Stay current on Internet of Things, check out the latest IoT news and updates from ElifTech's IoT digest.

Hardware news

IIHS tests find ‘irksome’ and ‘dangerous’ flaws with automated driving systems

That’s the verdict of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which has put together a series of tests and found many of the leading automated driving systems weren’t up to the task.

Five models were evaluated by the road safety body; the BMW 5 Series, with ‘Driving Assistant Plus’, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class with ‘Drive Pilot’, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 and 2016 Tesla Model S, and the Volvo S90 with ‘Pilot Assist.’

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Sierra Wireless launches AirLink LX40 router for IoT and enterprise use cases

Sierra Wireless has introduced what it claims to be the industry’s most compact cellular router, called AirLink LX40, for the IoT.

The router comes in two variants: LTE-M/NB-IoT (up to 300 Kbps downlink) for enhanced coverage and LTE Cat-4 (up to 150Mbps downlink) for higher throughput. The LX40 supports data processing at the edge and is suitable for connecting cameras, smart lockers and point-of-sale terminals, as well as industrial remote data logging and sensing equipment in indoor or protected-outdoor locations.


u-blox Module First to be Certified on U.S. Cellular’s New LTE Cat M1 Network

The compact module offers developers of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and machine to machine (M2M) communication systems a simple way to implement a low-power air interface. Certification on U.S. Cellular’s LTE Cat M1 network further eases the process of enabling wide-area wireless connectivity.

LTE Cat M1 is a low-power, wide-area (LPWA) cellular networking technology for devices with low to medium data-rate requirements (375kbit/s upload and download speeds in half-duplex mode). It has power-saving modes that extend battery lifetimes, and features that enable greater in-building range than cellular technologies such as 2G, 3G and LTE Cat 1.

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Quake Global announced the launch of QConnect™ an advanced telematics device

The device is designed to meet the demands of a wide variety of requirements from simple low-cost tracking applications to high-performance, multi-channel, video streaming applications.

QConnect is flexible with unique apps and software options on an open source Linux platform. Control your vision with standard built-in security. Users can provision QConnect with a variety of standard configurable apps for specific applications. QConnect also provides advanced users the flexibility to create their own applications to suit their specific needs. Integrated Ethernet, CAN, RS232, and multiple GPIO channels enable a multitude of connectivity options at the machine or equipment level. Advanced features support driver authentication, predictive maintenance, real-time video processing, data collection, process and schedule synchronization, and alert automation.

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Semtech’s LoRa Technology Monitors Cattle Health in Real-Time

Semtech Corporation announced that Quantified Ag, a company specializing in Internet of Things (IoT) cattle tracking and cattle health solutions, has implemented Semtech’s LoRa® devices and technology into its smart cattle tags for advanced health monitoring.

Quantified Ag’s devices are implemented in feedlots in the U.S. and Australia.

Semtech’s LoRa Technology Monitors Cattle Health in Real-Time


Quectel Announces Release of GSM/GPRS/GNSS/Wi-Fi Module

The new module supports hybrid positioning technology including GNSS, Cell ID and Wi-Fi aided positioning, and enables position tracking in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Quectel MC90 integrates multi-GNSS system, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS, which greatly improves the positioning accuracy and ensures that the module can track position even in areas with weak satellite signals. This makes MC90 especially suitable for urban areas with high-rise buildings and complex environments.

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Internet of Things: Pay once, use over ten years

The joint offering by Deutsche Telekom and 1NCE, now available under the name 1NCE Lifetime Fee, is designed especially for business customers. It provides connectivity for devices using low data volumes in the Internet of Things (or IoT). The prepaid rates can now be booked from the 1NCE webshop.

For a one-off price of ten euros, customers receive a SIM card with a data volume of 500 MB and 250 SMS messaging for use in the Internet of Things. This will normally be enough to cover the entire lifetime of up to ten years of such connected devices. If the data volume purchased is used up before the end of the device’s lifetime, the customer can top up with additional data packages. The rate also includes the right to use 1NCE’s cloud platform for managing active SIM cards.

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XYO Network to Deliver Location Data to CAS Smart City IoT Management Platforms Throughout China

XYO Network, blockchain’s first cryptographic location network, will provide certainty driven location data to China’s automated, connected cities of the future through CAS Smart City’s big data management platform for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The partnership between XYO and CAS Smart City, which features top talent from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, opens the door for a vast number of location-centric smart city uses. This includes funneling critical data from vehicles to CAS Smart City’s existing infrastructure, which not only includes a central command platform, but a light pole that features IoT sensors, WiFi, navigation information, and more.

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Software news

LG CNS announces strategic platform rebrand to focus on IoT, blockchain and AI

A curious announcement from LG CNS, the South Korean giant’s IT services and consulting arm – the company is rebranding its platform business to focus on technologies around the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).

There are seven brands LG CNS will be working under. IoT is covered through INFioT, an ‘infinite scalable internet platform’, smart city platform Cityhub, smart factory automation tool Factova, and Enerdict, which provides energy management services. AI is covered by DAP, the company’s multi-cloud based AI and big data analysis platform, and Orott, a robotics service.


LG CNS announces CityHub platform for smart city management

Washington-based CTIA – a trade association representing the wireless communications industry in the US – has created the CTIA Cybersecurity Certification Program for cellular-connected IoT devices.

The CTIA Cybersecurity Certification Program is said to be the first of its kind to be developed in partnership with several leading wireless operators, tech firms, security experts and test labs, across the country. The Programme, which is built upon IoT security recommendations from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), creates a secure foundation for smart cities, connected vehicles, and mHealth.

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Samsung Announces New SmartThings Mesh Wi-Fi System

Intelligent Wi-Fi system offers AI-based network optimization with a built-in SmartThings Hub; SmartThings Hub and sensors refreshed with sleek design and improved performance.

In an effort to eliminate the dreaded Wi-Fi buffering zone and prevent streaming latency, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today announced its new SmartThings Wifi mesh network system.

Equipped with AI-based mesh Wi-Fi technology from Plume and a built-in SmartThings Hub, the system delivers an intelligently optimized whole home network with the added value of complete smart home control throughout every room of the home.

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Ayla Networks Announces New IoT Platform Release

Ayla Networks, whose Internet of Things (IoT) platform-as-a-service (PaaS) delivers industry-leading device management and application enablement, today announced new capabilities to its IoT platform that will further simplify the ability to gain business value from IoT.

This new Ayla IoT platform release overcomes restrictions on choosing wireless modules to connect to the Ayla IoT cloud and streamlines the creation of enterprise applications that use IoT device data.


LG, Luxoft expand webOS to automotive, robotics, smart homes

IT services company Luxoft is partnering with LG Electronics to expand the webOS operating system into the automotive, robotics, and smart home sectors.

LG currently deploys webOS in over 60 million smart TVs and digital signage systems.

Luxoft will lead the deployment of webOS in a variety of new sectors, beginning with automotive, according to a joint statement today. The partnership will initially focus on digital cockpit development – which includes infotainment, navigation, and other features that centre on human-car interactions – before moving on to smart homes and robotics.

LG, Luxoft expand webOS to automotive, robotics, smart homes

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How Robotics as a Service extends to whole factories

The concept of Robotics as a service (RaaS) is quickly gaining ground in manufacturing, and one of its latest proponents is industrial robotics firm Kuka, which is taking the idea to a whole new level.

The German company, which was acquired by Chinese consumer products manufacturer Midea back in 2016, recently announced that it is launching a new SmartFactory as a Service initiative. Also onboard are MHP – a Porsche Group consultancy specialising in the automotive and manufacturing sectors – and insurance giant, Munich Re.

How Robotics as a Service extends to whole factories


Singapore offers free A.I. training to 12,000 citizens and executives

From 30 August, secondary students and working adults in the country are being give the opportunity to learn the basics of AI for free, as part of a new programme called AI for Everyone (AI4E).

The government is targeting 10,000 participants. It aims to familiarise them with the technology and help them understand how it can be used in their daily lives, according to the minister for Communications and Information, S Iswaran.

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Microsoft A.I. can code your website from a freehand sketch

The move is also evidence that few careers will escape the clutches of AI augmentation (Microsoft’s strategic aim for its cognitive technologies) or replacement – as would appear to be the case here; at least, it changes the core nature of Web design work.

But will it lower the bar for wannabe designers, or simply lower the standards of design itself – as happened in the early years of desktop publishing? We wait to see if AI will remove the grunt work from design, or simply give birth to a new generation of websites that look like a doodle on the back of an envelope.

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A.I.: Google releases open source framework for reinforcement learning

The Google Brain team has developed the framework with flexibility, stability, and reproducibility in mind.

Reinforcement learning – a branch of machine learning in which computer programmes learn to take actions to maximise a certain outcome or reward – has come a long way in recent times.

The best-known working examples of this type of AI come from DeepMind, the University College London startup that Google acquired for a reported £400 million at the beginning of 2014.

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General news

Lantronix joins Microsoft’s Azure Certified for Internet of Things program

Data access and management provider Lantronix has announced it has joined the Microsoft Azure Certified Internet of Things program.

