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IoT For All Podcast
35 minutes | 12 days ago
Maturity and Adoption in the IoT Space | Avnet's Mike Powell & Avnet Abacus' Martin Keenan
In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, Avnet Abacus’ Martin Keenan and Avnet’s Mike Powell join us to talk about the maturity of the IoT space, current obstacles to development and adoption of IoT solutions, and where they think the industry is going. Mike Powell is the Business Development Manager of Global IoT EMEA at Avnet. In his role, he works closely with clients to understand business objectives and find technology integrations to help them realize their goals.Martin Keenan serves as Technical Director at Avnet Abacus, where he is responsible for technical marketing strategy across IP&E, power, and battery products into key market segments. He has more than 15 years of experience in electronics and has occupied roles at RS Components, Avnet, and Altera.Interested in connecting with Martin Keenan or Mike Powell?About Avnet: Avnet is a global electronics distributor which is highly actively in high technology electronics and systems, providing components and solutions to our customers enabling them to compete with the very best. IoT is core to Avnet's growth, and we uniquely offer a range of products and services which solve customer business issues.About Avnet Abacus: Avnet Abacus is a European distributor of interconnect, passive, electromechanical, power supply, energy storage, wireless and sensor products. We offer cutting-edge technology from the world’s leading manufacturers, in-depth technical expertise, and unrivalled supply chain and logistics support.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:13) Intro to Martin and Mike.(03:50) Intro to Avnet and Avnet Abacus(08:56) How do you view the current state of IoT?(12:42) Where are you seeing the biggest challenges in terms of developing and adopting IoT? What advice do you have for companies starting their IoT journey?(17:25) How do you approach the challenges in communicating with less technical stakeholders?(21:26) What do you think has had the most impact on the increasing adoption of IoT?(27:34) What are the largest drivers to the success of IoT? What future barriers do you see emerging?
28 minutes | 19 days ago
How IoT and Smart Farming Technology is Revolutionizing Agriculture
In this episode, we sit down with John Deere’s Lane Arthur to talk about IoT’s effects on the agricultural industry. We talk about how farmers are using IoT to improve efficiency in their fields and improve crop quality as well as some of the technologies that power devices on smart farms.Lane Arthur serves as Vice President of Data, Applications, and Analytics of John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group. In his role, he oversees the design, delivery, and support of information-enabled solutions that allow farmers, agricultural solutions providers, and construction owners to leverage data and develop insights to make operations more profitable. Before Deere, he held many broad digital leadership roles involving the deployment of global systems that applied analytical methods and modeling with large data sets to solve businessInterested in connecting with Lane? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About John Deere: John Deere has a longstanding history of pioneering innovation that enables farmers to optimize their operations and create precision, intelligence and predictability in an otherwise highly unpredictable space. The John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group (ISG) is the primary technology arm of John Deere that employs a mix of software developers, machine learning scientists, systems engineers, data scientists, product testers, marketers and customer support personnel.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:01) Intro to Lane Arthur(03:08) Intro to John Deer(06:35 ) How is IoT utilized in a farm?(10:33) How do other technologies, like ML and computer vision, contribute to the overall value that this new approach to agriculture?(14:30) How has COVID affected the adoption of this kind of technology in this industry?(17:03) What are your thoughts on the connectivity piece of IoT in this industry? How will 5G affect this?(20:55) When building into these technologies, how do you balance computing on the edge vs. the cloud?(22:27) What are some of the challenges facing these solutions? How do you determine what to build?(25:19) Any news on the horizon for John Deere?
30 minutes | a month ago
Satellite Connectivity and the LPWA Landscape | Totum Labs’ Ted Meyers
In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, Totum Labs CEO and Founder, Ted Meyers, shares his expertise on the LPWAN landscape and how satellite networks enable new use cases and applications. Ted shares some of the considerations for companies interested in utilizing satellite networks, as well as his own approach to the connectivity landscape and what a typical partnership or customer interaction looks like for Totum.Ted Meyers is a recognized expert in wireless communication with 52 issued US patents. Ted’s the CEO and Co-Founder of Totum Labs, where he and his team of experts are working on a disruptive satellite waveform to revolutionize LPWA connectivity.Interested in connecting with Ted? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Totum Labs: Totum manages everything from the modem inside the DMSS SOC (System-on-Chip) to the constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites, and back down to a network of ground stations around the world.This episode of the IoT For All Podcast is brought to you by SoftwareAG. Learn more about them here, or check out next week's podcast featuring SoftwareAG Vice President Jonathan Weiss.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:02) Intro to Ted(02:09) How do you view the current LPWAN connectivity landscape and how does satellite factor into that?(04:28) How would you explain LPWAN and the use cases it’s best for?(06:39) How does satellite come into that? What are the benefits of using satellite technology for IoT?(09:19) What are the downsides of using satellites?(13:57) What is DMSS?(15:28) How would you describe Totum’s connectivity approach? (18:04) Could you speak to some use cases that satellite connectivity is the best option for?(20:54) Where is Totum in the process of commercializing this network and product?(21:58) What does an ideal customer or partner look like for Totum?(24:59) When you talk about this technology, what kind of feedback do you usually get?
30 minutes | a month ago
Revolutionizing IoT with Machine Learning at the Edge | Perceive's Steve Teig
In episode 88 of the IoT For All Podcast, Perceive Founder and CEO Steve Teig joins us to talk about how Perceive is bringing the next wave of intelligence to IoT through machine learning at the edge. Steve shares how Perceive developed Ergo, their chip announced back in March, and how these new machine learning capabilities will transform consumer IoT.Steve Teig is an award-winning technologist, entrepreneur, and inventor on 388 US patents. He’s been the CTO of three EDA software companies, two biotech companies, and a semiconductor company - of these, two went public during his tenure, two were acquired, and one is a Fortune 500 company. As the CEO and Founder of Perceive, Steve is leading a team building solutions and transformative machine learning technology for consumer edge devices.To start the episode, Steve gave us some background on how Perceive got started. While serving as CTO of Xperi, Steve worked with a wide array of imaging and audio products and saw an opportunity in making the edge smart by leveraging machine learning at the edge. “What if you could make gadgets themselves intelligent?” Steve asked, “that’s what motivated me to pursue it technically and then commercially with Perceive.”At its core, Perceive builds chips and machine learning software for edge inference, providing data center class accuracy at the low power that edge devices, like IoT, require. “The kinds of applications we go after,” Steve said, “are from doorbell cameras to home security cameras, to toys, to phones - wherever you have a sensor, it would be cool to make that sensor understand its environment without sending data to the cloud.”Of the current solutions for device intelligence, Steve said you have two options and neither of them are ideal: first, you can send all of the data your sensor collects to someone else’s cloud, giving up your privacy; or second, you can have a tiny chip that, while low power enough for your device, doesn’t provide the computing power to provide answers you can actually trust.“We fix that problem by providing the kind of sophistication you would expect from the big cloud providers, but low enough power that you can run it at the edge,” Steve said, saying that their chip is 20 to 100 times more power efficient than anything else currently in the market.Steve also spoke to some of the use cases that Ergo enables. Currently, the main applications are doorbell cameras, home security cameras, and appliances. “As we look forward,” Steve said, “being able to put really serious contextual awareness into gadgets opens up all kinds of applications.” One of the examples he gave was a microwave that could identify both the user and the food to be heated, and adjust its settings to match that user’s preferences. Another example would be a robot vacuum cleaner that you could ask to find your shoes.Changing gears, Steve shared Perceive’s philosophy on machine learning, saying that - because they were looking to make massive improvements - they had to start fresh. “We had to start with the math. We really started from first principles.” That philosophy has led to a number of new and proprietary techniques, both on the software and hardware side.Moving more into the industry at large, Steve shared some of observations in the smart home space during the pandemic. Those observations highlighted two somewhat conflicting viewpoints - while there has been a broader interest in smart home technology, with people spending more time at home, people have also become more sensitive about their privacy. Steve also shared how Ergo handles data, in order to meet these security and privacy concerns.To close out the episode, Steve shared some of the challenges his team faced while developing Ergo and what those challenges meant as he built out the team itself. He also shared some of his thoughts on the future of the smart home and consumer IoT space, with the introduction of these new machine learning capabilities.Interested in connecting with Steve? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Perceive: Steve Teig, founder and CEO of Perceive, drove the creation of the company in 2018 while CTO of its parent company and investor, Xperi. Launching Perceive, Steve and his team had the ambitious goal of enabling state-of-the-art inference inside edge devices running at extremely low power. Adopting an entirely new perspective on machine learning and neural networks allowed Steve and his team to very quickly build and deploy the software, tools, and inference processor -- Ergo -- that make the complete Perceive solution.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(00:50) Intro to Steve(01:25) How did you come to found Perceive?(02:30) What does Perceive do? What’s your role in the IoT space?(03:37) What makes your offering unique to the market?(04:49) Could you share any use cases?(09:41) How would you describe your philosophy when it comes to machine learning?(11:37) What is Ergo and what does it do?(12:39) What does a typical customer engagement look like?(14:57) Have you seen any change in demand due to the pandemic?(20:47) What challenges have you encountered building Perceive and Ergo?(22:24) Where do you see the market going for smart home devices?
