The Internet of Things is one of the most used Tech Terms in the last decade. Engineering students saw a rise in IOT workshops and more and more research and perspectives were brought into the technology. The idea of “smart” and “automated” products that is supposed to make life a lot easier for us seemed so believable and promising.
However, IOT garnered some frowned faces from the industry after some stage one IOT industry systems fell prey to many cyberthreats.
Experts said that IOT is still in the baby stage and as they dig deeper into it, it`s becoming evident that handing a complexity of that level is an extreme task and may not be handled well by the current systems and would not suffice as a barrier to malicious threats.
Establishing helpful IoT systems that run securely, efficiently and independently has proved incredibly difficult. However, Blockchain seems to be the light seen from the tunnel. Blockchain technology makes a promise for easing that burden on IOT.
In 2018, security, privacy and identity verification has become the most basic concern in IoT deployments. Vast amounts of IoT data must be collected, transferred and delivered in a secure fashion amongst valid stakeholders, and processing now occurs at various layers within an architecture to trigger decisions at the right point. If a source is not cooperating or conducting well, they need to also be removed or resolved.
The fact that there are so many types of threats and so many poorly secured devices further confuses matters. Add to this the growing cadre of IoT communication protocols and you have an extremely complex problem that is difficult to solve at scale.
How`s Blockchain comes to the rescue.
The blockchain model that’s based on cryptographically secured and immutable distributed ledger technology and consensus could improve IoT frameworks with better automated resource optimization and security by making sure it provides:
• A distributed system of record for sharing data across a network of key stakeholders.
• Embedded business terms for automating interactions between nodes in the system.
• Hash-based security, verification of identity and provenance authentication.
• Consensus and agreement models for detecting bad actors and mitigating threats.
These features allow the Blockchain to validate itself with the network making sure at least it`s at least a little bit more secure. Business logic could execute automatically via smart contracts. The best feature about Blockchain is the absence of a central system. And with no central system to attack, threats like denial of service attacks could be inherently solved at different layers in the architecture.
Now how can Blockchain improve IOT?
• No more worry during Software Updates: The ability to publish software updates as a URL on the blockchain will be provided. And to make things better, it can be done with a cryptographic hash of the update which can be validated by blockchain-connected IoT devices during the process so an extra layer of security is added.
• Payments and micropayments made simpler: Automated payments using IOT has been a big No-No in the industry for the trust issues. But now, these can be done to business network participants based on sensor data (indicating, for example, service completion or product delivery), as well as micropayments between devices themselves if needed. And all this can be accomplished without Human Intervention.
• Analytical model tracking: Allow the system to record metadata and results about logic executed at the edge of the network for the purposes of regulatory compliance, and create an immutable history of why certain “decisions” were made during IoT processing.
In spite of all this promises and potential, the involvement of Blockchain in IOT is not meant to solve every issue. Current performance and scalability limitations are incompatible with many IoT functions. A new type of blockchain platform is needed which is capable of supporting the large volume of devices and their processes involved in an IoT system. What will likely emerge is a hybrid or polyglot architecture, with varying frameworks customized to utilize blockchain differently at IoT’s edge, platform and enterprise layers.
But as businesses continue to make changes constant efforts to root out the efficiency and security problems, it is becoming obvious that blockchain-based solutions are believed to have merit and bring real-world value to the table.
To put it simply, Blockchain is not the answer to everything that`s still to be fixed with IoT. But it can take it a step further.
The future of internet of things is quite promising. Smart, autonomous, interconnected and self managed are the terms which best describes IoT which is growing both in intelligence and complexity.
Enterprise, technological companies are all working to implement IoT techniques in their business. To increase their business value and outcome they will need more number of sensor embedded digital products. More and more industries will look at IoT to attract customers, develop their brands and improve user experience.
Retail shopping will also have a complete transformation in future. From smart selves to smart tags will replace barcodes which will inform more about products than a showroom executive does. IoT will improve customers lifetime value that will eventually increase market share of brands.
Amalgamation of beacon with IoT is a great help for store`s operating success. Beacon is a small bluetooth ratio transmitter that uses low energy Bluetooth Connections automatically send push notifications to customer devices when they approach near the stores. One of the prime benefits of Beacon technology is it enhances users experience and productivity. since these are small devices it can be installed anywhere in the store. IoT sensors and Beacon devices help in collecting data which will assist the store to operate successfully. Shopping patters and behaviour of customers can be collected which will help the store knowing likes and dislikes of customers
Machine learning AI will give tremendous scope to IoT. It will be able to predict when does a machine needs repair, it will self optimise productions. A combination of AI, IoT and Big Data will give rise to next generation applications and advancements.
