The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly being incorporated into our lives. From thermostats that learn our preferences and habits to home security systems that we can control remotely with our mobile phone, more and more devices are connected to each other as part of a gigantic network of devices and sensors in which "everything is connected to everything". The most conservative estimates estimate the size of the Internet of Things in about 25 billion devices by 2020, and others even forecast up to 38 billion. A not inconsiderable market and should be followed closely.
This article includes some of the main advances that have occurred in this field throughout 2020.
1. Internet of things in vehicles
The Internet of Things has finally reached the hand-held vehicles of various companies, including Octoblu and Apple. These vehicles incorporate a series of sensors and send all the information received to a platform through the Internet that analyzes said information and can act accordingly.; In other words, they are not only connected to the Internet but they are “smart” and can do practically anything we can think of.
For example, the platform Octoblu works with applications such as Uber, Nido, Chromecast, Spotify, GoToMeeting or Google Places, among others. So if we are late for a meeting, we could start it from the car without taking our eyes off the road; We could also turn on or off the house lights from the car or modify the heating temperature remotely; We could even have the system automatically check the battery charge of our car at a time set by us and send us a warning message if necessary so that we do not forget to charge it. The possibilities are very varied. It can already be used in Tesla vehicles and in 2020 it was also incorporated into a vehicle created by LocalMotors using 3D printing.
For his part Apple, has developed Car Play, an interface that brings the iOS system to the car and allows us, among other things, to receive directions, send and receive messages or phone calls, listen to music, etc. Considering the advancements incorporated by the company into the Siri agent in the latest version of iOS, the famous Fantastic Car Kit might not be that far off.
As to Android users will be able to use Android auto.
2. Fingerprint scanning on any Internet of Things device
Sonavation, the company that developed glass for smartphones with built-in fingerprint detection technology, has also unveiled SonicTouch, a biometric system for mobile devices, which can also be used for any device on the Internet of Things. The system It contains all the necessary components for the implementation of a biometric authentication. Once a user's fingerprint is detected, it will validate it on the device itself using a proprietary algorithm (or an existing one) and a secure microprocessor, without the need to send information to a cloud server. Thanks to its design, can be integrated into a device without altering its design or used as a separate piece of a larger network (for example, adding it as a standalone fingerprint authentication module to a smart home network).
3. A new hardware developed by Telit
The Israeli company Telit Communications Plc has developed novel hardware that allows any device, from vending machines to rental cars, to transmit data wirelessly. Undoubtedly, this could significantly accelerate the widespread implementation of what we know as the Internet of Things.
4. New Webroot tools to protect devices from the Internet of Things
One of the main doubts that arise in relation to the Internet of Things is security. If there are already security gaps in the traditional Internet, what will happen when all those devices are connected to each other? To protect them, a company called Webroot has designed an Internet of Things security toolkit designed especially for vendors and manufacturers who want to integrate the Internet of Things into their devices, but are looking for a security layer that sits between that Internet and the devices they build, in order to protect them from malware and other threats that are likely to increase as the network grows.
The new toolkit allows manufacturers to integrate cloud-based real-time threat detection services into their products. To do this, it connects to the Webroot BrightCloud platform and proceeds to analyze the network several times a day, detecting any changes in the files that may indicate the presence of malicious code and monitoring all incoming and outgoing traffic between the devices and their control systems.
5. Wearable devices
These devices, essential for the widespread implementation of the Internet of Things, already existed before 2020, but It has been this year when their number has proliferated and their use has spread considerably.
The famous Google Glass, presented by the search giant a few years ago, today opened the door to a wide variety of devices: smart watches, bracelets, headbands ... And their number is increasing every day. Some examples currently available on the market are:
- The Fitbit bracelet, which allows us to track various variables related to our lifestyle, such as our physical activity, sleep patterns, blood pressure and caloric consumption.
- Contact lenses designed by Google X Lab in collaboration with Novartis, they track glucose levels in users' tears and transfer the information to a mobile device that the doctor uses to track the patient.
- The Baidu Eye, Chinese answer to Google glasses.
- The iWatch, Apple smart watch.
- Samsung Gear S, destined to compete with the previous one.
- Samsung Earphone, Samsung's answer to Google Glass.
There are many others, although less known, such as a “smart” menstrual cup called a Loon Cup that sends an alert to the woman's phone or smart watch when it is about to fill up to empty it; a dog collar called FitBark, which records the physical activity of the animal; a device called Balios that connects the horse with its rider and records and analyzes the performance of the animal; smart baby clothesSuch as Mimo bodysuits or Owlet booties, which track a child's heart rate, body temperature or position while they sleep and send a notification to parents if necessary.
6. The 5G network
5G technology is basically a fusion of all current wireless technology: 2.5G, 3G, 4G, LTE and Wi-Fi; and will allow faster service and with less latency, in addition to facilitating the simultaneous connection of more devices from different parts of the planet. It is still under development, but it is expected that it will reach the market soon and that in 2020 it will be established worldwide.
7. Thunder, a massively scalable architecture, designed to listen to the Internet of Things
Thunder is an architecture developed by Salesforce with the objective of helping its clients to take advantage of the large amounts of data generated by all those connected devices (thermostats, cars, turbines, toothbrushes, Fitbits ...), as well as through social networks, mobile devices and the cloud. According to Gordon Evans, Vice President of Product Marketing for Salesforce: "We have access to more data than ever, but we are analyzing less than 1% of it." Thunder, based on the main open source technologies for the analysis of big dataLike Storm, Spark, Cassandra or Kafka, it is capable of digesting billions of events per day, from any source.
8. Multiple platforms and services oriented to the Internet of Things
More and more specific platforms and services are emerging to try to make the most of all the information generated by the Internet of Things. They include, among them:
- Autodesk SeeControl, a platform that allows its customers to capture, analyze and use remote product data. It offers everything a business needs to enter the Internet of Things and get the most out of it quickly, following a drag-and-drop approach, that is, in which users do not need to have programming knowledge and can therefore, innovate quickly and without the need for teams of programmers.
- PrismTech Vortex 2.0, the first standards-based Internet of Things data sharing solution offering secure, real-time data connectivity between low-latency Fog applications communicating with each other at the edge of the network and applications hosted on Cloud.
- Telus cloud-based platform, optimized for the Internet of Things and developed in collaboration with Affirmed Networks, which provides its Mobile Content Cloud solution, compatible with 2G, 3G and LTE and offering real-time and heuristic analysis.
- Freshtime SP by Infratab, sensor platform for perishable items. This platform allows you to safely combine the data obtained from your Freshtime smart labels with your applications for computers and smartphones and its database and analysis system in the cloud, thus protecting the consumer from counterfeiting and manipulation.
- Kii Cloud, now has a new functionality called Thing Interaction Framework, aimed at developers of solutions for the Internet of Things. The new functionality simplifies and accelerates the development of both business, industrial and consumer solutions, specifically focusing on common use cases in the Internet of Things related to sensor-cloud-application interactions (such as querying the status of a sensor, executing a trigger-activated command on devices, etc.) and significantly reducing the server code that would otherwise be required to implement them.
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