Is Blockchain a game changer for the Supply Chain?

Probably you are already familiar with the the Blockchain concept. It is like a Digital Big Bookkeeping in which the information is distributed and safely stored in many places instead of in a single bookkeeper. These places are databases that offer  the  guarantee that the information is always true using the Blockchain algorithms. Using Blockchain for record and track transactions can be useful in many ways, one of the most interesting is the traceability of products, like food. This can revolutionize the food supply chain  and this is precisely the idea of initiatives like Provenance.

Provenance  defines itself like a “platform  that empowers brands to take steps toward greater transparency by tracing the origins and history of products”. They use blockchain, for example  in a pilot about tracking tuna from Indonesia with a traceability tool: a great idea, don’t you think? This  pilot was developed from january to june this year, tracking yellowfin and tuna fish from fisherman to export stage. And at the end of the chain, consumers  have access to all the information about the product:  from the data of the tuna catches to  the conversion in factories in tuna cans. The quality, the ethic, the day of the catches …  this is the revolution, the access to the all the information in the chain and the guarantee that always this information is true.

Mega-Diagram

Actual players in distribution, like Walmart, are taking positions working in programs to track food and put chinese pork on a blockchain. Thinking for a moment about that: you can see all the steps of a product chain until it arrives in your hands. You can also check the authenticity of it, if you want ( including second hand products!)  Is it the end of fake products thanks to blockchain? Can brands protect their creations from fraud? The global trade of counterfeit products are worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year said by OECD. Brands want to protect from fakes and this is an opportunity for new business like VeChain  who use blockchain technology to protect brands & products. Check also BlockVerify and how they  track pharmaceutical products by offering a to ensure consumers that they receive an original product.

Blockverify

In this point  new business and new paradigms are changing some industries and emerge new type of business like Everledger that actually works avoiding fraud and following an ethic chain path in diamonds.

Everledger

The benefits of putting Blockchain technology in the supply chain systems are huge and we will see more wonderful ideas of companies and how old industries adapt to it. The way to do contracts (Smart Contracts), banks and venture capital companies are the first interesting parts in blockchain, surely you read some news about partnerships and ideas around them.

As you can imagine, in order to use Blockchain technology in the supply chain, some of the systems have to implement IoT devices in order to get new sources of data.   

IoT Gifts for December 2016

We have made a selection of devices and products we think can help you with your presents for this holidays!!!

1.- To forgetful people

Where I parked my car ? have you seen my keys? where is my wallet? is the person near you always asking the same questions? Clearly he or she needs Tile. Tile is a tiny Bluetooth tracker and easy-to-use app that helps you find everyday items in seconds (watch the video if you want to see how it works) . From 25$ .

Tile

And if your friend is a very, but very very forgetful person then the Glue keys are a good solution. Easy to use, you only need a smartphone to lock or unlock doors. You can create digital keys too. From 299$. More economic in this line works Garageio, a company sells from 199$ a system to automatize with your phone the garage´s door.

2.- For your house ( and also your pocket!)

And for those who have all type of gadgets, devices and other tech elements….which present can be perfect for the holidays??? In this field we offer you alternative ideas for the big forgotten: our homes. For example, a smart thermostats can be a good option for those who want to reduce his receipt at the end of the month: like Nest, one of the most knowed smart thermostat in the market (we wrote about a selection of smart thermostats recently , you can read the post here). From 249$.

3.- Personal assistance

Here we talk about two biggers. In the one hand,  Amazon Echo ( from 179$): A hands-free speakers connects to Alexa Voice Service and tell you the weather, select your music, read the meeting of the day…in the other hand Google Home ( from 99$ ) another hands -free speaker to answer questions….included the connection with your Nest Thermostat we have already see a some lines before.

 home

4.-For pet lovers

Another gift option can be for dogs and cats … they are part of the families and sometimes can be a good inspiration for your gifts … which can run with IoT too!! Read here about some ideas we gave you this november, like PetCube: a company who has a device who has a reward cookie system that  allows you to have streaming video of your pet , talk to him and play.( Available early 2017).

