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HPE opens APAC innovation lab to tap IoT market

Facility in Singapore will rope in partners across the internet of things ecosystem to test new applications powered by HPE’s edge computing capabilities

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has opened the doors to its first internet of things (IoT) innovation lab in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to capture a slice of the fast-growing technology segment.

Housed in HPE’s APAC headquarters in Singapore, the new lab – one of four across the globe – will bring together different players in the IoT ecosystem to test the use of IoT across a myriad of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare and retail.

Singapore-based startup gridComm, for example, has developed a smart lighting system that provides responsive lighting controls, such as brightening of lighting when sensors detect foot traffic, to improve public safety and lower operational cost.

The system is powered by HPE’s IoT gateway and HPE Edgeline Converged Edge systems, as well as the HPE Universal IoT platform and HPE data analytics capabilities for IoT device management.

In addition, HPE has worked with chipmaker Nvidia and Singapore-based video analytics startup Xjera Labs on a video surveillance system that processes video content at the edge of the network to improve reaction time and eliminate the need to transmit a copious amount of video data to a datacentre.

Pointing to the Edgeline family of converged IoT systems that combine compute, storage and networking in a single device akin to a smartphone, one senior HPE executive has claimed leadership in bringing a sliver of datacentre computing to the edge of a network in what is known as edge computing.

“What we’re doing for the IoT edge is what the smartphone has done for the consumer – that is, putting all devices into one easy-to-buy and manage device while lowering the carbon footprint,” said Tom Bradicich, HPE’s vice president and general manager for servers, converged edge and IoT systems.

The ability to control edge computing devices remotely is just as critical – a need that HPE has addressed with Edgeline’s physical response signalling more commonly found in industrial control systems. This operational technology (OT) feature was built by National Instruments, Bradicich’s former employer.

Read more about IoT in APAC

Prior to the launch of its IoT lab in Singapore, HPE had been making inroads with IoT deployments across the region. In 2017, HPE and Tata Communications said they would build the world’s largest IoT network in India to improve public infrastructure and safety in the subcontinent.

Trials had been carried out in areas such as street lighting, as well as theft protection using proximity sensors. Safety measures using tracking and SOS-based devices would also improve the personal safety of individuals.

According to IDC, HPE has global delivery capabilities with in-house expertise for quickly building IoT industry applications and use cases, and is targeting complex use cases, such as connected car and smart cities.

“While the payoff for the winners in these deals could be huge, they will require strong partnering skills and time before significant revenue results are achieved,” it said in a 2017 research report.

The technology research firm estimated that the IoT market in APAC, excluding Japan, will grow from $335.6bn in 2016 to $565.5bn in 2020 as the global IoT landscape continues to mature. Across the region, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand are the most capable and ready to generate efficiencies from IoT adoption.

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