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  1. Yesterday
  2. Telstra's NB IoT network launched

    Interesting. Because I have to remind myself every time, a quick reference for others: LTE Cat-1 10Mbps/5Mbps, full duplex, available Feb 2016 LTE Cat-M1 1Mbps/1Mbps, half duplex, available today? LTE Cat-NB 1 20kbps/60kbps, half duplex, who knows? All being LTE technologies, coverage should be similar to LTE, maybe even a bit better due to lower rates. FWIW, I'm participating in the Everything IoT HackLAB in a couple of weeks. Happens to be hosted at Muru-D in Sydney, and Telstra just announced they'll be bring provisioned Cat-1 dev kits.
  3. Telstra's NB IoT network launched

    According to a CRN News report, Telstra has turned on its national IoT network. See https://www.crn.com.au/news/telstra-quietly-switches-on-internet-of-things-network-473757 I cant see any announcements of Telstra's website though. If you know any more please link in the comments. Meanwhile, Telstra has announced the first four IoT startups to to be supported by its Muru-D incubator. https://www.telstra.com.au/aboutus/media/media-releases/Telstra-announces-first-IoT-focused-cohort-with-muru-D-MEL1
  4. Last week
  5. until
    This webinar is an activity of EA’s Applied IoT Engineering Community. See http://iot.engineersaustralia.org.au/ for more information. Title: Smart metering for water with the Internet of Things Presenters: Rian Sullings, Manager Smart Metering and IoT, WaterGroup What you will learn: How IoT is revolutionising the water industry How to fast-track IoT implementations Key challenges in adopting IoT and how to overcome them Description: The application internet of things technologies to high water users is delivering significant results, as evidenced by WaterGroup receiving awards for the highest impact of IoT technologies to date. The company has developed low cost, high volume remote sensing devices using new low power wide area communication technologies and advanced data analytics to develop new business models for the management of water use. Users are more easily able to identify water leaks and consumption trends, to generate insights and facilitate smarter action. About the presenter: Rian Sullings helps people understand their utility resource use to improve efficiency and reduce costs with the latest IoT tools and business models. With a key focus on the adoption of new technologies, Rian has been instrumental in the successful adoption of smart metering and remote sensing by some of Australia’s largest utilities and water users. Some of his achievements include the successful delivery of millions of dollars of water saving IoT projects for organisations such as QANTAS, Coles, Sydney Water, Honeywell, and the Department of Education, as well as the development of the first Sigfox enabled smart water metering device outside Europe and North America. When: 12 midday in Sydney. If you are in a state with a different time zone from NSW, please determine your local time. The date is above. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by question time. Where: The presentation is by webinar. After registering you will be sent details of how to logon. Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system, link above. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  6. Satellite communications for IoT

    Introduction Traditional satellite solutions for providing a communications back haul are obviously applicable for applications involving remote sensors, tracking across wide geographic areas including oceans, as well as developing solutions for global supply chains. In remote areas, terrestrial communication technology connectivity for IoT devices can be largely absent or very expensive. Existing data communication satellites (eg. Iridium and Globalstar) are a solution, but can be expensive, limiting the number of sensors that can be deployed to relay data, and how often data can be sent through IoT. The biggest cost of space communication technology is infrastructure: of building and launching a traditional satellite. This expense is passed on to the consumer through the high price of satellite data. A more task appropriate option in the process of being deployed is the use of nanosatellites. Nanosatellites Nanosatellite constellations have the potential to provide a lower cost satellite communications option for low-power, small-data IoT systems, particularly in terrestrial communications blackspots. The end-to-end solutions required for large-scale deployment of low-cost nanosatellite IOT communications are still in the evolutionary stage, but a number of companies are scheduled to launch the first nanosatellite systems in early 2018, including South Australia based companies Myriota and Fleet Space Technologies. Nanosatellites represent the current trend in space technology towards cheaper, smaller and faster to build systems. The CubeSat standard for nanosatellites was developed in 1999 by Stanford University and Cal Poly. In the past fifteen years CubeSats have been used in universities for numerous projects which engage people to use satellites. This big change in the satellite community has been driven by new technologies, like the miniaturisation of electrical components, PCBs, manufacturing and 3D printing. These technologies have meant that it is possible to now build a very small spacecraft with the same capabilities as a big one. The CubeSat is 10x10 cm, and can be constructed into modules up to 30x40 cm. They generally have a mass of less than 50kg. Cubesat nanosatellites are still expensive to build and operate (over 1 million $AUS), but much cheaper than their larger counterparts. Nanosatellites are usually launched into space via rocket as part of a bigger space craft launch. However, some companies are now building dedicated launchers for nanosatellites, which has the potential to make nanosatellite communications for IoT a more economic option. Nanosatellites vs geostationary satellites Nanosatellites are launched into low earth orbit (LEO), rather than geostationary orbit. One example of a large geostationary satellite is the NBN Sky Muster satellite which has constant data coverage over the Australia continent. Nanosatellites cover a much larger area of the earth than geostationary satellites, but there is a latency of between 30 seconds to 30 minutes, depending on how close the LEO nanosatellite is to the ground station. This makes nanosatellite communications unsuitable for GPS tracking applications, although development of triangulation geolocation techniques to provide this data are underway. Constellations of multiple nanosatellites also reduce latency. Geostationary satellites are suitable for GPS applications and big data IoT solutions. Commercial nanosatellite applications Commercial applications of nanosatellites include satellite imagery services, weather prediction, ship tracking as well as IoT data. South Australian company Myriota produces low cost IoT modem technology for use in remote areas. This technology communicates via nanosatellites, although Myriota do not deploy their own satellites. Fleet Space Technologies is launching the first two of a 100 satellite constellation at the beginning of 2018, with the aim of being online by 2022. These constellations will provide a free data via a global backhaul service for industrial users of IoT. Once the constellation is online, users who buy sensors, gateways and terminals from vendors providing products containing the Fleet communications chip will be able to operate them without ongoing satellite data costs. Satellite vs terrestrial communication While launching a communications satellite is much more expensive than building a terrestrial base station, satellite communications provide much wider coverage. This means that the overall cost of coverage is greatly reduced, although the initial infrastructure outlay is much higher, as shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Flavia Tata Nardina, Fleet Space Technologies Satellite communications are also a more effective solution for coverage within oceans and remote areas. Latency Initially, nano satellite solutions will have a slow latency, with only a few passes per day providing opportunity to upload data. This means that it will not initially be feasible to develop real-time solutions using this technology. However, as more satellites join any given constellation, the latency will drop to minutes or conceivably seconds. Sources The information on this page was primarily sourced from: Webinar titled Satellites and the new industrial frontier – how new space technology is intersecting with the Internet of Things by Flavia Tata Nardina, Co-founder and CEO, Fleet Space Technologies
  7. Earlier
  8. Newcastle IoT Pioneers

