Fredric Paul

Author Archives: Fredric Paul

Smart cities offer window into the evolution of enterprise IoT technology

Powering smart cities is one of the most ambitious use cases for the internet of things (IoT), combining a wide variety of IoT technologies to create coherent systems that span not just individual buildings or campuses but entire metropolises. As such, smart cities offer a window into the evolution of enterprise IoT technologies and implementations on the largest scale.And that’s why I connected with Christophe Fourtet, CSO and co-founder of Sigfox, a French global network operator, to learn more about using wireless networks to connect large numbers of low-power objects, ranging from smartwatches to electricity meters. (And I have to admit I was intrigued by the 0G network moniker, which conjured visions of weightless IoT devices floating in space, or maybe OG-style old-school authenticity. That’s not at all what it’s about, of course.)To read this article in full, please click here

Where are all the IoT experts going to come from?

If the internet of things (IoT) is going to fulfill its enormous promise, it’s going to need legions of smart, skilled, trained workers to make everything happen. And right now, it’s not entirely clear where those people are going to come from.That’s why I was interested in trading emails with Keith Flynn, senior director of product management, R&D at asset-optimization software company AspenTech, who says that when dealing with the slew of new technologies that fall under the IoT umbrella, you need people who can understand how to configure the technology and interpret the data. Flynn sees a growing need for existing educational institutions to house IoT-specific programs, as well as an opportunity for new IoT-focused private colleges, offering a well -ounded curriculumTo read this article in full, please click here

17 predictions about 5G networks and devices

“As market after market switches on 5G, we are at a truly momentous point in time. No previous generation of mobile technology has had the potential to drive economic growth to the extent that 5G promises. It goes beyond connecting people to fully realizing the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”—The opening paragraph of the June 2019 Ericsson Mobility ReportAlmost every significant technology advancement now goes through what Gartner calls the “hype cycle.” These days, Everyone expects new technologies to be met with gushing optimism and dreamy visions of how it’s going to change the world in the blink of an eye. After a while, we all come to expect the vendors and the press to go overboard with excitement, at least until reality and disappointment set in when things don’t pan out exactly as expected.To read this article in full, please click here

IoT security vs. privacy: Which is a bigger issue?

If you follow the news surrounding the internet of things (IoT), you know that security issues have long been a key concern for IoT consumers, enterprises, and vendors. Those issues are very real, but I’m becoming increasingly convinced that related but fundamentally different privacy vulnerabilities may well be an even bigger threat to the success of the IoT.In June alone, we’ve seen a flood of IoT privacy issues inundate the news cycle, and observers are increasingly sounding the alarm that IoT users should be paying attention to what happens to the data collected by IoT devices.[ Also read: It’s time for the IoT to 'optimize for trust' and A corporate guide to addressing IoT security ] Predictably, most of the teeth-gnashing has come on the consumer side, but that doesn’t mean enterprises users are immune to the issue. One the one hand, just like consumers, companies are vulnerable to their proprietary information being improperly shared and misused. More immediately, companies may face backlash from their own customers if they are seen as not properly guarding the data they collect via the IoT. Too often, in fact, enterprises shoot themselves in the foot on privacy issues, with practices that Continue reading

IoT security vs. privacy: Which is a bigger issue?

If you follow the news surrounding the internet of things (IoT), you know that security issues have long been a key concern for IoT consumers, enterprises, and vendors. Those issues are very real, but I’m becoming increasingly convinced that related but fundamentally different privacy vulnerabilities may well be an even bigger threat to the success of the IoT.In June alone, we’ve seen a flood of IoT privacy issues inundate the news cycle, and observers are increasingly sounding the alarm that IoT users should be paying attention to what happens to the data collected by IoT devices.[ Also read: It’s time for the IoT to 'optimize for trust' and A corporate guide to addressing IoT security ] Predictably, most of the teeth-gnashing has come on the consumer side, but that doesn’t mean enterprises users are immune to the issue. One the one hand, just like consumers, companies are vulnerable to their proprietary information being improperly shared and misused. More immediately, companies may face backlash from their own customers if they are seen as not properly guarding the data they collect via the IoT. Too often, in fact, enterprises shoot themselves in the foot on privacy issues, with practices that Continue reading

