Tag Archives | IoT

The Race to the Edge of the Network

iot industry 4.0 concept,industrial engineer using software (augmented, virtual reality) in tablet to monitoring machine in real time.Smart factory use Automation robot arm in automotive manufacturing

Edge computing is a distributed, open IT architecture that features decentralized processing power, enabling mobile computing and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. In edge computing, data is processed by the device itself or by a local computer or server, rather than being transmitted to a data center.

Allowing large amounts of data to be processed near the source, edge computing helps reduce internet bandwidth usage. This efficient data processing both eliminates costs and ensures that applications can be used effectively in remote locations. Plus, the ability to process data without ever putting it into a public cloud adds a useful layer of security for sensitive data.

what is edge computing, how does edge computing work, 5G cloud computing, edge computing conceptDriven by a need to overcome cloud overhead in latency and bandwidth and a demand for more local processing, edge computing is poised to enable billions of new IoT end-points and real-time local artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) for autonomous systems. Edge computing allows smart applications and devices to respond to data almost instantaneously, as it’s being created, eliminating lag time, which is critical for technologies like self-driving cars.

How Client Devices Will Become Smarter

Robert Cihra, Managing Director and Senior Analyst at Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Research Division, says self-driving cars, smartphones and other client devices will become smarter in order to handle more local processing. According to Cihra, this is how:

  • Making machines smarter via real-time on-board AI/ML
  • Making thin-client smartphones fatter, as they need more processing and storage for on-device ML and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR)
  • Pushing smartphone configurations/BOM costs and thereby ASPs even higher
  • Enabling more frictionless user interfaces (UIs) headlined by Voice and Vision vs. Keyboard and Screen
  • Enabling data input from devices that increasingly involve no human interaction at all (e.g., cameras, IoT sensors for location, vibration, temperature, etc.)
  • Favoring vertically-integrated vendors (hardware and software) particularly early on (e.g., Apple; Tesla; Google now building hardware; GM’s acquisition of Cruise Automation)

The Self-Driving Car Race

One of the hottest topics in edge computing is self-driving cars, because a self-driving car can’t be programmed to drive, but must think and act for itself, and it certainly cannot rely on the cloud and risk lag time.

The ability to process streams of sensor data and complex neural net pipelines in real-time is crucial. An autonomous car will require 50-100X the processing power and >10X the Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) and Not And (NAND) technology of an Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) car today.

Interior of Tesla Model S 90D car. Tesla Motors is an American company that designs manufactures and sells cutting edge electric cars.

Interior of Tesla Model S 90D car.

Cihra thinks Tesla, a pioneer in the American development of electric vehicles, is ahead of the curve in making automobiles an edge computing device. The company has used its connected fleet of customer cars for shared ML and building an in-house model that adds complexity, risk and cost, but also ultimate leverage.

As the perfect edge computing device, the automobile must be fully integrated, in terms of hardware and software development. And that’s why Cihra sees Apple either making a car itself or getting out of the market all together. Right now, Apple is investing in autonomous driving but has not yet committed to a car.

And This is Only the Beginning

Edge computing presents an incredible incremental growth opportunity for IoT development and data processing. To learn more about IoT, check out the IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things, our series of eight training courses designed to give your organization critical foundational knowledge.


Ray, Tiernan. (2 Mar 2018). Apple, Tesla to Lead ‘Edge’ Computing, Says Gugenheim. Barron’s.

What is Edge Computing? Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

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Mozilla Leading the Transition from Internet of Things to Web of Things

Smart home automationLast year, Mozilla announced Project Things, which is a framework of software and services that help bridge gaps in communication between connected devices by giving “things” URLs on the web.

And days ago, the company began delivering on its earlier promises by announcing a new solution designed to enable anyone to build their own Internet of Things (IoT) gateway.

As Engineering and Technology pointed out, this is a pretty big deal as it allows IoT devices to communicate with one another “regardless of which tech company developed them.” Enabling all IoT devices to be managed through a single secure web interface allows users to directly monitor and control their home over the web, without a middleman.

