial to making that happen.

Originally published
Smart Cities World | September 21, 2020
Haider Pasha, chief security officer, Middle East and Africa, Palo Alto Networks

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Gold Level Contributor

Illustration: © IoT For All

There’s plenty of talk about the negative aspects of connected devices. From faulty security to privacy concerns, critics only seem to grow louder as more devices proliferate contemporary life. What many neglect to focus upon, however, is the Internet of Thing’s incredible potential for good.

IoT can actually make the impossible possible. The United Nations has identified 17 goals for sustainable development by 2030 and connected devices are set to prove critical to achieving many of these lofty goals.

For example, smart agriculture is empowering farmers to produce better crops and more food, in turn driving down food prices and availability in the fight against hunger. IoT projects are bringing clean water to developing regions, and helping connect all the elements of power production and consumption to unlock green, affordable energy.

An impact in but a handful of these fields have the potential to positively transform global society and should be kept in focus as the technology only continues to evolve in the aftermath of COVID-19. Let’s look at three ways connected devices are helping to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals amidst the “new normal”.

Goal #1: Zero Hunger

Ending hunger, achieving food security, and improving nutrition are major societal obstacles that have only been thrown into relief by the current pandemic. As recognized on World Population Day – July 11 – the global population continues to steadily rise toward 8 billion people in the midst of a health crisis that affects food systems. This impact is disproportionally felt by the poorest among us, with The World Food Programme warning against a “hunger pandemic” as a result of virus restrictions in regions like Latin America.

Global farming, if left unchecked, will need more land to feed more mouths. Therefore, The UN is calling for sustainable agriculture in an effort to produce higher quality food in larger quantities over the next decade. Smart farming, aided by the power of IoT, is a step towards making this a reality.

Smart farming is expected to produce two major changes in the way food is produced. First, precision farming is expected to bring control and accuracy to farmers by arming them with the most up-to-date information on their cattle or crop. For example, field sensors to record the weather and soil sensors to determine moisture empower farmers to best use their resources.

Second, automation and data. Better-connected farms are likely to allow farmers to do much more with less. New agricultural tools will make farms more efficient and automate the crop or livestock production cycle, ideally leading to more food at cheaper prices for our ever-growing global populace.

Goal #2Clean Water and Sanitation

Despite some progress, billions of people still lack access to clean water and sanitation. According to figures from The Water Project, 783 million people – or one in nine people on our planet – do not have access to safe and clean drinking water. Moreover, more than half of the world’s population lack safely managed sanitation, and 3 billion people lack basic handwashing facilities at home – the most effective method of coronavirus prevention.

Many water systems have been installed worldwide in the fight for clean water but 65 percent are reported to break within the first two years. This is because traditional water filtration systems rely on user fees and proper oversight to preserve the infrastructure, often leaving donated solar pumps and filtration systems broken for years in desperate communities. There is major potential, then, for smart solutions to oversee the ongoing maintenance of installed water systems to ensure the supply of clean water.

Take the work being done by Oxford University on water metering and conservation in East and West Africa. Researchers have found that installing accelerometer sensors into hand pumps can accurately detect if the pump is working and how much water is being produced by it. Another research program is using this data – which is transferred via GSM network to a central server – to determine the depth of the water beneath the pump in order to monitor its condition. This enables an accurate breakdown prediction to be made before the pump actually stops working with the aim of reducing downtime to zero.

Sensors in this way generate very useful insights. Indicators related to water distribution can be obtained near real-time, pressure within pipes can be measured at different locations to reveal leaks, and water quality can be measured continuously. Moreover, sensors show promise in sanitation by linking to appropriate back-end systems to determine when a pit or sanitation tank has reached capacity and needs to be emptied. Fixing and maintaining water systems is vital in securing supply and IoT is showing great promise in this effort. 

Goal #3Affordable and Clean Energy

While steps are being made to bring affordable and clean energy to all corners of the globe, there is much progress to be made in the 2020s. Roughly 840 million people continue to live without electricity – down from 1 billion in 2016 and 1.2 billion in 2010 – with renewables contributing only 17% to the global energy grid. Wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal power, and biomass energy are growing in the general move away from fossil fuels and connected devices are driving efficiency and automation in this shift.

