How The Drone Industry Evolve In 2018

Drones in 2018

Drones are a perfect example of how our technology has evolved and will continue to grow in the future. So, what exactly does it offer? For casual users, it is just a fun toy. However, drones have use cases in multiple fields, including safety, health, and industry.

Until now, drones have gone on a wild ride. It has been massively regulated by U.S. government considering the threats that it brings including spying. Moreover, drone safety had been a significant issue. But to completely understand drones, we need to understand both its advantages and disadvantages before making a final call on how they should be regulated.

For starters, there are good drones and destructive drones. Those drones that are created for good are being used to save lives, help improve business efficiency and use autonomous control so that the human limitation can be removed. Destructive or bad drones do the exact opposite and are harmful in one way or another.

In this article, I will try to understand the future of drones from the perspective of tech, security, and innovation.

Drone Technology

Drones have evolved rapidly in the last decade or so. However, drones are not new and existed from the 1930s. The modern era of drones started after 2001, and it is now slowly becoming part of our daily life. You can now own a drone only if your state laws allow you to do so.

So, what is next for drones? The answer depends on how artificial intelligence (A.I) can be used to make drones more useful. A.I. can help drones overcome the human limitation and make drones more useful in different sectors including industry, tech, delivery and so on. However, A.I. powered drones can also be used to kill humans, deliver drugs or worse spy on someone.

There has already been a lot of debate on how A.I. can provide drones with ultimate power. Elon Musk also called out on the ban on killer robots which can also include drones. But, we have to weigh the gains over a possible loss and should be used to improve the different levels of transportation, accessibility, and overall growth.

Drones can now be programmed to learn from mistakes. Learn to Fly by Crashing, a paper published by Carnegie Mellon University explores how AR drones 2.0  are learning by learning from their own mistakes. This is just one use case of how A.I. and big data are going to impact drones in future.

Another critical use case of drones that are going to evolve and get implemented is their use in the industry. Many big companies will use drones to inspect their infrastructure and send direct reports to the system. Furthermore, they are also equally useful for surveillance purposes. The delivery system will continue to be refined in future as currently, Amazon is testing the use of drones to improve the delivery system. Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon, says that the aim is to get items delivered in “60 minutes.

Regulatory Reform

Government regulations on drones have always been tight. However, 2018 can be the year when the laws become less stringent. The current regulations from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulate drones such that they must be used within human sight. However, this regulation is binding at many levels as it will not allow commercial companies such as Amazon to use drones in their operation.

In 2017, the general perception towards drones changed as well as their purpose as such in recent natural disasters, fortifying their benefits. Now that change is progressing; the FAA needs to take note and began to set appropriate regulations for the future of this industry. Drones manufacturers will also play a role, by ensuring that their drones can navigate safely through an environment, especially rooftops, humans, vehicles, etc. To achieve this, current technologies need to be adapted to allow for autonomous navigation and self-learning capabilities.

Final Thoughts

Drones have evolved remarkably in the last decade or two. The commercial usage will only propel it towards mass adoption. 2017 has been the year where it is now impossible to ignore the benefit in natural disasters management and commercial spaces. With relaxation in regulations, more and more industries will adopt drones.

One more thing is how blockchain can be used to revolutionize drones. Recently, blockchain is impacting almost every industry. Drones can be the next thing that can utilize blockchain technology. We only have to wait and see if blockchain powered drones can become more secure, accurate and easily regulatable.

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VINCI Highways and CARFIT Partner To Strengthen Safety On Motorways

CARFIT partners with VINCI Highways

As a specialist in predictive maintenance applied to the automotive sector CARFIT announces a partnership with VINCI Highways. Our latest product, CARFIT PULS, is a new connected vibration sensor marketed with a toll transceiver from VINCI Highways, to allow drivers to be better informed about the general state of their vehicles. This will increase a driver’s safety, and that of those driving on the VINCI managed highways.

Our CARFIT vibration sensor will also be used to monitor the condition of the undercarriage wear to parts such as the tires, wheels, shocks absorbers and brakes. The CARFIT PULS simply sticks on the back of the steering wheel. It communicates with an application and a chatbot on the user smartphones (Android/iOS) which provides the driver with maintenance alerts and maintenance recommendations.

CARFIT analysis technology compares the vibrations of a car to the standard of the car model to deduce diagnostic and replacement needs for the undercarriage wear parts which enhances safety.

Autotech startup based in France and in the United States which won the French Tech Ticket and has been accelerated by Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale-CA and by the Hub Bpifrance, CARFIT combines the science of NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) automotive vibrations with artificial intelligence technologies to create solutions for individualized predictive maintenance.

We do not always realize the wear of certain parts that ensure the proper functioning and safety of our cars. This is especially true with second-hand cars, especially since vibrations often occur gradually,” notes Eric ESPINASSE, VP Sales of CARFIT. “VINCI Highways innovation and marketing services approached CARFIT very early on, to provide their customers with a new technology that will change the way we understand our cars and contribute to greater safety for all.”

For VINCI Highways, the safety of drivers traveling on their highways is indeed a priority. Each year, more than 180,000 repairs are performed on the VINCI Highways network, 25% of which are directly linked to the condition of the tires. “The partnership between CARFIT and VINCI Highways is clearly in line with our desire for an ever more personalized service and safety prevention for our customers,” says Sophie BERNARD, Managing Director at VINCI Highways.

“We are constantly striving to make our customers’ journeys more fluid and secure with the help of new technologies, and the VINCI Highways-CARFIT Pack is part of this commitment, with innovation recognized by RocketSpace, PlugandPlay and the FrenchTech,” adds Paul MAAREK, President at VINCI Highways.

The electronic toll system service can be used on all motorways in France and throughout nearly 400 car parks.

Disclaimer: CARFIT is an alumnus of our ReadWrite Labs accelerator program. 

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The Fast Pace of Facial Recognition Innovation

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition technology has finally begun to enter the science fiction landscape we had all dreamt it would soon do. Thus, today we’re witnessing a rapid change and growth in its innovation and implementation. This change in pace is attributed to the significant advances in machine learning, resilient ODM (original design manufacturer) competition and increases in processing power that will forever democratize and commoditize facial recognition technology.

When we consider the applications of this core technology, it is essential also to understand the positive consequences of implementing facial recognition for non-conspicuous use cases. To get further insights on this matter, I sat down with Shaun Moore and Nezare Chafni the founders of TrueFace.ai.

With such technical advancements in facial recognition has its integration into products become more straightforward?

Shaun: Unfortunately face recognition is still not easy to implement in a more extensive product offering. One solution we’ve found is that by offering a specialized set of tools that simplify facial recognition, we can enable it for a variety of use cases in a broader landscape, allowing businesses to integrate faster and more efficiently. We expect implementation to continue to ease as more tools are developed, and as an industry, we work together to solve the growing challenges. In the end, we focus on building tools and solutions utilizing a more holistic approach by directly owning our core technology.

When a business is technically ready to start implementing facial recognition technology what can Trueface.ai provide them?

Shaun: First and foremost we made our Trueface.ai solutions to be ready out of the box. We made it simple and easy for any business of any size. Which is why we offer an API, mobile SDKs, and HTML widgets to simplify integrations. They can sign up on our site and view the documentation or sign up and schedule a demo.

Nezare: As a business gets started, they can choose from our state-of-the-art facial recognition that can be used via Trueface.ai’s web and mobile applications without writing one line of code. Additionally, they can also begin working with our proprietary spoof detection that works on single static images (ensuring proof of possession and presence), document verification from over 150 countries, AML/PEP sanction checks and web verification, which can source public social media information and generate challenge questions to be asked to the individual. We want to add as much security as we can while allowing the technology not to be a burden on a businesses day-to-day. This is why we’re already seeing customers from by online notaries, FinTech startups, e-learning firms and rental companies utilizing our solutions.

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 4.42.40 PM

What role will Trueface.ai play for businesses looking to get started with facial recognition technology?

Nezare: At Trueface.ai we act as the connection for business who want to innovative and secure identity management. We’ve recently launched our new identity verification solution to increase the security and safety of global businesses. We find that as more of our critical information and essential transactions continue to shift online, there will be a growing demand for trusted digital identity verification solutions. Today we offer both an API and a code-free solution so business can get started immediately. Also, the service will simplify physical and remote identity verification for use cases that can include account openings, securing high-value transactions, proctoring, e-learning and more.

