Opinion: Why emerging markets should choose GSM LPWAN for IIoT projects

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OPINION Neil Hamilton, VP of Business Development at Thingstream, explains why businesses in emerging markets should choose GSM-based LPWAN connectivity to realise the full potential of IIoT projects.

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An occasional series of vendor perspectives on the world of connected business – because it’s all about making new connections and starting new conversations.

The rapid adoption of consumer and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications in developed markets, powered by the cloud, has already changed the way in which services are consumed, and their potential is vast. However, the potential for the IIoT in developing markets is also enormous; IDC predicts that projects in Africa and the Middle East alone will grow to a market valuation of $ 7 billion in 2018.

However, fragmented connectivity and infrastructures in these regions are still significant barriers to deploying effective, widespread IIoT systems.

The challenge in emerging markets

Current low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) struggle to provide full coverage outside of major cities and towns even in developed nations, so overcoming fragmented rural connectivity in emerging markets is far from easy.

While cellular data connectivity in most developing markets remains limited, it is still more prevalent than other LPWANs offered by unlicensed providers; these still need to connect to a cellular network to communicate with the IoT ecosystem.

This is why businesses need a cost-effective, reliable, secure, and low-power option that provides ubiquitous connectivity, using the existing infrastructure.

There are many industries in these markets in which cellular or unlicensed technologies severely restrict the deployment of IIoT applications, largely due to a lack of roaming coverage.

For example, an organisation that wishes to track its assets across borders in rural areas will be unable to have full visibility of goods whenever connections are lost. Similarly, for fixed-location services where there is a lack of coverage, regularly sending data to the cloud isn’t always possible. And when a network is available, cellular roaming charges can be prohibitively expensive.

GSM-based low-power connectivity

The most ubiquitous network is the established GSM voice network, which is now available in more than 190 countries and is increasingly reliable, especially when compared with cellular data.

IoT devices can automatically connect wherever GSM connectivity is present, using the strongest network available. This avoids disruption when moving between carriers on a cellular signal, ensuring worldwide connectivity. So it makes sense to leverage this network, as other internet-based options are unable to compete in terms of cost, reliability, and coverage.

One solution is low-bandwidth messaging, achieved through a Message Queue Telemetry Transport for Sensor Networks (MQTT-SN) system. Communicating across a USSD messaging protocol that’s available on the GSM voice network, this lightweight publish/subscribe protocol can send tiny packets of data –160 bytes or less – providing true ubiquitous IoT connectivity.

This is boosted by the inclusion of integrated Quality of Service (QoS), allowing an MQTT-SN protocol to handle the transmission and re-transmission of messages, guaranteeing delivery to the corresponding ‘thing’ or application. The level of QoS is fully customisable for IoT adopters, depending on network security and application logic.

Furthermore, IoT sensors can be programmed to communicate almost any type of information that can be carried across a low-bandwidth signal, avoiding the need to have multiple devices that further clog the network.

The power issue is also circumnavigated, thanks to the way in which the devices can work. By sending data only when needed, a device’s on/off setup enables battery longevity to be maximised, not only for months, but for years, creating a true LPWAN.

This is also advantageous in emerging markets with unreliable power grids, where outages are more commonplace. Instead of sending data at regular intervals, data can be delivered when parameters have changed. For example, this would allow for remote condition monitoring of equipment, allowing for maintenance to be better planned for and more predictable.

Furthermore, data is not communicated using the internet, greatly improving cyber security by having no need to use IP addresses between devices and the connectivity platform, helping to keep connectivity levels high and costs low.

For devices that are remotely connected via the internet, the issue of securely bridging the ‘air gap’ between operational technology and IT systems continues to prove a major challenge for the safe transfer of data, which again favours GSM connectivity.

Choosing the right connectivity for emerging markets

The emergence of LPWANs, such as a GSM voice-based network, has forced businesses in emerging markets to change how they approach IoT deployments. This is because they need to think about what data is actually required from devices and how often that data is needed.

