IoT in 2016. What Did We Experience?

The internet of things has made incredible leaps and bounds in recent years. 2016 was no exception with most of the hype we’ve been hearing
coming to fruition. In fact, the general population actively discovered this amazing trend and while there were a few bumps in the road, 2016
proved we are still in a golden era.

A great example can be found in the homes of millions. Thanks to devices like the Amazon Echo, more people have embraced the IoT on a consumer
level. This has shown that while some concerns are out there among people, it is possible to win over the consumer and to create a
multifunctioning device that is successful. We now can control all aspects of our home from a single unit so lights can be switched on,
television systems recorded, and even thermostats adjusted even if we are on the other side of the world.

We also learned what we can expect when a cyberattack happens on a grand scale. Yes, the September 2016 cyber-attack that slammed Netflix,
Twitter, and other major players allowed us to recognize the importance of cybersecurity and put it at the forefront of the connected devices
that we use. Fortunately, nothing of serious consequence was experienced during this attack and the online world appears to have recovered.

In a sense, even the concerns with cyber-attacks are not enough to sway the investors who have helped IoT stocks to experience new highs. On the
NASDAQ alone, there was a major surge in Industry 4.0 stocks including the likes of Sierra Wireless and PTC who are often viewed as the
frontrunners when people talk about the internet of things.

Because 2017 is expected to be an even bigger year, we saw some legal changes to how the IoT can work. No data coming from devices that are
potentially used by children can be mined for data. If a security breach is experienced, it must be reported at once. Also, users must give
their consent to have data mined, and have the option to object to it if they desire to do so.
Even with all those restrictions in place, this should still be an incredible year for both the average consumer, and those producing connected
devices.

Who Will Rank Among the Top IoT Providers in 2017

Who are Some of the Most Powerful IoT Companies Going into 2017?

IoT is no small thing any longer. With smart phones, smart tablets, smart refrigerators, smart buildings and smart cities, it’s a given that there is a lot of money to be made in the IoT industry. With IoT growing by leaps and bounds and predictions being that it will grow to a trillion and a half dollars by 2020, everyone wants a piece of that pie.

The IoT companies that have the most to offer and are taking away most of the consumers at this point in time—the heavy hitters in IoT are the companies that should all be watching. The question is—who are they?

The top IoT movers and shakers for 2017 –based on those who did the most with IoT in 2016 appear to be these: ( listed in alphabetical order, not necessarily by order of importance)

Amazon. With tools like Echo and Amazon AWS and Kinesis, Amazon scores big on the IoT scene by offering increasingly powerful services and tools for users.

AT&T with their broadband network is slated to be a key enabler of the IoT forces. The M2X will also play an important role in that along with Data Flow, the development portal for IoT.

Bosch—the German wizards of home appliances also make enterprise software. They say that their range of appliances and products will now be connected to IoT to make monitoring and maintenance easier. This will make them one of the key companies in IoT.

Cisco, which company terms the IoT the Internet of Everything is slated to be one of the main companies that will be enablers of Iot in every form. Cisco is creating a whole new niche for themselves by their provision of switching, routing, wireless access points and network hardware for connecting and communicating with IoT devices.

Google—Always in the lead in nearly anything they undertake, Google has made it a point to take hold of the IoT reins and put themselves at least in the top ten companies by the purchase of smart thermostat maker NEST, that could expand to bring in all manner of smart home systems.

IBM—The Watson smart products will be what lands IBM as a mover and shaker in the IOT space if they have anything to say about it. A combination of cloud development and production arenas for apps, IBM has a little of everything to offer the cloud development community.
These powerhouses, joined by Huawei, Hitachi, Samsung, and yes, even Microsoft, are the companies to watch—and to beat if you’re looking at it as a competition. The question is not whether they will give us great products and services—we already know the answer to that one–most of them will. The bigger question is and one that is and will continue to be a sticking point for the consumer is– with the race to market we’ve been seeing from a lot of these companies, in their haste, can we depend on them to secure their IoT space as well?

What Does a Trump Election Mean to IoT?

President Trump’s Potential Impact on The Internet of Things

With all of the controversy surrounding the election of Donald Trump for America’s highest position of office, there has been a lot of talk about how the president-elect could impact business in the United States. While many commentators have focused on the potential jobs that could come back to the country, few have looked at how Trump might impact new and emerging industries, such as the one that has built up around the Internet of Things.

Connected devices and the networks that support them could be directly impacted by the policies that Trump proposed during his campaign run, and here are three key areas that are most likely to be affected.

Information Security in Cyberspace Will Become a Government Priority

Trump’s government may well be good news for cybersecurity in government departments. The president-elect promised many times to review the cyber defenses in place throughout the government, and even create new training initiatives to ensure that all government employees have an appropriate understanding of information security in the age of IoT.

