We have a sister show coming up in the next couple weeks called Internet of Things World. IoT fascinates me. It really does. And, quite honestly, it has become one of my most monitored technology industries. Imagine everything interconnected and providing heaps of valuable information to make everything else work better together. IoT brings the SciFi world to life, in my opinion – and that’s exactly what I’ve been waiting for since I started basking in the glow of a TV running Star Trek reruns as a kid.
To share a bit more about this conference, here’s some welcome information from Jeremy Coward, a Content & Community Lead for IoT World…
The Market Leaders in IoT Interoperability
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to revolutionize homes, the enterprise, and industries worldwide.
Devices ranging from lights to industrial equipment can all become more intelligent through a combination of Internet access, sensors, and data analytics.
IoT provides the enterprise with actionable information which can improve efficiency, cut costs, and increase visibility into business operations by harnessing the data that sensor and smart systems collect.
However, change is never easy. Businesses and industrial players worldwide often operate on legacy systems – later this month, 12,000 of these professionals will congregate at Internet of Things World 2018 in California to tackle these challenges. The developer focus is stronger at IoT World this year than ever before – with the dedicated IoT Developer’s conference onsite – where the industry’s developers with tackle the interoperability challenges that threaten to prevent the widespread adoption and commercialization of IoT.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, IoT has a total potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025, and the industrial sector may account for up to $3.7 trillion alone. (2)
However, the agency’s research also suggests that IoT interoperability issues are the main reason that 40 – 60 percent of IoT enterprise value is not being realized.
Interoperability challenges include legacy systems, a crowded IoT vendor and platform market with internal compatibility challenges, little in the way of third-party support and open-source platform development, and inconsistent protocol standards.
Companies seeking to use IoT must ensure that hardware, software, and protocols between IoT devices are interoperable; messaging formats are compatible with IoT ecosystems, common standards are in use, and both clients and operating systems are able to support IoT sensors, data collection, and other functions.
Despite these issues, there are companies which have focused on overcoming these problems in order to push the commercialization of IoT ahead.
1- Chirp (4)
A problem industrial and enterprise players constantly face when it comes to IoT interoperability is the challenge of connecting various devices to different platforms and operating systems.
Software, firmware upgrades, and complete overhauls are not always possible when implementing IoT technologies. However, Chirp has come up with a different approach — the use of sound to connect up devices, no matter the OS or system in use.
The company encodes data into a series of audible or inaudible near-ultrasonic pitches and tones to form what it calls a “sonic barcode.” This “barcode” is then transmitted to receiving devices. As long as participant devices have speakers or small microphones, they can communicate.
Shuttl has used this technology to overcome interoperability issues between aging ticket systems, payment machines, and mobile devices.
Chirp says that sound has the potential to be “the bridge between devices of different platforms, form-factors, architectures, and eras.”
2- IoT.Nxt (5)
IoT.Nxt is a company which has not attempted to create closed, proprietary ecosystems for IoT applications. Instead, the firm has developed a framework and gateway technologies which are vendor and operating system agnostic.
This allows all manner of IoT devices, sensors, and hardware to connect and be deployed with interoperability and interconnectivity from the factory floor to the cloud, and further, as the platform also supports edge computing which can increase the value of IoT applications.
The solution is scalable and can be deployed without interrupting or changing existing networks and systems. Part of the system, dubbed Raptor, is an intelligent field gateway which accepts and translates data loads across a network, addresses all IoT industry standard protocols, and handles device integration and connections.
Produce supplier Cavalier Foods used this system to avoid having to replace existing technologies and silos, while at the same time being able to introduce IoT for real-time business monitoring.
3- Industrial Physics
Industrial Physics is investing heavily in the concept of “zero-defect” manufacturing, the vision of production with minimal or zero waste and the lowest energy output possible. The group, which develops instruments, sensors, and software platforms for quality control, has naturally turned to IoT to push this vision forward.
In order to prevent interoperability challenges, Industrial Physics is refining standardized semantic models which connect engineering and production, alongside multiple IoT platforms and tools.
4- GE Digital
Interoperability challenges can be caused by the lack of common standards in IoT, and waiting for widely-accepted protocols and standards to regulate the variety of IoT platforms, applications, and proprietary operating systems is not a thrilling concept for the many businesses that wish to implement IoT.
GE Digital and Bosch have taken on the challenge by joining forces to establish an open source-based technical IoT core and grow an ecosystem around IoT technology stacks.
The companies are both members of global open-source software community the Eclipse Foundation, and this talent pool is being drawn upon to thrash out compatibility problems in the IoT arena.
5- Hypercat (11)
Originally funded by UK government agency Innovate UK, Hypercat was given a number of challenges to overcome to encourage the adoption of IoT in industry and cities across the United Kingdom.
Hypercat was asked to bring together industry leaders to make IoT adoption happen, to prove the value of adopting these technologies, and also to work out how to make IoT systems interoperate successfully.
With input from IoT vendors, regulators, and technology firms, the company created an IoT interoperability standard known as PAS212 which has been used to overcome interoperability challenges in smart buildings, vehicle fault diagnosis and maintenance, smart logistics and energy, and smart parking solutions.
Interoperability will always be a challenge when legacy systems and next-generation technologies collide. Some companies will choose to pour investment into proprietary systems and hope for a quick return, while others will potentially shy away from IoT altogether due to the worries legacy systems and fractured silos cause.
However, the outlook is positive. IoT offers untold opportunities for businesses willing to take the plunge and resolve interoperability issues, whether through open-source standards and protocols, innovative methods which avoid the software and data questions altogether, or by adopting vendor-agnostic platforms.
- Charlie Osborne, Contributor, Internet of Things World
[Internet of Things World, May 14-17, is the world’s biggest IoT event, putting IoT into action across every vertical, from manufacturing to wearable technology. Take a look at the IoT Developer content on offer.]
See all the smart home conference content that’s available.]