How safe is facial recognition technology today?

Shaun: When considering the alternatives, passwords, keycards, fobs, all things that can be very easily stolen or transferred, we believe it is the most secure form in the present day of identity management.

Will facial recognition technology help prevent online identity fraud?

Nezare: Facial recognition is already actively preventing online identity fraud. We focused on spoof detection back in 2013 which we are now the only market available technology that can detect a spoof attempt in a 2D static image. This ensures proof of possession and presence.

What is the most significant hurdle for facial recognition technology aside from integration?

Nezare: Education. We need to do a better job educating the public on the cost and benefit to face recognition and why it is a better solution than the alternatives for security, convenience, and efficiency.

What do you see happening next for facial recognition technology as more data is collected and machine learning gets smarter?

Shaun: The technology will continue to improve at an unprecedented rate. When we look at what is happening over in China, we see a glimpse into our future. SenseTime has processed 500m identities for facial recognition which significantly improves their technology enabling use cases in everyday life.

Disclaimer: Trueface.Ai and parent company, Chui are an alumnus of our ReadWrite Labs accelerator program. Kyle Ellicott is also an advisor to the company.

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The Key IoT Security Questions You Need To Ask

Microsoft IoT Security

An Internet of Things (IoT) solution offers a multitude of business benefits from decreased operational costs to new revenue streams. But it also comes with a host of security considerations, including an ever-changing array of regulatory compliance requirements, demanding expert navigation and acute attention to detail.

Below I’ve listed some of the critical questions to ask when deploying a secure IoT solution. To learn more about IoT security, be sure to register for the IoT in Action event in San Francisco on January 13.

How secure are your things?

For starters, the actual devices must be secure. In the next few years, a new wave of innovation will drive down costs and inundate the market with internet-connected devices in every price range, from electronic toys to manufacturing sensors. In anticipation of this, my Microsoft colleagues have identified The seven properties of highly secure devices. I have listed out each of these properties below, along with the fundamental questions you must ask:

  1. The hardware-based root of trust: Does each device have a unique identity that is inseparable from the hardware?
  2. Small trusted computing base: Is most of the device’s software outside its trusted computing base?
  3. Defense in depth: Does your device software have multiple layers of protection built-in?
  4. Compartmentalization: Are you using hardware-enforced barriers to stop failures from propagating to other components?
  5. Certificates-based authentication: Do your devices use certificates (vs. passwords)?
  6. Renewable security: Can the device’s software be updated automatically to a more secure state?
  7. Failure reporting: Do you have a solution in place to report software failures to the manufacturer?

How secure are your connections? 

More to the point, when you’ve got a bunch of devices talking to each other over the internet, how will you safeguard data confidentiality and integrity? When choosing an IoT monitoring and connection solution, make sure that it is using industry-proven data encryption. Solutions like the Azure IoT Suite secure the internet connection between the IoT device and IoT hub using the Transport Layer Security (TLS) standard.

Another question to ask is how you will prevent unsolicited inbound connections from wreaking havoc on your devices? Make sure that only devices are allowed to initiate connections and not the IoT hub. And speaking of the IoT hub: make sure that the one you’re using has the capability of maintaining a per-device queue – meaning that it can store messages for devices and wait for the devices to connect. For more on this topic, be sure to read IoT security from the ground up.

How secure is your cloud solution?

Is your cloud provider following rigorous security best practices? When choosing a cloud provider, make sure you pay careful attention to how they are handling the following areas.

  1. Network traffic segregation: Is IoT traffic segregated from other network traffic using an IoT gateway or other means?
  2. Monitoring: How is network traffic being monitored? How will you know if any credentials are compromised or if unmanaged devices are accessing your cloud services?
  3. Security controls: How well do you know your cloud provider’s SLA (service-level agreement)? Which security controls are being maintained by your provider and which will you need to address internally?
  4. Encryption and security key management: Does your IoT solution allow you to define access control policies for each security key? Is data in the cloud encrypted?

Have you registered for IoT in Action in San Francisco, CA on February 13, 2018?