“Last year, we said that Mozilla is working to create a framework of software and services that can bridge the communication gap between connected devices. Today, we are pleased to announce that anyone can now build their own Things Gateway to control their connected device directly from the web,” the company wrote in a blog post.

What’s more, this first-of-its-kid “Things Gateway” can be set up by anyone, technical knowledge notwithstanding. All you need is a Raspberry Pi, a microSD card, a dongle and the new Things Gateway software.

From IoT to WoT

According to Mozilla, for as long as accessory makers and service providers continue to create products which cannot communicate with each other, building a connected home will remain expensive and the IoT will not take off: the market is “fragmented and slow to grow,” the organization has warned.

“The ‘Web of Things’ (WoT) is the idea of taking the lessons learned from the World Wide Web and applying them to IoT. It’s about creating a decentralized Internet of Things by giving Things URLs on the web to make them linkable and discoverable, and defining a standard data model and APIs to make them interoperable,” the company wrote.

Though Apple, Google, Amazon and even Samsung have been battling it out around the clock to create their own standards of controlling connected home devices, it seems Mozilla beat them to the punch. For now.

Get Up To Speed or Get Left Behind

The future of connected devices is still up for debate, but organizations need to begin preparing for this industry-altering shift now. IEEE Continuing and Professional Education offers a multi-course IoT series to educate employees on how the Internet of Things will impact their day to day business. It’s available now on IEEE Xplore.

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What Is Blockchain Bounce?

Blockchain bounce IEEE Innovation at WorkThere is a veritably deafening buzz around blockchain at the moment as it’s the technology du jour. And rightfully so, as it ticks a lot of boxes: it’s decentralized, anonymous, and immutable. It also promises security through truth and transparency.

Amid the excitement about it, brands are rushing to embrace the ledger technology. Upon announcing that they’re working with, or will soon incorporate, blockchain technologies, their stock price skyrockets.

The Blockchain Bounce Phenomenon

This is called blockchain bounce.

Don’t believe us? Take Overstock, for example, whose share price rose +200% post-announcement of a loyalty plan built on blockchain.

Or restaurants like Chanticleer Holdings (whose brands include American Burger Co. and Little Big Burger) and Hooter’s. Both stocks became hot simply because of their association with blockchain.

It also happened to Kodak recently, when it partnered with WENN Digital to launch a blockchain-powered image rights platform, called KODAKOne. Shares of Eastman Kodak’s stock surged more than 30% on the announcement, closing at $6.80.

As the New York Times noted, these bold gambles have had mixed reactions among investors: some are excited, others confused, with a majority curious about “wading into dubious business deals” in search of instant growth through blockchain bounce.

Are businesses that attach themselves to blockchain merely a fad? Or will utilizing blockchain to provide the building blocks for a company’s future have an Amazon-like effect, as Starbucks Chairman Howard Shultz predicts? Could the blockchain bounce make a difference for your company? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Coming Soon: IEEE Introduction to Blockchain Technology – A Live, Virtual Event

It’s clear blockchain isn’t going away anytime soon. Which is why it’s in your business’ best interests to learn as much as possible, as soon as possible, about it. To make sense of the recent blockchain revolution, you’ve got to understand what a blockchain really is and what it’s capable of doing. The best place to start is with the upcoming IEEE Virtual Event: Introduction to Blockchain Technology. Registration is now open — we look forward to you joining us.

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CES 2018: News To Know About

CES 2018 Updates from IEEEThe Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the annual place to be for technology professionals, experts, and enthusiasts. There are literally hundreds of new product launches, and sometimes it’s hard to cut through all the clutter to find out what’s actually worth knowing about.