IoT connects all the elements of power production and consumption, improves visibility in the processes, and provides real control at every step of energy flow. Sensors and connected devices allow companies to access real-time energy data and transmit it to the power grid for advanced storage and analysis. The benefits are two-fold, with connected devices enabling decision-makers to build data-driven optimization strategies and users to understand their energy consumption habits and adjust accordingly.

Automation is particularly important when it comes to generating clean energy. In wind or solar, for example, IoT devices can help detect the most favorable conditions for energy production and automatically change the direction of turbines or panels. Using devices and their data for the monitoring and efficient working of these power generators enables for maximum efficiency to improve power output and reduce operating costs. Not only does IoT enable better operation control in this way, but it also improves safety on the premises.

As in the case for more reliable water supplies, maintenance for clean energy systems is also hugely improved with IoT. Generation, transmission, and distribution sensors enable remote asset monitoring and management, something of import when energy production plants are distributed and social distancing is mandatory. Meanwhile, better load management is possible thanks to new insights on voltage control, load switching, and network configuration. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all requires new efficiencies – and these are being made possible by IoT.

Conclusion

The UN Sustainable Development Goals have been seriously underscored in the international fallout of COVID-19. They were important before the pandemic, now they are integral. Hunger, thirst, and energy needs have only become that much more pronounced in the downturn following the pandemic. Action must be taken, and connected devices and multi-use sensors offer a way to achieve these endeavors in the face of uncertain recovery. When implemented cautiously and conscientiously, IoT presents an opportunity to change the fate of billions for the better.

Originally published by
Carsten Rhod Gregersen | Carsten Rhod Gregersen - CEO and Founder of Nabto, Nabto, the company providing a peer-to-peer (P2P) based platform to IoT devices.

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How Drones Are Keeping the Lights On

The image of the all-seeing dystopian drone is back in the public imagination. In the wake of COVID-19, reports of drones policing public spaces, enforcing social distancing guidelines, spraying disinfectant, and monitoring temperatures in a crowd have ignited imaginations and created concerns of the surveillance state.

However, these dystopian images are unlikely to come to fruition. The use of drones for functions such as public health monitoring or policing is at the concept stage, as public agencies look for new ideas in fighting the pandemic. Already we see many of these drone-use cases disregarded as impractical. 

On the other hand, outside of the public eye, the industrial adoption of drones has been on the rise. Drones and drone software are currently reshaping how many well-established businesses run their operations in a post-pandemic world. From keeping agricultural fields intact to allowing utilities to “keep the lights on” for those sheltering at home, drone technology’s impact is undeniable. 

Drones are already here, and not as public health hall monitors, but as the perfect socially-distanced worker for our essential industries. 

The WFH Challenge for Field Workers

As a result of the pandemic, we’re seeing increased drone usage in primary and secondary industries, such as construction, agriculture, and utilities. Drone technology has become instrumental in helping companies return to work, all without putting employees at risk and enabling remote collaboration. 

Industrial businesses have long faced challenges measuring progress in the field or on their job sites. For example, while farmers can track how many seeds they’ve planted, and what inputs they’ve applied, understanding the health and variability of crops across their 100-acre fields can be challenging. Similarly, for construction workers and project managers, understanding the progress, safety, and quality of more substantial commercial projects with hundreds of workers can be taxing. According to a 2016 report by McKinsey, agriculture and construction remain the least digitized of all industries.

These issues have now been compounded by shelter-at-home directives, as teams and contractors face reduced access to physical job sites. And despite the gradual lifting of these restrictions, companies and personnel still face risks and are devising new sets of best practices that prioritize worker health and safety amidst the ongoing pandemic. 

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Originally published by
Mike Winn - CEO and Co-founder, DroneDeploy | June 26, 2020
IoT For All

 

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Image: Adobe

As government agencies and businesses get back to work, technology companies Cradlepoint and Rigado join forces to provide a flexible IoT-based safe workplace solution.

Rigado, an IoT solutions provider, has joined Cradlepoint’s Technology Alliance Partner programme to introduce a flexible IoT solution to help US organisations get back to the workplace safely under Covid-19 restrictions. Cradlepoint is a provider of cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions.