26 minutes | 2 months ago
Managing and Protecting Data for IoT | Veeam's Rick Vanover
In episodes 87 of the IoT For All Podcast, we sit down with Rick Vanover, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Veeam as he shares some insight into data management and protection in IoT.Rick Vanover is the Director of Technical Product Marketing & Evangelism at Veeam Software. His experience includes system administration and IT management; with virtualization being the central theme of his career. To start the episode, Rick gave us a bit of background on Veeam. Veeam is a leader in backup solutions that deliver cloud data management; it provides a single platform for modernizing backups, accelerating hybrid cloud, and securing data.Rick also shared that, for most companies, the management and protection of data tends to be a huge oversight. Besides compliance or performance measurements, data backup can be vital to operations. “If you’ve ever deployed an IoT solution, you know that if something goes wrong, it could put the whole ROI in jeopardy.” Rick said, “and the data can be the saving grace there.” He referred specifically to log files, which can give a clue into what has happened with a solution or a piece of machinery and give key insights into what went wrong.For many companies, Rick said you have to start by looking at the data and determining where it is, and what needs to be kept. “Think of an IoT solution you have in your organization, where is the data lake, where is the data you care about - how do we protect it, how do we manage it, do you even have visibility into it?”Changing gears, Rick spoke to some of his typical customer engagements. Most customers, he said, come to Veeam with a solution that’s already been built and a clear purpose in why the data needs to be kept - often compliance issues or to troubleshoot. “It becomes a laser-focused discussion on where’s the data that matters and how do we protect it,” Rick said. But the outcomes are best when they get to be involved in the earlier processes - thinking about data before the solution has been built or deployed. Ultimately, though, Rick said that Veeam is there when companies need them, regardless of the stage of the project. “The reality is, we have the opportunity to come in and be the hero and provide the tools that scrape up even the minimum amount of data to keep it protected.”One of the biggest challenges associated with backing up data for IoT is how custom the solutions are. “Veeam software can deploy very consistently to very different environments, but the opposite is true in the IoT space,” Rick said, “there’s very few consistent deployments - it’s a very fragmented industry with a lot of home-grown solutions.” That means sometimes implementing some extra steps to both find and backup data.To close out the podcast, Rick shared his advice for companies building IoT solutions - what to think about when they’re considering what data to back up and how, as well as some of the considerations they should take into account when deciding between cloud and edge computing, in relation to their data storage and management.Interested in connecting with Rick? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Veeam: Veeam is a leader in backup solutions that deliver Cloud Data Management. Veeam provides a single platform for modernizing backup, accelerating hybrid cloud, and securing data.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:37) Intro to Rick(03:00) Intro to Veeam(03:57) How often do you think companies aren’t thinking about the ability or need to back up and secure their data?(05:43) What does a typical customer engagement look like? At what stage do companies typically come to you?(08:46) How do you approach the unique needs of IoT solutions?(11:02) How do your customers view the importance of collecting data and engaging with data on the edge?(13:55) What’re your thoughts on 5G and the role it’s going to play in IoT?(17:25) What are the benefits of a cloud-based solution or approach in terms of long-term security?(21:58) Why is now the time to implement Cloud into your IT infrastructure or your solution?
44 minutes | 2 months ago
The Future of the IoT Connectivity Landscape | Ericsson’s Rob Tiffany
In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, Ericsson’s Head of IoT Strategy Rob Tiffany joins us to share his experience on the IoT connectivity landscape and the future of connectivity for IoT. Rob gives his predictions for the future of the IoT market, speaks to the global adoption of IoT, and shares some of the key considerations companies should be taking into account when thinking about connectivity early in their IoT journey.Rob Tiffany joined Ericsson in 2018, where he is now the Vice President and Head of IoT Strategy. In this role, he drives strategy and execution at the intersection of 5G, edge computing and the Internet of Things. Before Ericsson, Rob was Founder and CEO of Enterprise IoT, where he created an edge computing system powered by digital twins that targeted enterprises and industrial operations. He also served as CTO and Global Product Manager at Hitachi and at Microsoft as the Global Technology Lead for IoT.At Ericsson, Rob’s focus has been on growing the number of cellular IoT endpoints and eliminating the friction around using cellular connectivity for IoT. They do this through products like the IoT Accelerator, a platform that enables global connectivity and device management. Rob also shared some background on Ericsson’s current efforts to deploy 5G globally and what widespread adoption of 5G might mean for the future of IoT.Rob gave his insights on the journey of IoT, from his days building smart vending machines in the early 90s, to the growing industrial and consumer markets of today, and where he believed the market as a whole was headed. He shared his experience working internationally and how IoT adoption differed between countries and spoke about the largest areas of growth in IoT over the next few years.Changing to more actionable advice, Rob shared some of his experience working with companies to build and deploy IoT. He detailed some of the biggest obstacles he’d seen companies face and shared his advice for companies looking to begin their IoT journey - including what considerations they should keep in mind when it comes to building connectivity in.To wrap up, Rob gave us a sneak peek into some of the news Ericsson has on the horizon and shared some additional resources for our audience.Interested in connecting with Rob? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Ericsson: Ericsson makes 5G, LTE, and other cellular technology. About 40% of global mobile Internet traffic passes through Ericsson gear.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(00:58) Intro to Rob(05:34) What is Ericsson’s approach to the connectivity landscape? How does competition factor into your strategy?(13:47) Where do you see the IoT market now? And where do you see it going? Has COVID had a large effect on that?(21:30) What differences are you seeing in adoption globally? What regions are adopting more slowly versus more quickly?(28:33) What’s the biggest area for growth in IoT in the coming years?(33:52) What connectivity challenges should companies address early in their IoT journey?(39:06) Is there any news at Ericsson that we should keep an eye out for?
