Mohan Raju, CMO at Danlaw for India and emerging markets, in an exclusive conversation with EFY, shed light on use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in Internet of Things (IoT). He spoke at length on various topics ranging from technologies shaping the future of IoT, to the part Open Source will play in the evolution of IoT.
Danlaw, headquartered at Novi in Michigan – USA, is a global leader in connected car and automotive electronics. It’s connected vehicle solutions make the company one of the largest suppliers of connected gadgets in the world. The organization is known for providing ground-breaking tech, efficient development, and adaptive solutions for dynamic environments.
Mohan is very passionate about leveraging emerging technologies to bring sustainable and inclusive developments which can enrich lives and society.
In your opinion, which are the top 3 technologies that are shaping the future of IoT? How are they influencing the future of IoT?
The top technologies enabling the adoption of IoT in my view are – IoT Security, Data Science & Analytics and LPWAN Technologies.
The increasing number of connected devices is not only generating more data but also making it more vulnerable. ML will be a significant trend in establishing a predictive approach ensuring IoT security. Continuous evaluation of the risks, the degree of trust and adapting to the situation are the keys in ML based IoT security.
Data Science & Analytics have a significant role to play in the growth of IoT. The use of data science in IoT will allow various businesses to gain an insight into humungous customer data repositories. This would lead to the development of meaningful value proposition as per the customer needs and expectations. This, in turn, will improve the business opportunities for the organization.
Low Power WAN (LPWAN) technologies strengthen the business case for IoT solutions, offering a cost and power efficient wireless option that leverages existing networks, good reach and possibly built-in security. Created specifically for IoT devices, Low Power Wide Area technology is defined by its names – low power consumption, long-range wireless connectivity.
Between the cellular and NB-IOT/LPWA families of wireless technologies – which one are you betting upon? Why?
The new cellular standards LTE-MTC or LTE-M are efforts to position cellular technology as the wireless technology of choice for IoT.
LPWAN technologies are wireless wide area networks that enable connectivity at low-throughput (narrowband) over very long distances with ultra-low power consumption.
Given the inherent benefits of LPWAN like range, low power consumption, etc., it raises some questions like does it have the potential to replace cellular as the wireless technology for the IoT? The future outcome will likely be determined by the choices IoT engineers make, when designing systems and it is very early to decide on a one single direction for establishing a company’s strategy.
How’s the development of standards (or lack of it) affecting the adoption of IoT?
What IoT promises is that all of your “things” like refrigerators, ACs, light bulbs, washing machines, even cars will become “smart connected devices” and will be able to talk to each other using some sort of technology. Of course, this diversity of communications between diverse things needs standards/rules & regulations to interoperate efficiently. There is no single body which is responsible for setting up IoT standards. There are some groups which have tried to tackle the standardization issue.
The ecosystem will develop faster and we would see a lot of innovative ideas and integrations coming to fruition sooner. It’s high time the bigger industry players realize this and agree on focusing their energy at standardization to push the industry forward on the right track.
How ready is India’s tech eco-system to develop and deploy IoT solutions?
The IoT market in India is poised to reach USD 15 billion by 2020. With several companies and startups offering solutions in the IoT segment, there are tremendous opportunities for further growth. While connected homes, connected cars and connected healthcare are rapidly emerging segments, healthcare and manufacturing are the leading verticals demanding IoT solutions.
Investors showing keen interest in startups is also a good sign that hints towards the acceleration of India’s IoT ecosystem.
Do you foresee India’s tech industry developing its own IP and branded products/solutions in the IOT arena?
Yes, for sure. The industry is becoming more adaptive and understands the need for “India specific solutions” for solving India’s problems. With the availability of the market opportunities coupled with several positive initiatives by the government, we will see a steady rise in India’s own IP, branded IoT products & solutions.
Do you see the Open Source phenomenon play an important role in the IOT arena?
Open source projects like Linux ‘Iotivity’ are providing strong support for connected IoT devices. By developing open standards & specifications for IoT devices, developers are able to achieve a connected IoT framework composed of wide range of devices.
An open source IoT framework also means your developers ensure using open source tools to customise your IoT platform to suit your businesses specific / tailored needs. By adopting open source for IoT, you are not only drawing on the skills of your developers but the entire open source community as a whole. Several players are adopting an open source platform to create differentiated and highly bespoke IoT Solutions.
How do you see the role, technologies like AI/ML will play in the evolution of IoT solutions?
Artificial intelligence technologies have reached a point where they can provide invaluable assistance to exponentially speeding up tasks still performed by people.
IoT is producing big haystacks of data right now. To be able to find needles in this haystack, you need artificial intelligence. AI will be an essential part of any IoT system and will help move the IoT revolution to a new level.
The Indian government also believes it will not be enough to just provide a good communication network. India should nurture technologies such as IoT, AI, ML, and several other new technologies. The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 is a good move to build the country’s information and communication infrastructure.
What’s your opinion on the state of security available for IOT solutions? How do you see the evolutions from here on w.r.t threats and counter-measures?
While security is definitely the biggest challenge that IoT faces today, it still isn’t getting the attention it should. Securing IOT infrastructure requires collaboration between the ecosystem stakeholders for enabling “secure by design” roll out of IOT protocols.
Such initiatives are still at nascent stage. It is desirable to have certification of the safety of IoT products from bodies backed by government. This can be treated very similar to car safety and certification that we are all used to. IoT security is gaining importance and momentum, but there is still a long way to go.
W.r.t. edge vs cloud–where do you think will we see faster development in the next year or two?
Edge computing refers to data processing power at the edge of a network instead of holding that processing power in a cloud or a central data warehouse. It enables analytics and knowledge processing to occur at the source.
Edge computing does not replace cloud computing but compliments it to have increased efficiencies in the solutions. In my opinion, it’s good to see both Edge as well as Cloud computing technologies rapidly evolving in this direction complimenting each other.