In an exclusive interaction with Dataquest, Ajit Singh, Senior VP and Head, Communications & Devices BU, Sasken Technologies, talks about how the connected devices function today, how 5G network technology encourages the proliferation of smart devices in the near future, etc. Excerpts:
Q. How is IoT and Data analytics changing the way connected devices function today?
Connected devices are becoming smarter and more self-aware as technology advancements are being made in IoT and Data analytics. Although this is happening across different market segments and applications, the early adopters and beneficiaries are emerging in the Industrial segment and not necessarily in the consumer segment. The IoT adoption in the consumer space is happening largely in areas which are ultimately driven by the respective industrial players. For example, there is an increased adoption of smart energy meter and IoT-enabled home devices, but they are largely promoted through incentive schemes sponsored by the power companies. They value the data generated by these devices and are working on internal efficiencies and consumer billing schemes to monetize the same eventually.
Q. Where do you think the industry is headed in the area of Android Oreo, AI and Machine Learning?
Google continues to bring advancements to the market through its innovative products. Android Oreo enables higher performance and speed complemented with intelligence to the edge devices. These are critical to enable complex AI and ML-based decision making. But I would like to talk about Android P which will have several new features that will make devices smarter.
The latest version of Android will have superior power-management features such as app standby buckets, background restrictions, battery saver improvements, and Doze mode (when the device is idle for a period of time, it enters Doze mode, which affects all apps). Android P will also provide a smarter display with Adaptive Brightness where you don’t have to manually adjust your screen brightness; Android P will do it for you.
The new version of Android goes one stage further from Android Oreo which tapped into machine learning to make proactive decisions. Android P can now use machine learning to suggest apps to you based on your habits. It can also automatically anticipate your next action based on the current action and show you a shortcut to complete it. For instance, if you book a cab to go to work via Uber at a particular time every day, Android P will start suggesting that action at that time. If you connect your earphones to your phone, it might suggest that you resume listening to the last song that you were playing. Action will show up throughout the OS as Launcher, Smart Text Selection, Google Play, Google Search app and the Google Assistant.
A couple of other features are App Slices and Smart Reply. The former brings a part of the app UI right into the Google search results, allowing you to perform tasks without opening the apps. The latter brings AI-powered response suggestion that suggests smart responses for messages, allowing you to attach photos and stickers as well as type your own replies directly from the notification area.
Sasken runs competency centres in these areas of ML and AI and has been working on different critical aspects to commercialize these solutions. We are already seeing increased traction with many of our customers in these areas, especially in the Automotive and Industrial Manufacturing segments.
Q. How does Sasken see the industry headed in terms of strengthening the overall 5G Vision? And, how do you think the 5G network technology will encourage the proliferation of smart devices in the near future?
The market survey shows that possibly 29 billion devices are going to be connected by 2021. Every connected device would become mobile and send/receive a lot of data. In future, these devices are going to address the AR, VR, autonomous driving, multi-person video calling, wireless cloud-based office, etc. which will need a latency of less than 10 milliseconds and data rate up to a few GBPS from the current 100MBPS. While there is a lot of data that need not travel out from the edge and can be handled and leveraged within the device itself, there is still a huge amount of data that is and would continue to scale and travel on the networks. Imagine when more and more physical things get connected to the IP world, there will be Data Tsunamis that haven’t been managed earlier. Applications would fail if the network is not able to provide high speed with reliability and necessary quality of service. We would soon need speed and stability that LAN offers on WAN or even more. 5G is going to transform and bring to reality many ideas that were just not possible earlier.
Sasken has been a trusted consultant to its key customers in this space. We are helping our customers in ensuring that their next generation communication products are aligned and ahead of their respective competitors. Sasken is working with one of the leading 5G technology chipset vendors to come up with better handset solutions equipped with this latest technology.
Q. What is Sasken doing in the areas of cognition, devices, and strengthening the 5G Vision at the Network Edge?
Sasken has adopted a holistic approach to the above. Around two years ago, Sasken started developing Massive MIMO concept by developing link layer simulation and beamforming technologies. As part of Massive MIMO, we have developed the complete Adaptive Transport Mode selection based on channel characteristics. We are working on both within the device and the network components that it interoperates with and even on the applications that leverage these resources to bring a comprehensive solution to the ultimate user (industry or consumer). Sasken in-depth expertise of working with customers in different industry segments (consumer devices, network equipment, automotive, industrials, and telecom) ensures that the solutions we create for our customers are best-in-class and easily monetized.
Q. Can you tell us about Sasken’s upcoming plans for the communication & devices segment, in terms of leveraging upcoming technologies?
Sasken continues to invest heavily in technologies that would shape the future. From ADSL to 5G, Sasken has been making significant contributions in the communication space. We are building solutions and investing heavily in 5G technologies that will enable use cases such as V2X connectivity, digitizing factory floor, and automated driving possible.
Sasken has worked for nearly two decades in the Satellite industry and is, currently, leveraging the 3GPP knowledge and experience by adapting it for the Satellite sector. We have designed, developed, and delivered many satellite handheld devices to our customers. We also have successfully developed augmented reality and computer vision solutions for industrials and automotive segments. Sasken has also been making significant progress in cognitive machine learning framework integration and development of reference Solution for Voice-Enabled Security Commands, Voice Recognition, and Natural Language Processing.