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    October: The Australian Maker Movement and its IoT Impact Our October event is on, usual time, usual place: 6:30pm, Thursday, October 5th, 2017. Stag & Hunter Hotel, Mayfield. Upstairs function room - look for the staircase in the middle of the pub. The Maker Movement is worldwide phenomenon that has put the creative and technical tools, once reserved for professionals, into the hands of amateurs and enthusiasts. And the results have been spectacular - inventions, businesses, creations of every scale have sprouted from the hands of the self-motivated and the curious. The accessibility of tools and technology has in no small part, driven the rapid adoption of the Internet of Things. And a significant part of that accessibility is thanks to the incredible devotion of our very own Newcastle based electronics shop, Core Electronics. I'm delighted to welcome the founder and managing director at Core Electronics, Graham Mitchell, as guest presenter this month. Graham is a tireless contributor to the maker movement, and will share a little about his story and the Australian maker movement in general. As usual, outside the main event there will be a news recap, plus plenty of opportunity to talk business and tech with like-minded folk from the local area. Feel free to bring up a drink from the bar downstairs or even order a meal from the restaurant, plus there'll be free finger food after the talks. All are welcome, but please RSVP so we can get the catering right.
  9. IoT and STEM Outreach

    Heh, funny you should say that Tim. Cuts to the core of the motivation behind MiniSparx. The programming industry has been very successful in monopolising the mindshare of the tech/innovation industry. Definitely an important part, but I'm not convinced the world really needs that many people proficient in moving sprites in Scratch. You might get a rise out of my LinkedIn post: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6307121692179333120 FWIW, we'll be using the littleBits STEAM kits.
  10. Transforming businesses in a digital world

    The University of Technology Sydney is offering a 5-day industry short course “Transforming businesses in a digital world” - more information in the attached pdf below. The course helps put IoT in the context of business strategy. It starts on 13 October and is spread over 4 weeks to 12 November. The course is designed for business leaders and managers who are required to identify and drive business opportunities and disruption in the new digital world, enabled by IoT technologies. The course as targeted at high achievers and executives who would gain from apply practical methods for transforming their organisation’s business operation, as well as developing an alumni of fellow students and industry presenters. Frank Zeichner, CEO of the IoT Alliance Australian and Director of the Knowledge Economy Institute will be co-delivering the course together with 7 other industry leaders. Courtesy of the Applied IoT Engineering Community leader Geoff Sizer being a member of the course advisory board, Engineers Australia members are being offered a 10% discount on the advertised course price of $4,600 by entering the following coupon code during registration: DIGITALEA Prospective students can register for the course through the link below: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/transforming-businesses-in-a-digital-world-tickets-36848395543 20909 UTS - Transforming businesses in a digital world - Short Course.pdf
  11. IoT and STEM Outreach

