While we’ve heard some neat stories about how Apple Watch has saved lives, the wearable is also making a difference in solving crimes. Apple Watch data has become key evidence in an Australian murder investigation and has resulted in an arrest. more…
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Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is building out a total ecosystem and infrastructure play that brings AI-driven automation intelligence to every layer of the network fabric: from the core, to the communications pipe, to the cloud… and onward to every device’s chipset. Adrian Bridgwater was in London to hear its latest plans.
Arguably, Huawei (pronounced: wah-way) might find it tough to crack America in quite the same way that some other handset manufacturers have done, given the sensitivity of relations between China and the US, and the oft-cited security oversight of the company. (For example, the UK has a dedicated cyber security unit that monitors the company’s work as it expands its presence in the country – so far it has reported no national security concerns. – Ed.)
So Huawei probably has a much easier job on its hands when it comes to explaining how its technology roadmap and corporate development strategy is playing out, and why it is championing the use of automation and AI at every level of the network.
But above all, the company wants us to understand that it is not just a smartphone manufacturer.
Indeed, rotating Huawei CEO Guo Ping seemed to spend much of last year saying, “We’re so much more than a box seller.” (Huawei regularly changes its acting CEO to challenge the notion of a single person being in charge of a company.)
Whoever is in charge, the message has consistently been: Huawei is about cloud, networks, and services intelligence.
Significantly, the company has one of the largest R&D investment budgets on the planet. Huawei claims that it spends more than 10 per cent of revenues on R&D, and reports that 45 per cent of its employees work in researching and developing new products: that equates to 80,000 people worldwide.
Total ecosystem play
The ecosystem play for Huawei breaks down as a focus on: business partner alliances; its technology platform alliances (many of them open source); and the company’s infrastructure partnerships with various world governments.
But what Huawei wants to bring to the fore, in all its defined working zones, is a focus on automation efficiencies.
The this is not primarily automation in the sense of robots – although it is that too, in terms of home or industrial robot IoT applications; this is automation starting at the software layer. Huawei has been known to call it ‘digital operations’, but the technology application point is the same.
In other words, this is about automation brought about through applications being built more quickly, based on pre-defined reference architectures.
It is also about datasets that are more rapidly processed against policy-based rules.
And finally, it is about automation where data processing instructions have been replicated, based on templates drawn up from use cases within an industrial vertical or product group.
To put it simply, if one chunk of data management, analytics, processing, or even storage works well in one place, then it can be anonymised and used to build a similar structure elsewhere. This is software automation, and it has a massive application surface for the IoT.
Automated IoT use cases
Huawei’s Edward Fan, VP of carrier business group marketing, highlighted some real-world uses of this type of ‘automation blueprinting’ at a closed-door presentation in London this week. The meeting was designed as a preview of the company’s presence at the forthcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March.
Fan pointed to replicating IoT data use cases in specific smart-industrial and ‘smart life’ implementations. These include: smart street lighting; city sharing bicycles; livestock farming (to monitor milking and insemination); smart locks; and a range of other applications, including connected manhole covers, fire hydrants, intelligent post boxes, and aircon.
Many of these IoT products can now be activated by smart batteries to make make installation and configuration simpler.
Huawei will work with a particular focus on NB-IoT (NarrowBand IoT) deployments, and says that, globally, NB-IoT connections will reach 150 million this year. So far, the company has also undertaken a total of 1,000+ smart cities programmes worldwide, all of which employ some form of AI-driven automation.
Speaking at the same London event, Ryan Ding, Huawei executive director of the board, and president of the carrier business group, said that the carrier network itself needs to have AI controls and automation efficiencies engineered into its core – and into the services that run on it. This means that AI will exist at the cloud backend, as well as down the data pipe, and have a key role on the device itself.
Internet of business says
At the highest level, Huawei is simply capturing and defining best practices to compartmentalise service-based cloud automation opportunities: a key focus for much of the software industry. Yet in breakout Q&A press sessions at the event, more than one industry watcher tried to press Huawei on the technical mechanics of its approach to automation efficiency with little success. Does Huawei advocate empirical machine learning as the primary driver for AI on IoT machines, in post-production? Or does it believe that it is still too early to trust the machines – that we should really start from a policy-based control stance? Put another way, why is Huawei so tight lipped about what it thinks and believes? Perhaps the company is keeping more of its industry DNA to itself than it should. As ever with behemoths such as Huawei, its Western customers face a curious hybrid of free-market economics and Chinese organisational culture.
