IoTMADLab Madrid

Interoperability rules at the new IoT Lab in Madrid

Today marks the official inauguration of the Internet of Things Laboratory of the city of Madrid (IoTMADLab), the joint initiative between the Madrid City Council and CEDINT-UPM, the R&D center of the Technical University of Madrid. The Lab is intended as a neutral space where public and private organizations can work together on innovative sensors and devices, leveraging an open and interoperable IoT network model to test and explore the connectivity of different objects in different areas of municipal activity through a common, standardized protocol.

IoT sensorization is anything but new in Madrid, since it is part of the Madrid, Digital Capital strategy to reinforce the position of the city as a benchmark in the digital context. One of the objectives of this strategy is to inject intelligence into decision-making processes by applying technologies for hyperconnectivity and hyperautomation, including the IoT.

Madrid is already taking advantage of smart technologies to control streetlighting and other public services, but in many cases the IoT devices, although they work in a similar way, are connected by isolated systems and cannot interoperate with each other. IoTMADLab was established with the main objective of achieving standardization so that services and devices of any type can interact with each other, share information in real time and act based on common data and variables.

At Paradox Engineering, we advocate open standards and, together with our parent company MinebeaMitsumi, we are committed to creating multi-supplier, interoperable solutions for cities and utilities. That’s why we are particularly proud to support IoTMADLab and provide our know-how and solutions to pilot new applications for smart lighting, parking management, municipal solid waste collection, environmental monitoring, and more.

“Today we open a new IoT Laboratory whose focus is the acceleration of the smart journey of Madrid. I am pleased that Paradox Engineering/MinebeaMitsumi have joined Madrid City Council, the Technical University of Madrid, and the other partners of this program, and I am confident that their expertise in open and interoperable data models will greatly benefit our project,” said Fernando Alvarez Garcia, Subdirector de Transformación Digital. D.G. Oficina Digital en Ayuntamiento de Madrid.

“Interoperability and openness allow cities to head for sustainable growth, creating services to solve today’s urban needs and pave the way for future developments. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with IoTMADLab partners in this inspiring environment and contribute to the deployment of new IoT solutions for Madrid and other cities”, added Ferdinando Sabatino, Sales Manager South Europe IoT and Smart City Solutions at NMB Italia, MinebeaMitsumi Group.


IoTMADLab Madrid


Ready for a cyber turbulent 2023?

Cybercrime remains high on the agenda of governments, public organizations, and private companies worldwide. In 2023, the global annual cost of cyberattacks is predicted to top $8 trillion, says a recent Cybersecurity Ventures report, and the overall damages could reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. But the impact of cybercrime extends far beyond the economic costs.

Cybercrime can disrupt essential services such as hospitals, pipelines, transportation systems, government departments. It can jeopardize trust and the reputation of public and private service providers, increase geopolitical tensions, and undermine democratic principles. Interviewed by the Financial Times, Mario Greco, CEO at Zurich Insurance, said cyber threat “is not just data . . . this is about civilization. These people can severely disrupt our lives.” The potential magnitude is so serious, that he predicts cyber risks will soon become uninsurable.

While the World Economic Forum calls for global rules and a more expansive approach to foster cyber resilience, attack rates and costs are expected to rise dramatically in 2023 for different reasons.

As IBM’s Security Intelligence explains, today it’s easier than ever to access powerful ransomware and malicious tools. This means criminals can launch attacks even with modest technical skills, damaging businesses, governments, and organizations in nearly every sector, also hitting individuals.

The attack surface is rapidly expanding. In 2023 there will be more than 15 billion IoT devices worldwide, and tens of millions of employees from public and private organizations working remotely. Intruders may take control of a city network by violating a single connected IoT device such as a video surveillance IP camera, or reach corporate assets from a home office device.

Rising geopolitical conflicts are adding troubles by multiplying state-sponsored and politically driven attacks. We also see the rise of environmental and social hacktivists, launching anti-establishment incidents to promote a diverse set of causes around the globe. And high-profile targets like infrastructure or big corporations will not necessarily be their first choice, since small government offices, mid-sized city departments, or local utilities may be more vulnerable – thus they may become the perfect starting point for resounding attacks.


Are you ready for a cyber turbulent 2023? Get in touch with our cybersecurity experts to learn how you can improve your organizations’ cyber preparedness!

Smart City Expo World Congress

From Smart to Open Cities: be welcomed at Smart City Expo World Congress 2022

Smart Cities changed a lot in the last decade. Back in 2011, when we introduced our first solution for the remote monitoring and control of urban services, we were mainly challenged on process automation, energy efficiency, and cost saving.

Sustainability continues to be a mandatory goal for City leaders, but nowadays there is a pressing call to move beyond and build carbon neutral communities. It’s the time of Open Cities, shared innovation, and inclusion. And it’s even the time of cybersecurity, as public infrastructures and services are increasingly threatened by hackers and cybercriminals.    

