The Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Over the past few years we at Fidenz have been working with IoT systems and have evolved and adopted the convergence of multiple technologies, real-time analytics, machine learning, commodity sensors, and embedded systems.
We pay attention to IoT security technologies that will be required to protect IoT devices and platforms from both information attacks and physical tampering, to encrypt their communications, and to address new challenges such as impersonating “things” or denial-of-sleep attacks that drain batteries. IoT security will be complicated by the fact that many “things” use simple processors and operating systems that may not support sophisticated security approaches.
IoT business models will exploit the information collected by “things” in many ways, which will demand new analytic tools and algorithms. As data volumes increase over the next five years, the needs of the IoT may diverge further from traditional analytics, thus Fidenz puts in a lot of research and development on this subject to make sure we stay on top of our game.
IoT Device (Thing) Management
Long-lived nontrivial “things” will require management and monitoring, including device monitoring, firmware and software updates, diagnostics, crash analysis and reporting, physical management, and security management. We make sure the tools used are capable of managing and monitoring thousands to millions of devices.
We pride ourselves in the deep technical skills that we have in understanding the implications of processor choices. The processors and architectures used by IoT devices define many of their capabilities, such as whether they are capable of strong security and encryption, power consumption, whether they are sophisticated enough to support an operating system, updatable firmware, and embedded device management agents.
IoT Operating Systems
In the past traditional operating systems such as Windows and iOS were not designed for IoT applications for many reasons such as consuming too much power, needing fast processors, and in some cases, lack features such as guaranteed real-time response. They also have too large a memory footprint for small devices and may not support the chips that IoT developers use. A wide range of IoT-specific operating systems has been developed to suit many different hardware footprints and feature needs and we are well versed with each and everyone of them.
Event Stream Processing
Fidenz has worked with certain IoT applications that generate extremely high data rates that must be analyzed in real time. Systems creating tens of thousands of events per second are common, and millions of events per second can occur in some situations. We have the experience and the tech skill to process very high-rate streams and perform tasks such as real-time analytics and pattern recognition using distributed stream computing platforms to address such requirements.
IoT platforms bundle many of the infrastructure components of an IoT system into a single product. The services provided by such platforms fall into three main categories:
Low-level device control and operations such as communications, device monitoring and management, security, and firmware updates;
IoT data acquisition, transformation and management;
IoT application development, including event-driven logic, application programming, visualization, analytics and adapters to connect to enterprise systems.
IoT Standard and Ecosystems
Standards and their associated application programming interfaces (APIs) will be essential because IoT devices will need to interoperate and communicate, and many IoT business models will rely on sharing data between multiple devices and organizations. Many IoT ecosystems will emerge, and organizations creating products may have to develop variants to support multiple standards or ecosystems and be prepared to update products during their life span as the standards evolve and new standards and APIs emerge.
Case Study – Aventi Technology AS
Aventi Technology is an independent international provider of automation solutions to the infrastructure industry which is based in Norway. A significant part of their business is within the transportation sector, where they have experience and references in the market. Aventi supplies systems for management, control and surveillance, video surveillance, and electrical installations in the transport sector – both road and rail.