Global IoT round-up: Industrial IoT and security come into focus

24 Mar 2017152 Shares

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This week within the world of IoT, the industrial applications for wearables, security and efficiency were on the minds of internet pioneers such as Vint Cerf.

If you haven’t noticed this week on Siliconrepublic.com, robotics and the internet of things (IoT) have dominated the conversation for our themed week, March of the Machines.

We questioned whether it was possible to create a truly ethical artificial intelligence, pondered the future of autonomous vehicles and also discussed where industrial IoT (IIoT) goes from here.

This particular branch of a more connected world examines the roles of sensors and analytics to make industrial manufacturing considerably more efficient under ‘Industry 4.0’.

Described as the ‘perfect storm’, IIoT will effectively turn every device in a manufacturing plant – or in places as remote as oil rigs in the North Sea – into a data gatherer.

But with such data comes great responsibility. Earlier this week, internet pioneer Vint Cerf described the real security fears that surround a vast global network of connected devices.

Harsh truths about IoT security

Speaking as a panel member at a meeting of the Association for Computing Machinery, Google’s ‘internet evangelist’ Vint Cerf described the fear he harbours over the security of IoT.

“The biggest worry I have is that people building [IoT] devices will grab a piece of open source software or operating system, and just jam it into the device and send it out into the wild without giving adequate thought and effort to securing the system and providing convenient user access to those devices,” Cerf said.

Speaking about last year’s Dyn DDoS attack, which ended up being the largest in history, Cerf added: “Either [Dyn] had no access control or they had a well-known and publicised username and password.

“So, I consider that kind of thing to be irresponsible. And companies looking to make their brands attractive are going to have to pay a lot more attention to security and privacy and access control if their users are going to endorse their products.”

PTC and OSIsoft collaboration aims to advance IIoT

Irish-based PTC – which recently featured on Siliconrepublic.com’s list of 50 key players in Ireland’s IoT ecosystem – announced a major partnership this week with sensor manufacturer OSIsoft.

As part of the deal, PTC’s ThingWorx IIoT platform will be integrated with the OSIsoft PI system to allow the faster development of IoT solutions from various connected data sources.

In addition to the planned technology integration, OSIsoft and PTC expect to jointly pursue IIoT applications for discrete manufacturing, hybrid manufacturing, oil and gas, utilities, and process manufacturing.

“Fundamental to success in the IIoT space is not only the ability to aggregate and contextualise business and operational data in real time, but also to have capabilities that allow for action and insights off of that data,” said Howard Heppelmann, divisional general manager at PTC.

RealWear launches HMT-1 IIoT wearable to partners

Sticking with IIoT from an Irish perspective, a company called RealWear – founded by former Daqri president Andy Lowery  – is also getting in on the industrial wearable market.

The company has introduced the HMT-1, a new wearable that claims to be the first voice-driven, completely hands-free, head-mounted tablet for connected industrial workers.

The device is operated through noise-robust voice control and head gestures to give a worker more productivity without needing to use their hands, while in a noisy environment.

“It’s time to free your hands and put the HMT-1 to work,” said Lowery, CEO of RealWear.

In the space of a year, the company has gone from stealth to shipping to major enterprises, including General Electric, HP Inc and the aforementioned PTC.

MakerDojo to host DIY IoT workshop at Tyndall

Have you ever fancied making your own IoT device, be it a smart monitor or just something to automate your coffee-making in the morning?

Well, you’ll soon get the chance in Cork as MakerDojo has revealed it will hold a DIY IoT workshop in the Tyndall National Institute on 30 March at 6.30pm.

MakerDojo is a club that encourages the general public to explore sci-tech in hands-on hacker-style workshops inspired by the growing maker movement.

The event is aimed at people aged 16 years or older, but younger people are encouraged to attend as part of a family group. A parent or guardian must remain in attendance if their ward is 15 years old or younger.

MakerDojo said that over the course of the workshop, participants will be shown how to make a device that will tell you, as you walk out the door, that you left the immersion on. It aims to expand on what other uses this idea could have.

You can apply for a free ticket at MakerDojo’s Eventbrite site here.

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com