We are delighted to invite you at the Smart City Expo World Congress, the leading international Smart City exhibition taking place in Barcelona (Spain) from 15 to 17 November 2022The event motto – Cities Inspired by People – remind us that cities must do their part to make the world a better place, but they are transformed through people, their creative power, and meaningful connections.

If you are visiting Smart City Expo World Congress, be welcomed at our booth – D81 in Hall 2 – to learn more about our flagship platform PE Smart Urban Network and how we can enable the smart journey of your city. Our experts will be pleased to introduce our solutions and services, show some demo and real-life experiences, and answer all your questions. 

 Don’t miss the events we will be hosting during the three days of the Congress: mark them in your agenda!  


Tuesday, 15 November 2022 at 11:00am 

“From Smart to Open Cities: IoT Enabling Urban Communities – the Las Condes case“ (Congress Area - Blue Room) 

Join Julia Arneri Borghese, Deputy CEO at Paradox Engineering, and Daniela Peñaloza Ramos, Mayor of Las Condes (Chile), to learn how the Internet of Things enabled the smart journey of this municipality. 


Wednesday, 16 November 2022 at 12:30am 

“The Security Challenge: Can Your City Be Smart and Cybersecure?” (Paradox Engineering/ MinebeaMitsumi booth - Hall2, D81)  

Open talk with Gianni Minetti, CEO at Paradox Engineering.  


Wednesday, 16 November 2022 at 1:30pm 

“Bettering Urban Design through City Analytics” (Congress Area - Red Room) 

Join Julia Arneri Borghese, Deputy CEO at Paradox Engineering, to discuss key benefits and features of PE Smart Urban Network. 


Wednesday, 16 November 2022 at 16:30pm 

“Why Your City Should Head for Interoperability” (Paradox Engineering/MinebeaMitsumi booth – Hall2, D81)  

Meet the uCIFI Alliance to learn more about interoperable technologies, open standards, and data models to create multi-supplier solutions for smarter cities and utilities. 


Any question? Feel free to contact us anytime.

super-ageing society calls for smart technologies

The super-ageing society calls for smart technology options

Japan is aging fast. In a country that is home to a record 80,000 centenarians, about 29% of the population is 65 or older, and by 2036 elderly people will represent a third of the population. The super-ageing society is not a Japan-only issue, of course.

Trends in Europe are not too far behind Japan. In the UK, there are now more people aged 65 and over in England and Wales than children aged under 15. Senior people have surged by 20% over the past decade. In the US, about 10,000 people daily turn 65 and the percentage of people over the age of 85 is predicted to double to 14 million by 2040, in part because Americans are living longer. In 2050, 84 million elderly people will live in America.

Who Will Care for America’s Elderly?”, titles Though question, particularly when the labor shortage gripping US workforce across industries is felt most acutely in healthcare: 400,000 nursing home and assisted living staff quit their jobs since January 2020 due to pandemic exhaustion, low salaries and limited career opportunities.

The debate around AgeTech – technology designed to meet the needs of older adults and those who care for them – turns up and intersects the growing focus on P4 medicine, now P5, as a predictive, personalized, preventive, participatory and precision discipline. This patient-centered care approach leverages latest digital and sensor-based technologies, artificial intelligence and robotics to support diagnosis, treatment and assistance.

Bed sensor systems are increasingly used in hospitals, clinics, nursing, and care houses: they do not replace nursing staff but can ease the burden on personnel and make some routine tasks quicker and simpler, with benefits for patients too. By integrating high-precision sensors to measure some vital parameters and referential body weight, these solutions contribute to the effective monitoring of patients' conditions, save some workload of the nursing staff and spare the recipients' inconvenience.

IoT-based platforms for remote, non-invasive patient monitoring may also be used for seniors and patients who are assisted at home. They may benefit from continued and reliable medical care without leaving their homes and enjoying some independence.

AgeTech and smart technologies are not the silver bullet for the super-ageing society, but they can make longevity somewhat more comfortable and support medical care when needed.

Wireless IoT; zero-day vulnerabilities

Case study: Discover and manage zero-day vulnerabilities

In a city or company infrastructure, the IoT attack surface includes all possible security vulnerabilities of connected devices, applications, and networks.

At first sight, an IP camera may seem harmless from a security point of view. However, particularly when connected to an IoT network, it may become an attractive target for a cyber criminal for three main reasons.

First is about privacy: the hacker may be interested in acquiring and analyzing live images of people living or moving in a certain area to learn their habits and behaviors, or get personal sensitive information (faces, car license plates, etc.). Secondly, the violation may grant visibility on the infrastructure to which the camera is connected and pave the way to a network attack. Last but foremost, the breach may also lead to the exploitation of its computational power for crypto mining, or as a node of a command-and-control network called botnet.

During a routine security assessment on the IoT network of a customer, our cyber security team detected a newly installed device, specifically an IP camera. A research activity was run to assess if the camera could be considered secure enough for being used and exposed on a public network. The team discovered two zero-day vulnerabilities: as these software vulnerabilities are typically found by researchers or potential attackers before the vendor becomes aware of them, no patches are available for their resolution.