Business and Consumer Privacy May be Reduced

Trump is known to be in support of the NSA and domestic espionage, providing it is carried out with the blessing of the courts. While the current administration has tried to tread carefully when it comes to privacy, Trump could be less sensitive, as shown by his calls to boycott Apple Inc. for not co-operating with the FBI in recent months.

Electronic Costs Could Rise

Trump has made a big deal about bringing jobs back to the United States. Currently, the majority of all consumer and enterprise electronics are manufactured outside of the United States. If the new president follows through with his plans to enforce heavy tariffs on electronic goods made overseas, the prices of devices will certainly rise. Even if manufacturers choose to bring their operations back to the United States, the cost of investment in infrastructure, technology, and labor, will mean that end user costs are more than what we pay today.

Although the incoming administration has promised to invest in infrastructure to make manufacturing in the US more attractive than outsourcing, it is estimated that it would take $1 trillion in investment, over a period of a decade, for the United States to even match the level that East Asia is at today. In 2016, China alone spent more than $1.4 trillion on manufacturing related infrastructure, which means that the United States has a hard road ahead if it wants to catch up.

DIY Applications that Could Expand the Reach and Mindshare of IoT

DIY Applications that Could Expand the Reach and Mindshare of IoT

There are some in the IoT industry who see certain technologies as prohibitive, especially for the average user. There are a number of areas that are currently unserved by IoT technologies, sometimes due to a lack of innovation, and at other times due to there being a lack of network support in a particular geographic location.

With the increased penetration of 4G cellular coverage around the world, there is huge potential for DIY IoT services that are independent of any major branch of technology. Learning about the companies that are preparing niche devices can help you to expand your vision of what IoT is, and who it can benefit.

Here are three exciting areas that have already been embraced by the DIY IoT community.

Environmental Tracking for Agriculture

Agricultural operators could gain a lot from IoT sensors, and independent developer Mesur would like to provide the technology. This startup company creates simple sensor devices that can track atmospheric and environmental conditions to help with seeding and harvesting, allowing operators to minimize waste and increase crop yields. They also provide tailored analytical sensor software to benefit turf management, vineyard management, and even mining operations.

Private Car Telemetry Tracking

Telemetry tracking can be hugely beneficial when used for legal defense or during insurance claims. One driver who wanted to put the power of data in his own hands, went as far as creating a device that tracked his vehicle behavior, detecting speed, location, and acceleration/braking patterns. Using simple components like gyros, a GPS module, and a transmitter, individuals could create their own vehicle tracker with telemetry, and connect it to a cellular network for extensive urban and suburban coverage.

Plant Health Monitor for Home Gardeners

By combining a GSM connected microcontroller module from Particle, along with a temperature and moisture sensor, home DIY enthusiasts could create a simple device that tracks soil quality in home planters or gardens, letting them know when it’s time to get out and water the plants. With the Particle microcontroller, alerts can be sent via SMS, email, or to a mobile app. An electron 3G kit from Particle costs less than $70 USD, and as demand for DIY devices increases, these costs are likely to come down even further.

Using a Particle Microcontroller for Almost Any Application

Particle is one of the leading companies when it comes to home and small scale IoT development. Their electron IoT microcontroller kit can provide cellular service in virtually any country that has coverage, and the microcontroller can be used with multiple sensors for virtually any application. Whether a user wanted to create a GPS tracker for their vehicle, or a door sensor for their home, the Particle would be perfect for the job.

As other companies develop DIY-friendly kit sets and technologies, it is likely that the number of home-based IoT enthusiasts will increase, and devices like the Particle could even find their way into schools and tertiary education facilities, where they will inspire the next generation of IoT designers and innovators.

Best New Uses of IoT

What are the Best New Uses of the IoT

With more than 25 billion internet connected devices expected to hit the world by 2020, it comes as little surprise that  there are multiple new uses of IoT and that more companies are embracing the evolving technology. There are quite a few companies that have created an incredible world of possibility with the IoT.

Johnnie Walker is an example of a company that one wouldn’t expect to find new uses of IoT. When a bottle of their Blue Label is open, it will send messages and information to the cellphone of the individual drinking. This is a full interactive experience that will ensure that the individual is reminded to be responsible while drinking, at the same time enhancing the experience they have.

John Deere has also created a unique experience with the IoT. With the data that their tractors and other farm equipment pulls, they can tell farmers what the nutrient and irrigation needs are of the area they are working on. This will help to produce better, richer crops for farmers, and ensure they have the best yield possible during the season.

