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IoT battle begins at Edge

It is estimated that in 2018 there will be over 31 billion connected ‘edge’ devices globally, making this year the one where the Internet of Things (IoT) truly begins to dominate. The proliferation of connected devices and the evolution of dumb devices to smart devices has seen IoT becoming vertically focused, coining on several focused terms.

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These include Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT); Internet of Robotic Things (IORT); Internet of Automotive things (IoAT); Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) and Internet of Everything (IoE).

Jeremy Potgieter, Eseye, SADC regional head and the only AWS IoT-focused strategic partner, says that the growth is indicative of the ever changing landscape and transformation of the way industries are doing business. He says that AWS and secure scaling is a good example of where things are going: “Industry has identified that there are efficiencies to be gained from gathering and utilising data that devices and services are sharing as part of their normal way of work. This also extends to devices, which were intended for personal communication.”

Mobile networks are a reaping the benefits of this evolution according to Potgieter. He says that it’s primarily as a result of an intense focus by MNOs to increase data speeds and analytic components: “The opportunity opens up new avenues for creativity to flourish and for MNOs to further benefit by becoming integral to the ecosystem of devices sharing and delivering the information. It is off the back of this component that Eseye, as a managed connectivity partner, with over 440 mobile networks, further enhances this aspect. By ensuring uptime, and ease of deployment through its multi network access mechanisms, it is geared to set the standard for mobile devices in the IoT landscape.”

Further impacting the industry is the fact that more devices are crossing the line between personal and business, while users and companies alike have realised the benefits of this flexibility. Both, as a result, are capatilising on the capabilities it affords them and people are doing more by doing the same, but with an aspect of a connected device in the equation. Potgieter says that the spinoff is greater amounts of data and statistics: “This feeds analytics at an organisational level, and in so doing, creates new, versatile and informed environments with a caveat to innovative product and service creation.”

Good and effective IoT examples begin with challenges and end in goals. As a dynamic technology, often new opportunities arise while addressing the original purpose. According to Potgieter, in most cases, these revolve around tapping into new revenues, mainly customer-facing and often collaborative in an ‘as a service economy’.

He says that smart devices are constantly sending and sharing information about movement, health and other related activities. It is thus safe to assume that the information gathered has a vast array of uses and possibilities: “One way is to document all this information is on an interactive smart band, which could be utilised for health applications and could be seamlessly integrated to medical practitioners, hospitals and emergency services.”

Consumer applications in the Internet of Things (CIoT) already offers several benefits globally: “More responsive services; shorter feedback loops; remote fixes; greater convenience; better decision making support; improved allocation of resources and verification of behaviour,” says Potgieter.

Using the above scenario, but applied to industries such as logistics, agriculture and manufacturing, gaps would immediately be identified that could be filled by the inherent data shared from these devices: “We have already seen advancement of services through apps like IntegreatMe, which acts as a medium between citizens and governmental departments like home affairs, road services and utilities. The divide is narrowing on delivery and capability through third party over the top players,” says Potgieter.

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AppDate: DStv taps Xbox, Hisense

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DStv Now for Xbox and Hisense

Usage of DStv Now, the online DStv service available free to DStv customers, is increasing rapidly with more than two million plays of live and Catch Up content per week. In addition to using DStv Now to watch TV on tablets and smartphones, an increasing number of DStv customers are also opting to use it as their primary method of getting DStv on additional TVs in the house. This is set to increase with the release of two new big-screen TV apps, one for Xbox gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X) and another for Hisense smart TVs (2018 and newer models).

Expect to pay: A free download.

Platform: Any of the Xbox One range of gaming consoles and 2018 or later Hisense smart TVs.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your Xbox console or HiSense smart TV.

Santam Safety Ideas

Start-up businesses that have a FinTech or InsurTech business venture brewing are called to enter the third annual Santam Safety Ideas competition. Safety solutions or InsurTech ventures that are ready for piloting could win up to  R150 000 worth of incubation support and R200 000 in seed funding. 

The Safety Ideas competition was launched two years ago in partnership with LaunchLab,  Stellenbosch University’s startup incubator that facilitates valuable connections for corporates and startups sourced from the startup ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa. The previous winners are Herman Bester and Anton Swanevelder, co-founders of MyLifeLine – a wearable panic device that won the competition last year; and Ntsako Mgiba and Ntandoyenkosi Shezi, co-founders of Jonga – a cost-effective security system for low income families, which won the competition in 2017.

Entries close on 28 February 2019. For more information on how to enter, visit: www.santam.co.za/safetyideas/

Click here to read about the FNB Snapchat lens, Spotify Free with data saver, and 00:37.

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Fortnite fixes hackers’ hole

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Epic Games has repaired a vulnerability that exposed Fortnite, the world’s most popular game of the moment, to hackers. The hole, which was left in Epic’s web infrastructure,  allowed hackers to target players with email that appeared to come from Epic Games, but would have led them to a phishing site, where their log-in details would have been stolen.

Researchers at cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software alerted Epic to vulnerabilities that could have affected any player of the hugely popular online battle game.

Fortnite has nearly 80 million players worldwide. The game is popular on all gaming platforms, including Android, iOS, PC via Microsoft Windows and consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  In addition to casual players, Fortnite is used by professional gamers who stream their sessions online, and is popular with e-sports enthusiasts.

If exploited, the vulnerability would have given an attacker full access to a user’s account and their personal information as well as enabling them to purchase virtual in-game currency using the victim’s payment card details. The vulnerability would also have allowed for a massive invasion of privacy, as an attacker could listen to in-game chatter as well as surrounding sounds and conversations within the victim’s home or other location of play. 

While Fortnite players had previously been targeted by scams that deceived them into logging into fake websites that promised to generate Fortnite’s ‘V-Buck’ in-game currency, these new vulnerabilities could have been exploited without the player handing over any login details.

Click here to read how the Fortnite hack would have worked.

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