Internet of Things

IOT Trends for 2018

 

We spoke with a number of IT leaders and industry experts about what to expect from IoT in the coming year and what could be the latest trends for IOT which will dominate 2018.

Following are the Internet of things trends to watch out for in 2018.

1.The IOT industry will bring a changed awareness around security and risk:

Security concerns will be high on the list. We have reached a point in the evolution of IoT when we need to re-think the types of security we are putting in place. Have we truly addressed the unique security challenges of IoT, or have we just patched existing security models into IoT with the hope that it is sufficient?

IOT presents a different kind of risk. Businesses need to understand that sensors and machine-to-machine communications are also stored in the cloud. In particular, facilities implementing devices connected to the IoT need to think about communication and the security protocols between devices: sensor-to-sensor communication, sensor-to-gateway communication, and updating and maintaining all on-premise equipment to better secure their data.

Tom Smith is a research analyst for DZone.com and he queried these IT professionals to get their insights on predictions for 2018. Here’s what IOT experts shared their thoughts on IoT trends for 2018.

IoT security will continue to dominate as a major concern, and I would expect the rise of several IoT-driven platforms to rise to the surface in an attempt to address and manage this. Says Lucas Vogel, Founder, Endpoint Systems

My hope is that there will be some adopted regulations around IoT security and compliance, otherwise, there will undoubtedly be more frequent and massive attacks. The fully-connected home will move closer to being a reality, and there will be unique solutions that address actual needs instead of just being “internet-connected”. Says Mike Kail, CTO, CYBRIC

2. Businesses will need to embrace the implementation of edge and cloud computing: 

Edge computing, also known as fog computing, will continue to rise. The ability to run software at the edge is turning out to be one of the most promising accelerators of IoT adoption, given the cost savings and the ability to quickly achieve largescale systems.

3. Connectivity Management: 

Another exciting new area involves the management of whole IoT systems or solutions. Device management and connectivity management has been around for several years already, but now that the pieces of IoT systems are coming together to form whole enterprise-scale solutions, management of these solutions has become higher up on the “tech wish list” for organizations.

4. IOT vs IIOT:

In addition, the separation between consumer IoT and Industrial IoT is becoming clearer all the time. One key distinction that is now apparent is that consumer IoT can often focus on greenfield installations but IIoT must enable brownfield installations. The investments in systems and equipment that were made by industrial firms over the last decades will continue to be in place and will need to be incorporated into IIoT solutions.

We’re seeing a trend towards a lot more IIoT use cases. As we move into 2018, we will see a much higher adoption of industrial IoT where sensors are making a big impact in the manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and engineering sectors. Other areas where we expect greater uptake of IoT systems include shipping, retail, agriculture, and healthcare. This expansion will trigger a need to hire many more IoT professionals and will likely see the rise of many new types of IoT specific roles within companies.

Many verticals still have business operations that involve manual observation of equipment status, inventory levels, and other key metrics. Where there is currently manual observation, there may be a great opportunity for a high-ROI project involving IoT. Some verticals that have a lot of manual observations are Oil & Gas, Energy Distribution, Supply Chain, and Telecommunications. The repeating theme is high-value infrastructure that is spread out geographically.

Thanks Kilton Hopkins, IoT Program Director forNortheastern University-Silicon Valley and the CEO of IOTRACKS, for providing your inputs to this article.

 

 

InsurTech: 5 benefits of technologies in Insurance Sector

insurancecopy-min

InsurTech is a buzzword nowadays where a variety of technologies are set to transform the traditional insurance industry. Many Insurers have already transformed themselves digitally to offer convenience, security, choice, and comparison to their customers.

Internet of Things (IoT), telematics, drones, the blockchain, smart contracts, and artificial intelligence (AI) are providing new ways to measure, control, and price risk, engage with customers, reduce cost, improve efficiency and increase customer experience.
Here are five ways Insurers can stay ahead in the market and successfully fulfill high customer expectations.

 

1. Lower Insurance rates:

 – Fitness apps or wearable devices:

Getting fit has many perks. Some of the fitness apps like Wysa and wearable devices help you maintain your weight, food habits, boost your energy and mood. And most importantly they can help you save a huge amount of your health insurance cost. Various insurance providers are tapping into wearable devices to keep updating their customers to stay in shape and healthy and offering them many discounts and benefits if customers meet a required fitness goals.