    Well done Chi, Hats off to you. We need more things like this for school holiday programs. I have just enrolled my daughter in a coding camp for two days but they just create games. Something like this is much more real world. Tim
  12. World's first NB-IoT based Smart Street Lighting system enabled in the Greek city of Patras serves as a shining example of the infinite potential the Internet of Things can bring to urban areas, as well as the additional benefits of the innovative NB-IoT technology for smart city applications. Deutsche Telekom Group’s subsidiary in Greece, COSMOTE has implemented a Smart City pilot based on Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology in cooperation with the municipality of Patras. The joint project will offer the citizens and visitors of Patras smart parking and smart lighting solutions in selected locations in the city center. The installed Smart Lighting systems, part of the Smart City pilot, will be adjusted to different light intensity levels according to the season and time of the day, reducing electric power consumption by up to 70%. NB‑IoT (LTE Cat NB1) positioning modules and chips from u-blox are enabling the Smart Street Lighting Control system from Flashnet in Romania, inteliLIGHT®. More details from the u-blox Press Release here. The pilot in Patras is not only the first such application in Greece, but also among the first NB-IoT smart city solutions in Europe. In Germany, Deutsche Telekom Group is also working with the cities of Hamburg, Dortmund, Duisburg, and Moers to offer smart parking solutions based on NB-IoT. The NB‑IoT protocol targets IoT applications that have low bandwidth requirements, as such it is ideal for smart lighting. As part of the LTE family of standards, NB‑IoT can be supported within existing LTE infrastructure, offering carrier‑grade reliability and security, as well as excellent penetration and stability. Read more about the Smart City solution full story here.
  13. IoT and STEM Outreach

    That's terrific, thanks for sharing. I ran a community "What's a Smart City?" workshop a while back and put together a similar IoT style, sensor to dashboard kit for participants to experiment with. It was Grove/Arduino/Ubidots based, which proved to be a nice trade-off between simplicity and flexibility. But when I want to "get the point across" on the data collection/marshalling side of things, a Pi running NodeRED is my go to. There's a local mob here that do a STEM course called StarLAB. Currently in about 50 schools. Very similar approach to teaching Python in this case - there's a highly integrated sensor module and some of the first exercises are to get the sensor graphs appearing on a computer. The module can even be inserted in a custom rover body and of course, it's not long before students are driving it around wirelessly. I also have a STEM holiday program coming up called MiniSparx. It's targeted at younger Year 3 - Year 6 students, so I'm leaning towards more immediate gratification platforms like Sphero and Ozobot, but you've got me thinking about whether there's an IoT angle with merit too.
  14. IoT and STEM Outreach

    As part of my efforts in STEM outreach, I recently ran a workshop for Year 9 and 10 IT students at a local high school. I wanted to present something that would be interesting and different from what they would normally have from their school classes so I settled on doing a simple IoT demonstration involving Raspberry Pi, Sense-HAT, and Node-RED. The Raspberry Pi is a great way to introduce students to computing and electronics engineering. The students I was presenting to had little or no programming experience so a visual system such as Node-RED enabled them to program simple tasks. Within 5 minutes of me presenting them the basics of Node-RED, they were quite comfortable using Node-RED and modifying the examples that I gave them. The workshop exercise was to extract sensor data (accelerometer, temperature, humidity, etc) and send it to an IoT platform. They could then view the data that was sent in a web browser in real time. Since we were using accelerometers, I encouraged the students to move the Raspberry Pi around while viewing the graph on the IoT platform to see how the values changed. I think having a computing system with physical sensors providing real time feedback made the workshop more interesting than just a programming exercise on a computer. The students seemed to enjoy it and I got a lot out of seeing their enthusiasm. IoT demonstrations are a great way to get the next generation interested in building things.
  15. Augmented reality (AR)

