Tools and Knowledge Sharing to Drive IoT Success

Despite strong expertise in their particular focus application areas, engineers understandably often have limited know-how when it comes to tackling the unfamiliar hardware and software development needed to bring the exciting benefits and possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT) to their specific products or systems.

IoT tools to speed and ease deployment

Platforms and tools such as ON Semiconductor’s multifaceted IoT Development Kit (IDK), are pivotal in helping accelerate and ease the deployment of IoT capabilities to designs in diverse sectors. The modular platform supports evaluation, prototyping, and eventual IoT system delivery by giving engineers access to a wide variety of different sensing, processing, connectivity and actuation options through a range of shields/daughter cards that attach to the kit’s mother board.

Platforms and tools such as ON Semiconductor’s multifaceted IoT Development Kit (IDK), are pivotal in helping accelerate and ease the deployment of IoT capabilities to designs in diverse sectors..

ON Semiconductor will be demonstrating two new shields at stand #407 at the IoT Tech Expo, featuring Bluetooth® 5/low energy technology communication capabilities and the provision for energy harvesting Smart Passive Sensor (SPS) functionality. The BLE shield features the recently launched RSL10, a Bluetooth 5 certified radio System-on-Chip (SoC), and the SPS shield simplifies and enhances the usability of ON Semiconductor’s battery-free SPS sensors that can measure temperature, moisture and pressure.

Imaging in the IoT mix

Image sensing is also becoming an important aspect of IoT implementations in many sectors. In addition to exhibiting its IDK, ON Semiconductor will also be demonstrating its imaging portfolio with the AR0521 CMOS device.  Targeted at end applications such as security and surveillance, action cameras and in-car DVR, the sensor produces extraordinarily clear, sharp digital pictures and video in challenging bright, poor, and mixed light conditions.

Sharing knowledge

ON Semiconductor’s Wiren Perera will be speaking at the IoT Tech Expo North America and participating in a morning keynote panel discussion on November 29th titled, ‘The Future of IoT Development.’ The panel will provide insight into the latest technologies, platforms and solutions for the IoT, as well as discuss the opportunities and challenges impacting potential growth in various sectors.

In addition, I will be giving a presentation called ‘Innovations in Designing Energy Efficient IoT Devices.’ This will take place at 2:10 pm on November 29th within the IoT Innovations & Technologies conference track. I will explore innovations in the IoT elements of computing, connectivity, sensing, actuation and power management. I will also examine how the ability to rapidly prototype hardware-to-cloud is indispensable in helping achieve the desired autonomy of IoT solutions.

For engineers getting to grips with the IoT, ON Semicondutor’s booth, demos and expert speakers at the IoT Tech Expo in Santa Clara, November 29-30, will provide valuable insight, knowledge and guidance regarding the tools to help realize the potential of the Internet of Things.

(c) istockphoto.com/ elen11

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IoT Tech Expo

Semtech Introduces New Tools to Enhance Developers’ Experience With LoRaWAN Protocol

Semtech Introduces New Tools to Enhance Developers’ Experience With LoRaWAN Protocol

Semtech Introduces New Tools to Enhance Developers’ Experience With LoRaWAN Protocol

Tools include Semtech’s picocell gateway dongle with Linux and Windows software and a LoRaWAN network server demonstration platform.

Semtech Corporation announced a picocell gateway dongle incorporating Semtech’s LoRa Technology that includes Linux utilities and Microsoft® Windows support and the availability of a free, non-commercial LoRaWAN™ network server demonstration platform.

The new tools will assist low power wide area (LPWAN) network applications developers who want to rapidly prototype and demonstrate their Internet of Things (IoT) product ideas based on LoRa Technology.

LoRa-Based Picocell Gateway Dongle

The Semtech LoRa-based picocell gateway dongle can easily connect via a USB port to a Linux or Windows based processor, which are most commonly used by LoRaWAN gateway developers. The Windows GUI streamlines the network connection without an additional board. This tool is expected to accelerate adoption of IoT technology into next-generation smart applications. Beyond the initial prototype phase, several LoRa Alliance™ members offer compatible commercial, production-grade network servers and picocell gateway products. The device is currently available with Linux support, and Windows support will be available by early-2018.

LoRaWAN Network Server Demonstration Platform

As more verticals look for IoT solutions, this free, non-commercial LoRaWAN network server is an opportunity for companies to explore innovative use cases and have a secure area to evaluate their LoRa-based applications. Users will be able to test key capabilities, including on-boarding gateways, view sensor data log and network activity, and forward data to an application server for visualization and processing compliant with the LoRaWAN 1.0.2 specification. Semtech’s free demonstration network server is available now and already in use by developers. Access is region specific:

“With the rapidly increasing market adoption of Semtech’s LoRa Technology, providing new development tools for free or at a low cost is important to our customers as it lowers the barriers to initial engagement and evaluation,” said Vivek Mohan, Director of Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “Semtech’s dedication to the LoRaWAN open protocol and LoRa Technology is expected to ensure the growth of LPWAN sensor applications and success for Semtech’s ecosystem partners.”

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IoT Business News

Electric Imp Previews the Ultimate in Product Development and Lifecycle Management Tools for IoT: impCentral™

We announced impCentral, our new product development and management platform, in July 2017, with the goal of making massively scalable Internet of Things (IoT) deployments and product lifecycle management easier than ever. impCentral’s foundation API was released for preview at that time, and today we’re very pleased to make our web application, powered by the new API, available as an early preview release.

impCentral is the successor to the Electric Imp IDE. It combines the best software development and production management features from the IDE with a more intuitive and easier to navigate user experience, plus advanced product and device management features.

Screenshot

impCentral’s key benefits include:

  • Scalable to support very high production volumes
  • Workspaces streamline code development and testing for full product lifecycle management
  • New Device Groups provide superior production device segmentation and organization
  • Fully test and dry-run your production process before you go to the factory
  • Fast factory BlinkUp fixture assignment for simplified factory configuration
  • New, simplified navigation for quick access to frequently used tools

The impCentral Public Preview can be used to try out the new web app. We don’t recommend that you use the Public Preview to work on mission-critical code, but any work you do in the Public Preview will be retained as impCentral moves toward a production release through the coming months. Only your account’s unassigned devices will be available for use in impCentral in this phase, and none of your current IDE models will affected.

The Public Preview release will be followed next month (October 2017) with a Beta Release; this will allow you to begin migrating your existing models to impCentral. On December 4, 2017, we’ll release impCentral 1.0 as our sole web-hosted app. At that time, the IDE will be withdrawn from service, and all of your remaining models will automatically migrate to impCentral. Until then, the IDE and impCentral will co-exist, and you should continue to use the IDE for commercial work.

To help you find your way around impCentral, we’ve created an introductory guide to the new UI and its features. We’ve also prepared a series of FAQs to answer questions you may have concerning impCentral’s capabilities and how they differ from the IDE.

The impCentral API has also been updated and now enters its beta release phase. It will be available at a new location: api.electricimp.com/v5. The preview URL, preview-api.electricimp.com/v5, has now been deprecated, so please update any software that uses the preview URL. Any Products, Device Groups and code you created while you were using the impCentral API Public Preview will continue to be available.

As you try out the impCentral Public Preview and the impCentral API Beta, please let us know on the Electric Imp Forum how you’re getting on, or about any problems you experience. We’d also like to hear from you if you have suggestions for future releases.

Kenny Lee,
impCentral Product Manager,
Electric Imp

Electric Imp Blog

IoT as a service will provide businesses with the tools necessary to implement IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is arguably set to be the biggest driver of productivity and growth in the next decade, with Accenture estimating IoT could add $ 14.2 trillion (€11.87 trillion) to the global economy by 2030. But despite the hype and excitement, right now we seem to be a very long way from realising that […]

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Why IoT as a service will provide businesses with the tools necessary for implementation

While the concept of IoT offers appeal to businesses of every size, there are several issues that have deterred many organisations, especially SMEs, from entering the market. The escalating costs of mobile networks, both 3G and 4G, have made IoT projects at scale unaffordable and while the market has responded with the introduction of low cost, low power wide area networking (LPWANs), as yet there is no one solution standard. Indeed, in the UK, there is no single network that provides nationwide coverage. 

In addition to the networking issues, the sheer complexity of creating a reliable and sustainable IoT infrastructure has affected the development of viable business models. Not only must companies find a way to manage sensors, networks, data storage, data analytics and an essential link to operational systems that leverage IoT data to drive improvements, but they are very concerned about the long-term viability of the model and underpinning technologies.

For any business tempted to invest, there are some very real concerns. Where is the future proofing? Where is the consistent, proven and reliable network infrastructure?  How can the complexity of IoT projects be managed effectively without investing in huge additional technical resources? The good news is that IoT is hitting a new level of maturity in both technology and delivery model that will both reduce risk and cost and provide that essential future proofing.

IoT maturity

While the cost model of mobile technologies has made IoT at scale unatenable to date, there has been a rapid evolution of LPWAN technology recently that is paving the way for applications that use tens of thousands, even millions of devices.  While there are licensed cellular variants such as Narrowband IoT (Nb-IoT), currently being used in pilot projects in Eastern Europe and southern Spain, it is the unlicensed LPWANs that are being rolled out fastest, with national LPWANs already in place in the Netherlands, France, Spain, South America, South Asia and several more.

One of the most notable global LPWAN technology developments is LoRaWAN, created by Semtech, marketed and sustained by 500+ world class organisations in the Lora Alliance standard, which is being rolled out across multiple countries. And while today there is no single, cross UK network, the ability to blend networks in different regional areas, including the adoption of international roaming via LPWANs – now provides organisations with a seamless, low cost, scalable IoT network model.

This growing maturity of network technology is being mirrored by the advancement in design and manufacturing of devices – with new sensors and devices available with batteries that can last up to five years, minimising on-going cost and maintenance requirements.  Essentially, it is now possible to deliver IoT projects through blended network solutions at a far lower cost – opening the door for projects that scale to millions of devices.

Proof of concept

This maturity is being confirmed by the growing number of high profile IoT projects that are beginning to build confidence in both the IoT concept and specific technologies, including sensors that are being manufactured and deployed at scale. For example, the Smart City project in Milton Keynes is using parking sensors in the road that can tell when a vehicle is parked. In addition to enabling new parking enforcement systems, the project is collecting sensor data to analyse trends in parking activity to support on-going road management planning.

Similarly, the Cambridge Smart City project is already starting to measure air quality within this highly congested environment. With pollution a recognised threat to public health, local councils are being asked to act – and Smart City projects across the country are looking to use air quality sensors to both provide insight into trends but also deliver real time alerts to support public health advice.

While impressive, these projects are still far less sophisticated in scope and deployment density than many of the developments globally. In Eastern Europe and the Far East, IoT at scale is becoming a reality with large scale deployments of lighting, metering, air quality, parking, and waste management sensors leveraging the new LPWAN network infrastructures.

End to end IoT

In tandem with technology advancing is a maturing market model, with a growing number of providers stepping up to manage the network fragmentation and delivering IoT solutions as a service, a future proof model. This End to End IoT model encompasses every aspect of the solution from sourcing and deploying sensors, to creating the blended network, managing data storage and undertaking analytics. In addition, with integration skills and the use of APIs, IoT platforms and their vital data can be made accessible to operational systems.

Furthermore, these projects are no longer ad hoc – market maturity is enabling the shift towards operationalising proven IoT applications. The IoT as a Service model will make key applications, such as building management systems, smart parking, pest control and waste bin management available for instant use without heavy customisation, removing all barriers to entry, especially within the SME market.

We are now on the cusp of something momentous in IoT.  The technology components, including the low-cost networks, are now in place; the end to end service model with its new ‘as a Service’ potential is reducing the risk and cost to entry, whilst future proofing investment. IoT is no longer just a tantalising concept – with the operationalisation of key applications, especially within facilities management, it is about to explode into day to day business operations.

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