– Self Driving car:

Self Driving cars will one day lower life insurance rates.  Since road deaths are a significant percentage of deaths in the entire world, any slight downward change will ultimately lead to lower deaths and hence life insurance claims.

 

2. Fraud Prevention:

Fraud comes in all shapes and sizes. Insurance fraud costs companies billions of dollars per year across the globe.  Insurance companies should establish a technology framework, tap into advanced automation and analytics, and take steps to prevent it.

– Digital Signature Technology:

Digital signature technology is without a doubt lowering fake insurance account activation and hence a fraud. for example, the case of claims on a said date when insurance is purchased after accident can be brought down with digital signatures verifying the purchase to be after the incident.

– Data analytics:

The technology involves data mining tools and quantitive analysis. Data analytics can be applied to detect fraud. Predictive analytics helps improve the fraud detection process, helping prevent claims payouts. Analytics on claims and fraud transactions helps enhance risk management

 

3. Lower underwriting cost:

The number of internet-connected devices and sensors is projected to reach 50 billion by 2020, which will have a significant impact on the availability of real-time information that insurers can use for better pricing/underwriting. Drones are satellites on steroids at least as far as underwriting is concerned. Satellites have dramatically changed how home insurance policies are written due to fire. All sorts of things to come from drone footage underwriting: Houses that you can’t even see due to trees.

 

4. Billing efficiency:

Billing systems are not only integrated but now can accept varied forms of payments allowing ultimate flexibility to the customer and thereby making the billing systems efficient. The automated systems can inform and remind customers of approaching due dates for premiums thereby lowering unintentional defaults.

 

5. Specialized insurance:

Each type of insurance is different from the other and the factors that are suited to one are not suited to the other. This requires the insurance agents to have specialized knowledge and the internet helps. however, Machine learning is vitally important here. It has the capability to learn and analyze billions of patterns and identify suitable underwriting clauses as well as identify specific customised plans for the customers based on the data provided. This can change the customer perception of the insurance company and provide an engaged customer who is likely to stay longer.

Emerging technologies have produced various opportunities for Insurers to walk with today’s world, provide seamless customer experience to their customers and create new services and products.

Thanks you Scott W Johnson, owner at WholeVsTermLifeInsurance.com for providing your valuable information on how technologies are helping Insurance industry.

InsurTech: Present and Future of Insurance Technology

Insurers need to spin the technology that offers their customers with more efficient, optimized and relevant policies. The ones that could be customized could be fed with data from a wearable/mobile device or the ones that are applicable for just an hour. With such customer focus initiatives, they yet need to achieve core business objectives like price and operational efficiency and compliance to stringent regulations. Could the Insurtech meet up the expectations? Could technology lend a helping hand? Let’s explore how the insurance vertical is evolving with the latest technology and what its future is –

The Present of InsurTech

The insurance firms are under immense pressure of reorganizing their house – customized policies, risk mitigation strategies, real-time analytics, instant claim settlement, sensors, drones and augmented reality (AR) apps are playing a significant role. So, what are the technologies adopted by the firms? Let’s take a closer look –

Robo-Advisory Services

Robo-Advisors have seen a broad adoption across insurance sectors. Unlike olden days when hiring a financial advisor was a dream for many individuals, with Robo-advisors people of the low-income group could use DIY advisory for their financial portfolio. Should you opt for all critical disease cover or only a few? Should buying an integrated policy be beneficial or an individual one is some of the questions that could be answered via Robo-Advisory Services.

Policies via Sensors, Detectors, and Telematics

Sensors, Detectors connected via the internet could send early signals of smoke/radiations to the rescue services, helping in minimizing the damages. Also, Telematics like monitoring automobile speed, the behavior of a rash driver could assist in making a clear judgment of claim policies for individuals and insurance firm. Hence while IoTs and interconnected network could be a boom in offering customized policies, these minuscule are taking insurance services to the next step.

The Future of InsurTech

Could technologies like Blockchain, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality change the world sees insurance sector? Would they bring in the exotic flavors of policies? Only time can tell, for now, let’s explore how these technologies could be handy in insurance sector?

