Find out what happened on Internet of Things area during last month. Enjoy our newest IoT digest:

Hardware news

Nvidia powers Isaac smart robot platform with Jetson Xavier  

Nvidiai Isaac smart robot platform

There are three main components to Nvidia’s Isaac platform:

  • Isaac SDK – a collection of APIs and tools to develop robotics algorithm software and runtime framework with fully accelerated libraries.
  • Isaac IMX – Isaac Intelligent Machine Acceleration applications, a collection of NVIDIA-developed robotics algorithm software.
  • Isaac Sim – a highly realistic virtual simulation environment for developers to train autonomous machines and perform hardware-in-the-loop testing with Jetson Xavier.

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Bluetooth Mesh is a wise choice for smart buildings

IoT Tech Expo in Amsterdam is just kicking off and there’s already fighting words from low-power networks on why their technology is the best.

In a keynote titled ‘Putting the Smart in Smart Buildings with Bluetooth Mesh’, we heard from Bluetooth SIG Technical Program Manager Martin Woolley on what makes the technology a wise choice for smart building deployments.

“Last year, we introduced something called Bluetooth Mesh,” says Woolley. “That gave us the ability to have many-to-many communication paths between devices.”

“Many thousands of devices can form a network ... it’s very much designed for things like smart buildings.”

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Semtech and Ubicquia Light Up the Streets with a Smart Grid LoRa-based IoT Solution

Streetlamps represent a large portion of a city’s allocated energy budget, in some cases reaching upwards of 40%. Studies of energy grids estimate that a smart grid Internet of Things (IoT) solution utilizing sensors, gateways and LED bulbs would provide large financial returns as well as valuable data. Ubicquia’s new LoRa-based gateway module allows the Ubicell streetlight to act as both a gateway and a client maintaining its core functionality that includes advanced light control, utility grade power metering, tilt and vibration sensing, connection to third party sensors and network integration.

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Telit’s New LN941A6-E1 NGFF Data Card Enables High Speed Applications for European Market

Telit, today announced its new LN941A6-E1 data card designed for high-speed cellular broadband market for mobile computing for tablets, notebooks as well as routers and gateways for high-end commercial use and applications in enterprise networking.

The LN941A6-E1 is the latest example of Telit’s leadership in enabling advanced internet-based applications.

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China’s dove drones take surveillance to new heights

The technology is thought to have been used extensively in the autonomous region of Xinjiang Uygur. The huge area in the northwest of China shares borders with Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan, among others. It’s also one of the most ethnically diverse parts of the country and thought of by the central government in Beijing as a separatist movement waiting to happen.

The result: state surveillance disguised as nature. The programme is code-named ‘Dove’, and is being led by researchers at the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian, Shaanxi province.

China’s dove drones

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Small chips edge smart nano-drones closer to reality

smart nano-drones

Researchers working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a tiny chip that could control drones as small as a bee.

A team at MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has created a processor called Navion, which measures 20 square millimetres and consumes just 24 milliwatts of power.

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British Army exploring autonomous warfare, new breed of soldier

The British Army is set to “push the limits of innovative warfare”, following a new approach outlined by its chief of general staff, General Mark Carleton-Smith.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute’s Land Warfare conference in London, General Carleton-Smith addressed the topic of emerging technologies and the role they have to play in the future of warfare.

British Army exploring autonomous warfare

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US soldiers to get miniature personal reconnaissance drones

  • Imaging company FLIR has been awarded a US Army contract for personal reconnaissance systems, worth $2.6 million.
  • As part of the Soldier Borne Sensor Program, the US Army has been experimenting with drones to provide military personnel with more situational awareness in the battlefield.
  • The deal has been struck with FLIR to provide Black Hornet personal reconnaissance systems. FLIR claims the Black Hornet – currently at version 3 – is the world’s smallest such drone. The miniature helicopter has both thermal and optical imaging capabilities, and a flight time of 25 minutes.

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Software news

Windows 10 IoT Core Services

The commitment offers assurance that any ‘Things’ deployed won’t be outdated anytime soon. With large-scale IoT deployments, this is particularly vital to avoid fears of costly replacements and/or downtime.

Microsoft’s existing IoT Core will continue to be free as a semi-annual channel offering. IoT Core Services is a paid solution but represents a long-term servicing channel which is to be combined with various services.

