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Logistics 4.0 in Food and Pharma Transport: Digitizing Cold Chain Compliance and Control

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There has been a lot of chatter of late regarding the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as “Industry 4.0″, which refers to our digital/robotic future and the game-changing speed and breadth of global data transfer. At the heart of this revolution is automation and Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which is enabling food, pharmaceutical and other transporters to see the dawn of a “Logistics 4.0”, which is typified by unprecedented global visibility, analytics, control and compliance capabilities.

These trends are top of mind as ORBCOMM gears up for IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016, the world’s largest trade fair for mobility, transportation and logistics.

cold chain monitoringThe 66th edition of this venerable event has its eyes fixed firmly on the future, with a strong focus on digitization and connectivity as megatrends for the whole industry. This makes IAA the perfect platform for ORBCOMM to showcases its Euroscan cold chain solution, which brings together our ColdChainView software, ORBCOMMmobile app and Euroscan X3 and MX2 telematics devices and sensors to provide real-time visibility, monitoring, control and compliance for refrigerated transport operations.

Food and pharmaceutical transporters operate in an increasingly tough compliance environment, as governments and producers around the world seek to safeguard people from the risks of contaminated, spoiled and counterfeit goods.

Helping transport clients to meet these demands has naturally been a top priority and we’re delighted to announce that both the ColdChainView software and Euroscan temperature recording telematics devices have now received the Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP® 5) official certification of approval from the European Institute for Pharma Logistics (EIPL). Our software and telematics devices are also certified to EN12830 for EC temperature recording equipment and HACCP for food transportation compliance.

The ColdChainView software provides an easy to use interface for complete real-time visibility of refrigerated transport operations, including advanced reports and analytics, comprehensive administrative options, real-time event based alerts via email and/or text message and historical records for proof of compliance. The software gives users remote operational control, including the ability to turn refrigeration machinery on or off, lock or unlock trailer doors and adjust temperatures. End users can be provided with a shipment live tracking link, along with customized labels and POI management.

cold chain compliance application

ColdChainView is a powerful web application enabling real-time monitoring, improved operations and proof of uniterrupted cold chain for refrigerated assets.

Advanced reporting options additionally allow transport operators to view asset status summaries for a quick fleet overview or drill down into the details page for comprehensive data on temperature readings, sensor status, fuel and battery levels, door status, last recorded location, active alarms and engine hours. Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , ,

Safeguarding Food and Pharma Along Containerized Cold Supply Chains: Shippers Need Visibility Now

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The Hanjin crisis serves as a reminder that when shippers of any cargo engage with the great global transport network that is containerization, ‘caveat emptor’ must be observed. Containerization, 60 years old in 2016, has done more for world commerce than any free trade deal, The Economist famously observed in 2013. But shippers caught up three years later in the bankruptcy of the world’s seventh largest container carrier are not so sanguine.

hanjin shippingAt time of writing, over 70 Hanjin vessels, hundreds of crew, hundreds of thousands of containers and billions of dollars of cargo are languishing at sea, or held at port. Even when vessels get permission to unload, as is now happening in Los Angeles and Long Beach cargo may end up far from its intended destination and need to be reshipped with other lines. For shippers of temperature-controlled cargoes, this is especially dire. “Where’s my cargo, where and when will it land, and will it be fit for purpose?” are questions that many food, and possibly pharma, shippers may not be able to answer right now.

Lars Jensen of maritime consultancy Sea Intelligence notes that at least 25 lines had active slot charters or vessel sharing agreements with Hanjin on various trades. This means that many shippers that don’t even do business with Hanjin or its alliance partners are still affected. He points out that the “ever-closer operational collaboration across carriers” has served to increase the risk profile for shippers’ supply chains, “often without the shippers realizing this is the case.”

Recent events have shone a spotlight on the deeply interconnected nature of today’s container shipping networks and demonstrated how little visibility many shippers have into the whereabouts and status of their cargo as it moves through a complex web of service providers.