40 minutes | 2 months ago
Transitioning to the Internet of Intelligence | Zebra Technologies’ Drew Ehlers
In episode 85 of the IoT For All Podcast, we sit down with Zebra Technologies’ Drew Ehlers to talk about the shift from the Internet of Things to the Internet of Intelligence. Drew shares his experience watching IoT mature for the past two decades and some of the top considerations in adopting and scaling IoT in enterprise.Drew Ehlers serves as the Global Futurist and the Global General Manager of SmartPack™, Office of the CTO at Zebra Technologies. He oversees the integrated SmartPack™ team and is responsible for producing advanced machine-learning models and algorithms for predictive analytics to solve critical business problems for both Zebra and its partners and customers. Drew has more than 19 years of experience within the B2B technology industry and previously served as the Senior Vice President at Gallagher Bassett and Vice President of Channel for the North America region at Zebra.To start the episode, Drew gave us some background on Zebra Technologies, which has been instrumenting on the edge for the past five decades. “When it comes to IoT,” Drew said, “we’re ground zero - especially in the enterprise space.” What really sets Zebra apart is its methodology. Drew said that, in every customer interaction, they work hard to identify and clarify the problems that IoT can solve, and work backwards from there. By clearly defining a problem statement, Drew said that Zebra is in a much better position to help customers ensure ROI and really understand the value of the solutions they’re building.The current state of ecommerce, Drew said, is a great example. With people unable to shop in-person, ecommerce has exploded in the past several months and the supply chain has struggled to keep up. Drew said that, through SmartPack, companies have been able utilize trailers and planes to their greatest extent, expediting shipping and enabling real-time insights that save both labor and time by alerting crews if a trailer is being packed inefficiently.Drew also offered his thoughts on the maturity of the space overall, and how he’s seen it grow over the past twenty years. He said that, if the past twenty years have been focused on instrumentation, we’re moving onto the next layer of implementation - intelligence. From predictive measurements to prescriptive analytics, he said that intelligence would be key to unlocking the true potential of IoT.Drew also gave some advice for companies just starting their IoT journey - from really solidifying their problem statement to ensure ROI, to vital considerations on privacy and security to include in the planning process.Interested in connecting with Drew? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Zebra Technologies: Zebra Technologies empowers the front line in retail/ecommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, public sector and other industries to achieve a performance edge. With more than 10,000 partners across 100 countries, Zebra delivers industry-tailored, end-to-end solutions to enable every asset and worker to be visible, connected and fully optimized. The company’s market-leading solutions elevate the shopping experience, track and manage inventory as well as improve supply chain efficiency and patient care.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:47) Intro to Drew(03:42) Intro to Zebra Technologies(05:19) What does a typical customer engagement look like for Zebra Technologies?(07:44) Can you share some use case examples?(17:53) We’ve been experiencing a transition from focusing on connecting things, to intelligence - can you speak to that transition and what you’ve seen in your own customer interactions?(23:31) How often do customers know what they’re looking for, from a data and ROI perspective?(27:55) How do you advise companies on starting their IoT journey? Do you have any advice for our listeners?(33:37) When should companies be thinking about the privacy and security aspects of their solutions?(35:57) Is there any news on the horizon for Zebra Technologies?
35 minutes | 2 months ago
Considerations for Remote Monitoring with IIoT | Hark’s Jordan Appleson
In episode 84 of the IoT For All Podcast, Hark Founder and CEO Jordan Appleson shares some of the key considerations in remote monitoring and asset management in the industrial space, including the importance of partnerships and some of the obstacles companies should account for when planning their proof of concept or pilot.Jordan Appleson has spent the last ten years solving problems through software and hardware expertise. He founded Hark after seeing many pharmaceutical and life science companies using pen and paper to document and monitor the storage conditions of drugs and other perishable assets.Since its founding, Hark has been building an interconnected cloud-based sensor platform to allow users to monitor and gain insight into their environmental data in real-time. By leveraging key hardware partners, Hark has enabled factories, offices, supermarkets, and more to monitor assets, ensure compliance, and reduce energy waste.Jordan started by giving us a bit of background on Hark and how they do things differently. Jordan said that Hark’s greatest advantage is their expertise both in hardware and software - although they don’t manufacture the sensor technology themselves, anymore, their unique understanding allows them to create a truly end-to-end solution for their customers, and one that can operate with the hardware they already have.Speaking to his own expertise, Jordan also mentioned the importance of partnerships. “We don’t manufacture hardware, and we don’t use specific hardware,” Jordan said, “we work with the customer to use their existing hardware and systems.” That’s only possible, he said, through a large ecosystem of partners and businesses - each an expert in their field. “That’s very specialized knowledge and it’s very important.”He also gave a couple of examples of where their platform really shines. In the supermarket space, they do a great deal of real-time energy monitoring - from lighting, HVAC, to freezers, they’re able to gather both real-time and historic data to ensure compliance and reduce energy costs. In life sciences, Jordan said, the same technologies are used for refrigeration units, freezers and incubators. “If something goes down, there are samples and tissues that could be at stake.”But the needs have really changed since the pandemic. No company had planned for the sudden need to evacuate and no one had answers as to what to expect. “When it comes to what we do and the IoT space,” Jordan said, “we assumed that everything would go on hold. But if you look at what has happened, everyone has gone remote.” From office buildings to factories, even really mission-critical operations, have gone completely virtual. Visibility into what’s going on on-site has become exponentially more important and enabling companies to ensure that their assets are operating efficiently and reducing waste is paramount to their success right now.To close out the episode, Jordan spoke to the IoT landscape as a whole - he shared his view on the space and where it’s going and some of his best advice for companies looking to start their IoT journey, especially when it comes to ensuring ROI.Interested in connecting with Jordan? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Hark: The Hark Platform is an interconnected cloud-based sensor platform that allows users to monitor and gain insight into their environmental data in real-time.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:21) Introduction to Jordan Appleson(02:19) What inspired you to found Hark?(04:39) Introduction to Hark(10:30) What does a typical customer engagement look like for Hark?(12:53) Are there any use cases or specific examples you can share?(15:09) Have you seen any changes as a result of COVID? Both on your business and on the industry as a whole?(18:49) How do you view the current state of IoT and where do you think it’s going?(22:18) What should the start of a company’s journey into IoT look like? How important are a pilot or POC?(26:33) Along their IoT journey, where do you see companies make the most mistakes and how can they avoid them?
32 minutes | 2 months ago
How IoT will Help us Find the New Normal Post-COVID | Lenovo's John Gordon
In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, John Gordon, President of the Commercial IoT business unit at Lenovo, joins us to talk about IoT’s role in the new normal - specifically, in enabling employees to safely return to work.John joined Lenovo in 2019 and is responsible for driving innovation across the company as a whole. He has more than 20 years of experience in strategic digital transformation and, as the former head of Consumer Electronics at Bose Corporation, he launched the world’s first audio augmented reality platform.John joined Lenovo in order to play a role in maximizing the potential of IoT, but said part of what made his role at Lenovo so attractive was the dedication to creating real-world solutions today, instead of getting stuck on what IoT can be. “Frankly,” John said, “we’re probably deployed at one percent of what IoT’s potential really is.”Lenovo takes a different approach to creating solutions in the IoT space. Rather than building custom solutions, Lenovo empowers companies to scale using existing components and solutions. “If you get it from Lenovo, the whole thing is turnkey - we validate the whole thing, we install it for you, and we monitor it to make sure it’s working. You don’t have to go through and piece stuff together yourself,” John said.John said that, before COVID, their focus was on optimizing the number of people that companies could get into a workspace. But now, the challenge is bringing people back in safely. John said that, as technologists, their role was creating a framework that would enable companies to improve the safety for returning employees.Phase 1 - How do you control who gets into the building? John said that this could mean measuring and monitoring the temperatures of people entering the workspace or ensuring that the space remains at a safe capacity.Phase 2 - How do you manage behavior once they’re in the space? That could mean encouraging employees to maintain safe social distancing practices and wash their hands.Phase 3 - When there’s an incident, how do you respond? “No one was planning to do this,” John said, “the timing of when all of this stuff happens, it has to happen pretty quickly.”John also spoke to the ROI companies hope to achieve through the use of these solutions. For some, the ROI is pretty clear - many manufacturers can’t operate without people in the building. So anything that gets them up and running again is going to be worth the investment.But for other companies, they can save on cost and improve the morale of their employees by automating processes that previously required employees’ dedicated attention. Jobs like standing at the door of a retail store and counting the people going in and out or security guards who monitor spaces to ensure that employees are far enough apart. “That’s the kind of crappy job that has to be done,” John said, “but is perfect for technology.”Changing gears, John spoke to us about a survey that Lenovo conducted on the return to work for many employees in North America. One of the key findings was that 88 percent of employees expected employers to make the workplace safe using technology.John spoke to the opportunity that this meant for IoT. “This is our opportunity to help our colleagues, our customers, and our families make the world a bit safer.” And in proving that we can roll out IoT at scale, John said that we get closer to the other life-changing innovations IoT has promised for so many years.To close out the interview, John shared with us some of the challenges he sees companies face as they begin to return to work. And his biggest piece of advice for companies looking to adjust to the new normal: start now.Interested in connecting with John? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Lenovo: Lenovo recently announced IoT solutions for businesses returning to work after the coronavirus pandemic – ThinkIoT Back to Work Solutions. Lenovo has assembled an ecosystem of IoT solutions to help make it easier for customers to get back to work in offices without dealing with the hassle traditionally encountered in IoT projects. To that extent, Lenovo validates, deploys, and manages these end-to-end solutions globally in a set of turnkey offerings, especially important for large businesses with distributed locations. These are the first solutions from Lenovo’s Commercial Internet of Things Business Group, established in 2019 to help drive the company’s service-led transformation.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:02) Introduction to John(03:09) Introduction to Lenovo(04:57) What does a typical customer engagement look like for your team?(08:25) What are some specific use cases in the smart building and retail spaces, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?(10:19) How does the development process for solutions like these work?(11:58) How are companies measuring the ROI of these projects, since it’s all so new?(14:32) What shifts have you seen in companies’ focus as far as IoT projects go post-COVID?(16:36) Can you speak to the survey Lenovo conducted recently?(20:48) What are some of the biggest changes companies are going to have to make to adjust to this new normal?(22:02) What advice do you have for organizations realizing that they need to get started on their digital transformation? What mistakes can they avoid?(25:14) What are the biggest contributors to widespread IoT adoption, in your opinion? Where should our focus be?(28:38) What are you the most excited about going into next year?