    Introduction IoT collects the information from physical assets (Things) in the real world, while augmented reality (AR) takes digital information and displays it in the real world. By combining IoT with AR, it is possible to create an immersive ‘in-context’ visualisation that aids understanding of products and Things, as shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Allan Thompson, LEAP Australia The earliest examples of AR included heads-up displays in military aircraft in the early 1960s, and later civilian aircraft. A recent popular example of location-based AR is the online game Pokemon Go, which has greatly raised the public profile of the technology. Mobile handheld devices, including smartphones and tablets, have inbuilt cameras and can be used to generate 3D graphics in real time, which has made AR an increasingly accessible technology. Examples of AR technology are the re-emerging Google Glass, and the advanced Microsoft Hololens digital eyewear. Augmented reality (AR) vs virtual reality (VR) The primary difference between virtual reality (VR) and AR is that VR uses computers to create a completely virtual environment, whereas AR allows users to maintain a view of the real world as well as the superimposed computer-generated visualisation. In industrial applications, AR is a safer option, as it allows users to avoid hazards such as forklifts and tripping hazards. VR also requires much greater computing power than AR, which is a major limitation of VR technology. Applications of AR in industry AR is used in industry for three main applications: information visualisation: Enhance the user’s view of the physical world with the overlay of actual or hypothetical digital information eg. a CAD model of a drink machine superimposed over the area where it will be installed instruction: eg. overlaying a step-by-step sequence over an object to provide graphical instructions or real-time expert guidance on technical procedures interaction with Things: View or manipulate digital information with natural user interfaces or control a product through an augmented digital user interface. Information visualisation is the most common application of AR in industry. Using AR for instruction is becoming more popular as more companies are starting to work with 3D data. This has the advantage of removing the need for paper-based manuals and translating instructions for multiple areas of an operation. Some companies also use AR animations as sales and marketing tools for their products. The last application is the most relevant to IoT. For example, a Raspberry Pi can be used to stream data to an app which creates a visualisation of the data generated by the device in the field, which is updated live in the AR. It is also possible to configure the app to push data back out to IoT devices for two-way connectivity, and build in security to AR applets to ensure that only appropriately authorised users can log in to access IoT devices. Features, development and limitations of AR In the past, it has taken a large and multi-disciplinary team to create custom AR applications. Team members have included 3D specialists, programmers, cloud experts, and app developers. This means that custom AR apps were usually created in-house by big companies such as Lego and Ikea, or by external contractors at a sizable cost. Pixel counts and sizes of models have also caused limitations for AR applications, due to the computing power required to run them, as AR is typically designed to run on mobile, less powerful devices than VR. This can be addressed by building appropriate compression software into the software. The development of software which takes 3D data and builds AR display applets without the need for custom coding has the potential to make AR a more accessible and affordable solution for 3D visualisation of IoT data in the field. There is also the facility to implement two-way voice interaction into AR applications. High quality digital visualisation headsets, like the Microsoft Hololens, are also expensive, which limits their widespread uptake in industry, however other companies, including Google and NEC, are designing lower-cost eyewear. AR Software The PTC Thingworx Studio and Vuforia AR software are two examples of software in many existing AR applications. Currently the Thingworx app is only designed to work with the AR markers for Microsoft Hololens, however PTC Vuforia works with a greater range of glasses. PTC software does not require custom coding, but automatically generates AR applets from a click-button user-interface. Apple also offers an AR developer’s kit, which is provided free to users who sign up for developer’s camp. This kit requires programming skills. Sources: The information on this page was primarily sourced from: Webinar titled Augmented reality for ‘in context' visualisation of IOT data by Allan Thompson, PTC Technical Manager, LEAP Australia.
  16. ElectroneX (electronics design & assembly expo)

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    Entry is freee but registration required. More details at: https://www.electronex.com.au/
  17. Electronex (Electronics Design & Assembly Expo)

    Visit to learn how companies are incorporating Industry 4.0 technology to develop smart, connected products, and improve their manufacturing and servicing processes. LEAP's stand will be showcasing advances in IoT and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences with demonstrations on the new Microsoft Hololens.
  18. What does it take to be an IoT engineer?

    The Long Tail of the IoT Some days I just want to run and hide! For 42 years I’ve been engineering measurement technology for mining, renewable energy, climate and agricultural applications. And time and again I’ve been whipped by the long tail of in-field product failures. Is it just that I’m crap at this stuff? It’s tempting to think this way when our marketing staff are throwing rocks through my window, customers are ringing in with reports of equipment outages, agents are threatening insurrection and our manufacturers and suppliers stiff us with dicky mouldings, sensors or PCBs. I have only one answer at these times, and that’s to keep my trap shut and begin the long business of grinding down problems that arise, one at a time, and to hope that MEA can survive in business until the current crisis is forgotten in the rear-view mirror. Do all these kids forecasting a rosy future for themselves ‘in the IoT space’ have any idea at all what it’s like on the other side of product launch? Because that’s when one starts down the long tail of product support and maintenance… A third major Australian competitor of ours collapsed this past year, with the remnants of their technology sold off to an overseas concern, local staff laid off and all customers abandoned. Many smaller ones have come and gone over the past few decades. Two of these three companies were backed by tens of millions of dollars in investment funds. They got through to product launch before in-field issues stared to bite and profit levels failed to rise to lift the company before investor cash burn ceased. Maybe life’s easier for those IoT developers sheltered inside Smart Cities? But somehow, I doubt it. MEA is now five years down the track from our very first commercial installation of an on-farm IoT ZigBee sensor network (we still hadn’t got the connection to the cloud working back then – all data landed on the farm PC) Week after week for all those intervening years we’ve been working to shore up our technology and processes that showed weaknesses under a real-world hammering. No victory can ever be declared, simply because no marketplace or technology is ever permanent. As Winston Churchill put it: “If you're going through hell, keep going.”
  19. Recording: This webinar has now passed. Members of Engineers Australia can access the recording for free on MyPortal. Navigate to IoT Technologies / Communication Technologies. Non-members can purchase the recording for $30 on the EABooks website. Title: Satellites and the new industrial frontier – how new space technology is intersecting with the Internet of Things Presenter: Flavia Tata Nardina, Co-founder and CEO, Fleet Space Technologies What you will learn: How miniaturisation is driving a new generation of satellite technologies Practical applications of nanosatellites Key elements required to create industrial solutions leveraging space technology Description: Outer space and terrestrial industries may seem light years apart, but new space technology is about to change that. Nanosatellite technology is rapidly approaching practical application as a disruptive new option for ubiquitous internet connectivity and efficiency, powering the new wave of industrial applications powered by the Internet of Things. From farms to factories, and shipping to mining, satellites have unique advantages for connecting sensors in remote locations or for tracking applications across wide geographical distributions. In a world of globalised supply chains, this technology is being seen as a game changer. However, end to end solutions are still evolving and required to enable large-scale deployment of low-cost solutions. Fleet Space Technologies is launching the first two of a 100 satellites constellation at the beginning of 2018. It will provide a global backhaul service for the Internet of Things. This presentation will cover Fleets activities to date and discusses the practical applications of the technology for engineers. About the presenter: Flavia Tata Nardini began her career at the European Space Agency as Propulsion Test Engineer. She then joined TNO – the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research – to work on advanced space propulsion projects. In 2015, Flavia co-founded Fleet, a connectivity company set to maximise the resource efficiency of human civilisation. When: 12 midday Sydney time on 12 September 2016. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by question time. Where: The presentation is by webinar. After registering you will be sent details of how to logon. Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  20. Cisco acquires Springpath