None of this is to gainsay the immense value of containerization to world trade in perishables. The refrigerated container has opened up international markets and has allowed food, pharmaceuticals and other temperature-sensitive goods to be shipped safely and cost-effectively over very long distances. The current trend for pharmaceutical supply chains to shift from air to ocean is at least partially driven by the more controlled cold chain that containerization can provide, helping to meet new regulatory requirements such as the EU Good Distribution Practice (GDP) rules for medicinal products.

But GDP and other major new legislation such as the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) also highlight how governments around the world are themselves seeking to improve supply chain risk management in a global trade environment, especially for products that will be consumed by humans. Temperature control and traceability go hand in hand in this tougher legal environment. And shippers, mainly, are liable for compliance.

Over the next few years, the increased risks of container operations, plus new regulations such as GDP and FSMA, will make cold chain visibility and chain of custody data more important than ever before. Machine-to-machine (M2M) telematics and sensors, as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), will play an important role for many supply chain stakeholders. Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 3. Maritime / AIS, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , , ,

Playing Well with Others

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If there’s one thing that can be said of ORBCOMM’s industry-leading reefer tracking and trailer telematics applications, it’s that we play well with others.

Trailer Telematics applicationORBCOMM’s versatile applications integrate with top Transportation Management Systems (including McLeod Software, TMW Systems and PeopleNet) so that you can use them as the main interface for a centralized view of asset location, temperature, sensor readings, alarms and more.

Beyond simple dots on a map, our advanced integrations enable customers to monitor and control critical cargo temperatures, receive alert notifications, prevent spoilage claims and ultimately improve customer service and regulatory compliance.

In fact, integration is a key reason why ORBCOMM has become the solution of choice for carriers of all sizes. In 2016 alone we’ve announced Northern Refrigerated, Barnes Transportation, Gulick Trucking, Brown Integrated Logistics, DSI, Fairchild Freight, Bay and Bay … and the list goes on. Whether for dry, refrigerated or mixed fleets, all of these customers list TMS integration as a key requirement and benefit of our telematics system.

This month, we turn our focus to these value-added TMS integrations as we attend User Conferences for both McLeod (San Antonio, Sep. 18-20) and TMW/PeopleNet (in.sight, Nashville, Sep. 25-28). Visitors to our booth will have a chance to learn how our powerful devices and applications deliver the visibility and analytical insight you need to make smarter business decisions for your fleet.

To learn more, visit the pages below, and stay tuned next month for some exciting news regarding our cold chain management solution, as we gear up for the IFDA Distribution Solutions conference… Read more ›

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , ,

AIS Data Shines a Light on Global Commercial Fishing Activity

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September 15, 2016 marks the beginning of a new era for ocean resource conservation. Oceana, Google and SkyTruth have launched their collaboration to end Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. Global Fishing Watch is a public platform that identifies fishing vessels and analyzes fishing activity to ensure environmental regulations are upheld.

The importance and relevance of this today’s announcement at the Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C. was underlined by the special guests—none other than Secretary of State John Kerry and actor and ocean advocate Leonardo DiCaprio.

One of the key technologies enabling this platform is the availability of vessel location information. Vessels above a specified size must transmit Automatic Identification System (AIS) positional data, which is then collected regionally by terrestrial receivers and globally by satellite receivers. Powered by ORBCOMM’s AIS data service, Global Fishing Watch can classify these time-stamped positional vessel data points as either “fishing” or “non-fishing” activities, and can offer a near real-time and historical global view of fishing activity.

ais data powers global fishing watch

Using AIS data from ORBCOMM, Global Fishing Watch shows commercial fishing activity from Jan 2012 to three days prior to present time.

Anyone, anywhere in the world will now be able to use Global Fishing Watch to track the activities of 35,000+ commercial fishing vessels. This will increase the commercial fishing industry’s accountability by allowing fisheries to identify unauthorized activity and facilitating seafood supply chain transparency. It will also provide a tool to governments, NGOs and researchers for the enforcement of IUU regulations and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Global Fishing Watch will help preserve abundant fish stocks and protect our oceans, which are threatened by global overfishing, illegal fishing and habitat destruction. ORBCOMM is excited to play a part in delivering this new technology. To learn more about Global Fishing Watch and today’s announcement, visit www.globalfishingwatch.org.

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Posted in 3. Maritime / AIS, 6. Networks Tagged with: , ,

Remote Container Management: The Future is Here

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rcm-whitepaper-300x250The future of refrigerated container tracking is here. Customer demand for remote container management is on the rise and companies are turning to the latest technologies to keep up with the competition.

While container tracking has been around a long time in various forms, today it is part of a much bigger trend towards machine-to-machine (M2M) telematics and sensors which connect and monitor the ‘things’ in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Over the next five years, billions of everyday objects, including containers, will transition from ‘dark, dumb and disconnected’ to ‘visible, smart and connected’ thanks to M2M and IoT technology.

This trend is impacting many markets, including vessels and containers, as I discussed in my recent interview with Maritime Executive Magazine. Read the full article to learn how IoT can benefit the maritime industry, advantages for port operations, adoption trends and how it all works for improved operations, visibility and safety at sea:

I’ll also be discussing connected container trends at this week’s Tideworks Technology Conference in Seattle:

What: Tideworks Technology 2016 Customer Conference: “Navigating the Technology Landscape Together”
When: September 14 – 15
Where: Seattle, WA
ORBCOMM Sponsored Session:
The Internet of Things: Asset Tracking
Wed. Sep. 14, 17:00 – 17:30

For a more in depth look at connected container trends, technology and benefits, be sure to download our latest White Paper entitled Transforming Container Supply Chains with M2M and IoT Connectivity.

This new white paper offers a current snapshot and future outlook on M2M and IoT in the global container supply chain, covering technology, adoption trends, use cases and key drivers.

To learn how ORBCOMM’s industry-leading solution for remote container management reduces operating costs and cargo loss, visit www2.orbcomm.com/reeferconnect.

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 3. Maritime / AIS Tagged with: , , , ,

Stacking Up: Introducing the Complete Enterprise IoT Toolkit

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There is certainly a lot of hype surrounding the Internet of Things, as evidenced by the huge IoT focus at this year’s CTIA Super Mobility Week in Las Vegas (drop by booth 4837 if you’re here with us!). Every year the list of companies playing in IoT gets larger, with everyone trying to differentiate themselves in what is becoming a complex and crowded space.

ORBCOMM has been a leader in the IoT space long before it was a buzzword, and this week at CTIA we took it to the next level with the launch our new enterprise IoT Toolkit.

The key to any successful implementation of IoT is in defining the value and RoI that your solution can bring. For different markets, the top view of the solution will be very different, however once you peek below the veneer, the foundations of those solutions will look very similar. Here is how a typical solution is built within the context of a simplified IoT stack:

iot solution stack

Many companies claim to offer a ‘complete’ toolkit, but when you look closer, you’ll see that those companies are relying on partnerships to complete their IoT stack. These types of offerings often yield more questions than answers. Are those tools completely interoperable, or will you need another service to make use of them? What happens if there is a problem with your solution, whether in the development stage or in the released stage? Who do you contact for support? Can you be sure that they won’t refer you back to another party in an endless finger-pointing loop?

ORBCOMM is excited to offer a truly complete IoT toolkit that is produced and sourced from the same company, making your IoT solution development easy and ensuring a well supported, functional implementation.

ORBCOMM IoT Toolkit components are offered together or separately, providing enterprises, OEMs, solution providers and VARs the ability to create their own market-specific IoT solution with the assurance that all the building blocks are interoperable, and all come with a single point of contact for support.

The Toolkit is designed so users can use as much or as little of it as they need. Already have an application, but need to connect some new hardware?

Take for instance one of our award winning terminals and airtime, just like one of our solution providers did in Brazil to provide increased quality of service for smart grid infrastructure:

iot device for smart grid

Here, a satellite terminal is integrated with the utility equipment to control the information exchange and reporting process between the utility company’s SCADA system software and the equipment site for better smart grid management.

Or, take our industry standard satellite modems and provide remote connectivity to your fleets, just as our heavy equipment OEMs have done in order to ensure the highest levels of fleet performance.

