The Internet of Things (IoT) brings with it enormous potential, but only if a business can get it right. Each company has its own specific set of IoT requirements and needs an infrastructure that will grow and adapt with their business. Most IoT projects struggle because they cannot scale to production, while security is an afterthought.
As a result, says network infrastructure leader Cisco, it is introducing new IoT networking products, developer tools, validated design guides and partner specialisations to deliver greater scale, flexibility and security for IoT environments.
The innovations, announced at Cisco Live 2019 in Barcelona this week, include (as supplied by Cisco):
- New IoT Networking platforms: Cisco is introducing new Catalyst industrial switches and industrial Integrated Services routers purpose-built for IoT environments. They are powered by IOS XE – the modern operating system that powers intent-based networking across the campus, branch and WAN. The new platforms are managed by Cisco DNA Center, which gives customers a single pane of glass view across their campus, branch and IoT environments.
- IoT Developer Tools: Cisco’s developer program, DevNet, features a new set of developer tools to enable customers and partners to unleash innovation at the IoT Edge. Ecosystem partners now have a consistent way to build and manage applications at the edge and enable the extra flexibility customers need to enable better business outcomes. The new IoT Developer Center is complete with learning materials, developer tools and support resources so partners can start building solutions and applications today.
- Blueprints for Utilities, Manufacturing and Remote and Mobile Assets: Working with industry partners, Cisco has created three new Cisco Validated Designs: blueprints for IoT architectures that have been tried, tested and proven to deliver business results. Cisco Validated Designs enables customers and partners to quickly accelerate from proofs of concept to successful, scaled deployments
- IoT Partner Trainings: Cisco partners are critical for successful implementation of IoT Projects. Cisco is building a global ecosystem of IoT partners by providing IoT training and specialization programs. Cisco IoT certified partners gain the highest visibility across our sales teams and customers as trusted advisors across all IoT projects. Cisco also has a rich ecosystem of industry partners, ISVs, machine builders and service providers to deliver IoT projects for customers in manufacturing, transportation, energy, retail, public sector and more.
“In IoT, the conversation is about business outcomes. It starts with secure connectivity as the foundation of every IoT deployment. By providing scale, flexibility and security, we’re turning the network into a secret weapon for our IoT customers,” said Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager, IoT at Cisco. “And, with a new DevNet IoT developer center, we’re empowering thousands of partners and developers around the world to build upon our IoT platform.”
“We closely collaborated with Cisco on Cisco’s new compact, low-power industrial router to meet the stringent environmental and safety standards used in the utilities industry,” said Didier Hinguant, telecom director, Enedis. “We operate and deploy our connected grid with thousands of Cisco routers via Field Network Director zero touch provisioning, with an agile, highly secure and future proof network using IPv6 to address our scalability constraints.”
Click here to read on, about how Intent-Based Networking is extended to the IoT Edge.
YouTube Music announces Smart Downloads, SA playlists
The service has introduced Smart Downloads which takes allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically.
The latest updates from YouTube Music, for subscribers of its Music Premium and Premium services, include a new feature that allows users to switch seamlessly between a song and its music video for an uninterrupted experience.
It has also introduced Smart Downloads which takes the work out of downloading music, allowing users to store and play hundreds of tunes offline, automatically. YouTube Music has also announced new playlists for South Africa.
The updates all reflect features that are popular on the global leader in music streaming, Spotify, and that have been key to its growth.
YouTube said in a statement on Friday: “Imagine listening to a new track by your favourite artist in the YouTube Music app and having the ability to seamlessly switch over to watch the music video – no pauses, no interruptions, just a simple tap that keeps the music flowing. This standout new feature from YouTube Music allows YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers to make a seamless transition between a song and its music video for uninterrupted listening and/or watching. Whether you’re in the mood for listening or watching (or a little of both)… it’s all here – no app switching required.”
With Smart Downloads, YouTube Music automatically saves music at night, when connected to Wi-Fi, helping subscribers to use less mobile data, enjoy a smoother updating experience and save up to 500 songs offline using Liked Songs playlist as well as other playlists and albums.
Previously, music lovers could use the Offline Mixtape feature to download up to 100 songs, specifically chosen for them based on what they listened to most on the platform. Now, with Smart Downloads, they select the number of songs they would like automatically downloaded by toggling their YouTube Music Settings. This means YouTube Music Premium subscribers with Smart Downloads enabled on their mobile devices can now access hundreds of tracks regardless of connectivity.
This feature is currently available on Android, with plans to bring it to iOS in the future.
Click here to read more about YouTube Music playlists, and find out what is inside them.
Make cars, not waste
Jaguar Land Rover is trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles.
It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12 million tonnes globally by 2050*. Today, not all of this plastic can be recycled for use in automotive applications – especially in vehicle parts that are required to meet the most exacting safety and quality standards.
Working in conjunction with chemical company, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into a new high-quality material.
The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. Importantly, it can be tempered and coloured making it the ideal sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior-surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models.
Jaguar Land Rover and BASF are currently testing the pilot phase material in a Jaguar I-PACE prototype front-end carrier overmoulding to verify it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.
Pending the outcome of the trials and progression in taking chemical recycling to market readiness, adoption of the new premium material would mean Jaguar Land Rover could use domestically derived recycled plastic content throughout its cars without any compromise to quality or safety performance**.
Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.
“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle. The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy.”
This is the latest example of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to addressing the challenge of waste plastic. The company has collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options that are both luxurious and sustainable. The high-quality material, available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, combines a durable wool blend with a technical suedecloth that is made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle.
Jaguar Land Rover has already met its 2020 target for Zero Waste to Landfill for UK operations. This includes the removal of 1.3 million m2 – equal to 187 football pitches – of plastic from its manufacturing lineside and replacing 14 million single use plastic items in business operations.
Together, these efforts are driving towards Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for Destination Zero; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly-changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.
** All Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles tested have achieved a Euro NCAP 5* rating.