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Should the Government Regulate IoT Devices?

Should the government regulate IoT devices?As security concerns rise about Internet of Things (IoT) devices, so does the debate about the necessity of government regulations. Should the government regulate IoT? Many Internet of Things devices on the market today have little to no security built in, which can compromise the privacy and even personal security of consumers.

Many consumers today are not (yet) clamoring for more regulation. A lot of them do not realize that their smart devices may be compromising their privacy in significant ways. Yet there is a growing concern from those in government and industry that something must be done. The question is, however, whether more secure devices will arise through government regulations imposed by governments that are often hacked themselves, or by the Internet of Things industry itself.

Should the government regulate IoT?

Proponents of government regulations see the following benefits to having the government regulate IoT devices:

  • Standards applied to every device that help to protect the security of consumers
  • Requirements for patches that take new security concerns into account

Opponents take a different view. Should the government regulate IoT devices, they are concerned about:

  • Regulation and bureaucracy stifling innovation
  • Expensive regulations eliminating smaller companies, reducing consumer choice and competition
  • The government lacks the expertise to effectively regulate these devices

What are lawmakers doing today?

Several countries are already proposing regulations related to this issue. For example, in Australia, lawmakers have proposed a certification for IoT devices with requirements such as:

  • Changeable, non-guessable, non-default passwords
  • Not to expose ports to the wider internet
  • Software updates to fix known vulnerabilities

In the United States, lawmakers are working on a bill related to devices purchased by the federal government that includes requirements such as:

  • Devices must be patchable, rely on industry standard protocols, and be built without hard-coded passwords and known security vulnerabilities
  • Alternative network-level security requirements for devices with limited data processing and software functionality
  • Cybersecurity coordinated vulnerability disclosure policies will be required of all contractors that provide connected devices to the U.S. Government

It is essential that Internet of Things devices become more secure in order to protect consumers, governments, and organizations alike, while complying with international data privacy regulations. Whether that is done through government regulation or industry self-regulation remains to be seen. Likely it will be a combination of both. As consumers and organizations alike become more aware of the security risks of IoT devices, the market demand for more secure devices will grow, increasing the supply in a market-driven economy. Likely we will see the government regulate IoT devices, while the market demand increases.

What do you think?

Should governments regulate Internet of Things devices? Or can the industry self-regulate? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

And if you’d like to learn more about the Internet of Things, check out our newest course program: IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.

 

References:

List, J. (2017, 16 Oct). Aussies Propose Crackdown on Insecure IoT Devices. Hackaday.

Corsec. (2017, 27 Sept). IoT Security Facing Government Regulation. Corsec blog.

Thierer, A. and O’Sullivan, A. (2017, 12 June). Leave the Internet of Things Alone. US News & World Report.

Thomson, I. (2017, 15 Feb). You Know IoT Security is Bad when Libertarians Call for Strict RegulationsThe Register.

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Hot Jobs in the Growing IoT Job Market

IoT Job MarketAs the Internet of Things (IoT) market continues to grow, so does the IoT job market demand for highly skilled engineers and other technical professionals that can develop and support the billions of devices predicted by 2020.

Lack of Skills for IoT Job Market

Unfortunately, however, Immersat Research Programme research shows that 47% of organizations completely lack IoT skills, and plan to outsource everything. This brings challenges too, however, as Gartner predicts that three fourths of IoT projects will take twice as long as they should due to lack of IoT talent. (Florentine, 2017)

Average Salaries for IoT Engineering Jobs

With an IoT job market that is growing exponentially, it’s a great time for engineers to develop the skills needed to compete in the IoT job market. Here are some of the most in-demand skills in the IoT job market for engineers, along with their average salaries:

  • Machine Learning engineer – Average salary US: $128,549, India: Rs 900,000
  • Big Data engineer – Average salary US: $90,286, UK: £28,190
  • Node.js Senior Software engineer – Average salary US: $115,826, Saudi Arabia: SAR 110,006
  • Data Scientist – Average salary US: $98,763, India: Rs 905,608
  • Security engineer and Infrastructure Security engineer – Average salary US: $129,000, Canada: C$79,554
  • Electrical engineers (embedded device development for mobile apps and RF/analog and microwave engineering for communications systems and GPS) – Average salary US: $92,283, Germany: €48,652

Develop Engineering Skills for the IoT Job Market

IEEE Continuing and Professional Education courses help you prepare for the hot IoT job market with an ever expanding collection of online courses that you can take any time, anywhere, on any device. Courses are taught by the world’s leading experts in these courses, so you can be sure that you get the essential skills needed for career growth.

New to the Internet of Things? Start with the IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things course program.

Ready to expand your skills? Explore our library that includes hundreds of hours of online education designed to help you advance in your career.

Invest in your success. Learn something new today.

References

Florentine, S. (2017, 21 Sept). 10 Most In-Demand Internet of Things Skills. CIO.

Salary Search (2017, 16 Oct). glassdoor.

Strauss, K. (2017, 25 Jan). Hot Jobs for 2017 — By Industry. Forbes.

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How to Make IoT Batteries Last Longer

Make IoT Batteries Last Longer: IEEE Wake-Up Radio InfographicAnalyst firm Gartner predicts that there will be 8.4 billion connected “things” in 2017, which will then expand to 20.4 billion Internet of Things (IOT) devices by 2020. That number is staggering. And it is reasonable to expect that a great many of these devices will run on batteries. Yet battery life can be limited. How do we make IoT batteries last longer?

Consider the use cases:

  • Wearable medical devices that cannot be hard wired
  • Logistics sensors on vehicles, moving from place to place
  • Agricultural IoT devices in the middle of fields
  • Smart home consumer devices that are easier to install without hardwiring, increasing market adoption

…and these are just a few instances of the many IoT use cases that will require battery operated devices. Given the sheer number of devices, it is essential that IoT manufacturers create devices that have a long battery life while maintaining optimal performance. We must make IoT batteries last longer.

This is why the IEEE 802.11ba standards working group is developing the IEEE Wake-Up Radio standard. This technology has the potential to increase battery life in IoT devices from months to years. When you consider the cost of replacing 20.4 billion batteries (both the batteries themselves, as well as the time involved), this will have significant economic impact.

How it Works

IoT devices have an embedded radio that has to “wake up” in order for data to be transmitted. The longer the device is awake, the more power it consumes, but the higher the performance. To solve the power issue, a 2nd, low-power, duty-cycled Wake-Up Radio is added to the device that waits for transmissions. This Wake-Up Radio only wakes up the main device when it is needs to, allowing a longer device sleep state without compromising performance. Ensuring that the Wake-Up Radio uses duty cycling increases the battery life even more.

The result is a high-performance IoT device that last for years rather than months on a single battery.

The impact is clear. IoT devices that will run on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections need IEEE Wake-Up Radio. Device manufacturers need this information now, in order to build this into their IoT devices of tomorrow.

IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio

To help IoT device manufacturers prepare for IEEE Wake-Up Radio even before the standard is released, IEEE is offering a technology report that outlines the technology, use cases, and more. The report will be released on 2 November, 2017, and is available for pre-sale now. Device manufacturers that begin planning for IEEE Wake-Up Radio now will have a competitive advantage, especially in consumer categories where IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections are ubiquitous. They will be able to make IoT batteries last longer in their devices.

Increasing battery life in IoT devices is essential. When it comes to devices that run on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®) connections, IEEE Wake-Up Radio is the solution. Pre-order the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio now, and prepare your organization for a competitive advantage in the future.

 

References

Tung, L. (2017, Feb 7). IoT Devices Will Outnumber the World’s Population this Year for the First Time. ZDNet.

McCormick, D. (2017, Nov 2). 802.11ba Battery Life Improvement – Preview: IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio. IEEE Xplore.