One of the most important services is access to the Device Update Center where an overview of all devices can be seen and updates scheduled for when appropriate. All of the updates will be delivered using the same CDN (Content Delivery Network) as Windows Update.

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Red Hat teams up with Vorwerk to help create smarter home appliances

  • Red Hat has announced that Vorwerk is implementing a new IoT environment with multi-cloud support and an infrastructure based on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.
  • This hybrid cloud solution is developed from enterprise-grade Kubernetes and Linux containers that provide the flexible, scalable architecture for Vorwerk to expand device connectivity and application processing power.
  • In order to get better leverage of the increasingly connected nature of the consumer world, Vorwerk applied a digital recipe ecosystem, “Cookidoo,” which contains an IoT environment with multi-cloud support to integrate more than 1.5 million of its IoT devices.

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Pymetrics’ open source tool can detect bias in AI algorithms

  • New York-based AI startup Pymetrics has announced it has open-sourced its much-needed tool for detecting bias in algorithms.
  • Now available on GitHub, the company’s so-called Audit AI will scan algorithms for anything which is being favoured or disadvantaged.
  • Pymetrics’ background is “matching talent to opportunity, bias-free” to help ensure businesses are recruiting the best candidates for their job.

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Kerlink and Microshare Announce LoRaWAN™ Integration in Google Cloud IoT

Combining Kerlink and Microshare technology with Google’s Cloud IoT Core and the suite of data-management tools available in the Google Cloud IoT platform brings a degree of sophistication necessary to support the next generation of value-added IoT solutions without the need for expensive internal IT resources.

“By integrating Microshare and Kerlink’s technologies in Google Cloud, we can create carrier-grade solutions at cloud-scale in hours rather than months.”

“Reducing the burden of security, scale and reliability allows both solution providers and customers to focus on rapidly delivering valuable business insights with their LoRaWAN networks.”

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Facebook using machine learning to fight fake news

Facebook has announced a raft of measures to prevent the spread of false information on its platform.

Writing in a company blog post on Friday, product manager Tessa Lyons said that Facebook’s fight against fake news has been ongoing through a combination of technology and human review.

However, she also wrote that, given the determination of some people to abuse the social network’s algorithms for political and other gains, “This effort will never be finished and we have a lot more to do.”

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Google smart home products leak location data

Research has shown that Google’s two most popular smart home products are leaking precise location data, revealing their whereabouts.

Craig Young, a researcher at security firm Tripwire, discovered that the security flaws in Google Home and TV streaming device Chromecast are exposed when an attacker asks the Google device for a list of nearby wireless networks. That list can then be sent to Google’s geolocation lookup services.

“An attacker can be completely remote, as long as they can get the victim to open a link while connected to the same Wi-Fi or wired network as a Google Chromecast or Home device,” Young said to KrebsOnSecurity.

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MIT introduces brain-controlled robots

  • Scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are leading research into controlling robots using brainwaves and simple hand movements.
  • Their work is designed to ease the complex challenges of robotics control systems, which often require dedicated programming and even language-processing capabilities.
  • The new system allows a robot’s supervisor to correct mistakes instantly and more intuitively, using a combination of gestures and brain signals, paving the way towards fully brain-controlled robots, and countless new applications.
MIT brain-controlled robots

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Bringing home the bacon: Alibaba brings AI platform to pig farming

Alibaba has already trialled its AI technology with pig farmers across China. Visual recognition, voice recognition, and real-time environmental monitoring have all been deployed on its platform to gather individual data on each hog’s daily movements, as well as analysing growth indicators, pregnancies, and other health-related matters.

On top of giving farmers more livestock insights and actionable data, Alibaba’s machine learning algorithms can automatically prescribe a workout plan for hogs to improve overall health and yield. The system, Alibaba claims, can improve farmers’ output by detecting sick pigs before illness spreads or becomes fatal.

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Digital twins: Helping West Coast trains to run on time?

Construction giant Laing O’Rourke is using digital twin technology to begin solving problems that many people face in their daily lives: inefficient railways.

Speaking at our Internet of Manufacturing event in London, Dr Graham Herries, Laing O’ Rourke’s director of Digital Technologies, explained how the construction company is using its Optimised digital twin platform to rework the operations of the West Coast Mainline – one of the UK’s busiest and most important rail corridors, currently operating as Virgin West Coast.

