Industrial Ethernet fieldbus issues of the past are coming to life again in a new form. Large protocol interest groups and manufacturers of industrial equipment have a new platform to compete for revenue and to keep brand loyalty. Ethernet-based protocols are changing with time, many companies have similar protocol implementations as they essentially have been creating the same standard Ethernet connectors. The biggest issue at hand today is that there is no interoperability between software, for instance, Ethercat doesn’t connect with Profinet and Profinet doesn’t connect to Ethernet IP. Time Sensitive Networks (TSN), which is part of the IEEE standards association, is attempting to enhance Ethernet standards by making high accuracy time synchronization and seamless redundancy features of standard Ethernet. As industrial Ethernet continues to develop, the biggest concern is if security standards will be integrated into new protocol.
One of the major promises that discussions of the Internet of Things (IoT) have put forward, is the advances to be made in consumer insight. The idea is that sensors and connected devices can send data on an open loop back to the manufacturer for analysis. This process would presumably secure many advances in a wide variety of things; not only would companies be able to understand their clients, but sensors may even be able to tell us more about the product in general. For example, pedometers on livestock have given scientists more knowledge about when cows are in heat, allowing for a 66% increase in insemination rates.
Many have referenced discoveries such as these to be the real goldmine of the IoT. Using big data analytics, manufacturers could generate the type of insight that could propel future developments. However, the concept of big data analytics is still a bit fuzzy to most people. A lot of the general knowledge of analytics is overshadowed by the half-belief that information is fed to a group of ancient mystic palm readers who come up with practical applications for the infinite mass of soundbite data. In reality, the sorting mechanism used to interpret the data from connected sensors is rarely earth-shattering and could even be accomplished on a closed loop. This is critical to keep in mind, especially as companies make decisions regarding data security.
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Grid Connect Inc. has one of the best engineering teams in the world. Our strong development team can quickly and effectively implement your partial or complete networking/cloud-based or embedded product. For more than 20 years we have been helping customers put networking technology into their products. In the past the focus has been Ethernet, serial and propriety networks. Now days, the focus is on wireless networks like Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth/BLE and 900 MHz.
A few of Grid Connect’s many development capabilities include:
- Designing, layout and quick turn prototype hardware
- Designing, programming and debugging embedded software
- Designing and building iOS and Android smart phone and tablet applications
- Designing, building and rolling out complete cloud/web applications
- Embedded Linux or Real-time OS driver development
- SSL security and hardware and software encryption option
- Production of custom hardware
- Embedded Web page development
- Pre-loading of custom/customer firmware on to standard modules
- Complete diagnostic testing of hardware and software prior to shipment
- Work with test labs to complete FCC, CE, UL, and RoHS certifications
- Custom labeling
The ConnectSense Case Study
With the ConnectSense brand of products, we took Grid Connect’s embedded networking expertise and put it to use in the consumer home automation/Internet of Things marketplace. In creating ConnectSense, we built a full end-to-end solution, which incorporated custom hardware, embedded Linux development, a custom cloud solution, and custom enclosures and sensors.
Since releasing ConnectSense to the market in 2013, we have continued to move our technology forward. With the ConnectSense Smart Outlet we have made great strides in easy setup and provisioning of devices, smaller and more affordable designs and development of apps for iOS. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet also represents the first generation of devices that are Apple HomeKit-enabled allowing for great features such as Siri voice control, end-to-end encryption and ease of use.
The ConnectSense product line allows Grid Connect to prove out its technology at scale and improve it over time. This allows us to then take that same great technology and help customers implement IoT solutions in their own products. Rather than starting from scratch, our customers benefit from our wealth of knowledge developing IoT products. This allows for quick time to market, lower cost implementations and less custom work required on projects.
To discuss development partner solutions for your company, please call the Grid Connect office at +1 (800) 975-GRID or fill out the form here.
The rapid progression of device communication has resulted in a formidable roadblock to the Internet of Things (IoT). Too many rival standards have emerged from big company alliances and individual expansions. While companies like Samsung, Intel, and Cisco have united around the Open Interconnect Consortium, individual corporations like Apple and Google are beginning to make headway on their own API projects.
In order for the IoT to work, every device pair must have identical network standards. Without matching protocols, individual objects won’t be able to communicate. For example, in order to play music from a smartphone through a Bluetooth speaker, the phone must connect to the device over Bluetooth, and not through Wi-Fi. This can get far more complicated than just the internet connection. In addition to network standards like Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Wi-Fi, there are also application and security standards that must also be identical. Two devices that run on Wi-Fi still can’t work together if one runs on the Apple HomeKit protocol and the other is designed for Works with Nest.
Inevitably, the jumble of standards has drawn all sorts of lines in the sand as far as companies developing for the IoT are concerned. This process has begun to follow a similar mess that occurred with the development of radio-frequency identification (RFID). It took 15 years to develop a common protocol for the RFID market, because of competing corporate interests.
