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Smart City Meetup: Lessons Learned from Singapore

wazerwcDo you live in a smart city?
Do you wish you lived in a smart city?

Every time I venture out here in Silicon Valley, I wish all sorts of data and services were readily available, on demand and in real time. I’d like my water company to tell me I have a leak, my power company to tell me how my systems are doing, my traffic lights to intelligently decide their cycles for traffic.

That is the start of a smart city.

A smart city uses connected devices and sophisticated communications to deliver innovative services, reduce costs for service providers and allow citizens to improve the running of the city. With sensors planted measuring everything from traffic congestion to street lights, from water delivery to bus route and coverage and even energy demand and pollution, a smart city can really meet the demands of the next megatrends in urban needs.… Read the rest

Inside Singapore’s Smart City Revolution

As a resident of the “Little Red Dot” city/state of Singapore I’ve grown accustomed to seeing innovation reshape infrastructure at a very fast pace. With a prime minister who can code a Sudoku solver in C, it’s not surprising that Singapore is at the leading edge of the Smart City / Smart Nation movement. As a programmer myself, it’s fascinating to see firsthand how this focus on connectivity, information and automation is improving the way we live our lives, and to imagine the endless possibilities.

singapore-oneservice-previewFor example, a few weeks ago I noticed a new app called OneService from the Municipal Services Office for reporting all sorts of problems – plumbing, potholes, electricity, littering, pets, etc. Such “Fix my Whatever” applications don’t just make it easy to notify the authorities of issues, they enable digitized reporting so agencies can effectively track their own responses and escalate situations as necessary.… Read the rest

Recap of IoT Tech Expo Central Europe 2016

Last week Solace assembled our Internet of Things swat team from Zurich, Singapore and San Francisco to participate in the IoT Tech Expo in Berlin. The conference agenda included tracks on many aspects of Smart Cities and the Industrial Internet. There were over 4000 people there and the sessions and show floor was buzzing with activity as people shared information on IoT projects and plans from all over Europe.

Sumeet Puri, one of our IoT gurus, spoke to a packed room about the several of the smart city initiatives that Solace is involved in around the world. He dug deep into the many aspects that make up the IoT ecosystem, including how to capture, analyze, store, react to, predict and manage real-time IoT events.

In a separate keynote panel session focusing on the digitalization of industry, Sumeet and representatives from Samsung, Statoil, Vodafone and Coca-Cola had a lively discussion on challenges that companies face in our increasingly connected world.… Read the rest

Is Your Company Ready for the 4th Industrial Revolution?

The World Economic Forum’s recent annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, featured a lot of discussion about a fourth industrial revolution which they say will see technologies like big data, the Internet of Things, robotics and artificial intelligence combine to drive a surge in what the WEF calls extreme automation and extreme connectivity. To the WEF, extreme automation means robots and algorithms learning and making decisions, and extreme connectivity means pervasive, close-to-instant communications.

This UBS white paper outlines the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on both society and economies. One of its main conclusions is that the key to capitalizing on this shift is flexibility. At the level of national economies, the winners will be those countries that can best adjust labor assets, educational systems, and be fluid with needed legal environments.  At the level of individual companies, the same types of issues apply to company assets. Can the company innovate within the framework of its business?Read the rest

That Pre-Crime Idea from Minority Report? It’s Happening Now

Almost daily, we are seeing real-time data and all of its associated technologies being used in creative ways that benefit society. You’ve probably seen stories of smart cities sprouting up all over the world, as communities seek to live more efficiently, and the Internet of Things has been touted as a key new asset in the fight against climate change.

In an effort to make its streets safer, police in Indianapolis have integrated their crime databases, automated real-time crime feeds and built visualization dashboards that can automatically connect the dots in ways you’ve seen in the movies and on television shows for years. But instead of the gritty street-wise cop piecing the details together, it will be the analytics engine and the data feeds doing the crime fighting.  In the Indianapolis use case, since the data is shared across police departments, many communities are sharing the benefits, which are numerous and potentially game-changing for the future of local law enforcement.… Read the rest

Merging the Megatrends – Big Cloudy Things

 

For a couple of years now, the press and industry analysts have been focused on the three megatrends that will shape the future of computing. You know the script – everything is either about big data, cloud computing or the Internet of Things.

Lately I’ve seen these three trends coming together to create interesting new use cases. For example, this Forbes article makes the case that IoT is the Killer App for Big Data. The author covers two in the title, and he hits the trifecta when he points out that most of that IoT data flows through the cloud on its way to the big data store.

That’s three for three — the megatrends collapsed into one use case.

In our business, we see the same pattern emerging. We see all kinds of use cases tapping into the IoT at some point, everybody’s moving some (or lots) of their infrastructure to some variation of the cloud, and data volumes are climbing as both a cause and effect of all this change.… Read the rest

Infographic: Real-Time Information and The Data Deluge

In our industry, the meaning of terms often shift over time. Case in point, the term “real time” has been around for decades, but its meaning has changed several times.

Initially, the term real time was used in high performance computing circles to describe problems that required correlation between events within a latency budget. For example, a high-tech manufacturing process step that needs to be altered within 3 milliseconds of a given condition being identified. Those real-time computing systems were optimized for timing predictability.

Later, the term real time came to mean up-to-the-minute or second information – kind of the opposite of batch oriented. At the time, batch was still the dominant architecture for sharing information across systems and geographies due to the high cost of adequate WAN bandwidth and computing power. Making any system real time required serious cost justification, otherwise, batch prevailed.… Read the rest

A Real-Time Renaissance for Oil and Gas

A new report from energy industry analyst Technavio says the future of the oil and gas business is about embracing real-time information in oilfield services.

From the abstract of their report, entitled Smart Oilfield IT Services market from 2015-2019:

Furthermore, the volume and detail of data generated in exploration and production need to be put into better use so that the O&G companies can gain value from the same and act upon the insights generated by data produced during exploration and production.

They see the growth of just the IT services in these projects (they don’t consider the growth of spend on specific technologies) at a healthy 5.93% CAGR, driven by tangible benefits to the business:

The implementation of these services enables companies to increase production, improve recovery rates, and cut capital and operating expenses. In addition, the time-to-value also gets enhanced with the implementation of these services.

This is what we’ve heard from customers and prospects in the energy industry in general, and specifically within the oil and gas sector.… Read the rest

Solace Introduces Virtual Message Router to Meet Diverse Data Movement Needs in Any Environment

Software Version of Platform Offers Deployment Flexibility by Enabling Message Routing in Datacenters, Clouds, Internet of Things, and Remote Offices

Ottawa, Ont., June 9, 2015 – Solace Systems today announced the Solace Virtual Message Router (VMR), a version of its market-leading SolOS messaging middleware platform that runs on commodity hardware instead of the company’s purpose-built appliances. The VMR lets customers deploy Solace’s data movement solution into virtually any environment, while the Solace 3530 and Solace 3560 appliances address requirements best met with dedicated hardware in datacenters.

Horizontal trends like big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, along with industry trends like Network Function Virtualization (NFV) in the telecom sector, are introducing the need to efficiently route information not just within datacenters, but in remote factories and field offices, and within cloud environments, connected vehicles, sensor arrays and smart homes.… Read the rest

Travic Offers a Glimpse into our Real-Time Future

The last several years have seen a shift from batch updates to real-time information flow, with continuous streams of small messages being sent to any number of applications and users. At the same time advances in mobile apps and web visualization technologies are enabling the presentation of real-time information in increasingly dynamic, intuitive and interactive ways. There have been few examples of the pieces coming together as well as Travic, an app that displays the current location of every train or bus in metropolitan areas around the world.

As I’ve written about previously, making real-time transit system data available is the low hanging fruit of the Internet of Things. It’s cheap and easy to put a GPS device on a bus or train, and many of our customers already use Solace to publish streaming transit or logistics data to the Internet, live apps and downstream systems that need to use, analyze or archive it.… Read the rest