Petcube-Bites_Gameplay-1

5.- Fashionist

The mix between fashion industry and IoT can be great! Some companies are already using the technology with RFID tags for inventories for example. But Spinali, is one of the first company to launch to the market a connected jeans (available in pre-order until 12/12/2016). The jeans has 2 sensors and with GPS permits through vibration offers a guide to the city….From 89$.

PANTALON_VESTE_COURTE_IMG_4393_2048x2048

6.- For new parents

If you are expecting a baby or looking gifts for new parents you must read our article about baby´s wearables .You can find some interesting ( and useful ideas) about how IOT can help new parents with some worries about how to care a baby.Like Owlet:  a smart sock that scans the heart rate and monitors the oxygen, using oximetry technology. The information is sent to a base station you can put in your room. In case something goes wrong, alarms with sound red light can wake you.From 249$.

 

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7.- For kids too

There are some toys are perfect for kids and fit perfectly in this review like Leapfrog Leapband. It is an activity tracker but designed for kids with a customizable pet that encourages an active play with a reward points system. From 29.99$.

leapband-activity-band_19263_1

8.- For stressful people

Buying gifts generates stress at yourself?? Do not worry, we found a perfect gift for you too. Thync: using electric stimulation to change your mood through your mobile. Nearly  unbelievable!!! From 199$.

Thync

9.- For makers

We have a present for you all the year guys! If you have an idea you can make a Proof of Concept and take advantage with our IoT Platform for free. You can start your project with one or two devices and create a unique gift for your loved ones or even design the the next big IoT success with Carriots!!

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And now, are you ready for the Holiday Gift Time?

Tutorial: How to Connect an Apple device to Carriots

Of course, one of the most demanded questions made by makers is how to connect Apple devices to Carriots. The Big Apple company has 1 billion active devices in the world and we are sure that you are thinking that your project must be compatible with iOS. In this Tutorial we show you how easy is to create a Proof of Concept (POC) prototype using an IPhone app, an  Apple Watch (using WatchOS), a Raspberry  and our IoT Platform Carriots.

How it works: Apple to Carriots

In the example, iOS and watchOS are programmed using Swift to send a data stream to Carriots that closes or open a light circuit. All the data streams sent by the iPhone or the Apple WATCH are collected and stored in Carriots. In this tutorial  you will also learn how to build a very simple Alert App that sends an email to you in case the Raspberry Pi closes the light circuit thanks to the streams sent by Apple devices.

Image Carriots on Iphone

We hope you can make marvelous POC´s with this feature and tutorial . And if you have any doubts you can use our forum to contact our team or drop us an email to support support@carriots.com )

Enjoy it!

It´s raining cats and dogs … wearables and devices!

The wearables market has exploded and there are dozens of solutions for many daily problems that we have or wearables that make our life easier and comfortable. But when we talk about wearables, people usually think about wearables for humans and there is another market with dozens of IoT solutions:we talk about pets. And it will be a big market, recently we read an article about pet wearables and tech by Sandy Robins who says that this market is set to be a $2.6 billion industry by 2019 (according to a IDTechEx report).

Our domestic animals are part of our families and we can take care of them using some IoT devices. Dogs and Cats are the kings of this category. One of the most  used features for pet wearables is a GPS to record the activity of your pet and send the information to your phone . This information tells you if your pet is a bit lazy and need practice more sport. There are some companies working in this area like PitPat, Whistle or Wonderwoof. All works with a smart collar or a device you must to put in the collar of your cat/dog.

wonderwoof 4

A bit further is Pet Pace, that tracks health information of your cat or dog like: temperature, heart beating, respiration rate or the body posture of you pet to identify pain for example. This devices is sold to veterinarians too . The information is collected by a smart non-invasive collar and send all the data to an app mobile to manage it.

PetPace

Beyond these connected collars, there are other devices to help us take care of our pets like PetNet which Is a Smart Feeder that allows you to manage the feeding times and the portion sizes from your smartphone. PetCube is another company who has many solutions in this line, like a reward cookie system or a device that  allows you to have streaming video of your pet , talk to him and play with a laser toy. You can see the video to see how it works.

Petcube-Bites_Gameplay-1

And also PetCube  works with your Apple Watch. Not all useful things are made with very high tech, sometimes devices for our pets are only good ideas, like Piqapoo. It is a kickstarter project, very well explained by Matthew Hughes here( video is funny to see).