Rigado’s Safe Workplace IoT solution, hosted on Microsoft Azure IoT Central, will be the first to use Cradlepoint’s new NetCloud Edge Container Orchestrator (NCCO) for deploying and managing application containers on its wireless routers.

The return to work

As businesses, government agencies and commercial property owners begin to welcome employees back to the workplace, they need to adhere to local and national Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) safety guidelines. These guidelines can include checks for shared spaces and desk occupancy and social distancing, and cleaning status.

The Safe Workplace solution is based on Rigado’s Edge Connect platform and uses an open IoT architecture with plug-and-play cameras, sensors and devices to provide critical workplace safety functions required under Covid-19 protocols and best practices.

The integrated IoT solution provides occupancy monitoring, cleaning management and safety signage for common areas, restrooms and desks.

Safe Workplace leverages Cradlepoint wireless routers for secure and reliable connections between Rigado IoT gateways and applications hosted in Microsoft Azure IoT Central. By contrast, closed IoT architectures require third-party sensors and devices to integrate with proprietary APIs. This proprietary approach restricts the diversity of IoT devices available and increases the time it takes to bring new innovative solutions to market.

“Rigado’s open IoT framework enables us to combine best-in-class sensors, cameras and devices with Cradlepoint wireless routers to quickly deliver a flexible and extensible solution to the market,” said Kevin Tate, chief marketing officer at Rigado.

“Because of the breadth of plug-and-play IoT devices available, customers can start using our Safe Workplace immediately and expand it over time without worrying about interoperability issues.”

The Technology Alliance Programme (TAP) aims to bring together curated ecosystem partnerships and technologies to deliver a portfolio of Connected by Cradlepoint solutions for wireless branch, mobile and IoT networking. TAP solutions currently in process target public safety, fleet management, enterprise IoT and private LTE.

Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld news team | June 11, 2020
Smart Cities World

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Qualcomm's OneTouch GoSafe tech will check whether a person has a mask on and temperature before entering a building. The concept takes IoT to the smart building vertical. (Qualcomm)

Qualcomm recently announced a portable Android-based body temperature and facial recognition scanner that can be tied to building access control to help schools and businesses reopen safely after months of pandemic. 

It is one of various Internet of Things products from Qualcomm powered by AI and fast processors that fit under the heading of smart city innovations.  In this example, however, the urgency of the pandemic has come into play. 

Several similar building access products with body temperature abilities have cropped up on the market, but Qualcomm says its OneScreen GoSafe system is unique in allowing live video assistance for real-time entry approval.  Another distinguishing feature is that Qualcomm offers GoSafe as a service paid on a monthly basis or for an up-front cost. (Pricing was not disclosed.)  By comparison, one of several competitors, 98.6 Labs, offers something similar as a kiosk device starting at $3,000.

GoSafe relies on Qualcomm AI technology and a Snapdragon Octa-Core processor for optional facial recognition.  It will even be able to tell if a person is wearing a mask before allowing entry when connected to a building security system.  The GoSafe device looks like an oversized smartphone (11 x 5 inches) that can be mounted on a wall or a pedestal or placed on a table top stand.  Managers can tie the data detected at each entry to a management console.

GoSafe was first announced May 14 and is being piloted on a Qualcomm building at its headquarters in San Diego, according to Sanjeet Pandit, head of Qualcomm’s smart city initiative.  Various colleges are evaluating the product along with other Internet of Things devices under the heading of Qualcomm’s smart city accelerator efforts.

Qualcomm has matured in its smart city approach, learning to deploy IoT technology through smart vertical segments such as universities, hospitals, construction safety efforts and more, Pandit said.

“You have to go tech by tech and go vertical,” Pandit said in an interview with FierceElectronics.  “The future is to deploy with smart verticals. You cannot paint the town red with smart tech.  You have to make sure you are enhancing the efficiency of human life.”

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Originally published by
Matt Hamblen | Jun 9, 2020 
Fierce Electronics

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By Ludovic F. Rembert, Head of Research at Privacy Canada.

You can’t swing a selfie stick in a crowded room without smacking into someone talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI).

