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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?

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While the internet of things has quickly become a popular term, the medical industry has been using it for quite some time. However, in the medical industry it has been called telemetry for many years. But with the IoT becoming an important buzz word, more professionals are acknowledging the term used for gathering data and improving the health of others.On the forefront of the most advanced technology are three areas. The first is elder care. New technology allows better tracking of patients in nursing homes so they cannot get lost, and if they experience any sudden change in stats or experience a fall, a nurse is immediately given information of where the patient is.

 

Patient data is the next area. Considered the most mature element, thanks to telemetry, this gives instant access to vital signs of patients, and other essential information at the push of the button. This allows patients to remain in constant supervision, without them having to be physically assessed by a member of a medical team every few minutes. More importantly, the technology reduces the risk of error. That means readings are far more dependable than they would otherwise be.

Protecting the data that is mined is also of importance. Because of that, devices are using stricter encoding to transmit information. Even information that has been collected through special devices that are the only tools that can harvest information, are then protected in a secured location.

Newer devices have also found secure ways to transmit information, aside from WiFi. Additionally, less power intrusive devices are also available. That will allow devices to run for a longer period of time, without having to have elements switched out.

Finally, medical apps are now in use that are helping to further advance the internet of things. They include the Future Path Urosense, Philips Medication Dispensing Service, and Air Finder. Of course, additional powerful apps are being released all the time and each is proving to play an important role in the future of medical IoT.

While there is no way to predict which will be the new and best item, there is no doubt that the medical industry is headed in the right direction. Take the time to explore each of the options as they are released to gain a deeper understanding of the direction things are headed. That way, you continue to keep ahead of the trends and remain innovative in your facility.

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Illustration of a long shadow smart watch with the text DIY

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.

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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.

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DDOS Attack. Information Concept. Red Arrow with “DDOS Attack” slogan on a grey background. 3D Render.

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Illustration of a isolated smart watch icon with a 2016 sign

2016 will go down as being part of the golden era for the Internet o things. This last year has experienced incredible advancements like cars that drive themselves, and cities that actually smarter. It has also been a learning experience where major security breaches threatened us, but we worked past them, and ultimately built stronger systems. So what were some of the top stories of the year?

The first was the Mirari code. This historic attack utilized the internet of things to take down massive websites, through unsecure devices. Amazon, BBC, and other websites felt the crushing blow of this DDoS attack. When things settled down, there was still the concern of what could happen if another attack were to happen.

Our vehicles also experienced an upgrade in 2016. Several fleets of autonomous cars (or those that drive themselves) were unveiled. These cabs would provide the most effective driving experience for passengers and could cut down on accidents, and avoid delays in traffic. This means the future of getting to and from work will be incredible.  That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t gone off without a hitch the Tesla that was running on autopilot did already claim the life of one man who was in the vehicle as it drove in July.

Reactions were mixed this year in August when a pair of hackers revealed more security concerns for Jeep. While these individuals brought the information to the attention of the industry to help prevent a deadly encounter, it was still sobering for most to see just how dangerous these vehicles could be when connected to the internet of things. Fortunately, this information can be used to help establish a stronger set of code that makes it incredibly difficult for people to hack and to cause havoc on the roads.

But not everything has grey clouds over it this year. In Columbus, Ohio the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the city would receive federal funding to become a smart city. This technology would allow transportation to be more effective in the area and to ensure that the experience both residents and visitors is incredible.

This has been a year that has seen some definite improvement with the internet of things and what it can do. While the year is coming to an end, we still have 2017 to look forward to with the entire world of possibilities that it holds for us.

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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.There’s another DIY IoT methodology.

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.

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The internet of things is not a new entity, though many are not aware that it has been around for a while. Modern industry and people like to add new names to an old idea to keep it fresh, but IoT is not something that just happened. It is a decades old and rapidly evolving concept.

Not sure that you believe us? Take a look at the IoT Timeline and see where it came from. Then visit our 2017 projections and see where its going.

IoT Timeline of historical events

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On October 21, a cybersecurity attack took place on connected devices. This attack on the Internet of things was unlike anything that has taken place in the past, and security experts fear that this historic attack is one that is only a small sample of things to come.

The attack primarily affected websites that utilized internet enabled platforms and delivered a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. The IoT security attack took advantage of passwords that were set up by manufacturers, and had never been reset, allowing the cybercriminals a good number of systems that they could exploit.

What we’ve learned, is that there are people who are gaining a great deal of experience with impacting connected devices. So while it might seem small with a series of cameras, tomorrow it could be a power plant, or other series of devices that could result in a dangerous outcome. Companies need to be proactive and to secure their devices, and work on security updates on some of the backdoor items that criminals are finding. It is with better, more secure systems that the devices on the Internet of Things can be protected. As it stands right now, passwords and usernames can easily be stolen, and this can lead to a dangerous outcome. IoT security simply isn’t the best it can be.

In fact, doctors are even stepping in to voice their concerns about IoT security. When the latest series of attacks on the IoT came to light, Dick Cheney stated that his heart implants wireless access was disabled because of fear that someone would attack him. While the increased awareness of the threats is good, it shouldn’t dishearten those who want to break into the realm of the internet of things. All this means is that you need to take the time to explore how to make your networks more secure and work on security.

While a DDOS attack could potentially cripple a network, there are dozens of ways that you can prevent it from ever happening. That way, you can continue to utilize the system at hand, and never have to worry about a denial of service crippling your network in the process. After all, the IoT security is improving and IoT should improve your digital experience, not create a more stressful one.

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

Johnnie Walker is an example of a company that one wouldn’t expect. When a bottle of their Blue Label is open, it will send messages and information to the cell phone 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 IoT technology. 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 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 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 IoT continues to evolve, so are 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.

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