Thursday Jun 25, 2015

10 IoT Clichés: Avoid these use-cases

Here's an article at IT World Canada that lists the Top 10 Internet of Things Use Case Clichés. They are the same tired old stories unimaginative marketing types like to tell to hype IoT. Zzzzz... When you hear any of these 10 use cases, tell whoever is pitching it to move on and walk (run) the other way. Someone's thought of it already, and it. just. isn't. that. interesting. anymore.

See: 10 IoT use case clichés

Here's a quote:

 Ever since Google acquired 
 Nest, the idea of using 
 technology to remotely control 
 the temperature of rooms 
 or entire homes has been on 
 the rise.  Although Nest was 
 recently updated with software 
 with reportedly even more 
 intelligence, it may take a 
 while before adoption hits 
 the mainstream...
What is more interesting is on the data side. How will the valuable bits of data get from your sensors to your analytics software in a fast, secure way? Now, that's something more interesting for IoT and not the same tired story about putting RFIDs on cows. 📻 🐂 🐄

Monday Jun 22, 2015

Oracle's new cloud services including (ta-da!) Internet of Things Cloud Service

Oracle announced a major update on the cloud business that will be launched by year's end, including... drum-roll... Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud Service. Yay! 👏

See:

Oracle Updates Cloud Services

Here's a quote:

 "We now have a complete suite of 
 services for building applications 
 in the cloud," said Ellison, 
 promising customers can now take 
 all of their applications... and 
 put them in the Oracle cloud "with 
 the push of a button."

 Oracle unveiled more than two dozen 
 new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) 
 and Infrastructure-as-a-Service 
 (IaaS) products... such as 
 databases, analytics, 
 Internet-of-Things, ...
I like that last one! So, as our executive chairman and CTO says, "with the push of a button", you can connect your IoT devices (sensors via gateways, embedded systems, Raspberry Pis, talking refrigerators, etc.) all to the Oracle cloud.

That's a powerful button! 👉🔴

Friday Jun 12, 2015

Somebody please port SamplerBox on Raspberry Pi 2 to a Java App

This is a pretty cool IoT hack: Joseph Ernest took a Raspberry Pi 2, added a USB DAC PCM2704 (Digital-to-Analog Converter), put it inside a box with an SD card reader and some ports, and voilà! A cool sampler box was born!

See: SampleBox on Raspberry 2

But the only problem with this project it was written in Python and cython Wah-wah-wahhhhh... :-( Sadness. Would someone _please_ port this to Java? C'mon. No one should have to suffer through Python and cython to generate beautiful music! Such a tragedy... 😁

Thursday Jun 11, 2015

Raspberry Pi is Top Banana of Single Board Computers for Internet of Things

When it comes to IoT Development, nothing can smash the Raspberry Pi which tops the list when it comes Single Board Computers for hacking Internet of Things projects.

Or, so says this survey from LinuxGizmos.com.

See:

2015 Hacker SBC Survey

Here's a quote:

 [T]he ten most popular SBCs in
 the 2015 Hacker SBC Survey were 
 the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, 
 Beaglebone Black, Raspberry Pi 
 Model B+, Odroid-C1, DragonBoard 
 410c, Odroid-XU3, Parallella, 
 Arduino TRE, Edison Kit for 
 Arduino, and Odroid-U3.
And, where, you may ask, was the $9 Chip Raspberry-Pi-Killer that was just announced weeks ago? Well, that doesn't ship until December, 2015, if (that's _if_) it ever does ship--sometimes Kickstarter projects like the $9 Chip Raspberry-Pi-Killer turn out to be duds and don't ever launch. 💫💤 Plop. We'll have to see if it will even come close to the big hit that the Raspberry Pi has been with IoT hackers.

Wednesday Jun 10, 2015

Internet of Things Bubble Hype Comes from Media, not Data

Here's a Web article at The Motley Fool talking about how the "Woz" (and I feel I can call Steve Wozniak, the "Woz", not because I know him personally, but because I saw that he was once on DWTS) feels like IoT is a bit bubblicious.

But, later the Motley Fool article goes on to redeem itself by pointing out that technically a "bubble hasn't formed yet" (around IoT), since mainstream investors haven't sunk their entire 401(k) accounts into wearable sensors that detect each of your bodily functions.

See:

Steve Wozniak Believes IoT Bubble Could Burst

Here's a quote:

 A bubble hasn't formed yet...
 For a bubble to truly form, mainstream 
 investors must actively prop up the market 
 -- like the way they invested in tech 
 companies during the dot-com bubble. 
 Yet that hasn't really happened yet.

 Most of the "hype" comes from the media, 
 crowdfunding sites, and VCs. Publicly 
 traded pure-play IoT and wearable companies 
 aren't trading at huge premiums yet...
Well, that's good news, even if the media loves to be all hype-y right now about IoT. It will soon become apparent (after the hype is over) that the IoT data analytics tool vendors will make out to be the real winners in this new market. Hmmm... who could that be? 😉

Friday May 15, 2015

Internet of Things (IoT): How Positive Train Control Works

Here's a description at the L.A. Times Web site of how positive train control works using IoT techniques and Big Data.

See:

How Positive Train Control Works

Here's a quote:

 En route, the train’s position 
 and speed are tracked via GPS. 
 Signal status, broken rails, 
 curves, etc. come in from 
 wayside devices. Using these 
 data, the system tells the 
 engineer when to adjust speed.

 If the engineer doesn’t act, 
 the system takes over, adjusts 
 speed and, if necessary, brings 
 the train to a stop.
In light of the tragic train derailment in Philadelphia, it's always good to review things that can prevent this type of horrific occurrence in the future.

Tuesday Apr 07, 2015

Internet of Things (IoT) Rapid Agile Prototyping (Part 1)

When working on IoT proof-of-concepts, if you're not practicing Rapid Agile Prototyping, then you're not doing it right (and probably going too slow).

Rapid Agile Prototyping for Internet of Things (IoT), means you are covering 4 basic processes all at once (while continuously building and improving each of the processes):

  • Requirements planning – Set the basic needs of the project (what does the project do).
  • User design – Plan the biggest parts (how does it do it)
  • Construction – Implement the parts knowing that it will all continue to change and evolve as you get more feedback.
  • Cutover – commit to software control management system (such as git) and deploy the current instance to let customers and users try it out (and give valuable feedback)
  • Repeat and cycle on each of the 4 processes continuously and in parallel.

Here's a link that helps how to quickly ramp up the first part for choosing hardware:

Rapid Prototyping (IoT Hardware)

IoT Rapid Agile Prototyping means you can get your product out faster than the next guy, and in the IoT world, the one who is quickest to implement, will win. 🏁

Monday Apr 06, 2015

Amazon's Hidden New IoT Service for the Home - (Sneaky)

Forget the Amazon Dash Button! Amazon has a different sneaky IoT service for the smarthome planned. Instead of the superfluous plastic button you stick next to your appliances to order more supplies from Amazon (like you would easily do from a smartphone, tablet or PC), they hid a very important announcement of the automated Dash Replenishment Service (DRS).

Amazon DRS allows appliances to reorder their supplies automatically! (No humans, just robots ordering stuff for you from Amazon). It's like having R2-D2 watching your coffee bean supply in your coffee maker, and automatically ordering more before you run out! Artoo!!! You're awesome! Bloop-bloop-beeeep!!

See:

Amazon's Brilliant New Service

Here's a quote:

 Hidden inside the recent 
 announcement of Amazon.com's 
 new Dash button -- which lets 
 your order specific products 
 with a single plastic button 
 -- was a much more important 
 move for Amazon, and one that 
 has the possibility to truly 
 change how we order consumable 
 goods from Amazon.

 It's called the Dash Replenishment 
 Service (or DRS), and its ability 
 to automatically reorder home 
 goods straight from the devices 
 that use them...
Now, that's thinking! And, it's IoT as it's meant to be... with lots of cool robots automatically doing stuff without human intervention. Within reason of course. 😉

Thursday Apr 02, 2015

New Amazon Button: Internet of Things (IoT) a Bit Much, No?

Some IoT inventions are cool. Some IoT inventions you scratch your head and wonder what were they thinking?

See:

New Amazon Button

After your cat or dog finds this button and presses it over and over and over and over and over again, you'll probably scratch your head too.

Monday Mar 30, 2015

Breaking Free of Internet of Things - IoT Not About Devices

Here's an article on how IoT will be enormous, but will not be about devices, standards or inter-connectivity (think back to when iOS and Android first took off -- there were no standards or inter-connectivity between silos). The future of IoT will be about making sense of existing IoT data and turning that current device data into knowledgeable actions.

See:

What IoT is NOT about:
Breaking Free of IoT

Here's a quote:

 This perspective on the Internet of 
 Things has some interesting 
 implications. We predict that the 
 most interesting IoT applications 
 in 2020 will use data that already 
 exists today, rather than new 
 sensors.

 Why? Value is created by making 
 sense of data, and many data will 
 have more than one possible 
 source... New devices will be more 
 expensive to build, install and 
 maintain than solutions that mine 
 existing sources of data. When a 
 solution can be found that doesn’t 
 require new sensors or hardware, 
 it will prevail.
So, don't get all caught up in fancy new IoT devices and how they can use a Holy Grail new standard to interconnect. Think instead about existing devices today and how to best make sense of all that existing device and sensor data that exist today.

Tuesday Mar 24, 2015

IoB - Internet of Bees

It seems you can take the same RFID trackers meant for pallets in warehouses and superglue them onto an Internet of Bees to track their behavior.

See:

Bee Behavior Tracked

Here's a quote:

 Readers, used to pick up a 
 signal from the kit, are 
 connected to Raspberry Pi 
 computers, which log the 
 readings.

 The device has a reach of 
 up to 2.5m (8.2ft). 
 Previously used models were 
 restricted to 1cm (0.4in).
Apparently, no bees were harmed in the making of the IoB - Internet of Bees, but the ecologists did have to chill the bees to make them cold and slow in order to glue them with their new RFID equipment. It's like mini Cyborg-Honeybees. Just hope they don't mutate and come back to sting the scientists performing this experiment. I wouldn't want to see a Terminator Bee come about! 😱

Monday Mar 23, 2015

South by Southwest (SXSW) 2015 Wrap-Up: Interactive Trends

Here's an article on the wrap-up from this year's SXSW 2015. As you can see, #5 on their list is "iBeacons and IoT". Cool. iBeacons are a new way for your SmartPhone to get micro-location information, so instead of just knowing your on the corner of Sixth and Trinity, iBeacons lets IoT-enabled devices know your sitting on the third bar stool at the Jackalope dive bar, eating a burger and having a beer. Why would anyone want to know that? Who knows? Maybe, the bartender will give you a free side of fries for using their iBeacons app.

See:

SXSW 2015 Interactive Trends

Here's a quote:

 "SXSW is using beacons to propel 
 smart networking by using 
 proximity in a way that was not
 previously possible," said Scott 
 Wilcox, SXSW director of technology. 
 
 "Since SXSW takes place throughout 
 the city, beacons are allowing us 
 to use micro-locations and context 
 in conjunction with attendee profiles 
 to help people sync up in real-time." 
SXSW is usually a place to catch the next big thing. So, the tech savvy developer takes in all that happens there and applies that to a new app that will hit it big. Or, have a burger and beer and maybe get some free fries...

Friday Mar 13, 2015

IoT Moving Toward Enterprise, Away from Consumers

It's no wonder why more and more IoT Developers are moving their app development toward the Enterprise. The Enterprise is where all the business (i.e. money!) will be, according to this Inquirer article.

And, the Enterprise is an awesome starship too! Just sayin'...

See:

IoT developers eyeing Enterprise

Here's a quote:

 "The IoT connected applications 
 developers build for the enterprise 
 are essential to connect the 
 disparate parts of a distributed 
 IoT business solution, from mobile 
 devices, wearables and sensors, to 
 cloud and on-premise enterprise 
 back-ends.

 "Software developers will clearly 
 play a pivotal role in driving IoT
 innovation and business adoption in 
 2015 and beyond."
 ...

 According to the results, 63 percent 
 of data generated by 'things' will 
 move between devices and servers, 
 68 percent will communicate using 
 multiple technologies, while 40 
 percent will connect to cloud 
 services.
So, get your IoT app development going for the Enterprise. It's where no one has gone before.... Ahhh-ahhh-ahhhh-ahh-ahhhhhh... 🎼 🎧 🎶 🎹

Monday Mar 09, 2015

Highlights from MWC 2015 - CNN's Top 5 Glimpses of the Internet of Things Future

Well, another Mobile World Congress (MWC 2015) conference has come and gone, where lots of IoT gadgets and devices were demo'd, including the cool Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service proof-of-concept I worked on.

See:

MWC 2015: Five glimpses

Here's a quote:

 Mobile World Congress 2015 brought
 together 2,000 exhibitors and tens
 of thousands of delegates under one
 roof in Barcelona... What if cars 
 could talk to each other? 
Yeah, that _would_ be cool if cars could talk to each other. Imagine a BMW talking to a Mercedes? "Yeah, did you see that cute Volkswagen? Nice wheels, ja?" Oh, no? Not that kind of talking..? IoT talking? Right.

Monday Feb 09, 2015

RadioShack Store Closure List: Many Silicon Valley Stores Safe

Some people may wonder what the big deal is that RadioShack is closing many of its stores. Just recently for an Internet of Things (IoT) prototyping project I'm working on here at Oracle, I needed to connect an IoT-enabled Wi-Fi smart thermostat to our Oracle IoT Cloud Service. The Ecobee3 SmartThermostat is a great little device that can easily connect to our Oracle IoT CS, but it typically needs to be hooked into a home heating/cooling circuit to power it up.

Instead of doing that, I drove over to the local RadioShack and picked up a RadioShack Item #273-331, Enercell 24 VAC power adapter and connected it to run on my table top. Just being able to do that without waiting for an Internet shipment to arrive in 2-3 days, is one of the coolest things.

Going from my poor little Ecobee3 SmartThermostat just sitting there, dead in its box, to connecting it up with a couple simple wires from the correct type of low-voltage AC adapter (not found in most stores)...

and having it power up fine for testing and development with Java SE Embedded on my IoT Gateway and talking to my Oracle IoT Cloud Service, all in the same day without having to hunt around the Web searching for the right part, then waiting for it to ship...

is one of the greatest things about the few RadioShack stores that will remain open locally as Sprint stores. I hope the downsized company is able to stick around, at least a little while longer. IoT needs RadioShack, or at least the ones around here in the Silicon Valley.

See:

RadioShack Store Closure Map

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Hinkmond Wong's blog on making the Internet of Things (IoT) smarter with Java Technologies

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