If this can be included in 160 bytes or less, why pay for an energy-sapping internet connection that is costly to implement and run, while also being visible to potential hackers?

An alternative, GSM voice-based network is the strongest and most reliable option that offers true global connectivity for IoT devices to communicate in emerging markets. Using a network with an already-established infrastructure offers huge advantages in scalability, connectivity, security, and cost.

Choosing such a network can enhance efficiencies in a variety of sectors, such as agriculture, logistics, and utilities, all of which are economically crucial in emerging markets. This type of connectivity will enable IIoT projects to be quickly accelerated in developing countries, helping to create a truly global supply chain.

Internet of Business says: This opinion piece has been provided by Thingstream, and not by our independent editorial team.

The post Opinion: Why emerging markets should choose GSM LPWAN for IIoT projects appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

XCUITest – The Emerging iOS UI Test Automation Framework

In the last year, there has been a growing trend of iOS development teams adopting XCUITest and additional frameworks built on top of XCTest interface.

Development teams have started to adopt XCUITest to get fast and reliable feedback. There are a few clear drivers to this growing adoption:

  1. Intuitive – Using XCUITest is quite intuitive for developers as it runs from within XCode IDE
  2. Fast – Test execution against iOS devices is faster than any other UI test automation tool due to the framework architecture
  3. Reliable – Due to the architecture of the framework, test execution using XCUItest generates more reliable results and eliminates flakiness
  4. Mature – The API’s and the framework became significantly more mature during the last year
  5. Test maintenance – Since the app is instrumented, the framework works directly in the object level which reduce maintenance efforts that usually happens due to changes in the applications.

A quick iOS instrumented testing frameworks and terminology review

  • XCTest – Apple’s official framework for writing unit tests for classes and components at any level. These tests, like the app itself, can be written in Swift/Objective C.
  • XCUITest – a UI testing framework that is built on top of XCTest. Itincludes additional classes (such as UIAccessibility); these tests can be written in Swift or Objective C. The tests are packaged in a test ipa (iOS packaged application) runner that execute the tests on the AUT(application under test) ipa.
  • KIF (Keep It Functional) – A iOS native app that warps XCTest as well using undocumented iOS APIs. It requires the developer to add KIF framework to the project. It has simple and intuitive syntax.

    [tester enterText:@”user@example.com” intoViewWithAccessibilityLabel:@”Login User Name”];
    [tester enterText:@”thisismypassword” intoViewWithAccessibilityLabel:@”Login Password”];

  • Earlgrey – Similar to KIF although developed by Google. EarlGrey has an advanced synchronization mechanism which means you don’t need explicit waits / sleeps. (For example, if tapping a button triggers a network request, EarlGrey will wait for the network request to finish before proceeding with the test). EarlGrey uses matchers extensively (Read selection API this), these give you the flexibility to interact with elements and write assertion logic in a variety of ways with simple APIs.
  • Cucumberish – Test automation framework for Behavior Driven Development (BDD) that integrates into XCode and uses the iOS interfaces XCTest/XCUITest.


The Challenge

The challenge we find is although the above test frameworks can solve significant challenges that other test automation frameworks cannot, in many cases, teams adopt these frameworks before considering the proper setup and infrastructure. The promise of XCUITest depends on the fact that the execution of the tests will be on a robust, reliable, and scalable lab infrastructure.

Even though the adoption of those automation frameworks grow, many teams still execute their tests on simulators / local device from the developers workstation. Those teams understand that they get significantly more value from executing XCUITests and therefore continue to consider leveraging them even more by executing them as part of the CI processes to provide continuous feedback on real devices and end-user conditions.

XCUITest advanced capabilities

Perfecto recently released advanced support for the above frameworks in order to enable development teams to leverage the advantages mentioned above, while leveraging Perfecto’s cloud based capabilities. In addition, Perfecto extended the XCUITest framework by adding the ability to control and setup the device the same way end users do, by which enables teams to validate that their apps will function as expected in the real world.

