Click here to close now.

Welcome!

@ContainersExpo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, David Sprott, Carmen Gonzalez

Blog Feed Post

Internet of Things Platforms and IoT Strategies

My friend and colleague, the always opinionated Peter Rogers, shares his latest research on The Internet of Things and the technology and platforms that are used to support it.

There seems to be two main groups of thought as to when wearable technology will become mainstream. The first group are those that believe that wearable technology is here today and are engaging both hobbyists and future entrepreneurs in building all parts of the ecosystem now. These people are creating their own hardware and working with systems to communicate with third party hardware right as we speak. The second group of people are more commercially minded and are looking at creating a full platform for the future. They are looking at big data style real-time analytics, next generation IP, and constrained REST architectures with cast iron security.

Personally I am impatient.  I want to start playing with this IoT stuff today and allow the dedicated platforms to mature over time so they are ready when the market really picks ups.  With that said I believe there are currently two tiers of vendors:
  1. Those that have something that works today and that we could build products and services on top of now.
  2. Those that have an actual platform that is slowly maturing and we can use in the future 
My advice is to look at combining a selection of low-end propositions to start testing custom products for their effectiveness today.  In my view the best people to start talking with for effective low risk deployments, would be those offering end-to-end solutions based around plugging in any device to a simple Cloud PaaS and with their technology readily available to hobbyists.

I will list a few vendors that I think offer technology ready to go today and then in my next article I will look at those that I consider offer platforms for the future.  The main problem is one of being locked into a proprietary Cloud system that cannot be privately hosted and that only works with embedded client software that is explicitly supported by that vendor. If there is anything the ‘MBaaS v MEAP debate in enterprise mobility taught us is that open standards with flexible Cloud hosting solutions will win out. I don't see a perfect solution at the moment, but I do see a whole lot of very exciting propositions that will get acquired and combined effectively over time.

SkyNet

This open source project aims to let disparate devices communicate via a variety of protocols including MQTT, WS/S, CoAP, HTTPS/REST and WebSockets. It supports UUID authentication and TLS certificates. Eventually non-programmers could use Skynet to create a platform that lets us program the real and online worlds in a way that’s far more powerful than If This Then That (IFTTT) or Zapier. The end result is a flexible piece of open source software that can connect to everything from servers to sensors. SkyNet can be run on a public or private Node.js instance (such as Heroku) and they are even working on an open source home gateway.

IOBridge

ioBridge makes it easy for professionals and enthusiasts to monitor and control nearly anything via their smartphone or web app using a general purpose web gateway. This is a simple gateway that lets you monitor or send commands to anything compatible with the ioBridge through a web interface. It does sound like you can only access ioBridge-manufactured or third-party sensors, that are compatible with the ioBridge web gateway.  It also doesn't sounds like you can set up your own version on a private network just yet. When you purchase one of the ioBridge gateways then you get a free limited subscriptions. For example, if you want to log data faster than every few minutes then you need another subscription.

BergCloud

Berg is a Cloud platform but they also provide hardware with built-in connectivity for faster prototyping. Devshields bring the Device API to Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and ARM MBED. The Device API is provided as a client library that runs on your microcontroller, speaking via your wireless connection to the web. If you are prototyping and don't yet have connectivity, then the Devshield developer boards have that bundled too. You can manage and message all your devices using the RESTful Cloud API, built around secure HTTPS. You control the user experience with your own website, and treat your devices like just another web service.

Sense Observation Systems

CommonSense is a platform that helps you to keep track of all your sensor data, store it in a central location, and play with it. CommonSense also processes your raw sensor data into meaningful things like sleep, exercise, or your top locations. With the free CommonSense Dashboard  you gain insights into your behavior. With the free CommonSense Tracker you turn your phone into an advanced tracking device. You can combine them, add in your Fitbit or Twitter data, and you get a powerful self-tracking system. Connections are available now for iOS, Android, Fitbit, and Twitter. They are working on connecting more devices and services.

The data is stored in their Cloud, which happens to be in The Netherlands and has been certified with according to medical device regulations (NEN-7510). It does seem to have a good focus on Health Care and the Environment. CommonSense is currently in Private Beta and it sounds more like a real-time analytics platform at the moment.

Electric Imp

Electric Imp offers a complete end-to-end solution that makes it simple to connect almost any product to the Internet through an innovative and powerful cloud service tied closely to leading-edge hardware. The Electric Imp connectivity platform, featuring fully integrated hardware, software, OS, APIs, cloud servers, makes it possible to effectively empower your devices with intelligence, scalability and flexibility. If you’re a developer, hobbyist, or maker, then you can get started with one of their development kits and bring connectivity to your project, idea or concept.