These two technologies have been front and center in headlines for a few years now and seem to be moving from the “interesting idea” phase into the “wow, that’s actually helpful” phase.

But then along came the COVID-19 pandemic and the world changed beneath everyone’s feet. Before they knew it, governments and healthcare organizations were in the battle of their collective lives trying to understand and contain this scary disease as it spread quickly from ground zero in Wuhan out to the world at large.

The interesting thing to note is that the IoT and AI seem to be custom made to offer a huge helping hand in the fight, as both are inexplicably entwined with the concept of Big Data.

To put it into simple terms, the IoT allows us to collect data quickly and on a vast scale, while AI is the brainpower that analyzes and makes sense of that data faster than any team of humans ever could. How will these technologies apply in a post COVID-19 world?

Existing IoT Devices Put to Work

The nice thing about how the IoT has developed is that prior to being pressed into service for the COVID fight, the technology had already evolved to the point where many useful devices already existed.

It wasn’t like everything had to be designed from scratch. There were a few adaptations, often related to security and the protection of personal medical records, and then they were ready to go.

Today, IoT companies are teaming up with NGOs and governments by developing new technology solutions that can be used to help fight COVID and provide relief to people and businesses.

These include:

Connected Thermometers: By now, you probably have personal knowledge of how hospitals and stores use scanners to check temperature as people enter. Since fever is one of the fundamental COVID symptoms, this IoT technology allows millions of devices to feed data into a national database that allows for the production of real-time maps showing at a glance where fevers might be spiking. This is invaluable information for getting a jump on a hot spot.

Wearables: Sensors that can be worn by patients and staff allow for the real-time flow of data related to vital signs like the aforementioned temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen, and more. One type of smart wristband records when the person wearing it touches their face, an action determined to be one of the primary means of spreading the disease. Another type of wristband tracks recent arrivals to a country to ensure they are adhering to the home quarantine period.

Accounting: COVID-19 has also greatly affected the way businesses conduct payments and accounting, especially as companies have been forced to transition to virtual collaboration and remote work. Implementing IoT in accounting changes the flow of data because it enables accountants to receive all financial-related knowledge and real-time data digitally. Both of these will enable faster issue assessments and risk analyses, and will further allow businesses to respond to issues much faster than they could otherwise. In the future, it is very likely that business accountants will need to become well-trained in the IoT.

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Originally Posted by
IoT.Business.News
Date: June 01, 2020

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The tools aim to monitor crowd density and maintain safe distancing airport-wide

Veovo is introducing virtual queuing and passenger density solutions which make use of movement monitoring and machine learning to provide airports with live situational awareness.

Airport technology specialist Veovo is introducing social distancing solutions that will help to monitor crowd density and maintain safe distancing.

The Virtual Queueing and Passenger Density Management solutions use movement monitoring and machine learning to offer real-time and predictive passenger density and movement insights, for better live situational awareness and future planning at airports around the world.

International travel

There is a great deal of discussion around how international travel can return to a new normal with Covid-19 lockdowns beginning to ease. One of the factors that will influence the pace at which flying restrictions will be lifted is likely to be heavily influenced by airports’ ability to implement physical distancing measures. Veovo’s latest tools are designed to monitor crowd density and maintain safe distancing airport-wide.

Veovo’s Virtual Queueing solution enables travellers to pre-book a time slot for processing at airport checkpoints, rather than having to wait in line.

It enables airports to control queue entry, preventing too many people from congregating in one area and evenly distributing passengers across the airport’s checkpoints. Available time slots are adjusted in real-time, based on queue wait times, changing arrival patterns and processing capacity so that passengers show up at the optimum time.

Veovo’s Passenger Density Management solution monitors crowd density in queues and spaces across the terminal, enabling airports to take action if social distancing limits are at risk of being breached.

The solution bundles location analysis from various Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, with machine learning and an alert framework, to give a detailed view of how people move and dwell. From typical crowding zones like check-in and security to areas like gates and concessions, it continuously monitors and analyses movement to highlight the degree of risk in real-time.