6 ways to make enterprise IoT cost effective

There’s little question that the internet of things (IoT) holds enormous potential for the enterprise, in everything from asset tracking to compliance.But enterprise uses of IoT technology are still evolving, and it’s not yet entirely clear which use cases and practices currently make economic and business sense. So, I was thrilled to trade emails recently with Rob Mesirow, a principal at PwC’s Connected Solutions unit, about how to make enterprise IoT implementations as cost effective as possible.To read this article in full, please click here

It’s time for the IoT to ‘optimize for trust’

One of the strengths of internet of things (IoT) technology is that it can do so many things well. From smart toothbrushes to predictive maintenance on jetliners, the IoT has more use cases than you can count. The result is that various IoT uses cases require optimization for particular characteristics, from cost to speed to long life, as well as myriad others.But in a recent post, "How the internet of things will change advertising" (which you should definitely read), the always-insightful Stacy Higginbotham tossed in a line that I can’t stop thinking about: “It's crucial that the IoT optimizes for trust."To read this article in full, please click here

The Traffic Jam Whopper project may be the coolest/dumbest IoT idea ever

People love to eat in their cars. That’s why we invented the drive-in and the drive-thru.But despite a fast-food outlet on the corner of every major intersection, it turns out we were only scratching the surface of this idea. Burger King is taking this concept to the next logical step with its new IoT-powered Traffic Jam Whopper project.I have to admit, when I first heard about this, I thought it was a joke, but apparently the Traffic Jam Whopper project is totally real and has already passed a month-long test in Mexico City. While the company hasn’t specified a timeline, it plans to roll out the Traffic Jam Whopper project in Los Angeles (where else?) and other traffic-plagued megacities such as São Paulo and Shanghai.To read this article in full, please click here

Enterprise IoT: Companies want solutions in these 4 areas

Internet of things (IoT) vendors and pundits like to crow about the billions and billions of connected devices that make the IoT so ubiquitous and powerful. But how much of that installed base is really relevant to the enterprise?To find out, I traded emails with Rob Mesirow, principal at PwC’s Connected Solutions, the firm’s new one-stop-shop of IoT solutions, who suggests that consumer adoption may not paint a true picture of the enterprise opportunities. If you remove the health trackers and the smart thermostats from the market, he suggested, there are very few connected devices left.To read this article in full, please click here

The state of enterprise IoT: Companies want solutions for these 4 areas

Internet of things (IoT) vendors and pundits like to crow about the billions and billions of connected devices that make the IoT so ubiquitous and powerful. But how much of that installed base is really relevant to the enterprise?To find out, I traded emails with Rob Mesirow, principal at PwC’s Connected Solutions, the firm’s new one-stop-shop of IoT solutions, who suggests that consumer adoption may not paint a true picture of the enterprise opportunities. If you remove the health trackers and the smart thermostats from the market, he suggested, there are very few connected devices left.To read this article in full, please click here

When IoT systems fail: The risk of having bad IoT data

No matter what numbers you look at, it’s clear that the internet of things (IoT) continues to worm its way into more and more areas of personal and private life. That growth brings many benefits, but it also poses new risks. A big question is who takes responsibility when things go wrong.Perhaps the biggest issue surrounds the use of IoT-generated data to personalize the offering and pricing of various products and services. Insurance companies have long struggled with how best to use IoT data, but last year I wrote about how IoT sensors are beginning to be used to help home insurers reduce water damage losses. And some companies are looking into the potential for insurers to bid for consumers: business based on the risks (or lack thereof) revealed by their smart-home data.To read this article in full, please click here

Yet another killer cloud quarter puts pressure on data centers

You’d almost think I’d get tired of writing this story over and over and over… but the ongoing growth of cloud computing is too big a trend to ignore.Critically, the impressive growth numbers of the three leading cloud infrastructure providers—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform—doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It’s not just about new workloads being run in the cloud; it’s also about more and more enterprises moving existing workloads to the cloud from on-premises data centers.To read this article in full, please click here

Yet another killer cloud quarter puts pressure on data centers

You’d almost think I’d get tired of writing this story over and over and over… but the ongoing growth of cloud computing is too big a trend to ignore.Critically, the impressive growth numbers of the three leading cloud infrastructure providers—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform—doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It’s not just about new workloads being run in the cloud; it’s also about more and more enterprises moving existing workloads to the cloud from on-premises data centers.To read this article in full, please click here

No, drone delivery still isn’t ready for prime time

April has a been a big month for drone delivery. First, Alphabet’s Wing Aviation drones got approval from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), for public deliveries in the country, and this week Wing earned Air Carrier Certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. These two regulatory wins got lot of people got very excited. Finally, the conventional wisdom exulted, drone delivery is actually becoming a reality.To read this article in full, please click here

Want to the know future of IoT? Ask the developers!

