Internet of Things (IoT) Tech Digest - June 2017

Visybl’s goButton connects the office

Visybl’s goButton is a Wifi-connected smart button that promises to help office workers get everyday tasks done with a single button press. The technology uses Amazon’s Dash button that can be programmed to allow users, for example, to press the button when they run out of milk, ordering Amazon to replace the product. 

Finnish retailer pilots NB-IoT

Finnish operator DNA, working with Ericsson, Enermix and UnSeen Technologies, has trialled a NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) network for monitoring indoor air conditions. The trial, carried out on a commercial, live mobile network, in a Kesko retail store saw sensors measuring air pressure and temperature connected to the Internet with the NB-IoT infrastructure. 

IoT in the warehouse

According to Network Asia, DHL, a German logistics company, has carried out an IoT pilot project at its Singaporean regional warehouse. The employees were given wearable devices that allowed for them to be monitored and assessed for fatigue levels through monitoring of heart rate – when heart rate slows it is an indication of tiredness – when this point is reached a suggestion can be sent to have a rest break. Warnings in the form of a vibration on a wrist worn device and an audio alert could also be sent when an employee was approaching moving equipment such as a forklift truck. 

IoT for sheep

Norwegian telecommunications operator Telia has launched an NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) network to track and monitor sheep. 1000 sheep are participating in the trial each wearing a collar carrying the tracking modules. The module is expected to be commercially available in autumn 2017 and is named ‘The Shepherd’. 

Restaurant IoT 

Swift Sensors, an IoT network company, has a Swift Sensor system that is designed to help restauranteurs monitor restaurant and food conditions. The system consists of three parts: sensors for monitoring things such as humidity, temperature, door access, vibrations; thresholds: a threshold set for a measurement the user wants to monitor - for example to keep the fridge at 5 degrees Celsius; and finally, there are notifications that alert the user when the measurements exceed the threshold. All the data is collated and analysed and presented in a computer program. Swift Sensors says that 84 percent of restaurants that it was called by had problems with walk-in freezers keeping stable temperatures increasing food waste, hygiene and other risks. The company argues that its system helps to keep these negatives from occurring. 

Digi offers iFleet 

Malayasian telecoms operator Digi is offering IoT based connected vehicle solutions for commercial, private car users, and for insurance providers. The IoT system uses Digi’s existing 4G+ LTE network. Digi’s service for commercial vehicles is iFleet, which provides intelligent fleet management including real-time tracking, driver behaviour insights and feedback, smart fuel management, usage based insurance, and productivity improvement analysis. iFleet is being piloted by companies such as Peugeot, Kia, Gamuda and Citylink. Digi is advertising the service as costing MYR90 per vehicle (USD20).

AWS Greengrass

AWS (Amazon Web Services) has released its Greengrass solution that it hopes will increase adoption of MEC (Multi access Edge Computing) architecture. MEC is the idea that each device carries out its own compute tasks locally (carried out by AWS Lambda in AWS’ case), keeps device data in sync, and communicates with other devices while also being able to use the analytic, processing and storage powers of the cloud. AWS Greengrass will be integrated into platforms from Lenovo, Qualcomm, Samsung and others. 

Rollout of Australia NNNCo’s LPWA network

Australian NNNCo (National Narrowband Network Co) is working with Discovery Ag to launch the LoRaWAN Connected Country network. The network is for farmers to connect sensors that report on water levels, soil moisture, rainfall, crop health and livestock data. The network will be rolled out across 400,000ha (1 million acres) in New South Wales Central West area. NNNCo says that the LPWA network brings connected devices within practical and economical reach of Australian agriculture.  

IoT for chickens

Egg Innovation, a free-range egg company in the USA, is using IoT technology to monitor three of its farms to see whether chickens are more likely to go outside when there is cover protecting them from predators. The farm is installing cameras to take hourly photos of the chicken pastures in which there are moving shade wagons. The camera images will be used to assess whether the chickens show any type of shade-seeking behaviour. The next part of the experiment will add radio-frequency ID tags and GPS trackers to the birds to enable the farmers to gain better insight into each bird’s individual routines and behaviours which can then be used to spot signs of illness or injury. 


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