There is no census of connected dogs versus cats but, do you prefer cats or dogs?

Tutorial: How to Connect a Raspberry to Carriots and a Relay

In Carriots we have an easy platform to use and practice your IoT projects. Most of users start by creating Proof of Concept (POC) prototypes with simple computing boards. Therefore we publish simple Tutorial with most demanded features for POCs. We have just published a new tutorial to connect a Raspberry to our Platform to monitor and control a Relay. In this example you create an alarm app warning us if a light is on by monitoring the state of a Relay.

Tutorial: How to Connect a Raspberry to Carriots and a Relay 1

This is an easy and fast example about how a Raspbery Pi can be programmed to send a data stream to Carriots and build apps very quickly with a few lines of code. In this scenario we are going to build a very simple Alert App that sends a SMS to you in case that Raspberry Pi detects a change in the Relay.

Tutorial: How to Connect a Raspberry to Carriots and a Relay

This is a very simple example, but our platform permits more complex integrations and uses. You have more tutorials on our Developers Space and also documentation .And if you have any doubts you can use our forum to contact our team or drop us an email to support ( support@carriots.com )

Have a nice weekend !

Top rating! 5 Stars!

We are very proud to announce that the external company Early Metrics has rated Carriots with five stars, the top level. Early Metrics is a specialized rating agency for start-ups and SME´s .

bottom_5

To reach the maximum valuation level (the five stars) the Early Metrics team has conducted several interviews and have analyzed different aspects of Carriots. Following Early Metrics methodology, during the evaluation process we covered confidential information, like:

  • Company origin and shareholders
  • Management team
  • Carriots products and technology
  • Market addressed
  • Go to Market strategy
  • Income model
  • Historic evolution
  • Analysis of partners ecosystem
  • SWOT Analysis ( strength, weakness, opportunities and threats)
  • Interview with key customers to collect feedback
  • Interviews with key employees
  • Financial results of the company and his evolution

We want to share this Five Stars rating with our customers and partners. We believe it reflects the strength and innovative character of Carriots Project. This recognition is also a boost for us to work harder and to continue upgrading  our software for present and future clients.

Winter is coming … to the Smart Home!!

Carriots headquarters are located in Madrid and the weather is normally great here! The first cold arrived to our lives without last week without notice. A good opportunity to talk about the efficiency of heating systems and how IoT devices can help us.

Recently, at SouthSummit, we met Momit, a spanish startup that has developed a Smart Thermostat. All the features you can imagine in this product are included: temperature control (cold and heat) through a mobile app, presence detection, contrast weather predictions, learn your routines and with geolocalization detecting if you are near your home.

If you are not sure if this device can save your money, they offer a calculator in their website to decide comparing the surface of your home, your heating system and your budget.

We are sure you certainly know Nest, the company turned very famous when Google bought it a few years ago.  Nest has a Learning Thermostat: turns off when you leave your house, see your daily energy consumed and tell you how to reduce it. It does so by detecting your daily routines and at the end, it programs itself!  

Nest has another interesting product: a Smoke + CO2 detector ( our CEO bought one, we will ask him to tell us his opinion sometime). If you are looking for more examples, we recommended an article where Chris Barracloug talks about Nest and other smart thermostats: Hive (British Gas) Tadoº , Netamo, Honeywell Evohome and Ecobee3.

We end talking about Ecovent, that is another type of system for heating systems based on hot air. It works installing one smart sensor in every room you want to check and changing your ventilation grill. You can control the temperature of each room independently through the mobile app. Ecovent explains how it works in this funny company video (must see):

Are you planning to transform your heating into a Smart System this winter? It is a good investment in IoT that can save you a lot of money! 

Energy Harvesting and IoT: Is it the end of the batteries?

Yes, it could be…but nowadays only if you need small energy quantities that can be reloaded with autonomous microgenerators.  This is called Energy Harvesting. There are big steps in this revolution that can be very useful to Internet of Things projects. The IoT revolution and Energy harvesting are very related and grow together.  Indeed is a necessary revolution, some predictions says that it will be near 34 billion of IoT devices by 2020.

