INDUSTRIAL 4.0

Buildings IOT Launches Ontology Alignment Project to Streamline the Normalization of Building Data

Buildings IOT | April 04, 2022

Buildings_IOT_Launches
s building owners become increasingly interested in advanced tools to better manage their properties, Buildings IOT released the OAP (Ontology Alignment Project). This open-source ontology includes a data model for a growing list of systems within the built environment and is foundational for improving building management and operations. The OAP defines both the name and the points associated with building entities as diverse as rooftop units, electric meters, and booster pumps to make their data more readable by machines. With this crucial first step, Buildings IOT is making it easier and faster for integrators to deploy building management software at scale.

This effort aims to support and extend existing building modeling standards, such as Project Haystack and the Brick Schema, and to make the new schema compatible with real-world integration projects.

“A data standard like the OAP allows building operators to trust that their building automation systems are open, interoperable and easily updated as their buildings evolve,” explains Gina Elliott, Chief Services Officer for Buildings IOT. “This results in easier commissioning, more reliable troubleshooting, and true consistency of data and reporting across a portfolio of buildings.”

In addition to providing standard tags for equipment and devices, the OAP also provides a model for specifying relationships that define how entities within the building's systems relate to each other. For example, a reference can designate that an air handling unit is supplying air to a variable air volume unit. By designating these relationships within the data model, system-based and root cause analytics can be applied more efficiently.

With the ability to normalize and standardize building and IoT data, the OAP enables the programmatic application of analytics, user interfaces, fault detection and diagnostics (FDD), and other use cases that leverage building data for more effective management and operations.

Rather than create yet another naming standard, the OAP unites multiple industry naming and tagging standards, allowing for translation between other ontologies such as Project Haystack and Google’s Digital Building Ontology. This data translation component makes it possible for users of other ontologies to take advantage of the OAP in ways that make sense for their needs, without having to start over on any tags or naming conventions they may have already deployed.

The OAP makes it easier for integrators to get a site digital-building ready without requiring duplicative efforts across the technology stack.

As a use case, the Buildings IOT Integration team used the OAP standards to model the data in all connected systems at 800 West Fulton Market in Chicago. This delivered multiple benefits for the highly integrated building:

  1. System models were easily leveraged by the various applications relying on the data.
  2. Integration was completed faster and with less re-work as the team was given a clear and concise list to follow at the beginning of the project.
  3. The time from integration to front-end deployment was significantly reduced.

The members of the OAP working group actively participate in other industry forums and groups and will expand on existing taxonomies to support real-world integration and technology needs.

“Building owners can be confident that the underlying data in their various building systems is significant,” adds Elliott. “Building operations and service managers can gain meaningful insights into commissioning and maintenance activities to meet ESG mandates, regulatory initiatives, and tenant expectations.”

About Buildings IOT
Buildings IOT simplifies smart buildings with software, services, and solutions for every aspect of building management. Command-and-control from a single pane of glass, analytics enhanced by machine learning, and a building-domain-centric data management platform, Buildings IOT delivers smart buildings that live up to the hype. We also design and install building controls and automation systems, offer IT-managed services and device testing for cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and provide data-driven maintenance to some of the world's largest building portfolios.

Spotlight

At Micrium, we define a Thing as an embedded device, one that transmits and receives information over a network. So what's an embedded device?Embedded devices are based on microcontrollers, and run software with a small memory footprint.Some Linux and Android-based systems can also be described as embedded systems. However, these general-purpose operating systems usually require an application processor, and have additional capabilities such as dynamic application loading.
This is why microcontroller-based embedded systems are often described as deeply embedded systems. For us at Micrium, these deeply embedded systems are the Things in the Internet of Things. Embedded devices often use 16-bit or even 8-bit microcontrollers. But chips that feature 32-bit architectures have dropped in price over the last several years, and are becoming common in embedded systems. The greater capabilities of 32-bit chips present new choices for developers. And a real-time operating system is now the preferred option, allowing for more flexible and extensible software to run on these systems.