    On the same day as Cisco announced major upgrades to its Spark product, it also announced its intent to purchase Springpath to bolster its data centre business. This is all part of a general trend for the company to move toward more software services, bridging the gap into IoT. For an analysis by media read: https://channellife.com.au/story/cisco-acquire-hyperconverged-software-vendor-springpath-us320m-deal/
  21. Platforms

    Introduction We need a page that describes the huge range of "IoT platforms". What is a platform? What are the different classes of platforms? What is the general purpose of each? Perhaps links to a directory of providers in each class. e.g. Reekoh is a platform focused on integrating large business system like Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, etc. The aim is to provide enterprises with a way to create IoT services. They have a plug and play marketplace idea where as you log into their system, you literally buy the plug-ins that you need. Then, you start to connect services together so you could connect your assets within your building to your Salesforce platform etc
  22. IoT startups

    Introduction An IoT startup is a technically-lead small business that typically has yet to define its business model. Startups usually try several different routes to market prior to settling on an approach that has a good market fit. A key early goal for IoT startups is to identify the problem that is being solved by the use of IoT technology. The problem also has to be big enough for organisations to justify investing in a solution. Once a problem has been identified, the startup describes their hypothesis and identifies assumptions and risks. The next phase is to plan and test, building something simple to test the assumptions. Results are analysed and the hypothesis re-evaluated, and so on in a spiral fashion until a final business model is proven. The above process can be an emotional roller coaster, with many peaks and troughs. Peaks can be associated with initial excitement around an idea, seeing prototypes working, interest from a potential customer, obtaining funding etc. Troughs are associated with the realisation that its not as easy as first thought, mistakes, lost customer opportunities, cashflow crunches, realisation of a lack of skills, etc. Other challenges include decisions around quitting a day job etc. Individuals who launch or lead the establishment of new businesses are often described as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs need to have a certain amount of resilience to cope with the above challenges. They also need a lot of energy and self-motivation. There is a huge amount of literature around innovation generally and the Lean Startup methodology has found favour in recent times. This includes concepts such as minimum viable product to test ideas before committing further. A whole industry has grown up around support for technology led start ups. This include business accelerators/incubators and a range of investment companies ranging from seed/early stage angel groups, equity crowdfunding and late stage venture capital. These organisations often host several startups that share technical and business system resources. IoT specific challenges Startups in the IoT space is more challenging that other fields because it requires a combination of hardware, software and business models. Technical challenges that need to be addressed during business planning include consideration of the full range of technologies and practices outlined in this wiki. In addition, there are a number of national inhibitors/enablers of the entire IoT industry in Australia which really need to be addressed in order to foster more IoT Startups, illustrated below: Source: A report commissioned by the Communications Alliance Australia on Enabling the Internet of Things for Australia For example, it is currently difficult to deliver IoT led innovation in the healthcare sector due to the very high number of regulatory barriers that must be cleared. Similarly, the smart city concept is difficult to address due to the highly fragmented nature of efforts around this area. Links The following organisations are encouraging IoT Startups in Australia: The IoT Alliance Australia has a workstream on Startups and Innovation. The Australian government supports the IoT Ecosystem, e.g. Thinxtra obtained funding to roll out its Sigfox LPWAN network Sources: The information on this page was primarily sourced from the following: A webinar titled Your brilliant idea! Technology start-ups dissected by Stuart Waite, CEO, Timpani
  23. Thinxtra has obtained a $10 million in funding from the Australian government See http://www.cefc.com.au/media/files/energy-efficiency-benefits-as-cefc-helps-thinxtra-scale-up-its-network-for-the-internet-of-things.aspx and http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/frydenberg/media-releases/mr20170817a.html and https://www.thinxtra.com/2017/08/cornerstone_investor_cefc/ This has been reported as the government taking a 15% equity stake in the business.
  24. Enterprise Resource Planning

    Introduction The internet of things can be a key enabler of improvements in enterprise resource planning (ERP). Enterprises that produce products of any sorts aspire to shorter product runs, more agility in implementing design changes, faster deliver to market, flexibility in packaging and distribution, better forecasting / supply chain management, improved product traceability and feedback from end users. However, despite decades of experience with ERP systems many organisations still take orders by emailed pdf which is entered manually into an enterprise resource planning system. The IoT and ERP IoT data of use in ERP systems is as varied as the context of application, but may relate to: Quantity Quality Machine status, faults and their causes.
  25. Intellectual Property

    Introduction A particular challenge that may affect the development and implementation of IoT systems in commercial settings is consideration of intellectual property rights. This is primarily the case in the case of new IoT enabled products being developed for market, particularly if exporting, but also for innovations in business or engineering processes enabled by the IoT that organisation are investing large amounts of money in. Intellectual property rights are typically protected by obtaining patents and often this is considered a prerequisite to obtain funding from venture capitalists and the like. Having a patent provides leverage in business negotiations and disputes, prevents others from copying your innovation, and can provide licencing revenues. A key reason to consider intellectual property rights is to have freedom to operate. Because IoT is new, many people and organisations world-wide are applying for patents. Organisations developing or implementing IoT system may inadvertently infringe the rights of others and huge upfront investments may be forfeited when challenged. This can be avoided by careful patent infringement searches prior to the investment phase. When patents of concern are discovered they can be carefully analysed by a patent attorney to determine if they do actually constrain your activity. If the patent does restrict your activity, it may be possible to work around the issue by obtaining a licence or coming to some other commercial arrangement. Obtaining patents in the computer technology space is difficult and many patents, when challenged, are found to be invalid. So if you receive a notice of patent infringement, a patent lawyer should be consulted to determine if the patent is valid before caving in to any unreasonable demands. Basics of IP A patentable an invention must be: New; and Not be obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the subject Not disclosed by publication or otherwise Is useful No prior secret commercial use Just connecting a thing that has never been internet-enabled before is unlikely to be patentable. Rather, inventions need to be something that makes the IoT device work and is truly a new improvement in technology. Good IP Practices A key focus in any innovative work is to ensure you own the patent. Ownership of the invention originates with the inventor but under common law flows to the employer when the invention was made in the normal course of their duties to the employer. It's important to have this clarified when employing contractors to support the innovative work, particularly if this includes the provision of software and systems that involve the integration of systems from multiple suppliers. Non-disclosure agreements should be standard in any discussions with third parties. In practice IoT product developers need to make a decision whether to protect their work through secrecy or to apply for a patent. Secrecy is paramount in any case, during the period leading up to a patent application, to ensure it remains valid. However, it may be commercially sensible to simply maintain the secrecy of the invention, particularly given that the costs of obtaining patents are not inconsiderable, particularly if applying world-wide. Sources: Information on this page was primarily obtained from the following sources: A webinar titled Dodging Dragons and Catching Unicorns by Justin Blows, Phoenix Intellectual Property
  26. Startupbootcamp's Energy Australia launched in Melbourne today! They are looking for the 10 best innovative startups solving problems in Energy Efficiency, Energy Independence, Digitisation and Analytics. During their intense 3-month accelerator program, selected smart energy startups will receive hands-on mentorship from over 100 industry experts, free office space, seed funding, and access to a global network of investors with the ultimate goal of scaling their businesses and becoming industry-leading companies. Applications for the January 2018 program are now open. If you are part of a smart energy startup or know any smart energy startups that want to accelerate 18 months of learning into 3 months, sign up for one of the FastTrack events. The first FastTrack event is in Melbourne on 23 August, 2017 http://bit.ly/SBC_EnergyAus_Mel More details at: https://www.startupbootcamp.org/blog/2017/08/accelerating-australias-energy-transformation/
