Data monetisation highlighted among key IoT trends in 2018 according to EY

The EY IoT Competence Center has highlighted data monetisation, revival of network edge processing, and convergence of disruptive technologies such as IoT, blockchain and AI, among some of the key IoT trends that will be in the mainstream in 2018.

Among the key IoT trends that will be prevalent in this year is data monetisation. The team of IoT professionals said that business models that are based on IoT capabilities are very conventional and the anticipated benefits are just circled around the ways to attain incremental value (which created value islands). However, an increasing number of decision-makers have started realising the disruptive potential of IoT. This group is likely to augment its current value stream (toward value ecosystems) and more effectively use and monetise the data collected.

Although industry veterans anticipated the shifting of the IoT data processing to the network edge in the initial days of its development, their expectations did not turn out to be a reality for several factors including slump connectivity costs.  However, declining prices and the rising processing power of edge devices have revived this trend back towards network edge.

With an increase in convergence of disruptive technologies such as IoT, blockchain, AI and robotic process automation (RPA) under one digital disruption umbrella, it is expected by the EY IoT Competence Center that in H1/2018, suppliers will start shifting toward full integration of IT systems supporting business processes and automation solutions to build fully integrated 'Intelligent Automation' solutions.

According to predictions from Telenor Research issued last month, autonomous vehicles, AI, big data and cryptocurrencies will be among the key tech trends in 2018.

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Samsung to infuse intelligence in all IoT devices by 2020 as it outlines vision

At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Samsung Electronics America presented an outline of IoT vision and strategy by revealing the fact that by 2020 all its connected devices will be infused with intelligence.

Also at the event, Samsung announced plans to advance adoption of IoT via an open, consistent and intelligent platform. In the spring of 2018, the company will merge all its IoT applications into the SmartThings app allowing users to manage and connect any SmartThings-enabled device right from their cell phone, car, or television from a single application. Samsung is also planning to connect HARMAN Ignite to the SmartThings Cloud to give consumers the liberty to control their connected home from the vehicle and vice versa.

Hyunsuk Kim, President, Head of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division and Samsung Research, said: “At Samsung, we believe IoT should be as easy as flipping a switch. With the new products and services announced today, we’re making IoT easier and more seamless. We’re committed to accelerating IoT adoption for everyone and making all Samsung connected devices intelligent by 2020. These advancements will help consumers realize the benefits of a seamless and simple connected life.”

As part of Samsung’s intelligence infusion initiative, voice control function will be enabled in a select range of Smart TVs and Family Hub refrigerators via Bixby in 2018. Operating on the SmartThings Cloud, the Smart TVs and Family Hub refrigerators will act as a smart dashboard to monitor and manage connected devices.

The products and services highlighted at CES show how Samsung is moving forward in its mission to create seamless IoT experiences at office, home and vehicles.

Picture credit: Samsung

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Smart city scorecard urges cities to remain citizen-focused amidst technological change

If you want to work out where the greatest innovation is taking place in the smart city realm – then a new scorecard prepared by the Visionary Innovation Group (VIG) appears to be a good indicator.

The VIG, an arm of analyst firm Frost & Sullivan, has evaluated 50 global cities through qualitative and quantitative filters in its report. The first filter takes into consideration the indicators which gauge the effectiveness of smart city initiatives by comparing present and past indicator measurements. These indicators are grouped into four categories; the circulation of goods and residents, the quality of the lived environment, technology penetration level, and expansion of a knowledge economy.

Following the quantitative filtering, the top 30 cities are assessed against VIG's Smart City Maturity Model, which ranks cities on a scale of 1 (ad hoc) to 5 (synergized) for the following factors: governance; investment; data; IoT and platform; and business model maturity. Following this, the top 15 cities are profiled within each of these maturity model areas. Cities evaluated in the ranking include Berlin, London, New York City, Paris, and Singapore.

According to the report, there are three key takeaways for smart cities; continuing to innovate, connect back to their clear vision and goals, and take the lead in finding novel ways to address city challenges.

“The critical success factors of smart cities include staying citizen-focused,” the report notes. “It’s easy to get lost in the technology and initiatives, but everything must serve the larger purpose of addressing citizen needs. The second success factor is to map all initiatives to clear and aligned smart city objectives, which in turn, must be aligned with an overall smart city vision.

“In short, smart cities are most successful when they have a strategy and centralised leadership to ensure that strategy is enacted,” the report adds.

Elsewhere, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and Deloitte have made major investments at Consumer Electronics Show 2018 (CES) with the aim of highlighting smart cities technology. Bosch, Ford, Nissan, and Ericsson are among companies that are pioneering new solutions including smart transportation, smart grids, public safety, cybersecurity, health care, AI, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). 2018’s CES will dedicate 11,000 square feet to The Smart Cities Marketplace, featuring smart city-enabling technology and solutions.

You can find out more about the scorecard here.

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Google Assistant learns to drive (properly) in expansion to more screens

Google Assistant’s expansion into the car and devices with dedicated screens will soon allow consumers to interact with the AI in more ways than ever.

While the Google Assistant was technically available in Android Auto prior to today’s announcement, it was limited to its older ‘Google Now’ form. The full rollout will feature more powerful features such as home control and deeper access to third-party services.

Google has been giving some thought about how Assistant in the car could help with daily tasks. While I wouldn’t recommend a daily visit for the sake of your bank account, Google will soon enable drink orders from Starbucks as just one example. The company has also announced parking space reservations through integration with SpotHero.

The update is beginning to rollout to support HMDs now. Users can tell if they’ve been upgraded by whether they see the new Assistant logo (the one with the circles!) when they perform a voice search.

All the new features will also be available via the Android Auto app, if you do not have a compatible HMD in your vehicle.

Alongside the new car functionality, Google is playing catchup to Amazon Alexa with their virtual assistant on dedicated screens. Unlike Amazon, who manufacture their own devices, Google is harnessing the experience of their third-party partners.

Google Assistant devices with displays have been confirmed from Lenovo, JBL, LG, and Sony.

Lenovo Smart Display

JBL Link View

What are your thoughts on Google’s latest Assistant announcements? Let us know in the comments.

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Why mining businesses are digging into the IoT to remain competitive

As competition in the mining sector intensifies, businesses involved in the industry are banking on the IoT to maintain a competitive edge and retain their market share.

Inmarsat’s most recent report, “The Future of IoT in Enterprise”, argues that the mining businesses will get great support from the IoT in boosting automation level and production efficiency. According to the report, IoT will play a vital role in the mining sector where profit margins are under pressure due to growing competition.

For preparing the report Inmarsat polled over 100 large mining firms globally and found that 70% of businesses agree that IoT will provide them with a significant edge against their rivals. While 41% of respondents said that they would make use of IoT to boost the automation of business processes, 44% said that the technology would help them in detecting efficiency opportunities and cost saving.

Discussing the findings of the report, Joe Carr, director of mining at Inmarsat, said: “It is no surprise to see that mining businesses are looking to IoT to help them gain a competitive advantage. Mining businesses across the world are under constant pressure to produce the same product at a lower price than their rivals. At the same time, it is becoming harder to find high quality deposits in lower sovereign risk countries.

“This pressure is amplified in developed economies, such as Canada and Australia, where labour costs are much higher than in emerging markets, leaving operators in these territories at a significant competitive disadvantage,” Carr added.

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