Or, take our devices, device management and application enablement to build your own warehouse or asset tracking solution:

iot for reusable containers

ORBCOMM’s robust iApp platform and device management enables Rehrig Pacific to increase product and container/pallet visibility, reduce inventory management overhead, prevent lost or misplaced assets, improve billing accuracy and enhance customer service.

Or, take the full stack and develop your own IoT solution, just as we have done with our FleetEdge heavy equipment solution:

fleet tracking application

ORBCOMM’s FleetEdge application is designed to provide heavy equipment managers access to location data, operational status as well as analytic, predictive and diagnostic tools for every asset in their fleet.

…you get the idea.

We know these tools work, because we’ve been using them for years to develop our own IoT solutions. Having a one-stop IoT toolkit provides several distinct cost, support and efficiency advantages, removing much of the logistical burden so that you can focus on developing innovative solutions that deliver total asset visibility, remote control, analytic insight and maximum ROI.

To learn more or to speak to an IoT solution specialist, visit http://www2.orbcomm.com/iot

To learn more about the future of IoT and wireless innovation, join ORBCOMM at CTIA Super Mobility Week—North America’s largest forum for mobile innovation taking place from Sep. 7 – 9 in Las Vegas. Visit ORBCOMM booth 4837 and schedule a meeting with us to see how our broad set of leading industrial IoT capabilities enables solutions that deliver total asset visibility, remote control and analytic insight.

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Posted in 1. Transportation, 2. Heavy Equipment, 3. Maritime / AIS, 4. Oil & Gas / Utilities, 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: ,

Business Continuity: Taking Wireless Failover to the Next Level

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wireless failover solutionToday, everything is connected. Whether it’s a vehicle fleet connected to a central server, digital signage scattered throughout the city, point of sale devices at distributed retail locations or simply the primary network at a company’s headquarters, uninterrupted network connectivity is paramount to the continuity of any present-day business. A single network outage lasting a mere few minutes or more can cause panic – and real catastrophe during longer outages – as modern businesses simply cannot operate while the network is out.

In a recent article, I discussed how distributed enterprises with branch offices can mitigate risks associated with network outages, including potential revenue loss, damage to brand and customer satisfaction, increased security and fraud risks, halting of business operations, and inaccessibility to your network and data.

Where wired Internet access may not be possible or the best choice, wireless connectivity can keep machines and processes connected, branches linked and transactions flowing. ORBCOMM Enterprise Connect launched last year to help businesses stay connected though a combination of wireless failover, out-of-band management and primary connectivity.

  • Wireless internet failover is a cost-effective and scalable safeguard that protects internet connectivity and avoids lost revenue from service disruptions by providing business continuity in the event that the primary wired network fails. It’s also secure with strict measures in place such as PCI compliance for credit card security.
  • Out-of-band management increases the efficiency and effectiveness of IT departments while cutting costs and increasing network uptime. IT staff can remotely manage and troubleshoot devices, effectively eliminating the majority of costly truck rolls (having technicians drive to affected sites).
  • Primary wireless connectivity is often the best choice for business enablement in the case of ATMs, point of sale devices, digital signage and so on. It also offers in-vehicle connectivity to manage vehicle fleets and provides customers with WiFi access, as well as connectivity for industrial monitoring where safety, security and regulatory compliance are key.

Expanded for this year’s CTIA 2016 in Las Vegas

This year at CTIA Super Mobility Week, ORBCOMM is showcasing the new capabilities of one of the world’s leading wireless connectivity solutions, with the goal of being:

  • Customizable: In order to provide customers with a custom wireless solution, Enterprise Connect now features router and accessory offerings from a whole new range of manufacturers, including Cisco, Cradlepoint, Encore, NetComm, Systech and more. Compact, hardened, and service-rich router variations are available in a variety of configurations to meet individual business needs.
  • Powerful: Business owners also benefit from high-performance subscriber management and service delivery, with provisioning, billing and multimode access for M2M applications. Users get one-stop, multi-network subscriber management, up to four levels of account structure, smart alerts and automated operations to manage data usage, a mobile app and much more.
  • Simple: Enterprise Connect also simplifies the process of router management. IT staff can monitor router statistics and data usage in real time, wirelessly manage firmware updates, configure hardware, produce reports and set automated alerts to avoid overage charges.
  • Agile: Location service is another key feature, providing the ability to view the current device location on a map in the router manager dashboard. This is invaluable when device location may change over time, such as trailer or vehicle mounted solutions. For resellers, the router manager is now available as a white-label solution with custom branding.