  27. Description: The Internet of Things is creating a whole new digital agenda for oil and gas. This case study details how DiUS helped Environmental Monitoring Solutions use the cloud and IoT to tackle the global petroleum industry problem of petrol station inefficiencies and make a positive environmental impact. Source: Based on a webinar delivered on 1 August 2017 to the Applied IOT Engineering Community of Engineers Australia by Zoran Angelovski, DiUS Principal Consultant and Russell Dupuy, Managing Director of Environmental Monitoring Solutions Biographies: Zoran Angelovski has ridden the wild technology wave for over 20 years. He has a background in hardware development, broadband telecommunications and more recently electric vehicle chargers, smart energy devices and IoT products. Russell Dupuy has over 25 years’ experience in fuel system automation. He is an industry leader, disruptor and innovator. Forged from a formal engineering background, he has developed leak detection systems and wetstock management solutions for major oils in Australia, Europe, Japan and the USA. With a passion for the environment, Russell leads a number of environmental and industry workgroups to drive innovation and sustainability for what is often referred to as a mature and dirty industry. Title: Disrupting Retail Petroleum Introduction This case study describes the development of the Fuelsuite remote monitoring and 24/7 support service for retail petroleum outlets. This system connects onsite data from service stations to the Cloud in a scalable and cost effective manner to provide insights to clients in order to anticipate issues before they occur. A conceptual diagram of the Fuelsuite solution is shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Zoran Angelovski, DiUS and Russell Dupuy, EMS The petroleum industry can be divided into two segments: upstream petroleum: exploration of crude oil; shipping of crude and refined oil; and cracking to the finished consumer product downstream petroleum: bulk storage of oil at major storage facilities around the world; distribution and transportation of the oil; and retail marketing for consumer consumption. There are several examples of uptake of IoT systems in upstream petroleum: in seaboard terminals, refining or cracking plants, and ships. However most are usually embedded in some form of MESH or SCADA system. Fuelsuite is an IoT solution for downstream petroleum, which at this point has not shown good uptake of IoT technology. The retail petroleum market incorporates approximately 540,000 developed retail service stations around the globe, as shown in green on the diagram below. For the markets coloured dark grey in the diagram, verifiable information on the number of service stations is not available, however, research conducted by DiUS indicates that in excess of one million retail service stations exist. Diagram courtesy of Russell Dupuy, EMS and Zoran Angelovski, DiUS Developed retail petroleum markets typically have a point of sale and self-serve multi-hose fuelling for consumers. They also feature cash as well as other payment systems, and a high level of equipment automation. In contrast, attended sites, for example in Africa, generally operate on a docket or a cash system. Over the last 15 years, the number of manufacturers supplying petrol stations with equipment globally has decreased from 250 to 50. There are five dominant manufacturers, which are predominantly US- or European-based. These five companies are heavily invested in acquiring companies through consolidation, and with continuing proprietary systems for commercial reasons. Client profile and IoT solution goals Target clients are retail petroleum marketers, with the following profile: own and operate up 800 service stations sell up to 3 billion litres of fuel per year spend up to $15 million per year cleaning up spills and leaks spend up to $45 million per year in maintenance. Typical client technologies include the following: POS-BOS automatic tank gauge for measuring fuel automated dispensers to deliver fuel to the hose intelligent pumps to push the fuel from the tank leak detection systems water management and monitoring systems fridges and air compressors pie, coffee, slurpee, bain-marie sensors for a range of things The goals of the IoT solution are to reduce: environmental spend by greater than 50% maintenance spend by more than 15% per year fuel variance more than 0.2%. Challenges In retail petroleum, the various systems at a service station are not integrated, and clients are resistant to open architecture solutions as proprietary enterprise systems available from the small pool of global equipment manufacturers offer commercial benefits. Often, service stations run on old hardware and protocols such as a current loops connecting petrol pumps to point of sale terminals, which are mostly standards compliant, but may produce signals which are out of specification. Many retail service stations have automated technologies but revert to manual processes such as metering the fuel being delivered into tanks. This leads to safety and environmental issues including: employees including being struck by moving vehicles or assaulted by customers above ground spills leading to serious fires. Another challenge is maintaining underground tanks to meet environmental compliance standards for preventing fuel leaks. In the US, over a ten year period to 1998, 1.5-million underground tanks were closed due to non-compliance There were 380,000 sites to be cleaned up, at a run rate of 19,000 a year. Inventory management are often quite basic, resulting in high fuel variances, which means that clients are unable to accurately account for fuel underground. Solution The solution developed by Environmental Monitoring Solutions (EMS) incorporated the following steps: develop hardware to connect devices on site connect it to the cloud build a leading cloud platform migrate our smarts into the cloud choose a build partner choose the right platform. These steps are described further in the subsections below. Develop hardware One fundamental challenge was to develop hardware to connect all the devices on site. As there were commercial benefits in clients maintaining their existing enterprise equipment, it was decided to create a custom device for use with existing equipment on site at retail service stations, rather than swap out existing equipment to use a range of third-party devices. Firstly, the solution needed to connect to the gauge on the fuel tank, in order to collect fuel levels, water detection, fuel leakage, temperature and other readings. Secondly, a custom piece of hardware (a pump communications module) needed to be designed to connect to the pumps to detect how much fuel was being dispensed. This module had to be non-intrusive to the rest of the current loop that physically connected equipment on site. This allowed the data