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Archives for December 2018 | The News @ Validactor - The Global Anti-counterfeiting solution

What is an IoT Platform?

"While we wait for the soon-to-be-released Validactor IoT platform, let's start learning what it is all about it. What companies can do with it? How will the existing customer profiling and product protection Validactor platform will integrate" Said Dino Sergiano at a company presentation today in Paris, France. "Internet of Things is everywhere and we must position ourselves as key player in this arena likewise we are in the customer profiling and anti counterfeiting field thru our unique product serialization technology" added Mr. Sergiano.

What is an IoT platform?
An IoT platform is a multi-layer technology that enables straightforward provisioning, management, and automation of connected devices within the Internet of Things universe. It basically connects your hardware, however diverse, to the cloud by using flexible connectivity options, enterprise-grade security mechanisms, and broad data processing powers. For developers, an IoT platform provides a set of ready-to-use features that greatly speed up development of applications for connected devices as well as take care of scalability and cross-device compatibility.


Thus, an IoT platform can be wearing different hats depending on how you look at it. It is commonly referred to as middleware when we talk about how it connects remote devices to user applications (or other devices) and manages all the interactions between the hardware and the application layers. It is also known as a cloud enablement platform or IoT enablement platform to pinpoint its major business value, that is empowering standard devices with cloud-based applications and services. Finally, under the name of the IoT application enablement platform, it shifts the focus to being a key tool for IoT developers.

IoT platform as the middleware
IoT platforms originated in the form of IoT middleware, which purpose was to function as a mediator between the hardware and application layers. Its primary tasks included data collection from the devices over different protocols and network topologies, remote device configuration and control, device management, and over-the-air firmware updates.

To be used in real-life heterogeneous IoT ecosystems, IoT middleware is expected to support integration with almost any connected device and blend in with third-party applications used by the device. This independence from underlying hardware and overhanging software allows a single IoT platform to manage any kind of connected device in the same straightforward way.
Modern IoT platforms go further and introduce a variety of valuable features into the hardware and application layers as well. They provide components for frontend and analytics, on-device data processing, and cloud-based deployment. Some of them can handle end-to-end IoT solution implementation from the ground up.

IoT platform technology stack
In the four typical layers of the IoT stack, which are things, connectivity, core IoT features, and applications & analytics, a top-of-the-range IoT platform should provide you with the majority of IoT functionality needed for developing your connected devices and smart things.

Your devices connect to the platform, which sits in the cloud or in your on-premises data center, either directly or by using an IoT gateway. A gateway comes useful whenever your endpoints aren’t capable of direct cloud communication or, for example, you need some computing power on edge. You can also use an IoT gateway to convert protocols, for example, when your endpoints are in LoRaWan network but you need them to communicate with the cloud over MQTT.

An IoT platform itself can be decomposed into several layers. At the bottom there is the infrastructure level, which is something that enables the functioning of the platform. You can find here components for container management, internal platform messaging, orchestration of IoT solution clusters, and others.

The communication layer enables messaging for the devices; in other words, this is where devices connect to the cloud to perform different operations.

The following layer represents core IoT features provided by the platform. Among the essential ones are data collection, device management, configuration management, messaging, and OTA software updates.

Sitting on top of core IoT features, there is another layer, which is less related to data exchange between devices but rather to processing of this data in the platform. There is reporting, which allows you to generate custom reports. There is visualization for data representation in user applications. Then, there are a rule engine, analytics, and alerting for notifying you about any anomalies detected in your IoT solution.

Importantly, the best IoT platforms allow you to add your own industry-specific components and third-party applications. Without such flexibility adapting an IoT platform for a particular business scenario could bear significant extra cost and delay the solution delivery indefinitely.

Advanced IoT platforms
There are some other important criteria that differentiate IoT platforms between each other, such as scalability, customizability, ease of use, code control, integration with 3rd party software, deployment options, and the data security level.

  • Scalable (cloud native) – advanced IoT platforms ensure elastic scalability across any number of endpoints that the client may require. This capability is taken for granted for public cloud deployments but it should be specifically put to the test in case of an on-premises deployment, including the platform’s load balancing capabilities for maximized performance of the server cluster.
  • Customizable – a crucial factor for the speed of delivery. It closely relates to flexibility of integration APIs, louse coupling of the platform’s components, and source code transparency. For small-scale, undemanding IoT solutions good APIs may be enough to fly, while feature-rich, rapidly evolving IoT ecosystems usually require developers to have a greater degree of control over the entire system, its source code, integration interfaces, deployment options, data schemas, connectivity and security mechanisms, etc.
  • Secure – data security involves encryption, comprehensive identity management, and flexible deployment. End-to-end data flow encryption, including data at rest, device authentication, user access rights management, and private cloud infrastructure for sensitive data – this is the basics of how to avoid potentially compromising breaches in your IoT solution.
Cutting across these aspects, there are two different paradigms of IoT solution cluster deployment offered by IoT platform providers: a public cloud IoT PaaS and a self-hosted private IoT cloud.


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Validactor “Protects, Profiles & Tracks”.

Based on a secure serialization technology, Validactor protects products and brands, fights any form of counterfeiting and profiles customers’ spending habits.
An innovative close-to-the-customer loyalty program promotes a series of activities and incentivises focusing to build brand loyalty.
The Validactor’s offering includes advanced customer services, a sales portal and Big Data related activities. Many other features are also integrated, such as a flexible and customizable database, the unique “Lost&Found” function, a Recall Management tool, Product Statuses and Diversions.

The Validactor’s solutions are fully customizable to be used in any vertical market, regardless of the products’ type. No special hardware or costly training sessions are needed. Validactor tools can be quickly mastered so that companies can start protecting their products in a very short timeframe.

Validactor’s collected data can be used for a wide range of marketing and sales activities, including specifically targeted interactive videos based on real data.


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Title Retention clause can be enforced by Validactor

As specified by Wikipedia, "A retention of title clause (also called a Romalpa clause in some jurisdictions) is a provision in a contract for the sale of goods that the title to the goods remains vested in the seller until certain obligations (usually payment of the purchase price) are fulfilled by the buyer."
Validactor can help on this: unpaid serialized products can be easily flagged as "unsellable" or alike, enforcing the Retention title acting as a deterrent.

More info available soon, as this clause is treated differently by different states and jurisdictions.

Retention-of-Title-710x533

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Validactor “Protects, Profiles & Tracks”.

Based on a secure serialization technology, Validactor protects products and brands, fights any form of counterfeiting and profiles customers’ spending habits.
An innovative close-to-the-customer loyalty program promotes a series of activities and incentivises focusing to build brand loyalty.
The Validactor’s offering includes advanced customer services, a sales portal and Big Data related activities. Many other features are also integrated, such as a flexible and customizable database, the unique “Lost&Found” function, a Recall Management tool, Product Statuses and Diversions.

The Validactor’s solutions are fully customizable to be used in any vertical market, regardless of the products’ type. No special hardware or costly training sessions are needed. Validactor tools can be quickly mastered so that companies can start protecting their products in a very short timeframe.

Validactor’s collected data can be used for a wide range of marketing and sales activities, including specifically targeted interactive videos based on real data.


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Export Day 2018 in Milan

Today Validactor participated to the Export Day 2018 organized by ANIMA Confindustria Meccanica Varia in Milan. "It has been an interesting opportunity to meet purchasers from different part of the world. We had the chance to present our IoT Solution to a vast number of foreign companies with excellent feedback" Said Dino Sergiano one of the company founders. "these opportunity are vital for us, they allow us to meet and discuss the needs of manufacturing companies from different parts of the world" Added Mr. Sergiano.

IMG_7174

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Validactor “Protects, Profiles & Tracks”.

Based on a secure serialization technology, Validactor protects products and brands, fights any form of counterfeiting and profiles customers’ spending habits.
An innovative close-to-the-customer loyalty program promotes a series of activities and incentivises focusing to build brand loyalty.
The Validactor’s offering includes advanced customer services, a sales portal and Big Data related activities. Many other features are also integrated, such as a flexible and customizable database, the unique “Lost&Found” function, a Recall Management tool, Product Statuses and Diversions.

The Validactor’s solutions are fully customizable to be used in any vertical market, regardless of the products’ type. No special hardware or costly training sessions are needed. Validactor tools can be quickly mastered so that companies can start protecting their products in a very short timeframe.

Validactor’s collected data can be used for a wide range of marketing and sales activities, including specifically targeted interactive videos based on real data.


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Blockchain Technology and The Right to be Forgotten Part 1

From time to time, we at Validactor are asked why we decided not to use the Blockchain technology for our platform. There are many reasons for this decision, listing all of them will make the reding of this short entry very long and uncomfortable, so we decided to split the reasoning behind Validactor VS. Blockchain in more than one part.

This is Part 1

The roots of the “Right to be forgotten“ can be traced back to the lawsuit Google Spain v. AEPD and Mario Costeja González. In this case, the Court of Justice affirmed that upon data subject’s request “the operator of a search engine is obliged to remove from the list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of a person’s name links to web pages, published by third parties and containing information relating to that person…” This ruling by the Court of Justice can be thought of as the first conceptualisation of the “Right to be forgotten” which was later expanded upon in the GDPR.

Article 17 of the GDPR mandates that the data subject “shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data concerning him or her without undue delay and the controller shall have the obligation to erase personal data without undue delay.”

It becomes obvious at first glance that the GDPR right to be forgotten – designed for a world where data is centrally stored and processed – is profoundly incompatible with permissionless and decentralized blockchains not only at the technical, but also at a conceptual level.

Put simply, a blockchain is a data structure that allows a network of distrusting peers to share a continuously growing list of records (grouped in blocks) linked together and secured using cryptography. The state of the blockchain is determined by what is known as emergent consensus. Emergent consensus is a technical term describing the way in which thousands of independent nodes, following simple rules dictated by the consensus algorithm, reach an agreement on the latest state of the blockchain.

Decentralized blockchains do not rely on central authorities to process data and, therefore, the idea of data controllers that can erase personal data from the blockchain is rendered meaningless. Besides, blockchains are, by design, tamper-proof. The modification of data in a blockchain is possible in theory, but in reality we can’t expect a straightforward application of the right to erasure to decentralized blockchains. Not only is the enforcement of the GDPR on public and permissionless blockchains almost impossible from a technical standpoint, but the mere idea of a right to erasure goes against everything blockchains stand for. Looking at blockchains as mere apolitical technological tools is a narrow-headed, reductionist approach to the study of this multi-layered technological and cultural phenomenon.

###
Validactor “Protects, Profiles & Tracks”.

Based on a secure serialization technology, Validactor protects products and brands, fights any form of counterfeiting and profiles customers’ spending habits.
An innovative close-to-the-customer loyalty program promotes a series of activities and incentivises focusing to build brand loyalty.
The Validactor’s offering includes advanced customer services, a sales portal and Big Data related activities. Many other features are also integrated, such as a flexible and customizable database, the unique “Lost&Found” function, a Recall Management tool, Product Statuses and Diversions.

The Validactor’s solutions are fully customizable to be used in any vertical market, regardless of the products’ type. No special hardware or costly training sessions are needed. Validactor tools can be quickly mastered so that companies can start protecting their products in a very short timeframe.

Validactor’s collected data can be used for a wide range of marketing and sales activities, including specifically targeted interactive videos based on real data.


Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook