Ongoing Internet of Things Projects to Look Out For

Ongoing Internet of Things Projects to Look Out For

Internet of Things was the buzz in entirety of this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018) in Barcelona.  The congress is the biggest show on mobile technology and smart connected ecosystems with 100,000 attendees expected annually.  MWC 2018 brings together all the major players in mobile tech and is the platform to announce new and exciting Internet of Things projects or devices.

MWC 2018 covered many themes like 5G use cases in IoT, artificial intelligence & machine learning, cyber security, smart cities and real-time location systems.

5G network rollouts was the significant theme of the show, with 2018 the year that mobile IoT networks will start to scale.  The GSMA announced that to date, 23 different mobile operators have launched 41 Mobile IoT commercial networks worldwide. This development is sustained by 34 IoT Labs and an expanding community of over 800 organizations in the Mobile IoT Innovators Community.

With regards to the burgeoning issue of security in smart homes, Telefónica announced it will integrate the McAfee Secure Home Platform in broadband routers to reinforce online security for all connected home devices. The update will be gradually deployed in June 2018 onwards and will comprise IoT devices such as home automation systems, wearables, gaming platforms, and smart home appliances. For more on home Internet, entertainment and telecommunications devices, visit www.xyzinternet.com.

Samsung is also keeping up with the trend on Internet of Things projects, following the S9 release in MWC.  Multi-Tech Systems, manufacturer of IoT communication and M2M devices, announced that their multi-connect Cellular System-on-Module’s (SoM) are now fully integrated within the latest Samsung modules.  

Qualcomm took the stage to highlight its commitment to driving IoT development through partnerships. The company is partnering with a number of high-profile brands, including Cisco, Fossil Group, Whirlpool Corporation and GoPro.  All brands will in turn adopt Qualcomm technologies in their products. Qualcomm’s newest chipsets are not only helping IoT development and adoption, but are making it possible for brands to enter the IoT market.

China Mobile and Ericsson announced plans for a joint agreement to develop Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities in enterprises and industries. Ericsson’s industry services and Device Connection Platform IoT will provide the foundation to support China Mobile’s worldwide expansion in the IoT business.

The 6th Mobile IoT Summit also covered mobile IoT.  Huawei president of cellular IoT line, Cheng Zhu, proclaimed that this year will be a “big bang” for networks based on narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT), with the total swelling from 28 in 2017 to 100 in 2018 and the quantity of network partners tripling to more than 3,000.  Panellists all agreed that much more work still has to be done to ensure cost; scalability, roaming, and security concerns are answered.

Narrow band Internet of Things projects got a boost as Far EasTone (FET) selected Ericsson as their platform to offer IoT services globally to developers. Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform and IoT Accelerator platform drive its IoT Connectivity Management.  Access to Ericsson’s global cloud platform will open up international and domestic IoT business opportunities for FET’s customers.  FET estimates 3 million NB-IoT linked devices in Taiwan by late 2019.  

Security tech company G+D highlighted the need for an NB IoT standard, presenting data security solutions that supports secure end-to-end data protection independent of network security devices and will not be affected by additional encryption hardware that would raise the bill of cost-sensitive IoT devices.

Companies have also agreed to share new Internet of Things projects and opportunities with global partners. Vodafone clients get access to China Mobile IoT SIMS for distributions in China, and China Mobile clients offering IoT-enabled devices outside of China will utilize Vodafone’s Global IoT SIM platform.

Vodafone will regulate all components of the operational models for its consumers including SIM, on-boarding, logistics as well as customer support and billing.  For Chinese-based companies wanting to expand outside China, China Mobile will take up the possibility for IoT sales prospects with Vodafone.

Also, we can all bring out our Lamborghinis (to those who can afford), now that Vodafone announced that they will be Automobili Lamborghini’s worldwide connected automotive partner, giving Lamborghini in-car IoT connectivity services starting 2019 across 190 nations.

Cisco and Telenor Group also took to the MWC to announce that they are signing a Joint Purpose Agreement in improving customer experiences through Internet of Things, data analysis, security solutions and Smart City solutions. Telenor Group will apply Cisco’s data platform, Cisco Kinetic, to compute, extract and move data from connected devices to various applications to explore and expand potential business opportunities.

