IoT News Roundup

Cypress selling a Bluetooth sensor kit; French boiler manufacturer to connect heaters to Sigfox network; C3 IoT calls new customer roll; Space-Time snaps up GOFACTORY; Stratus Technologies announce smart-building software service; Samsung making $1.2 billion bet on IoT; Semios giving away the farm (soil monitor).
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Space-Time Insight Acquires IIoT Service Provider GOFACTORY
Space‐Time Insight, a data-analytics service provider, has acquired the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) company GOFACTORY for $13 million. It is a move designed to marry its Space-Time Insight's real-time visual analytics services with GOFACTORY's IIoT services, particularly in the energy industry. Space-Time Insight says the acquisition will allow its customers and partners to take advantage of GOFACTORY's cloud service to capture and analyze data from connected assets, systems and people in real time. In the last year, Space-Time Insight has grown revenues by 70 percent and now works with more than 30 organizations, including FedEx, Florida Power & Light, NEC and Thames Water. Space-Time Insight says the GOFACTORY acquisition will help it build on its current momentum and exploit a growing demand for enterprise-scale advanced analytics and visualization solutions.

Cratus and Fujitsu Partner on BlueBrain Edge Processing Unit
Cratus, a company based in Silicon Valley that works with semiconductor and component suppliers as well as contract manufacturers to develop IoT-based solutions for vertical industry applications, has partnered with Fujitsu Components America to create the BlueBrain Edge Processing Unit, a module designed to easily mount on a sensor board (via a 32-pin EEPROM IC socket) for applications that link sensor data to cloud-based platforms or on-premise systems such as those that monitor machine health. The BlueBrain's main controller is a Cortex-M4, but it also contains a Cortex-MO microcontroller, to handle wireless communications, and a Bluetooth Low Energy radio module provided by Fujitsu Components America. At the Sensors Expo in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, Cratus CEO Zeki Gunay demonstrated a few ways the BlueBrain could be used in various industrial applications. These included pairing the BlueBrain with augmented reality glasses so that workers in a factory could inspect the temperature of a machine by simply walking past it and receiving a graphic showing the temperature, or temperature history, projected on the glasses.

The BlueBrain is available now and is compliance with the Bluetooth 4.0 standard. An upgraded version, compliant with the Bluetooth 5.0 standard, will be available by year's end. Gunay says Cratus plans to work with Fujitsu to integrate more radios into the BlueBrain, including a sub-GHz radio, for long-range applications, and an NFC module, for access control applications.

Building Management Virtualization from Stratus Technologies
Stratus Technologies, which sells off-premise servers and software solutions to keep mission-critical applications running continuously through virtualization, has announced a new product: Stratus Always-On Infrastructure for Smart Buildings. Built on Stratus’ downtime prevention software, everRun Enterprise, with performance monitoring from Sightline Assure, the product enables building managers to virtualize disparate multi-vendor solutions and monitor the entire building management network – from servers and virtualized applications to cameras, door locks and sensors.

"Environmental controls [in buildings] are consolidating so that HVAC, air-quality control, and other environmental sensors such as carbon dioxide monitors and smoke detectors are all software-driven. Thanks to the IoT, these endpoints [communicate] over a central network," says Jason Andersen, vice president of business line management, Stratus Technologies. Through the Always-On service, he says, a building manager can choose to virtualize the building management system and avoid having to run, maintain, and monitor as many as 10 different servers at the building.

Stratus Always-On Infrastructure for Smart Buildings is available now, through system integrators Johnson Controls, Tyco, Schneider and Siemens.

Samsung Making $1.2 Billion Investment in IoT
Samsung Electronics CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon said this week at a Samsung-hosted forum in Washington, D.C., that his company will spend $1.2 billion over four years for U.S.-based Internet of Things (IoT) R&D and investments, to be led by the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, Global Innovation Center and Samsung Research America, part of Samsung’s U.S. footprint of more than 15,000 employees across the country.

The investment is part of what Samsung calls its vision for "Human-Centered IoT," which highlights the use of IoT technologies to aid in home healthcare services, particularly for aging individuals. Kwon called on industry peers to focus on the use of open, standardized technology to ensure interoperability of hardware and software, across industries.

The CEO also announced that Samsung is a co-founder of a newly launched program, hosted by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), called the National IoT Strategy Dialogue. He described this program as a means for educating policy makers on the ways in which IoT technologies could benefit individuals, communities, innovators and the U.S. economy.

Semios Offering Free Two-Year Moisture Sensing Service
Semios, a Vancouver-based provider of IoT services to support precision farming applications, is offering its customers two years of free soil moisture monitoring, so that those farmers can optimize their use of irrigation. Many of Semios' customers are orchard owners or operators, and British Columbia is experiencing its worst drought in hundreds of years.

"Water shortages have been tough for farmers. By fine-tuning irrigation to where and when it is most needed, farmers can protect their crops from drought conditions and time the irrigation sets throughout the season to enhance growing conditions,” says CEO Michael Gilbert.

The Soil Moisture Module is designed to conserve water and fertilizers by ensuring irrigation flows do not continue beyond the root zone and that crops do not suffer from a deficit of water.

Through this offer, Semios will deliver, install and service its soil moisture solution demo station to customers for two years at no charge. But the moisture module is part of Semios' larger controller and sensor network, designed to provide fruit and tree nut farmers remote access to conditions in their fields. Therefore, customers using the free service would need to purchase these other Semios products and services, which provide pest management, disease control, and alerts to prevent frost damage.

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