To learn more about the Perfecto solution please visit our documentation website or to read more about the differences between XCUITest and Appium: The Rise of Espresso & XCUITest; The Fall of Appium, click here.

Perfecto Blog

The Emerging Marketing Intent Graph: How to Understand and Manage Consumer Preferences

The following is a guest contributed post by Sameer Patel is the CEO of Kahuna
The battleground for understanding and managing consumer preferences is heating up. The recent acquisition of consumer identity management provider Gigya by SAP for $ 350 million is an encouraging sign, showing proof that consumer marketers are increasingly interested in deeply understanding how the consumer wants to traverse the purchase journey.
The acquisition got me thinking about how the adoption of very useful but very fractured consumer engagement touchpoints over the past decade has left us with a woefully chaotic view of consumer intent. Here’s what the marketer is experiencing:
  1. Weak signals from spray-and-pray email, largely limited to opens and click-throughs.
  2. Shaky purchase intent gleaned from fly-by-night gestures such as “likes” inside the walled gardens of social networks.
  3. Rich, near real-time but siloed digital breadcrumbs from mobile experiences that are disconnected from a batch & blast-style email marketing technology stack.
  4. Even richer yet even more disconnected insights captured via browse & cart abandonment resulting in a staggering drop off of 7 out of 10 transactions, because your e-commerce system can’t effectively take the baton from your email or mobile marketing system to maintain a consistent thread of the customer’s journey.
  5. A lack of preparation for the coming tsunami of emerging engagement channels in the next 12 months: beacons, chatbots, AR/VR, voice, and ironically, what Forrester analyst and retail expert Brendan Witcher describes as an uninspiring effort by brick & mortar to bring its sexy back.
The lure of being able to capture the sheer scale of customer expression from this wide array of touchpoints no doubt gives digital commerce providers some serious X factor. But the single most glaring inefficiency in all of this is that every marketer has lost a single identity layer that exposes true intent.

Consumers Are Complicated

The reality is this: Some of us research at certain times and buy at other times. Some find products and research products on different devices or physical locations. Others want to be marketed to based on what similar buyers have browsed or bought. And for yet another group, even the incessant bombardment of untargeted emails won’t be able to trigger a purchase; instead, a simple external event such as good weather or a baseball game this weekend might be enough motivation. You get my drift—consumers are a complicated bunch. We’re all different.

Introducing the Intent Graph

True identity comes from building a dynamic Intent Graph by gathering gestures across all touchpoints in near real time and orchestrating a meaningful 1:1 personalized experience for every individual consumer.
If there is a single common thread I’ve seen across modern marketers who are giving established brands a run for their money, it is the ruthless prioritization of the marketing stack around the Intent Graph. Everything else—segmentation, campaign design and execution, and message delivery—must work to maximize the value of the Intent Graph.
The good news is that this doesn’t need to be as daunting as it sounds, and it doesn’t require the complete replacement of your existing email, web, or mobile marketing automation technology. Leading digital brands are simply injecting an intelligent layer that can make sense of consumer gestures and make machine-driven orchestration decisions about how to engage consumers, in real time.

A Dynamic Future Awaits Us

And by the way, this is just the beginning. The Intent Graph will be extremely dynamic. Emerging touch points such as beacons will express intent with situational awareness. The growing popularity of voice assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home will enable consumers to express intent with an added emphasis on tone and emotion. And if that’s not enough, AR/VR wipes out these seemingly physical and digital constraints and lets the consumer express tone, emotion, and situational awareness without ever leaving her living room. The Intent Graph keeps building from her couch.