Electric Imp offers a comprehensive solution designed to connect your product or project to the Internet quickly, easily and effectively. The platform includes:
  • Imp Hardware: The Electric Imp platform starts with the imp, a powerful module containing WiFi and a processor that acts as the gateway to connect your device or service to the Internet
  • Imp OS: The software foundation for the imp’s features and services that allows your code to concentrate on bringing your product’s functions to life.
  • Imp Cloud: Their cloud allows you to run agents - server side code that runs in a secure environment - that are used to provide HTTP I/O and cloud-side processing, and easily connect your products to anything with Internet access. Agents can act as a central hub to your products, apps, third-party services, and even your own servers.
  • Imp Open API: Enrich your customer experience and build your business by developing enhancements like messaging, monitoring, and much more.
  • Imp BlinkUpTM: The proprietary Electric Imp setup solution (BlinkUp) integrates seamlessly into your apps, letting you and your customers connect products in seconds using just a smartphone or tablet.
  • Imp Services - IDE and Ops Console: Maintain your software, push new code and features easily to devices anytime, ensuring that your users always have the latest features. The Ops Console enables you to gain more insight into your factory production lines and scale to millions of devices.

1248.io

1248.io offers Geras, which is a scalable time-series database for your sensor data with quick storage for your Analytics. They also offer HyperCat, which is an open, lightweight JSON-based hypermedia catalogue format for exposing collections of URIs. HyperCat is simple to work with and allows developers to publish linked-data descriptions of resources. HyperCat is designed for exposing information about IoT assets over the web. It allows a server to provide a set of resources to a client, each with a set of semantic annotations.

Geras offers the following:
  • HTTPS support for strong security and per-user API keys
  • Standard HTTP/HTTPS support allowing sensors to traverse firewalls and proxies
  • Sensors can supply data over HTTP POST or very lightweight MQTT publish
  • Supports modern standards for posting, getting and discovering data: HTTPS; JSON; RESTful; SenML; MQTT; and HyperCat
  • Built on a fault-tolerant, distributed database
  • Data can be stored in the country of your choice with an option to buy Geras as software and host the data yourself
If you have an IoT platform or technologies that you want Peter Rogers to be aware of please email him at [email protected].

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Collecting data in the field and configuring multitudes of unique devices is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can stretch IT resources. Horan & Bird [H&B], Australia’s fifth-largest Solar Panel Installer, wanted to automate sensor data collection and monitoring from its solar panels and integrate the data with its business and marketing systems. After data was collected and structured, two major areas needed to be addressed: improving developer workflows and extending access to a business application to multiple users (multi-tenancy). Docker, a container technology, was used to ...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
2015 predictions circa 1970: houses anticipate our needs and adapt, city infrastructure is citizen and situation aware, office buildings identify and preprocess you. Today smart buildings have no such collective conscience, no shared set of fundamental services to identify, predict and synchronize around us. LiveSpace and M2Mi are changing that. LiveSpace Smart Environment devices deliver over the M2Mi IoT Platform real time presence, awareness and intent analytics as a service to local connected devices. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Sarah Cooper, VP Business of Development at M2Mi, will d...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In this session, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, will describe how to revolutionize your architecture and...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
We’re entering a new era of computing technology that many are calling the Internet of Things (IoT). Machine to machine, machine to infrastructure, machine to environment, the Internet of Everything, the Internet of Intelligent Things, intelligent systems – call it what you want, but it’s happening, and its potential is huge. IoT is comprised of smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures. As a result, huge volumes of data are being generated, and that data is being processed into useful actions that can “command and control” thi...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
Thanks to widespread Internet adoption and more than 10 billion connected devices around the world, companies became more excited than ever about the Internet of Things in 2014. Add in the hype around Google Glass and the Nest Thermostat, and nearly every business, including those from traditionally low-tech industries, wanted in. But despite the buzz, some very real business questions emerged – mainly, not if a device can be connected, or even when, but why? Why does connecting to the cloud create greater value for the user? Why do connected features improve the overall experience? And why do...
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participa...
Imagine a world where targeting, attribution, and analytics are just as intrinsic to the physical world as they currently are to display advertising. Advances in technologies and changes in consumer behavior have opened the door to a whole new category of personalized marketing experience based on direct interactions with products. The products themselves now have a voice. What will they say? Who will control it? And what does it take for brands to win in this new world? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zack Bennett, Vice President of Customer Success at EVRYTHNG, will answer these questions a...