One-third of firms can handle 100,000 IoT devices: report

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Businesses ready to invest in IoT technologies

Nearly one-third of organisations (31 percent) believe that they can handle up to 100,000 connected devices, according to a new study.

The report, published by IoT World, explores the things that senior executives consider when implementing Internet of Things technologies. The survey was carried out among IT and business leaders in supply chain/logistics, energy, construction, telecoms, agriculture, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, ecommerce, travel, and government.

Alongside the one-third of organisations that are able to implement large-scale projects, nearly half of all respondents – over 46 percent – revealed that their organisations have the resources to manage 1,000 IoT devices.

However, at the other end of the spectrum, 28 percent said that they can accommodate less than 100 devices, probably due to a lack of funding and expertise.

Lack of plans

While connected technology offers organisations numerous benefits, half of respondents lack global IoT strategies, according to the report. Nearly one-quarter of those are developing one, but 16.5 percent have yet to begin.

Aru Bala, president of the innovation business at industrial tools manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker, said that it is crucial that firms plan ahead for the continued rise of IoT technologies. “We have reached an inflection point where IoT is starting to accelerate to commercial mass-scaling from the proof-of-concept experimentation stage,” he said.

“It’s imperative for organisations to have a coherent IoT deployment strategy and not to be left out in this digital transformation arena.”

Great challenges

Although many respondents are confident about implementing IoT systems overall – some on a large scale – organisations still face challenges when it comes to scaling them or integrating them with existing systems, found the survey.

Currently, 53 percent of firms are dealing with legacy devices and software, while 46 percent admitted that they need highly specialised or custom tools to make a success of their IoT programmes.

Delegating IoT responsibilities among business departments is another challenge, found the report, with 37 percent of respondents admitting that they don’t know who should be in charge of connected sensors, gateways, hardware, or software.

When it comes to management, 47 percent of organisations revealed that they have been set back by implementation problems, while 12 percent said that they are unable to find the right support for production-quality deployments.

IoT security challenges

Connectivity and data protection are also presenting problems, according to the survey, with nearly half of respondents (49 percent) lacking the confidence to integrate the correct network management solutions.

Meanwhile, 37 percent said they’re not confident that they can secure IoT data.

Read more: Gartner: IoT security spend hitting $ 1.5 billion – but strategy poor

Read more: Vendors, users ignoring IoT security in rush to market – report

Read more: IIoT security: How to secure the ‘Internet of Threats’, by IBM

On the upside, 72 percent of firms said that they have successfully incorporated security into the design of products, while 62 percent are developing their own IoT security policies.

Dave Shuman, IoT and manufacturing industry leader at Cloudera, believes that firms are balancing “conflicting objectives” when deploying IoT technology.

He said there is a need to “apply pragmatic infosec policies to network devices around availability, integrity, and security, with the heterogeneous nature of the IoT landscape and its constrained network bandwidth”.

Internet of Business says

This timely report offers a useful snapshot into the state of play within IoT deployments. As the recent Gartner security report and others have found, there is a mismatch between many organisations’ operational technology objectives and their ability to formulate a coherent strategy throughout every level of the organisation.

Integrating IoT systems with business objectives is as much a cultural and management challenge as it is a technology problem demanding technology solutions.

And while Aru Bala may be right to warn interested organisations not to get left out in the race to digital transformation, there has to be a real strategic objective behind IoT programmes and the data that they gather and process – not just a strategy for their deployment.

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100,000 IoT sensors line canal in China’s ambitious water diversion project

China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project employs 100,000 IoT sensors

A colossal water diversion project in China has installed a myriad of IoT sensors to help monitor the essential canal infrastructure.

The ambitious engineering scheme will see three canals, each over 1,000km long, divert 44.8 billion cubic metres of water annually from rivers in southern China and supply it to the arid north, including the cities of Beijing and Tianjin. Each canal route will support the rapid population growth and economic development of the northern provinces.

The project was expected to cost in the region of $ 62 billion when started in 2002, but with $ 79 billion spent by 2014 it has fast become one of the most expensive engineering projects in the world.