CMOs Must Focus on Consumer Intent, Not on the Process

CMOs at some of the most iconic brands of the past lost the plot when they focused on the process and not on the consumer’s intent. This scathing characterization by Mark Bonchek and Gene Cornfield in Harvard Business Review about the reasons behind the removal of Coca Cola’s CMO sounds like a career obituary that may well become the rule and not the exception:
“Coca-Cola—widely regarded as one of the top marketers in the world—recently eliminated the role of CMO and replaced it with a Chief Growth Officer. The previous CMO was known for his focus on campaigns and was thanked for ‘improving the productivity of marketing’ and leading a ‘resurgence in the quality of advertising.’ In contrast, the CEO explained the leadership changes as necessary to ‘respond to the fast-changing needs’ of customers, employees and partners and to ‘transform our business for the future.’”
Ouch. But it unapologetically reinforces my point.

Final Thoughts

Channels will come and go. Campaigns and delivery will always matter. But a 1:1 personalized experience based on an ever-fluid Intent Graph for every individual consumer will be the digital commerce battle ground for e-commerce brands and marketplaces in 2018.

Byline: Sameer Patel is the CEO of Kahuna, a leading AI-powered consumer marketing software provider serving iconic digital commerce brands and online marketplaces. Sameer is @sameerpatel on Twitter.

The post The Emerging Marketing Intent Graph: How to Understand and Manage Consumer Preferences appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Mobile Marketing Watch

Tapinator Says Blockchain Emerging as a ‘New Frontier’ for the Gaming Industry

The overall value of the global cryptocurrency market reached an all-time high of more than $ 700 billion on January 3, 2018, a clear indicator of the increased interest in the adoption of digital currencies and their underlying blockchain technology.

That’s the opening salvo in a statement to media this week from Tapinator, as the company suggests that blockchain is already being successfully implemented across various market sectors and is expected to revolutionize a significant number of industries over the next decade, including the financial, healthcare, real estate, legal and gaming industries.

Mobile gaming in particular is a promising segment for blockchain adoption, with the fastest growing rate in the whole gaming industry and over $ 40 billion in revenues in 2017.

“Tapinator, Inc. has positioned itself to exploit these market trends and establish an early lead within the blockchain gaming industry through the recent creation of its subsidiary, Revolution Blockchain LLC.,” a provided statement reads. “Other companies poised to capitalize on opportunities in the blockchain sector include Bitcoin Investment Trust, Riot Blockchain, Inc., Bitcoin Services, Inc. and Marathon Patent Group, Inc.”

To learn more about Tapinator and what the company is up to, click here.

The post Tapinator Says Blockchain Emerging as a ‘New Frontier’ for the Gaming Industry appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Mobile Marketing Watch

Review: Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular further establishes an emerging computing platform

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The Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular takes a major step forward in making Apple’s wrist-worn device its own independent, connected computing platform. Simply put, it’s a must-have for athletes in the Apple ecosystem, and a wearable device worth considering for many other non-fitness use cases.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

How emerging startups are harnessing the future of food

Food and meal time has always been a product of our culture. In the post-war suburbanization era,  families gathered around the dinner table every night to share a home-cooked meal. Elaborate meals were a steadfast facet of daily life. However, as more women left the family home to pursue careers outside the kitchen, the tradition of meal time was forced to undergo a shift. Thanks to the advent of fast-food chains and instant, microwavable meals, dinner time became less focused on the act of sharing a meal and more on the end-game of eating efficiently. This past decade has also…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

LinkedIn Lite is a tiny 1MB app that will help people in emerging markets find jobs [APK Download]

No matter how much people may dislike it, LinkedIn is still a staple of job searches and connection creating. The Microsoft-owned company has followed in Facebook’s footsteps and unveiled a lite version of its “social network” called LinkedIn Lite, a 1MB-small app that LinkedIn is aiming at emerging markets with less powerful devices and slower data connections, starting with India.

LinkedIn Lite was first developed as a mobile site for India late last year, so this isn’t the first time that we’re seeing the concept.

Read More

LinkedIn Lite is a tiny 1MB app that will help people in emerging markets find jobs [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets