IoT News Roundup

IBM, Cisco binding together to provide edge computing services; Belgrade growing smart parking capabilities; VMWare enters IoT market; LoRa starter kit available for developers; feds investing more in IoT; new, tiny NFC chip from SAG, ST.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jun 03, 2016

IBM and Cisco Collaborating
Networking giant Cisco has been advancing the development of fog computing, through which it bolsters computing power at the edge of an Internet of Things network, in order to reduce the amount of data transmitted to cloud-based platforms. Now, the companies have announced, Cisco is entering into a global collaboration with IBM, to bring IBM's Watson cognitive computing platform and business analytics technologies to businesses and organizations in remote locations—such as on oil rigs or shipping companies, or in mines—where they will be married with Cisco's edge analytics.

The companies have also revealed three early collaborators and customers:

• Cisco and IBM are working with Canadian telecommunications firm Bell Canada to serve data analytics solutions to Canadian businesses. By working together, the three companies will provide Bell's customers with IBM's Watson IoT and Cisco's analytics services, as well as real-time data-collection services, via Bell's 4G LTE network. In a statement, Stephen Howe, Bell's chief technology officer, said many of his firm's largest customers operate remote systems, "requiring continuous availability and access to data to monitor critical performance factors and avoid downtime."

• The Port of Cartagena, in Colombia, will use IBM's and Cisco's services to improve the utilization of its assets, including rubber tire gantries, cranes and trucks, by better monitoring the temperature, speed and run hours of the engines in these assets. The port will utilize the Watson IoT platform with Cisco streaming edge analytics to perform predictive maintenance techniques, in an effort to keep machines running more efficiently, as well as to avoid failures.

SilverHook Powerboats, which designs high-speed racing watercraft, is working with IBM and Cisco to enable the collection and analysis of data to help race pilots react immediately to changing conditions in real time, and to prevent damage to the boat's control systems and engines.

Smart Parking in Belgrade
In Serbia's capital, finding a parking spot should be getting easier, as Parking Servis, a company that manages paid street parking services in Belgrade, begins deploying Nedap's in-ground Sensit occupancy sensors to inform drivers of the availability of parking within the city. The Sensit system uses infrared and magnetic sensors to determine if a car is parked in a parking spot, and then transmits the spot's status to a gateway via an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio transmission. This data is then forwarded to digital signs mounted nearby to convey the number of open spots available on the street at any given time. The system is designed to enable more consistent flow of traffic by helping drivers navigate directly to the areas with available parking, instead of their having to slowly circle a city corridor.

Once they find a spot, drivers can pay for parking via a mobile phone app that Parking Servis provides. Initially, the company will deploy the Sensit sensors at 850 on-street parking spots on the city's Njegoševa Street. Eventually, Parking Servis plans to install the sensors in 3,500 parking spots throughout Belgrade, and to enable drivers to use their mobile phones to navigate directly to an open spot, though an integration between Nedap's sensor network and Parking Servis' mobile app.

VMWare Enters IoT Market With Liota
Cloud services and virtualization software provider VMWare has entered the Internet of Things market with the Little IoT Agent—or, more concisely, Liota. Liota is an open-source software development kit designed to help developers create secure IoT data and control orchestration applications. The company says Liota can be used to create a single app that works across gateways from multiple gateway vendors. It can run on any gateway device or operating system that supports the Python programming language, and is available on GitHub.

In a blog post, Bask Iyer, VMWare's CIO, wrote, "Liota Open Source SDK provides the libraries to develop applications that connect and orchestrate data and control flows across things, gateways and the cloud."

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