The middle canal runs from Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Han River all the way to Beijing, some 1,257km, supplying the city with 70 percent of its water.

With construction on this route completed in 2014, attention turned to how to monitor such a large and valuable infrastructural system – particularly in those sections where the canal uses tunnels to circumvent rivers and other obstructions, making human inspection difficult.

Read more: AT&T launches structure monitoring product for smart city bridges

Streams of data

The answer was to develop an internet of things (IoT) network, consisting of 100,000 sensors, along the waterway. Over the last year it has been scanning the canal for structural weaknesses, testing water quality and flow rates and watching for intruders (both animal and human). Planning for the system started in 2012, when technicians travelled the route to determine its monitoring needs.

The region’s vulnerability to earthquakes makes it particularly at risk of structural damage. Manually monitoring the canal, particularly its two tunnels, would be extremely difficult, making it a perfect candidate for an IoT solution.

While no industrial buildings are allowed within the route’s watershed, it’s vital to ensure that the water remains unpolluted. Sensors below the waterline can detect pollutants and toxins. All-in-all 130 different kinds of connected sensor were used to oversee the canal.

The IoT network’s technical lead Yang Yang, Director of the CAS Key Lab of Wireless Sensor Network and Communication at the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology (SIMIT), told IEEE Spectrum that lessons learned from the system will be applied to similarly large infrastructure projects, include the South-to-North Water Diversion Project’s two other routes.

“This system benefits more than 50 million people daily, not mentioning the people along the project,” said Yang. He also revealed that the technology could be put to use on skyscrapers, to monitor the integrity of their glass facades.

Yangtze river
The scheme will see 44.8 billion cubic metres of water diverted from the Yangtze River’s tributaries

Read more: Analysis: Connected streetlights illuminate path to smart cities

The challenges of rural IoT

With the canal producing such a wealth of data the team faced the challenge of relaying this information, particularly in remote areas without fibre-optic internet or reliable cellular connections. Yang’s team created a system called Smart Gateway that would receive data from nearby sensors and transmit it to a cloud server via whatever cellular, wired, Wi-Fi or Zigbee connection was available at that time.

“The Smart Gateway can learn the availability of the connection to the cloud. After a successful transmission, it will follow that network next time. Otherwise, it will try another one,” Zhang, told IEEE Spectrum.

The destination servers then feed into a web platform that allows the management team to see up-to-date information and respond immediately.

Read more: Blockchain Food Safety Alliance launched to tackle supply chain issues

Water under the bridge?

The scheme certainly hasn’t been without its controversies though. A utilitarian approach has seen hundreds of thousands of residents resettled to make way for the project. In Hubei and Henan provinces, almost 350,000 people were relocated to make way for the middle route. Many residents have complained that their new homes are poorly built and suffered the loss of their livelihoods.

US diplomatic cables released via WikiLeaks also criticised the project as misconceived, arguing that China’s water shortage should be solved by modernising and diversifying its water-intensive agriculture, rather than expensive engineering projects. China hasn’t been ignoring these needs though. Research into the likes of drip irrigation and less water intensive crops is ongoing.

The reality is that China will likely need a combination of both these approaches to protect and allocate its most precious resource. IoT will no doubt play a huge part in providing its population with food and water in the decades and centuries to come.

While China’s rise has, until now, been down to its snowballing primary industries and resource rich land, it is having to increasingly look to technology and policy reform to continue that growth in a more sustainable and responsible way – not least because the government wants to ensure those IoT sensors go on detecting drinkable water in its canals.

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100,000 “Smart” License Plates May Be Hitting U.S. Roads Next Year

License Plates are Evolving

For the last few years, our cars have been undergoing a transformation. Tesla has pioneered autopilot and fully-electronic technology. Automobiles that can fly have become publicly available and ready for worldwide testing.

However, one element of the world’s favorite form of transportation has remained relatively unchanged for the past century: the license plate. Since 1903, this thin metal tag for identifying cars and their registered owners has represented a time capsule of Roosevelt-era technology and regulatory structure.