Touching on IoT applications, more 5G trial devices were also announced. China Mobile aims to start extensive roll out of 5G trials in the second quarter of 2018 across 17 cities in China, testing applications and services such as mobile telemedicine, 4K live streaming, and connected drones. To hit the Chinese government’s target of commercial 5G launching in China by 2020, the industry needs to focus on completing, establishing and implementing standards for devices and not just keep introducing new features then move directly to field trials. 5G is not just for the mobile industry but it is also the business of industry verticals. Companies should work together to try to create a compatible, integrated cross-industry ecosystem.

Telecom equipment maker Huawei said their rate of roll out for 5G wireless networks is accelerating as they have begun initial development with more than 30 network operators.  Huawei is conducting pre-commercial 5G trials the world’s most populated and flourishing cities including Tokyo, Seoul, Vancouver, London and Milan.

Geo-location and precision tracking will come to be an even more essential part of IoT applications and solutions in the future, going beyond market basics such as vehicle tracking, asset tracking, and fleet applications.  Geo-location announcements emerged at the Mobile world Congress with Strategy Analytics leading the conference. Hoopo, a start-up aimed at drastically improving accuracy for low-energy IoT tracking, announced that it is pioneering precise geo-location solutions for low-power wide area (LPWA) grids. The company also shared that it received $1.5 million in funding from investors to further grow its business.

IoT platform provider Aeris announced that it is teaming up with TracPlus, a global communications, tracking and collaboration solutions provider, to provide IoT network and connectivity solutions that allow TracPlus and its customers to track their assets and staff real time.

The Aeris IoT Services platform will be utilized by TracPlus to enable businesses and establishments to monitor and communicate with workforces doing hazardous tasks like performing rescue missions, fighting fires, saving vessels, installing power lines, and providing other sea, land, air services. Aeris and TracPlus emphasized how Aviation Services Unlimited of Rome, N.Y. uses TracPlus’ application to geo-locate its helicopters and provide aerial transportation services to utility companies, inspect ground-over-gas lines, examine and maintain electric conduction lines and deliver emergency services throughout power outages.

Other companies, like Finland’s Quuppa used Mobile World Congress to showcase their focus on precision indoor geo-location. They announced their market policy to provide low-cost, scalable and open solutions for applications that require accurate, real-time positioning of people and assets. They also announced a new ready-to-use, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module that can help manufacturers with precision locations solutions in the market.

According to United Nations studies, a worker passes away from work-related accident every 15 seconds. French start-up Intellinium, was founded to improve worker safety by blending traditional personal protective gear with IoT technology. Intellinum partnered with Sierra Wireless to create a smart shoe for workers to receive and send messages handsfree, without the need for a smartphone. Distress alerts can be sent using Intellinium’s force sensor membrane fabricated into the toe of the boot and linked to Sierra Wireless’ series cellular module. Built-in sensors in the boot detect falls immediately alerting the employer or a co-worker of the worker’s location. This fosters faster and more accurate responses to worker safety issues.

Girbau, manufacturer of industrial laundry equipment announced selecting Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud IoT platform to support its new service Sapphire, a remote monitoring solution for commercial laundry machines. Girbau is aiming to transform its customer support facilities by installing IoT applications. The device data collected helps Girbau to provide preventive maintenance, which gives customers efficient maintenance of their laundry machines fleet, optimizing their operating costs, minimizing downtime, and therefore increasing profitability.

Girbau chose Sierra Wireless’ device-to-cloud solution, Legato embedded application development platform, and FX30 programmable IoT gateways to swiftly cultivate, distribute and expand its Sapphire app as an IoT service.

Finally, with the GSMA claiming that 4G and 5G would make up the bulk of connections by 2025, it perhaps shouldn’t be of a surprise that Nokia and Vodafone Group announced that they would supply the first 4G network on the moon, supporting live high definition broadcasts from the Lunar Surface via satellite! It will be mounted during a mission by German science and engineering company PTScientists, which together with Audi, the operator’s German subsidiary attempt to push through the first privately sponsored moon landing in 2019.

Vodafone said their network will enable Audi vehicles roving on the moon’s surface to send data, information and live HD video streaming from the area around NASA’s Apollo 17, which was abandoned in 1972.

Exciting times are up ahead for the Internet of Things with all these developments and hopefully it will trickle down to the consumers in the near future.

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