Using the Internet of Things to make wine taste sweeter

While it is no substitute for a vintner's nose and palate, Ericsson is testing out how the IoT could help in many areas of wine making.

The TracoVino is being tested by MyOmega with four winemakers in the Mosel Valley, Germany. Image: Ericsson

Ericsson has teamed up with three other suppliers on a suite of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the wine-making industry.

The consortium of Ericsson, Intel, Telenor Connexion, and MyOmega Systems Technologies aims to build a secure IoT connectivity service that will support "more effective wine production", the company said.

The service will allow winemakers to collect data on air and soil humidity and temperature, as well as solar intensity, using IoT sensors along with Intel-based IoT gateways connected to a cloud service.

According to the companies, the system can be scaled upwards to cover the largest wine companies and scaled out to other industries.

"The data can be used to perform predictive analysis and to support resource management and real-time remote monitoring, leading to higher quality production, lower costs, and reduced environmental impact for winemakers," Ericsson said.

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According to the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin, the wine industry export globally totals €26bn, which indicates the potential to scale these types of systems.

Among the consortium are Telenor Connexion, a network business systems supplier based in Stockholm whose customers include Volvo, Nissan, Scania, Hitachi, Securitas Direct, and Telcare; and MyOmega Systems, a specialist IoT supplier based in Nuremburg, Germany.

"We see great potential for scaling the service to winemakers globally and to additional industrial applications in the networked society," Ericsson VP Anders Olin told ZDNet.

Is Ericsson looking to expand its IoT skills into other areas outside of winemaking?

"Yes," said Olin. "This is just an example and one can think of many other industries, for example, further agriculture, transport, real estate, and health."

And how is Ericsson looking to approach the security issues?

"This is, of course, critical," he said. "That is why we are using 3GPP standard generic bootstrapping architecture in order to reuse the SIM card credentials and generate security keys to set up secure end-to-end authentication and encryption from the sensors towards the applications."

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