Blockchain

A distributed ledger technology has the potential to ease out fraud detection and risk prevention as per a report from EY. The report also highlights that blockchain is efficient in establishing transparent and customer focussed claims building trust and loyalty for the insurance firms.

Augmented or Virtual Reality

Just imagine driving in stormy weather, an AR app helps you define the road/lane border so that you do not bombard a tree or a car in your parallel path. Or how about a 3D modeling and simulations help customers in making insurance claims easier and faster? Or how about before you go for the home insurance a simulation helps you pinpoint all the areas under insurance rather than reading the lengthy document? It all is a possibility with AR and VR technologies.

With the evolution of technologies, the secret is to be adaptable to change. @Mantra Labs we believe in this, and hence one of our esteemed clients Religare is using our InsurTech solutions in Post-sale, pre-claim, post-claim and renewal processes. It helps in providing customers with transparent and intuitive services that is robust and secured for businesses. A win-win for all.

Reference Links:

https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2016/10/how-augmented-and-virtual-reality-changing-insurance-landscape.pdf

https://www.realexpayments.com/blog/augmented-reality-insurance-businesses/

IOT in Insurance Sector: Home, Auto and Health Insurance

Internet Of Things is helping the Insurance Industry as well. Based on the reports we have read it is all set to transform the insurance industry in flexible and exciting ways. Last month Accenture insurance blog stated that 39% have already launched or are piloting connected home or connected building initiatives that use the Internet of Things, and 44% consider connected devices to be a driver of future insurance revenue growth.

Future insurance is set to be completely transformed because of IoT. There are already some insurance companies that have adopted IoT and Insurance Tech such as Bajaj Allianz, ICICI Lombard, HDFC life.

 

connected-cars

Image Source: iamwire

In this article we plan to discuss how IoT is helping in home insurance,  auto insurance, and health insurance businesses.

Health Insurance:

Wearable devices such as fitness bands such as FitBit are helping people, especially elderly, to track their health details constantly. This information can further help doctors treating the patients requiring immediate medical attention. Insurance companies, at the same time, can reduce their claims by offering incentives to their policyholders to use these kinds of devices.

Home Insurance:

Sensors, Detectors connected via the internet could send early signals of smoke/radiations to the rescue services, helping in minimizing the damages. Information derived from inter-connected smart devices at home can also be utilized by insurance companies to determine the safety maintained at home. In the first place, smart devices used to keep an eye on their home while they are away. This would decrease the unfortunate incidences of theft or burglary and save people from losing their precious assets as well. Eventually, it would also bring down the claims raised by households.

Auto Insurance:

Telematics like monitoring automobile speed, the behavior of a rash driver could assist in making a clear judgment of claim policies for individuals and insurance firm.

Hence while IoTs and interconnected network could be a boom in offering policies, these minuscule are taking insurance services to the next step.A huge amount of data generated by the IoT devices can be used for predictions, understanding of the market, customers etc, that will help in distributions the policies in a very effective manner as well as a great customer satisfactions.

IoT World is getting trendier and fashionable with these Latest trends

xl-2016-internet-of-things-1

Let your treadmill pass on the data to your wearable hand devices that could be read on your smart phone with visual and analytics. Or how about you casting your mobile to Office projector while all are having their evening snacks and enjoying live cricket?

Let’s see what are the latest trends in IOT.

Welcome to Connected World!

Research experts like Gartner Say 8.4 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2017, Up 31 Percent From 2016. On the other hand, firms like Intel predicts that there would 200 million connected devices by 2020. With such a rapid growth startups and big firms are keen in observing the space. So, here we bring on the latest trends shaping the world of IoT [ Internet of things].

An Increase in Miniscule Products

Products like sensors and cameras may be little in existence, but the power they hold makes them sustainable in the long run. Smart homes, Smart cars, climate control, home security are some of the aspects that need these sensors and devices. In future, we may see them as default items in IoT world, but for now, they are the stepping stone and would create an impact in IoT domain.

Evolution of IoT Squares 

A very peculiar case of IoT is that the Amazon Prime video cannot be cast via Google Chormecast, the user needs to purchase Amazon Firestick if he must enable casting. With such a wide range of hardware and software list, users can’t be loyal to just one firm. Hence the need for gateways that allow software’s, hardware, apps, devices of various vendors to connect, interact and communicate without the need to change it.

