30 July 2017

Academy for Internet of Things

Future Tech Lab (FTL) is a Digital Transformation Provider. The Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing and Cyber Security are at the heart of the Digital Transformation. SMEs and Large Enterprises (LE) understand the its benefits but find it challenging to grasp the fast moving technologies. To help them, we have launched an initiative - Academy for Internet of Things (A4IoT) since early 2016. A4IoT is a training and certification program with on-demand tutorials on IoT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Smart City and Cyber Security. Participants not only learn about architectures, protocols, communication technologies used in these areas, but also benefit from hands-on training. Our A4IoT face to face workshops have attracted 2000+ participants from 125+ organizations around the world (statistics till 10 May 2017). In this blog, our Co-Founder Soumya Kanti Datta writes about A4IoT program while our Research Engineer Koustabh Dolui gives an introduction to the IoT.

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During my R&D and paper presentation, I interacted with a lot of SMEs and LEs participants in IoT conferences and events. They would ask me after my talk about how to start an IoT project to turn an idea into prototype and later into a commercial product. After several such interactions during 2013-2015, I decided to create the A4IoT program with an aim to educate students and train SME/LE human resources about the ongoing development around - IoT, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security etc.

Starting from January 2016, FTL has organized 10 physical events (workshops, conferences, tutorials) and 8 webinars. A4IoT programs and courses are developed in collaboration with experts on sensors, middleware, security, network operator, cloud provider, application developer and standardization experts. The tutorial lectures and hands-on training materials are designed in accordance with - 
  • Current market requirement in IoT, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security.
  • Consumer centric scenarios.
  • Balanced and on demand approach.

A4IoT Program Values for Individuals
  • Keep updated with evolving ecosystems of IoT, Cloud Computing, Smart City etc.
  • Pursue your ideas and turn them into prototype through hands-on training sessions.
  • Learn latest IoT community news.
  • Give a boost to your career with IoT, Cloud Computing and Smart City skill sets.
  • Earn certification for each module completion and distinction.
A4IoT Program Values for Enterprises
  • Focused training to maintain a skilled workforce.
  • Flexible and customized delivery mechanism and schedule.
  • Reduced time to prepare and execute training sessions.
  • Content available through webinars and physical workshops.
  • Balanced approach with theory and hands-on learning.

Since January 2016, A4IoT workshops were organized in many countries around the world. They attracted more than 2015 participants (including students and professionals) from 129 organizations around the world. Our distinguished keynote speakers were from - ABB, Altiux, Cisco, IEEE Consumer Electronics Society, Intel, The Mitre Corporation, W3C, Telecom Italia, QCRI, Oracle and Hydroswarm.

Fig. 1 - Previous A4IoT physical event locations.

For a list of our upcoming event, visit - http://www.iotappslab.com/events/upcoming-events.html

We a launching a series of MOOCs on IoT, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security. Here is a video giving an introduction to the IoT. 


Stay tuned at our A4IoT web page for further announcements.

If you want us to conduct an workshop at your organization, contact Soumya Kanti Datta at skd@future-tech-lab.com.

22 July 2017

Various Forms of Renewable Energy

Future Tech Lab (FTL) is launching IoT and digital transformation services for the renewable energy market. In this blog, our hardware engineer Debayan Paul writes about various forms of renewable energy. In future blogs we will outline our Paradise Cloud Platform based solutions for renewable energy market. If you are curious, contact Soumya Kanti Datta to know more.


Introduction

The year 1973 brought an end to the era of secure and cheap oil. In October of that year, OPEC (Organization of Petrol Exporting Countries) put an embargo on oil production and started the oil-pricing control strategy. Oil prices skyrocketed causing a severe energy crisis all over the world which also resulted in spiraling price rise of various commercial energy resources, further leading to global inflation. The government of all countries took this matter very seriously, and for the first time, an imminent need for developing alternative energy sources was felt. Alternate energy sources were given serious consideration, and huge funds were allocated for the development of these resources. Thus, the year 1973 is considered as the year of the first ‘Oil Shock’. In the same decade, one more ‘Oil Shock’ jolted the world in 1979, which further expedited the focusing of attention on alternate energy sources.

Various forms of Renewable Energy

Solar Energy: -  The Sun radiates energy uniformly in all directions in the form of electromagnetic waves. Solar energy can be utilized directly in two ways, either by collecting and converting it directly to electrical energy using the Photovoltaic system or by collecting the radiant heat and using it in a thermal system. The solar radiation received on the surface of the earth on a bright sunny day at noon is approximately 1 kW/sq m. The earth continuously intercepts solar power of 178 billion MW, which is about 10,000 times the world’s energy demand.

Fig. 1 - Solar Photovoltaic Panel

Fig. 2 - Solar Thermal Parabolic Trough
Wind Energy: - Wind energy is the kinetic energy associated with movement of large masses of air where these motions result from uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, creating temperature and pressure differences. Wind energy is harnessed as mechanical energy with the aid of a wind turbine which could be further utilized for operating farm appliances and water pumping or could be converted into electrical power using an aero-generator. The power available in the winds flowing over the earth surface is estimated to be 1.6x107MW, which is more than the present energy requirement of the world.
Fig. 3 - Horizontal Axis Wind turbine

Fig. 4 - Offshore Wind Turbine


Hydroelectric Energy: - Hydropower or water power is derived from the potential energy of falling energy or fast running water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower from many kinds of watermills has been used as a renewable energy source for irrigation and operation of various mechanical devices. Primary hydropower generating methods include conventional dams, pumped-storage, run-of-the-river and micro hydroelectric plants.

Fig. 5 - Hydroelectric Power Plant

Biomass Energy: - Biomass is a generic term for living material- plants, animals, fungi, bacteria. The earth’s biomass represents an enormous store of energy which is also a potential non-exhaustible resource. Biomass energy harnessing mainly involves transformation of crude biomass into intermediate bio-fuels such as methane, ethanol, producer gas by chemical or biological processes.

Geothermal Energy: - Geothermal energy is derived from huge amounts of stored thermal energy in the interior of the earth, through its economic recovery on the surface of the earth is not feasible everywhere. Though the Geothermal energy is restricted to some specific geographical area, it is useful for number of applications like direct heat use and electrical power generation harvesting the high temperature.

Ocean Energy: -  Oceans cover about 71% of the earth’s surface. They receive, store and dissipate energy through various physical processes. As per present technological status, recoverable energy in oceans exists mainly in the form of waves, tidal and temperature difference (between surface and deep layers).  Tidal energy is a form of hydro power that converts ocean tides into electricity or other useful forms of power. Other two forms are still in its nascent stages.

India Energy Status: -
India is presently the world’s fourth largest economy as far as Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms as concerned and the fifth largest energy consumer in all over the world. However, due to its enormous population of approximately 1.3 billion, the per-capita consumption of most energy related products is extremely low as per the world standard. It roughly stands around to be a very modest 530 Kg of Oil Equivalent (kgoe), while the world average is approximately 1800 kgoe. India currently has stupendous prospects in the field of sustainable energy, especially in Solar, Hydel, Biomass and Wind Power generation. A current worldwide share of sustainable energy generation by region is given below.

Fig. 6 - Proportion of renewable power generation by region (in Million kgoe and %)

References: -
Images are taken from www.google.co.in

Other Sources
  1. Non-Conventional Energy Resources by B.H.Khan
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/mar/03/1970s-oil-price-shock
  4. https://www.slideshare.net/MisterKhan/ppt-on-present-energy-scenario



15 July 2017

Automotive Industry, Internet of Things and Smart City

The automotive industry has come a long way since 1886 when the commercial production of automobiles began. For the Auto 1.0 [1] ecosystem, cars were truly novelties, expensive and time consuming to produce. During Auto 2.0 (post 1950s), cultural and economic forces shaped the auto industry. It shifted its focus on performance, dealer diagnostics and basic infotainments. The technology was still invisible to the customers. Right now, we are at Auto 2.5 (Fig.1) which is a transition period to Auto 3.0 ecosystem. Well established auto OEMs (e.g. BMW, Audi) and new market entrants (e.g. Tesla) has been looking into the true potential of software beyond infotainment. For example, customers can now avail OTA software updates for some repair problems and add new software features without going to a dealer. The "always connected" aspect is one of the driving forces behind this. 

Figure 1: Auto 2.5: Connected Cars [2]
In parallel, the Internet is evolving too. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to revolutionize the automotive industry. Cars (depicted in Fig.1) have the capabilities of exchanging sensor data with an OEM or third party Cloud Computing infrastructure over 3G/4G networks. The Cloud backends can provide services like (i) the quickest route to a destination, (ii) finding the nearest fuel station, (iii) searching for an empty parking, (iv) automatic diagnostics of cars and more. The IoT is also assisting in making Smart City initiatives a reality. Several cities around the world are deploying infrastructure for better road safety, co-operative mobility management, reduce pollution etc. 

The Auto 1.0 and 2.0 can not be a part of the IoT and Smart Cities due to a lack of - (i) powerful On Board Units (OBU), (ii) vehicle to vehicle and infrastructure communication looks, (iii) standards and (iv) integration with next-gen ICT. To fully benefit from the ongoing technological evolution, the auto industry is responding with Auto 3.0 ecosystem. The focus of Auto 3.0 are - 
  • Support Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) through V2X Communications.
  • Expose vehicular resources for data collection, processing, management and storage.
  • Seamless communication and information exchange among vehicular gateways, Edge & Cloud platforms and consumer devices.
  • Seamless interoperability among vehicles, external computing platforms and consumers.
The technological evolution leading to Auto 3.0 is exploiting the IoT and in turn enabling - 

  • Automatic vehicle information discovery and exchange with computing systems and other vehicles.
  • Enhanced access and core networking.
  • Computing on vehicular sensor data.
As a result, connected cars are truly becoming resources for the IoT ecosystem [3]. Thus, on-board sensor data are used to understand pollution level, traffic flow in a city and even manage road intersections. This can effectively reduce the number of sensors needed to be deployed in emerging smart cities. 

In a nutshell, the combined (Auto 3.0, IoT and Smart City) ecosystem integrates - (i) vehicular resources (sensors, actuators), (ii) ITS & V2X technologies, (iii) Edge and Cloud Computing platforms to perform sensor data analysis and (iv) consumer centric services. It will potentially lead to connected cars as an IoT service which is frequently called - "Automotive IoT".

[1] http://www.ntti3.com/wp-content/uploads/Automotive_as_a_Digital_Business_V1.03-1.pdf

[2] http://design.avnet.com/axiom/autorama-connecting-your-car-to-the-internet-of-tomorrow

[3] S. K. Datta, J. Haerri, C. Bonnet and R. Ferreira Da Costa, "Vehicles as Connected Resources: Opportunities and Challenges for the Future," in IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 26-35, June 2017.

About Future Tech Lab | Digital Transformation Provider

Future Tech Lab is a R&D company that transforms customers legacy business processes, operations and assets into a truly digital platform. ​Our Paradise IoT Platform provides secure, scalable and easy to use software solutions that power consumer centric Mobile Apps, IoT and Smart City products and services. We provide "Prototype as a Service" and Consultancy on Digital Transformation, IoT and Smart City areas to shape our customer's ideas into prototypes and then turn them into finished products. 

Since 2016, we have initiated "Academy for IoT" (A4IoT), a training and certification program with on-demand tutorials on IoT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Smart City and more. Our A4IoT face to face workshops have attracted 2000+ participants from 120+ organizations around the world.

Future Tech Lab is steered to the right direction by three disciplined, patient and experienced co-founders. Our young team is full of diverse experiences ranging from innovative software developer to IoT experts to hardware engineers. We thrive to provide world class quality, innovation and long term support to all our customers.