Melanie McMullen

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User Name: 
Melanie McMullen
About us: 
Melanie is an expert technology writer who specializes in covering the IoT, cloud, mobile computing, and emerging technology markets. Melanie has held top editorial and content development positions at, Internet Business magazine, and LAN Magazine. She has written hundreds of global business technology articles and blogs and co-authored The Standard for Internet Commerce.
First Name: 
Last Name: 
Company Name: 
The Channel Company
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Which of the following best describes your company's current primary business model?: 
To the best of your knowledge, what is your company’s annual revenue?: 
$1 billion +
In which of the following vertical markets does your company currently offer IoT solutions? Please select up to 10.: 
Agriculture or Farming
What are the top 3 technology solutions that your company currently sells?: 
Cloud Services & Solutions

From this author

Every year, the human race is cutting down more trees than we’re planting. The numbers are staggering. We’re planting approximately 9 billion trees per year, but we’re cutting down approximately 15 billion trees. Now, precision forestry companies are using data-driven analytics and smart drones that can swoop in to strategically drop tree seeds in the places they are most likely to survive. 
The presence of drones to conduct aerial photography and surveillance is increasingly becoming the new norm. This week, drones as well as IoT traffic cameras in Houston and the Gulf Coast were called into action. They provided an aerial assist in search-and-rescue operations, and they helped response teams more easily survey the flooding damage from the devastating Hurricane Harvey. 
retail IoT trends
Retail stores are experiencing a harsh reality of declining foot traffic. However, the sales numbers for in-store retail purchases are not as bleak as you might think. According to multinational accounting firm EY, 93 percent of purchases are still made in shops. But buying patterns are different, and shops have to keep pace. Solution providers need to help retailers accelerate their pick-up portals. 
The Internet of Things is now bringing intelligence to every nook and cranny in the home, including to beds, bookcases, desks and chairs. A robotics start-up company, Ori, has created a voice-controlled modular furniture system that can automatically glide about the room, allowing home dwellers to maximize spaces in their tiny smart places.
A new report from energy consulting firm ScottMadden reveals that for managers and solutions providers in the initial stage of designing and building smart cities, a do-able “phase one” entry point for IoT technology is the street light. Street lights typically represent a substantial portion—on average 40 percent—of city energy budgets. So moving to smart lights that can dim when activity is low can save cities big money. 
We live in a wasteful world. Based on the findings of the World Bank and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the human race collectively produces 1.3 billion tons of municipal solid waste annually. This alarmingly high amount of trash can be mitigated through programs run by local governments and nonprofits that are tapping into smart IoT technology, using robotics, artificial intelligence and cameras to sort through garbage, increasing the flow into recycling centers. 
Population health management is turning out to be a hotspot where data collected from IoT sensors has the potential to bring broad rewards, including saving costs and saving lives. IoT health monitoring tools are especially vital for those who don’t have easy access to healthcare. Data streams from those devices can be used alongside clinical data to provide doctors with a clear, near real-time picture of a patient’s health, no matter where the patient lives.
digital directory kiosks
The Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, is the country’s largest center for retail and entertainment. Now, it’s also the site of the retail industry’s first large-scale digital directory installation. With the use of IoT, digital kiosks, interactive maps and even text-to-phone capabilities, shoppers are able to navigate the expansive mall and find exactly the store they want, in a matter of seconds. 
Tipsy Robot Makr Shakr
Two robotic arms have replaced bartenders at the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas, the world’s first land-based bar to have fully autonomous robots behind the bar mixing cocktails. In about 90 seconds, the robot can blend precise quantities of ingredients and dispense customized mixed drinks to customers via an automated conveyor platform. 
This year is already shaping up as the time when 3D printing gets down to business. 3D printer technology has seeped into healthcare, education and all types of industrial applications. Now it is being put to use in manufacturing with made-to-order parts production. Global manufacturing company Jabil is using 3D printing to design and manufacture personalized products ranging from household appliances to medical devices to consumer wearables.