Fredric Paul

Author Archives: Fredric Paul

3 companies developing wearable tech for the enterprise

Earlier this month, I wrote that “even as smartwatch shipments continue to grow, significant industrial and business use cases for these internet-connected devices have yet to appear.”And then a few days later, as if on cue, International Data Corporation (IDC) put out a press release about the latest edition of the Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. The release quoted Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's Wearables team, saying, "Two major drivers for the wearables market are healthcare and enterprise adoption.”To read this article in full, please click here

Wearable tech in the enterprise grows, but few workplace uses exist

Take a glance at the wrists of your co-workers, and you’re likely to see more and more of them adorned with smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearable technology. In meetings, you increasingly see colleagues surreptitiously glancing at their tiny screens, hoping in vain that no one is noticing.It isn’t just you. The latest smartwatch numbers all say that smartwatch shipments are growing fast, and the internet-connected devices are beginning to achieve mainstream acceptance: Last month, The NPD Group's new Smartwatch Total Market Report noted that smartwatch unit sales jumped 61 percent in 2018, while dollar volume rose 51 percent to approach $5 billion in sales. Some 16 percent of U.S. adults now own a smartwatch, the report said, up from 12 percent at the end of 2017.To read this article in full, please click here

Why the industrial IoT is more important than consumer devices — and 7 more surprising IoT trends

Given the Internet of Things’ (IoT) perch atop the hype cycle, IoT trend-spotting has become a full-time business, not just an end-of-the-year pastime. It seems every major — and minor — IoT player is busy laying out its vision of where the technology is going. Most of them harp on the same themes, of course, from massive growth to security vulnerabilities to skills shortages.[ Also on Network World: Six IoT predictions for 2019 ] Those are all real concerns, but Chris Nelson, vice president of engineering at operational intelligence (OT) vendor OSIsoft, shared some more unique viewpoints via email. In addition to his contention that the IoT will blur the lines between IT, which runs the customers’ systems and email, and OT, which runs the technology behind the production systems, he talked about what will drive the IoT in the next year.To read this article in full, please click here

The big picture: Is IoT in the enterprise about making money or saving money?

Everyone knows the Internet of Things (IoT) is a transformative technology for consumers, vendors, and enterprises that’s in the process of becoming a historically huge market—measured in trillions, not billions, of dollars. That’s great, and most likely true, but perhaps a little vague in some respects. For example: What, exactly, do enterprises hope to gain from their investments in the IoT? Are they planning to use the IoT to save money on things they’re already doing, or do they see the technology as a way to create new businesses and boost revenue?To read this article in full, please click here

Why predictive maintenance hasn’t taken off as expected

“Two years ago, predictive maintenance was forecast to be one of the most promising uses of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).”That’s the lead of report based on a recent Bain & Company survey of more than 600 high-tech executives (Beyond Proofs of Concept: Scaling the Industrial IoT, by Bain partners Michael Schallehn, Christopher Schorling, Peter Bowen and Oliver Straehle). The report goes on to note that identifying precisely when equipment might fail “seemed like a no-brainer.” And yet, the report concludes, “predictive maintenance has failed to take off as broadly as expected.” In fact, industrial leaders were not as excited about predictive maintenance as they were back in a 2016 survey.To read this article in full, please click here

Why predictive maintenance hasn’t taken off as expected

“Two years ago, predictive maintenance was forecast to be one of the most promising uses of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).”That’s the lead of report based on a recent Bain & Company survey of more than 600 high-tech executives (Beyond Proofs of Concept: Scaling the Industrial IoT, by Bain partners Michael Schallehn, Christopher Schorling, Peter Bowen and Oliver Straehle). The report goes on to note that identifying precisely when equipment might fail “seemed like a no-brainer.” And yet, the report concludes, “predictive maintenance has failed to take off as broadly as expected.” In fact, industrial leaders were not as excited about predictive maintenance as they were back in a 2016 survey.To read this article in full, please click here

Why are IoT platforms so darn confusing?

