HomeEnterpriseForget IIoT standards, interoperability is what matters

Forget IIoT standards, interoperability is what matters

Forget IIoT standards, at least for now. Focus instead on interoperability and business models. An exclusive interview with Dr. Richard Soley, chairman and CEO of OMG and executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium.

Interoperability, or lack thereof, is a major challenge when businesses set out to implement Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) strategies. An array of industry groups are in the meantime working on various, and often competing, IIoT standards. Most promise to issue the IIoT standard that will rule them all. But rather than a universal IIoT standard, the issues at stake today are interoperability, security and business models, said Dr. Richard Soley, chairman and CEO of OMG and executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), to Industrial IoT 5G Insights. Because the opportunity is real and because users will not settle for less. ”The most exciting about the IIoT is not only what vendors are doing, but rather what users want to do. And users will not have an IIoT that is not interoperable or secure,” Soley said. He believes many systems will however be interoperable this year. ”The key issue here is that many people are looking for the one solution that works for everything. But there is no such thing as a standard to rule them all.”

Taking a look at the middleware space, there are at least five to ten implemented standards, all industry-specific; one for financial services, one for manufacturing, one for connected cars and so on. And these get the job done. ”None of these standards is going away. We must instead find interoperability. I believe in the n-plus-one rule; every time someone comes up with a standard set to replace all existing standards, you ultimately end up with yet another standard,” said Richard Soley.

Interoperability and security may still have some way to go to be called satisfactory, IIoT is nonetheless becoming a reality. What everyone is trying to figure out is how to get the business models right. To that end, the IIC has set up a new working group, Business Strategy and Solutions Lifecycle, which works on capturing business models that are enabled by IIoT. ”It is really about outcome-based economies rather than buying machines … IIoT is still in the hype phase. Actually the hype has gotten even stronger but there is something real underneath. There are real operating systems making a difference already today, ” Richard Soley said. ”What we need are test beds to capture best practices and generate the right solutions for interoperability and security. We need a joint approach to pushing standards in the space. A lot of work is being done on interoperability and security.”

The IIC is running 20 test beds today, with an additional 20 in development. ”Nobody really knows yet which business models will work and that is why it makes sense to use test beds to get best practice,”said Soley.” One of these test beds integrates national government resources in Ireland with county and local government resources and it has already given birth to a new service. By integrating patients’ records with emergency services, ambulance personnel can treat patients more rapidly. Hospital staff can also upload treatment data from the ambulance to offer a smoother, faster hand-over. ”This Irish ’Infinite’ test bed is driven by EMC and it has collected huge amounts of data via ambulances’ GPS. By cross-cross-correlating the data, it was possible to optimize the ambulance fleet in order get the nearest ambulance at sites of emergency.” Indeed, ambulances normally return to the hospital garage, which is not necessarily the best way to ensure fast service, according to Soley. ”Firstly, if you want to distribute the ambulances over the county, why send them back to the garage? Secondly, the first year of data collection can be used to identify dangerous places.” The data collection revealed that ambulance personnel used to stop by coffee houses instead of driving back to the hospital. “Matching this information with coffee shops in the vicinity, ambulance management could be improved.” 

IIoT News Recap: Tata reveals ambitious LoRa rollout plan; Symantec launches IoT solution for carmakers; Volvo selects TomTom for maps, navigation and traffic; Hong Kong urged to increase 5G R&D; Today’s forecast: IHS ups its autonomous vehicle sales forecast

IIoT standards

LoRa: Tata’s LPWAN to cover 400 million people within two years

India’s Tata Communications has now launched India’s first low power wide area (LPWA) network using LoRa technology in three cities. The service provider expects to cover 1,900 cities, or 400 million people, within two years, Mobile World Live reports. Already by the end of June, the network should reach 45 million people. “This gives us a huge critical mass of people for testing,” said Eric Torres, VP New Ventures at Tata Communications, speaking at the LPWA event in Amsterdam.

IoT security: Symantec launches anomaly detection solution for carmakers

Connected car technologies are set to enhance the driving experience but they could also create new entry points for hackers. To address ”zero-day attacks and never-before-seen issues facing modern connected vehicles”, security company Symantec launched Symantec Anomaly Detection for Automotive. The security solution uses machine learning to monitor all Controller Area Network (CAN) bus traffic while learning what normal behavior is. “Automotive security threats have gone from theory to reality. Symantec is bringing the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of security technologies to the car. The infrastructure and technology that already helps protect billions of devices and trillions of dollars now protects the car,” said Shankar Somasundaram, senior director of product management and engineering at Symantec.

Connected car: Volvo selects TomTom for maps, navigation and traffic

TomTom’s embedded and cloud-based location and navigation content and services will power Volvo Cars’ new infotainment platform from 2019. “Thanks to the trust that Volvo Cars has put into TomTom’s products, we are uniquely positioned in the automotive industry to offer Volvo Cars  future-proof systems that meet the rapidly changing market requirements,” said Antoine Saucier, managing director of TomTom Automotive in a statement.

5G: Hong Kong urged to increase R&D investments

“Hong Kong is a vibrant city by all standards, but we still have a lot of catching up to do. In 2014, the city’s R&D expenditure accounted for only 0.74 percent of GDP, while the figure was 2.05 percent in China, 2 percent in Singapore, 3.58 percent in Japan, and 4.29 percent in South Korea … We need to invest more in R&D and attract more global technology talent,” said Wong Ming-yam, chairman of Hong Kong’s Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), speaking at EmTech Hong Kong, Telecom Asia reports. By failing to increase investment in research and development, Hong Kong could get left behind in 5G.

Today’s forecast: IHS ups its autonomous vehicle sales forecast

IHS Automotive has reviewed previous estimates upwards and now expects global sales of autonomous vehicles to reach 21 million by 2035. China will by then be the largest autonomous vehicle market in the world, with 5.7 million sold vehicles in 2035, followed by the United States (4.5 million) and Western Europe (3 million). “Global sales of autonomous vehicles will reach nearly 600,000 units in 2025. Our new forecast reflects a 43 percent compound annual growth rate between 2025 and 2035 – a decade of substantial growth, as driverless and self-driving cars alike are more widely adopted in all key global automotive markets,” said Egil Juliussen, Ph.D. and director of research at IHS Automotive.

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