TechHub: Ford’s Vision for Smart Cities, 4 Digital Trends for 2018 & More

Ford’s Vision for Smart Cities

Ford Motor Company’s President and CEO Jim Hackett announced a range of mobility solutions, like autonomic vehicles and connected systems, centered around Ford’s idea of ‘the Living Street.’

The ideas are a connected, autonomous and ethically fair city that blends mobility and transport into cities instead of letting it stick out according to Forbes.

 

 

Ford is making a commitment to be a bigger part of smart cities; “Together we can create cities where density and diversity give life, they’re not in competition. It’s not about cities getting smarter, it’s about humans having a better day,” said Hackett.

Ford is also partnering with Lyft, Domino’s Pizza and Postmates with their self-driving vehicles to serve the ‘underserved,’ offering delivery service for dry cleaners, flower shops and corner grocery stores.

As a society, we’re moving into a time where the safest car is one without a driver. The logistics are being finalized to make this a reality, with Ford taking a big step to remain relevant by moving beyond the vehicle as different options are emerging.

4 Digital Trends Manufacturing Should Watch for in 2018

Industry Week details the top four digital trends most likely to affect manufacturers in 2018:

1. B2B manufacturers will embrace the Internet of Things

Industrial manufacturers have struggled to understand how to harness the power of IoT to create new business models and increase customer satisfaction — but that will change in 2018. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that manufacturers will see three key drivers of IoT in the coming years:

Predictive maintenance

Companies will save time and money as IoT-enabled equipment undertake self-maintenance and alert managers to developments. Deloitte predicted this trend will “optimize maintenance tasks in real time, maximizing the useful life of manufacturers equipment while avoiding disruptions to operations.”

Self-Optimizing Production

Over the coming year, more manufacturers will develop systems that will allow a new level of product optimization. Companies will be monitoring and optimizing production processes in real time through interconnected factories and supply chains, initiating automated adjustments to enhance efficiency and cut down on waste.

Automated Inventory Management

Smart warehouses and connectivity are revolutionizing the way manufacturers capture and use key data, offering richer insights into inventory and supply chain. Businesses will be increasingly tracking the location and condition of inventory in route and in the warehouse. This will expedite reponse time, reduce inventory and enhance production time.

2. The rise of “cobot” production

2018 will bring smarter, safer and less expensive “collaborative robots” to replace bulkier, more dangerous traditional industrial robots. The International Federation of Robotics projects that “cobot” shipments will increase significantly — with the U.S. and China taking the lead in adoption rates.

3. Blockchain comes to manufacturing

Blockchain typically brings to mind cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, however the technology creates a system for seamless digital information to be stored, recorded and distributed without being falsified or copied.

It’s predicted to play a large role in other industries, like manufacturing, as a more trustworthy way of building digital relationships. It has the ability to build a trusted relationship between partners and customers, allowing blockchain to be used to register, certify and track goods within the supply chain to reduce risk.

4. Cyber security risks increase

2017 was the year of cyber threats, with experts believing 2018 will be even worse as the number of IoT devices and sensor technology increases. This poses a huge challenge for those in the industrial IoT space, forcing manufacturers to embrace cyber-physical systems to mitigate risk on operations in this increasingly vulnerable time. Advances in AI and machine learning are offering solutions to predict and ward off cyber attacks.

Kodak to Launch Cryptocurrency “KODAKCoin”

Kodak is joining in on the cryptocurrency frenzy — causing stock shares to more than double after announcing their plans according to Bloomberg.

The “photocentric cryptocurrency” aims to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management, currently a difficult task in the digital age where photo ownership is easily robbed.

The shares rose 119%, boosting Kodak’s market value to $289.5 million as of January 9th.


TechHub: Google’s AI makes one smart cookie, MDS Radios digitizing industrial communications & more

Digitizing Industrial Infrastructure Communication

Running a city with a population in the hundreds of thousands, or millions, in a hot climate like Florida’s leaves no room for error — especially when tourism is a huge sector of the booming economy.

Ensuring residents have all the essentials — including uninterrupted water and wastewater services — requires a constant choreography that is as complex as it is invisible to its users.

One thing is certain: people expect their water and wastewater systems to work all the time, no matter the conditions.

One utility came to us with a huge concern, “if our network goes down, what do we do?”

GrayMatter stepped in to help, implementing a SCADA backup communication system with MDS radios.

MDS Radios

Ethernet connectivity was implemented to their SCADA system with a failover to cellular communication if the signal dropped.

By helping the water utility secure connectivity, machine communication became a guarantee and fear of lost network connections were a worry of the past.

Click here to read more about MDS radios:

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Google Takes AI to the Next Level with Pittsburgh Bakery

Google decided to once again prove the power of artificial intelligence by solving a pressing real-world challenge: designing the best possible chocolate chip cookies using a given set of ingredients.

Through trial and error of batches, matched with rating scores for each recipe by Googlers, the AI learned and adjusted until it was deemed worthy. After coming up with a really good recipe within Google, the team wanted to branch out and see what else they could do with the “smart cookie,” according to Google.

Jeanette Harris & Google Team presenting the chocolate chip and cardamom “smart” cookie. source: Google blog

This led the team to Gluten Free Goat Bakery & Cafe, a gluten-free and vegan bakery that sources local, seasonal and organic ingredients, who happily let the Google team take a crack at a more complex and challenging recipe that fit their style and criteria.

The new AI-generated cookie took over two months and 59 test batches before they landed on the “chocolate chip and cardamom cookie,” which matched unusual ingredients to create a new take on the classic chocolate chip cookie.

“This was such a fun experiment! Being able to create something entirely new and different, with the help of AI, was so exciting and makes me wonder what other unique recipe concepts I can develop for my customers,” said Jeanette Harris, owner of the bakery.

Check out the recipe listed below to replicate the smart cookie yourself. 👇 👇 👇

Ingredients

Tapioca Starch: 1/2 Cup + 2 TBSP

Brown Rice Flour: 1/2 Cup

0G Sugar: 3/4 Cup + 1.5 TBSP

Cardamom: 2 tsp

Flaxseed Meal: 1.5 TBSP

Sorghum Flour: 1/4 Cup

Raw Sugar: 1/4 Cup

Xanthan Gum: 1.5 tsp

Sea Salt: 1.5 tsp

Baking Soda: 1 tsp

Chocolate Chips: 1 Cup

Water: 3/4 Cup

Safflower Oil: 3/4 Cup

Directions

Combine all the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips in a bowl and mix well.

In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, and then add to the dry ingredients and mix enough to combine.

Add the chocolate chips and fold in until just mixed. Using a large spoon, drop on parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 350F for 12 minutes.

Life on the Edge: Why Micro Data Centers Are the Next Frontier

Originally Published in CRN, by Lindsey O’Donnell

Pittsburgh-based industrial solution provider GrayMatter has found massive opportunities for edge computing on manufacturing floors where customers may have mission-critical infrastructure that requires high reliability and can’t afford downtime.

“Edge is almost a continuum of possibilities, from servers with tons of edge computing power and storage, down to a really simple, not expensive, lower intelligence to just bridge the data up to the cloud—so it depends on how much latency you can handle in an application, how much local intelligence needs to go on,” said CEO Jim Gillespie. “For a manufacturing plant, it’s very important to close the loop locally, for other applications like lighting going up to the cloud, you don’t need as much at the edge.”

micro data centerGrayMatter has a big role in working with customers to understand where the edge will really drive value and how that will impact business outcomes, according to Gillespie.

“It’s a conversation around the outcomes, so you really have to understand the right questions to ask and the right way to design a solution,” he said. “We would weigh in with the client and design something that meets the outcomes they’re looking for. Almost everything has edge computing, and then it depends where the analytics need to happen, and there’s some sort of connectivity or either local buffering or on ramp to the cloud.”

Read Full Article.

TechHub: World’s largest battery built from a bet, the future landscape of innovation & bitcoin news

Tesla builds world’s largest battery, thanks to a bet

Elon Musk bet the people of Australia he could build a 100MW battery in 100 days or it would be free, according to CNET. Tesla not only accomplished it, but had about 40 days to spare. The South Australian government announced last week the completion of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery just outside of Jamestown, with plans to be energized within days.

The battery was a result of a bet via Twitter in March between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and fellow billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes after a series of major power outages across South Australia, including a state-wide blackout that affected an area the size of France at the end of 2016.

Musk made good on his promise, flying to Australia and signing a contract at the end of September 2017.

The 100MW lithium-ion battery is made up of Tesla Powerpacks, connected to a nearby wind farm.

The battery will undergo a testing phase within the next couple weeks to ensure it meets regulations, but things are looking good for Australians.

The future landscape of innovation

The 20th century brought us a continuous stream of co-innovation — a culture of robust research and development that resulted in a cornucopia of products with real longevity. From vacuum cleaners and ballpoint pens to jet engines and nuclear power reactors, it was topped off with the powerful computing technology that culminated from the creation of the internet, according to the Manufacturer.

Now looking at present time in the 21st century, the pace of change is arguably faster than at any time in history, ultimately because of digitization.

It’s no longer the norm to develop a product behind a locked door in secrecy, but rather in a diverse ecosystem including many parties in order to master product development. Now more than ever the need to collaborate and join forces for survival is clear — and here’s why.

Disparate data

A per-requisite for innovation in the digital age is the availability of data, and the ability to transform it into insight. It’s dependent on being able to reliably collect and analyze data on a continual basis, growing more important every day. Many companies can’t maintain this on their own, so the necessity to co-innovate solutions by working together is pertinent.

Ideate to accumulate

Encouraging employees to act more like entrepreneurs can establish a culture of innovation and co-creation within a company itself. By bringing together employees from across functions and engaging with them, it creates an internal innovation program, helping unleash the full potential and talent of employees.

Disruption waits for no-one

The digital age has already caused several market disruptions, causing manufacturers to start seeking to disrupt themselves before somebody does it for them. A desire to create game-changing solutions rather than incremental improvements has been ignited in many boardrooms rather than conversations of cost-cutting. Yet, driving digitization into supply chains is nearly impossible to achieve without collaboration.

The journey

The path towards successful co-innovation isn’t always a straightforward one. Oftentimes, it’s more about the journey than the final destination. It involves a combination of trust, contractual agreements, information security policing and common sense to make it work. Rapid prototyping cycles are reliant on constant and near-immediate feedback, with all parties integral to the process.

Co-innovation, when done right, has rewards that are worth the effort. With the rise of consumer expectations and macro-environmental factors continuing to challenge manufacturers, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that safety and inspiration comes in numbers. Interested in co-innovating with GrayMatter? Let’s talk.

One bitcoin is now worth over $11,000

The value of cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed 2,174% throughout 2017, with bitcoin representing over half of the total market cap. A new milestone was hit as the value of bitcoin has shot up from $8k to $10k in just eight days, taking the internet by storm.

Just 24 hours after this was announced, its value has shot up to over $11k, said the Coin Telegraph. No asset has ever risen in such a short amount of time, according to TechCrunch. This is leading to speculations of the beginning of a trillion dollar industry, and the biggest thing to happen in technology since the internet was invented.

Source: Coin Telegraph

Yet, despite not being able to open Twitter or turn on the news without hearing about bitcoin, it has a low number of adopters. Many are still clueless about what a bitcoin is, what it does or how to purchase one, including those on Wall Street. The future for bitcoin is still uncertain, being apart of a new and unexplored aspect of digital cryptocurrency.

It could eventually replace gold and all other monetary means, or it’ll crash to zero tomorrow; who knows?

Testing The IoT Waters: How GE Partner GrayMatter Created A Smart Drinking Fountain

Originally published in CRN

Solution provider GrayMatter is navigating the turbulent IoT waters, using its technical expertise and operational technology background to successfully deploy connected drinking fountains in public places like schools.

“We did a connected smart water fountain [with DC Water] – people think of that as a [classic] IoT application,” GrayMatter CEO James Gillespie told CRN. “That’s a good example because it combines a whole bunch of innovation.”

The Pittsburgh-based GE partner worked with the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority to create drinking fountains that monitor water quality and flow in real-time, which gives users more confidence in the water they are drinking while saving money spent on maintenance and testing.

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The smart drinking fountains, which will initially be installed in hospitals, daycare centers and schools, are equipped with sensors that use real-time data and analytics to monitor water quality and flow levels. The sensors then send that data to the cloud and back with alerts if water quality measurements begin to deteriorate.

The smart sensor drinking fountain, a co-innovation product by GrayMatter and DC Water.

Gillespie said the flow and water quality sensors give an accurate indicator of when the lead filter should be changed compared to traditional filters — like refrigerator filters — that measure flow only.

If water quality begins to deteriorate, alerts are sent by text or email to water managers, while a “change filter” message alerts maintenance so they don’t have to estimate when lead filters should be changed.

“It’s IoT and the value of the network, so when you have multiple drops on the network you can now get like a Google map picture of the water quality instead of the traffic with blue, yellow and red signifying how the water quality is in different points of consumption,” said Gillespie. “At the same time we’ve made the devices intelligent so they check their own quality, and they try to clean themselves and let someone know if they need help being cleaned. It’s kind of a confluence of all these things that weren’t possible coming together.”

The connected drinking fountains are also programmed to shut off at a set water quality level until maintenance staff make the necessary corrections.

Gillespie said in many IoT projects, the solution provider is beginning to look at its customers as not just an end-user, but co-innovators: “When we work with someone like Washington DC Water, we’re really a co-innovation partner with them. So if you asked them, they’d say they come to us when they’re looking to solve a problem they couldn’t solve before, and they come to us to find out the art of the possible,” he said.

An essential part of the solution GrayMatter brought to the table was not only its knowledge of sensors, data analytics and cloud-based solutions – but its market expertise around digital utilities.

The knowledge of water and wastewater issues – like collection systems, regulations, water quality and utility management – helped the company better understand the outcomes that DC Water wanted and needed.

Interested in learning more?

Check out our white paper on water innovations and read more on IoT in water, game-changing technologies and more customer success stories:

Read More About Water

 

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