Category Archives : Internet of Things

15

Nov

Three surprising IoT trends in smart buildings

As IoT and artificial intelligence become more advanced, smart buildings are also being utilized to drive down energy usage and maintenance costs. They’re providing safer, more comfortable environments while preventing equipment breakdowns and disruptions to occupants. They’re even increasing productivity by adapting to how people live and work.

There’s a growing demand for smart buildings which offer multiple benefits for building owners, managers, and tenants. Some of the trends, scenarios, and payoffs just might surprise you. Attend our upcoming IoT in Action Smart Building webinar to learn more.

Benefits beyond infrastructure and operations

What most people think of when it comes to smart buildings and IoT are the basics around security and infrastructure. This includes egress, surveillance, elevators, parking, as well as building operations like power, HVAC, and water. These are key focus areas that are driving down costs and increasing sustainability, while keeping people safer and more comfortable.

Smart spaces are going beyond meeting these needs. A second less obvious area where IoT is driving change is productivity i.e., how a space can help people get more done in less time. As IoT gets more intelligent, smart spaces can sense the people in them and how they work,

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13

Nov

View chooses Microsoft Azure IoT to accelerate development of smart building applications

Innovation in smart buildings has been increasing in recent years, catalyzed by the democratization of cloud, AI, and IoT. Our recent Azure Digital Twins announcement highlights Microsoft’s commitment to IoT innovation. Organizations benefit from virtually representing their physical environments to deliver on various IoT scenarios, including smart buildings. By gathering data from a broad variety of sensors and devices, organizations are able to more precisely understand and optimize the spaces they occupy, and alter them to best serve people’s needs. As compute power disseminates to every physical environment that people use, buildings have become top-of-mind in their potential to generate efficiency gains and occupant satisfaction. Making IoT accessible to any customer, regardless of size or background, heavily relies on our partners’ creativity and unique domain expertise. New revolutionary devices allow us to capture richer and more meaningful data, and create breakthrough smart building applications. We’re thrilled to share some of the work we are doing with View, a company that has reinvented something that hasn’t changed for centuries – the window.

View is on a mission to create delightful human environments

View believes human health and wellness should be central to smart buildings. That’s why they are on a mission

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08

Nov

The smart way to a smarter city: Three critical considerations

The concept of smart buildings is generating lots of excitement, but what’s the transformation to intelligent cities look like at ground level for those in charge of making it happen? This post is the first in a series of three illustrating how Internet of Things technology can change urban areas for the better—for those who run them and those who live in them. First up, a rundown on the most common barriers to adoption for administrators embarking on the journey to a smarter city.

From traffic management to sewer maintenance to building management and infrastructure, cities around the world are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the lives of citizens and visitors. Networks of sensors connected to the cloud provide insights that make urban areas safer, more adaptive, and more economically robust. McKinsey estimates that the economic impact of IoT in cities could be as much as $1.6 trillion per year by 2025.

However, creating genuine impact with IoT isn’t easy. Cities are complex places, with layers of different IT systems; citizens, data, and infrastructure whose security needs protection; inflexible budgets; and intermeshing operations. Choosing the right platform is a lot more complicated when you don’t have the

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06

Nov

IoT for Smart Cities: New partnerships for Azure Maps and Azure Digital Twins

This blog post was co-authored by Julie Seto, Senior Program Manager, Azure IoT.

Over recent years, one of the most dynamic landscapes undergoing digital transformation is the modern city. Amid increasing urbanization, cities must grapple with questions around how to strengthen their local economies, manage environmental resources, mitigate pollution and create safer, more accessible societies. The modern metropolis is on a crusade towards sustainability, prosperity and inclusivity, and critical to achieving those is its digital transformation, powered by cloud, AI and IoT technologies. Through these, cities can harness the power of real-time intelligence for monitoring, anticipating and managing urban events, from traffic congestion and flooding, to utility optimization and construction.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that we will invest $5 billion in IoT over the next four years. This year alone we announced many exciting additions to our IoT portfolio. Among them are Azure Maps and Azure Digital Twins, platforms that will help cities navigate the complexities of developing urban mobility and smart infrastructure solutions. Announced just shy of a year ago, Azure Maps is Azure’s location intelligence portfolio of mapping, navigation, traffic, and geospatial services. Azure Digital twins, recently announced at Ignite, is a service for companies to

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01

Nov

Four models businesses like yours are using to monetize IoT

This post was co-authored by Peter Cooper, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Azure IoT and Mark Pendergrast, Director of Product Marketing, Microsoft Azure.

It’s easy to talk about all the cool things your company might do to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT). Figuring out how you’re actually going to make them work for your business is a bit more challenging — particularly the part about how to monetize them.

IoT technologies have major potential to open new revenue streams. Capitalizing on them often requires out-of-the-box thinking and a willingness to take smart risks.