Of the technological solutions for home and business that this year’s event spawned, here’s what piqued our interest the most:

  • Cable industry behemoth, Comcast, put a major stake in the Internet of Things (IoT) ground by unveiling its new “Works with Xfinity” smart-home IoT platform. Keen on keeping existing customers due to simple inertia, tech experts and casual observers alike will wait and see how the company provides controls for hundreds of devices to Xfinity Internet customers at no extra cost—a key promise of this new offering. (Variety)
  • It’s worth noting that CES had an IoT device for everything. Even pets. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Nvidia was busy announcing a plethora of new stuff at this year’s expo, much of it centered around self-driving cars. In a partnership with Uber, its autonomous vehicle computing platforms will power the ride sharing company’s self-driving vehicles. Nvidia Xavier was also under consideration for a “Best of CES” Engadget award. (TechCrunchIGN; Engadget)
  • Self-driving cars might have gotten the lion’s share attention, but did you see the self-driving luggage from Travelmate? (Economic Times)
  • The big impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the enterprise is in cybersecurity, and especially in securing data center networks. Serena VM, provider of IT cyber capabilities, brought Fortune 500 cyber security to small offices with its virtual managed box for organizations that have remote or brand offices. (@SerenaVMUS)
  • Over in Eureka Park, which Leigh Christie, Director, Isobar NowLab Americas deemed “the best place for innovation at CES,” we learned how crucial low latency will be for virtual reality and augmented reality. (MediaPost)

And did you catch the IEEE booth at CES? Check out our show coverage on IEEE Transmitter!

What has been the most fascinating news or product announcement you’ve come across since CES started? Share with us in the comments below!

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A Solution to Latency in IoT Devices

IoT Latency Solution IEEE Wake-Up Radio

In 2016, a PwC survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers found:

  • 45% reported owning a fitness band
  • 27% a smartwatch
  • 12% smart clothing

Furthermore, 57% said they’re excited about the future of wearable technology as part of everyday life. In order for the full power of these devices to be realized, however, it is important to ensure that latency isn’t a problem.

The Latency Problem with Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

The challenge with IoT devices is that they run on batteries. This makes them convenient…no one wants to be tethered by a cord. But it also brings challenges. In order to preserve the lifespan of batteries, IoT devices systematically wake up from sleep mode to retrieve new information. The longer the device is asleep, the less power it consumes. This also means that there are fewer opportunities for information to be exchanged. This impacts the performance of the device, causing it to run slower (known as latency).

In today’s devices, low power consumption and low latency are in conflict with one another. Because of the advent of Internet of Things technologies, however, finding a low-power, low-latency solution is of the utmost importance.

IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio - Buy Now!The Most Viable Solutions to Latency

There is a great deal of research going on right now in the low-latency low-power field, with two dominant solutions emerging: Wake-Up Radio (created by IEEE 802.11ba standards working group) and Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth Smart). In this context it’s worth noting that Bluetooth Low Energy is not the same as the Bluetooth prevalent in today’s consumer devices. Rather, it’s a new technology needs to be included in devices moving forward in order to take advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy.

Internet of Things device manufacturers must be cognizant of their options when it comes to these technologies. If your company is considering Internet of Things devices, it’s essential that you understand how Wake-Up Radio works, and how it may impact your products and your business, especially if the device will run on IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi®).

Based on work of the IEEE 802.11ba standards task group, the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio highlights current and projected developments in this groundbreaking technology that allows devices to achieve low power and low latency at the same time, greatly reducing the frequent recharging or replacement of batteries. This report is especially useful for helping manufacturers analyze and prepare for the implementation of Wake-Up Radio when the standard is finalized within the next 2-3 years.

To purchase your copy of the IEEE Wake-Up Radio Report, click here. Or, contact an IEEE Content Specialist about an institutional purchase of the report.


16 Aug. 2016. IoT Facts and Figures. What’s the Big Data.

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Introduction to Predictive Maintenance

Introduction to Predictive MaintenanceAs the Industrial Internet of Things continues to grow, predictive maintenance technology is transforming industries by evaluating the condition of equipment, determining if and when maintenance and repairs are needed, and preventing failures from happening in the first place.

