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Editorial

India, South Korea to collaborate on Internet of Things

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By EMN Updated: Jan 21, 2014 10:33 pm
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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]echnology firms of India and South Korea, as part of a newly inked agreement to join hands in the cyber world, could collaborate on the emerging domain of “Internet of Things”, or IoT, projected to be a $19 trillion market over the next several years.
South Koreain President Park Geun-hye, during her visit to India last week, pitched for IoT as one area where the two countries should work jointly and address other markets.“Korea and India will be able to produce a global win-win model through a creative economy from the former’s strength in hardware and the latter’s competitiveness in software,” Park said, addressing an information and communications technology forum. IoT, next-generation smartphones and big data, she said, will be the core engines to achieve a “creative economy” for sustainable growth.
Communications & IT Minister Kapil Sibal and South Korean Science, ICT and Future Planning Minister Choi Mun-Kee signed a “Joint Declaration Of Intent” between the two ministries to “promote, facilitate and support joint ventures, joint initiatives and markets in the ICT sector”.
The two sides also agreed to establish the ICT Policy Forum and hold its first meeting this year to discuss cooperation on software and information security.
NASSCOM President R Chandrashekhar says there are many things in South Korea that are domain-specific and a partnership would provide an opportunity for Indian firms venturing into newer products and services. The aim would be to “promote the partnership and scale this up.”
IoT is a term for connected sensors, devices and objects. It refers to new technologies that will put everything from your home appliances to the most insignificant object on the Internet for remote monitoring and automatic communication.
Market research firm IDC predicts that more than 200 billion items will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers says IoT will change the way people live, work and play. “It will be bigger than anything that’s ever been done in high tech.”
A 2013 McKinsey report estimated various IoT applications could have an economic impact of between $14 trillion and $33 trillion a year by 2025. IDC in a report ranked South Korea second after the US among 20 major countries in terms of preparedness for IoT.
“The opportunity for vendors from India to seize opportunities in the top tier G20 countries with services, analytics and applications specific to IoT is the real story for the country, in addition to the evolving efforts it can place on becoming prepared for the IoT world,” Denise Lund, research director, Mobile Enterprise Services and M2M, at IDC, told TelecomLead.com.
British technology guru Kevin Ashton, while working for Procter & Gamble in 1999, suposedly first came up with the term. According to Ashton, efficiency can be increased and waste can be minimised by computer-tagging all objects and people, and dovetailing their needs with production.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, companies like Cisco, GE and Verizon, unveiled their IoT capabilities.
Korean chaebols LG and Samsung revealed entire systems and expensive home appliances for the IoT.
LG’s smart fridge, for example, will text you if you’re out of milk.
Samsung’s Shape speaker system can stream audio wirelessly from the cloud — no phone or computer needed.
French company Kolibree displayed a connected toothbrush that keeps a tab on what’s happening in your mouth.
Earlier this month, Google bought Nest, a smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker. It also displayed a smart contact lens, which monitors diabetics’ glucose levels.
Global research institutes expect that the number of identifying devices that are machine-readable in the IoT will amount to as many as $50 billion by 2020 to enable the advent of the new era.
While at one level this is all extremely exciting for the growth of technology and with that the employment avenues this will generate … it immediately brings to mind the state of IT in Nagaland. If the state is to reap any benefit even a fraction of a fraction of the estimated $50 billion dollar new era by 2020, we will have to get some fundamentals in place by now. IT growth cannot be only about the strength of signals, it is equally about the number of people who know how to use this new form of communication. In other words the penetration of computers and usage of the same in our daily lives will reflect if Nagaland is going to have a share in the growth of this sector. While many schools, albeit private especially in the urban centres lay emphasis on acquiring computer skills what is equally urgent is for rural Nagaland, to get familiar with IT as well. One way is achieve this is to make all government departments including Ministers and MLA’s IT friendly. It is dismal to learn that only a handful of Ministers or MLA’s use the internet for their work. The bureaucrats score better on this issue.
In such a situation what hope is there to attain e- governance?
If the leaders learn the benefits of this modern communication system it will usher in, improved networks and a competition amongst service providers. Right now it is a monopoly of a few private players who could care less if the networks are up or down since it is a faceless mass that they are serving. Who will complain and to whom?
The use of internet in a mountainous state where surface communication is a challenge naturally due to the terrain as well as poorly constructed roads can go a long way in providing peace of mind. Not only will the population access news and updates more readily but information on just about everything will be at his finger tip.
Secondly as the mandate of the state is to promote Nagaland as a tourist destination it makes it that much easier for visitors to be on mail with their hosts in homes stays and saving both parties the tension of confirming and reconfirming.The net can also assist farmers, manufacturers in the rural areas to sell their products directly on line.
The injection of IT in the villages will also ensure that the youth find employment in this sector and don’t feel the need to migrate to urban places. We as a people need to be prepared for this revolution which is now on our doorsteps. Some section of the youth are already exploring the use of this industry gainfully by promoting their enterprises. It’s a big world out there of which we are a part of. It is imperative that leaders take cognizance of the possibility of this medium and prioritize the responsible use of IT. It must begin with them first. Atleast their private secretary’s can begin by inviting questions for the minister or MLA’s for an inter action on line with the VIP’s once a month. This can be done ‘live’ for an hour, by giving pre publicity so that the public will know the appointed time and log in. The truth is ‘knowledge is power’ and we have to pause and ask the question if we are doing enough to acquire ‘knowledge’. (with inputs from ians)

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By EMN Updated: Jan 21, 2014 10:33:13 pm