Fredric Paul

Author Archives: Fredric Paul

Is predictive maintenance the ‘gateway drug’ to the Industrial IoT?

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), the consumer market gets all the attention, but the real action may be in industrial applications, the so-called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).The IIoT is a huge market, and it’s based more on clearly defined cost savings than the always-fickle consumer preferences that seem to rule the consumer market. It also requires highly available infrastructure to connect everything and avoid expensive downtime — one reason why investment in IIoT firms has been hot this summer, with investments in companies such as Seeq, Element Analytics, Trendminer, Falkonry, and Toumetis.To read this article in full, please click here

Apple Watch 4 represents an epic fail for smartwatches in business

Remember when we thought smartwatches and wearable technology were going to change the world — and the enterprise? That doesn't seem to be happening quite yet.According to much of the consumer tech press, the new Apple Watch Series 4 stole the show from the iPhones announced in Apple’s big fall press event. Reviews were generally positive for the new wearable device, and along with the new edge-to-edge display and other improvements, much of the love centered around new heart-health monitoring features, including an electrocardiogram (ECG), low heart rate detection, and atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection. There’s also a new fall-detection feature designed to automatically summon help if needed.To read this article in full, please click here

The new Apple Watch 4 represents an epic fail for smartwatches

Remember when we thought smartwatches and wearable technology were going to change the world?According to much of the consumer tech press, the new Apple Watch Series 4 stole the show from the iPhones announced in Apple’s big fall press event. Reviews were generally positive for the new wearable device, and along with the new edge-to-edge display and other improvements, much of the love centered around new heart-health monitoring features, including an electrocardiogram (ECG), low heart rate detection, and atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection. There’s also a new fall-detection feature designed to automatically summon help if needed.To read this article in full, please click here

Ideas this bad could kill the Internet of Things

What’s the silliest, dumbest, most ridiculous Internet of Things (IoT) application you can think of? Smart toothbrushes? Internet-connected toilets? Digital notepads in the shower?Well, forget all that. Heck, you can even forget the "smart" Air Dresser wardrobe that Samsung announced earlier this month. (If you’re wondering, this digital closet is said to automatically "air" — whatever that means — steam, dry, and purify clothes so they don’t, you know, stink.)IBM has just patented an IoT device concept so incredibly inane that it makes all those earlier attempts to trivialize the IoT seem like cures for cancer. What could possibly be so ill-conceived as to make a smart hairbrush look, well, smart?To read this article in full, please click here

Excess data center heat is no longer a bug — it’s a feature!

Every data center admin knows that dealing with excess heat is one of the biggest, most expensive factors involved in running a modern data center.For decades, engineers have been looking for new ways to mitigate the issue, and now Norway is building a brand-new town designed to turn the problem into an opportunity to lower costs, reduce energy usage, and fight climate change.[ Read also: Data center cooling market set to explode in the coming years | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] Hug your servers ... to stay warm According to Fast Company, the town of Lyseparken, now under construction near Bergen, Norway, is being built to use the excess heat generated by a new data center in the heart of the community to keep a nearly 6.5 million square feet of nearby planned business and office space—and eventually up to 5,000 homes—warm. It works like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Excess data center heat is no longer a bug — it’s a feature!

Every data center admin knows that dealing with excess heat is one of the biggest, most expensive factors involved in running a modern data center.For decades, engineers have been looking for new ways to mitigate the issue, and now Norway is building a brand-new town designed to turn the problem into an opportunity to lower costs, reduce energy usage, and fight climate change.[ Read also: Data center cooling market set to explode in the coming years | Get regularly scheduled insights: Sign up for Network World newsletters ] Hug your servers ... to stay warm According to Fast Company, the town of Lyseparken, now under construction near Bergen, Norway, is being built to use the excess heat generated by a new data center in the heart of the community to keep a nearly 6.5 million square feet of nearby planned business and office space—and eventually up to 5,000 homes—warm. It works like this:To read this article in full, please click here

Are microservices about to revolutionize the Internet of Things?