wireless failover for enterprise and retail

To learn more about the future of IoT and wireless innovation, join ORBCOMM at CTIA Super Mobility Week—North America’s largest forum for mobile innovation taking place from Sep. 7 – 9 in Las Vegas. Visit ORBCOMM booth 4837 and schedule a meeting with us to see how our broad set of leading industrial IoT capabilities enables solutions that deliver total asset visibility, remote control and analytic insight.

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Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , ,

Improve Driver Retention by Adding Technology to Your Trailer Operation

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Driver shortages and high turnover are some of the key challenges facing the trucking industry today. In 2014, the American Trucking Association (ATA) estimated a shortage of 30,000 drivers in the US, with the numbers expected to grow to a staggering 239,000 by 2022. Adding to the problem is the age of the driver population. According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) 51% of truck drivers are 45 or older, and many of them will retire in the next 10 to 20 years. Once they do, there won’t be a pool of drivers large enough to meet demand, and competition to attract and retain new drivers will be fiercer than ever.

Sure, competitive wages, comprehensive benefits, adequate time off and proper training are key elements of your driver recruitment and retention strategy, but can you leverage technology to improve drivers’ quality of life at work? The answer is yes.

Improving Fleet Safety and Driver Security

Telematics systems based on cellular and satellite technology deliver around-the-clock fleet visibility for unparalleled driver security. When natural disasters strike, compromising the cellular infrastructure, satellite offers a lifeline to drivers, allowing them to request assistance. This is also the case for drivers travelling through high-risk areas where jamming devices may be used by hijackers to disrupt cellular communications. A dual-mode telematics solution can not only allow continuous communications over satellite, it can also send alarms when jamming occurs.

Advanced fleet management systems incorporate peripherals such as panic buttons, driver ID and support one-way emergency voice applications to further enhance driver safety.

Help drivers find trailers quickly

Driving around looking for trailers or getting dispatched to the wrong location are common situations that hinder driver productivity and their ability to make money. Telematics devices can accurately track trailer location, making it possible to ensure drivers always find their trailer when they arrive at a yard. Mobile and in-cab applications also allow drivers to map a trailer’s location and follow directions to get to it fast. For drivers, this means quickly getting back on the road and making money.

Improve turnaround times

Long detention times are a problem for both fleet owners and drivers. Drivers often reach their destination only to wait several hours before their trailers are unloaded. Strict Hours of Service (HoS) regulations and long dwell times make it difficult for drivers to maximize billable hours before their shifts time out. Telematics systems use GPS location data along with geofences to track trailers at warehouses and loading docks. By keeping track of dwelling times and billing customers for detention, fleet owners promote better practices from shippers and receivers, reducing wait times and maximizing drivers’ hours.

To learn more about how to get fleet tracking technology working for you, and your drivers, email us at sales@orbcomm.com

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Posted in 1. Transportation Tagged with: , , , , ,

The Future of IoT and Wireless Innovation at CTIA Super Mobility Week

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ORBCOMM is once again gearing up for CTIA Super Mobility Week—North America’s largest forum for mobile innovation taking place from Sep. 7 – 9 in Las Vegas.

Visit ORBCOMM booth 4837 and schedule a meeting with us to see how our broad set of leading industrial Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities uniquely positions us to provide all of the tools for developing IoT solutions that deliver total asset visibility, remote control and analytic insight.

ORBCOMM’s comprehensive IoT solutions portfolio includes hardware, connectivity, subscriber and device management, application enablement, wireless failover and mobile app support for developing end-to-end IoT solutions.

We’ll also be introducing the latest iteration of ORBCOMM’s wireless failover and out-of-band management solution. The latest version of Enterprise Connect features even more hardware options, remote router management, real-time alerts and much more.