These markets would not only help the users but the firms who want to want to automate their legacy equipment. They could just tap into industrial drivers, hubs, data visualization, monitoring and data mapping modules and reap the benefits.

Let the Data Do the Talking

Big Data is not an emerging trend anymore, but a default technology adopted by most of the businesses. However using Big data with IoT cloud could help many firms in making an informed decision. Just for example an insurtech firm could gather the driving behavior and pattern of his customer using sensors and could design a customized policy that suits his needs.

IoT Analytics is an upcoming trend, and many of the start-ups are eager to provide the optimum solution to other businesses.

Integrate IoT with Machine Learning

Machine learning is another emerging trend that experts are confident would change the future. But its benefits could be manifold if it’s integrated with IoT. Mantra’s innovative solution XAVI is the best example here. Just imagine you entering the home after a long tiring day and wished someone could switch on your lights tv and air conditioner. XAVI is a genie that allows you to do so with your voice or through a mobile app. As you get comfortable on your sofa, you could issue a command to list all English movie to be aired in next 15 minutes, and in no time, you could have an exclusive list of it on your tv screen. For more features click here.

It would also help firms in gathering data of individual usage patterns and would assist them in building more cognitive technology.

Security the Major Opportunity

With every new technology first question posed is – Is it safe? While many people believe interconnection could make systems more vulnerable to attacks, the opportunists believe it as a space to explore and come with a more robust solution to keep devices and data protected.

 

 

Create IOT products and solutions – Part 2

In my last article, I have talked about the challenges and oppurtunities of IOT industry. Now let’s talk about building an IOT product and  benefits of it in the market.

xl-2016-internet-of-things-1

How about building an IOT device?

Now let me also talk a bit about the process of building an IOT product. If you are thinking of building an air purifier, or a thermostat, or some smart lighting solutions for home, you are very likely to hit the first stumbling block as to how to go about the whole process. How to get a 3D design for the device, where to go for a prototype design, and how to get the electronics (the PCB part) done, and how to make the device talk and interact with various other devices like your mobile phone, etc.
 What you need is professional expertise in not one particular field, but many diverse fields. If you are a software engineer with some experience with coding, you will know writing software is not that difficult as all you need is a computer, and you could create wonders just sitting in home or office. Building a real, physical thing can be really tough & challenging. Not only it requires varied set of skill set, but also can cost much more to prototype, and test it out.

Steps to follow before going ahead

For the benefit of newbies to the field, I have listed down the steps generally followed in any IOT product development process.

  • Market Research
  • Conceptualization/Ideation
  • Design
  • Prototype (Schematic Design, Layout)
  • PCB Manufacturing
  • Procuring components & assembly of electronic circuitry
  • 3D printing of casing & outer facade of the product
  • Field Trials
  • Redesign & trials if needed
  • Marketing & Mass manufacturing

Loads of data is generated, but what to do with it?

Due to the large number of IOT devices around, it is quite as well expected that they will generate a huge volume of data. Question is how to make best use of the data captured, or how to make your device react to events triggered by actions of other users, or may be from the device owner himself through a mobile application.

Standards like the MQTT, AMQP, etc are the general protocols used for an IOT device or the cloud to communicate with each other. Both of them work on basic principle of publish/subscribe. The two parties subscribe to events, and whenever there is an update, or an occurrence of the event, the subscribing parties are notified.

Providers like Microsoft Azure, ABM, and AWS have all come up with their IOT platforms making it easy to monitor and control remote devices from click of a button. Being on the cloud, it gives IOT the ability to scale. The data being captured in the cloud can be analysed, and trends studied using Machine Learning algorithms and Artificial Intelligence.

Today it is possible to auto update the firmware of an IOT device without requiring any intervention from the customer.

How IOT will drive benefits for users?