Discovering a zero-day vulnerability requires the adoption of an evil mindset and the expertise to ask the right questions: how many devices offer an attack surface? How deeply is the situation analyzed from the attacker's perspective? To answer these questions as exhaustively as possible, our cyber security experts leverage a methodological process that is part of the company's cyber security framework.

The analysis confirmed it was not secure to publicly expose the IP camera. The customer was given a detailed view of the risk the company was running. The first vulnerability would have allowed an unprivileged user to create a valid account to access all IP camera commands without being authorized. The second vulnerability was related to the passwords of the IP camera users. By reverse engineering the source code publicly available, it would have been possible to discover the salt used in the hash function which stores user passwords.

Two different solutions were suggested: remove the camera and replace it with a more secure product or install a firewall to limit the access to known IP addresses. The customer agreed to remove the IP camera to avoid any possible issue and restore the overall security level.


Is your IoT infrastructure secure enough? Learn more about our Cyber Security Services and contact our experts to have all your questions answered!


Interoperability, standards do matter

Smart Cities hold a big promise, that’s of using technology to improve quality of life, mitigate climate change effects, increase public safety, and create inclusive communities. Running this technology requires a robust network infrastructure – and the more interconnected and integrated this network is, the more it will be able to generate valuable data and feed wise decision-making and, ultimately, the smarter, more sustainable and resilient the city will be.

Sounds like a logical and simple way to go, but most City manager know the implementation may have some pitfalls. Vendor-locked, proprietary technologies are a common obstacle to the progress of smart projects, since they prevent the network to integrate a number of different devices and applications, scale up and add new functionality, exchange and share data.

How to sort this out? The watchword is interoperability.

Open standards and protocols are paramount for a city to build a forward-looking infrastructure and a mesh network to host multiple applications and grow them over time. It’s also a smart way to save money (city projects using proprietary technology cost 30 per cent more than those using open technology), reduce complexity, and avoid duplicated implementation and maintenance costs. Don’t forget that proprietary solutions typically mean impossible or expensive integration with other systems, so they also involve a higher risk of obsolescence and poor return-on-investment.

At Paradox Engineering, we are outspoken endorsers of interoperability and open standards. Our technologies support 6LoWPAN (login or register to read our paper ‘Creating truly open cities’), we are active members of the uCIFI Alliance, and we have two certified TALQ-compliant products, specifically PE Smart CMS and PE Smart Gateway.

The TALQ Consortium was founded in 2012 to define a standard protocol for outdoor lighting. Now celebrating the 10th anniversary, it has evolved as a reference framework for achieving compatibility between smart city applications. The 2.4.0 version of the Smart City Protocol was published earlier this year, and the number of certifications continue to climb.

This is good news for Smart Cities and all the ecosystem: let’s work together to create open, interoperable solutions and turn technology into an opportunity for sustainable, inclusive urban growth.

self-driving vehicles

Self-driving vehicles: industrial applications rise

Self-driving vehicles have been long awaited as a crucial booster for the car industry. The technology should jump forward in 2022, but most manufacturers are still dealing with Level 3 autonomous vehicles and won’t be able to launch fully automated cars in the short term.

But technology is not the only delaying element. Driverless cars hold huge promises, as they were expected to make driving safer, more efficient, and comfortable. As a matter of fact, the many questions around safety have not been answered yet, and there is a growing call for strict regulations and clear rules to assign responsibilities in case of motoring offences.

Lately, doubts about the potential environmental impacts of automated vehicles have been raised. We expect self-driving vehicles to select the best possible itinerary to get to the desired destination and adjust speed and pace to save fuel and reduce emissions. Right, but what if users change the game?

If I ask the car to look for the cheapest (and not the nearest) parking lot, cruising time may increase. If I don’t want to pay for parking at all, I may send the car back home while I am at work and summon it after office hours. This would twice the driving – generally speaking, this may lead self-driving vehicles to cause more congestion, fuel consumption and pollution. A recent study in downtown Toronto showed this unpleasant side effect, and the debate is starting to provoke some reactions.

While driverless cars are slowed down, self-driving vehicles are experiencing better results in some other industries. Fully automated vehicles are increasingly used as load and assembly line transporters, forklifts and tuggers in warehouses and manufacturing sites. Featuring IoT technologies, cameras, motion sensors, infrared and laser radars, these vehicles can leverage complex algorithms and artificial intelligence to manage the transportation of materials and equipment with limited or no human effort.

Self-driving tractors are making their way in agriculture, contributing to a greener and more productive farming. Tractors can enable smart decisions by collecting data while they operate, which give farmers information on field and crop health and long-term yields, as well as alerts about problems such as irrigation leaks or crop discoloration.

Manufacturing, logistics, and agriculture seem to have fewer challenges than busy urban roads. Will industrial applications be the real business opportunity for self-driving vehicles?