KW 8: Physical hard drives are an integral part of the Internet of Things, Vodafone introduces new smart tech tariffs, Monitoring oil rig maintenance work using IoT


Physical hard drives are an integral part of the Internet of Things: It is estimated that the global amount of data is growing by several billion terabytes every year. Experts have predicted a „data explosion“ that is still ahead of us, as people have so far been the main cause of data production. But in the age of IoT, machines, devices and sensors deliver so much more data than humans could ever generate – and in record time. A single autonomous car generates several terabytes of data per day. Research, industry and video surveillance also generate enormous amounts of data. – The particle accelerator at CERN, for example, generates one petabyte of data per second, of which only ten petabytes per month are stored for research. Industry and research are faced with the question: Where and how should data be stored? Even in the IoT age, there seems to be no way around hard drives (HDDs to be precise). Cloud solutions don’t make sense in view of comparatively low bandwidths and large amounts of data, and they are costly. Additionally, HDD hard drives are much easier and cheaper to manufacture than SSDs. For these reasons, hard drives will remain irreplaceable for years to come.

Vodafone introduces new smart tech tariffs: Vodafone Germany has launched new Smart Tech tariffs for IoT products. The Smart Tech S, with 500 MB for trackers, costs 1.99 euros per month. The Smart Tech M is intended for smartwatches, as well as children or seniors. It provides 3GB, 500 minutes for calls and 100 texts for 5.99 euros per month. The Smart Tech L is ideal for the use of smart cameras, for example.

0G network coverage in Germany at 90 percent: Have you ever heard of the 0G mobile communications standard? No? But you should. The German subsidiary of the telecommunications company Sigfox relies on 0G technology – and after five years can already show 90 percent network coverage. 0G is considered to be energy-saving and requires little maintenance, and is therefore more cost-effective and, in turn, an ideal standard for IoT applications. Sigfox Germany boss Thomas Scheibel already sees 0G as the „cornerstone for the digital transformation towards Industry 4.0“. This also seems to convince investors: At the end of 2020, the European infrastructure manager Cube invested a billion-dollar fund in the network provider.

Lenovo and Unisys expand cooperation: Unisys has joined Lenovo’s partner ecosystem to support Lenovo’s IoT Solutions, including ThinkIoT Back to Work Solutions and Smarter Store Solutions designed to help businesses safely return to offices and make shopping in-stores safer during and after the coronavirus pandemic. Unisys will support the Lenovo solutions with a set of Digital Workplace Services including pre-deployment, deployment, maintenance and lifecycle management supply chain services to Lenovo Think IoT Back to Work Solutions and Smarter Store Solutions customers globally. The engagement – designed to support Lenovo customers in more than 100 countries – builds on an established relationship under which Unisys provides field engineering support to Lenovo customers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

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The Internet of Things should account for 80 percent of data traffic by 2030, according to a report by Dutch company Beech IT.


App explains data protection in a playful way: After years of hesitation, digitization is making headway in Germany. A digital identity card should be ready for use on smartphones in autumn, and a digital version of the euro is also in discussion. Our everyday life and our home are becoming increasingly digital and networked. But many citizens are unsure what technical terms from the digital context mean or how safe applications and thus their data ultimately really are. In order to shed some light on this, the German Adult Education Association, with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has developed an app that aims to help citizens sharpen their own digital skills.

Monitoring oil rig maintenance work using IoT: More than 50,000 events per second occur when monitoring the operation of an oil rig. Energy companies as well as suppliers can rely on IoT when monitoring drilling and production systems and receive useful information for maintenance early on using balanced in-memory computing and processing at the edge and in the data center. The Internet of Things enables real-time planning of maintenance work in this industry branch as well.

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TU Munich uses AI to counter attempts to deceive tests: The Covid-19 pandemic has forced universities to digitize. Exams are held digitally due to the cancellation of face-to-face classes. The question arises as to how one can prevent attempts by students to cheat on tests. The Technical University of Munich has found a solution: a software system from US provider Proctorio. The system promises to lock the exam participants‘ browser so that it becomes impossible to google for solutions. The built-in AI also checks the students‘ faces during an exam in order to be able to detect any smartphone use.


„Hardware will make such tremendous advances in this decade that software development will find it difficult to keep up. Software will turn out to be the bottleneck of digitization in the 2020s. Companies are therefore well advised to secure the development capacities they need to remain competitive until 2030 and beyond.“
Edward Lenssen, head of the Dutch company Beech IT.


Amazon Build It: Alexa Cuckoo Clock: A Smart Cuckoo Clock? That would be something. Internet giant Amazon is currently testing the “Build It” project. Crowdfunding is used to find out whether there is a demand for individual new products. Various products – including a smart cuckoo clock – will be offered for pre-order for 30 days. If enough people order in advance, the respective product is manufactured and delivered.

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