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Become an IoT expert in our IoT training

Our IoT Academy offers you various training courses, workshops and certification programs which enable you to plan, implement, and roll out your solution. Since our participants have different levels of expertise, there are four types of training available: Fundamentals, Basics, Advanced, and Expert.

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, including aspects such as live data communications, data management and analysis, device management, and user management. Certain IoT building blocks can be defined within these, such as digital twins, software updates, bulk data protocols, analytics, device management, identity management, authorization management, and edge computing.

But which of these functionalities do you need for your specific project? And how can companies make sure they pick the right IoT building blocks for their specific use case?

In our workshops with customers, we encounter a wide variety of IoT use and implementation cases that, despite their singularity, display the same typical architecture. This has enabled us to identify the patterns, anti-patterns and IoT building blocks that form part of every IoT solution. We used these to create a puzzle that demonstrates how to identify reusable building blocks for IoT use cases. The next step is to assign these to different functional layers of IoT solutions, such as connectivity, storage, data processing, and interface layers.

In this video we guide you through the puzzle and show you how to structure your next IoT project.

The post The internet of 10 million things appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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Alexander Edelmann

你好(Chinese for “Hello”), I am based in Singapore and have been working as a software engineer for Robert Bosch since 2006. I am passionate about IoT and believe in open standards that determine the successful interplay between devices across various IoT platforms. That is why I actively contribute to the Eclipse IoT Vorto project, which aims to provide cloud-based tools to uniformly describe IoT devices and integrate them into various IoT platforms based on open IoT standards. My IoT geeky side apart, I enjoy Asian cuisines that allow me to practice my chopsticks skills. You can also find me on the court hitting a few tennis balls with my friends.

Looking at examples like smart factories and homes, connected devices are improving not only the cost and resource efficiency of companies but are also increasing the safety and convenience of living. With the sheer number of device and sensor manufacturers, new challenges are surfacing for the manufacturers, platforms, and integrators.

The main problem is how to ensure connected devices can seamlessly communicate with cloud platforms, regardless of the . In the past, developers have built IoT solutions that were specifically designed for a limited set of devices that had the same API. When changing the device type or switching device manufacturers the device integration required time-consuming refactoring to work with the new device.

Imagine you plan to integrate an IoT solution for asset tracking on a large crop farm. You not only want to keep track of the current location but also temperature and acceleration of the tractors, plows, and other agricultural devices.

Two questions surface when thinking about choosing the right IoT devices:

  • How can we find out which devices have the type of functionality we want?
  • How can we avoid tight coupling between specific devices so it is easier to switch to a similar device without too much refactoring?

This is where the open source Eclipse Vorto steps in.

Introducing Eclipse Vorto

Source: Eclipse Vorto

Eclipse Vorto provides an abstraction layer called the Vorto Information Model, and a domain specific language (DSL) which describes all the meta-information, like properties and functions, of a connected device.

By adding a layer of abstraction, we create a consistent interface that allows us to use different types of devices with similar functionality.

The Eclipse Vorto project is built on four main components:

  • Vorto DSL: The Vorto DSL is a readable and easily understood domain-specific language that was specifically designed to be usable even by non-developers. It is used to create the abstract models of different devices.
  • Metamodel: The metamodel is used to define the relationship between the different entities like Information Models, Function Blocks, and Datatypes.
  • Code Generators: Based on the DSL and metamodels, the code generators provide a sophisticated but simple way to create source code for a convenient integration of the defined IoT devices with an IoT solution platform.
  • Vorto Repository: The repository is used to store, manage, and distribute the created Information Models and Function Blocks for re-use.

Eclipse Vorto is fully open source and developed within the Eclipse IoT Working Group under the stewardship of Bosch.

Tim Grossmann

As a German computer science student, I have taken on assignments in 3 different departments at Bosch over the last one and a half years. I’m particularly interested in Open Source and EduTech technologies. I believe that the IoT and automation have a huge potential to both change and improve the way people live, work, and enjoy life. A passionate learner and developer, I’m always keen to learn new skills and tooling. In addition to my regular work, I have built and now maintain the world’s largest free open-source automation bot for Instagram. In my free time, I enjoy climbing outings with friends and travel in foreign countries.

Eclipse Vorto in practice

Let’s look at a more specific example to understand this abstraction better. Imagine an agriculture business that wants to keep track of the vehicles and assets used to collect the wheat crops. On larger farms with several harvesters, tractors, and other assets, we want to know the amount of time each vehicle was used and its location history.

When combining this kind of information with temperature and humidity values, we can enable a smart maintenance plan for all the vehicles and assets. The location of each vehicle and asset also provides us with anti-theft capabilities.

One of the solutions that provides this kind of functionality is the Asset Tracing Solution (TRACI) from Bosch.

Source: Bosch Software Innovations

In order to create a digital model of this specific device, we need to have some basic building blocks which will be used to assemble the TRACI Information Model.

One of the most important components of the tracking device is the battery. To be able to monitor the battery state of each device we can describe the state in what is called, a Function Block.

A Function Block is a generic model that can be reused later on in other device Information Models.

We can define one like this:

namespace org.eclipse.vorto version 1.0.0 displayname "Battery" description "Functionblock for Battery" category peripheral using org.eclipse.vorto.Voltage ; 1.0.0 functionblock Battery extends org.eclipse.vorto.Voltage { status { mandatory remainingCapacity as float <MIN 0, MAX 100> } }

Here we describe a Function Block that abstractly describes some entity that contains a mandatory numerical value between 0 and 100.

Since our status is a percentage value, we can further abstract this to, again, make the distinct components reusable. Therefore, we will create what is called a Datatype. Here we can define an entity (Percentage in this case) that has the same restrictions of being a numerical value between 0 and 100.

namespace org.eclipse.vorto.types version 1.0.0 displayname "Percentage" description "Datatype for Percentage" category units entity Percentage { mandatory value as float <MIN 0, MAX 100> }

Once we created this Datatype, it can be imported and used inside our Battery Function Block and replaces the concrete implementation.

namespace org.eclipse.vorto version 1.0.0 displayname "Battery" description "Functionblock for Battery" category peripheral using org.eclipse.vorto.types.Percentage ; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Voltage ; 1.0.0 functionblock Battery extends org.eclipse.vorto.Voltage { status { mandatory remainingCapacity as Percentage } }

We can repeat this process for all the sensors integrated into our TRACI device like the temperature sensor, GPS, acceleration, and connectivity modules. All those Function Blocks can then be assembled in a Vorto Information Model which can then be used as the starting point for the code generators to produce device integration code stubs for you.

namespace com.bosch.ps version 1.0.0 displayname "Traci" description "Information Model for Traci" using org.eclipse.vorto.Geolocation; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Acceleration; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.MagneticStrength; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Temperature; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Battery; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Connectivity; 1.0.0 infomodel Traci { functionblocks { battery as Battery location as Geolocation acceleration as Acceleration temperature as Temperature magneticStrength as MagneticStrength bluetoothConnectivity as Connectivity lorawanConnectivity as Connectivity } }

Alright, so what do we do all this for?

Let’s say we now want to use devices from other manufacturers with similar features to the TRACI device. We’ve already created an IoT solution that integrated the TRACI device and it would be a huge pain to refactor our system to work with devices from different manufacturers.

Since we already have our Function Blocks and the Datatypes defined, we can define a new Information Model for our new device that uses the same Function Blocks as the TRACI model.

Let’s compare the TRACI model with a product with comparable functionality, the NL-AT2VS from NimbeLink.

namespace com.nimbelink.nl version 1.0.0 displayname "NLAT2VS" description "Information Model for NLAT2VS" using org.eclipse.vorto.Geolocation; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Battery; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Connectivity; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Temperature; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Humidity; 1.0.0 using org.eclipse.vorto.Acceleration; 1.0.0 infomodel NLAT2VS { functionblocks { battery as Battery acceleration as Acceleration location as Geolocation temperature as Temperature humidity as Humidity wifiConnectivity as Connectivity cellularConnectivity as Connectivity } }

We can see that even the connectivity modules are different in this model but are still using the abstract Connectivity Function Block. The abstraction allows us to

Who should use Eclipse Vorto?

Given the diversity of entities involved in manufacturing, integration, and development of IoT solutions, the entities that will benefit most from Eclipse Vorto are:

Device manufacturers

Eclipse Vorto can help device manufacturers enable interoperability with other devices in existing infrastructures. Flexibility is a huge advantage to customers when choosing devices that are to be integrated.

By using technology independent Information Models, device manufacturers avoid the overhead of generating ways of implementations for all kind of target platforms. This saves money and time by publishing Information Models that can be converted into concrete integrations using the code generators.

The big advantage of using Eclipse Vorto is that further evolutions of the device protocol layer are decoupled from the device controller logic.

Source: Eclipse Vorto
IoT platforms

IoT platforms have to connect a vast variety of different IoT devices from a wide range of manufacturers and support all the different protocols and formats. By using Eclipse Vorto’s code generators, this effort can be reduced drastically through either partial or full source code generation.

In addition, the Vorto Repository acts as a runtime repository which allows platforms to retrieve device capabilities as JSON schema. These schemas can then be interpreted and validated in the digital twin or used to bootstrap connectors for the communication.

Even though this means increased initial development work, it will pay off over time considering the vast amount of devices and the growth of IoT.

Solution developers

When integrating connected devices and smart sensors into IoT solutions, developers need to cover a wide range of different device APIs which results in a huge coding overhead. Eclipse Vorto can reduce the amount of development work involved by providing code generators that provide generic code stubs that simplify the integration of devices.

Source: Eclipse Vorto
Glancing into the future of the IoT

By guaranteeing interoperability and harmonizing the interface for devices, Eclipse Vorto has the potential to change the way device manufacturers, IoT platform operators and application developers work with IoT devices.

It can reduce the development work for manufacturers and ease the device integration for platform providers and integrators while tackling many of the mentioned challenges of IoT development.

If you want to learn more about the project, make sure to check out the GitHub repository and give it a star.

You can also give it a try and use the sophisticated tutorials for device creation, integration, and visualization provided in the Vorto Repository.

The post How manufacturers implement the Secure Product Fingerprint appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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What is the Bosch IoT Suite?

With the Bosch IoT Suite, we provide our customers and partners with a comprehensive software platform for applications in the IoT.

Learn more

In this case it is the number of devices that Bosch Software Innovations and its customers have connected to the Bosch IoT Suite to date, in more than 250 IoT projects around the world. This number went up by around 20 percent between 2018 and 2019 alone.

The open and flexible software platform provides the technological basis for applications in the Internet of Things. The more than ten million connected “things” include gateways in buildings, connected vehicles, and sensors in urban infrastructure or digital agriculture. The Bosch subsidiary’s playing field extends across the following growth areas for digitalization: agriculture, buildings, retail, energy, mobility, and manufacturing.

"More than ten million devices is convincing proof that we have come a long way along the road to connecting the physical and virtual world. Bosch will continue this journey together with its customers and partners."
Stefan Ferber, CEO of Bosch Software Innovations
Advocated: Market leaders opt for the Bosch IoT Suite

One of our customers in the agricultural sector is HOLMER Maschinenbau, the world’s leading provider of self-propelled combine sugar-beet harvesters. The company, headquartered near Regensburg in Germany, has developed a remote diagnosis and maintenance package for its machines called EasyHelp 4.0. HOLMER based its solution on Bosch hardware, software, and services. Bosch IoT Insights, the Bosch IoT Suite’s data management service, is a central element of this solution. HOLMER uses it to process machine data and visualize the information on a custom-designed dashboard.

Another customer who has chosen to work with the Bosch IoT Suite is MANN+HUMMEL. This company specializes in filtration technology and develops products and solutions to promote clean air and the sustainable use of water. In Asia, the Bosch IoT Suite helps MANN+HUMMEL to develop applications for monitoring filter systems in the field.

EnBW is an energy provider based in Karlsruhe, Germany. Its SMIGHT initiative was launched to develop solutions for connected urban infrastructures. One of the first products to emerge from this initiative was a multipurpose streetlight with integrated environmental sensors, a charging point for electric vehicles, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Other SMIGHT projects included developing a system for monitoring the occupation of parking spaces using in-ground sensors, which allows municipalities to assess and optimize their parking facilities. To bring all of these projects together on a single IoT platform, a unique SMIGHT solution was developed based on the Bosch IoT Suite.

The list of customers goes on and on, and includes companies such as Deutsche Telekom, The Yield, Ponsse, Hager, Busch-Jaeger, and Amdocs – as well as numerous group-internal customers including the Bosch Rexroth subsidiary in the U.S. and Bosch Japan

Source: Bosch Software Innovations
Accoladed: Analysts and users concur on the positive advantages of the Bosch IoT Suite

Not only users but also analysts rate the platform very highly. PAC, a member of the teknowlogy Group, the leading independent European market research and consulting firm in the IT sector, rated the Bosch IoT Suite as “best in class” for device management. To simulate the widest possible range of IoT scenarios, the Bosch solution supports all common types of device connectivity and communication protocols. In the teknowlogy Group’s IoT User Survey 2019, users awarded top marks to the Bosch IoT platform for security and said they were very willing to recommend the software to others.

Stefan Ferber

Stefan Ferber has been Chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Software Innovations GmbH since January 1, 2018. He has direct management responsibility for product development, business development, sales & marketing as well as HR, finance & controlling. He has more than 25 years’ experience in software development, software processes, software product lines, and software architectures for embedded systems, computer vision, and IT domains.

Read more by Stefan Ferber
Augmented functionality: Bosch adheres to a hybrid-cloud and open-source strategy

The services provided by the Bosch IoT Suite are integrated in the cloud environments that most customers prefer for their projects. Apart from the Bosch IoT Cloud, they also include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and – in China – the Huawei Cloud. The cloud providers and Bosch work together as partners to develop scalable IoT business models for their shared customers, with each contributing their respective business and technology skills.The Bosch IoT Suite is built using open-source software. Bosch is a strategic member of the Eclipse Foundation and participates in numerous open-source projects managed by the Eclipse IoT Working Group. These projects form the technological core around which the Bosch IoT Suite is built. “We firmly believe that open-source communities like the Eclipse IoT Working Group are the key to success in the IoT because a global Internet of Things can only be created on the basis of industry-wide, joint projects,” says Ferber, who represents Bosch on the Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors.

The post A guide to data monetization appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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Secure Product Fingerprint in short

The primary function of the Secure Product Fingerprint, a patented solution developed by the Bosch Corporate Research team in China, is to ensure product authenticity. It generates a unique “fingerprint” of a product and stores it in the cloud. Customers can then scan and verify a product using a smartphone, protecting against counterfeits. In addition, it provides track & trace capabilities that improve management of distribution channels and customer relationships. The Secure Product Fingerprint is currently available in China.

Global trade doesn’t always present a bright picture. Case in point: the global counterfeit market. In 2017, the global value of counterfeit goods amounted to 1.2 Trillion US Dollars, by 2020 it is expected to climb to 1.82 Trillion Dollars. A boom in counterfeit goods does have a major impact, with an estimated 323 Billion Dollars in losses being attributable to online counterfeiting alone in 2017. Alongside direct revenue losses, companies suffer reputational damage that can have long-lasting consequences. Their customers simply lose confidence in brand quality due to negative experience with fake products they believed to be genuine. This has forced companies to go to great lengths to protect their brands.

How do you ensure that only authentic products represent your brand in the market? With the launch of the Secure Product Fingerprint, Bosch Software Innovations . Developed by the Bosch Corporate Research team in China, this solution not only offers the means of distinguishing genuine products from counterfeits; by establishing a direct connection between manufacturer and customer, it also enables additional use cases.

Source: Bosch Software Innovations
The Secure Product Fingerprint offers two means of distinguishing genuine products from counterfeits.
Artificial Fingerprint: QR code with added security

Over the past few years, various ways of ensuring product authenticity have emerged – from scratch-off stickers and holograms to QR codes. While these methods have their advantages, they all also have their limitations. Scratch-off stickers are not particularly user-friendly. Hologram labels provide a straightforward way of checking if a product is genuine, but they are expensive to produce. Using QR codes is relatively cheap, but they are also easy to copy.

Enter the Artificial Fingerprint, one of the two anti-counterfeit measures the Secure Product Fingerprint solution offers. The Artificial Fingerprint builds upon a standard QR code and enhances it with embedded micro-features for added security. While in theory it might be possible to copy an enhanced QR code, this is unlikely to be economically viable – the cost of equipment required to do so exceeds one million euros. The Artificial Fingerprint thus alleviates the problem of QR codes being easily copied while retaining one of their main benefits: they are cheap to produce.

Manufacturers who want to make use of the Artificial Fingerprint can simply order the enhanced QR code labels, which are pre-registered in the database, stick them to their products and link them to the backend services in the cloud.

Source: Bosch
The Artificial Fingerprint solution builds upon a standard QR code. It provides added security thanks to its embedded micro-features.

Customers buying the product then simply scan the code with their smartphone; algorithms in the cloud take care of the rest. Since smartphone cameras are able to pick up the additional micro-features, validation does not require any special equipment. Customers have various options: they can call up a dedicated smartphone app, validate via WeChat, or use a standard QR code scanner. After scanning, the user is redirected to a webpage to validate the product.

Natural Fingerprint: a closer look at the product’s surface

What kind of camera should be installed on the production line?

It is recommended that product manufacturers use an industrial camera to ensure high quality images. Cameras meeting the requirements have a resolution of >10 Mega pixels, industrial lenses, and illumination equipment. Bosch Building Technologies, for example, has suitable cameras on offer. We are also happy to provide you with the hardware if you so require.

When comparing two visually identical products, we can safely assume that they are not clearly distinguishable from each other. But while it might be hard to differentiate them at first glance, a closer look reveals that every item possesses some unique features. Take industrial pumps as an example — there are many processes involved in their manufacture, from carving through to polishing. All of these processes leave traces on the surface that make pumps uniquely distinguishable.

These small variations form the basis of the Natural Fingerprint, the second component of the Secure Product Fingerprint solution. The way it works closely resembles the Artificial Fingerprint, except that in this case the product itself is used for validation. To implement the Natural Fingerprint, the manufacturer has to specify a surface area of the product to be used for verification and then take a picture of it. This can be done by installing a camera at the production line. The camera is then set up to automatically take a picture of the designated “fingerprint” area. The image is stored in the cloud and used for comparison later on.

When customers receive the product, they take a picture of the same area – again, a regular smartphone camera suffices. The image is then uploaded to the cloud where an algorithm compares it to the original “fingerprint” to validate the product. This method guarantees the highest protection against counterfeiting.

Additional benefits: from track & trace to CRM

Application areas of the Secure Product Fingerprint are not limited to anti-counterfeiting. The fingerprint can also be used to establish a direct connection and interaction between manufacturers, their channel partners – distributors and retailers – and customers.

The “fingerprint”, a product’s unique ID, makes it possible to trace the product from the manufacturer through the distribution channel to the customer, and even beyond – to warranty service providers. Manufacturers could encourage their channel partners to scan their products’ “fingerprints”, for example, by providing special incentives. In return manufacturers gain valuable insights into stock volumes, the movement of goods, and retailers’ performance. In this way, the Secure Product Fingerprint can help to optimize and improve sales channel management.

Source: 1
The faces behind the Secure Product Fingeprint: Robert Xie is the developer of the anti-counterfeiting solution. He has been working as a research scientist at Bosch Corporate Research since 2016. Xie coordinates various IoT projects, focusing on computer vision, V2X, smart agriculture. Before joining Bosch, he led research projects on robotics and sensor systems as Assistant Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He holds a PhD from King’s College London on sensor systems for medical robotics.
Source: 1
The faces behind the Secure Product Fingeprint: Xie Chao is product owner of the anti-counterfeiting solution. He has been working as software architect for Bosch Software Innovations since 2015. Specialized in IoT system architecture design, he has been the designer and project manager of several industry 4.0 and vehicle connectivity projects. Chao holds a master’s degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering.

The track & trace functionality of the Secure Product Fingerprint also enables manufacturers to keep track of products that are geared towards specific markets, registering diversions from the designated region.

Another benefit is improved customer relationship management (CRM). By validating a product through the Secure Product Fingerprint it can be linked to the specific customer. The customer can then be provided with additional incentives or information about the product via a dedicated app, WeChat, or a website, and can also participate in loyalty and rewards programs.

In addition, the solution can facilitate easier quality control and recall measures, alerting affected customers of a faulty batch, if required.

Another possible application area is warranty returns – the Secure Product Fingerprint can help ensure that the product is genuine and eligible for return or warranty service.

Solution availability

At present, the Secure Product Fingerprint solution by Bosch Software Innovations is being launched in China. The Artificial Fingerprint solution is ready for commercial use from the first quarter of 2019. A number of pilot projects for the Natural Fingerprint have been implemented, and its commercial availability is planned for the second quarter of 2019.

The Secure Product Fingerprint will also be rolled out to other Asian countries and territories in the future. Do you have a question regarding the solution? Want to run a proof of concept project?

The post How to reduce traffic accidents with IoT data appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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Bosch Software Innovations recently introduced the Secure Product Fingerprint, a new anti-counterfeiting solution. It provides two distinct ways of First, there is the Artificial Fingerprint – a QR code enhanced by embedded micro-features. The second option is the Natural Fingerprint, in which the surface of the product itself is used for validation.

What is more, the Secure Product Fingerprint opens up opportunities that go beyond combating counterfeits. In particular, it can be used for product tracking and enhancing customer relationship management (CRM).

What does it mean to put this solution into practice? To give you a better understanding, we talked to two manufacturers who are already implementing it.

Source: Bosch
Bosch Rexroth China is making use of the Artificial Fingerprint QR code labels.
Ensuring product authenticity in an industrial context

Products and parts used in an industrial context, such as advanced hydraulics or automation, are traditionally attractive to counterfeiters. For producers of original equipment this is a major challenge: Customers can quickly lose trust in a brand because of a bad experience with fake products. A decrease in market share is the logical consequence.

Bosch Rexroth is one of the leading specialists in drive and control technologies. It manufactures products and systems associated with the control and motion of industrial and mobile equipment. Faced with the task of protecting its customers from counterfeits, Bosch Rexroth China decided to make use of the Secure Product Fingerprint for two of its products. For one, the company uses the Artificial Fingerprint QR code labels to mark valves that are produced at its plant in Wujin. Meanwhile, at its plant in Beijing, Bosch Rexroth China is trying out the Natural Fingerprint. There, they are scanning a designated surface area of industrial pumps. The digital image of this scanned area is used for validation when the product reaches the end user.

How the Secure Product Fingerprint works

The Secure Product Fingerprint is a patented solution developed by the Bosch Corporate Research team in China. It provides two ways of ensuring product authenticity. One is the Artificial Fingerprint, a QR code with embedded micro-features that are hard to copy. The second is the Natural Fingerprint, in which small variations on a product’s surface form the basis for validation. During production, a photo of a specific area on the product is taken, which is later cross-referenced to a photo taken by the end user. To validate products using the Secure Product Fingerprint, end users only need a smartphone.

Learn more about the Secure Product Fingerprint

What drew Bosch Rexroth China to using the Secure Product Fingerprint? Shunan Cao is Sales Coordination Manager at the company. He explains: “We’ve been lacking a solution to separate genuine from fake products for a long time. Two aspects make the Secure Product Fingerprint an attractive solution for us. First of all, it’s easy to use and can be implemented quickly. The second factor is the reasonable costs – especially with regard to the enhanced QR code labels.”

The track & trace functionality of the Secure Product Fingerprint is also an interesting proposition for Bosch Rexroth China. “Leveraging data insights plays an important role for us – for example, to determine the future demand of our customers,” Cao says. “We rely heavily on our installed base – especially when it comes to retrofitting solutions or providing additional services. However, we sell many products through distributors and not directly to customers. Using the track & trace functionality of the Secure Product Fingerprint would allow us to gain valuable information about the end users of our products – for example, in which regions they are located.” Bosch Rexroth China is currently evaluating and testing the track & trace functionality to determine its full potential.

Using the Secure Product Fingerprint to improve customer relationships

Source: Bosch
Bosch Smart Life Technology is using the Artificial Fingerprint for its smart locks to improve customer relationships.

The Secure Product Fingerprint can also be used to improve a company’s relationship with its customers. Take Bosch Smart Life Technology in China as an example. This is a startup organization within Bosch China which offers consumer electronics, intelligent hardware and medical devices. Among other things, the company produces smart door locks. “In our market the after-sales experience is very important,” says Alex Xu, Product Owner of smart locks at Bosch Smart Life Technology.

Nevertheless, Bosch Smart Life Technology does not sell directly to their customers; they rely on partners. To bridge the gap to their customers, Bosch Smart Life Technology has now turned toward the Artificial Fingerprint solution. By sticking the enhanced QR code labels on the smart locks, it not only becomes , but as Xu notes: “When a customer scans the QR code, an immediate connection is established. We can then inform them directly about other products or services related to the lock.”

"Thanks to the Secure Product Fingerprint, an immediate connection with the customer is established. We can then inform them directly about other products or services related to the lock."
Alex Xu, Product Owner of smart locks at Bosch Smart Life Technology

The Artificial Fingerprint also comes in handy in regard to the product’s warranty. Xu explains: “A customer can now confirm that he or she bought the original product simply by scanning the QR code. Since their information is stored in the cloud, they can easily prove that they are eligible to receive warranty services. They no longer have to go looking for the invoice to prove that they bought the product.”

Stay in the loop

The Secure Product Fingerprint solution by Bosch Software Innovations is currently available in China. The Artificial Fingerprint solution is ready for commercial use from the first quarter of 2019. The commercial availability of the Natural Fingerprint is planned for the second quarter of 2019. Want to know more about this solution?

The post How manufacturers implement the Secure Product Fingerprint appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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Increased demand for power for electric vehicles and growth in renewable energy sources are just two examples of the changes currently impacting the energy market. For energy suppliers such as the German utility EnBW, this opens up new business opportunities. Back in 2014, EnBW established its Innovation Campus in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. The goal was to foster corporate startups that would then develop new business opportunities within the changing business environment in the energy sector.

Moving towards the Internet of Things

One of the startups born of this initiative is SMIGHT, a company focused on . The team at SMIGHT quickly identified a number of key topics for city infrastructure and energy distribution. These include issues such as citizen connectivity, environment monitoring stations, and systems for charging electric vehicles.

The initial SMIGHT product was a multipurpose streetlight with environment sensors, a charging point for electric vehicles, and Wi-Fi support. Since then, SMIGHT has broadened its focus and now has a range of smart-city solutions on offer. These include a parking solution with ground sensors so that municipalities can monitor and optimize the use of parking spaces.

It wasn’t long before SMIGHT was wondering how these different solutions might be unified on a single technical foundation. The answer was to create a dedicated IoT platform. “We wanted to connect different systems and generate data flows between the many different pieces of a complex jigsaw puzzle,” says Ralf Rapude, IT project lead at SMIGHT. Openness was a key consideration from the very beginning: the aim was to deliver simple connectivity between various devices and to be able to integrate different types of solutions. “Either we develop things ourselves or we take something we find on the market and then integrate it within our IoT infrastructure – we don’t mind which,” Rapude explains.

Source: Bosch Software Innovations
Building an IoT platform

From the word go, the SMIGHT team knew they needed hardware and software that would scale to their needs. Along with scalability for data processing and data storage, they also required the ability to manage large numbers of deployed devices. Finally, they wanted a vendor with a long-term commitment and an excellent level of support.

Modularity and flexibility were also key considerations. The modular OSGi framework therefore seemed an obvious choice. “Given our preference for open standards, it was clear we needed an OSGi platform in one form or another,” Rapude says. “It also made sense in terms of risk management. Looking toward the future, we aren’t locked in to one vendor.”

After careful evaluation, SMIGHT opted for the Bosch IoT Suite for their device-management and edge-computing requirements. “What impressed us about Bosch was that their product was developed over a long period of time, so we were pretty sure it wasn’t going to be decommissioned very soon,” Rapude explains. “There are quite a few products that show up on the market, get a lot of hype for a short period of time, then drop off the radar again. The Bosch solution had been around for quite a while, and that was what convinced us.”

"Given our preference for open standards, it was clear we needed an OSGi platform in one form or another. It also made sense in terms of risk management. Looking toward the future, we aren't locked in to one vendor."
Ralf Rapude, IT project lead at SMIGHT
Looking ahead

SMIGHT plans to roll out up to 20,000 devices over the next five years. At present, Bosch IoT Remote Manager is deployed on Microsoft Azure. The platform runs on a Docker infrastructure in order to help with scalability and reliability. The team is also looking at using the MQTT protocol to improve speed and reliability when transmitting messages from the device.

All in all, SMIGHT is highly satisfied with the Bosch partnership. “Bosch Software Innovations has played a crucial role,” Rapude says. “They understood our business, which meant they were flexible with licensing and able to provide the right level of technical support for our needs. And using the Bosch IoT Suite meant that we didn’t need to implement the technology ourselves. In other words, we were able to rely on the experts at Bosch Software Innovations to provide the technology that powers our solution.”

The post EnBW/SMIGHT implements IoT solutions with the Bosch IoT Suite appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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"Like the oil industry, there will be those who make money through the raw materials and those that add value along the many steps in the value chain."
Zach Gemignani, CEO Juice Analytics

This shows very nicely that there is not only one way to generate value by selling resources, but also to apply value-adding steps to make this resource even more valuable. By this you see that you’ve got different approaches to monetize your data and thus have the possibility to make a positive and measurable impact on your business revenue. Essential for direct data monetization is matchmaking between the right stakeholders.

According to Gartner, there are two main approaches to profit from your data:

  • Direct data monetization: You provide direct access to your data (e.g. data sets or APIs) in exchange for money or cryptocurrencies (e.g. $$$ or IOTA)
  • Indirect data monetization: You use insights to improve your business, create complete new services and business models based on the data you get from your products or services

But how you want to or will monetize your (and other´s) data really depends on how valuable your data is for your business in a strategic context. And also other guidelines, such as legal or data privacy policies will have an impact on your strategy, whether it is about direct or indirect data monetization.

Direct data monetization

Source: Unsplash/Markus Spiske

If you want to monetize your data directly, your data very likely is not a strategic asset for you or you might lack the resources to leverage it for new products or services by yourself. Another option is that you are open for collaboration and innovation — which is great as a contribution to vivid ecosystems where the partners profit from each other´s contributions. And, no matter why you are open to offering your data, the point is that there likely are consumers out there that are interested in using your data and are willing to pay for it.

Great that you are not only selling your data, furthermore you will gain direct revenue that contributes to your organization´s success. And keep in mind, there might be boundaries such as legal requirements and data privacy policies that you need to overcome. However, this should not hinder you in the first place to think about monetizing your data directly. This initiative usually starts with identifying the data you are planning to offer, the target group that could be interested in consuming it and the data marketplace you want to use. Furthermore, it is necessary to define the selling options. The easiest thing you can do is sell your raw data. Another option is to sell the analysis.

Selling your raw data
There are multiple options for selling your data. It is possible to sell the data via data marketplaces. There are two main kinds of marketplaces out there:

  • Centralized marketplaces: a central platform owned by one party to trade all kinds of data between different participants
  • Decentralized marketplaces: a decentral platform that facilitates the ability of participants to engage directly with each other in peer-to-peer transactions

There are already different kinds of marketplaces in place and the one to choose depends on your requirements derived from your strategy. In addition, selling your raw data is an option to provide access for third parties to APIs in exchange for money. This might be necessary if real-time access to devices is needed.

Selling your analysis and insights
Using value-adding analysis on your raw data helps to increase the quality of information you want to sell. Not every company has the full capability of analyzing data and this is where you come into play. This kind of monetization is a win-win situation for both parties who are participating in this kind of transaction. Such value-added service can be offered via marketplaces or your own channels. It’s up to you!

Indirect data monetization

Source: Unsplash/Franki Chamaki

First of all, when you indirectly monetize your data, you likely consider it to be too valuable to sell. The data is your competitive advantage and you think of it as a strategic asset that you do not want to share with others. Just keep in mind  —  if you are too protective with your data, you might not be able to participate in ecosystems where all partners share an open mindset and offer their data from different domains to create value.

Comparable to direct data monetization, there are also two ways to utilize your own data: conduct data-based optimization or create data-driven business models.

Data-based optimization
The goal here is to mainly . This has multiple fields of application. One example could be the optimization of the test benches in your manufacturing process by reducing testing time. Another example is using field data to improve your product design. Bosch Indego designers used the data collected in the field and to create a smaller and more compact product that perfectly fits customer needs. Use these examples to think about improving your own processes and products.

Data-driven business models
With this monetization strategy, you do use your data, e.g. from products or processes, to discover new business opportunities, customer types and segments. This means developing new services or products  —  or at least enhancing your existing ones. Creating data-driven business models helps you discover radically new businesses instead of adjacent businesses. They are also valuable when it comes to diversifying your revenue streams. A good example for this is the OEE improve service from Bosch Rexroth that was developed for a specific manufacturing domain. This service uses manufacturing data to provide custom subscription-based condition monitoring services for hydraulic systems.

There are many options on how to monetize your data. It is now up to you to identify the approach that best suits your business.

If you are struggling or need guidance for generating value from your data, I will be happy to help with our data-driven business model workshops.

The post 4 food retail IoT use cases appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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Timo Gessmann

Timo Gessmann is the director of the Bosch IoT Lab. Together with his team he is working on IoT-enabled new business fields with a focus on mobility, energy and health as well as IoT business models, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

Even though the number of fatal road accidents in the European Union has fallen substantially over the last two decades, there were still almost 26,000 deaths due to road accidents in 2016. The European Commission has set itself the target of bringing this number down to close to zero by 2050.

But what IoT Lab. The goal is to prevent accidents on public roads based on IoT data. We want to make drivers aware of possible dangers in traffic before they come across them. The Avertu app – recently released to the public as a beta version – illustrates how this can work.

Avertu – an app that uses IoT data to prevent accidents

Avertu is a phone app that recognizes when a navigation app such as GoogleMaps, HERE or Waze is active. It runs in the background and provides context-specific warnings to drivers when they approach a known accident-prone location – for example a pedestrian crossing with poor visibility.

This is made possible by a digital system that correlates the car’s navigation data with information on known accident hotspots. To obtain accident data, we worked together with the Swiss road authorities, who gave our researchers access to some 270,000 accident reports that had been written up by the Swiss police in the last six years. These reports were then analyzed and clustered. It became apparent that there are specific accident hotspots; locations where many accidents have happened in the past. These hotspots are now the basis for the warnings that the Avertu app provides.

Source: Bosch IoT Lab
The Avertu app aims to prevent traffic accidents by making drivers aware of possible dangers.

But this is only half the story. Many accidents or near-accidents on public roads are not reported to the police. Taking this into consideration, Avertu not only aims to warn drivers of locations where many accidents have happened in the past but also to predict emerging accident hotspots and to warn drivers accordingly. To do so, Avertu crowd-sources and analyzes vehicle data such as hard-braking maneuvers. If, for example, there is a location where incidents of hard breaking accumulate, the app can warn drivers of these potential danger spots. The app’s developers worked on the principle of “privacy by design”. In other words, all data is encrypted and transmitted anonymously.

Does Avertu actually prevent accidents?

About the Bosch IoT Lab

The Bosch Internet of Things Lab was officially inaugurated in September 2012. It is a cooperation between the University of St. Gallen, ETH Zurich and the Bosch Group. The organizations agree that cooperation between academia and industry is the ideal setting for exploring the opportunities offered by the Internet of Things.

The Bosch IoT Lab has been working on the topic of reducing accidents on public roads for two and half years now. During this time, various field studies were conducted in Switzerland. Altogether, the trial users drove close to 1 million kilometers using the Avertu app. Our observations showed that drivers using the app tended to drive more smoothly. They reduced the speed of their vehicle before reaching a hotspot and there were also fewer instances of heavy breaking. In essence, we were able to show that by bringing in IoT technology and offering a warning service, we are indeed able to change the behavior of car drivers and prompt them to drive more safely.

What’s next for Avertu

The Avertu app was made publicly available in Switzerland as a beta version at the beginning of 2018. By issuing a beta version, we wanted to make sure that we are heading in the right direction. In the end, we want to offer a fully fledged service, of course. The PhD team behind Avertu, André Dahlinger, Ben Ryder and Bernhard Gahr, who did the research and development of this solution at the Bosch IoT Lab, is now preparing to launch a start-up – a spin-off if you will – to bring Avertu to the market.

Our next goal is to bring this solution to other countries. Therefore, the Bosch IoT Lab is in touch with the German Federal Highway Research Institute and the European Union. We want to support the “EU Vision Zero” by helping to make public roads safer.

The post How to identify the right IoT platform? Ask the users! appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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IoT use cases for food retailers

Together with retailers, we identified use cases to meet their goal of increased customer satisfaction and cost efficiency.

Read use cases

Even though retail digitization efforts started quite some time ago, the areas of application are getting more diverse. Traditionally, digitization efforts in food retail evolve around optimizing logistics and in-store processes. The goal here is to be able to deliver products to consumers as fast as possible, reduce heating costs, avoid food spoilage, comply with legislation, and much more.

Today, we see that food retailers are aiming to improve the customer in-store shopping experience. The retail market has traditionally been a cost-driven industry. However due to competitive pressures from online-shopping and low-cost providers, retailers are looking for ways to offer a better customer experience. For instance, how they can reduce waiting times at the reverse vending machine or at the checkout.

"I want to deliver the best-in-class shopping experience to my customers powered by new technologies..."
Insight from an interview with a store manager
Edge and cloud computing for IoT

We have compiled a guide on how edge computing complements the cloud on IoT.

Read the white paper
Smart technologies enable IoT use cases

For instance, thanks to smartphones, staff can be automatically notified anytime and anywhere within the store or back office. This is particularly helpful when it comes to optimizing in-store operations. Remote monitoring of devices and notification of equipment errors are some examples. Store equipment, such as refrigerators and reverse vending machines, is being equipped with sensors. This makes it easier to create a connected store. Finally, edge computing is making it easier to connect different store equipment with cloud computing. This makes it possible to create new processes and applications for the store.

IoT for food retailers: from WiFi to process automation

We talk a lot with different food retailers in order to get a feeling of how far they are in the digitization process. What makes the discussion about digitization quite challenging is that the retail market is very fragmented. Although some retailers are organized with a central headquarter, most of them are operating as a decentralized cooperative, which makes a cross-regional digitization approach difficult. For every retailer, food and non-food, IoT and digitization mean something slightly different. It often raises the question: what is “IoT in retail”?

For some food retailers, IoT and digitization merely means to renew the equipment in their store, establish a reliable WiFi connection or install electronic shelf labels.

Other companies are talking about “real” IoT use cases. They plan to connect their entire store to make their equipment ‘smart’. From the connected equipment, they will be able to collect and aggregate the device data that can be used to create dashboards and visualizations. Other food retailers consider this level of visualization only as the first step. For them, the long-term goal is the automation of certain in-store processes triggered by connected devices.

"Device data plays an important role. But at the moment we are not able to interpret most of it."
Insight from an interview with a store manager
IoT for food retailers: bringing together different device manufactures

One major challenge for food retailers is that their store equipment is provided by a collection of different hardware vendors. There are cooling devices, bake-off stations, temperature sensors, air-conditioning, store lightings, reverse vending machines, and many others. But even within one IoT use case, retailers need to connect devices from various hardware vendors.

Connecting devices from different vendors, requires the retailers to individually negotiate with each vendor for the same use case. Also, every one of these vendors will bring their own dashboard to visualize and analyze the data. If a store manager has a problem with the cooling unit of one vendor, he or she needs to login to the vendors’ dashboard. For another cooling unit, he or she will have to login to a completely different platform. This can create an enormously complex environment for a store manager.

"Bringing together the 5-6 dashboards of each device manufacturer will generate real business value."
Insight from an interview with a store manager

In order to solve this complexity, food retailers require a solution that is able to communicate with all the different vendors and allows them to monitor different hardwares from a single dashboard. They require one platform, which enables them to control the complete hardware environment in one store.

This brings about the long-term goal of some food retailers. They require a solution that allows them to monitor all devices and machines, and automatically triggers action in case a pre-defined situation occurs.

One example might be the reverse vending machines. Once the machine becomes 80% full, the system sends a push notification via email, text message or via a mobile app to the employee of the retail store. It informs the employee in advance, so he or she is able to empty the reverse vending machine before a queue forms. Instead of waiting for a failure alarm, the solution is able to foresee a malfunction up front. This increases the efficiency of the entire process and thereby increases customer satisfaction.

IoT use cases for retailers

Are you interested to learn more about possible IoT uses cases for the retail industry? Read our second blog post.

The post X.509 based device authentication in Eclipse Hono appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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