31 minutes | 3 months ago
How IoT is Revolutionizing Maritime Shipping | Canscan Tech’s Jennifer Ivens
In episode 82 of the IoT For All Podcast, Jennifer Ivens, CEO and Founder of Canscan, joins us to talk about the transformative power of IoT in the supply chain. She shares some background on how Canscan is helping companies automate the inspection process using machine learning and IoT, as well as some of the challenges of working in the maritime shipping space.Jennifer Ivens worked for several years as an analyst for one of the largest ocean carriers in the world. After seeing the problems in tracking and tracing shipping containers, she founded Canscan to utilize leading edge technologies in solving these issues. In 2019, Jennifer won the “Best of Fest” as well as the “Best Onstage Pitch” from the Montreal StartupFest, the first woman to do so.To start, Jennifer gave us some background on the industry as it currently is, including the scale. 80 percent of everything we buy, Jennifer said, travels in a shipping container either from manufacturing to warehousing or on its way to distribution centers. These containers are difficult to track, often traveling between ships, trains and trucks on their way to their destination, and it can be difficult to determine their condition.Often, as these containers arrive at ports, a dedicated employee must stand at the dock and count containers, as well as record any damage to them, even when environmental conditions are particularly inhabitable. These inspections include climbing on top of containers and viewing them from all sides to record any holes, damage, or missing locks. Not only is it costly and time-consuming, it’s tedious for employees and highly prone to human error.Canscan tackles this problem by leveraging existing cameras, like security cameras, on-site and applying machine vision algorithms to identify damage or missing locks and dispatching an employee to examine and report the damage. “After two years of accumulated data and experience, our AI is operating above the abilities of a human being,” Jennifer said.To round out the episode, Jennifer shared some of the challenges working with an industry that has historically been slow to adopt new technology, some of the key drivers for adoption in the space, and some exciting news on the horizon for Canscan.Interested in connecting with Jennifer? Reach out to her on Linkedin!About Canscan: Canscan has developed a system, based on artificial intelligence, machine vision and data analytics that uses existing cameras and infrastructure to automatically inspect containers transiting into or through a terminal. Our system will automatically clear containers that are fully compliant and can be safely fast-tracked, whilst isolating non-compliant ones that require your full attention.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:07) Intro to Jennifer(01:50) Intro to CANSCAN(07:14) What are some of the unique challenges that come with maritime shipping?(09:57) What’s your role in the IoT space?(12:24) Have you found the industry to be slow to change? How have you tackled that?(14:49) What’s the biggest incentive for companies to adopt this?(16:03) How has leading edge technology, like IoT and machine learning, changed the supply chain management space?(19:15) What connectivity technologies does your solution rely on the most? (21:29) What are the major blockers for adoption, and what’s currently contributing?(24:04) What are the biggest hurdles you foresee over the next 12-18 months?(25:40) How has COVID affected your business?(26:51) Any news on the horizon?
40 minutes | 3 months ago
The Value of Data Democratization in Manufacturing | MachineMetric's Graham Immerman
In episode 81 of the IoT For All Podcast, VP of Marketing for MachineMetrics Graham Immerman joins us to talk about data democratization and its role in manufacturing. He shares how companies are using data to improve ROI and some of the trends he’s seen in the IoT space, where data is concerned.Graham joined the marketing industry as the digitization of the field began and was excited to take part in the evolution of the manufacturing industry. He quickly became an authority on digital transformation and the application of IIoT technology for the manufacturing industry and is an accomplished leader and start-up veteran with extensive experience in marketing, growth strategy, and business development.To start the episode, Graham introduced us to MachineMetrics, a company that is accelerating industrial digital transformation by providing a platform to collect data from any piece of manufacturing equipment and transform it into actionable applications to reduce downtime, optimize capacity and drive increased throughput and profitability for factories.Companies that come to MachineMetrics, Graham said, come in various stages of their buyer journey. Some have no idea what the capacity of their machines are, or know where there are problems and are looking for greater transparency to solve them. But even for companies that think they know how their machinery is operating, Graham said that they’re often a little off. “The most prevalent surveys in the industry say that manufacturers are operating closer to 75-80% of their capacity and machine utilization. But MachineMetrics can tell you, because we’re connected to thousands of machines across the world, that that number is closer to 25%.”That’s where MachineMetrics can help. One of the most common use cases Graham said they tackle is merely helping companies understand what’s going on in their manufacturing processes and figuring out accurate measures of the cost of manufacturing parts. “The objective,” Graham said, “is to make more parts better, faster, and for less. Being able to see when that’s not going to happen, or when it’s failing in real-time is essential. You can recalibrate your expectations.”Or, in some cases, a better understanding of machine capabilities and capacity can lead to huge cost savings. Graham said that one company he worked with had just placed an order for $14 million worth of equipment, but when they realized that their existing equipment was only at 22 percent capacity, they were able to cancel that order and focus on the processes instead.What MachineMetrics really focuses on is data democratization. “The value of data can not be understated,” Graham said, “especially in our current times.” The goal of data democratization is to enable anyone to use data to make better, more informed decisions, without barriers to access or understand what that data means.One of the top challenges facing data democratization is the existing structure, the way data is stored and consumed, means that it’s often in silos. Gathered and accessed by IT departments, traditionally, when it could readily benefit marketing, operations, and supply chain as well.“That data,” Graham said, “is now made not just available, but consumable. And the value of data democratization is not just opening a data lake - it’s transforming that data into usable models.”To close out the conversation, Graham shared some of the challenges that come with data democratization and how that and automation will affect the labor force long-term. He also shared his views on the current state of IoT, some of the trends he’s been seeing, specific to manufacturing, and some of his advice for companies looking to start their IoT journey.Interested in connecting with Graham Immerman? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About MachineMetrics: MachineMetrics is accelerating industrial digital transformation by providing an intuitive and flexible platform to easily collect data from any piece of manufacturing equipment machinery and transform it into powerful, actionable applications that reduce machine downtime, optimize capacity, and drive increased throughput and profitability for factories.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:07) Introduction to Graham(02:26) Introduction to MachineMetrics(05:00) What does the typical customer engagement look like?(11:05) Can you share any use cases?(15:11) What is data democratization and how is it driving new business and increasing revenue for organizations?(21:53) What challenges come with this trend toward data democratization?(28:03) What do you believe is the current state of IoT? What trends are you seeing and how is COVID-19 affecting that?(34:47) What should we keep an eye out for on the horizon for MachineMetrics?
36 minutes | 3 months ago
Best Practices in Developing Pilots for IIoT | IIC's Jacques Durand and Bassam Zarkout
In this episode of the IoT For All podcast, Bassam Zarkout and Jacques Durand join us to talk about the Industrial Internet Consortium and share some of the recent findings in their Enabling Digital Transformation with IoT Performance and Properties Measurement white paper. They speak to some of the differences between developing IoT for industrial and consumer products, the role that standards play in the IoT ecosystem, and the importance of defining and redefining measurements and metrics throughout the stages of IoT development.Between them, Jacques and Bassam have more than fifty years of experience in technology, from software engineering to executive C-positions across Canada, the United States, and Europe. To start the episode, Jacque and Bassam gave a quick background on the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). The IIC is a global, membership-based organization whose focus is to accelerate the adoption of the industrial internet. Members belong to a variety of companies in the ecosystem and all focus on developing best practices and architecture guidelines for the industry.To develop and design these best practices, like the ones found in the whitepaper the IIC published back in May, the IIC developed thirty test beds - mostly to replicate manufacturing conditions and processes - to test and examine the importance of metrics and measurements in different stages of IoT development.One of the most surprising findings, according to Jacques, was the importance of partnerships. No company, he said, can develop an IoT system or project on their own and that’s a big part of the value of organizations like IIC. Access to an ecosystem of partners can be vital to the long-term success of an IoT deployment.Jacque and Bassam also shared some of the differences in approach between industrial and consumer IoT. For industrial, they said, it’s vital to understand the existing processes and architecture and to figure out how to work within those frameworks to create something that doesn’t disrupt legacy processes. And, Bassam said, safety is a huge consideration. Industrial IoT implementations naturally present a higher risk than most consumer deployments.And in terms of technology, Jacque and Bassam said that the technology connecting the digital and physical spaces are much more diverse in industrial ecosystems. That diversity comes from a need to integrate with legacy systems. “You don’t really have to add sensors to an old fridge, with consumers,” he said, “you just get a new fridge.”To wrap up the podcast, Jacques and Bassam spoke to the role of standards within the IoT ecosystem - why they’re important and what purpose they really serve. As well as giving some advice for audience members looking to start their digital transformation - including how to ensure efficient and effective communication between the people on the ground and upper management.Interested in connecting with Bassam and Jacques?About the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC): The Industrial Internet Consortium was founded in March 2014 to bring together the organizations and technologies necessary to accelerate the growth of the industrial internet by identifying, assembling, testing and promoting best practices. Members work collaboratively to speed the commercial use of advanced technologies. Membership includes small and large technology innovators, vertical market leaders, researchers, universities and government organizations.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:19) Intro to Basam and Jacques(04:04) Intro to the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)(05:40) Are there specific use cases or industries you’re focused on for these test beds?(06:20) Were you able to find any surprising or new best practices?(09:54) How is the approach to solution development different between industrial and consumer IoT?(12:08) What differences are you seeing in the technology stacks in enterprise and industrial IoT versus consumer?(14:39) How do standards play into the overall strategy of building into an existing infrastructure?(17:14) How does IIC look at the different standards that are out there and determine which ones to focus on and utilize?(20:01) What advice do you have for audience members who are looking to start their journey in digital transformation?(23:32) How often do you see confusion or contradicting views between the people on the ground versus upper management? In terms of what is needed and what the organization on the whole is trying to accomplish?(29:03) What advice do you have for companies looking to get started, in terms of building partnerships?
39 minutes | 3 months ago
Impinj's Hussein Mecklai | How RFID is Transforming Asset Tracking
In episode 79 of the IoT For All Podcast, Impinj Executive Vice President of Engineering, Hussein Mecklai, joins us to talk about RFID and its applications in IoT. Hussein shares some of the recent advancements that have opened up new applications for RFID, as well as some of the use cases where RFID really shines.Hussein’s background has primarily been in wireless connectivity and computing, but he’s been in engineering leadership positions for the past 20 years. Before joining as the EVP of Engineering at Impinj, Hussein was the Vice President and General Manager of the architecture group at Intel.Impinj’s primary focus is on RAIN RFID and its use to gain insights and track assets across a number of industries and verticals. Impinj’s offerings include services to enable the deployment of RFID, building the technology for individual tags and their surrounding infrastructure, as well as a line of readers built to showcase the range of capabilities RAIN RFID has.To kick off the episode, Hussein gave us some background on RFID itself and what features make it such a great fit for the IoT space. The first big benefit to RFID, according to Hussein, is how cost-effective it is. The cost of tagging items can be as low as 5 cents per tag, making it feasible to tag individual products at a store or individual shipments. Another benefit is that RAIN RFID is a passive technology, meaning that it operates on the power from the reader, enabling RFID tags to have a long shelf life, because there are no batteries to replace or maintain. And finally, compared to other passive technologies life NFC, RAIN RFID had a much longer range. According to Hussein, Impinj has successfully achieved readings at up to thirty feet away in indoor environments. “It changes the paradigm when you have that kind of range and distance,” Hussein said, enabling all kinds of new applications and use cases.Changing gears, Hussein shared some of the use cases where he’d seen RFID make vast improvements to operations, including at Delta Airlines, where RFID tags were used to track baggage from check-in, onto the plane, through transit, and finally back to the customer. Or at Zara, where RFID tags could be used to track inventory as it made its way to stores, ensuring not only that the inventory made it to stores exactly when it was needed, but preventing the costly process of unpacking, repackaging, and reshipping items that were mistakenly shipped.Hussein spoke to some of the technological advancements that have made RFID a better option for asset tracking, including the creation of tags so small they can be sewn into clothing labels. What was interesting, Hussein said, “was that we had to innovate at so many different levels and we had the whole ecosystem working with us to figure it out - how do you handle something that small?” As RFID continues to evolve, the opportunities for the technology’s use will continue to grow and Hussein said he foresees greater use for preventing food spoilage and increasing efficiency in the supply chain for perishables, including tracking the origin and spread of contaminated food or products.Interested in connecting with Hussein? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Impinj: Impinj helps businesses and people analyze, optimize, and innovate by wirelessly connecting billions of everyday things, such as apparel, automobile parts, luggage, and shipments, to the Internet. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely data about these things to business and consumer applications, enabling a boundless Internet of Things.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:38) Introduction to Hussein(02:15) Introduction to Impinj(07:26) How does that offering apply to use cases in the real world?(14:56) In what stage of the developmental process are most companies coming to you in?(16:28) Can you speak to how the technology has evolved, and what that’s going to allow?(20:45) Can you talk about some of the technological challenges you faced and how they were overcome?(23:02) As IoT develops and matures, what role do you see RFID playing?(26:58) In what applications does RFID really shine?(28:22) How do you handle scaling a business like this as demand increases?(33:00) Is there any news we should be on the lookout for from Impinj?
30 minutes | 4 months ago
Grabango's Ryan Smith | Machine Vision, IoT, and the Future of Retail
In episode 78 of the IoT For All Podcast, Grabango’s CTO Ryan Smith joins us to talk about the role of machine vision and IoT in the future of grocery stores, including some of the technology that makes their solution possible, the effect retail automation will have on employees, and where he sees the role of computer vision in the future.Ryan Smith is a leading expert in artificial intelligence, computer vision, and distributed systems. Ryan got his start in IoT working at a biotech company, shipping robots - when he started looking into the technology to collect data, he saw the rise of the new IoT market. After that, he joined a startup focused on IoT deployments for robotics and manufacturing. Now, at Grabango, Ryan is helping grocery stores eliminate the checkout line.To kick off the podcast, Ryan gave us some background on Grabango. Grabango attempts to solve the problem of lines at the grocery store by automating the experience, focusing on large-scale grocery store chains. They leverage machine learning and computer vision to identify items as they’re placed in the customer’s basket and creates a frictionless checkout experience.Ryan said it’s been a difficult problem to solve - grocery stores tend to have “tens to hundreds to thousands of SKUs spread across a large square foot.” Tracking all of those products and correctly identifying them as they enter carts can prove challenging, involving a large number of cameras in the store and neural networks and computer vision models operating on the edge, bringing all of that data into play. Solutions like this not only eliminate the frustration of queuing, by tracking products as they leave the shelves, stores would be able to receive out of stock alerts in real-time, better plan inventory, and gain insight into customer traffic to improve store layouts and identify bottlenecks.While there have been a number of factors making solutions like this possible, some of the big contributors, Ryan said, have been the decreased cost of computer vision and edge computing, as well as the recent need for grocery stores to improve efficiency amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As grocery stores are an essential business, Ryan said many have been struggling to keep up with the demand presented by quarantine.Switching to what solutions like Grabango’s mean for the future of retail, Ryan said that stores can expect to decrease shrinkage and free up employees to contribute to the user experience. By tracking items as they leave the shelf, rather than once they get to the cashier, it takes the pressure off of cashiers to catch hidden items or to carefully watch multiple self-checkout stations at once. “Cashiers are human,” Ryan said, “and they get busy sometimes. They may not always be perfect.”And as far as eliminating jobs? While Ryan said that the discussion always comes up when automation enters a new industry, he said that he’s seen stores move employees into more valuable positions with the introduction of these new technologies. “Retailers are currently having trouble staffing,” Ryan said, “so they’re more concerned about keeping up than removing employees. This is an efficiency improvement for the people they already have.”Interested in connecting with Ryan? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Grabango: Grabango is the leading provider of checkout-free technology for existing, large-scale store chains. Grabango delivers a next-generation shopper experience and is the only enterprise-class, checkout-free solution on the market today. Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:08) Introduction to Ryan Smith(02:27) Introduction to Grabango(03:37) What exactly is the anatomy of a smart store?(05:26) How does a smart store benefit the behind-the-scenes processes for grocery stores?(06:25) Have you seen any change in demand as a result of COVID-19?(07:01) How have recent technological changes lent to a solution like this becoming possible?(08:24) What is the role of edge computing in the smart store?(09:49) How does all of this work for a grocery store that has multiple locations? Especially when looking at the amount of data stored and managed at the edge?(10:39) Can you speak a little to the importance and the rise in contactless payment, and how that plays into the features of a smart store?(11:42) How is computer vision important to the user experience side?(12:15) How do you address concerns about increased theft?(14:25) What’s the main problem your customers are trying to solve?(15:18) How do you address concerns about the elimination of jobs out of grocery stores?(16:35) At a high level, what does the future of IoT look like with computer vision as it becomes more widely adopted?(19:04) What does a typical customer engagement look like?(22:12) What are the greatest challenges you face during a deployment?(24:53) How much is machine learning coming into play in a system like this?(26:12) Any upcoming news at Grabango?
29 minutes | 4 months ago
Losant’s Brian Cerchio | Developing and Scaling IoT for Enterprise
In episode #77 of the IoT For All Podcast, Losant Solutions Manager, Brian Cerchio, joins us to share some of the common challenges that come with implementing IoT on the enterprise-level, what companies can expect, and how to overcome them.As Solutions Manager at Losant, Brian manages the enterprise solutions team and the professional services side of things. Losant is an enterprise application enablement platform focused on helping companies and enterprises quickly develop and launch IoT solutions, either into the market or within the company itself. Much of their focus has been on asset tracking, logistics, contact tracing, and condition-based maintenance.At Losant, they really offer two types of services. Companies that are well-versed in development can opt for licenses to their platform, so that they can build the solutions they need themselves. Or, Losant has an internal development and solutions team that can build products for customers, leaning on their partnership network to ensure that experts from across the development process are brought in at key points.Brian shared a recent use case to illustrate exactly how Losant provides value to their customers. At the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG), Losant focused on solutions to improve customer experience by creating a solution for tracking trains and helping customers quickly determine whether or not they should wait, and monitoring systems that indicated to maintenance staff when bathrooms were receiving large amounts of traffic - allowing them to ensure that they’re stocked and clean.Turning toward IoT development in general, Brian told us some of the most common challenges he’d seen companies face in the application development process. The most common issue, he said, involve the sheer complexity of IoT. Often, companies will go into it with the plan to build it themselves, and because they’re not familiar with the technology and best practices, they end up having to reinvent the wheel. Brian’s advice is for companies to, instead, find the right partners to help you solve problems as they crop up, so you can take advantage of their combined expertise and experience.The stage where IoT solutions are the most likely to fall short, Brian said, is in the pilot stage - but that’s a good thing. If a solution shows that it isn’t solving the problem or isn’t providing ROI, the pilot stage is the perfect time to find that out, before you start to scale. It’s about determining what is and is not possible, Brian said, and understanding that your solution will evolve as you better understand the problem and as your needs change. Think of it as a product, not a project.To close out our discussion, we spoke about the future of IoT and what’s holding it back. In the past, Brian said, hardware has been struggling to keep up with software. Now we’re getting closer, but it’s important that software continued to take the lead. 5G and private LTE networks, he said, are good examples of technologies that are staying ahead of the hardware. And for the future of IoT? Brian expects a continued focus on safety as we continue to tackle the aftereffects of COVID-19.Interested in connecting with Brian? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Losant: Losant is an easy-to-use and powerful enterprise IoT platform designed to help teams quickly and securely build complex real-time connected solutions. Losant uses open communication standards to provide connectivity from one to millions of devices and provides powerful data collection, aggregation, and visualization features to empower enterprise teams with new data insights.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:35) Intro to Brian(02:41) What kind of support do you offer throughout the IoT journey? (04:15) What kinds of customers do you typically engage with?(04:53) Can you give some examples of use cases?(07:08) How does Losant’s approach differ from others on the market?(08:38) Where do you see the biggest problem areas for companies in their IoT journeys?(10:13) How do you approach the partnership aspect of IoT development?(11:43) What should companies be thinking about before they start developing an IoT solution?(13:56) What is the most difficult stage in an IoT journey? Do you have any advice for them to get through it?(16:05) Once a solution has been proven out, what’s the biggest challenge in scaling an IoT product or solution? (17:00) How do you focus on proving out the ROI of a solution? Do companies come you with an idea, typically?(18:02) Are there any common ROIs in the industrial space? (19:22) How does building IoT differ from other technical projects?(21:29) How do you view the maturity of IoT? Are there any areas that are lagging behind?(23:07) Where do you see the IoT industry going in the next 18-24 months?(24:17) Have you seen new demand or new trends in the problems companies are trying to solve?(25:44) Any news coming out of Losant that we should keep an eye out for?(26:08) If you had to offer just one piece of general advice for our listeners getting started in IoT, what would it be?
42 minutes | 4 months ago
Swift Sensor's Ray Almgren | Implementing IIoT in Manufacturing
In episode #76 of the IoT For All Podcast, Swift Sensors COO, Ray Almgren, joins us to talk about some of the challenges of implementing IIoT systems in manufacturing, from establishing ROI to working with legacy systems.Ray joined Swift Sensors in 2016, after 29 years at National Instruments working with measurement systems and embedded control. In his role at Swift Sensors, Ray said he’s been reinventing measurements once again, this time with wireless cloud-based systems, rather than personal computers. “I’m very fortunate to be able to apply the same basic measurement concepts to a different platform that’s ging to be the future of how measurements are made,” Ray said.To kick off the episode, Ray gave us some background on Swift Sensors and what they do. Swift Sensors provides end-to-end sensor solutions for industrial and commercial applications. “We’re trying to deliver a simple measurement systems that takes advantage of IoT, but we’re not trying to make IoT their problem,” Ray said, “we’re trying to help them understand how to better monitor and improve the operational efficiency of their company or processes.”That simplicity, according to Ray, is what Swift Sensors can attribute a lot of their success. “We’re trying to make sure that whoever our customer is,” Ray said, “they don’t have to understand the details of the connectivity or the hardware.”The use cases where they’ve seen the most success is in manufacturing, focusing on the markets and applications that are best suited for what IoT can do today. One of the best examples? Temperature monitoring. According to Ray, 80 percent of the measurements taken in the world are temperature. “Whether you’re at the macroeconomic scale of global warming, or trying to produce a semiconductor, or trying to cook a hamburger - the temperature has to be right,” Ray said.Ray said that, for manufacturing, the ROI is easy. Manufacturing operations often have tons of capital equipment, legacy systems that don’t have the digital footprint of newer machines. These machines are sometimes 10, 20, or 30 years old, but they’re good at what they do and extremely expensive to replace. That’s where IoT really shines - through the use of wireless sensors attached to legacy equipment, managers can gain visibility over how machinery is doing, how often it’s being used, and whether or not upgrades or repairs are necessary. For these companies, Ray said, this value add is a no-brainer.To round out he podcast, Ray talked about the industry on the whole and what upgrades we’d need to see before we could expect widespread adoption of IIoT. “It’s all about power,” Ray said. “If we have the power, we can do anything.” Battery life, Ray said, can be a huge limiting power - whether you’re talking about how often or how much data you can send, to how remote or mobile your solution can be.Interested in connecting with Ray? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Swift Sensors: Swift Sensors, Inc. is a cloud-based wireless IoT company in Austin, providing a low-cost sensor system for industrial and commercial applications. Its flagship product is the Swift Sensors Cloud Wireless Sensor System, comprised of low-power wireless sensors and cloud-based monitoring, notifications, analytics, and reporting. The sensor system proactively protects and monitors a wide range of equipment and processes. Swift Sensors applications include manufacturing, food service, facility management, cold chain, transportation, and agricultureKey Questions and Topics from this Episode:(02:49) Intro to Ray(04:48) Intro to Swift Sensors(06:06) How does your approach differ from other sensor and hardware vendors in the IoT space?(08:00) Do you focus on particular industries or use cases? Can you give us any examples?(12:40) How do you fit in a typical IoT solution development?(15:26) What does a typical customer engagement look like for Swift Sensors?(19:48) What challenges have you seen on the implementation side?(23:35) What advice do you have for customers going into this process?(25:25) What changes need to happen for us to see widespread adoption of IoT?(30:09) What solutions have you seen to solve the problem of worker safety, specifically in the manufacturing space?
31 minutes | 4 months ago
Foghorn's Ramya Ravichandar | Ensuring Value with Edge AI in IIoT Applications
In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, we sat down with Ramya Ravichandar, VP of Products at Foghorn to talk about edge AI and how it ensures value for IIoT and commercial IoT deployments. We cover some of the use cases where edge AI really shines, how machine learning and edge computing enable real-time analytics, and how companies can ensure that their IoT deployments create real value on install.Ramya has a decade’s experience in IoT and started in the industry at Cisco, where she headed its streamlining analytics platform. She has a rare combination of technical expertise in real-time analytics, machine learning, and AI, combined with a wealth of experience in Industrial IoT.To start the episode, Ramya gave us some background on FogHorn. FogHorn was founded in 2014 to address the IoT data deluge at the edge, empowering industrial and commercial sectors to achieve transformational business outcomes through AI and ML capabilities at the edge. Ramya also shared a couple of use cases to illustrate the power of edge AI when applied in an industrial setting, including the real-time identification of defects on the manufacturing floor, enabling operators to take action immediately to prevent product loss. Ramya said that this represents the fundamental premise of all of the solutions FogHorn is involved with.One of the big differences over the past several years, Ramya said, was the level of education of customers. The customer journey has evolved alongside technology. “Customers used to find it hard to find the use case,” Ramya said, “today, our customers are more savvy and knowledgeable. When they come to us they know exactly the problems they have and how they want to use IoT to address them.” But the key to success, according to Ramya, was embracing the concept of a proof of value, rather than a proof of concept. “If you don’t have that spark in your first few deployments, you’re probably working on the wrong use cases,” Ramya said.Ramya walked us through edge AI at its core and how it enables some of the key features that customers need. At its core, Ramya said that edge AI is about taking a step beyond data collection and applying models to incoming data to gain new insights. FogHorn seeks to be the bridge between the data science expertise companies already have and bringing that data into practice on the manufacturing floor.She also spoke to the continued importance of the cloud and how it works together with edge computing and edge AI to create more powerful models. As an example, Ramya used a drilling rig. A drilling rig, she said, can generate up to a terabyte of data daily, but less than 1% of that data may end up being analyzed. Moving all of that data could take days, so being able to sort and parse that data at the edge is imperative to putting that data to work in real-time. And while edge computing and edge AI are imperative to that fast turnaround, the only place those models can be trained is in the cloud - so, you have a model being trained and retrained in the cloud and pushed to each of those edge devices.To wrap up the episode, Ramya walked us through some of the challenges FogHorn has faced while building its platform as well as what we can expect on the horizon for FogHorn.Interested in connecting with Ramya? Reach out to her on Linkedin!About FogHorn: FogHorn is a leading developer of intelligence edge computing software for industrial and commercial IoT application solutions. FogHorn’s software platform brings the power of advanced analytics and machine learning to the on-premises edge environment enabling a new class of applications for advanced monitoring and diagnostics, machine performance optimization, proactive maintenance, and operational intelligence use cases. FogHorn’s technology is ideally suited for OEMs, systems integrators and end customers in manufacturing, power and water, oil and gas, renewable energy, mining, transportation, healthcare, retail, as well as smart grid, smart city, smart building, and connected vehicle applications.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(02:01) Intro to Ramya(02:54) Intro to Foghorn(04:34) Do you have any use cases or customer journey experiences you can share?(06:49) How does edge computing help organizations move their IIoT projects toward full deployment?(08:32) How do edge computing and AI play into delivering ROI to these use cases?(11:04) What role does edge AI play in enabling an IIoT solution? What are the benefits?(13:05) How does your platform integrate into the cloud structure?(16:46) How does edge computing help with real-time functionality and accelerating automation?(20:20) As you’ve been developing this platform, what are some of the challenges you and your clients have encountered?(23:06) What stage are your customers usually coming to you in?(24:32) Is there a stage that’s too early to get a company like FogHorn involved?(26:00) How do you handle IoT devices or deployments that have a smaller footprint?