And of course, we’ll have ORBCOMM’s suite of award-winning devices and powerful web applications on display.

Speaking of award-winning, ORBCOMM’s IoT offering has been named a finalist in two categories in the CTIA Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Awards, which honor the industry’s emerging, innovative and cutting-edge mobile services, solutions and technology. There’s still time to vote ORBCOMM for Crowd Favorite!

We hope to see you in Las Vegas! To learn more or the schedule a meeting, visit http://www2.orbcomm.com/ctia

IoT solutions

 

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Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with: , ,

From Caterpie to Caterpillar: IoT Raises Augmented & Virtual Reality Beyond Child’s Play

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IoT and augmented reality, virtual reality

New and innovative uses of IoT-related applications are leaving pre-conceived notions of Augmented and Virtual Reality in the dirt

The Internet of Things (IoT) is often equated with beneficial yet relatively simple solutions—the IoT is still in a relative state of infancy, and so too is the complexity of available solutions. Solutions such as coordinating garbage collection routing based on the fill status of containers, efficiently managing fleets using position and vehicle sensor data, and optimizing equipment usage and wear and tear all make business sense, but perhaps aren’t as exciting as what we might dream the future should hold for us.

New Technologies: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Up to this point, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are technologies that have generally been associated with video games. In both cases, a smartphone, headset or other device is used to enhance what you see. With Augmented Reality you are able to overlay new visual information within a user’s existing visual environment (Pokemon Go! is a prime example of this). With Virtual Reality there is no real visual environment—all visual cues are created for the user (flight simulators are an example of this).

Considered separately, the IoT and AR/VR are two of the most exciting and fast paced industries, so maybe it’s not a surprise that they have begun to overlap.

A number of big mainstream names are leading the way in these markets, with AR/VR enablers including Facebook (Oculus), Google and Microsoft. Some IoT providers and equipment manufacturers (especially in the heavy equipment sector, such as Caterpillar and Komatsu) have been exploring how to optimize business processes with the convergence of IoT and AR/VR.

Here are 5 of the most interesting equipment applications where IoT intersects with augmented and/or virtual reality:

1. Maintenance (AR): Caterpillar is providing visual instructional steps for diagnosing heavy equipment failures, highlighting problematic components and subsequently displaying repair actions.

2. Training (AR/VR): Safety experts at the University of New South Wales have created a system for providing training to workers and customers on products through a headset instead of a manual.

3. Sales Demonstration (VR): Santa Clara-based EchelonVR has launched an Android application capable of providing a virtual walk-through of heavy equipment that is difficult to transport.

4. Remote Command (AR/VR): Rolls-Royce envisions being able to provide visual cues and environments for remote control and command of drone ships and planes.

5. Product Design (VR): SGI Japan, Ltd. Supplied Komatsu with a virtual reality system that provides a complete virtual view of an assembled component, with the ability to evaluate it before it is produced.

The key to successfully merging IoT with augmented and virtual reality technologies will be the ability to integrate real-time IoT data within the AR/VR environments, enabling a user experience that reflects a dynamic real life system. For example, a reader attached to an engine’s diagnostic port can indicate (in real time) the correct throttling action that should be taken in order to minimize equipment stress. Similarly, a quick visual scan of a refrigerated storage area can indicate which region needs remedial action in order to mitigate a product compromising temperature drop.

While some of these AR/VR ideas may seem like futuristic concepts out of the movies they are, in reality, probably not that far off from becoming mainstream.

To learn more about the future of IoT and wireless innovation, join ORBCOMM at CTIA Super Mobility Week—North America’s largest forum for mobile innovation taking place from Sep. 7 – 9 in Las Vegas. Visit ORBCOMM booth 4837 and schedule a meeting with us to see how our broad set of leading industrial IoT capabilities enables solutions that deliver total asset visibility, remote control and analytic insight.

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Posted in 2. Heavy Equipment, 3. Maritime / AIS, 5. M2M/IoT Trends Tagged with: , , , ,

ORBCOMM is a single source provider of multi-network connectivity, leading edge devices and powerful applications for industries including transportation and distribution, heavy equipment, oil and gas, maritime and government.
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