We’ve helped thousands of customers around the world profit from IoT. Over the course of these engagements, we’ve found that their monetization models tend to fall into four categories. Here are some options to consider as you build your approach — take a look:

1. The one-and-done: one-time purchasing

A one-time purchase is a common model. IoT connectivity is added as a feature, allowing products to be sold at a premium or to stand out from the competition. This approach works great for scenarios where repeating, revenue-generating services are not required, and your products don’t need ongoing support. For example, many wearable devices and connected home

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30

Oct

Building an ecosystem for responsible drone use and development on Microsoft Azure

The next wave of computing is already taking shape around us as IoT enables businesses to sense all aspects of their business in real-time, and take informed action to running cloud workloads on those IoT devices so they don’t require “always on” connectivity to the cloud to make real-time context-aware decisions. This is the intelligent edge, and it will define the next wave of innovation, not just for business, but also how we address some of the world’s most pressing issues.

Drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are great examples of intelligent edge devices being used today to address many of these challenges, from search and rescue missions and natural disaster recovery, to increasing the world’s food supply with precision agriculture. With the power of AI at the edge, drones can have a profound impact in transforming businesses and improving society, as well as in assisting humans in navigating high-risk areas safely and efficiently.   

With these advanced capabilities also comes great responsibility including respecting the laws that govern responsible drone use in our airspace, as well as the applications of the drones to scan the environment. We believe it is important to protect data wherever it lives, from the cloud

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29

Oct

Design patterns – IoT and aggregation
Design patterns – IoT and aggregation

In this article, you will learn how to insert IoT data with high throughput and then use aggregations in different fields for reporting. To understand this design pattern, you should already be familiar with Azure Cosmos DB and have a good understanding of change feed, request unit (RU), and Azure Functions. If these are new concepts for you, please follow the links above to learn about them.

Many databases achieve extremely high throughput and low latency because they partition the data. This is true for all NoSQL database engines like MongoDB, HBase, Cassandra, or Azure Cosmos DB. All these databases can scale out unlimitedly because of partitioning or sharding.

Let us look at Azure Cosmos DB more closely. On the top level, a container is defined. You can think of container as a table, a collection, or a graph but this is the main entity which holds all the information. Azure Cosmos DB uses the word “container” to define this top-level entity, and because Azure Cosmos DB is a multi-model database this container is synonymous with collections for SQL, MongoDB, and Graph APIs, and Tables for Cassandra or Table APIs.

A collection has many physical partitions which are allocated based

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25

Oct

It’s time to connect your products — here’s why
It’s time to connect your products — here’s why

This post was co-authored by Peter Cooper, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Azure IoT and Mark Pendergrast, Director of Product Marketing, Azure.

What are connected products? They’re not some science experiment coming to us in the future. They’re already a part of everyday life. Smart thermostats remotely control home heating and cooling. Printers automatically order new ink cartridges before they run out. Wearable medical devices capture data that helps drive health decisions.

These products have one thing in common: They are practical, profitable applications of the Internet of Things (IoT), a tech sector that will generate an estimated $4 trillion to $11 trillion in revenue annually by 2025. Via internet connections, these products send massive amounts of data to the cloud where it can be crunched into valuable, actionable insights for users.

Early adopters are realizing the advantages. The average revenue increase achieved from IoT solutions was 15.6 percent, with some achieving gains as high as 64 percent.

Three main use cases for connected products

To capture your share of this market by offering connected products, clarifying the right use case is the first big step. There are three main approaches: monitoring, control, and automation.

Monitoring: Tracking a product’s condition,

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24

Oct

IoT device authentication options
IoT device authentication options

Picking the right security for the job is a challenging issue. Obviously, everyone wants maximum security for IoT solutions. But issues such as hardware limitations, cost consciousness, lack of security expertise, and more all play into which security option is ultimately chosen for how your IoT devices connect to the cloud. There are many dimensions of IoT security and in my experience authentication type tends to be the first one customers encounter, though all are important.

In this blog post, I’m going to discuss the authentication types supported by the Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service and Azure IoT Hub. There are other authentication methods out there, but these are the ones we have found to be the most widely used.

Azure IoT published a whitepaper about evaluating your IoT security, and we also offer the Security Program for Azure IoT. This security program helps you find the right security auditor for your situation and who can help you figure out how much security you need for your solution. These companies are experts at evaluating IoT security; if you have any in-depth questions around security, I highly recommend you give them a try. You can also learn about how to

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23

Oct

What they know now: Insights from top IoT leaders
What they know now: Insights from top IoT leaders

This post was co-authored by Peter Cooper, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Azure IoT and Mark Pendergrast, Director of Product Marketing, Azure.

The Internet of Things (IoT) market is red hot. Industrial spending will surge to $123 billion in 2021, with the manufacturing, transportation, and logistics, and utility sectors each expected to spend $40 billion on the technology within the next three years.

Nobody wants to be left behind. In the following video, you’ll hear from industry leaders Henrik Fløe of Grundfos, Doug Weber from Rockwell Automation, Michael MacKenzie from Schneider Electric, and Alasdair Monk of The Weir Group on why they’re bullish on all things IoT, and how they’re leveraging it to innovate and grow.

Here’s a sampling of their insights:

IoT “is a huge disruptor to our industry, to be able to connect more directly with our end-user customers, to be able to track our devices, to be able to track how the devices and the gear is performing, but then also to derive new business models, new value streams that help our customers do more with what they have.”

“It’s really important I think that we build our capabilities in a way that makes it flexible,

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