IoT global round-up: Trump fears, IoT insurance and Davos predictions

20 Jan 2017

Donald Trump in November 2015. Image: Ilya B. Mirman/Shutterstock

This week in the world of IoT, Trump’s ascension to the White House prompts security fears, brokers look to IoT for car insurance and predictions come in from Davos 2017.

This is a week that will shape politics and industry in the year ahead, not just for the inauguration of US president Donald Trump, but also because of the many global leaders that gathered for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

Typically just referred to as Davos, the event in the snowy mountains of Switzerland has seen a noticeable shift towards discussing the latest technology and the future of the workplace, as robotics, AI and IoT come to the forefront of the conversation.

Elsewhere this week, but on the same topic, we have seen how Deloitte has pinpointed IoT as one of its concepts to have a breakthrough year in 2017, while Intel debuted its $100m plan to overhaul the retail business with IoT, robots and AI.

Here in Ireland, Eir teamed up with Dublin-based Asavie to roll out the former’s IoT testing platform – Eir IoT Connect – to a global market.

Targeting small and large businesses, Eir IoT Connect is a self-service online store where users can set up and manage global roaming mobile connectivity for IoT devices.

Here are some other stories you might have missed during the week.

FCC fears what Trump will to do net neutrality and IoT

The inauguration of Donald Trump to the US presidency has not been without obvious controversy, given his stance on immigration and business policy, not to mention his own activities on Twitter.

The country’s outgoing Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairperson Tom Wheeler is voicing his concerns over how Trump’s administration will affect the last eight years of work undertaken during the reign of Barack Obama.

According to, Wheeler said in his final speech that he fears Trump will undo the work of his 2015 open internet order that prohibits internet service providers (ISPs) from throttling their speeds to suit business interests.

“As everything goes into the cloud, the ability to access the cloud free of gatekeepers is essential,” he said.

Tom Wheeler

Departing FCC chairperson Tom Wheeler. Image: FCC

“If ISPs get to choose which applications and clouds work better than others in terms of access, speed and latency, they will control the cloud future.”

In particular, Wheeler cited IoT as a growing sector that will see open connectivity as essential to its function.

“If ISPs can decide arbitrarily which IoT device can be connected, or favour their own IoT activity over their competitors, the bright future of IoT dims,” he warned.

Last year, Dr Bob Griffin from the US Department of Homeland Security said he saw IoT as a “game-changer” for securing the US border under Trump, and also for within its borders.

IBM CEO tries to ease fears of a robot takeover at Davos

IBM has become increasingly familiar with the role of AI and connected devices – itself playing a part in the replacement of a number of jobs with its Watson supercomputer – but now its CEO is trying to ease fears of a complete robot takeover.

Speaking at Davos, Ginni Rometty remains optimistic that robots and humans can work together in the long run in various workplaces. For example, Watson can become a tool for humans to use in environments such as hospitals.

According to a Business Insider survey, however, more than half of the companies working with IoT had sought it out to enable an automated workforce, despite the fact that only 16pc of these companies are currently automating.

Similar fears were presented prior to the Davos conference by the WEF itself in its Global Risks Report, citing it as “the emerging technology with the greatest potential for negative consequences over the coming decade”.

Viasat to offer global IoT roaming service to car insurers

The latest cars being introduced today are increasingly connected to the online world, not only to keep the driver connected with the outside world, but to connect a number of sensors that can tell the driver everything from tyre pressure to potential hazards.

Now this same technology is being applied to the car insurance market as Viasat, a satellite communications supplier, is to begin offering car insurance providers and other car management businesses connectivity solutions.


GPS being used in a car. Image: mariakraynova/Shutterstock

According to Computer Weekly, the Italy-based company has signed a deal with Orange Business Services to provide the connectivity to vehicles to allow the sending of data, SMS and voice communications.

Also, Viasat’s satellite tracking technology will help insurance companies track its insured vehicles to facilitate its claims with greater accuracy.

“Our telematics solutions need global coverage to provide a complete service for our customers in the fleet and insurance industries,” said Massimo Getto, vice-president and CFO of Viasat.

Raspberry Pi reveals new board for industrial IoT

The Raspberry Pi has become a favourite of beginner coders looking for a cheap board to develop their skills on, but now the company is targeting the world of industrial IoT as well.

According to PCWorld, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 board, which develops upon the previous board simply referred to as the Raspberry Pi 3, has now gone on sale to anyone who wants to use the board for industrial purposes.

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3. Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

In terms of specifications, it will come with 1GM of RAM and a four-core, 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 processor at half the size of the previous Raspberry Pi 3, designed for the wider consumer market.

Also, unlike the commercial model, the Compute Module 3 will come with no Wi-Fi capabilities, but can be used within applications like robots and industrial machinery that need some basic computing power.

The board can be purchased from RS Components and Allied Electronics online for $30, or slightly less at $25, if you are OK with no internal flash memory.

Donald Trump in November 2015. Image: Ilya B. Mirman/Shutterstock

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic