Click here to close now.


@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

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

@ThingsExpo: Article

Internet of Things Platforms and IoT Strategies

There seems to be two main groups of thought as to when wearable technology will become mainstream

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.

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 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.

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. 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 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.

@CloudExpo Stories
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it has become the most popular among the new wave of applications running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Relations at Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Brian “Redbeard” Harrington, a principal architect at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS helps teams run in production. Attende...
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. Migration to cloud shifts computing resources from your data center, which can yield significant advantages provided that the cloud vendor an offer enterprise-grade quality for your application.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Machkey International Company will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Machkey provides advanced connectivity solutions for just about everyone. Businesses or individuals, Machkey is dedicated to provide high-quality and cost-effective products to meet all your needs.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively.
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Achim Weiss is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ProfitBricks. In 1995, he broke off his studies to co-found the web hosting company "Schlund+Partner." The company "Schlund+Partner" later became the 1&1 web hosting product line. From 1995 to 2008, he was the technical director for several important projects: the largest web hosting platform in the world, the second largest DSL platform, a video on-demand delivery network, the largest eMail backend in Europe, and a universal billing syste...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll sha...
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...