Cork IoT start-up that aims to save bees wins Ignite award

29 Sep 2017

Image: graginos777/Shutterstock

A start-up founded by a 26-year-old UCC student has been named Business of the Year for its use of IoT to save bee populations.

University College Cork (UCC) graduate Fiona Edwards-Murphy established her company ApisProject in an effort to give beekeepers greater monitoring controls over hives, and is now the winner of an international award.

According to The Irish Times, ApisProject was named Business of the Year by Ignite, a programme established in 2011 to support recent third-level graduates in growing their businesses.

The internet of things (IoT) start-up places sensors within the hives and, using the power of big data and machine learning, is able to identify when a hive is under threat from either disease or pests.

This marks another major milestone of Edward-Murphy’s career, having already received a number of awards for her work from the likes of Google, IBM and the Irish Research Council.

Only 17pc of IoT consumers know of the Mirai IoT botnet hack

Despite it being one of the most damaging cyberattacks ever seen, a recent survey found that only 17pc of IoT consumers were aware of what the Mirai botnet was.

A Trustlook survey was looking into the average person’s understanding of cybersecurity issues and found that generally, it is quite poor.

Other findings showed that 54pc of IoT device owners do not use a third-party security tool to protect their devices, while more than one-third (35pc) do not change the default password on their devices, leaving them vulnerable to attacks.

“It’s clear that the IoT phenomenon has resulted in manufacturers and consumers not taking security seriously enough,” said Allan Zhang, CEO and co-founder of Trustlook.

“Our advice would be to add security at the earliest stages of development, as well as layer on additional security measures once devices are in production.”

World’s smallest NB-IoT module revealed

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is set to drive the smart cities of the future, and now a new chip from Quectel Wireless Solutions has revealed the smallest chip of its kind produced to date.

Measuring only 17.7mm by 15.8mm by 2.3mm, the chip is based on the latest Huawei HiSilicon chipset, promising high performance and extremely low power consumption.

According to IoT Business News, the target market for such a chip will be in space-constrained terminals and wearables, including security and portable health monitoring devices.

“The BC68 module is an enhancement to our [low power, wide area technology] product portfolio,” said Quectel NB-IoT product manager Moore Chen.

“It … applies to a wider range of IoT fields. We will continue investing in the technology to cater to current and future connectivity needs.”

European IoT fleet management systems to reach 14.1m by 2021

Set to expand in tandem with general IoT adoption are fleet management systems that enable companies to track where their trucks are on the roads (or not, if things go bad).

According to Berg Insight, the number of active fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in Europe was 6.6m by the end of 2016. However, this is expected to grow each year by 16.4pc before reaching a total of 14.1m systems by 2021.

The largest provider of such systems, according to its latest report, is TimTim, with about 609,000 units shipped by the end of last year. This is more than double the number of its immediate rival, Masternaut, and three times that of the third-largest player, Microlise.

First public 5G network trial carried out in Tallinn

The Telia Company is claiming that it has conducted the first public 5G network trial in Europe as part of a collaboration project with Ericsson and Intel.

According to Capacity Media, the test was conducted in the Estonian capital of Tallinn with deployment aboard a passenger cruise ship, with another one in a construction vehicle set to be remotely controlled over 5G.

The test, carried out earlier this month, showed that it was capable of giving the 2,000-strong passenger ship high-speed broadband, with the construction vehicle test planned to take place at the EU Digital Summit, to be held in the city in November.

The test will allow attendees to control the excavator using an augmented reality remote control operated over an ultrafast live 5G link with very low latency.

“We want to be early with 5G and will bring it to life in Stockholm, Tallinn and Helsinki in 2018,” said Telia’s senior vice-president and global head of networks, Gabriela Styf Sjöman.

“We work together with our partners in the entire ecosystem to explore the powerful effect it is going to have for our customers and in society.”

Want stories like this and more direct to your inbox? Sign up for Tech Trends, Silicon Republic’s weekly digest of need-to-know tech news.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic