IoT News Roundup

Gimbal shrinks beacon, adds USB power; Accenture offering analytics service; Smappee releases energy-management system for small and midsize businesses; AAB Smart Tools announces new pressure meter and companion smartphone app.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jul 10, 2015

Gimbal Unveils Tiny, USB-Powered Beacon
Beacon manufacturer Gimbal has released its latest Bluetooth beacon, a diminutive USB-powered device called the U-Series 5. Gimbal is targeting the product toward applications in which users want to add beacon functionality to devices with USB ports, such as computers, TVs, set-top-boxes, kiosks, point-of-sale terminals or vending machines.

The U-Series 5 is Gimbal's smallest beacon to date, weighing in at 1.85 grams (0.07 ounce), and its dimensions are 0.76 inch by 0.61 inch by 0.28 inch (19.3 millimeters by 15.6 millimeters by 7.1 millimeters). Like other Gimbal beacons, it transmits its unique signal over the 2.45 GHz band and in compliance with Apple's iBeacon air-interface specification. A Bluetooth-enabled device can receive a signal from the U-Series 5 from 110 feet (or 33 meters) away—or even farther, if the environment is clear of obstacles. Because the beacon is powered over the USB port, users need not worry about replacing an expired battery.

The U-Series 5 can be plugged into any powered USB port, but it does not send or receive data from the host device. Users activate the beacon by keying in a code, printed on a label attached to the device, into the Web-based Gimbal Manager software, where they can also set its transmission power level and transmission intervals (how often it transmits its signal).

The U-Series 5, which costs $25, is available now on the Gimbal website.

Accenture Targets Industrial IoT Users With Analytics Tools
Management consultancy and technology services company Accenture has announced a new analytics-as-a-service offering called the Accenture Insights Platform, a cloud-based tool designed to simplify analytics and deliver real-time, actionable insights. The service, accessed through the Accenture Cloud Platform, includes sensor data storage, industry-specific applications, analytics applications developed through the Accenture Analytics Applications Platform, and data-management services. Customers will also receive access to data visualization tools and 24-hour customer support.

In a statement, Accenture says it can provision the service for a firm within 24 hours and "generate initial actionable analytics insights in weeks, as opposed to conventional approaches that can take months."

U.K. water and wastewater utility Thames Water employs Accenture's Insight Platform to monitor its operating systems and assets, including its sewage facilities and pipe infrastructure. According to Accenture, the Insight Platform has enabled Thames Water to reduce water consumption and improve the management of remote assets by anticipating equipment failures and responding quickly to leaks or damage from extreme weather. Additional information about the Accenture Insights Platform can be found here.

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