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SOFTWARE AND TOOLS

UserTesting Introduces New Test Templates That Enable Companies to Understand Human Interactions with Connected Devices and the IoT

UserTesting | March 28, 2022

UserTesting (NYSE: USER), a leader in video-based human insight, today released new test templates for the UserTesting Human Insight Platform that enable companies to see first-hand how people experience the Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected devices. As more devices become linked via the Internet and cloud computing and the expectations of customers change, there is a heightened need for companies to understand how people interact with and react to these connected devices and new experiences. As the number of IoT devices increases, forecasted to nearly triple from 8.74 billion in 2020 to more than 25.4 billion IoT devices in 2030, companies are innovating the means in which they interact with their customers – from VR headsets and self-driving cars, to wearable devices and smart home assistants and appliances. The increase in connected devices in both business and consumer worlds presents more opportunities for brands to engage with customers. Companies can gain a great deal of value through learning how their customers utilize and benefit from connected devices, and UserTesting’s new templates help companies provide greater experiences for their customers. UserTesting’s connected device templates provide companies a competitive advantage by giving them access to a more complete picture of their customers’ expectations in their use of connected devices. For example, a large commercial airline has been using UserTesting to develop a new voice assistant feature with insights gathered around travelers’ information needs. Understanding needs, frustrations, assumptions and more is crucial to building a best-in-class device experience and the ability to elevate the connected experience to a new level. The latest templates feature pre-built sample questions that organizations can use as-is or customize to fit their exact testing requirements. Digital transformation is accelerating, more consumers are connected via their devices, and companies want to know how to meet customer expectations in ways they couldn’t have anticipated. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute shows the Internet of Things has the potential to grow in value between $5.5 trillion to $12.6 trillion by 2030. Companies mastering the Internet of Things early have a decided advantage in opening new markets and meeting customer demands.” Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer of UserTesting. Companies that struggle to capture the value of IoT can turn to the templates to gain rapid user feedback using UserTesting’s technology to better understand how digitally connected devices perform. UserTesting provides video recordings of actual interactions of customers who have opted in to share their perspectives and experiences as they execute a pre-built series of tasks and instructions online. The new connected device templates add to the more than 100 pre-built testing templates available on the UserTesting Human Insight Platform. About UserTesting UserTesting has fundamentally changed the way organizations get insights from customers with fast, opt-in feedback and experience capture technology. The UserTesting Human Insight Platform taps into our global network of real people and generates video-based recorded experiences, so anyone in an organization can directly ask questions, hear what users say, see what they mean, and understand what it’s actually like to be a customer. Unlike approaches that track user behavior then try to infer what that behavior means, UserTesting reduces guesswork and brings customer experience data to life with human insight. UserTesting has more than 2,300 customers, including more than half of the world’s top 100 most valuable brands according to Forbes.

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INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS

Nordic Capital Announces Strategic Investment in German IoT and Wearable Technology Disruptor ProGlove

Nordic Capital | May 09, 2022

Nordic Capital, a leading European private equity investor, has signed an agreement to become the majority owner of the German-based Industrial Internet of Things (“IoT”) company ProGlove. ProGlove is a disruptive technology leader for a smarter workforce. In close partnership with ProGlove’s management and founders, Nordic Capital will enable the company to accelerate its future growth plans, further expand its customer base and invest in product development. The financial terms of the transaction will not be disclosed. ProGlove is a technology leader that has been growing rapidly since its foundation in 2014. With over 250 employees in Munich, Chicago and Belgrade, it serves numerous customers in retail and e-commerce, logistics and warehousing, manufacturing and automotive across more than 30 countries. Among them are renowned global brands such as Mercedes Benz, VW, BMW, DHL, XPO Logistics, GAP and Staples. The company provides integrated hardware and software solutions that are built around wearable barcode scanners with multiple IoT sensors allowing for hands-free data capture. This combination of German engineering and industry analytics software caters to the growing demand for digitalization across industries. ProGlove’s technology helps improve worker well-being, increase productivity and optimize efficiency. ProGlove’s market provides excellent opportunities to address increasing logistical complexity, the demand for accelerated digitalization and the need for ergonomic and efficient workflows in the wake of the global labor shortage. Nordic Capital will actively support ProGlove with its deep understanding of Industrial IoT, its strong network and significant experience from SaaS business models. Andreas König, CEO of ProGlove says: “This opportunity to work with Nordic Capital is instrumental for ProGlove to help us gain further momentum on our growth path. Building on Nordic Capital’s tremendous expertise in Industrial IoT and SaaS, we will be in a very strong position to achieve our full potential. We are extremely excited about taking our business to the next level, both in terms of growth as well as innovation.” “The ProGlove team has built an outstanding business with a strong track-record of high-quality growth. ProGlove is a technology leader with strong competitive differentiation and a unique customer value proposition to enable smooth human-machine collaboration. Nordic Capital is looking forward to writing the next chapter together with the company’s strong management team,” says Andreas Näsvik, Partner and Head of Industrial & Business Services, Nordic Capital Advisors. “I’m delighted to have Nordic Capital on board. Its partnership approach and deep sector expertise will give ProGlove additional firepower to further invest in people and technology. The acquisition by Nordic Capital undoubtedly proves the strength of ProGlove and the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead,” says Thomas Kirchner, co-founder of ProGlove. ProGlove is a very exciting company and a perfect first investment in the Industrial & Business Services sector for Nordic Capital in the German speaking part of Europe, broadening the sector footprint. Nordic Capital looks forward to working in partnership with the business to further strengthen ProGlove’s great team of engineers and software developers and to continue the exciting trajectory the company is on, Rainer Lenhard, Partner, Nordic Capital Advisors, Germany. Nordic Capital has continuously built its business over the past 15 years in the German speaking part of Europe and has become one of the most active investors, with seven companies from its focus sectors in its current portfolio. With a long history of investing in the Industrial & Business Services sector in the Nordic region, Nordic Capital’s portfolio today includes companies like Sortera, an environmental services company focused on recycling and waste solutions; iLOQ, a provider of self-powered and mobile access management systems; Consilium Safety Group, a producer of safety technologies for the marine, oil and gas, transport and building sectors; and recently listed Cary Group, a leading vehicle glass repair and replacement provider offering sustainable car care solutions. About ProGlove ProGlove is a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and builds the smallest, lightest, and toughest barcode scanners in the world. ProGlove’s industrial wearables connect the shopfloor worker to the Internet of Things. The wearables combined with ProGlove’s industry analytics software platform promote human-machine collaboration and drive the digitization across the shopfloor. ProGlove’s customers include some of the most iconic global industrial brands, pioneers and innovators in manufacturing and production, logistics and warehousing, retail and e-commerce, and post and parcel. About Nordic Capital Nordic Capital is a leading private equity investor with a resolute commitment to creating stronger, sustainable businesses through operational improvement and transformative growth. Nordic Capital focuses on selected regions and sectors where it has deep experience and a long history. Focus sectors are Healthcare, Technology & Payments, Financial Services, and selectively, Industrial & Business Services. Key regions are Europe and globally for Healthcare and Technology & Payments investments. Since inception in 1989, Nordic Capital has invested more than EUR 19 billion in over 120 investments. The most recent entities are Nordic Capital X with EUR 6.1 billion in committed capital and Nordic Capital Evolution with EUR 1.2 billion in committed capital, principally provided by international institutional investors such as pension funds. Nordic Capital Advisors have local offices in Sweden, the UK, the US, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway and South Korea.

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INDUSTRIAL 4.0

LoRa Alliance® Launches IPv6 Over LoRaWAN®; Opens Wide Range of New Markets for LoRaWAN

LoRa Alliance | May 17, 2022

The LoRa Alliance®, the global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN® standard for the internet of things (IoT) low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), today announced that LoRaWAN now seamlessly supports Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) from end-to-end. By expanding the breadth of device-to-application solutions with IPv6, LoRaWAN’s addressable IoT market is also broadened to include internet-based standards required in smart electricity metering and new applications in smart buildings, industries, logistics, and homes. The new IPv6 adaptation layer facilitates and accelerates development of secure and interoperable applications over LoRaWAN and builds on the alliance’s commitment to ease of use. IP-based solutions, commonly found in enterprise and industrial solutions, among many others, can now be transmitted over LoRaWAN, and easily integrated with cloud infrastructures. This allows developers to quickly enable internet-based applications, while significantly reducing time-to-market and total cost of ownership. “As digitization across market sectors continues, integrating multiple technologies to achieve end-to-end solutions is critical,” said Donna Moore, CEO and Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance. “At the same time, companies are requiring solutions that provide increased interoperability and adhere to standards. Now that LoRaWAN readily integrates with any IP application, end users have both. IPv6 is a core technology underpinning IoT, so enabling IPv6 over LoRaWAN opens a huge number of new markets and a much larger addressable application space to LoRaWAN. Developers and end users with IPv6 devices recognize the benefits of digital transformation and IoT, and already create solutions that can improve lives and the environment, as well as drive new revenue streams. By supporting IPv6, they now have a simple path to use LoRaWAN and benefit from the technology’s proven advantages. With this development, LoRaWAN once again positions itself a market leader at the forefront of IoT.” The successful development of IPv6 Over LoRaWAN is credited to the active collaboration of LoRa Alliance members in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to specify the Static Context Header Compression (SCHC) and fragmentation techniques, which makes transport of the IP packets over LoRaWAN very efficient. The LoRa Alliance IPv6 over LoRaWAN Task Force then took the SCHC specification (RFC 90111) and integrated it into the body of the LoRaWAN standard. LoRa Alliance member company, Acklio, made significant contributions to enable IPv6 over LoRaWAN and was integral to the development of the SCHC technology for LoRaWAN. Moore continued, “I want to thank Acklio on behalf of the LoRa Alliance for its support and contributions to this effort, and its efforts to drive the LoRaWAN standard forward.” "Acklio, a pioneer of SCHC technology, is proud to contribute to this new milestone that makes LoRaWAN natively compatible with Internet technologies. The LoRa Alliance ecosystem has mobilized for the specification and adoption of this key feature in record time. SCHC solutions that are compliant with this new specification are now commercially available from partners across the IoT value chain to deploy IPv6 over LoRaWAN solutions worldwide." Alexander Pelov, CEO of Acklio. The first application to leverage SCHC for IPv6 over LoRaWAN is DLMS/COSEM for smart metering. It was developed as part of the liaison between LoRa Alliance and DLMS User Association to address electric utilities requirement for the use of IP-based standards. There are many additional applications for IPv6 over LoRaWAN, such as monitoring internet networking equipment, reading RFID labels, and IP-based smart home applications, among others. About LoRa Alliance® The LoRa Alliance® is an open, nonprofit association that has become one of the largest and fastest-growing alliances in the technology sector since its inception in 2015. Its members closely collaborate and share expertise to develop and promote the LoRaWAN® standard, which is the de facto global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWAN connectivity. LoRaWAN has the technical flexibility to address a broad range of IoT applications, both fixed and mobile, and a robust LoRaWAN Certification program to guarantee that devices perform as specified. The LoRaWAN standard has been deployed by more than 170 network operators globally, with connectivity available worldwide.

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INDUSTRIAL IOT

Digi International Introduces Digi XBee Intelligent Edge Controller (lEC) Solution for Industrial Remote Asset Monitoring and Control

Digi International | May 24, 2022

Digi International, a leading global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services, today introduced the Digi XBee® Intelligent Edge controller (IEC), bringing together a comprehensive networking architecture to close the gap between field devices and the cloud and provide powerful asset monitoring and control. Digi XBee Intelligent Edge Controller (IEC) provides a deployment-ready upgrade to existing industrial sensors with the latest innovations in wireless and cloud technologies. In combination with Digi X-ON cloud, the Digi XBee IEC can help companies monitor sensors or remote-control assets over Long-Range, Low-Power Wide Area Networks, including LoRaWAN, CAT-M1 and NB-IoT. Industrial devices can be monitored with sub-second latency with alarms and data wirelessly delivered through the Digi X-ON cloud. The Digi XBee IEC is compatible with 90% of existing industrial sensors and controls, providing SCADA systems with an IoT alternative. The solution is ideal for enterprises across numerous industry verticals such as energy and utilities, oil and gas, water and wastewater, logistics and agriculture. Using Digi’s X-ON cloud platform, customers leverage a single solution to convert complex protocols for the industrial IoT into simplified data APIs, to integrate data with other tools and systems. “Two of the biggest challenges companies face in industrial IoT projects are money and time,” said Nik Kitson, Director of OEM Solutions Business Development for Digi. “Traditional SCADA systems are very expensive and can take months to deploy and configure for a company's specific needs. A new system or software package often involves a substantial learning curve and employee training time. But remaining with a non-secure or outdated system can cost far more in the long run. Unlike legacy systems that could only leverage the tools available at the time, Digi developed the IEC using today’s most advanced technologies to create more intelligent, secure, and cost-effective solutions.” A Smarter Alternative to Traditional SCADA Traditional SCADA systems have typically relied on extensive middleware – including gateways, software, and licenses – raising the risk of unauthorized data accessibility and other security breaches. Industrial IoT protocols add security as an afterthought and require users to enable those features. The combination of complex technology infrastructures, communications interoperability challenges, and immature IoT standards creates enormous hurdles for automation engineers. Additionally, standard SCADA and PLCs often require high network bandwidth and cloud capacity to provide sub-second monitoring. The Digi XBee IEC solution is being successfully deployed for electrical smart-grid asset monitoring, smart city water management, logistics warehouse operations, and more. “The Digi solution enables Valmont to offer a proactive condition monitoring experience that complements our scheduled maintenance and operations. The ability to detect infrastructure anomalies in real time using remote wireless technology unlocks huge potential, enabling our customers to operate tower infrastructure without over-taxing remote operations workers.” Trevor Mecham, Vice President of Global Infrastructure Technology Strategy and Industry Relations at Valmont Industries, Inc Digi XBee IEC not only provides a faster time-to-market for IIoT OEMs and enterprises, it is also a value-added tool set for systems integrators and Value Added Resellers (VARs) to address complex IIoT deployments. The IEC solution can be easily deployed into multiple solutions for a wide range of use cases, all through the X-ON device management portal. About Digi International Digi International is a leading global provider of IoT connectivity products, services, and solutions. It helps companies create next-generation connected products and deploy and manage critical communications infrastructures in demanding environments with high levels of security and reliability. Founded in 1985, Digi has helped customers connect more than 100 million things and counting.

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Spotlight

At Micrium, we define a Thing as an embedded device, one that transmits and receives information over a network. So what's an embedded device?Embedded devices are based on microcontrollers, and run software with a small memory footprint.Some Linux and Android-based systems can also be described as embedded systems. However, these general-purpose operating systems usually require an application processor, and have additional capabilities such as dynamic application loading.
This is why microcontroller-based embedded systems are often described as deeply embedded systems. For us at Micrium, these deeply embedded systems are the Things in the Internet of Things. Embedded devices often use 16-bit or even 8-bit microcontrollers. But chips that feature 32-bit architectures have dropped in price over the last several years, and are becoming common in embedded systems. The greater capabilities of 32-bit chips present new choices for developers. And a real-time operating system is now the preferred option, allowing for more flexible and extensible software to run on these systems.

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