This startup could make predictive inventory possible

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Pulsa designed the dashboard for its sensor tracking app to be easy for anyone to use. Image courtesy of Pulsa.

The world of industrial IoT is rarely sexy, but it can be exciting. And right now I am really excited about a startup from San Francisco called Pulsa which is making sensors that measure pressure in gas tanks and the general weight of items in inventory. Formed in June 2016, the startup first created sensors that measure the pressure of gasses in those big cylinders sold to everyone from industrial manufacturers to restaurants that use CO2 in their soda machines.

The sensors communicate with a Pulsa-supplied gateway to let companies keep track of their gas inventory without having to send a person around to manually check it. Pulsa has also built predictive algorithms to anticipate the need for more gas and help companies keep it in stock without buying excess inventory, just in case.

Dave Wiens, the CEO and co-founder of Pulsa, says that the company’s pressure sensors for gas cylinders are already in customer trials and the weight sensors should be ready for trials by the end of April. Customers buy the sensors and receive an accompanying gateway. Today’s gateways use Wi-Fi, but Wiens says that later this year they will have a gateway with Wi-Fi and cellular backup. Those gateways will have NB-IoT, LTE-CatM 1, and 2G fallback, which should enable them to work anywhere in the world.

The sensor hardware costs $ 79 for the current pressure sensors which includes the gateway and cloud services for the app. Afterward, the app costs $ 48 a year per sensor.

As for the return on investment, one of Pulsa’s trial customers manages about 200 gas cylinders and has sensors on 50 of them. So far that customer estimates that it has saved $ 1,000 a month on easy-to-measure things, such as the gas in its tanks. Eliminating the need for an employee to check those levels at the end of each day saves the customer roughly $ 200 a month alone.

More impressive is how the ability to check the actual amount of gas left over and predict when it will run out saves the customer $ 1,500 every other month when a tank unexpectedly runs out in the middle of a manufacturing process.

Plus, the customer gets to use more of the gas. That’s because historically the company would toss a tank at the end of the day if it reached 200 psi due to worries it would run out overnight, costing precious production time. Ahead of weekends and holidays engineers would toss the cylinders if they had less than 300 or 400 psi. But the predictive algorithms that Pulsa provides let the managers of the process feel more comfortable using up more of the gas without worrying about running out. The customer estimates this saves it about $ 750 in what would otherwise be wasted gas.

The customer also plans to look at how to reduce its backup inventory by 10% since it will now have a more accurate sense of which gases it needs and when. In other words, the sensors on gas cylinders and the coming weight sensors will hopefully do for inventory what predictive maintenance is currently doing for production.

Wiens says that Pulsa is ready to sell the pressure sensors for gas cylinders and has received a lot of inquires about the weight sensor product. Potential customers for that product include grocery stores that want to track produce inventory, building management companies that want to measure the amount of cleaning products they have left, and more. Heck, I’d love to have something like it for my fridge so I know when my milk is running low.

But Pulsa isn’t aiming for the consumer market. So far, the enterprise and industrial market is plenty for it to handle.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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Coinbase bug made it possible to reward yourself with unlimited Ethereum

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You might have missed a one-off opportunity to become a cryptocurrency multi-billionaire. It appears popular exchange desk Coinbase suffered from a flaw in its Ethereum smart contract setup, which made it possible to reward yourself with a virtually infinite sum of ETH, according to newly surfaced vulnerability report. The jarring vulnerability was discovered by Dutch fintech firm VI Company, which reported the issue to Coinbase back in late December last year. The exchange desk fixed the issue a month later in January and has since rewarded the Dutch company with a $ 10,000 bounty. “By using a smart contract to distribute…

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Grading the rumors — assessing Apple’s possible releases at the Chicago event on March 27

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With a new Apple event just days away, the rampant speculation has begun. AppleInsider weighs in on the current crop of rumors and reports, and discusses possibilities for the unusual event, happening far away from Apple’s new campus.
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Valve Has ‘Dota 2’ and the Source 2 Engine Running on Mobile Devices, Other Mobile Ports Are Possible

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Last week I toured the Valve offices and got a hands-on preview of their upcoming collectable card game Artifact, but the most interesting thing to me was that Artifact runs on the Source 2 engine which Valve has successfully ported to mobile. In a passing comment surrounding Source 2 working on mobile devices, Gabe Newell also mentioned that they’ve got Dota 2 running on tablets, although it’s super difficult to control.

The fascinating part of this is that it means that mobile ports of all sorts of Valve titles (and other games that run on Source 2) are now technically possible. Additionally, given Valve’s flat structure and the complete freedom employees have to create new products and experiment with old ones, the only thing stopping all the Valve games eventually being released on the App Store is someone willing to champion that cause at the company. Valve team members are free to do whatever they want, as long as they feel it will bring value to the customer, after all.

Is it a major stretch to suggest we’ll see games like Portal on our iPhones? Of course it is, but, when you look at the history of the App Store and mobile gaming as a whole, there was a point in time where it would have been equally laughable to suggest that Square Enix would bring practically every Final Fantasy game to the platform. Hell, we’re even experiencing that right now with Fortnite not only coming to the iPhone but also supporting cross-platform play with the Xbox. If you would have floated that as a possibility as little as two weeks ago, you would have been dismissed as a dreamer, but, here we are.

