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  • Community Blogs: Thought leadership in Applied IOT Engineering

    All members have the ability to publish blog posts on any topic related to IOT Engineering. This is a great way of contributing to the body of knowledge outside of any contraints we have in other community activities and wiki entries. 

    We would encourage you to post blogs because they: 

    • Help clarify your own understanding of IOT engineering
    • Are a way of gaining constructive feedback on your ideas
    • Develop your thought leadership and help attract a following, which is great for your career.

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    I’ll be blunt: the hype surrounding wearables as a mainstream commodity item is overstated, even in the context of IoT. I confess that I do own a watch, a gift from my wife, but I also confess that it languishes somewhere in the “third draw down”, along with other items that are out of sight and out of mind, but not necessarily in that order.

    Indeed, back in the day, everyone who could afford one wore a watch. When I was going through school, calculator watches were the representation of the pinnacle of electronic accessorising. And possibly handy in the classroom, too.

    Fast forward a couple of decades, and the hard data nowadays shows an obvious decline in the traditional wristwatch market; one that set in at around 2005. This doesn’t correlate with the surge in uptake of smart phones, but it does correlate with de-bulking of the “classic” generation of “dumb-phones” and general thrust toward affordable miniaturisation of consumer electronics.

    And for myself, that was the point at which my wristwatch was jettisoned. My mobile phone was now omnipresent in my hip pocket, keeping time and life rhythms.

    It turned out that my wristwatch was just baggage.

    Here is where I cut to the chase: aside from comfortable clothing, most people hate wearing stuff on their arms, wrists, and other body parts, without some mandatory utility. It’s un-natural. Just ask any cat! There must be a good reason to over-power this pragmatism, and those that do, broadly speaking, either value fashion over discomfort (ever tried on a pair of high heels?) or have a fundamental functional need for a wearable device (for example, aged care or patient monitoring).

    Wearables are a niche, and only the truly dedicated, security bound, or medically duressed will subscribe to their functions and fit, long term. Apple know this. The price point of Apple’s iWatch has been chosen with this directly in mind. Starting at $500, but escalating all the way toward $20,000.

    It is true to say that Fitbits have been popular, but are the anything more than a fad for most owners? My assertion is that it is mostly “fad”. Segue now to gym memberships - you know, those things that people buy as guilt-easing “carb offsets”. It has been estimated that 80% of Americans with gym memberships do not attend the gym. Why would Fitbits be any different?

    And, with slowing population growth, and thus a finite number of human wrists, necks, ankles etc, and the general trend in bodily divestment of “things” hanging off one’s limbs, the commodity wearables market is indeed one that must suffer a greatly compressed growth. So I am personally not seeing wearables as a facilitator for IoT or M2M growth outside of the B2B sector.

    There is undoubtedly a great B2B niche for wearables in aged care, and disabled care, if wearables are functional and technically integrated to become more than just “another sensor”, and add genuine value to the carers workload and economies of scale. Ditto that for animals of the four-legged variety, in the context of their “carers”, a.k.a “farmers”.

    We, as an industry need to “get over” commodity wearables, and wearables as an enabler to IoT nirvana. Like a gym membership that never gets used, they are distracting us from the more fundamental (and lucrative) challenges of IoT and IoT platform development.

    Thanks for reading.

    Jonathan Eggins - COO - Genesys Electronics Design

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  1. The news about the possibility for Engineers to be registered to provide engineering services made me think about IoT domain. I encourage reading the consultation paper here

    The proposed eligibility requirements are the likes of the Queensland Board (BPEQ).

    • Qualifications
    • Experience

    Make sense: A Degree should tell that someone is capable. The experience should be backed by a degree. This is Status Quo,  Steve Jobs would have a different opinion 

    Ok,, back to the subject, the schemes also proposes to register engineers against Industry verticals or Field of Engineering or (maybe both?).

    The proposed industry sectors are:

    • ·         Mining
    • ·         Utilities
    • ·         Construction
    • ·         Transport
    • ·         Consulting and professional services.

    The industry vertical scheme proposal got me thinking, IoT is about open platforms, open standard that will enable connectivity of Things that weren’t connected before. What should be the Industry sector for an IoT engineer? Maybe it is too early to say or the industry has not been created. Today an IoT engineer is comprised of various specialities engineers in enabling technologies (access, networks, security, DevOps, etc) and industry domain engineers; Civil, Mining engineers and others.

    So, should an IoT Design for Agriculture be performed by an Agriculture engineer with major in IoT? It is clearer the Internet of Things is a field demanding new skills.

    Is the registration consultation developed based on scalability of the field of engineering? The Internet of Things promises an Industryless architecture comprising several technologies enabling different systems to talk each other and provide data or insight like never before.

    I am positive of the registration, I support it and also I think will lift the standards of the engineering practice for Victoria and Australia (Queensland is way ahead). But we need to think if the scheme proposed is suitable for today scene.  

    I encourage reading section 5. Definition of regulated engineering work based on QLD's Professional Engineers Act 2002. Does this definition needs to be updated or is suit for purpose? Do we need to think about an evolution of the field as inter-domain engineering?   

    All the information provided is my personal opinion only, the links, information and data is provided on as-is basis. I can be reached by using the Message feature provided by the community platform or by writing to cesar . iec @ gmail

  2. One aspect of a patent strategy is a foreign patent filing strategy.

    But were should patent applications be filed?

    Two selection criteria are a market's size and rate of growth.

    Germany, for example plans to put more digital solutions in their factories than the US does. Apparently:

    Quote

    17 percent of German and U.S. manufacturers say they’ve already applied predictive maintenance solutions in their facilities, but over 40 percent of Germans say they plan to do so in the next one or two years, whereas only 24 percent of Americans can say the same. And while 39 percent of German manufacturers plan to employ autonomous robots and assistance systems in the next couple years, only 20 percent of Americans are as ambitious.

    It would appear that a European patent application (which covers Germany) or a German national patent application would be a good idea for IoT solutions for predictive maintenance, autonomous robots and assistance systems. 

    Other ideas for a foreign patent filing strategy include:

    • Build a defensive position by filing patent applications in countries in which your company has a business interest.
    • Increase your negotiating power by filing patent applications in countries in which your competitors have business interests, and in countries that manufacture products in the company’s technology area.
    • Scale the scope of geographical patent coverage in accordance with technical idea importance.

     

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