Until now.

Enter the Reviver license plate (rPlate), which has the appearance of a Kindle tablet turned horizontally. It is capable of wireless connectivity, allowing it to displaying instantly updated registration information as well as individualized plate styles, Amber alerts, and more. About 100,000 of these plates are scheduled to hit roads in select states next year.

Transportation Technology

The ability to instantly update registration status means that constantly updating stickers could be a thing of the past. It could also allow states to set up month-by-month payment options. The digital plate could also be programmed to connect with smart parking apps and services and display parking status, potentially making parking meters a thing of the past.

A big draw of the plate may be its part in protecting against theft, as it is designed not to work if it’s separated from its car. The option to personalize license plates will also be tantalizing to some car owners, as it will allow drivers to update their plate to support various causes, or simply show their styles in different ways.

However, the rPlate could have a significant downside. The company is only releasing the plates in states with warmer climates at this point, which may mean that they have issues operating in cooler temperatures. Hopefully, these plates will continue to evolve to be able to withstand harsher temperatures, allowing everyone to take advantage of the technology.

The post 100,000 “Smart” License Plates May Be Hitting U.S. Roads Next Year appeared first on Futurism.


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Speaking last week at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says the Mission E will look “very close” to the concept presented two years ago at the show. Smaller than Porsche’s other four-door car, the Panamera, the company says it is intended to bridge the gap between that vehicle and the 911 sports car….

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Facebook sold $100,000 in political ads to Russia-controlled accounts during the 2016 presidential campaign

Facebook says “inauthentic” accounts bought roughly 3,000 ads.

A number of Russian-controlled Facebook Pages and accounts spent approximately $ 100,000 on Facebook ads meant to “amplify divisive social and political messages” in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook confirmed in a blog post Wednesday.

Facebook said that “about 470 inauthentic accounts and Pages in violation of our policies” bought roughly 3,000 Facebook ads between June 2015 and May 2017. The accounts and Pages were “likely operated out of Russia,” according to Facebook’s blog.

The Washington Post, which first reported the news Wednesday, claims that the ads were purchased by “a Russian ‘troll farm’ with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda.”

Another 2,200 ads, which cost approximately $ 50,000, were bought by other groups with links to Russia, but were “not associated with any known organized effort.”

Facebook says the “vast majority” of the ads “didn’t specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting or a particular candidate,” but admitted that they focused on polarizing issues, like LGBT rights, race issues and gun matters. So they weren’t traditional political ads, but still carried political messages.

It was already known that Russia meddled in last fall’s U.S. election, and that Facebook was weaponized to help spread misinformation during the campaign. Facebook has taken steps since the election to try and squash so-called fake news from gaining traction on the platform, including efforts to punish publishers that pay to promote false information.

Facebook says that all of the accounts and Pages responsible for this $ 100,000 worth of ad spend have been shut down.

There are still a number of unanswered questions.

It’s unclear, for example, what impact these ads may have had, or who actually saw them. It’s unknown who was targeted, or the specifics about what the ads contained. Facebook said only that the ads were intended to “amplify divisive messages,” and were “consistent with the techniques” used by Russian actors who spread misinformation on the social network ahead of the election.

And while $ 100,000 may sound like a lot, it’s not a lot in the world of political advertising, and certainly not a lot for Facebook. Donald Trump, for example, spent more than $ 90 million on advertising during his campaign; Facebook generated almost $ 27 billion in ad revenue in 2016.

It’s also unclear if this disclosure by Facebook includes all election-specific ad spending from Russia, or just what was previously reported by the Washington Post.

When asked, a Facebook spokesperson said: “This is what we have been able to identify.” It’s possible, then, that there are other ads still unaccounted for.

Regardless, it is clear that Facebook was weaponized by people in Russia in the run-up to last fall’s presidential election. Immediately after the election, CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the idea that Facebook might have had an impact on the outcome.

“Personally I think the idea that fake news on Facebook … influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” he said at the time.

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