The edge of the IoT is where solutions connect, communicate and interact using sensors, actuators, gateways, agents and controllers. As technology advances vendors are touting “advanced management capabilities” for these devices at the edge. These capabilities vary, ranging from the simple ability to turn a device on and off to more complex actions such as updating software, managing Wifi connections, configuring security policies or changing data parameters.
IoT projects present many challenges, even when the hardware is designed exactly to customer specifications. Building on proven architecture and software building blocks that would require many years to develop, the use of a Java-based IoT application framework will result in shorter, more deterministic device software development. Using an IT-centric approach to implement the device logic in smart edge devices improves both device management and embedded application management. Once this standard software platform is in place, connecting and getting business relevant data to the cloud is simpler than it ever has been before.
An advanced software framework that leverages OSGi and Java both isolates the developer from the complexity of the hardware and communications infrastructure and also complements the Multi-Service Gateway hardware for an integrated hardware and software solution.
The benefits of IT-centric application development to implement business logic in smart edge devices/service gateways are:
It’s easy to slip into the habit of thinking of the Internet of Things as a highly technical, industrial tool at home in factories, or fleets of high powered vehicles, but who’d have thought it can also help plants grow?
It can be near impossible to predict what any one growing season will bring. So much is at the mercy of the weather, availability or certification of crop protection products and numerous other factors which have to be given a ‘best guess’ in order to plan for them. The best way to predict the most likely outcome in any season is, of course, experience.
We constantly read that as healthcare improves, and mortality rates shrink, our world is becoming more and more overpopulated. We are told that we are using natural resources faster than they can rejuvenate and that climate change is set to devastate the world in which we live in just a few short decades. So how can we quantify the impact each of us has on our environment? We’re all familiar with the term ‘carbon footprint’ but what does it mean to us really? If we could see, in real time, the immediate impact we have on our surroundings, maybe we’d be more likely to change our behaviour for the better. Measuring people traffic has already become a key intelligence metric for retail, transportation, logistics and many other industries. Correlating real-time people patterns with other business metrics of course leads to powerful insights on sales conversion rates as well as the best way to optimise distribution of assets. What has gone previously unexploited is the opportunity to establish the effect of growing numbers of people on the environment and resources around us.
At EclipseCON 2014, Eurotech collaborated with Actuate and the Eclipse Foundation to produce a real time, real life demonstration of just how easily an IoT solution can not only be built and implemented, but can actually start providing meaningful data.
Sports are fun. Fun to play, fun to watch, and I hear they can even be fun to coach. When I was kid running cross-country, the biggest challenge was getting up the killer hill on the Montpelier, VT high school course. My kids played different sports growing up, where they were getting into tight quarters, battling for a puck or ball with one or more players at a time. Their challenges in the midst of a competition required serious pads and gear to protect their growing bodies. I know from experience as a parent how important it is to protect all athletes from concussion and injury, from the youngest lacrosse player to the professional football player.
As new technology evolves, it is not uncommon for both vendors and customers to jump on the bandwagon before thinking about the overarching issues, such as security. The Internet of Things presents a whole new set of security concerns – from the device side to the cloud and everywhere in between. Security is all too often an afterthought in IoT deployments.
Eurotech has been considering IoT security from the start and we believe in thinking about IoT security holistically. Our priority is to maintain customer trust and confidence by ensuring the integrity, availability and confidentiality of customer data. There is no singular IoT security solution, however creating a secure system is a step by step process to ensure total data integrity.
Open source hardware can be a great starting point for skunkworks projects and weekend hobbyists, and may even make sense for developers trying out their earliest concepts. Students, hackers, and experimenters find the cheap, open source hardware to be readily available and all that they need for their side projects.
For engineers and developers in the corporate world, responsible for creating dependable and specialized products, there comes a time when a project is ready to move from a resource-constrained ideation phase to full on product development. Rugged, small form factor, highly integrated embedded computer boards like Eurotech’s CPU-351-13 are what product development teams rely on to evolve quickly and successfully from early concepts to saleable products that are backed by a strong business case.
The quantity of digital data has exploded to roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every day from a seemingly unlimited number of embedded devices and sensors in the world. An increasing number of enterprise companies need to capture and analyze large data sets from the field – and need Internet of Things solutions to make it happen.
If your company fits into this category, you are likely putting a strategy in place to bolster your IT infrastructure to capture and analyze these large data sets in 2015.
One thing’s for sure, it’s not us! Like so many things in life, people just love to complicate things because complexity equals intelligence equals superiority and that makes you ‘better than’ me or something like that. It’s enough to look at the lingo: there are more acronyms in an average IT blog than there are traffic lights in the town where I live. So, for those of us living in the real world, let’s keep this real simple.
Take your average guy running a business or organization anywhere in the world and ask him five questions:
1. Do you want to be more efficient?
2. Would you like to improve your products and services?
3. Are you interested in new business opportunities?
4. Does the ability to move and adapt fast to what your customers want or do hit the right sort of button?
5. Is it interesting to be able to ramp your activity up or down quickly to match what’s going on out there?
On the sound basis that we are not all predictable let’s say that at least 4 of these would get a resounding ‘yes’. So far so good.
But now, you have to explain that in order to reach this nirvana business status one simply needs to ‘connect the machines’. Once connected and all talking in a way we can all catch and use, those self-same machines will provide ‘information’ and it is this that will reveal all those fabulous secrets to future success a bit like the Ten Commandments. At this point one can add that this is called ‘M2M technology’ but that could be a risk particularly because it means almost the same as IoT!
Whenever technology raises its ugly head, implicit of course is that an ‘expert’ is needed or even worse a consultant. It is they that advise that one has to have an ‘infrastructure’ so for example the IT team will be understood by the delivery team. Then of course ‘security’ needs to be built in and we are reminded that companies now are no longer allowed to do A, B or C anymore because some new legislation has just been passed. To cap it all we are reminded that some of the kit currently being used is new and some is old so naturally they’re not communicating well and some aren’t even communicating at all!
Is it any wonder that the eyes of our average guy have glazed over, dollar bills rush across his consciousness like a rampant bull and a glass of water is urgently needed to calm the nerves! So what’s to be done?
With the growth of IoT, the 4th Industrial Revolution is right around the corner ..