Lots of vendors are eager to sell enterprises an “IoT platform,” but it’s not always clear exactly what those “platforms” actually do, why you need one, and which one you should choose. As Hackernoon put it in April 2018: "We’re a cross-functional, fully integrated, full-stack, serverless, hardware agnostic, AI, IoT platform that offers you infinite infrastructure . . .“ said every confusing IoT platform website ever.To read this article in full, please click here

What programming languages rule the Internet of Things?

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to evolve, it can be difficult to track which tools are most popular for different purposes. Similarly, trying to keep tabs on the relative popularity of programming languages can be a complex endeavor with few clear parameters. So, trying to figure out the most popular programming languages among the estimated 6.2 million IoT developers (in 2016) seems doubly fraught — but I’m not going to let that stop me.To read this article in full, please click here

The IoT brings targeted advertising into retail stores

The Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere these days, from smart houses to smart cities to industrial applications. And now it’s coming to the coolers in a drugstore near you.Walgreens is testing innovative, IoT-powered "smart coolers" that combine cameras, facial recognition software, and display screens in the cooler doors to serve targeted ads depending on what it can tell about shoppers rooting around for cold drinks and frozen treats.[ Read more about IoT: Download a PDF bundle of five essential articles about IoT in the enterprise ] Bringing the online ad experience in store According to the Wall Street Journal, the system attempts to recreate the online advertising experience in brick and mortar stores, using facial recognition software to determine the age of the shopper and what products they’ve already selected — as well as environmental factors — to determine what ads to show. Supplied by Chicago-based Cooler Screens, the technology is designed to transform “retail cooler surfaces into IoT-enabled screens and [create] the largest retail point-of-sale merchandising platform in the world.”To read this article in full, please click here

IoT for retailers: opportunities and challenges

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is already having a profound impact on the world of retail, both online and in the brick-and-mortar world. But according to Darin Archer, chief marketing officer of ecommerce software vendor Elastic Path, we haven’t seen nothing yet.Via email, I asked Archer about the opportunities and challenges the IoT poses for retailers, and he offered some illuminating answers, including how IoT devices are “especially useful for routine purchases” and how they will increasingly pit retailers against manufacturers.[ Read also: 6 ways IoT is transforming retail ] Opportunity in the home, the car, online, and IoT devices That retailer/manufacturer competition will play out in four key fields, Archer said: the home, the car, online and social media, and from devices themselves.To read this article in full, please click here

Top 10 IoT vulnerabilities

Security questions have dogged the Internet of Things (IoT) since before the name was invented. Everyone from vendors to enterprise users to consumers is concerned that their fancy new IoT devices and systems could be compromised. The problem is actually worse than that, as vulnerable IoT devices can be hacked and harnessed into giant botnets that threaten even properly secured networks.But what exactly are the biggest problems and vulnerabilities to avoid when building, deploying, or managing IoT systems? And, more to the point, what can we do to mitigate these issues?To read this article in full, please click here

Top 10 IoT vulnerabilities

Security questions have dogged the Internet of Things (IoT) since before the name was invented. Everyone from vendors to enterprise users to consumers is concerned that their fancy new IoT devices and systems could be compromised. The problem is actually worse than that, as vulnerable IoT devices can be hacked and harnessed into giant botnets that threaten even properly secured networks.But what exactly are the biggest problems and vulnerabilities to avoid when building, deploying, or managing IoT systems? And, more to the point, what can we do to mitigate these issues?To read this article in full, please click here

Top 10 IoT vulnerabilities

Security questions have dogged the Internet of Things (IoT) since before the name was invented. Everyone from vendors to enterprise users to consumers is concerned that their fancy new IoT devices and systems could be compromised. The problem is actually worse than that, as vulnerable IoT devices can be hacked and harnessed into giant botnets that threaten even properly secured networks.But what exactly are the biggest problems and vulnerabilities to avoid when building, deploying, or managing IoT systems? And, more to the point, what can we do to mitigate these issues?To read this article in full, please click here