So, IoT industry has a great future in the upcoming years. The future will be promising and certainly worth which can be looked forward to.
There are still much more work which can be done. IoT has the potential to create lot of value for organisations who want to implement it.
Retail Analytics is a term that has been used by retailers to analyse and understand their customers and change their product listings, prices and more. Though this term is relatively new in the limelight, it has been used by retailers for a long time. Let’s understand how it is used.
Today, the world has shifted from the traditional brick and mortar business and the whole purchasing process of most of the things that the urban population wants to buy is in their hands now through the channels of apps, emails, websites, Social Media and other such online mediums.
But regardless of the fact that whether customers are buying online or offline, businesses today are taking that extra step to make sure they understand their customers better and drive more conversions that increases profits.
How is Retail Analytics being used in the today and the future!
Retail Marketing Analytics: Marketing is something that has been playing a pivotal role for businesses to drive more customers in. And these served and serve very well for businesses now. But now, some Old-school marketing ways found their basic principles getting slipped into digital ones. With so many analytics tools being available to businesses now, they are applying the old techniques to new ones like Customer acquisition, customer retention and more with better accuracy and more avenues to explore. And till now, this new front of the Retail Marketing Analytics has fetched well for businesses.
IOT coming into play: The Internet Of Things movement is offering retailers a substantial number of opportunities and avenues to expand to. Be it boosting customer experience, or increasing supply chain and revenue streams, IOT is coming into play. As more and more consumers are increasingly adopting connected devices and wearable technologies, retailers are being able to leverage data from these devices to optimise customer interactions, it is also being used to enhance the in-store experience and deliver custom and personalised offers and dynamic pricing to customers. From the business point of view, the Internet of Things technologies could help retailers drive operational efficiencies via employing a myriad of connected devices to perform things, such as track inventory or adjusting pricing in real-time.
Sentiment analysis: It is often important for businesses to know how their customers feel about their product. Though every business has an idea about it, there is often an absence of Data to support it. Sentiment analysis is a new way of determining how customers and potential buyers feel about your product. It uses the concept of ‘text analysis’ to understand what customers are talking about the product on different channels like Social Media. Sentiment analysis helps predict trends, can connect customer reactions to products and marketing materials, and can be the missing link that explains sales fluctuations for any business.
Point of Sale analytics, or POS analytics, is a broad field that uses the information that relates to the final sale of an item. Now, POS analytics is becoming a big part of Retail Analytics in general that is not just covering not what was purchased and by whom, but also where that item was stored or shipped from, and information about the customer including rewards points, address, email, etc.. So this contributes to the data that helps into making better understanding and decisions for businesses.
Not ‘Anticipatory’ anymore: A few years back , a news came out about Amazon patenting the idea of “anticipatory shipping” and everybody lost their minds. Anticipatory shipping is the idea of “moving goods around based on their predictive analysis of likely consumer behaviour.” Because of your history, in other words, Amazon could predict that you were about to order a pack of toilet paper. and make sure it was in stock at the closest distributor well before you even clicked on the order button. This was a “WTF” idea a few years back but now a lot of businesses are closer to better analytics through different tools into retail so be it on a smaller level or a larger level, ‘anticipatory’ shipping or stocking of products is the future for retail.
Dynamic Pricing: In the world of Retailing, Dynamic pricing is something that retailers have been using even before the term has been circulated in Business schools. Dynamic pricing is the act of changing the selling price of a product based on the ability of the customer to pay. With more and more personal details being used into targeting ads and being incorporated into retail Analytics, businesses now have a better understanding of what the buying capacity of a person is. So regardless of whether you are aware of it or not as a customer, dynamic pricing is being used on you too.
The Indian Government announced its vision of Smart cities a few years back and since then the Smart Cities Mission has kicked off. And with this new concept coming in, there are a lot of things to look out for and trends to keep an eye on for both consumers and businesses.
In layman terms, A Smart City is a city equipped with the basic infrastructure to give a decent quality lifestyle, a clean and a sustainable environment through the application of some smart solutions with or without the use of technology.
Every Smart City is supposed to have a basic infrastructure well equipped with better transport means, assured and uninterrupted supply of Electricity and clean water, better government-citizen relationships using e-governance portals, ensuring safety and security of citizens and of course a consistent and fast IT connectivity.
Apart from these basic needs, a Smart city must incorporate smart solutions to make the problems faced by Urban Citizens on a daily basis. Public should be able to access information about their city, grievance redressal should be made more swift, electronic service delivery, citizens’ engagement, waste to energy & fuel, waste to compost, 100% treatment of wastewater, smart meters & management, monitoring water quality, renewable source of energy, efficient energy and green building, smart parking, intelligent traffic management system. All these are some features a smart city needs.