43 minutes | 4 months ago
Microchip Technology's Patrick Kennedy | Designing IoT Products to Scale
In this episode of the IoT For All podcast, Microchip Marketing Applications Engineer, Patrick Kennedy, joins us to talk through some of the key considerations in designing IoT products to scale.As a marketing applications engineer in the 8-bit microcontroller business unit at Microchip Technology, Patrick spends his days working to make developers lives’ easier by creating useful tutorials, videos, and other training materials. He spends his spare time consulting with small businesses and non-profits on managing projects ranging from cloud solutions for business automation to embedded projects in sustainability initiatives.To start the episode, Patrick gave us a little background on some of what Microchip Technology does. Microchip, Patrick said, is a massive company selling a range of hardware components from 8-bit microcontrollers and microprocessors to higher-end products used in data centers, digital power supplies, and even full-fledged atomic clocks. “We basically touch every aspect of the IoT chain,” Patrick said, “ranging from edge nodes to more sophisticated pieces of hardware like FPGAs to be used in data centers or even for machine learning at the edge.”Patrick also shared a bit on the process he’s seen companies undertake and what they often miss in prototyping that has to be adjusted for full production. Of the design process, he said, it’s all about how “you design your system so that you can deploy 10,000 or 100,000 of these nodes,” and how “you design the products so that as you find other applications or as the technology changes, you reduce the amount of work you have to do to update the system.”In the end, Patrick said a lot of it comes down to modularity, partitioning the functionality of your device across various chips to enable some additional agility. So if you want to change from Wifi to LoRa, you don’t have to change your design completely from the ground up. He also discussed some other important considerations including security, device failure, and even difficulty acquiring parts in the supply chain, especially where small runs are concerned.Patrick also shared some thoughts on some of the common issues faced by companies developing their first IoT product, including navigating technical terminology, collecting real-time data while managing resources like power, and managing the supply chain.And to round out the conversation, Patrick shared two pieces of advice for companies new to the space or currently developing a product. He recommended that companies stay as agile as possible with parts selection. “Imagine you have a prototype,” Patrick said, “and find out that the main processor that you’ve been using and you’ve written all the firmware for has a lead time of 15 weeks.” The second piece of advice Patrick had, was to work with design partners who are highly familiar with the process. Every industry will have its own sets of regulations and testing and will bleed a lot of resources if you’re unprepared. “Never discount the amount of regulatory compliance you will have to do for a product,” Patrick said.Interested in connecting with Patrick? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Microchip Technology: Microchip Technology Inc. is a leading provider of smart, connected, and secure embedded control solutions. Its easy-to-use development tools and comprehensive product portfolio enable customers to create optimal designs that reduce risk while lowering total system cost and time to market. The company’s solutions serve more than 120,000 customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense, communications, and computing markets. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(02:27) Introduction to Patrick(03:46) Introduction to Microchip(05:38) What is your process for designing IoT products for deployment?(10:29) How does that process change in relation to the scale or stage of an IoT product?(17:28) What advice do you have for companies trying to navigate the technical side of IoT?(22:51) How do you define “real-time” and how does that play into the analytics piece of IoT?(26:26) How does data collection play into the optimization of a device for low-power consumption?(29:43) What advice do you have for companies getting ready to start manufacturing devices and starting down the supply chain path?(35:28) What are the AVR IoT and PIC IoT development boards and for what use cases are they good for?
36 minutes | 5 months ago
Enlighted's Tanuj Mohan | IoT’s Role in Future-Proofing Buildings
In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, Enlighted CTO and Co-Founder Tanuj Mohan joins us to talk about smart buildings and their role in the post-pandemic recovery as people return to work and start to travel again.Tanuj started Enlighted ten years ago, after seeing the immense energy waste in normal office buildings. With his extensive background in network security and software, Tanuj founded Enlighted to leverage the opportunity to automate buildings to ensure higher productivity and comfort to the humans inside.To start the episode, Tanuj shared the inspiration that started Enlighted. He said that, while working in a building, he realized that the entire building was being run, even if there was only one person inside. When he asked why, he found that it was due to a lack of visibility - if they couldn’t know how many people were inside and where, the lights, air conditioning, and other amenities ran as if the building was full.So, Enlighted started as a sustainability play, providing building managers more insight into the occupancy of buildings to save energy and reduce operating costs. But Tanuj said that it quickly evolved into much more than that. “You buy a laptop with as much headroom as possible,” Tanuj said, “you don’t buy a device to meet the minimum needs of today.” So Enlighted became about future-proofing buildings and installing the tech to provide insights and control to enable people to work at their best.Tanuj said that, in recent years, the field has changed a lot. There’s been a lot more education around the buildings companies are working out of, and there’s a great deal more understanding of the benefits additional visibility into building operations can provide. Tanuj added that going directly through the end-customer, rather than a construction company, has made a big difference.Tanuj also shared some of the ways he believes IoT will be indispensable as we begin to return to our normal lives, working, traveling and more. He provided several use cases, including asset tracking in hospitals or ensuring compliance with social distancing in a variety of settings, and spoke to what he believed the future might look like for companies post-pandemic.Interested in connecting with Tanuj? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Enlighted: Designed to change everything, Enlighted provides the world’s most advanced Building IoT Platform for leading commercial and healthcare organizations around the globe, with more than 320 million square feet of building space deployed to date. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, Enlighted was acquired in 2018 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Siemens Industry, Inc. as part of Siemens Smart Infrastructure.Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(02:34) Intro to Tanuj(03:40) Intro to Enlighted(06:34) What do Enlighted’s customers look like? What stage are they in on their IoT journey?(09:19) What potential does IoT have to benefit the operation of a building? What’s IoT’s role there?(14:17) How does the technology involved in deployment differ per different kinds of buildings?(20:41) What kinds of issues do you see on the security and privacy side?(24:21) How have you seen COVID-19 affecting the smart building space? Do you foresee any long-term effects?(29:02) How can IoT help with economic recovery as people start going back to work and traveling?
39 minutes | 5 months ago
Cirrus Link Solution's Arlen Nipper | Building MQTT and its Role in IIoT
In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, we sit down with the co-creator of MQTT and President of Cirrus Link Solutions, Arlen Nipper, to talk about MQTT and its role in the industrial sector.To kick off the episode, Arlen shared his own background and the road that led him to MQTT and Cirrus. Arlen has more than 42 years’ experience in the embedded computer/industrial communications market sector. He started as a SCADA/Automation engineer for Koch Industries and moved on to found Arcom Control Systems, where they saw a huge demand to convert legacy device protocols to industrial standards like Modbus. When AT&T introduced the first VSAT server that leveraged TCP/IP, his team saw an opportunity to better make use of the infrastructure and MQTT was born.Arlen also spoke to why MQTT so popular, citing its flexibility as they never specified any rigid topic namespace or payload representation. Though, because that made interoperability difficult in the industrial space, Arlen’s team went on to write Sparkplug, an open specification that defines a well known MQTT Topic Namespace and Payload representation for the industrial automation market.Moving on to talk about MQTT in the real world, Arlen shared some of his observations on the adoption of MQTT in the industrial sector in comparison to other industries and verticals. He also shared his thoughts on how IoT has driven industrial companies to reconsider their automation infrastructure and the role that MQTT plays in that evolution.Arlen also shared some of the real-world use cases where MQTT really shines and how Cirrus Link Solutions typically engages with customers in the IoT and IIoT spaces.To close out the episode, Arlen hinted at what we should look for in the near future for MQTT and Sparkplug, and how the current COVID-19 pandemic has affected Cirrus and their technology.Interested in connecting with Arlen? Reach out to him on Linkedin!About Cirrus Link Solutions: Cirrus Link focuses on MQTT technology for OT (Operations Technology). Cirrus Link is a strategic partner with Inductive Automation who provides the Ignition Industrial Application Platform that a lot of MQTT modules plug into. Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:(01:52) Intro to Arlen(06:01) What is MQTT?(07:36) Intro to Cirrus Link Solutions(10:22) How has the adoption of MQTT differed between “regular” IoT solutions and industrial solutions?(20:17) What role does MQTT play in digital transformation efforts?(23:39) How is IoT driving the industrial sector to think about automation infrastructure differently than they had before?(26:34) What does a typical customer engagement work for Cirrus?(28:12) Where are you seeing the biggest challenges in MQTT adoption?(30:35) Are there any specific use cases where MQTT really shines?(33:56) What should we be looking for, in the future of MQTT?(36:04) Has COVID-19 affected anything for Cirrus or MQTT?
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