The program accelerates IoT solutions that are pre-tested and verified to work with Microsoft Azure IoT services, which benefit businesses to reach their clientele where they are, working with an ecosystem of devices and platforms expediting production.


C3 IoT partners with Google Cloud to boost AI and IoT application development

C3 IoT has announced a strategic partnership with Google Cloud aiming to boost artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) development for enterprise digital transformation.

Under this partnership, C3 IoT and Google Cloud have developed an integrated solution that looks to smoothly delivers the C3 IoT Platform, a comprehensive platform as a service (PaaS) for rapidly developing and operating big data, predictive analytics, AI, and IoT software applications, on Google Cloud Platform, using the innovative infrastructure and AI services to maximum advantage. In addition, both companies will execute co-marketing, co-selling, and co-training initiatives to rapidly scale distribution globally and accelerate customer success.

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New research shows consumers continue to see significant risk in IoT device security

Consumers continue to be intrigued by IoT devices – yet almost two thirds polled by Dynatrace admit they have already encountered performance issues with serious injury a potential risk.

The study, titled ‘IoT Consumer Confidence Report: Challenges for Enterprise Cloud Monitoring on the Horizon’ and which polled 10,000 consumers globally, poured scorn on the security of connected devices amid consumer concerns.

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Report reveals significant rise in exploits targeting three major IoT vulnerabilities

Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point Software Technologies’ latest Global Threat Index reveals a significant rise in exploits targeting three major IoT vulnerabilities. According to the company, these attacks, which are linked to the propagation of IoT malware like Mirai, IoTroop/Reaper and VPNFilter, have more than doubled since May.

The top 10 ‘most exploited’ list includes MVPower DVR router Remote Code Execution at fifth position; D Link DSL-2750B router Remote Command Execution at seventh; and Dasan GPON router Authentication Bypass at tenth position. The data shows 45% of organisations around the globe getting affected by attacks targeting these vulnerabilities, compared with 35% in June 2018 and 21% in May. These vulnerabilities allow attackers to execute malicious code and gain remote control of the target devices.

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Opportunity knocks for chipset providers as China rethinks its cellular IoT strategy

When the new generation of Cat-M1 (LTE-M) and NB-IoT networks began rolling out, there was considerable speculation as to which markets would push forward each technology. The two largest U.S. carriers decided to prioritize Cat-M1 networks, while Chinese operators prioritized NB-IoT with its simpler and less costly technology.

At the time, Cat-M1 and NB-IoT were considered to be competing technologies. However, most mobile network operators have since come to the realization that these will compliment, rather than compete, with each other. Thus, we are witnessing a global approach to utilize both technologies.

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Alibaba Cloud and Infineon team up for IoT partnership to digitally upgrade Chinese enterprises and cities

The areas of ‘smart life’ and ‘smart industry’ are set to get a boost, as German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies and China’s Alibaba Cloud have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support both the fields by helping Chinese enterprises and cities to go through a seamless digital transition.

Infineon, which is an active promoter and practitioner of Industry 4.0, will leverage its own core technology and service advantages in the field of IoT to work together with Alibaba Cloud on its operating system: AliOS Things, and provide technical services. Both companies will further delve into the planning, implementation and security standards of the IoT that will enable SMEs and individuals to deploy and access Alibaba Cloud in an economical and reliable way.


Hackers connected an IoT parking kiosk to porn in ‘grey hat’ attack

Hackers connected an IoT parking kiosk to a porn site in what appears to have been a 'grey hat’ attack without malicious intent.

The most well-known labels for hackers are ‘black hats’ or ‘white hats’ to indicate whether hackers intend to cause damage, or whether they intend to find vulnerabilities to protect a system from being compromised.

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Seven ways the Internet of Things can help end world hunger

  1. Arresting world hunger through an Internet of Things supply chain
  2. Improve the yield from harvesting and storage
  3. Improve the existing distribution network
  4. Leverage cost-effective real-time data, harnessed from the cold chain infrastructure with track-and-trace capabilities 
  5. Improve food purchase habits in affluent countries to minimise waste
  6. Extend the shelf life of produce
  7. Enable surplus food to be shared

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ABI Research Ranks PTC’s ThingWorx as Top Smart Manufacturing Platform

PTC today announced its ThingWorx® Industrial Innovation Platform was ranked as the top smart manufacturing platform in ABI Research’s “Smart Manufacturing Platform Competitive Assessment.”

Platforms from 11 major vendors were analyzed by criteria such as innovation and implementation, including each firm’s overall business model, partnerships, product functionality, and system integration capabilities. ThingWorx received top scores in overall innovation, including its compelling use of augmented reality (AR) and tied for the top spot in its digital twin functionality and protocol adaptability and device connectivity.

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