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If you’re gonna smuggle cocaine, don’t use iPhone boxes. The United Arab Emirates have sentenced a man to death after he was recently caught in Abu Dhabi the country with iPhone boxes stuffed to the brim with blow. Video of the iPhone boxes of cocaine leaked online a few weeks ago. You can see in […]
Kantar Worldpanel just revealed its summary of the smartphone markets across the globe for the August-October 2017 period. According to the data, Huawei, Xiaomi, Apple, vivo, and Oppo made up 91% of sales in China. The same report also reads that Apple shares were hurt due to the iPhone X late release. Urban China, where the 3G connection is shabby, is dominated by Huawei, Oppo, and vivo who sell their devices in offline stores. Xiaomi, on the other hand, is the most influential player online but also managed to launch multiple stores at once to keep up with the offline…
Strategy Analytics posted its smartphone sales report today for the July-September 2017 period. The analysts, quoted by Yonhap, said that Apple leads the smartphone market both in operating profit and sales revenue, but Samsung managed to close the gap in the past 12 months. Regarding operating profit, Apple snatched a staggering 69.9% of operating profit in the three-month period that included the launch of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Samsung came second only 21.8% of the operating profit. Sales data shows that Apple accounted for 32% of the revenue, with Samsung trailing with…
For the third quarter of 2017, Apple was once again the leader of the wearable market. The company making the Apple Watch found itself in that position in Q1 as well, but in Q2 it was overtaken by both Xiaomi and Fitbit. These are still the names in the top 3 – for Q3 2017 Apple leads, followed by Xiaomi and Fitbit. Apple is estimated to have shipped 3.9 million wearables between July and September. Xiaomi moved 3.6 million units during the same time frame, while Fitbit managed 3.5 million sales. This means Apple now commands 23% of the wearable market, Xiaomi has to make do with…
A report from security firm Forescout suggests that business executives are increasingly anxious about IoT security.
Forescout’s survey, conducted on the company’s behalf by analysts at Forrester Consulting, reveals that firms are struggling to come to terms with the negative ramifications around IoT security failures.
It explores the impact that IoT and operational technologies are having on organisations and the new tide of cyber security challenges that have followed.
A majority of organisations (82 percent) find it difficult to identify and manage devices connected to their networks, and don’t have a clear idea of who should manage IoT security, either.
Complex security challenges
More than three-quarters of respondents (77 percent) from the 600 global enterprise companies included in the study say the adoption of connected devices is introducing complex security challenges.
And, as a result of this, a similar proportion (76 percent) believe that they need to rethink their IT and LoB security strategies – or risk being attacked by digitally adept criminals.
More than half (54 percent), meanwhile, say they are facing anxiety due to the rise of IoT-related security challenges, with line -of-business (LoB) managers (58 percent) showing greater amounts of concern than their colleagues based in IT teams (51 percent).
“Understanding the magnitude that a breach can have on enterprise operations and not receiving high-level assurances from IT that their devices are secure, can cause higher levels of anxiety in LoB leaders than IT,” the report suggests.
“In addition, overall distress is due to added costs and time needed to manage these devices as well as a lack of security skills.”
Forescout finds barriers
Internal barriers and compliance complications are also leading to greater risk, the report suggests. Forty-five percent of IT bosses and 43 percent of their LoB counterparts report that they’re struggling with budget constraints.
One in four security professionals, meanwhile, continue to rely on traditional security methods, and these don’t always work.
This is not entirely surprising, given that organizations are so frequently unable to identify all their connected devices. In fact, more than four out of five (82 percent) of respondents say they struggle here. Fifty-nine percent are happy to comply with medium- to high-risk regulations related to IoT security.
The good news, perhaps, is that nine out of ten (90 percent) plan to increase IoT investment in the distant future – but to do so successfully, they clearly need to tackle their security anxieties head-on.
Michael DeCesare, president and CEO at ForeScout, said: “The survey results demonstrate a dynamic shift in the way organizations are starting to think about security and risk as it relates to IoT.”
“Each new device that comes online represents another attack vector for enterprises and it only takes one device to compromise an entire network and disrupt business operations, which can impact the bottom line,” he added.
“Securing IoT is not just a cybersecurity issue, it is a business issue and operating at any risk level is too much. Enterprises need full visibility.”
The post IoT risk leads to executive anxiety, says Forescout report appeared first on Internet of Business.