Along with the rise of cloud computing, Agile, and DevOps, the increasing use of microservices has profoundly affected how enterprises develop software. Now, at least one Silicon Valley startup hopes the combination of microservices and edge computing is going to drive a similar re-think of the Internet of Things (IoT) and create a whole new software ecosystem.Frankly, that seems like a stretch to me, but you can’t argue with the importance of microservices to modern software development. To learn more, I traded emails with Said Ouissal, founder and CEO of ZEDEDA, which is all about “deploying and running real-time edge apps at hyperscale” using IoT devices.To read this article in full, please click here

Finally, a smart way for insurers to leverage IoT in smart homes

Like many consumers, I tend to be automatically suspicious of insurance companies’ plans to track my behavior. And like many tech journalists, I’m also skeptical of clever new smart home automation schemes. But painful personal experience has me all excited about a new pilot program involving Travelers insurance and Notion smart home sensors.According to a post in Coverager: “Travelers has tapped Notion, the home awareness solution and smart home sensor, to offer smart home monitoring systems to Travelers customers in California. Travelers is working with Notion to provide data-driven insights to customers through Notion’s home monitoring system in order to prevent and mitigate threats such as water leaks, fire damage, and thefts.To read this article in full, please click here

Why IoT for seniors is a lot tougher than it looks

We’ve all heard the promises about how the Internet of Things (IoT) is perfectly positioned to provide healthcare, entertainment, and a wide variety of other services to the aging populations of many industrialized nations. The need is real because the population of countries like Japan, Italy, Greece, and Germany are getting older fast, resulting in a dearth of youngsters able (and willing, of course) to take care of their parents’ generation.The idea — bolstered by a European Commission on the topic — is that autonomous devices, robots, built-in sensors, medical and fitness wearables, voice-activated assistants, specially tuned smart homes, and other IoT innovations will fill in the gaps, helping meet the needs of seniors without requiring legions of younger workers. But when I saw a recent CNBC story about Google’s Nest home automation unit exploring the senior citizen market, it made me laugh out loud.To read this article in full, please click here

Which two companies will lead the enterprise Internet of Things?

As the enterprise Interent of Things (eIoT) becomes an increasingly big deal, everyone is starting to wonder which companies have the inside track to dominate this hot new market.It’s not just a pie-in-the-sky question. A July 2018 study from Market Research Future predicted 26 percent annual growth in the eIoT market, hitting $58 billion in 2023.[ Now read: The future of enterprise IoT ] And last year, a McKinsey & Company survey noted, “Although enterprise IoT is a relatively new development, 98 percent of survey respondents reported that most companies within their industry include enterprise IoT initiatives in their strategic road maps, including those related to improving service operations, increasing visibility into operations, enabling new business models, and creating new product and service offerings.”To read this article in full, please click here

Cloud computing just had another kick-ass quarter

If you’ve been around the tech industry long enough, recent market events held an eerie familiarity.When Facebook badly missed its numbers for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, the company’s stock took an unprecedented pummeling, losing 20 percent of its value and tanking many other tech stock along with it. Watching the carnage, it was hard not to think back to the spring of 2000 when Microsoft lost its antitrust case, losing 15 percent of its value in a single day and signaling the end of the dot.com boom and the beginning of a historic bust.But something is different this time.To read this article in full, please click here

Cloud computing just had another kick-ass quarter

If you’ve been around the tech industry long enough, recent market events held an eerie familiarity.When Facebook badly missed its numbers for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, the company’s stock took an unprecedented pummeling, losing 20 percent of its value and tanking many other tech stock along with it. Watching the carnage, it was hard not to think back to the spring of 2000 when Microsoft lost its antitrust case, losing 15 percent of its value in a single day and signaling the end of the dot.com boom and the beginning of a historic bust.But something is different this time.To read this article in full, please click here

Taking the temperature of IoT for healthcare

The Internet of Things (IoT) is full of promises to transform everything from transportation to building maintenance to enterprise security. But no field may have more to gain than the healthcare industry. Healthcare providers and device makers are all looking to the IoT to revolutionize the gathering of healthcare data and the delivery of care itself.But while many of those benefits are already becoming reality, others are still on the drawing board. Two very different IoT healthcare stories crossed by desk this month — taken together they provide a surprisingly nuanced picture of healthcare IoT.[ For more on IoT, see tips for securing IoT on your network and our list of the most powerful internet of things companies. | Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] Smart bandages still in prototype First, I was excited to hear about the development of advanced prototypes of “smart bandages.” Developed by researchers at Tufts University using flexible electronics, these smart bandages not only monitor the conditions of chronic skin wounds, but they also use a microprocessor to analyze that information to electronically deliver the right drugs to promote healing. By tracking temperature and pH of Continue reading

5 ways the IoT must improve to achieve enterprise success

If you think you know the problems facing the Internet of Things (IoT), a new Deloitte report, Five vectors of progress in the Internet of Things, offers a great chance to check your assumptions against the IoT experts.Despite the fancy-pants “vectors of progress” language, the report’s authors — David Schatsky, Jonathan Camhi, and Sourabh Bumb — basically lay out the IoT’s chief technical challenges and then look at what’s being done to address them. Some of the five are relatively well-known, but others may surprise you.To read this article in full, please click here

5 ways the IoT must improve to achieve enterprise success

If you think you know the problems facing the Internet of Things (IoT), a new Deloitte report, Five vectors of progress in the Internet of Things, offers a great chance to check your assumptions against the IoT experts.Despite the fancy-pants “vectors of progress” language, the report’s authors — David Schatsky, Jonathan Camhi, and Sourabh Bumb — basically lay out the IoT’s chief technical challenges and then look at what’s being done to address them. Some of the five are relatively well-known, but others may surprise you.To read this article in full, please click here

5 reasons the IoT needs its own networks

Last week, AT&T said it would launch a Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) network in the United States and Mexico. And this isn’t the first network dedicated to the Internet of Things that AT&T is working on. The carrier had previously announced an IoT network using the LTE-M standard to cover some 400 million people in the U.S. and Mexico by the end of last year.Just as important, many other U.S. carriers also have various flavors of low-power IoT networks in the works, including Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and even Dish Network.To read this article in full, please click here

5 reasons the IoT needs its own networks

Last week, AT&T said it would launch a Narrow Band-IoT (NB-IoT) network in the United States and Mexico. And this isn’t the first network dedicated to the Internet of Things that AT&T is working on. The carrier had previously announced an IoT network using the LTE-M standard to cover some 400 million people in the U.S. and Mexico by the end of last year.Just as important, many other U.S. carriers also have various flavors of low-power IoT networks in the works, including Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and even Dish Network.To read this article in full, please click here

IoT has an obsolescence problem

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a long way from becoming a mature technology. From wearable devices to industrial sensors and consumer conveniences, IoT vendors and users are still trying to figure out what the technology does best as it grows into a $9 trillion market by 2020 (according to some estimates).And yet, IoT is somehow already faced with a huge and growing problem of obsolescence. The problem, ironically, lies in the “things” themselves.Apple Watch: A premature antique Don’t believe me? Consider the solid gold Apple Watch Edition, launched in 2015 and sold for $10,000 to as much as $17,000 a pop. A traditional watch at that price point would be expected to last decades, perhaps even generations as it turns into a family heirloom. But with the announcement of Apple Watch OS 5 at the company’s World Wide Developers Conference this week, the original version of these fancy timepieces can no longer keep up. They simply won’t run the latest version of the operating system due out this fall, and they won’t have the features of brand-new Apple Watches that cost a tiny fraction of that amount.To read this article in full, please click here

What happens if IoT security doesn’t get solved?

Sometimes, confirmation of the obvious can be really important. At least, that’s how I felt when I saw a new Bain & Company report, Cybersecurity Is the Key to Unlocking Demand in IoT. According to the consulting firm’s survey, 45 percent of Internet of Things (IoT) buyers say “concerns about security remain a significant barrier and are hindering the adoption of IoT devices.” Worries over IoT security are hardly news, of course. I’ve been writing about them here on Network World for a while, and a quick internet search for IoT security rains down more than a million hits.To read this article in full, please click here

What happens if IoT security doesn’t get solved?

Sometimes, confirmation of the obvious can be really important. At least, that’s how I felt when I saw a new Bain & Company report, Cybersecurity Is the Key to Unlocking Demand in IoT. According to the consulting firm’s survey, 45 percent of Internet of Things (IoT) buyers say “concerns about security remain a significant barrier and are hindering the adoption of IoT devices.” Worries over IoT security are hardly news, of course. I’ve been writing about them here on Network World for a while, and a quick internet search for IoT security rains down more than a million hits.To read this article in full, please click here

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