Usually the sensors in IOT solutions need a minimal quantity of energy and can be supplied with energy around them. These sensors need a long-term solution of power to run properly. The microgenerators collect the necessary energy from different sources: vibrations, radio waves, small solar panels or  body heating ( kinetic, solar and thermal energy). The possibilities of course are endless, from machinery in industry  to wearable objects. In the next video you see an example of an energy harvesting backpack development by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation):

The kinetic energy and the vibrations have opportunities in industry fields, for example with vibration machinery.  The french company Arveni has different B2B solutions in order to power wireless devices through microgenerators. In this line they are developed the T-Rex Vibration Energy Harvester (200 mW @ 50Hz 5 m / s²) who collects energy from the vibration of machinery (electric motors, pumps, fans, etc).

T-Rex_image

In IoT projects the sensors are the king and you need a good energy harvesting solution if you do not want to change batteries or to recharge batteries. A spanish company called Farsens works in RFID tags that do not need batteries. The RFID chip is integrated with low power sensors to collect and transmit data like temperature, pressure, humidity,…in the video you can see a demo about how to control a warehouse inventory with battery free sensors and with different weights of products.

EnOcean is one of the biggest companies in energy harvesting wireless technology and has  many partnerships to integrate this technology into IoT Solutions. Their technology allows to design self-powered IoT devices for industrial or home applications. Dr. Wald Siskens, CEO of EnOcean talks about some solutions.

What is your opinion about energy harvesting? Dou you have any doubts? Texas Instruments has a video where you can see how energy harvesting devices, with low-power microcontrollers, microgenerators and microsensors, can be present in our lives:  

South Summit: Crowdsourcing the Innovation Ecosystem

We enjoyed 3 days of South Summit full of experiences: meeting new startups, learning from different speakers, testing new tech products, taking to customers … We had a space in the Orange Stand because the company has an acceleration program we won last year. This year The Orange Fab Program has selected three new startups: Momit, Sensovida and Iomando.  Momit has a Smart Home solution to reduce energy consumed at homes, Sensovida is an innovative telecare solution that detects the presence of a person in their houses and IOmando, a new system to control the access to our homes ( or companies) with a mobile phone and without keys. Our CEO Miguel Castillo participated in a round table about Empowering Disruptors moderated by Eric Tartanson VP Corporate Development at Orange .

South Summit Round Table

At South Summit there were several acceleration programs and investors interested in new services or products related with new technologies. These type of gatherings show the endless opportunities to innovate in any sector.  Attending round tables discussions and masterclasses from successful entrepreneurs is always inspiring.

Here is the list of ideas worth noting on our diary:

  1. Focus on your project as your only job
  2. Do not be afraid to fail
  3. You will certainly need more resources than you planned
  4. Time and money are scarce resources, so don’t waste them
  5. Don’t surrender!

Join us at the South Summit 2016, la N@ve, Madrid

Hi!  Today and until Friday, we are present at South Summit 2016 in Madrid where Carriots has been chosen as one of the 100 finalist for the Startup Competition. More than 3000 projects were submitted to the competition in this occasion. The encounter also has a very interesting talks program during these 3 days with the participation of 250 international speakers from different areas of the startup ecosystem. It is very nice opportunity to learn directly from the best experts. You can see the program here.

Thanks to the Orange Fab program, Carriots will be present, with an IoT demo, at their booth. If you want to take a look at how the Internet of Things works in real with our technology, you want to visit us at Orange Stand in la N@ve.

South Summit  Orange-Carriots Stand
Luis Santos Innovation Director of Orange Spain, Laurent Paillassot CEO of Orange Spain, Miguel Castillo CEO of Carriots , Maria Montaner of Orange FAB Spain

The encounter, is organized by Spain Startup and Foundation IE-IE Business School, in collaboration with Endesa, BStartup of Banco Sabadell and Google for Entrepreneurs. This morning, our CEO, Miguel Castillo has participated in an investor’s speech to show Carriots exponential growth history. And tomorrow he will also participate in a round table.

South Summit CEO
Miguel Castillo, CEO of Carriots

Thank you to Maria Benjumea, founder of this event and the rest of the South Summit team made this encounter possible. We are spend a good time here!!