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Internet of Things (IoT) to empower millions in rural areas

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By Nishant Arora

New Delhi, March 24: Some call it the fourth industrial revolution or “industry 4.0”; for others, the time when machines can “talk” at “smart” factories and “connected” homes to make your life better is here. But for India, Internet of Things (IoT) can bring a real revolution: empowering millions in rural areas and connecting “humans” to the mainstream.

A well-connected nation is the first step towards a well-served nation and, hence, connecting rural India to the IoT will provide the much-needed bridge between urban and rural India.

“It is a surefire way of channelling the benefits of a digital economy to the largest part of the country. IoT will enable delivery of education, health, governance and financial services to otherwise underserved areas,” Oracle India managing director Shailender Kumar stressed.

For example, most patients in rural areas do not have access to specialists. Thus, several large hospitals in the metros are beginning to offer remote consulting services in rural villages using media-rich network capabilities.

“The doctors can see and interact with patients in remote telemedicine centres, with the case history and medical data automatically transmitted to the doctor for analysis. Similarly, the IoT technology can be leveraged to offer high-quality remote education in high schools across the country,” Shailendra Kumar told reporters.

The IoT connectivity also offers a host of development opportunities to untapped areas, including manufacturing and e-commerce to market local and traditional products.

“A host of ‘localisation’ technologies can help different regions to communicate; so language is not a barrier. Relevant information and updates can be provided in local languages and scripts,” the Oracle executive added.

According to K.S. Viswanathan, vice president (industrial initiative) at apex IT body Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), as IoT emerges as the next big thing to become a $300 billion global industry by 2020, India is all set to capture at least 20 percent market share in the next five years.

“The IoT is dramatically alerting manufacturing, energy, transportation, medical and other industrial sectors worldwide,” said Viswanathan while launching the “Nasscom IoT Centre of Excellence” in Coimbatore last week.

Andhra Pradesh has taken a lead when it comes to leveraging the IoT (Internet of Things) potential in the country. The state government has approved the first-of-its-kind IoT policy with an aim to turn the state into an IoT hub by 2020 and tap 10 percent market share in the country.

“We will develop state-of-the-art Internet of Things infrastructure that matches global standards to grab an Indian market share of $1.5 billion by 2020,” said state IT minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy as the Centre is currently drafting an ambitious policy to create an Indian IoT industry worth $15 billion by 2020.

On the global consumer front, Gartner has forecast that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020.

As you traverse through these mind-boggling IoT numbers, where does India stand?

“We see that India will have a significant growth in IoT connections in the next four-five years,” said Mats Lundquist, chief executive officer at Telenor Connexion, Sweden-based leading enabler of connected business solutions.

Industry numbers indicate that manufacturing will be one of the main IoT drivers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) market and will be the biggest sector in IoT spending.

According to a report from global market research firm Frost & Sullivan, manufacturing contributed 30 percent of the IoT spending in 2014 and it is expected to rise up to 32 percent of total spending in the APAC region by 2020 which equates nearly $79 billion.

“Being an emerging market, India has a big potential owing to several initiatives like “Digital India” and “Smart Cities”. The next big market (for connected devices) in the world is south Asia and India holds a good position,” Apalak Ghosh, principal consultant at market research and consulting firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), told reporters.

“Eventually, south Asia will contribute to about 30-40 percent of the total connected things,” Ghosh added.

So where will the real revenue come from – the consumer or the enterprise sector?

“The Digital India initiative has created a strategic roadmap to build and strengthen domain competency and place India on the global IoT map. We believe that the enterprise sector will bolster IoT revenues,” elaborated Deep Agarwal, regional sales director (India) of US-based Zebra Technologies that builds tracking technology and solutions.

“To begin with, the revenue will first come from the enterprise sector. As the technology booms, the revenue will start coming from the consumer sector,” Ghosh added.

Since IoT is a concept of devices talking to one another, there is a lot of data transfer happening which is vulnerable to cyber threats as well.

“The cloud can work as a catalyst to make IoT work and for that, there has to be a right kind of framework that can assist it. The GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) guidelines  can play an important part to make IoT work in a proper manner,” Ghosh said.

