10 months ago

Smart Industry 1/2018

Smart Industry 1/2018 - The IoT Business Magazine - powered by Avnet Silica


Smart solutions Smart Products Misfit A smartwatch with a difference As hybrid smartwatches go, the Misfit Command has the power and connectivity of many of its peers – but it has the look of a stylish, classical analog watch. The 44 mm diameter case is 15 mm deep and is crafted from stainless steel in matte finish with a polished top ring. For the strap there are four options: stainless steel, leather, sport, or nylon. Battery life is amazingly long and the removable cell will last up to a year. Even if the reality is only half of the specified estimate, it’s still pretty good. The watch is also water and shock resistant. On the features front, Command can give customized notifications for email, calls, and texts. It also has a smart button which can be set to launch your favorite function, whether it’s playing music, taking pictures, or connecting to other smart devices – or just to ring its misplaced paired phone. Among the other features are activity tracking through a three-axis accelerometer, sleep quality recording, customizable vibration notifications, smart alarms, and movement reminders. The activity function can be toggled to show progress towards your daily goals for footsteps taken, distance traveled, or calories burnt, and recorded data can be sent to the smartphone. Three of the Command versions are available from the Misfit webstore for €150 but the stainless-steel version is €20 more. Ikea Talk to your Ikea lamps Since Ikea is known for offering affordable furniture for everybody, it’s not surprising that speech control added to its smart lighting addresses all common systems. Consequently, its voice system works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as with Apple’s Home app and Siri. “With Ikea Home Smart we challenge everything that is complicated and expensive with the connected home. Making our products work with others on the market takes us one step closer to meeting people’s needs, making it easier to interact with your smart home products,” says Björn Block, business leader for Ikea Home Smart. Ikea Smart Lighting is a plug-and-play solution. Replacing a light bulb with a Trådfri LED bulb makes it immediately available for remote control. By using the Trådfri app or the hand control, lighting moods can be designed by dimming and setting a color tone from warm to cold. The system also integrates seamlessly with other compliant accessories from Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa accessories such as thermostats, door locks, sensors, ceiling fans, shades, and more. Ikea also announced that there will be additional launches in the near future, enabling people to build onto their smart home solution. Crownstone Crownstones light up your life You can find lots of kits out there that are built to make homes smarter without much installation but Crownstone plugs, developed in the Netherlands, can do a lot more than many competing products by using Bluetooth Low Energy signals. Built-in AI means the plugs can identify connected items by their power consumption and create a Bluetooth map of rooms in a house. The plugs come in two basic formats. One is an adapter which plugs into the wall socket and allows other devices to be plugged into it; the other is a small invisible unit that can be internally mounted in the socket by an electrician. Whichever version is chosen, they are able to switch on the lights as soon as a person carrying a smart device enters the room – and turn them off again when the person leaves. Energy-hungry devices will be switched off automatically when nobody is at home and household tools, like irons, can be made childproof by being prevented from working if no adult is present. The plugs can also be controlled remotely via a smartphone. The Crownstone kit containing two power plugs is available for €90 from the company’s webstore. They are only currently available for round European 240 V power outlets but other versions may appear over time. Similarly, the system is open source so time may see extra functionality added to the plugs. Vrvana Mixed reality from Apple So far, the Canadian startup Vrvana has only shown prototypes of its augmented reality headset, currently called Totem. These were impressive enough to earn it a best in show award at CES 2017 but it looks like we may see more soon following a $30m takeover by Apple. Differing from other AR sets, like Microsoft's HoloLens, Totem looks more like a VR headset and uses two OLED displays to show real world images, taken by integrated high-resolution cameras, which can be overlayed with elements generated by a computer or smartphone. The displays cover a very wide angle of 100 degrees, which makes the immersive experience much more realistic than is possible with VR sets, like Oculus Rift. You can never predict where Apple is heading with technologies it acquires but, as the company has said it sees augmented reality as the next major computing platform, a follow-up of the Totem will probably be an important part of Apple’s AR jigsaw puzzle. 92

Proteus Always remember to take your pill Communicating in a rather complicated way seems to be embedded in the DNA of medical engineering. When Proteus announced Abilify MyCite, it read like this: "Abilify MyCite is a drug-device combination product comprised of Otsuka’s oral aripiprazole tablets embedded with an Ingestible Event Marker (IEM) sensor. The system includes: Abilify My- Cite, the MyCite Patch; the MyCite App and web-based portals for healthcare providers and caregivers.” Prosaic, or even enigmatic, it may be – but the meaning is revolutionary. Abilify is the brand name of a drug used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A patient prescribed the pills will also be swallowing an integrated IEM sensor that's the size of a grain of sand and made from ingredients normally found in food. As soon as it contacts stomach fluids, the IEM activates and communicates to a wearable sensor integrated in the MyCite Patch worn by the patient. After activation, the IEM is digested and eliminated from the body. The patch records the date and time of the ingestion and communicates this data to the MyCite app on a mobile device. The app allows patients to view their medication ingestion and daily activity and rest levels. They may also enter their mood – important for mental health issues. With the patient’s consent, a care team or family members can be given access to the app information. Proteus is also marketing the system under the name of Proteus Discover for use with other pills and medications. Timekettle Translate live Anybody who has read the science-fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams will remember the Babel fish – an alien species with the ability to instantly translate any language when popped into the ear. Timekettle's WT2 Translator may not be a fish but it does fit the ear and can make conversations between people who don't speak the same language possible. Supplied as two earpieces in a travel case, the WT2 can work in three different modes for various communication scenarios: Auto mode allows natural conversation when each person wears an earpiece and Manual is for noisy environments with the conversation being echoed to a text version on a smartphone. Ask mode can be used when the user wants to ask a quick question. The owner uses the earpiece and holds a smartphone, running the app, like a microphone to let the helpful stranger hear and see the translated query. Timekettle claims that translation latency is between one and three seconds and the accuracy is sufficient for daily communication needs. The earpieces allow face-to-face, hands-free communication for up to six hours without recharging and the app runs on Apple or Android phones. From launch, WT2 supports English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese but additional languages will be added later through updates. Currently, the product can be preordered for $149 from the Kickstarter page for WT2 Translator but when that offer closes it will be available from Timekettle's website for $179. ProGlove Fits the industry like a glove Munich-based startup ProGlove has developed a smart glove – a plug-and-play solution for industrial warehouse stock location and identification. ProGlove has named the product Mark and it’s designed to let manufacturing and logistics staff work faster, safer, and easier. The glove replaces cumbersome barcode-reading devices and supplements its integral 2D barcode reader with touch sensors that allow process steps to be documented by simply tapping fingers. This makes tracking and tracing barcoded parcels or locating manufacturing parts as simple as a wave of the hand – the integrated electronics and barcode reader does the rest. “The close cooperation with clients such as Audi, BMW, Skoda, Mahle, and John Deere shows the enormous ergonomic and efficiency potential of ProGlove. We can save 2,000 minutes a day in one warehouse – immediately, without integrational effort,” said ProGlove founder and CEO Thomas Kirchner. Workers receive direct feedback of their operational steps via “visual acoustic haptic signals” – or in layman’s terms flashes, beeps, vibrations, and gestures. This leads to a new level of processing speed, quality, and efficiency. The integrated gesture sensors can also allow the control of machinery without physical contact. The core of Mark’s design is a complemented computer unit. The working glove attached to it can be easily replaced when it wears out. The Mark unit can be helpful in picking, quality checking, security documentation, packing, and assembling. 93