It may be a cliché that software developers rule the world, but if you want to know the future of an important technology, it pays to look at what the developers are doing. With that in mind, there are some real, on-the-ground insights for the entire internet of things (IoT) community to be gained in a new survey of more than 1,700 IoT developers (pdf) conducted by the Eclipse Foundation.IoT connectivity concerns Perhaps not surprisingly, security topped the list of concerns, easily outpacing other IoT worries. But that's where things begin to get interesting. More than a fifth (21%) of IoT developers cited connectivity as a challenge, followed by data collection and analysis (19%), performance (18%), privacy (18%), and standards (16%).To read this article in full, please click here

The Microsoft/BMW IoT Open Manufacturing Platform might not be so open

Last week at Hannover Messe, Microsoft and German carmaker BMW announced a partnership to build a hardware and software technology framework and reference architecture for the industrial internet of things (IoT), and foster a community to spread these smart-factory solutions across the automotive and manufacturing industries.The stated goal of the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP)? According to the press release, it's “to drive open industrial IoT development and help grow a community to build future Industry 4.0 solutions.” To make that a reality, the companies said that by the end of 2019, they plan to attract four to six partners — including manufacturers and suppliers from both inside and outside the automotive industry — and to have rolled out at least 15 use cases operating in actual production environments.To read this article in full, please click here

Elizabeth Warren’s right-to-repair plan fails to consider data from IoT equipment

There’s a surprising battle being fought on America’s farms, between farmers and the companies that sell them tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. Surprisingly, the outcome of that war could have far-reaching implications for the internet of things (IoT) — and now Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has weighed in with a proposal that could shift the balance of power in this largely under-the-radar struggle.Right to repair farm equipment Here’s the story: As part of a new plan to support family farms, Warren came out in support of a national right-to-repair law for farm equipment. That might not sound like a big deal, but it raises the stakes in a long-simmering fight between farmers and equipment makers over who really controls access to the equipment — and to the increasingly critical data gathered by the IoT capabilities built into it.To read this article in full, please click here

Elizabeth Warren’s Right to Repair plan fails to consider data from IoT equipment

There’s a surprising battle being fought on America’s farms, between farmers and the companies that sell them tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. Surprisingly, the outcome of that war could have far-reaching implications for the internet of things (IoT) — and now Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has weighed in with a proposal that could shift the balance of power in this largely under-the-radar struggle.Right to repair farm equipment Here’s the story: As part of a new plan to support family farms, Warren came out in support of a national right-to-repair law for farm equipment. That might not sound like a big deal, but it raises the stakes in a long-simmering fight between farmers and equipment makers over who really controls access to the equipment — and to the increasingly critical data gathered by the IoT capabilities built into it.To read this article in full, please click here

An inside look at an IIoT-powered smart factory

As someone who’s spent his whole career working in offices, not factories, I had very little idea what a modern “smart factory” powered by the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) might look like. That’s why I was so interested in Tempo Automation’s new 42,000-square-foot facility in San Francisco’s trendy Design District.Frankly, I pictured the company’s facility, which uses IIoT to automatically configure, operate, and monitor the prototyping and low-volume production of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), as a cacophony of robots and conveyor belts attended to by a grizzled band of grease-stained technicians. You know, a 21stcentury update of Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 classic Modern Times making equipment for customers in the aerospace, medtech, industrial automation, consumer electronics, and automotive industries. (The company just inked a new contract with Lockheed Martin.)To read this article in full, please click here

An inside look at Tempo Automation’s IIoT-powered ‘smart factory’

As someone who’s spent his whole career working in offices, not factories, I had very little idea what a modern “smart factory” powered by the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) might look like. That’s why I was so interested in Tempo Automation’s new 42,000-square-foot facility in San Francisco’s trendy Design District.Frankly, I pictured the company’s facility, which uses IIoT to automatically configure, operate, and monitor the prototyping and low-volume production of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs), as a cacophony of robots and conveyor belts attended to by a grizzled band of grease-stained technicians. You know, a 21stcentury update of Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 classic Modern Times making equipment for customers in the aerospace, medtech, industrial automation, consumer electronics, and automotive industries. (The company just inked a new contract with Lockheed Martin.)To read this article in full, please click here

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