Nothing screamed seamless connectivity like Mobile World Congress 2017, and a tour of Intel’s booth showed why it’s needed – and how we might get there. For solution providers it was a kaleidoscope of ideas for future IoT applications, combined with practical demonstrations of how to get up and running with IoT – today.
Using an Intel® Edison compute module, researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have built a smart underwater 360-view camera, SphereCam, that can see and hear. Using artificial intelligence, the IoT camera is the first step toward developing autonomous monitoring systems that can track and monitor endangered species in the ocean ecosystem.
This is the year NB-IoT starts to be a viable option for solution providers that don’t want to risk going with proprietary Sigfox or LoRa for LPWAN connectivity, but as 5G takes shape, a generalized, platform-agnostic approach is advisable. Mobile World Congress 2017 is expected to stage multiple announcements for solutions that will work across connectivity options.
Security continues to be the elephant in the room when it comes to IoT, particularly in the context of autonomous vehicles. The Future of Automotive Security Technology Research (FASTR) consortium has a plan, and two new members – Rambus and Karamba Security – to help address it. Two years after being founded, the organization’s goals haven’t changed, but it is clarifying the need for collaborative effort – and how it intends to help the industry.
The dotdot protocol from the ZigBee Alliance promises to simplify IoT device connectivity and is another example of the need to consolidate efforts to accelerate smart IoT deployments. The essential goal is to completely abstract the underlying network layer from application-layer device-to-device communications. In this way, smart objects can discover each other, recognize functions and communicate efficiently and securely, with human interaction being optional.
During a recent earnings call and meetings in Washington, D.C., Intel reaffirmed its intention to focus on the lucrative data center and IoT markets in the coming year. In February, the company announced a $7 billion investment in a next-generation chip factory called Fab 42. Based in Chandler, AZ, the revitalized plant reinforces what Intel CEO Brian Krzanich explained during a recent earnings call. The company continues to transform "from a PC-centric company to a smart, connected company that powers the cloud."
All eyes left Tom Brady and the scoreboard and turned skyward during the Pepsi Zero Super Bowl 51 halftime show at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Intel, NFL and Lady Gaga collaborated to create a unique, choreographed drone light show that kicked off Lady Gaga’s performance.
It’s easy to be excited by the new Tinker Board from ASUS, but as powerful as it is, the serious IoT application developer needs to think long and hard about which way to turn in a sea of open- and closed-source, single-board computers (SBC). Asus’s entry into the SBC arena by way of the 90MB0QY1-MOEAYO Tinker Board is in itself a good thing. More competition and variety is always good, though we already have multiple open-source hardware and software SBCs. Besides the Raspberry Pi, we have the popular Arduino and, of course, the BeagleBoard.