Even the Magic Kingdom has begun to utilize the IoT. Disney World now uses RFID tags that allows users to have a better experience in the park. With their wrist bands, users can connect a payment method and purchase items just by tapping the wristband at a register. They can also check into rides and give Disney a better understanding of how people are moving in the park, and what their most popular attractions are at any given time.

Perhaps the most bizarre use of the IoT is with cattle. Farmers are now working with companies who can help them to monitor where their cattle are at any given time. This allows them to monitor herds and if someone attempts to steal a cow, the rancher is provided with detailed location in a manner of seconds to help them begin legal action if needed.

As the IoT continues to evolve, so are the new uses of IoT and the  ways that the world will use this powerful technology. It is important to take the time to consider all the possibilities out there and to expand on the potential that we have with it.

DDoS Attacks Using IoT Devices

Hacker Duet Exposes More Problems in Vehicular IoT

The hacker duo who exposed the original dangers of jeep hacking for WIRED magazine a year ago, has done it again. The duo whose main purpose is to help reduce the dangers that people face thanks to connected driving devices.

This arsenal of attacks could potentially prove fatal if the technology were to get in the hands of someone else. In their latest effort, they show how quickly a Jeep can be controlled from outside of the vehicle, and how during normal driving conditions, they can cause the wheel to jerk to one side and cause a person to veer into other lanes of traffic to their death.

While some may take fear from these presentations, others look at them as a new understanding of the internet of things. With the revelations so far, Chrysler has taken the time to fix the coding work. This helps to close additional avenues. Although, it doesn’t mean everything is out of the woods just yet. As long as there are hackers, there will be someone who is vested in finding security flaws that will allow them to gain control of a device. While some of the security flaws may lead to minor annoyances like messing with the clock in the vehicle, or the radio changing channels, it can be worse.

In this case, the duo have used new technology and techniques that are still allowing them to bypass the safeguards in place, so they are able to prove just how dangerous this technology is. This information can then be utilized by Chrysler, and other companies that utilize the internet of things, so that they can help to reduce any future danger to the consumers who purchase their products. The dup go a step further and pinpoints for the manufacturer what is happening and why it is happening. That way, when they write future code they are able to create a solution that provides safety.

Ten Great DIY/IoT Concepts That Are Here Now

The meaning behind the letters in DIY are readily understood by people. IoT does not immediately spark recognition…yet. IoT stands for “Internet of Things” and refers to the amazing connection between various devices as well as connecting things via the internet. Since the world is becoming rapidly more technologically reliant, it makes sense designers would develop new ways to connect various technologies together.

Can DIY and IoT be fused together? Absolutely! Here are ten truly awesome DIY IoT projects:

Build a Robot

Who wouldn’t want their own robot? Okay, but how do you build one? No one needs to dream of classic science-fiction works such as I Robot anymore to figure out the answer. Windows IoT allows for easily building a mini-robot – a start.

Drone via Voice

The uses for Amazon’s Echo technology is far more diverse than people realize. The technology can be integrated into drone’s allowing for the voice command of the flying device. Just don’t go hoarse trying to use it.

Maintain a Weather Station

Data about the weather comes from all sorts of different sources. Combining all those sources into one central data hub makes it easier to get weather stats without fishing all over the internet.

Keeping Tabs on a Car

It would be tough to steal a car if the engine was remotely shut off. A new smartphone app can control the engine ignition, air conditioner, and, in time, more. Real-time tracking of where the car is could aid in tracking the vehicle down if someone absconds with it.

Auto-Tinting for Windows

Sensors built into the windows control the tinting of the windows when a bit too much hit warms up the surface. Once the tint darkens, heat is kept out and comfort is boosted.

Facial Recognition Door Locks

Remember the talking door knocker from The Wizard of Oz? A modern high-tech version has emerged. By utilizing advanced facial recognition software produced by Microsoft, a door’s lock can open for those it recognizing. No more stumbling for keys after this system is set up.

Animal Attack Wi-Fi

This is an intriguing concept, but one people might not want to try for themselves. Adding a device capable of hacking Wi-Fi to a dog or cat’s collar is innovative, but doing so may get you in trouble.

The Magic Mirror

A fairy tale can come true in the form of a talking mirror. Building up a smart mirror allow it to display more than a reflection. The mirror can present all manner of different data including weather, news feeds, and more.

Helping Animal Life in Rivers and Streams

Microsoft Azure can track the temperatures of creeks, streams, and more allowing the system to aid in reintroducing Salmon to the waters and maintaining a proper ecosystem.

Automatic Car Wreck Response

Wow – this one could literally be a lifesaver. A communications system is hooked up to a car and, when an accident occurs, first responders are notified immediately. Such a system could help in a multitude of different serious scenarios.

These 10 are only the beginning of what is sure to be an extremely long list. A lot of DIY IoT greatness is sure to emerge in time.