 

 

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Disney’s Take on the Internet of Things: A Magical MagicBand Wristband

Disney's Take on the Internet of Things: A Magical MagicBand Wristband from IEEE Innovation at WorkWhile more and more organizations are seeking out ways to implement the Internet of Things (IoT) to boost efficiency and connectivity, Disney World is ahead of the game.  If you haven’t heard about it yet, Disney’s take on the Internet of Things comes in the form of a magical wristband.

Officially called the Disney MagicBand, these colorful silicon wristbands look deceivingly simple on the outside. Beneath the surface, however, they actually contain an RFID chip and long-range radio with a transmit range of 40 feet in every direction (Kuang, 2015). With batteries meant to last two years, these wristbands enable park visitors to digitally consolidate a number of things, such as park tickets, credit card information, and room keys.

Disney mails the MagicBands to park visitors before their visit, not long after they purchase tickets online and settle on an itinerary. Those that sign up for the “Magical Express” eliminate all paperwork, and significantly reduce inefficiencies from the time they land in Orlando until they leave the park. All the information needed is contained within the band (Kuang, 2015). No need to pick up luggage, rent a car, wait in long lines, carry cash, or even order food at a restaurant, at least not when these things can be taken care of ahead of time with internet access and the MagicBand.

Although designing and implementing the plan for the MagicBand took several years and a lot of work, the band’s integration within the amusement park now seems quite seamless (Kuang, 2015). Band readers are set up at various locations around the park, particularly at entrances to the park and rides. Visitors only need to touch the band’s Mickey icon to the reader’s circled Mickey icon: a successful connection results in a green light and a pleasant tone from the reader, while an error results in a blue light.

So far MagicBands are only used at Disney World in Orlando, but it is likely that Disney will integrate similar aspects of the MyMagic+ program into other parks soon (Pedicini, 2014). Their ease-of-use and multiple capabilities have already gained popularity among park visitors, and other industries are taking note. According to Kuang (2015), “Despite their futuristic intentions, they’re already invisible.”

Want to learn more about the Internet of Things and how it’s being used today and in the future? Check out our newest online course program  IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things. Interested in learning more about how to create Internet of Things devices with significantly longer battery life? Learn more about the groundbreaking IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio, coming soon!

References:

Kuang, C. (2015, Mar 10). Disney’s $1 billion bet on a magical wristband. Wired.

Pedicini, S. (2014, Dec 25). MyMagic+ on its way to other Disney parks. Orlando Sentinel.

Image: Julie Friend (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Four Internet of Things Companies to Watch

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow and pervade many areas of daily life, several companies have been quick to pursue this lucrative opportunity. According to Business Insider, below are four companies making notable, innovative contributions to the IoT field that will be worth watching in the days to come.

Honeywell: With a focus on integrating digital technologies into manufacturing, Honeywell offers strategies to businesses interested in incorporating internet of things technologies into their operations, but are ill-equipped to do so on their own.

Hitachi: Hitachi seeks to be the guide that novice companies can turn to when exploring unknown territory in the IoT. The company offers services to assist its clients in applying IoT solutions while preparing them to become independent innovators in the IoT space.

Comcast: In attempt to recover from losses in the domain of traditional pay-TV, Comcast is wasting no time delving into the IoT and making strategic moves. In addition to acquiring a smaller company that develops technology for connected home security devices, Comcast hired a former HP executive who had previously debuted the IoT and wearable businesses at HP.

T-Mobile: This wireless carrier has had a head start in the IoT business after debuting its IoT program in 2005 (through its Value Added Reseller channel) and creating a specialized IoT team in 2008.  T-Mobile is continuing to make strides with its recent partnership with a cellular communications platform that could affect how IoT developers work.

Also in the IoT playing field are popular vendors such as Google, Amazon Web Services, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), according to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets. The report mentioned that many of these vendors are expanding their market reach by adopting partnerships and collaborations.

Interested in finding out more about the IoT and preparing your organization? Check out the newest learning program from IEEE: IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.

 

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