loop to be closed in terms of how much petrol was underground in the tanks, and how much was being dispensed through the pumps. The third task of the initial phase of the project was connecting to the price board. This was especially critical for remote sites with no attendant to change the price on site, so this is a task that ideally needs to be done remotely. The aim of this connectivity was to build the capability to collect data that is available in the Cloud that can be analysed in real time using advanced data analytics techniques. The availability of this data will help shift clients from reacting to problems that have already occurred to anticipating problems before they occur as shown in the diagram below. Diagram courtesy of Russell Dupuy, EMS and Zoran Angelovski, DiUS Connect to cloud and migrate system It was then necessary to build a leading cloud platform, as the existing legacy system was outdated: it was an enterprise website, not a true cloud application. All algorithms and intelligence needed to be migrated into that cloud. A physical diagram of the Fuelsuite solution is shown below. Diagram courtesy of Russell Dupuy, EMS and Zoran Angelovski, DiUS As shown in the diagram above, the Things (tank gauge, pump communications module and price board) at the petrol station were connected via a single board computer module and LTE modem to the cellular data network. Data was transmitted via the data network to the IoT Cloud infrastructure to consumers: the Fuelsuite management tools and the users that used the analysed data to take action to prevent problems before they occur. For example, turn off a pump when water contamination is detected. Build partner and IoT platform EMS chose DiUS as their build partner. The platform chosen was Amazon Web Services (AWS) for both Cloud and IoT. An architectural diagram of Fuelsuite is shown below. Diagram courtesy of Russell Dupuy, EMS and Zoran Angelovski, DiUS At one end are the Things, (devices and hardware). As it is intended to deploy thousand of Things over a multitude of petrol stations, the IoT infrastructure provides an effective way to communicate over a network across to the Cloud so that the Fuelsuite management tools can process the data and deliver information to users. The solution leverages an IoT connection from AWS, which incorporates an SDK software development chip, but essentially it operates on a simple single board computer module that gives connectivity from the remote end into the hub or the IoT gateway that is in the Cloud. This provides a secure end-to-end connection across the mobile data network. It also provides mechanisms to authenticate the devices using AWS generated certificates. Additionally, the solution needed a protocol that runs across that mobile connection. The protocol chosen was MQTT, because it will operate in a bandwidth-restricted environment. This was important because the developers anticipated the future deployment of narrow band IoT technologies and wanted to be able to leverage it. MQTT is also light protocol, so when thousands of devices are deployed. This will reduce the cost of the data plan necessary to communicate with thousands of deployed devices in many service stations compared to HTTP and other internet-based protocols. Once the data is in the Cloud, it is routed via the AWS Rules Engine. This is a very simple way to route data to other services, so that it can be manipulated, managed and delivered to the consumer. It also provides a very clear demarcation between the Cloud and the remote devices. If the platform provider brings out a new feature, or if new capabilities are required for the Fuelsuite solution, the routing and be easily adjusted on the Cloud side only without relying on a firmware upgrade, which is very convenient because with many devices out in the field it is desirable to avoid upgrading firmware remotely. The equipment supporting the service is managed through the Device Shadow, which provides a simple way of determining whether a device is online or offline and a clear view of the requested versus reported configurations. If there are any differences, the Cloud configuration can be reconciled with the actual hardware configuration and the equipment can go away and do its job. The Device Shadow also works with intermittent connectivity, which is really critical when the data is connected over wireless networks such as 3G or 4G. Lastly, the Device Shadow enables pre-configuration of devices before the devices being physically available. As devices are installed, their configuration is reconciled if there are any differences to the pre-configuration settings. This allows field staff to operate without needing to make changes in the Cloud. Other services used in the Cloud are: Kinesis Stream: which provides a scalable way to capture and manage the large volumes of data that are funnelled into this concentrated point Firehose: which provides the ability to stream data to other upstream services, such as Elastic Search and the notification queues Elastic Search: enables the use of indexed searching. Next steps The custom hardware produced for this solution will be rolled out to about 1,000 sites in the second half of 2017. This will make tangible gains in the data collected by the industry, as currently only around 20% of tanks are connected to the internet, and they provide data about once a day. There is no pump data being connected at present. Further investigations will also be conducted into how to use the data to better target environmental monitoring and use limited resources to get better outcomes.
  28. What does it take to be an IoT engineer?

    Love it. All the idle cash in the world is desperate to not miss out on the next Airbnb, and has done a sensational job of monopolising the narrative of business success. Rocket speed growth, a trail of destruction, laptops in cafeterias, and more talking than doing. Let the trends be trends. There's no replacement for authenticity.
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