10 things the perfect IoT battery should do

As everyone who carries a mobile phone has no doubt already learned the hard way, even the most sophisticated devices can be hobbled by a lack of power. And those power issues are especially problematic when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), where many IoT devices exist in hard-to-reach locations with little access to external power sources.Whether implanted in a cardiac patient’s heart or a climate-monitoring installation in a remote rain forest, many IoT devices must rely on internal batteries for a long, long time.That means IoT devices need two things: High-capacity batteries that hold sufficient power to run the device in a small space, and with a long shelf life so they don’t lose that power over time Power-efficiency improvements so they consume less of that precious battery juice [ Also see our list of the most powerful Internet of Things companies and learn about the Industrial Internet of Things. | Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] IoT batteries getting a lot of attention To a large extent, the IoT’s ability to work in difficult-to-reach locations will depend on how well those two requirements are met in the coming Continue reading

Six IoT predictions for 2019

This time of year, it can seem like the world is swimming in predictions for the new year, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is no exception. In fact, in fast-evolving areas like IoT, multitudes of trends and opportunities and challenges are in play, making predictions ridiculously easy — just about anything can happen, and probably will.[ Also read: Gartner’s top 10 IoT trends for 2019 and beyond | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] So, my goal here is to identify a set of IoT predictions that are both likely to happen … and likely to have a significant impact on the development and implementation of the technology.To read this article in full, please click here

Six IoT predictions for 2019

This time of year, it can seem like the world is swimming in predictions for the new year, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is no exception. In fact, in fast-evolving areas like IoT, multitudes of trends and opportunities and challenges are in play, making predictions ridiculously easy — just about anything can happen, and probably will.[ Also read: Gartner’s top 10 IoT trends for 2019 and beyond | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] So, my goal here is to identify a set of IoT predictions that are both likely to happen … and likely to have a significant impact on the development and implementation of the technology.To read this article in full, please click here

Six IoT predictions for 2019

This time of year, it can seem like the world is swimming in predictions for the new year, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is no exception. In fact, in fast-evolving areas like IoT, multitudes of trends and opportunities and challenges are in play, making predictions ridiculously easy — just about anything can happen, and probably will.[ Also read: Gartner’s top 10 IoT trends for 2019 and beyond | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] So, my goal here is to identify a set of IoT predictions that are both likely to happen … and likely to have a significant impact on the development and implementation of the technology.To read this article in full, please click here

Does IoT come with that burger?

When I think of restaurant technology, I think of stoves and dishwashers and maybe fancy molecular gastronomy gadgets like the stuff that former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myrhvold likes to talk about.Apparently, however, even this kind of “Modernist Cuisine” is now old school when it comes to restaurant tech. The new, new thing is combining the Internet of Things (IoT) with artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize the front-of-the-house systems in order to predict demand, track inventory, and improve order and billing accuracy. Overall, IoT promises to help restaurants leverage IoT and AI to streamline operations, boost employee happiness, and innovate in areas beyond creating delicious new dishes.To read this article in full, please click here

6 ways IoT is transforming retail

In the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this seems like the perfect time to look some of the many ways that the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the world of retail. The IoT is already in use in stores around the world, and according to estimates from Grand View Research, retail IoT could be a $94 billion market by 2025. Here are a half dozen ways that might come to pass:To read this article in full, please click here

Gartner’s top 10 IoT trends for 2019 and beyond

At Gartner’s Symposium/ITExpo in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month, the research firm shared a report on 10 strategic trends affecting the Internet of Things (IoT) from 2019 to 2023. In the report, titled Top Strategic IoT Trends and Technologies Through 2023, according to multiple published reports, the firm identified the following as the 10 most impactful IoT trends:To read this article in full, please click here

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