Data generated from IOT devices are being continuously analysed and machine learning models are built to help in predictive analytics. Earlier emphasis was on preventive maintenance in industries, and anywhere else where machines were deployed. We used to ensure regular and timely checkups to ensure our machines are always in healthy state. But now with advancements in technology, based on the data captured, our machine learning prediction models can warn us in advance of a possible impending breakdown. A corrective action can be immediately triggered, and the machine is restored to good health much before breakdown.

emergency-notification-iot

Today IOT driven processes paves the way for improvements in existing processes leading to higher customer satisfaction & safety leading to better profits for businesses. Customers delight and an increasing affiliation are invaluable assets to any business, and when IOT is able to help the business achieve that, its relevance will never be in doubt. No wonder Gartner Research predicts there will be more than 20 billion IOT devices by the year 2020.

Create IOT products and solutions – Part 1

It’s very interesting to see and understand how things are really working at the level of bytes and bits. In software, we rarely think about those details, as most of these things are abstracted so a software programmer can focus on just his piece while the hardware engineers and embedded programmers take care of making those intricate and complex circuit boards.

 

IMG_0335

Sometime back when we decided to do something in the space of IOT, we were complete newbies with absolutely no background, academic, or professional. But we learnt many things the hard way by trying, failing, and correcting. But perhaps as many people say, that may also be the best approach towards learning anything new.

Today with an experience of building an actual physical thing that listens, I feel more confident about the space, and our ability to replicate our success story for our clients as well. But what is that we build, and now a question of great debate, and subjectivity. I can perhaps think of some rules that an IOT product or initiative should bear in mind.

Before going forward, give it a thought

Does the device really help its customer? This is a very basic and moot question that every innovator and maker should ask themselves.

Does the product makes our life more safer, convenient, healthier, and happier? If the answer is yes for these questions, the product may find takers in the market.

A product must have a clear cut value proposition for its intended buyers. If the product is just a cool gadget, it will find utility only with a handful of users who will be very quick to move onto something more cooler as and when it’s available in market.

internet-of-things

Just having built something and pushing it off to the supply chain may not be of great help in building a sustainable business that will have a long term impact. One should think of constantly reinventing the product to make it better & more useful for its customers. Timely service, and a great customer support will go a long way in winning the confidence of the current active users, and the word of mouth publicity will help in winning more users till the product reaches a critical mass.

There are some challenges too

The challenge that we face today in IOT, especially industrial IOT is that existing chips that help the sensors transmit the data directly into cloud, consume a lot more power than what would be practical for widespread adoption in industries. But recent advancements in technology with the Qualcomm Cat M1 modules, and Verizon’s upgrading its infrastructure to allow ultra low band transmission at really affordable rates can be the right steps in the direction of making IOT really ubiquitous.

Security is another big challenge for mass adoption of IOT. Seeds of doubt about the device being sufficiently protected against hacking is one big reason why customers are still not able to fully give in to the idea of leaving their critical functions to a device. What if my smart locking system is hacked, and an intruder is able to hack his way inside my house?

An intrusion into house, or the smart lighting solution being hacked are still something not as much threatening as a possibility of a smart glucometer or a pacemaker being hacked. Risk of this nature can have life threatening consequences, and cannot be taken lightly.

These are valid questions which the IOT community will have to tackle head on. But I believe these questions or challenges are always there with any new technology. It takes time for ecosystem to mature to a level where issues of security are addressed, questions of viability, feasibility, and usability are addressed, and then mass adoption follows. The stage in which the current IOT development possibly is where developers and engineers worldwide are working in the direction of making IOT safer, and more useful for everyone. Soon it will be IOT for everyone.

Stay tuned for next article about some specific steps and questions to create an IOT Product.

XAVI : Your new smart home

banner

In this world of technologies you can imagine almost anything. Let’s take your home for example. After coming from your hectic day at work, home is the place where you want to spend your time in front of TV, watching your favourite channel peacefully without any distraction. On this very moment what if you need to move to switch on/off the light? Turn on the AC or check the time. What would you possibly think? Oh I wish i had a genie. Yes!! here is the genie to take away your pain and to make your life easy and simple.

Xavi is Mantra Labs’s proprietary software and hardware smart-home platform, letting you control many of your smart-home devices, including lights, TV, Air-conditioner and thermostats. It can be controlled not only via an app but also with your voice.

It is a device which makes for a much smarter TV viewing experience with the consumer querying the mobile app for things to watch or switch to a certain serial.

Currently, you can simply talk to Xavi via your app and ask it “Show me a list of English Action movies starting in next 15 minutes” and it will automatically list it down. Be it switching to your favorite show or watching yet another Friends rerun – just talk to the App and it will do the rest.