Without standards, there is no possibility for interoperability, but it is important that companies work together to come up with fewer, more universal standards. Reducing the amount of these protocols opens up more avenues for product developers, and allows the consumer more product choice, rather than having to be selective based on the protocols they are already using in their home.
Connecting products to the Internet of Things (IoT) is essential to manufacturers looking to stay competitive within their industry. Adding IoT capabilities gives consumers more features. It also allows the manufacturer to stay connected with their customer while discovering new product use cases and applications that open them up to new revenue streams. When designing your first IoT device, there are 10 things to keep in mind…
As more manufacturers enable their products for the IoT, consumers will be introduced to many different cloud applications due to lack of cooperation between difference devices and companies. This is where the emerging IoT standards can help. Device manufacturers who support these standards will be able to ensure their products will be able to work and communicate with other manufacturers’ products that support the same protocols. This makes operating many IoT-enabled devices together much more simple and convenient. This also opens up new business opportunities by allowing for new features that the original manufacturers never dreamed of. For example, interoperability means that one day it might be possible for a consumer to simply say, “good night, house” to their app, and the app will programmatically turn-off all of the main house lights, TV’s and appliances and turn on the outside lighting, set the alarm clock for the morning and set the coffee pot to start brewing when the sun rises. In this example, each device could be from a different manufacturer, but since they all support the same standard, the application knows how to talk to them all and create new service offerings.
Some of the emerging interoperability standards include: Thread (supported by the likes of Google/Nest, Samsung and more), HomeKit (supported by Apple), AllJoyn (supported by Microsoft and Sony, part of the AllSeen Alliance), IETF (an internet standards body) and ETSI (a European-based standards organization – primarily in Telecom). The standards landscape is changing rapidly and manufacturers need to adapt their products to work with these standards as they are consolidated and settled in the future.
Building a secure IoT-enabled device comes at a cost. As the IoT continues to grow, there is an increasing focus on its security and how safe the claims of end-to-end solutions really are. While security threats in the news have scared away some manufacturers and consumers from entering the IoT space, others view it as an opportunity for added value to their products. Implementing high-cost security into every product a company has is ideal, however not very economical. Manufacturers must find proper security for each of their IoT solutions while keeping costs down for them and their end-user.
This process must start at the time of a product’s conception. Proper due-diligence is required from each manufacturer to find a way to secure their devices, protect their consumer and ultimately, the rest of the IoT world as well.
> For more information, please call Grid Connect Inc. at +1 (630) 245-1445, or email us at email@example.com.
Wicked or wickedly good Internet of Things impacts home security, smart home, appliances.
Craving more hype? Then say hello to the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT will be everywhere, will do everything, will touch everyone — and generate trillions of dollars. It will be on every wrist, imprinted into bike shorts and on cans of green beans; it will reside in every home, office, factory, hospital room, school desk, and tent worldwide. The mighty IoT may one day spew out data streams of monoicosebyte proportions, all seemingly in a nanosecond. (Monoicosebytes are 9x exponential steps beyond the terabyte.)
If you’re counting, it will be the fourth industrial revolution — the ultimate tipping point. The paramount of all paradigm shifts. The most disorderly of disruptive technologies.
IDC, a global tech market intelligence firm with an awesome ability to count objects before they exist, claims the installed base of connected things will be 212 billion by the end of 2020. These IDC crystal-ballers say Internet of Things will be “a new construct in the information and communications tech world,” and they peg IoT spending at $8.9 trillion by 2020.
Predictable with any market “ready to explode,” there is even more research to prove the point.
SAN RAMON, Calif. – Dec. 16, 2014 – The Thread Group (www.threadgroup.org) – an industry alliance chartered with guiding the widespread adoption of Thread, the new IP-based low-power wireless networking protocol designed specifically for the home, announced today that it has grown to more than 50 members since membership opened up on Oct 1st. Additionally, the Thread Group will work with UL to perform testing and certification to ensure a high-quality user experience, as well as interoperability and security across products using Thread.
The newest Thread Group members include: ATMEL®, California Eastern Laboratories, Inc., CamPoint, Energizer® Holdings, Inc., GainSpan Corporation, Granite River Labs, Grid Connect, Imagination Technologies, Insteon®, Intellihot Green Technologies Inc., iOT Tech, Jasco®, Keen Home, Kwikset, leakSMART, Linx Technologies, LUX Technology Group, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Midea Group, Nanoleaf, NET2GRID, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Proximetry, Inc., SALTO SYSTEMS, Sansa Security, Shenzhen Rakwireless Technology Co., Ltd, Skyley Networks, Inc., Stack Lighting, Telegesis, TÜV Rheinland Group, Tyco, UL, Whirlpool Corporation, WigWag Inc, ZONEFIRST®.
Read the full press release from the Thread Group by clicking here.