Live heatmaps and dashboards provide operators with a reliable breakdown of the current situation, triggering tailored alarms and automated actions if density thresholds, based on current guidelines (for instance 6ft, 1-2m), are exceeded.

"Having worked with busy airports like JFK, Amsterdam and Auckland, in smoothing passenger journeys, we understand the enormous challenge the industry currently faces in supporting physical distancing," said James Williamson, CEO of Veovo.

"To safely manage crowding, operators need accurate, timely data. By accommodating new social distancing needs in our solution, we enable safe and proactive planning to reduce crowds and to make sanitation and disinfection programmes more effective."

Crowd limiting

Recommendations to limit crowding can include capping entry to busy escalators or stairwells, adjusting security lane openings, changing call-to-gate times, updating digital signage, or distributing gate and baggage belt allocations.

The insight also helps operators improve the responsiveness of sanitation service providers, directing teams to where cleaning is most needed.

Besides real-time insights, the Veovo platform also includes predictive capabilities that not only help operators manage crowding in real-time but also plan for days, weeks and months ahead. It offers detailed insights into people’s movement habits, and how factors like time of day or day of the week, or other events, affect passenger behaviour.

Originally published by
SmartCitiesWorld news team | May 19, 2020
Smart Cities World

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The companies’ experience in asset tracking aided the development of the tracing system

Kerlink and Microshare have combined their technology and expertise to develop the solution which makes use of inexpensive Bluetooth beacons rather than smartphones.

Internet of Things solution specialist, Kerlink, and data management company, Microshare, have collaborated on the design of a turnkey contact tracing solution to help public and private sector organisations return to work and help fight the spread of Covid-19.

The solution traces the proximity of workers and users in facilities and closed areas through inexpensive Bluetooth beacons and long-range, low-power (LoRaWAN) networks and claims to close a loophole opened by systems relying on smartphones.

 Asset tracking experience

Development of the solution has benefited from the companies’ experience in indoor asset tracking and monitoring. Microshare co-founder and CEO Ron Rock, said they realised that tracking employees inside a building “wasn’t dissimilar to tracking hospital beds”.

He added: "Building on our existing Asset Zoning solution, which tracks the location of items such as hospital beds and wheelchairs, Kerlink and Microshare developed Fitbit-style wearable Bluetooth devices coupled with a non-invasive long-range network.

“They can be used for workplace proximity tracing even where cellphones aren’t allowed.”

The solution combines Microshare’s Universal Contact Tracing technology and Kerlink’s Wanesy Wave scanners, industrial-grade indoor and outdoor LoRaWAN gateways as well as the Wanesy Management Centre core network and network management tools.

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Originally published by
by SmartCitiesWorld news team | May 12, 2020
SmartCitiesWorld

 

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Siemens Smart Infrastructure’s Siveillance Thermal Shield measures the body temperature of a person entering a building and integrates the information with a video security and access system

Thermal imaging cameras measure the body temperature at a distance of up to two metres

Siemens Smart Infrastructure is launching a thermal imaging body temperature solution that aims to minimise the risk of infection in buildings.

As coronavirus lockdown restrictions start to ease, Siveillance Thermal Shield is designed to help organisations quickly measure the temperature of a person seeking to access a building and enables the results to be integrated into a video and access system.

Contactless measurement

Thermal imaging cameras measure the body temperature at a distance of up to two metres. If the camera screening indicates an elevated body temperature, a second reading must be taken using a medical thermometer to confirm the finding.

To ensure the highest level of accuracy, the cameras measure the body temperature near the eyes. A positive result triggers acoustic and visual alarms. The temperature is measured for each person individually.

If a person shows an elevated body temperature and this finding is confirmed by a second reading obtained with a medical thermometer, the follow-up steps defined in the workflows are initiated automatically.

The system is typically be used at the entrance of buildings such as factories and hospitals but could also be used at border crossings.

The package integrates the third-party screening camera with the Siveillance Video security platform and other security systems from Siemens. This allows the measurements to be integrated into the workflow of an organisation’s security solutions.

Siemens said the system is typically be used at the entrance of buildings such as factories and hospitals but could also be used at border crossings.

The company is also advising companies on how they can use Thermal Shield for their industry-specific applications to optimise their security systems and procedures a well as support them in the technical implementation.