India is all set to have 1 Smart City at least in every State and Union Territory of hers. And today, in 2018, we are seeing some trends that need to be taken note on.
Electric Commutes Booming: One of the main focus areas of a smart city is that it should be as Environment-friendly as it can be made. So as a result of it, the government has increased its spending on incorporation and promotion of Electric Vehicles as one of the primary mediums of transport within the city. Many States have started giving projects to Engineering Colleges and Universities to come up with better designs and execution plans for manufacturing of Electric Vehicles like E-Rickshaws. So as a result, more and more businesses are coming in and investing their RnD and money into making Electric vehicles that can be used for daily commutes by the Urban Citizens.
Here Comes 5G: It’s been quite some time that the world has been fascinated by what 4G had to offer and India got a sweeter piece of the pie after the rise of JIO. Now, it’s time for the next step. Major Communication Brands like Verizon Wireless and AT&T have been eyeing on the Technology for a long time and have been one of the first companies to go after the technology. We can expect that India will also not be far on the race and have more 5G connectivity options incorporated soon. Smart Cities are said to be the niche in which this 5G connectivity will be most used and incorporated on a daily basis. And it makes total sense that a city heavily dependent on Technology will keep on growing and taking up new technologies as they come faster than other cities.
The Living Maps: Probably the most interesting trend on the list, “The Living Maps” is a very interesting and futuristic concept that can turn the whole game for Smart cities if implemented correctly. It is evident that in these Smart Cities, The technology involved in the day to day activities, both governmental and personal will be on a shared network of their own in the IOT model. Using these, there’s a concept that involves the merging of GIS, big data, and analytics to create real-time ‘living maps’ to model community behavior.
Blockchain: The star child of Technologies that came up in the last 5 years, ‘Blockchain’ is expected to hold its position in Smart cities also. With Increasing investments in Cryptocurrency and more and more business taking up Blockchain as a part to make their customer delivering of products, Blockchain will surely be implemented as a part of the daily technology use in Smart Cities. Experts believe that certain Smart cities across the world may incorporate the use of Cryptocurrencies for a part of the day to day transaction within the city.
Safety, The most promising one: One of the core problems that the Smart cities are set to solve is the safety issue that many people all over the world face. The organizations in charge of Smart cities are currently in the process of developing large-scale technologies that will use the power of AI, image recognition, Big Data, Robotics and other technologies to create a service that can easily take a widespread surveillance of the whole city, locate and take appropriate measures in case of the safety of any citizen is compromised.
As an end-note, we can expect that Smart Cities will try to provide the best living conditions for its Citizens, and especially in a country like India which is increasing its demands in use of technology every day, it is a big problem solver, now, we just have to wait and see how well the proposed designs and plans are executed.
With the increase in people using Cloud as their primary and secondary Storage option for their files, there emerges a lot more concerns for the security of the Data that the users voluntarily provide to the Cloud Storage companies.
Cloud storage, in layman terms, is “Somebody else’s computer” where you store your data and can access it whenever you want with the help of the internet. In 2018, a lot of Heavy internet users are moving on to cloud storage because of two main reasons: one being that they are finding it extremely hard to allot space for the amount of files they want to keep on their devices, and second that they fear losing the files and the data if they lose or irreparably damage their device somehow.
Where’s the Key to the storage?
In general, most of the files held by major cloud storage companies are encrypted so that someone who is not authorised to access the files, can only access encrypted data.
But who holds the key to the encryption. Normally it is held by the companies themselves because it gives the users less hassle to go through to get their files. While some high-level data encryption keys might also be kept with the users.
Why is it more secure than what you think
Regardless of what you believe, Data on the Cloud is multiple times secure than the traditional systems. No, just because Cloud is called “Someone else’s computer” doesn’t mean that that computer is as accessible and vulnerable as yours. Every Cloud Storage and computing company spends millions of dollars every year on keeping the data safe. They have multiple layers of firewalls and encryption tools that make sure that your data is kept safe from unauthorised people’s hands. There’s one added advantage in the security of Cloud storage over traditional storage devices is that your storage device can be stolen and it can be irreparably damaged, but with cloud security, there’s practically little to no chance of that happening. Also, Most Cloud storage companies give their users a controlled access, so even if you have your data on their cloud, it doesn’t mean that any third party, or any employee of the company can access your data at their will.
So which is better?
In 2018, if you have a smartphone, you will understand the reason why Cloud Storage is hailed as a boon. Legacy systems in 2018 only give you a faster internet-free way to access it. But if you have internet access like most of the urban Indian population has at the moment, and with increasing and already-there Security enhancers on the cloud, you know that Cloud Storage is the way to go.
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