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Study: Almost 50% of companies have established IoT strategies; more

News briefs: New study from Constellations Research shows 19% of companies have IoT projects in production and almost 30% are piloting projects. Plus, Apple and GE partner on IoT.

IoT investment strong, according to Constellation survey

Organizations are “charging ahead” with investments in IoT while remaining cautious about artificial intelligence, according to Constellation Research’s 2017 Digital Transformation Survey of more than 100 C-level executives. Nearly half of the respondents said their organization either had an established IoT strategy with applications in production (19%) or have pilot projects underway (28%). Just one-quarter of executives indicated that they were investing in AI technology. Constellation said high levels of IoT adoption signal that “more businesses are making the transition to digital by employing IoT to change their business models to sell services or outcomes.” However, Constellation expects investment in AI to increase by 2018, as organizations leverage IoT and AI together to provide the foundation for fully functional, intelligent business models.

Apple and GE partner on IoT

Apple and GE will make a new Predix software development kit (SDK) for iOS available on Oct. 26, giving developers the tools to build industrial IoT apps on Predix that users can access on iOS devices. For example, a Predix app could notify a worker on his or her iPhone of a potential issue with equipment such as a wind turbine and allow the worker to collaborate with remote teams when performing inspections and repairs. “Together, Apple and GE are fundamentally changing how the industrial world works by combining GE’s Predix platform with the power and simplicity of iPhone and iPad,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press release announcing the partnership. What’s more, GE will also develop its own apps on Predix leverging the iOS SDK. GE will standardize on iPhone and iPad for mobile devices and also promote Mac as a choice for its global workforce of more than 330,000 employees. Apple will promote GE’s Predix as the industrial IoT analytics platform of choice to its customers and developers, according to the press release.

Samsung launches NB-IoT connected smart tag

Samsung, which held its annual developers’ conference in San Francisco this week, released its Connect Tag, which uses NB-IoT network technology, the cellular communication standard for small data utilization and low power consumption, to enable GPS-tracking services for any item it is tagged with. The tags are small -- measuring just 4.21 centimeters wide and 1.19 centimeters thick. They earned an IP68 water and dustproof rating (a standard used to determine the level of dust and water resistance) and have a battery life of up to a week without a charge. Samsung said these attributes make it ideal for clipping it to a backpack, a dog’s collar or a set of keys.

LoRa Alliance releases new specifications to drive IoT deployments

The LoRa Alliance released its latest technical specifications to kick off the organization’s 9th All Members Meeting taking place in Suzhou, China, and hosted by telecommunications equipment and systems vendor ZTE. The group, which has more than 500 members, is a global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN standard for IoT low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs). New features in the latest specification releases include support for enabling IoT devices to connect to and move between LPWANs globally. The alliance said in a press release that the new features are crucial to its mission to standardize LPWANs globally and drive widespread adoption of the LoRaWAN protocol as the de facto standard for IoT connectivity.

Searching for the smartest city? Google’s on it

Sidewalk Labs, a division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, inked a deal with the government agency Waterfront Toronto that could result in the largest smart city in North America. Sidewalk Labs will invest $50 million in a year-long planning process to redevelop 12 acres of waterfront property as a testbed for some of the 220 pages of bleeding edge technology it details in its proposal, including smart buildings, smart utilities, smart cars and smart traffic management systems. Today the site hosts just a few industrial buildings and some parking lots, according to coverage in Wired. Google will move its Toronto headquarters to the neighborhood. Plans call for eventually expanding smart development to the entire 800-acre area – and giving it a new name, Quayside.

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