These questions only scratch the broad surface of IoT security. To learn more about securing your IoT solution, register for this free, one-day event. You’ll hear from the researchers behind The seven properties of highly secured devices and see an IoT solution come to life before your eyes. You’ll also get insights into how Microsoft addresses IoT security through its Azure solutions. Plus, connect with partners who can help you bring your IoT solution from concept to reality. View the full agenda.

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Empathic AI: The Next Generation of Vehicles Will Understand Your Emotions

Empathic_Vehicle-Sensum-3144x2089

Transportation will never be the same once our machines know how we feel.

We are all entering a wholesale, global disruption of the way people move from one place to another.  More than any other change in this sector, the one that is likely to have the most significant impact on human society is the rise of autonomous (i.e., self-driving) vehicles.

The transportation industry, historically dominated by a handful of large vehicle-manufacturing brands, is evolving into an ecosystem of ‘mobility services,’ underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI). A major step in the development of AI is to give it ‘empathy,’ allowing our physiological and emotional states to be observed and understood. This connection will mostly be achieved by connecting to wearable or remote sensors, the same way that fitness bands allow our physical state to be monitored.

By feeding this sensor data into AI systems, we can train them to know how we feel and how to respond appropriately. This kind of empathy can also be enhanced by giving AI its own artificial emotions, imbuing it with simulations of feelings.

Empathic technology will have no small effect on the mobility sector. How might an empathic vehicle look?

Safe Travels

There is already a growing body of research from top-tier auto companies into what kind of empathic interactions will protect drivers, passengers and everyone around them from harm. To investigate this, biometric sensors, cameras, and microphones are being used to detect:

  • Fatigue & drowsiness: e.g., monitoring head or eye movements, posture or heart/breathing rate.
  • Distraction: e.g., gaze detection to ensure the driver is watching the road.
  • Intoxication: e.g., using infrared optics or analyzing voice or breath.
  • Medical incidents: e.g., detecting a potential cardiac event from a wearable heart-rate sensor.

A Comfortable Journey

After ensuring the safety of the humans in the system, empathic tech can be employed to optimize the ride experience. There is a universe of auto-suppliers you’ve probably never heard of, who build all the components and systems that end up in the well-known vehicle brands. They are leading the way to a more empathic ride, with innovations such as:

  • Environmental controls: e.g., lighting, heating, AC, sound and olfactory output, customized to suit your current mood.
  • Physical controls: seat position, engine configuration, etc.
  • Humanising AI feedback: the virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri that are invading our homes and phones are also reaching into our vehicles. With empathic AI we can tailor their feedback to suit our preferred style of interaction.

An Entertaining Ride

Now that our customer is safe and comfortable, they can benefit from AI that knows how to push the right emotional buttons at the moment. This is particularly likely to apply to the onboard music and infotainment systems. Other subtle ways in which a vehicle could be designed to optimize the thrill of the ride include offering to increase the engine’s power output when the driver is feeling confident and happy.

The New Norms of Autonomous Society

An autonomous vehicle doesn’t exist in a bubble. Much of its intelligence is based on sensing its environment and making rapid judgments about how to act. Each vehicle will also be integrated with a global network of systems, able to share information ranging from weather forecasts to road obstructions. By connecting each vehicle to its neighbors and the wider world, we will see the emergence of a new type of ‘social’ structure with its own norms of behavior.

This AI-driven ‘society’ will involve interactions not just between the vehicles and their drivers or passengers, but also with onboard devices, nearby pedestrians, other vehicles, and their occupants, as well as surrounding infrastructure. The etiquette and rules of what the market calls ‘vehicle-to-everything’ (V2X) communications will establish themselves as we gradually let go of the wheel and hand our mobility needs over to ‘the machines.’

This mobility ecosystem is also likely to share data and processes with the rest of the AI in our lives, such as in our smartphones and home-automation systems. If coordinated correctly, this unified data architecture would allow empathic vehicles to know us much better, behaving ever more like a trusted friend.

This is not just a technological problem; it’s a monumental user-experience challenge too. Gradually increasing the empathic capability of the system will support the evolution of the transport experience towards one that is not only safe and comfortable but also delightful.

The future of mobility is emotional.

Editor Note & Disclaimer: The author is a member of the Sensum team, which is an alumnus of our ReadWrite Labs accelerator program. 

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