Orignally published
Smart Cities News
May 11, 2020

 

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Image courtesy of SAS

As the countries around the world use social distancing or shelter-in-place strategies to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s clear that businesses are hurting. Online retailers and a few others are the exceptions given the current situation, but by and large, it’s a tough time to run a company. 

There is a bright spot, however, and it’s precisely because of these strategic efforts against the virus: The IoT market is expanding as people look for health monitoring systems, less expensive machine vision solutions, and other remotely accessible products.

Stacey and I caught a glimpse of this in a recent IoT Podcast, as we saw reports of 640,000 Raspberry Pi sales in the month of March. That sales figure is second only to the first month of sales when the small, inexpensive computer arrived on the market in 2012. 

What do Raspberry Pi computer sales say about the IoT market? More than you’d think considering they’re great for prototyping small-compute wireless products for under $50. And they’re coming into their own during this time of crisis. 

For example, a team in Colombia built a Pi-powered ventilator that can be used with readily available parts in order to supplant that country’s inventory of the highly demanded medical device. And projects don’t need a top-of-the-line Raspberry Pi for such a product: The $5 Pi Zero board can handle all of the code and computations needed to keep a DIY ventilator properly running.

But IoT during these times isn’t just about cheap computers. It’s also about how to best get small bits of information, particularly in the medical field, to the right place.

One of my Computer Science class projects exemplifies this. We hacked an older “dumb” glucometer for diabetes patience and applied a little IoT of own. The end result? Using a little code, some algorithms, and the addition of a wireless module, we created a digital pancreas of sorts. The final product sent blood sugar measurements every five seconds to the cloud, automatically adjusted insulin dosages in near-real-time, and remotely provided medical professionals with highly detailed reports. 

Our project was really about the learning experience, but now medical device makers are doing the same thing to improve patient’s health without requiring face-to-face doctor’s visits.

Earlier this year, for example, startup Bigfoot Biomedical raised $45 million in Series C funding to help deliver its first connected diabetes management products this year. These are fully-connected and integrated devices: The insulin injection pen and a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) for automated insulin injection. 

Read more here

Originally published 
MAY 6, 2020 BY 

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Scott Petty of Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK, in partnership with Digital Barriers, launched a Heat Detection Camera to help UK organisations get back to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The Heat Detection Camera combines thermal imaging and Vodafone’s IoT connectivity to screen the temperature of people as they enter buildings.

Each camera can check the temperature of 100 people per minute; thermal images are streamed securely and in real time to a laptop or mobile device and instant analytics provide a discreet alert that a person may have a raised temperature. These alerts should then be further investigated using standard clinical evaluation methods in order to determine whether any further action is necessary. IoT provides reliable and secure connectivity and enables standalone installation with no additional IT requirements.

The camera has been developed by Digital Barriers, a UK based innovator supported by tech incubator Tomorrow Street and the Vodafone Business 5G accelerator. It incorporates both thermal and HD cameras that deliver reliable, real-time body temperature screening accurate to within +/- 0.3 degrees Celsius. The solution can screen up to eight people at a time and 100 every minute; it takes less than half a second to assess individual body temperatures. The Heat Detection Camera is ideal for all business and public sector customers; it can provide reassurance to employees and customers and protect front-of-house staff.

Anne Sheehan, business director, Vodafone UK said: “During this crisis, our role has been to keep the UK connected. Now, we want to help UK organisations get their people back to work while prioritising their safety. The Heat Detection Camera is a helpful tool to support this goal, every organisation needs one. We believe technology-led solutions will play an important role in return-to-work strategies.”

Read more here

Originally published by
Anasia D'mello
IoT Now

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This year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work will mean a lot more to most of us than it would have last year, says Bart Schouw, chief evangelist at Software AG. The pandemic has upended all walks of life, including global business across every industry.

Companies will now need to prioritise the health of their employees above all else before they can reopen their doors. All eyes are watching to see how businesses across the globe can demonstrate the safety of working environments in warehouses and production facilities.