So, for real, we need everyone in Touch Arcade land to cross their fingers and toes that somewhere along the lifecycle of Artifact coming to the App Store someone at Valve gets passionate enough about mobile gaming to take charge of bringing the rest of their library. Yes, controls will be an issue for games originally designed for the PC with a keyboard and mouse, but, when there’s a will there’s a way.

Valve… don’t make me do this. I totally will.

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Apple Stops Signing iOS 11.2.5; Downgrading No Longer Possible

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Apple has stopped signing iOS 11.2.5, just a few days after releasing iOS 11.2.6 to fix the Telegu character text bomb bug.  Continue reading
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Lenovo CEO hints at a possible Moto RAZR comeback with foldable design

HMD has been able to successfully revive the nostalgic Nokia brand of smartphones with worldwide acclaim. The MWC brought return of the Nokia 8110 (banana phone) while 2017 was the year the Nokia 3310 was revived as well. Motorola’s RAZR might be something that Motorola could bring back in the near-ish future. This is according to a comment that Lenovo CEO made to a small group of journalists at MWC, Tech Radar reports. Yang Yuanqing was asked about a possible Motorola RAZR revival to which Yuanqing commented, “With the new technology, particularly foldable screens, I think you will see…

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3D Creator Update: Direct to Facebook sharing now possible

Starting today you will be able to upload your 3D scans directly to your Facebook timeline from 3D Creator and be the first of your friends to have a 3D picture on social media.

This new update means 3D Creator users can share their 3D scans directly to their Facebook friends using Facebook’s interactive 3D post format, so anyone who sees the post will be able to rotate, spin, pinch and zoom in directly from the Facebook News Feed – opening up a whole new world of possibilities for 3D sharing.

Not used 3D Creator yet? With the exclusive Xperia app, you can capture your world in 3D straight from your smartphone, and turn people and objects into high-resolution 3D avatars.

3D creation is no longer just for professionals – 3D Creator by Sony has made it accessible to everyone and enabled 3D scanning in a matter of seconds and sharing in an instant. For existing XZ1, XZ1 Compact and XZ Premium users who have 3D Creator, the application will be updated through Google Play.

Read more about Facebook’s newest updates to 3D posts, here.

The post 3D Creator Update: Direct to Facebook sharing now possible appeared first on Sony Xperia Blog.

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Officials probe first possible drone-related aircraft crash in the US

US authorities have started investigating what could be the first drone-related aircraft crash in the US, according to Bloomberg. Pilots have been reporting more and more drone sightings these past few years based on data from the FAA, but most of th…
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A Possible Culprit in the Infertility Crisis: Plastic

There’s a crisis going on. A crisis of sperm.

Specifically, there isn’t enough of it — at least, not enough of the high-quality stuff. Scientists haven’t quite been sure why this is the case, but a new study indicates a possible culprit: a chemical found in plastic.

The chemical is one you’ve probably heard of before: Bisphenol A (BPA). It’s been used for decades as a component of plastic takeout containers, water bottles, and the inside of cans. But more recently, researchers have discovered that BPA disrupts the endocrine system. Its presence in the body can do things like cause miscarriages, affect the age at which puberty begins — and, yes, lower sperm counts.

That’s a problem because it seems very difficult to avoid BPA. 93 percent of Americans carry BPA in their bodies. And as BPA-laden plastic makes its way from our landfills to waterways, from oceans to the fish we eat, the chemical will surely be found in more places worldwide.

A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, shows that BPA might be affecting fertility in people as young as teenagers. In the study, led by researchers at University of Exeter in the U.K., looked at the sperm count of 94 British teens between ages 17 and 19. The participants were told to limit their contact with the substance for a week by using glass or stainless steel food containers, and refraining from eating canned food. Even so, 86 percent of them still had trace amounts of BPA in their systems after the week was up.

Participants noted that it was hard to steer clear of BPA because of inconsistent labeling that warned that products might contain the chemical. While this may have had some effect on the results of the study, it reflects the real-world challenge of avoiding the substance in normal circumstances.

While research like this raises concerns, the plastics industry maintains that there is no immediate risk posed by BPA. The World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, and the European Food Safety Authority have all previously approved its usage. However, most countries no longer recommend its use in baby bottles, and it was recently added to the European Chemical Agency’s candidate list of substances of very high concern.

The post A Possible Culprit in the Infertility Crisis: Plastic appeared first on Futurism.

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Pokémon GO to get in-game quests, hints at possible future mythical Pokémon release

In an APK teardown on the Silph Road Pokémon GO subreddit, user and moderator dronpes has published a wealth of new findings in version 0.91.1 of the popular AR game. While Niantic’s official changelog is just a simple three-pointer on in-game news, search, and bug fixes, the teardown goes into a lot more depth and reveals a lot of what Niantic has planned for Pokémon GO, the most substantial of which could be the new Quest functionality.

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Pokémon GO to get in-game quests, hints at possible future mythical Pokémon release was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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