Smart Cities

Smart parking, smart lighting, fleet management at heart of Nokia's IoT platform update

The enterprise can manage disparate IoT devices and applications in vertical domains with the horizontal IMPACT platform from Nokia.

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Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nokia is expanding its Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things (IMPACT) to help cities deploy smart parking and smart lighting, to improve transportation and fleet management, and offer improved connectivity to networks.

The platform manages data collection, event processing, device management, data contextualization, data analytics, and applications enablement for any device or protocol across any application. Additionally, the Nokia platform has robust, multi-layered security to safeguard data, identities, and devices, said Frank Ploumen, CTO of IoT platforms and applications for Nokia.

"In addition to delivering industry-leading device management, security and analytics capabilities, IMPACT uniquely provides a single, horizontal platform allowing customers to manage and analyze data across multiple IoT applications. This makes each application richer and the insights more valuable," Ploumen said.

The IoT ecosystem is fragmented with various applications and devices in vertical domains, so IMPACT offers a horizontal platform to provide a way for the enterprise to manage IoT devices and applications. "Those vertical point solutions are not taking advantage of general best practice of common components in the middle," he said.

SEE: 4 common entry points to a smart city (TechRepublic)

"Nokia has a lot of experience in on-boarding and managing devices. You've got to think about devices in very generic terms. Smart phones and IP set-up boxes and gateways that are in your homes, or Wi-Fi access points, all of those devices are IP connected and often remotely managed. Nokia is doing this for approximately 1.5 billion devices around the globe today," Ploumen said.

New features of the IMPACT IoT platform

NB-IoT and LoRa connectivity: Building upon existing Lightweight M2M (LWM2M) and Category M1 (CAT-M1) device support, interfaces to both licensed NB-IoT and unlicensed LoRa networks provide customers with additional IoT network efficiency improvements via low-power wide area networks (LPWAN).

Video analytics: Powered by Nokia Bell Labs' machine learning algorithms, IMPACT provides new functionality for a range of IoT applications by automatically detecting anomalies in video feeds in real time, such as traffic accidents, speeding vehicles, and unauthorized entry into secure locations, and triggering alerts for further action.

Smart parking application: Allows municipalities to better manage inventory, resulting in more efficient use of parking spaces, reduced traffic, and pollution; while also providing drivers with real-time information on parking space availability and streamlining payment processes.

In a smart city, analytics are particularly important, as tens of thousands of cameras can be located throughout a city but there aren't enough employees to view all of the screens with the video feed. "What we wanted is to create a solution where software would automatically detect what is relevant to pay attention to. Existing solutions on the market for video analysis don't do this. They read license plates or count the number of people that walk by a predetermined point," he said.

Nokia is also working with cities to offer sensor feeds combined with video cameras to determine available parking spots.

Smart lighting application: Enables municipalities to optimize electricity use and reduce costs through real-time inventory management; while automatically detecting lighting issues and failures to help ensure maximum uptime.

Vehicle applications: Enables predictive maintenance, fuel efficiency, supply chain optimization and geo-fencing solutions triggered by vehicle data—including fuel levels, speed, and GPS location. This data can be collected from a Connected Head Unit or an aftermarket (OBD2-based) device.

The original version of IMPACT arrived on the market in June 2016. The updated version will be available in the second quarter of 2017.

As for what's next, Ploumen said, "We've created this generic infrastructure and while it's relevant and provides economies of scale at the end of the day people that purchase IoT solutions to solve IoT problems still need to solve a very targeted problem in the field. With smart cities for example, it's one thing to say you should do a platform like IMPACT, but another thing to say I can solve your parking problem or your lighting solution. A platform alone is a key enabler but not enough. You need key applications."

A year ago, Nokia identified five key verticals to focus on: Cities, public safety, e-health, automotive, and utilities.

"Nokia's purchase of Withings was very much related to the fact that we want to be a vertical player in health, e-health devices that collect e-health data. Just an example of showing where Nokia is executing in its strategy to be relevant in these five verticals," he said.

Three takeaways for TechRepublic readers:

  1. Nokia is updating its IMPACT IoT platform to offer new interfaces for video analysis, smart parking, smart lighting, and fleet management.
  2. IMPACT is a horizontal platform to address multiple IoT applications across verticals.
  3. Nokia's work with a facial recognition solution will enable cities to reduce the number of video feeds needing to be reviewed, thereby reducing the labor required.

Also see

About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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