On factory floors, for example, workers will have to practice social distancing measures in order to get back to work. This must happen while still meeting their quotas – not an easy exercise. There has been a slew of mobile apps released that can report an individual’s location, but these can create privacy concerns. Plus, many factories do not allow workers to use their mobile phones on the floor. Even if they did, how do you ensure the app is running on their phones? What if their phone runs out of battery?

Read more here

 

Originally posted by:
Anasia D'mello
iot-now.com
May 4th, 2020

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Global quarantines due to the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the use of smart speakers substantially.

According to a study released by Edison Research and NPR, three-quarters of US adults over 18 report a change in their media habits due to the pandemic.

“With tens of millions of Americans no longer commuting, smart speakers are becoming even more important as a conduit for news and information,” said Edison Research SVP Tom Webster. “This increased usage and facility with voice assistants will likely increase demand for this technology in vehicles once our commutes resume.”

36 percent of respondents claim to have increased their consumption of music and entertainment using their smart speaker, while 35 percent say they’re consuming more news and information through such devices.

The numbers increase further if narrowing down the results to the 18-34 age range. 52 percent of respondents between these ages claim to have increased media listening, while 50 percent report an increase in news and information consumption.

Over the past year, the total time spent getting news content using smart speakers appears to have increased. In Spring last year, 30 percent claim to have listened to over three hours per week, 40 percent said between one and three hours, and 40 percent said under an hour.

Fast-forward to Spring this year, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and 32 percent said they listened to news content for over three hours per week, 43 percent between one and three, and 25 percent under an hour.

Individuals working from home are slightly (65%) more likely to listen to the news using their smart speakers while the average is 62 percent.

The increased smart speaker usage may drive further purchases to equip other rooms with the devices. 71 percent of smart speaker owners with children are now thinking of buying another device to entertain their kids, up from 47 percent last Spring.

Originally published by
By Ryan Daws | 1st May 2020 | TechForge Media
IoT News
https://iottechnews.com/news/2020/may/01/smart-speaker-usage-increases-covid-19-quarantines/

 

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Press Release, Hasselt / Paris, 07.04.2020

WMW, a Belgian “framework” for IoT, Abeeway, a location intelligence solution provider for IoT, and Actility, the leading provider of Low-Power WAN networking solutions, are launching several solutions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic at different stages, using various geolocation technologies and low-power IoT networks. 

The three companies have integrated their solutions: WMW is an adaptive registration dashboard with micro-modules, allowing them to visualize data from IoT devices and get valuable insights. The WMW solutions take inputs from Abeeway devices processed by ThingPark Location Engine, the fused location provider platform of Actility. 

Read more here 

 

Originally posted by:
IOT for All
May 1st, 2020

 

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IoT and telematics companies announce creating non-profit anti-COVID-19 IoT Alliance.

The main goal of the Alliance is to join the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and to help change the situation.

Led by Gurtam’s flespi team, Alliance members are joining efforts to help national governments, municipalities, NGOs, and other enthusiastic groups across the globe harness the spread of the coronavirus by developing bundled (hardware + connectivity + software) technology solutions aimed at monitoring and regulating the movement or location of people, assets, and vehicles, controlling the state of protected areas and objects, ensuring public safety, and more.

The key emphasis of the Alliance is that all members provide their products and services for free or at cost. Essentially, any IoT company can participate on a non-commercial basis. It is an opportunity for all members to contribute to the noble fight against the global pandemic for the sake of doing the right thing for humanity.

A set of expectations from alliance members to meet is published here

How the Alliance can help to fight COVID-19

The members of the Alliance are ready to give their expertise and resources (servers, GPS equipment, SIM cards, etc.) to craft the following anti-crisis solutions in the shortest term:

  • Personal tracking: controlling distance from home, controlling the distance between people, tracking infected individuals, etc.
  • Public transport monitoring: passenger counters, passenger identification, route control, etc.
  • Freight transportation monitoring: transit vehicles control, cargo monitoring
  • Critical assets monitoring: anti-theft measures for temporarily abandoned places
  • Monitoring in healthcare: keeping an eye on important appliances, tracking deliveries of highly demanded medicine or products, locating doctors and nurses, etc.

Read more here

Originally posted
by IoT.Business.News
Date: April 23, 2020

 

 

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