Since it’s estimated that the Internet of Things will be connected to 80 billion devices by 2025, it’s important to invest in performance-predicting technologies now to improve safety and reliability. (Kerravala, 2017)

How It Works

If the Internet of Things had its own “fight or flight” response, it would be predictive maintenance. It observes the start of a mechanism malfunction or deterioration, with the express goal of correcting said malfunction or deterioration before significant degradation in the component or equipment occurs. (McKinsey Global Institute, 2015). The result can be a significant increase in productivity and return on investment.

Predictive technology is helping many businesses and public services run faster, more efficiently, and cost effectively. The diagnostic capabilities of predictive maintenance technologies have increased in recent years, thanks to advances made in sensor technologies.

Take the city of Chicago for example, which in late 2016 deployed predictive technology to take out the trash — literally. It relied on smart sensors to help determine which dumpsters needed emptying and when, thus keeping the city cleaner and its residents happier. By utilizing connected technology to yield previously unobtainable data on waste management without significant human time investment, stress-ridden “what happens when…” possibilities can quickly become a thing of the past. Just ask Chicago’s sanitation workers.

Collaboration Is Key

As always, when any new technology is introduced, proper training is required to ensure it is applied appropriately. This is particularly true when it comes to the field of predictive maintenance technology, as its level of sophistication continues to evolve each and every day.

It’s important for professionals working in engineering, IT, computer science and related fields across all industries to be trained in the Internet of Things. For more information, check out the online course program IEEE Guide to Internet of Things.

Imagine living and working in an environment where technology is fixed even before it breaks. It’ll be here before you know it.


McKinsey Global Institute. (2015, June). Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things. McKinsey & Company.

Kerravala, Zeus. (2017, Dec. 4). DDI is a critical component of IoT success. Network World.

Newman,  Daniel (2017, 5 Dec.). 3 Areas The IoT Will Impact You Without You Even Knowing. Forbes.

Sisson, Patrick. (2016, Sept. 7). Chicago’s new smart sensor network is a game changer for city data. Curbed.

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Is Blockchain the Solution to IoT Security?

Blockchain IoT securitySecurity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is an ongoing problem. The largely unregulated IoT market leaves plenty of room for device hacking. When considering applications such as smart homes and smart cars, this lack of security can be a real concern. A hacker, for example, could take over a self-driving car with someone in it, or make purchases based on access levels given to an IoT system. With all of the data that is collected and passed between IoT devices, strong security is a must.

While there are many security recommendations for IoT devices, such as biometrics and two-factor authorization, one potential solution is blockchain IoT security. Blockchain, which is most familiar for bitcoin and Ethereum, offers an intriguing solution for IoT security. Blockchain contains strong protections against data tampering, locking access to Internet of Things devices, and allowing compromised devices in an IoT network to be shut down. Hyundai has recently backed a blockchain start-up that is specifically designed for IoT security. Called HDAC (Hyundai Digital Access Currency), this innovative approach creates a permissioned private network.

“Some differentiating features of the HDAC token are that it has a new PoW mining algorithm (ePoW) that reduces mining monopolization, has 3-minute blocks, and has a private/public/permissioned blockchain.” (@ecurrencyhodler)

Thomas Hardjono, Chief Technology Officer of MIT Connection Science, suggests that we need infrastructure to manage devices, as well as data access. In a recent paper, he proposes a blockchain-based IoT framework called ChainAnchor. “This framework addresses device security with activation and security layers supported by device makers, data providers and independent third parties…The proposed framework includes layers of access that can keep out unauthorized devices or cut bad actors (such as a hacked device) from the network. It also includes cases for safely selling and removing devices from the blockchain.” (Compton)

If there is to be blockchain IoT security, however, there are issues to be overcome. For one, blockchain mining requires a large amount of processing power. Many IoT devices lack the power needed. Current blockchains are vulnerable if a group of miners controls more than 50% of the network’s mining hashrate. The global distribution of nodes in a typical blockchain makes this very difficult. But a home IoT blockchain’s processing power might be more easily hacked.