XAVI brings smart remote, smart bulb and smart clock for an automated home.

Xavi Remote: Xavi Remote can control TV’s, Air Conditioners and Bulbs for now. It gives you the three way pleasure that you might have only dreamt of, with a single gesture you can adjust your home’s temperature and switch off the lights to enjoy a peaceful movie. Yes! That’s how simple it becomes, when you have a Smart Remote.

Xavi Bulb: Xavi Bulb offers, dimming the light through buttons/sliders built within the application that controls it. Changing colors of the lights according to your mood is another thing a Smart Bulb is usually capable of.

Xavi Clock: Xavi clock could read your notification alerts and check other daily tasks. For example at evening, if you are coming from office, as soon as you are near your home- around 200-400 metres away, the clock would notify that your are about to reach home.

XAVI is in Prototype state however it won’t be long when it will be unleashed for consumers with an overall improved functionality.

Apart from these there are many other smart devices available in the market. See these 10 smart devices to make your home more smarter.

2016 – A big leap for Mantra Labs

BLOG2-1

When this year started Mantra Labs was adjusting to the new world view of technology. We were embracing IOT, AI and cloud along with our core strengths in Mobile and Web technologies.

It is a pleasure to look back and reflect on what we have achieved in this year.

  • Started Mantra.AI to solve business problems through the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques.
  • Initiated Mantra IOT labs to start creating working prototypes for some cool ideas on home automation
  • Started an office in USA to drive our business in the North American market.
  • We added multiple client to our portfolio in AI, enterprise and consumer internet including industry leading health insurance provider.
  • We are now accredited partners for
  • Strategic partnerships with
    • Toshiba for IOT in USA
    • WD Creative for Analytics in  USA
    • CP Moksha for Financial Technology in UK
    • Finocracy for Financial Technology in Middle East
  • We prominently focused in following media events
    • JS framework Meetups
    • Hackathon based on IBM Watson
    • Partnered for Startup Master Class.

While the year was great we aim to achieve even more in 2017.

The areas to look for would be:

  • The products incubated by us.
    • SellfashAutomating Supplier-Reseller Chain. 350+ Suppliers already onboard.
    • TouchkinAl healthcare startup – raised seed funding
  • IOT products for home automation

For more information https://www.mantralabsglobal.com

Follow us on linkedIn and Facebook to know more.

Smart Home Mantra

Technologies evolution is impacting our life every day in ways never seen before. Most of the change is for good. Cloud, Big data, Analytics, AI and IOT(Internet of Things) are all very hot technology spaces. IOT has truly caught the attention. It not only solves your problems in real time, but also maintains a crucial connection with the other technology spaces.

Connected devices is not a very new thing as it has been happening in industrial settings for a while.  A large number of varied devices are connected to make world-class production systems. However, the use of the smaller devices connected over the internet is definitely a breakaway idea.

The market size of IoT is expanding rapidly; the industry is expected to grow up to USD 883.55 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 32.4% between 2016 and 2022. Nearly 10% of this would be coming from home automation.

Home automation systems leverage this technology to create user experiences not thought of before. Companies like Apple and Nest have created compelling connected home kits which can work with market devices as well. It is a different question about how many such devices are available.

Smart home

While you may easily find large appliances which are compatible with solutions like Apple Homekit and Nest individually or in some cases interchangeably allowing you to control them. The smaller devices like light bulbs, clocks, knobs, switches are not available in great variety.

Home automation systems like for light bulbs Philips Hue (TM) is compatible with Apple Home Kit, LIFX works with Nest or with its own App downloadable from various App stores. This does not allow customers to have a choice. Similarly, devices like smart clocks are not yet integrated with these systems. Kitchens may not be complete without having your gas knobs being turned smarter to turn off when they sense a danger or notice you have left the home.

IT industry while focusing on the IOT  is not focusing on helping create such products that may help provide consumers more choice for the home automation . MantraLabs is taking a different view and concentrating on creating smaller connected devices providing greater value to the home automation use cases.

So what are you waiting for, make your smart home even more smarter with these smart home technologies.

Click here https://www.mantralabsglobal.com for more information about our services and use cases.