IOT News Roundup

A flood of security-related news, from zombie light bulbs to new credentialing tools for embedded device makers; Nokia tests NB-IoT; Panasonic, Colo. Department of Transport collaborating on connected car technology; Onyx announces beacon-based asset tracking.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Nokia Conducts Narrowband IoT Technology Trial
Nokia has partnered with Finnish telecommunications company Sonera to run a technology trial in order to demonstrate the potential for using Narrowband IoT, or NB-IoT, which is a variant of LTE cellular technology optimized to meet the performance requirements of Internet of Things nodes. The term "narrow band" refers to the use of a small slice of the cellular radio spectrum to transmit short packets of data to and from a large number of devices deployed across a wide area.

While providing few details, such as the trial's length or the number of network nodes, Nokia said in a press release that it tested NB-IoT radios to communicate information regarding temperature, humidity and air pressure over Sonera's commercial 4G network in Finland's capital, Helsinki. It utilized Nokia base stations operating in the 800 MHz frequency band, and the nodes transmitted data at up to 200 kbps.

Panasonic to Partner With Colorado Department of Transportation to Build Connected Transportation Future
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has announced a partnership to build a connected transportation program, using sensor and communications technology provided by Panasonic, to generate real-time data on roadway and traffic conditions for the Interstate 70 corridor, from Denver and through the foothills and Rocky Mountains. Through the partnership, CDOT says it will create a vehicle-to-X (V2X) infrastructure, in which telematics systems built into vehicles will communicate position and speed data, via a cellular link, to a wireless network that also receives sensor data from sensors mounted along the roadway. Routing and speed guidance will then be transmitted back to drivers in real time. The goal is to leverage vehicles and infrastructure to improve the safety of driving on I-70, which is often hit with severe weather and thick vehicular congestion. The partnership is part of RoadX, the state of Colorado's program for using technology to make its roads safer and less congested.

CDOT and Panasonic will deploy the technology during the coming three years, with a target for a complete rollout by 2020. Colorado expects to have more than 1.2 million connected vehicles on its roads by 2025; while driving on the I-70 corridor through the state, these vehicles will serve as nodes in the I-70 V2X network.

Even outside such programs, some state departments of transportation are forging agreements with some carmakers, including Audi and BMW, through which the agencies access sensory data from the vehicles, shared over the cars' cellular links, to better understand real-time road conditions.

Onyx Launching Bluetooth-based Real-Time Location System
Onyx Beacon, a provider of Bluetooth beacons, has released an asset-tracking solution called TRACKO. To use the technology, customers will affix Bluetooth reference beacons to walls or other infrastructure throughout a building, yard or warehouse, or wherever else assets they wish to track are stored. They will also attach beacons to assets that they want to track. The TRACKO software then analyzes the strength of the signal from the asset beacon, in reference to the fixed-position reference beacons in the monitored facility, in order to determine the assets' locations. No gateway devices are required.

The TRACKO web-based software, running on any computer or mobile device with Bluetooth connectivity, displays the assets' locations via a graphic interface. According to Onyx, TRACKO ensures 2 to 4 meters (6.6 to 13.2 feet) of location accuracy, and is thus most appropriate for large assets. Two customers, in the defense and aerospace industries, are currently piloting the TRACKO system.

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