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Cruising IoT with DataStream Ahead of IoT Evolution Expo 2024, part of the ITEXPO #TECHSUPERSHOW

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The current power (and the locked-and-loaded potential) of IoT is not to be understated. If anything, many feel it deserves more optics (and supplemental funds in order to, quite frankly, make the future happen).

One company that is exceptionally familiar with a multitude of IoT applications – opportunities ready to be seized for smarter, more efficient business operations – is DataStream IoT.

Ahead of IoT Evolution Expo 2024 (which is taking place from February 13-15 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, part of the ITEXPO #TECHSUPERSHOW), we were able to speak with the company’s SVP of Business Development and its Managing Partner, Bill Kirk and Yarum Locker, respectively. These two shed light on many industry gaps that their IoT solutions fill in order to boost proactive responsiveness and productivity while keeping cost effectiveness front and center.

Here's what they had to say:

What recent news or innovations in your products or services would you like to share?

Our company won the 2023 IoT Evolution Smart City Product of the Year Award, presented by TMC and Crossfire Media! DataStream’s CellPoint is an innovative IoT solution that’s usable in a wide variety of applications across industrial and utility scenarios. It can be connected to any analog or digital sensor and relays your data to you via our "DataSense IoT" platform. Battery-powered for remote location deployment and rugged enough for any outdoor environment, its IP68 allows it to be placed almost anywhere. The device is ideal for environmental monitoring, asset management, or other use cases where power and communications are not readily available. (And regarding such devices, we are also actively seeking new distributors spanning a variety of industries in IoT.) 

What is the greatest value proposition for IoT today?

Today, this value comes from the smart collection of real-time data and alerts from sensors. These present early warnings of problems in remote locations (especially ones with hampered or no power availability).

What key trends are impacting the IoT industry today and what opportunities are they creating?

One of the biggest trends we’ve noticed is the efficient gathering of data from billions of sensors on millions of machines that need to be connected and monitored (sometimes in remote areas and extreme weather conditions). The ability to connect and collect this data is a highly sought-after opportunity to provide critical data and alerts.

How are those trends shaping your products/services?

Current solutions require bulky attachments, controllers with multiple channels, modems and other equipment – when all you really need is a single, powerful sensor – and that’s exactly why DataStream's CellPoint is a perfect fit. It’s a game-changer in remote data collection and event monitoring. Now, you can effortlessly monitor virtually any machine with a sensor and detect immediate status changes at will. With a robust IP68 outdoor rating, a replaceable battery, a built-in antenna, and an optional external antenna – all housed in one self-contained unit that installs in minutes – this is offered at a fraction of the cost seen for traditional devices. This is truly the future of remote data collection; with the CellPoint, you can quickly collect data from anywhere so you can respond quickly, troubleshoot remotely, and develop predictive maintenance routines that make a difference.

Overall, the CellPoint data-logging device is a cost-effective monitoring solution for water management, agriculture, oil and gas, transportation, renewable energy, telecommunications, construction and much more.

Opportunities are often accompanied by challenges. What are the biggest challenges businesses face in IoT deployments, and how are you helping solve those challenges?

Bill Kirk, SVP of Business Development

The Internet of Things has introduced the modern significance of the ability to connect everything. Well, almost everything; in many cases, the feasibility exists but the cost of implementation makes it barely practical. The ability to swiftly detect an event and send prompt notifications is definitely a key to improved operational efficiency in most industrial and utility applications. However, this proves challenging in scenarios where utilizing existing controllers to detect a simple change of status is either difficult or wholly impractical, especially in harsh outdoor locations lacking power and/or communication lines. Additionally, employing an expensive controller for monitoring a single dry-contact sensor basically becomes economically unfeasible. The solution demands proportionality to the application's complexity. That’s why DataStream's Event Monitoring CellPoint, offering a realistic and cost-effective means to monitor a simple sensor anywhere, provides a solution tailored to the specific requirements of the application in question.

One trend we are seeing is that product companies are now offering services thanks to IoT.  How has managed services impacted your offerings?

In short, they’re simple and easy-to-use platforms for providing access to data and API interface into existing SCADA systems and other IT legacy systems.

Like all industries, the IoT industry has been having its share of supply chain issues.  What adjustments have you made and how has it changed your business?

     Yarum Locker, Managing Partner

We have one core product – CellPoint, as mentioned – that’s usable in a wide variety of applications across industrial and unique utility scenarios; it reduces being bogged down by numerous parts and components (while eliminating supply change and inventory issues).

eSIM and the SGP .32 eUICC standard are being offered, but adoption has been slow.  Are you taking advantage of this ability? How is it changing or will it change your procedures on bootstrapping an IoT device in the field?

The GSMA working group is expected to finalize the complete set of specifications for IoT eSIM technology during the first half of 2024. DataStream IoT is following the recent publications regarding the new standards and we will be applying these to our CellPoint device once said standards are available. The CellPoint device is already capable of utilizing multi-carrier SIMs; installation and coverage challenges are then managed by the device making installation all-around simpler.

Artificial Intelligence is being developed for all sorts of analysis. AI with IoT is often discerning information from sensor data. What innovations do you expect to see as a result of AI with IoT and how does it change workflows?

AI technologies are massively upgrading IoT solutions by revolutionizing workflows across diverse industries. This is achieved by enabling data-driven decision-making, automation, and effective process optimization. These innovations have the potential to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall performance in diverse domains. DataStream's CellPoint data logging and real-time alert solutions are backed by DataSense IoT platform that provides data analytics. Current AI capabilities have been added to this platform to enable to-the-minute, data-driven decisioning in the following industries:

  • Smart Cities: AI-powered systems in IoT-enabled smart buildings can optimize systems like water usage.
  • Predictive Maintenance: AI algorithms can analyze data from IoT sensors to predict equipment failures before they occur.
  • Workflow Impact: Maintenance workflows can shift from reactive to proactive, reducing downtime and optimizing resource allocation based on predictive insights.
  • Agriculture: AI analyzes data from IoT sensors in agriculture, providing insights for precise irrigation, fertilization, and crop management. Agriculture workflows become more data-driven, optimizing resource usage and improving crop yield through AI-powered decision support.
  • Remote Asset Monitoring: AI-driven analytics on IoT data enable real-time monitoring and analysis of remote assets in industries like manufacturing and utilities. Remote monitoring workflows become more efficient, allowing for remote diagnostics, maintenance planning, and operational optimization.

Data quality is more vital than ever. What role does your company play in managing, securing and utilizing data generated by IoT devices?

By offering a simple and cost-effective means for data collection from remote sites, DataStream's CellPoint provides a means for securing the collection of valuable data and detection of events for use cases that IoT was not nearly practical until now. Our DataSense IoT portal takes this information and makes it highly accessible and conveniently manageable. 

Please share a success story or two about how your IoT products/solutions have helped customers navigate challenges and turn them into opportunities.

A water municipality was previously facing several challenges related to its water distribution system:

  • Aging Infrastructure: Many of the main water pipes were several decades old and, as a result, prone to leaks and bursts. This was leading to water losses and service interruptions.
  • Limited Resources: The city had limited staff and resources to perform regular manual inspections and maintenance on the extensive network of water pipes. It was simply taking too much time and worker bandwidth.
  • Inefficient Leak Detection: Traditional methods of leak detection were often far more reactive and time-consuming (i.e. than proactive and time-saving), resulting in delayed responses to pipe failures.

Our solution:

We utilized our outdoor, robust, remote pressure monitoring CellPoint and data analytics capabilities to address these water-centric challenges.

Implementation Steps:

  • Sensor Deployment: High-precision pressure sensors were strategically installed at key points throughout the city's water distribution system. (Primarily at main pipeline junctures and critical areas with a history of issues.)
  • Data Transmission: The pressure sensors were connected to the CellPoints, equipped with cellular communication capabilities, allowing real-time data transmission to a central monitoring platform.
  • Data Analytics: The monitoring platform utilized advanced data analytics algorithms to process the pressure data in real time, identifying pressure anomalies, spikes, and drops.
  • Leak Detection Algorithms: Customized leak detection algorithms were developed to pinpoint potential leaks based on pressure variations and patterns, allowing for early detection.
  • Automated Alerts: When pressure anomalies or potential leaks were detected, automated alerts were sent to the city's water department, enabling rapid response and swift intervention.

As an IoT company, what is the hardest part of getting your message out?

The hardest part? Understanding wide-ranging IoT applications across what feels like countless industries. Finding industry market experts and educating them on IoT solutions solves real-world problems and adds value. That’s a challenge we are very keen on addressing.

Where do you see the IoT space in a few years? Where do you see change or evolution or widespread success (or failure)?

The proliferation of IoT-enabled devices across industries (including smart cities, agriculture, manufacturing, utilities and more) will contribute to a far more interconnected world.

What are you most looking forward to at IoT Evolution Expo 2024?

Sincerely, we’re looking forward to helping customers with their specific IoT challenges and networking with companies in the Industrial IoT (IIoT) market.

Why are you participating at IoT Evolution Expo 2024 and what are you highlighting at your booth?

In addition to actively seeking new distributors that span various industries, DataStream IoT is participating in order to meet current and prospective customers and market experts (and to seize the opportunity to explain how our products are innovating the IoT markets). We are highlighting CellPoint, our innovative IoT solution that’s usable in a wide variety of industrial and utility applications. The device can be connected to any analog or digital sensor and relays your data to you via our DataSense IoT platform.




Edited by Alex Passett
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