IoT News Roundup

Security researchers punch holes in SmartThings security; GlobeRanger makes iMotion more IoT-friendly; Microsoft bolsters IoT product line with Solair acquisition; Nokia to support Z-Wave standard for upcoming smart home offerings.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

GlobeRanger Upgrades iMotion for Easier Cloud Connectivity
GlobeRanger, a supply chain and asset-tracking software provider that serves the aerospace, manufacturing, food and drug sectors, has upgraded its iMotion Edgeware platform, which connects, manages and processes data from edge devices, such as gateways and RFID readers. iMotion 7.0 offers new features designed to enable developers to use iMotion as part of larger IoT platforms, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure IoT, GE Predix and IBM Watson, by adding support for the MQTT messaging protocol, greater scalability and support for .NET 4.6.

Eric Pearson, GlobeRanger's VP of engineering and chief architect, says adding MQTT support means GlobeRanger customers who want to link iMotion to cloud-based platforms that require MQTT-based integration can now do so.

Microsoft Buys Italian IoT Platform Provider Solair
Microsoft reports that it has acquired Solair, a five-year-old company, founded in Italy, that makes Internet of Things software and an IoT gateway designed for enterprise and industrial applications. Solair's products are designed to connect workplace machines or devices to the cloud, either directly (via Web protocols) or through its gateway device (via field protocols such as Modbus).

For example, Rancilio Group uses Solair's gateway and software to remotely monitor the espresso machines it manufactures. The application enables the machines to be programmed remotely, alerting the company and its third-party maintenance providers if any machine is not operating properly or fails. Solair also provides cloud-connectivity services to a number of manufacturers, including Bosch.

Solair already runs on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, and Microsoft plans to integrate Solair's products into its Azure IoT Suite for its customers to use. Financial terms of the deal have not been released.

Nokia Joins Z-Wave Alliance
The Z-Wave Alliance, a membership organization that works to promote the adoption of the Z-Wave wireless communication protocol for smart-home products, reports that telecommunications company Nokia, looking to advance its smart-home product-development strategy, has become a Z-Wave Alliance member. In a statement, Leopold Diouf, Nokia's general manager of digital homes, said that using the Z-Wave protocol will allow Nokia to combine its "core offerings of residential gateways for communication and entertainment to gateways that support Internet of Things functionality."

In 2008, Nokia introduced an early smart-home platform called the Home Control Center, which was made to control lighting, heating and cooling systems, but shuttered that product line before releasing it. Carol DeMatteo, a Nokia spokesperson, says she could not provide more details regarding the Z-Wave-compliant home-networking products that Nokia is planning, except that it expects to launch them later this year.

Last week, Nokia announced its intension to acquire Withings, which makes smart-home devices (as well as wearable devices designed to track fitness and well-being) that communicate via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections. DeMatteo says that it is too early to speculate over whether future Withings products for the home, such as its smart scale, may eventually add Z-Wave support, especially given that the sale has not yet been finalized.

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