India is currently a small IoT market but with great potential. “We will definitely see a great development in the country on the IoT front in the coming years,” Lundquist pointed out.

For Oracle’s Shailendra Kumar, rural India is set to transform itself by taking the technology leap and adopting real-life solutions like IoT. (IANS)


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IFA 2019: AI, 5G, IoT to Shape Digital Future

The Korean electronics maker unveiled V50S, promoting it as a practical way to expand screen size without having to bend the display itself, like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold

FILE - Attendees wait in line for a 5G exhibition at the Qualcomm booth during CES 2019 consumer electronics show, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Jan. 10, 2019 (Representational image). VOA

Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) will be the key technology trends at IFA, one of the leading shows for home appliances and consumer electronics, industry officials said on Friday.

The IFA, Europe’s largest technology show, kicked off here on Friday for a six-day run, bringing together nearly 2,000 exhibitors before major shopping seasons.

At this year’s event, major industry leaders will share their vision on 5G and how the improved connectivity can spur innovations at home and in workplaces, Yonhap news agency reported.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, will give a keynote speech on the opening day on how 5G can change IoT, autonomous driving and smart devices.

Cristian Amon, president of chip giant Qualcomm, will explain in another speech why 5G will be a major driver of technological progress and bring in new inventions.

South Korean tech giants — Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. — opened their booths to display various home appliances, the highest-resolution 8K TVs and smartphones connected to each other to tap deeper into the European market.

Samsung, a leading manufacturer of TVs and smartphones, said it is investing $22 billion in new technologies, such as AI, IoT and 5G connectivity, to drive innovation in the fast-changing industry.

“In Europe, this includes the Samsung AI Center close to Cambridge University, which works to bring together the best talent in the world,” Benjamin Braun, Samsung’s chief marketing officer for Europe, said in a press conference on Thursday.

Stressing the heart of the fourth industrial revolution is connectivity, Samsung said 5G and IoT will connect phones with TVs and kitchens to transform everyday lifestyles, he said.

“The Samsung Internet of Things is not a thing of the future. It is now,” Braun said. “5G will enable connected living on a mass scale.”

Samsung also highlighted its broad 5G portfolio, ranging from chipsets, equipment to the latest smartphones.

artificial intelligence, nobel prize
“Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society.” VOA

The firm has released four 5G smartphones, including Galaxy S10, Note 10, A90 and most recently the Galaxy Fold, since the commercial roll out of the ultra-fast network in April, staying ahead of its 5G competition.

Its smaller local rival LG Electronics Inc. set out its own AI vision, showcasing a wide range of connected home appliances that can detect problems in advance and make suggestions to their users.

“Anywhere is home, because it’s that connectedness which allows you to carry the essence with you wherever you go,” Park Il-pyung, LG’s chief technology officer, said during a panel talk held on Thursday. “All these touch point can talk to each other and learn from each other to serve us much better. This connectedness will change how we organize and use our space as well.”

Park said LG designed its own AI chip to help devices offer tailored services and enhance connectivity between home appliances, cars and buildings.

At its AI exhibition hall named LG ThinQ Home, a range of products supporting its AI platform based on wireless networks, the electronics maker demonstrates how consumers can benefit from AI and IoT technologies.

LG introduced its new bottom-freezer refrigerators and front-load washing machines featuring “Proactive Customer Care”, which uses AI to monitor appliances for potential problems like temperature drops or poor air flow. When something seems wrong, users can receive an alert via an app before the problem escalates, it said.

To diversify the way of connecting to devices beyond voice, LG said it developed “Vision Pack,” a cloud-connected optical sensor. The sensor technology allows its clothing care system LG Stylus to recognize garments and make recommendations for the best cleaning courses, the firm noted.

Also Read: Google Unveils Assistant Ambient Mode for Phones, Tablets

As part of its 5G push, LG also unveiled its new flagship smartphone with a dual screen and 5G connectivity to expand mobile experiences under the ultra-fast wireless network.

The Korean electronics maker unveiled V50S, promoting it as a practical way to expand screen size without having to bend the display itself, like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold.

The company said the smartphone targets young consumers who want to do more on mobile devices, including gaming, watching videos and shopping. (IANS)