News of the Internet of Things in Russia and throughout the world
China aims for leadership in the field of the Internet of Things, as analytical data and forecasts signalize. Russia also strives to contribute to the development of the upscale technology. The country launches a training program for young IoT specialists, there are startup robotics companies there, and it has released the first smart speaker that recognizes the Russian language.
Yandex develops a smart speaker
Smart device Yandex.Station went for sale on July 10. This is the first gadget from Yandex, a smart music speaker based on Alice personal voice assistant. Thanks to Alice, the user can give commands to the device such as turning on the required track, reading news and weather forecast, searching for information on the web. If you connect the Station to a Smart TV through HDMI, it will be able to find and turn on films in such apps as Kinopoisk, ivi, or Amediateka.
According to user feedbacks, the speaker seamlessly understands commands even if the music is playing (realized thanks to the Yandex io system). Moreover, you can turn the microphone off so that Alice does not hear you.
Apple, Google, and Amazon have analogous devices. However, Yandex.Station is the first smart speaker that understands the Russian language. Therefore, in several hours after the announcement, the company received around 20,000 orders, and on the first day of sales, there was a rush in the specialized store.
From a smart speaker to a smart house
Yandex is planning to go further and create a smart house system based on the Yandex.Station. Currently, the company is looking for partners in the IoT field.
to Yandex representatives, the new gadget has the potential to control a smart house: even now, it can be integrated with a security system to allow Alice to turn on the alarm system. The Station can also dial the emergency number. In the future, the team of the project will expand the capabilities of the Yandex.Station. It will be able to interact with light, heating, and conditioning systems, smart home appliances. Engineers also note that no companies in Russia offer readymade smart house systems. So you have no way of integrating the Yandex.Station in a functioning project. You will have to find the other way like building the system around the device.
Meanwhile, today only 6% of smart speaker owners all over the world use the device to control a smart house (data provided in the research conducted by IHS Markit).
Perm-based robot developer will receive 450 million rubles in investments
VEB Innovations fund (a subsidiary of Vnesheconombank) has signed an agreement of intent with Promobot, a company that develops robotics assistants in Perm. The agreement stipulates that VEB Innovations will invest 450 million rubles in the development of new robots and production development of Promobot within three years.
The parties have not discussed the investment scheme yet: VEB Innovations can gain a company’s share or act as a loaner. The agreement is expected to be signed in September of 2018.
Promobot produces robots that can function as consultants in banks and stores, tour guides, concierges, security guards. Using the investments, the company is planning to upgrade the existing models, production facilities, and start scaling the business.
China strives to become a leader in the industrial IoT
The GSMA telecom alliance published a report noting the progress of China in the industrial IoT. The country is starting to lead the pack in terms of the technology. Such factors as the strong support from the government and achievements in the field of machine learning facilitate this. The Internet of Things was included in the long-term plans of China’s digitization back in 2010: the prime minister of the People's Republic of China Wen Jiabao was mentioning it at press conferences. In 2015, the government revealed the Internet Plus action plan that discussed the integration of the Internet technologies and traditional industries.
The report of the GSMA forecasts that the number of IoT connections in the world will reach 13.8 billion in 2025 with 4.1 billion out of them found in China. It is likely that China’s national mobile operators such as Asia Pacific Telecom Group, China Mobile, China Telecom, etc. will comprise a significant share there.
Russian universities will train specialists in IoT
Russia is launching a training program for young specialists in the field of robotics and IoT. It is intended for students that major in technical subjects: participants will obtain new knowledge in the field of the Internet of Things and robotics and learn to develop products that can be sent for batch production. The program aims to align education with the requirements of the industry.
The program was initiated by the Sistema Charity Fund and Mikron Group. Potential participants are students in the third and fourth year of bachelor’s degree and students in the first and second year of the master’s degree majoring in engineering. They will be developing microchips, modeling functional blocks, analyzing the market, and assessing the prospects of developments. The program will also offer team projects and participation in offsite hackathons.
Mikron will provide students with its laboratories and the company’s engineers will play the role of mentors for young specialists. Moreover, the program will include lectures and workshops from top managers of the Russian and foreign companies.
The Sistema Charity Fund, which is testing a new support model for young engineers this year, will provide financing for the program.
The first student enrolment will start in summer and last until September 1. It will be of a closed type, as university principals will propose candidates. Assumed partners include the National Research University of Electronic Technology (MIET), Ural Federal University, Tomsk State University, Tomsk Polytechnic University.