Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo Blog, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo Blog

@ThingsExpo Blog: Article

How to Truly Implement the Internet of Things

How consulting companies and developers can truly design, implement and support the IoT ecosystem

My colleague, mobility and IoT (Internet of Things) guru Peter Rogers has written one of the first articles I have ever read that explains how consulting companies and developers can truly design, implement and support the Internet of Things ecosystem.  Mark your calendars with this historic day.

I was talking with friends today about the whole notion of wearable technology and soon stumbled upon the following important question, "What does a consultancy actually bring to the table in terms of wearable technologies?"

My opinion is that it is not about writing software for Google Glass, which seems to be the first thing anybody does at the mention of wearable technology. I mean firstly it is not (officially) on sale in Europe inside a retail outlet and secondly it does not actually have an official App Store.  I believe it is more about the hardware, the life cycle maintenance for wearable software and the supporting ecosystems. I also believe it is about the creative experiences that showcase the kinds of M2M scenarios that the film Terminator demonstrated. I aim to use the rest of this Blog to explain this argument clearly.

First, it was interesting to see Samsung using Tizen as the operating system for their Gear 2 wearable devices. I have long mooted that it make little sense to have full operating systems on wearable devices and mobile handset vendors seem to want to keep their actual devices in the loop (the iCar and iWatch are both rumoured to work with an iPhone). If the iWatch ever appears then will it be running iOS 7.1? Even if it was running iOS 7.1 then I doubt you would build Apps using the same UI capabilities as for a standard phone or tablet. I would wager that the mobile device will continue to act as an arbitrator between the wearable device and the Internet (of Things) for some time to come and that the wearable devices will be running lightweight operating systems. In which case surely Ubuntu Mobile, Tizen and Firefox OS will make a play.

If that is indeed the case then the whole development cycle and life cycle maintenance of wearable device Apps is going to be a little bit different than before. It will be more constrained, but not in the earlier definition of the word, when wearable displays could only effectively display a pre-processed bitmap image. I would suggest that the Mobile Consumer Application Platform (MCAP) or Portable Native vendors who are geared up to supporting new operating systems quickly will be able to offer support for wearable devices faster than any other toolset vendor.

Proof of the pudding would appear to be Appcelerator's Titanium platform which already offers Tizen support. Whilst disappointingly Samsung say they will not commit to a Tizen powered mobile handset in 2014, at Mobile World Congress they most definitely did commit to Tizen powered wearable devices. Likewise, Marmalade supports the Tizen operating system, although this technology is predominantly (but not exclusively) used by game developers.

I would therefore conclude as my first point, that a consultancy wanting to get into the wearable technology space should first of all have a good knowledge of the MCAP / portable native platforms that are available to support both portability and the fast creation of applications for the wearable device market.

The second point I would make is that there is a definite need for ecosystems that support wearable devices. Such an ecosystem needs to support secure integration of remote devices, discoverability and messaging (to, from and between) disparate devices. I talk about SkyNet a lot at the moment as it is an actualisation of this concept and is available today. SkyNet is an open source Node.js based discovery, messaging and secure integration architecture for wearable devices. It can be hosted on a Mobile Back End as a Service (MBaaS) and acts to consolidate a vast amount of disparate technologies available in this space. As a solid example of this then in a few months you should be able to write JavaScript based Constrained RESTful servers that run on the SkyNet Node.js service tier and use them to discover and communicate with JavaScript based applications running as first class citizens on a Tizen OS powered Gear 2 device. That is one technology stack that covers the whole end to end architecture. It means that the solution architects can focus on security governance, as opposed to integrating disparate technologies, and worrying about what happens 3 months down the line (namely when a new version of the OS is released for the device). Likewise the creative experiences are empowered by a simple and powerful underlying framework.

SkyNet is not the only solution of course, but it is the best Blueprint I have seen so far and it is MIT licenced and available on GitHub today.

Here are two very cool 60 second videos of the Team SkyNet demonstrating their Internet of Things:

1. Bluetooth Low Energy integration. They appear to be messaging some custom built Pebble-type watch.
2. Voice control. They have a voice controlled remote lamp that can be called from a standard telephone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBNoSB_bac4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2emg81H6pI

Each connected device has its own 36 character UUID and a secret token.  These device credentials are required for authenticating and communicating with SkyNet. They also have TLS certificates available on the network by the time you read this. SkyNet can be deployed as a Private Cloud (in your enterprise or even in your home on a Raspberry Pi).  SkyNet networks also have UUIDs and can forward messages to other SkyNet networks.  You can also encrypt your messages if needed for additional security.  SkyNet currently supports 3 protocols over TCP (HTTP(S), WS/S, and MQTT).  They will be adding CoAP (a UDP protocol) this quarter for real-time communication. MQTT and CoAP are optimised protocols for constrained devices.  They are also working on a SkyNet Gateway device that can run in your home or office to communicate with local devices such as Nests, Phillips Hues, Wemos, Insteons, etc. The Gateway (and indeed SkyNet) are all open source and designed to support any protocol or transport layer.

If the right level of security can be applied by using acceptable levels of encryption and the Node.js implementation can be moved to nice Mobile Back End as a Service then you have a secure, scalable and maintainable Internet of Things. We often hear about REST being used but wearable devices introduces us to both Bluetooth Low Energy and Constrained RESTful environments (CoRE). It was in fact the CoRE Working Group that did the major standardization work for CoAP. I am sure instead of mobile architecture diagrams with JSON and REST, you will soon be seeing Bluetooth Low Energy and Constrained REST appearing on wearable architecture diagrams.

I would therefore conclude as a second point, that a consultancy needs to have a good idea of appropriate ecosystems that can match their customer's requirements.

http://skynet.im
http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2014/02/skynet/

The final point was inspired when I saw the SkyNet Team building a Pebble-Watch-Replica from scratch, a light bulb that could be controlled by voice and talking about voice controlled drones. I have to wager that hardware skills are going to be just as important as software skills - at least in the Innovation and Proof of Concept stage. The final piece of the puzzle for a consultancy then is to bring some level of hardware skills to the table.

In summary, in my view you should not be looking for a consultancy who can purely write Google Glass 'Apps'. Instead you should be looking for a consultancy who can offer you the following: tools for the life cycle management of software on wearable devices; solution architecture around supporting ecosystems for wearable device integration; and even the ability to design custom hardware for innovation projects.

*************************************************************

Kevin Benedict Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant View my profile on LinkedIn Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Browse the Mobile Solution Directory 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.

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.

Latest Stories
In the midst of the widespread popularity and adoption of cloud computing, it seems like everything is being offered “as a Service” these days: Infrastructure? Check. Platform? You bet. Software? Absolutely. Toaster? It’s only a matter of time. With service providers positioning vastly differing offerings under a generic “cloud” umbrella, it’s all too easy to get confused about what’s actually being offered. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Kevin Hazard, Director of Digital Content for SoftL...
"A lot of the enterprises that have been using our systems for many years are reaching out to the cloud - the public cloud, the private cloud and hybrid," stated Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
The time is ripe for high speed resilient software defined storage solutions with unlimited scalability. ISS has been working with the leading open source projects and developed a commercial high performance solution that is able to grow forever without performance limitations. In his session at Cloud Expo, Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services Inc., shared foundation principles of Ceph architecture, as well as the design to deliver this storage to traditional SAN storage co...
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that JFrog, maker of Artifactory, the popular Binary Repository Manager, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based in California, Israel and France, founded by longtime field-experts, JFrog, creator of Artifactory and Bintray, has provided the market with the first Binary Repository solution and a software distribution social platform.
In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist of Cloud Services at VMware, reviewed the changes that the cloud computing industry has gone through over the last five years and shared insights into what the next five will bring. He also chronicled the challenges enterprise companies are facing as they move to the public cloud. He delved into the "Hybrid Cloud" space and explained why every CIO should consider ‘hybrid cloud' as part of their future strategy to achi...
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at th...
The most often asked question post-DevOps introduction is: “How do I get started?” There’s plenty of information on why DevOps is valid and important, but many managers still struggle with simple basics for how to initiate a DevOps program in their business. They struggle with issues related to current organizational inertia, the lack of experience on Continuous Integration/Delivery, understanding where DevOps will affect revenue and budget, etc. In their session at DevOps Summit, JP Morgenthal...