Imagine this – you are returning from office in your self-driven car and as you approach the garage, it recognises your car and opens the door. As you get down and are about to enter your home, your living room door does the same. Behind you, it locks again and the face scanner reactivates. As you enter, your house has already cooled itself to an ambient temperature because your AC had already sensed your impending arrival, while queuing up your favourite tracks on your connected music system. You ask your digital assistant to read out your personal emails, and at that very moment the music volume goes down and your email is read out via the same speakers. Your TV switches on to display the attached images and the lights in the room change colour to match the multimedia content on the screen. You close the emails with a gesture, ask your digital home assistant to turn up the music again. Finally, you get to relax and have some coffee that was just the right temperature, because you set the coffee maker via its app before you had left.
Professor Carlo Ratti wants to bring smart city technology to the supermarket, the Guardian reports. Ratti’s Future Food District will alert customers on product information throughout a store using sensors, photographs, and through an app categorizing people based on their purchasing habits. Ratti does not believe privacy concerns surrounding smart cities apply to his supermarket idea. “We’re about giving information about products to people, but not vice versa in terms of providing information about the people to the supermarket,” Ratti says. Ratti does acknowledge the ethical concerns surrounding smart cities, but insists they aren’t limited to the technology. “We are leaving a lot of digital traces as we go, even when just using smartphones to go on to Facebook or Twitter, and it all poses questions about who is accessing the data and so on,” said Ratti.
Source: Smart city technology may visit supermarkets
History is being made today. The Indianapolis 500—one of the most coveted and iconic races in the world—is being run in Indianapolis, Indiana for the 100th time. As if that milestone isn’t significant enough, this is also the first ever sellout crowd, and the Indy 500 is teaming up with BlueMetal and Microsoft MSFT -0.26% to launch cutting edge technology that fundamentally changes the way fans will engage with the event.One thing sports fans love is statistics. If you’ve ever watched the Indy 500, you know that there are plenty of statistics and data points to go around—fastest lap, average speed, who’s leading the race, etc. The network does the best it can to share the relevant facts and figures as the drivers make their way around the 2.5 mile oval for 200 laps. Now, you will be able to track and monitor virtually every statistic you can think of in real time thanks to Microsoft Azure and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a reality and it seems the concept of ‘B-IoT’ or the Building Internet of Things is at your doorstep! But what does this really mean for the average homeowner? As a closet futurist, eco junkie and architect, I am excited as saving energy through efficiency and conservation through automation is finally possible.A lot of luxury homes jumped at the first opportunity of automation — remote controls to draw and close blinds, set up mood lighting. They even had stairwell lights and night lamps turning on or off with movement sensors. But is this what a smart home is really about? Not really.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has released a long-awaited ruling on cybersecurity regulations for the U.S. electric grid — with one stark omission. In its ruling, FERC determined, “With regard to argument that the Commission should do more to promote grid security by mandating secure communications between all facilities of the bulk electric system, such as substations, the record in the immediate proceeding does not support such a broad requirement at this time. However, if in the future it becomes evident that such action is warranted, the Commission may revisit this issue.”
The concept of a fridge that reads emails and does your shopping has now been around for so long that it has become a running joke in the tech industry. With clockwork-like regularity, prototype designs appear every January at Las Vegas’s CES, the world’s biggest technology show, and this year was no exception. Samsung showed off a design that would beam a camera feed of the refrigerator’s contents to its owner. LG’s version opened itself if you walked near it.Despite their makers’ best efforts, it’s a fairly-safe bet that a ludicrously small number of people will buy one of these things, for the same reasons that nobody bought 1999’s Electrolux Screenfridge (“it will revolutionise daily life”, the press release proclaimed), or LG’s Digital DIOS of the following year (“a quantum leap”). The marginal utility one gets out of a fridge connected to the internet is outweighed many times over by their price tags.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen grid and IT technology vendors change their approach to the utility data analytics market. Broad terms like “big data” have dropped out of vogue — perhaps because utilities aren’t really dealing with data on the global internet scale encompassed by that term.Data analytics that can cut unnecessary costs and discover untapped revenue opportunities for the people who actually do the work and make the decisions at utilities, on the other hand, can be a valuable commodity. The software that does this tends to go by names like “operational insight” or “situational intelligence” — or, in the case of Silver Spring Networks’ new platform announced Wednesday, “Operations Optimization.”
The standard electric meter is a pretty basic device that just charts your power usage, but that is going to change dramatically, said Ed Beroset, principal technical leader at the Electric Power Research Institute.”At the moment, meters are more like microwave ovens,” he said. “Your microwave oven does two things pretty capably — it can cook food and it can tell the time, but that’s it.”
Trying to make the call on which consortium’s IoT methods will be adopted by the masses is like choosing sides in a pickup basketball game. Will that big guy you picked be able to carry your team to a win? Or will the combined efforts of the smaller opposing team members make the difference between winning and losing?
In today’s IoT environment, enabling a device to participate in the Internet is just a small part of the design equation. Groups wishing to fundamentally control the touch and feel of the IoT want to give every “thing” the ability to discover and communicate with every other “thing.” And when it comes to the home, where device-to-device discovery and communications have become a priority, web space does not necessarily include the Internet.
If you have any doubt at all about the impact of the IoT, consider these facts: 75 percent of the world’s population has access to a mobile device. When you compare the number of connected devices in 2009 (0.9 billion) to the number today, it represents a 30-fold increase. It is estimated that over 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020.Along with the massive growth of IoT is the growth of corresponding security issues. As connected devices increase, so does the amount of data generated and transferred by these devices. As more data is transferred, the number of pathways and parameters for the cyber criminal to exploit also increases. It all adds up to the need for more protection than ever before.