Culture

How IoT is Improving the Food and Beverage Industry

What do the food industry and technology have in common? The Internet. Probably one of the most trafficked industries and our most useful technological tool have joined forces to make eating and drinking easier for the rest of us. Developments ranging from using IoT to make food processing smarter and increasing leverage in food manufacturing, to applications in restaurants and food service and finally improvements to food quality and  safety. The food and beverage industry took IoT to their advantage and are finding new ways to improve the market with new technology and innovative automation advances.

An Era of Benefits

Companies have found ways for IoT to manage the food industry in many different ways. The ability to track the ingredients of finished food products and monitor the  expiration dates faster and with more efficiency, our food has become safer to consume. These new innovative creations are particularly important for manufacturers and producers that need to keep track of products cost effectively; without increasing the price of the food to the end consumer.

IoT has found new ways to connect products with software to  make them easier to manage. With products like smart sensors, that are replacing paper used to manage continuous data on food production, manufacture, and transportation food waste has been significantly reduced. IoT can facilitate approaches that will better track ingredients that will lead to appropriate management of inventory and ingredients and hence improve the overall financial returns for the quarter.  

Not only will IoT benefit the food and beverage industry by increasing the quality of the product it can  also boost the manufacturers’ bottom-line  results. IoT contributions to the  speed and ease at which food is tracked and managed in the supply chain trickles down to better management, which in the end leads to better earnings and revenue. Since IoT technologies are relatively new, companies and manufactures that acquire them as early adopters will  have a big advantage over the competition. IoT is quickly creating a technological and economic advantage for those companies that leverage it in food and beverage industries.

A Variety of Products

IoT has made its way into restaurants and the hospitality industry, perfecting the management of small and local businesses in cities and urban communities. Consumers are already using IoT in everyday products, and like QR scanners and barcodes did in the past, IoT can be used to easily find product information or to speed up the checkout process. IoT has lead to new products and machinery like smart refrigerators with optical scanners that will inform owners when products are near expiration, pantries that will inform producers the correct amount of items for proper inventory, and temperature and humidity sensors that allow shippers to keep track of the proper environmental storage conditions of the food.

Do you have an IoT project you need help with? Bluefin Technology Partners helps companies build amazing connected solutions. We understand the complexity and collaboration required between organizational disciplines in order to deliver an IoT product to market on time and on budget.  We provide the services needed to assess your market, manage your partners, and shepherd your project through successful launch.

Key Trends in Connected Health: Emerging Technologies Will Make Our Lives Better

By Sam Margolis, Cantina & Mike Po, Bluefin Technology Partners - Members of Uplift Cooperative (https://www.upliftcoop.com/) The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge recently hosted an event for professionals in the Connected Health space at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA. With a focus on emerging technologies that will improve patient care, over a hundred industry leaders and Doctors heard from seven companies that are on the front wave of transformation in health care. Here are some key takeaways central themes we see emerging in this space:

  • Tighten your seatbelts: The advances in connected product technologies for healthcare in the past few years have outpaced the development over the last 20.

Dr. Joseph Kvedar, Vice President of Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, presented the evolution of connected products for health and wellness. Dr. Kvedar has been involved in the industry for the past 20 years and now focuses the majority of the time working with Partners Healthcare to develop solutions for connected health.  

Dr. Kvedar sees the advancements in this area limited not by technology (as it was in the past) but by patient and doctor barriers. He noted that, “The solutions for connected health must be designed for usability by both the patient and the doctor” and went on to cite the three most important areas for consideration when designing connected products:

  1. Create frictionless User Interfaces

  2. Leverage proven engagement tools

  3. Design software and connected products that show empathy for their users

  • Less is more: Home health care technology will be most effective if it uses proven engagement tools.

Leveraging existing engagement tools such as the Amazon Alexa and other voice enabled home devices can be both a platform and springboard for innovation and improving patient care in the home.   Bill Rogers, CEO of Orbita (https://www.orbitahealth.com/) demonstrated his company's voice interaction system built on top of Amazon Echo.  Orbita Voice engages patients with user experiences that adapt to their needs, including intuitive, intelligent voice assistants based on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to inform, educate, and encourage.   

  • Inner and outer beauty are both important: Connected health care technology contains groundbreaking features - but nobody will use them without intuitive and engaging User Experiences.

Seven very promising technologies were showcased at the forum.   All have the potential to help make people’s lives significantly more healthy and fulfilling.  However, they were all in need of significant thought about how users will (or will not) ultimately adapt to and adopt the technologies.

In our experience as human interface experts and digital designers we have focused our companies on perfecting the human experience associated with mobile, web and custom applications.  This is a critically important element to accelerate and ensure the adoption of any new technology, especially as it relates to health care.

Senscio Technologies provides an AI platform to better manage and understand gaps in healthcare to improve health outcomes.

4)  Gateways could become the future for enabling the adoption of connected health products

The innovation happening with connected products is astounding, but in many cases highly specialized when it comes to patient care and well being.  This creates scenarios where patients may have to use many different products, applications, wearables in the same day to get a complete picture of their health and well being.  Simplifying the experience will help facilitate adoption.  To that end, the real winners in this space will figure out how to provide central gateways where multiple products can be managed and integrated giving the end user single point or application to manage many specialized products.  There remains great opportunity to address this key trend through superior integrations and experiences.

 

For your listening pleasure...

Recently we've implemented a Getting to Know You form for potential new hires.   A couple of the questions in there focus around musical taste.  Reason being - on a regular basis we play a little game of DJ.  Crank open a Collaborative Spotify List and take turns dialing in a soundtrack.  Musical fit is a must here at Bluefin. Here's the latest excerpt from this week.  With the fall weather settling in, it pairs well with a hearty Cabernet or Brown/Autumn Ale, a handful of friends and crock pot meal.

Enjoy!

Bluefin All-hands In Killington, Vermont

The gangs all here!

The gangs all here!

This past week, the Bluefin team gathered at Killington Mountain for a few days of productive, focused time dedicated to the vision and annual goals of our company.

Over our four years of operations, Bluefin has seen steady growth and brought our company from a little known software development company to where we are today. However, this year we are setting the bar high. We set this meeting to figure how exactly we can achieve these goals, and reach the bar that we have set for ourselves. The goals of the session were simples: Set the bar, Plan to reach the bar, Go to the bar (celebrate a year of great successes).

Setting the Bar

Bluefin has visions for growth. Over the day we set our sights on ambitious, yet achievable growth for the next year. In order to do this we ran workshops to answer the following questions: Who are we? What do we do? and  Who is the perfect client?

In the months to follow, we will be transforming our marketing to match our conversations from our meetings and workshops. We won't bore our readers here with definitive answers to these questions, however, we hope that our upcoming new messaging can answer these questions.

Reaching the Bar

Now, to achieve these visions for growth in the next year we have set concrete values that our employees and company as a whole must uphold to bring these visions into actuality.

Our Values:

  1. We're Human: We act as a partner, not as a general contractor

  2. Open and honest dialogue: Doing the right thing for the client comes first and communicating attentively with the client is key

  3. Fiscal honesty and transparency: Accurate project scoping and timeliness

  4. Commitment and follow through: Tailor each experience to the customer, and shepherd projects to completion

  5. Never compromise quality: Offer a practical, pragmatic approach to design and development. Back up our product designs by truly implementable and scalable technology

Go to the Bar 

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Thursday night, after the meeting, the entire company went out for a little fun. We went to Jay's favorite local spot, the Lookout Tavern for some beers and a few rounds of pool (which our interns took the crown for best record, second place went to Jay and Mike). We then grabbed dinner and cooled off in the pool. Friday morning we decided to burn off the the previous nights festivities and took a trip to the summit and back down.

All in all the trip was a success, we came out with a clear vision of who we are, where we want to be, and how to get to that point. Plus, we got to enjoy all of the amenities that the town had to offer. Thanks to the Killington Grand we had a wonderful all-hands, and we can't wait to do it again.

Bluefin Gives Back: Corporate Giving Event at Jeremiah's Inn

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The Mission

This week Bluefin had the pleasure of teaming up with our next door neighbors Origin Consulting and Action Worcester to volunteer for an afternoon at Jeremiah's Inn. Jeremiah's Inn houses 29 men and operates as a transitional establishment that helps adult men who have struggled with addiction juggle Jobs, Rehabilitation and Social pressures all while remaining clean.

We contacted Jeremiah's Inn because we wanted to give back to the local community. Nearly all of our employees have a deep connection with the City of Worcester; by either growing up in the area, attending school here, or by just visiting. We feel responsible to help contribute to the amazing growth the city has seen in the last few years. Local addiction centers like Jeremiah's Inn are leading the charge in the rehabilitation efforts of the city.

Our Menu

Now, cooking for 29 hungry men is no easy feat, so we kept our menu simple and stuck to a dinner time staple for many households across America. We cooked Chicken Parmesan, Garlic Bread, and Caesar Salad.

The Finished Product

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After a few hours; lots of tenderizing, some spills, burns, and piles of dirty dishes, we served dinner. I speak for the entire team when I say that the guys we cooked for could not have been more grateful and Jeremiah's Inn could not have been a better host. We would like to thank the team at Jeremiah's Inn and the men there for bringing us into their home and giving us the opportunity to cook a meal for them. We will surely be back for round 2, and we will be bringing our A game.

Ireland could become the first ever IoT Island

Ireland to be the first IoT Island!

It looks as though Ireland will become the first smart island. The Irish government has created a great environment for tech firms to move to. That is due to their great tax incentives, Companies like IBM, Dell, Google and many more have large offices/ labs there. The country has also created quite a budget for the implementation of IoT into their cities and industries. They have already begun in several counties to create smart cities, and smart farms. Its safe to say Ireland has become a Iot Island, a sort of Iot testbed for the entire world.

Towns in Ireland have begun to implement IoT

In the town of Crossmolina in the county Mayo they have already installed a smart city lighting system. This system aims to reduce energy waste by installing smart city lights. The second thing this system does is help out the local residents use their energy more efficiently. This smart city lighting system is being handled by an American Corporation known as Silver Spring Networks. They currently have 23.6 million devices on their networks, and are now in charge of the network in mayo. Mayo isn't the only town or city helping turn Ireland int an IoT Island.

Startup IoT networks are everywhere in Ireland

Startup VT networks also is working in Ireland but on a much broader scale. VT networks is attempting to cover the entire nation's IoT network problems by implementing their SigFox network. SigFox is a low power Broad range network that reaches millions of devices from robots to smoke alarms and many others. Right now however VT networks is approaching business around Ireland with their services. Those services include Smart metering, Inventory tracking, as well as security systems. Many farming companies, notice the value of the SigFox IoT network.

Industry Giants also have projects in ireland

Tech Firm  giants like Intel, Google, and IBM all have their own projects going on also in Ireland. Intel is helping turn Croke Park into the first IoT sports stadium in the world. IBM has a joint research project going on with the Marine Institute of Ireland to monitor marine life and other aquatic happenings in Ireland. Google has a billion dollar investment riding on a micro-chip produced by Dublin based firm Movidius. Lastly in April it was announced that the mountains of Donegal would become the test site for Chinese company DJL’s rescue drones.

Our take aways

This is exactly what the united states could use. More government funded research and tax incentives for more tech firms with promising ideas to enter the Iot world. It also would take more state governments opening up to the idea of IoT implementation into our cities and towns. This new investment would also bring quite a number of new jobs. Jobs that can provide many college graduates from a variety of majors means to provide for themselves and cultivate new ideas.

for more on this topic you can read the article Silicon-republic wrote.  https://www.siliconrepublic.com/machines/make-ireland-worlds-premier-internet-things-island