Recent Trends in IoT Technology

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Apr 232016

The Internet of Things (IoT) has gained a lot of traction in the recent years, which isn’t really surprising since the technology that supports it has rapidly developed. Over the years, IoT has grabbed the attention of not just tech enthusiasts but also of ordinary people who want to save time and money, enjoy more comfort, and make their lives better.

If you’re interested in IoT, here are some of the recent trends that you should know about:


Smart homes

Many homeowners have become interested in modernizing their homes through IoT technology, which can greatly help in maintaining safety and security and increasing convenience and comfort. Retail giant Amazon, for example, has introduced its virtual assistant Alexa and released open software called the Smart Home Skill API. This API will creates a standard that manufacturers of smart lights, switches, and thermostats should follow, ensuring that their devices can easily be controlled by consumers through Alexa.

Some real estate developers are even taking the game a step further by constructing smart homes. Developer Qingjian, for example, is set to build The Visionaire, an executive condominium in Singapore that will come with built-in smart lock systems and smart household appliances.

However, the IoT for homes has recently come under fire when Nest (the popular home automation company that’s owned by Alphabet, which also owns Google) announced that it will shut down the Revolv smart home hub in May 2016. Nest acquired Revolv in 2014 and immediately stopped selling the hub, and it notified users in February that it would shut down the cloud service that supports the Revolv hub. Many users expressed outrage over this, pointing out how people can shell out big bucks over “smart” home devices — only to find that the gadgets no longer work after a few months or years.


Modern healthcare

The Internet of Things has revolutionized healthcare in different ways. On a personal level, wearables that are powered by IoT technology allow users to track the number of steps they take, the number of miles they run, and the amount of calories they burn when performing a certain activity. These devices also allow users to monitor their sleeping patterns and see how long and how well they sleep. People can then use these information to swap bad habits with good ones and take steps to improve their health and fitness.

IoT technology can also help healthcare providers by making it easy for them to monitor their patients and ensure they’re in good shape. Smart pocket electrocardiograms, for instance, allow patients to take ECGs anytime and anywhere and share these information with their doctors in real time. “Smart” patient badges allow healthcare staff to track their patients’ activity levels and prevent patients from wandering out of the facility, while “smart” staff badges allow hospital employees to easily communicate with one another and maintain smooth work flow.


Final Thoughts

IoT technology is here to stay, and it’s safe to assume that it will keep on getting better as time passes by. It’s up to people to integrate it in their daily lives and to businesses and organizations to use it in their line of work.




Honda Enlists IBM Watson IoT Technology

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Mar 292016

IBM has recently announced that Honda R&D is analyzing and monitoring data via more than 160 sensors in Formula One cars using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology of IBM Watson. This means that crews and drivers can now apply data and analytics in real-time to improve fuel efficiency, streamline performance and enable drivers to make racing decisions based on this information.

The racing world, which is known for split-second reactions by drivers that can make or break the race, has been bringing entertainment to people around the world for almost a century now, where engineers are retrieving data after each race, such as fuel flow and timing, to adjust their strategies for the next race.

But with this new technology, F1 racing has evolved to one that is highly driven by data, where drivers are always being connected and teams being able to analyze the fast vehicles and driver data, and adjust racing strategies in real-time, a critical factor that can help them win races.

Also, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), a body that governs F1 racing, published new regulations in 2014 requiring all these machines to use hybrid engines and to limit fuel consumption during races, which encourage racing teams to focus on developing more energy-efficient technologies for these cars.

To help mark their return to F1 racing and reach a new milestones in efficiency for both consumer and race cars, Honda R&D developed a new technology, known as power units, to analyze data from hybrid engines, check residual fuel levels efficiently and quickly, and to estimate the possibility of mechanical problems. The company has made it happen using the IBM Watson IoT technology to generate data from the cars, including pressure levels, power levels and temperature, directly to the cloud for real-time analysis.

“Honda R&D is thrilled to work with IBM to mark its return to F1 racing, applying advanced IoT technologies to help ensure our drivers and teams are constantly connected,” said the chief engineer and manager of the Power Unit Development Division of Honda R&D, Satoru Nada. “We are bringing excitement to fans worldwide around the performance of our vehicles and drivers, with the power of data and real-time analytics becoming a critical factor in winning races.”

Now, F1 cars from Honda will be able to recover or save energy to use later during the race for more power. While a race takes place, data is being streamed to the cloud and shared with the racing team and the pit crew, who are equipped with mobile technology. The data is being analyzed in real-time by Honda R&D’s facility in Japan and the McLaren Honda F1 team in the UK. Data and analysis are then going to be transmitted using IBM Streams, as the race is taking place, allowing the teams to adjust basic metrics and improve vehicle performance. Plus, Honda’s research team will also be able to build cutting-edge performance models to measure energy recovery of the power units, ensuring their longevity.

Harriet Green, the general manager for commerce and education of Watson IoT, said, “We are excited to team with Honda to provide sophisticated cognitive IoT capabilities and analytics to combine data directly from the F1 racing vehicles with other sources, allowing Honda to not only enhance its vehicles that are built for speed, but to also be more friendly to our environment.”