IoT security will continue to evolve as regulations related to their development and use continue their forward march. However the possibility of a blockchain IoT security system is something that may hold great potential.

Would you like to learn more about the Internet of Things? Check out our online course program: IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things



Compton, J. (2017, 27 Jun). How Blockchain Could Revolutionize the Internet of Things. Forbes. 

@ecurrencyhodler. (2017, 21 Nov). The Solution to IoT is Blockchain Security. hackernoon. 


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GDPR will Help Enhance Cyber Security

GDPR cyber securityOn May 25, 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) go into effect. This broadly-reaching set of regulations related to how personal data is collected, processed, and stored, is causing fundamental shifts in the way organizations approach personal data. And rightly so: the fines for non-compliance are significant, at 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater). GDPR cyber security will greatly impact internet of things (IoT) device developers, as these devices typically collect and transmit a great deal of personal data. It will no longer be acceptable to create IoT devices with weak security measures, as the manufacturers themselves may be held liable for data breaches caused by poor design.

The good news for consumers is that organizations must take the cyber security of personal data into account as part of their efforts to comply with GDPR cyber security requirements. Data privacy and data security, long considered separate things, are becoming intertwined thanks to these new regulations. Andrew Burt, Chief Privacy Officer and Legal Engineer of Immuta, states, “2018 will prove that cyber security without privacy is a thing of the past.” (Forbes) Article 32 of GDPR provides specific guidance related to data security and breach notification. Among other things, data controllers and processors are advised to include:

  • The pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data.
  • The ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services.
  • The ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident.
  • A process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organizational measures for ensuring the security of the processing. (Heimes)

It is advisable for organizations to begin now to make data privacy a part of their operational GDPR cyber security strategy. No matter where your organization falls within the process, from creating devices that collect and transmit personal data, to collecting personal data, to processing or storing data locally, on the edge, or in the cloud, the cyber security of personal data is a pressing concern. Hackers regularly target this type of information, and news stories about large data breaches are becoming commonplace. Every organization that falls within range of the EU GDPR requirements must reevaluate their cyber security strategy.

Does your organization need to begin implementing a cyber security strategy? Start with the IEEE online course program Cyber Security for Today’s Environment.



Olivi, G. (2017, Nov 24). Cybersecurity and GDPR: Where We are Heading. DLA Piper Privacy Matters.

Press, G. (2017, Nov 26). 60 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2017. Forbes.

Heimes, R. (2016, Jan 6). Top 10 Operational Impacts of the GDPR: Part 1 – Data Security and Breach Notification. IAPP.


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Is Your Smart Device Spying On You?

Is your smart device spying on you?A regulatory agency in Germany just announced a ban on children’s smartwatches. This illustrates a growing concern among regulators and consumers alike regarding the privacy implications of smart devices. Is your smart device spying on you?

In the example of the smartwatch ban in Germany, the devices in question contain a remote listening capability. According to the regulators, this means the device counts as a spying device under German law. Worse yet, some smartwatches were found to transmit and store data without encryption. Parents could listen, unnoticed, to their child’s classroom, for example. But so could others who hack the device. Parents in Germany are being urged to destroy the smartwatches.

Concerns about smart device spying are not limited to Germany, however. According to a recent Deloitte survey, 40% of consumers are concerned that smart home devices reveal too much about their daily lives. After all, cameras and microphones within these devices can be hacked, and they are often found in the most intimate areas of the home, listening in on every conversation. While cheap devices that have been rushed to market may be more susceptible to hacking than larger brands, 60% of consumers in the survey felt that they had little or no information at all about the privacy of these devices. Smart device spying is a real and growing concern.

And it’s not just about listening to private conversations. These devices can also be controlled remotely by hackers to coordinate large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on sites around the world, all without the device owner’s knowledge. Privacy cannot be taken for granted, and device manufacturers must make the security of devices a primary element in the design.

However consumers of these devices have a role to play as well. Here are some ways that consumers can protect their smart devices:

  • When available, enable two-step authentication that requires physical access to the device in order to log in.
  • Ensure your internet connection is secure.
  • Install software updates issued by your device manufacturer immediately.
  • Change device passwords frequently.

Smart devices can be remarkably convenient for consumers, but the security of those devices cannot be ignored. Device manufacturers certainly have a role to play, ensuring privacy by design. However consumers must also do their part to make sure that their devices can’t be hacked. This is the only way to ensure that the benefits of smart devices outweigh the risks.

Want to learn more about cyber security, and how it related to not just smart devices, but other areas too? Explore the IEEE online course program Cyber Security Tools for Today’s Environment.



Griffin, A. (18 Nov, 2017). Low-Quality Devices Could Be Damaging the Idea of the Internet of ThingsIndependent.

Wakefield, J. (17 Nov, 2017). Germany Bans Childrens’ Smartwatches. BBC. 

Tung, L. (20 Nov, 2017). Is Germany Right to Tell Parents to Destroy Kids’ Smartwatches Over Snooping Fears? ZDNet. 

Cakebread, C. (15 Nov, 2017). Consumers are Holding Off on Buying Smart-Home Gadgets Thanks to Security and Privacy Fears. Business Insider. 

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Managing IoT on the Edge

edge computing internet of things (IoT)As Internet of Things (IoT) devices proliferate, so does the data that they produce. As more and more data is produced, organizations are finding it to be a costly endeavor to send, process, and store all of this data in the cloud. In fact, some organizations don’t even have the connectivity within their infrastructure to send large amounts of data to the cloud. (Anderson, 2017) Reliance on cloud computing alone also slows down device performance, as bandwidth constraints constrict how much data can be sent and received. Cloud computing alone cannot efficiently handle the IoT. This is why edge computing is becoming a critical factor in IoT deployments.

Edge computing moves data processing from the cloud to hardware on the “edge” of the network. By keeping the data processing local, latency is minimized, which is critical for deployments where real-time processing and time-sensitive decisions are mission critical. Artificial intelligence can help parse data and trigger local actions, such as scheduling maintenance with a facility that has the necessary parts, or deciding when a safety alert needs to be sent. Monitoring, diagnostics, performance optimization, and predictive maintenance are all functions that benefit from an edge computing solution.

In addition to reduced latency, there’s another key benefit to edge computing. It is estimated that the cost of a combined edge and cloud infrastructure is 1/3 of the cost of a cloud-only solution. (Gaunt, 2017) Most of this cost savings is realized through the reduction of bandwidth requirements and computing resources.

Of course, when moving to the edge, security is a critical factor. Cyber security must be deployed in both hardware and software to protect an organization’s data and hardware. As the cyber security of Internet of Things devices continues to develop, it is essential that IoT device manufacturers take into account the fact that some processing will occur on the edge, and build in security measures, including the ability to install updates as needed. Yet the edge may even be more secure than the cloud, as it is by its very nature decentralized. It is more complex for a cyber attacker to hack the decentralized edge, than the more centralized cloud.

Edge computing offers exciting opportunities for IoT development, and the intelligent processing of data that these devices produce. Investment of infrastructure to support the edge will continue, and should yield strong returns for organizations, both financially, as well as through better use of data.

To learn more about the Internet of Things, check out our online course program IEEE Guide to the Internet of Things.



Gaunt, T. (20 Nov, 2017). Pushing IoT to the Edge. Networks Asia. 

Anderson, J. (17 Nov, 2017). Managing IoT with Edge Computing. Network Computing.

Figueredo, K. (15 Nov, 2017). Edge Computing and AI: From Theory to Implementation. IoT Agenda.

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