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General news

Johan Krebbers, Shell: On why poor quality data won’t cut it in delaying your IoT initiatives

For Johan Krebbers, IT CTO at Shell, it’s non-negotiable. “IoT on its own is useless,” he explains. “It only becomes useful when we pick up the data, and apply machine learning to it, digitise it, and help the decision maker.”

Yet the rise of machine learning in recent times – in order to facilitate real-time insights, as well as provide self-learning mechanisms – has taken the next step up. “We have to make sure we’ve got the whole end to end workflow in place,” adds Krebbers. “To just talk about IoT itself is a waste of time. IoT by itself only does data collection – you need all of the things to come [together] for your decision making.”


Connected car owners will trade personal data for services

The research, commissioned by automotive data services platform Otonomo, indicates high-profile privacy breaches have not shaken the majority of consumers’ willingness to share personal data — as long as it’s clear what services they’ll receive in return.

On average, around 80 percent of those surveyed who expressed interest in connected services indicated a willingness to share personal automotive data in order to access specific capabilities.

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How startups can survive and thrive in an IoT landscape

"If you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg," explained Wienke Giezeman, co-founder at LoRaWAN network provider The Things Network, "don't go into IoT."

Giezeman said he had been an IoT entrepreneur for three years and that it was 'super hard'. If you want to build a business in IoT, he argues, you need a myriad of competencies - cloud, hardware, security certification, the lot. "It's very difficult for a startup," he added.

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Semtech’s LoRa Technology and Suntront Manage Utilities in China for a Smarter, Cleaner Planet

Semtech Corporation announced Semtech’s LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology into its smart gas and water meters for more advanced coverage and analytics.

Suntront’s smart gas and water metering solutions utilize LoRa Technology to remotely measure and adjust the levels of flow through piping by accessing a LoRaWAN™ network and transmitting data via third-party applications. A simple user management software service connects to Suntront solutions and provides the utility manager all necessary functions, including the ability to view usage trends and to monitor each meter remotely. Utility managers then use the data to program the LoRa-enabled devices to automatically shut off or change valves when certain thresholds are met.


Greater China Set to Dominate Global Industrial IoT Market, Says New GSMA Report

Government Backing 5G, AI and Data Analytics to Transform Industrial Sector; GSMA Intelligence Forecasts 13.8 billion IIoT Connections Worldwide by 2025, with China Accounting for One-Third of Global Market.

The GSMA today issued a new report, ‘The Industrial IoT in Greater China’, highlighting how the region is poised to lead the global Industrial IoT (IIoT) market.

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3 Ways 5G Wireless Technology Could Change Your Daily Commute

Here are three ways 5G technology could change your daily commute.

  • You’ll Get to Work Faster
  • You Won’t Have to Drive Yourself
  • Your Can Use Your Commute to Get Things Done

Being able to let your car do the driving will transform your commute into an opportunity to get things done on the way to work. With your hands and eyes free, you can watch a TV show, read a book or take a nap on your way to the office. Or if you prefer to be productive, you can start getting work done even before you get to work.


California could force USA to adopt GDPR-style laws today

The US state of California could be about to introduce GDPR-style data privacy laws.

The state legislature is set to vote later today (Thursday 28 June) on the proposed California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). The new online privacy rules could bring sweeping changes to how technology companies both gather and monetise their customers’ data in the state.

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War of words escalates between tech firms’ employees and government

Google announced its intention to leave the AI programme earlier this month, after more than 4,000 employees signed a petition urging the company to withdraw from “the business of war”. Others resigned, citing fears over the potential weaponisation of AI.

Amazon has also found itself in the firing line recently over its relationship with government agencies, particularly experimental deployments by police of its Rekognition facial recognition system. Many Amazon employees – and some senators – believe this will underscore ethnic bias and introduce unwarranted real-time surveillance of citizens.


Hackers could use Web-based attacks to take over IoT devices

Security researchers have warned that hackers could create webpages that rapidly scan for home IoT devices and then take control of them.

According to a paper to be presented at the ACM SIGCOMM 2018 Workshop on IoT Security and Privacy in August,  have discovered a faster way of mounting an old attack method, known as DNS rebinding.

A DNS rebinding attack happens when a user visits a webpage that contains a malicious script and remains on the page long enough for the script to be run in its entirety. Such attacks typically fail if a user navigates away before the attack has finished, as it takes a minute to run.

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