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Arduino Create Platform – increasing access to the Internet of Things


The new Arduino Create platform aims to make embedded computing and Internet-of-Things development even easier, and an effort to make the popular Arduino development environment more relevant and up-to-date for today’s networked, connected Internet-of-Things applications – and to be easier to use for collaborative development and sharing of projects and open-source resources. This new platform is intended to replace the widely used and proven Arduino IDE that many people will be familiar with. This system has been around for a decade, with minor revisions along the way – however is basically the same original system, derived from the Wiring platform. Over time the Arduino IDE has inherited many things, some good and some bad, from this underlying legacy of the Wiring platform – and the Arduino Create platform aims to replace this with a modern, flexible toolchain. One of the most significant changes is that this new development environment will … Continue reading

Home automation with Apple HomeKit and Marvell’s Wi-Fi Microcontroller Platform


Marvell’s Wi-Fi Microcontroller Platform is a highly cost-effective, flexible and easy-to-use hardware and software platform built around a combination of Marvell’s high-performance 88MC200 ARM Cortex-M3 microcontroller and Marvell’s Avastar series of low-power 802.11n Wi-Fi system-on-chip radio devices. With these new Wi-Fi Microcontroller Platform products, Marvell aims to make it easy for Internet-of-Things developers and product designers to build a new generation of connected devices that can interact seamlessly with mobile clients and cloud applications, delivering a broad range of IoT experiences and services to consumers in areas such as smart energy management, home automation and consumer electronics. On the software side, this platform is powered by Marvell’s proven, field-tested EZ-Connect Software Development Kit, which simplifies software development and enables OEMs to focus on delivering IoT applications and services to their customers in a way that focuses on their own application-specific added value, without devoting lots of time and money to … Continue reading

Narrowband IoT – enabling M2M connectivity with existing LTE networks


The emerging Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) standard is a wireless technology designed especially for enabling cellular connectivity to Internet-of-Things devices, and is designed to combine long-range mobile connectivity with compatibility with existing LTE mobile network infrastructure and low power consumption for sensors or other long-lived devices. As the NB-IoT standard is specifically aimed at enabling cellular low-power, wide-area (LPWA) wireless networks, targeted at machine-to-machine and IoT applications such as environmental and agricultural monitoring and the metering and automated reading of utilities such as water and power meters. Furthermore, NB-IoT aims to provide reliable, wide-area network coverage, low power consumption, and strong scalability with support for very large numbers of devices on the network. This interesting new standard has been under active development during the last two years by several major players in the telecoms and networks industry – including Qualcomm, Huawei and Vodafone. Vodafone believes the emerging NB-IoT standard will be … Continue reading

New Intelligent Gateway Internet of Things Solutions from Intel


Intel’s Internet-of-Things gateway solutions and gateway development kits offer business IoT users a valuable solution for enabling IoT connectivity with existing industrial equipment or other legacy systems. These gateway solutions are the result of a collaboration between Intel, McAfee and Wind River, aiming to provide IoT developers with pre-integrated and pre-validated hardware and software building blocks for gateways in IoT networks. Intel’s gateway ecosystem provides hardware and software components that enable security, manageability and connectivity in your IoT deployment – along with ease-of-use. The technology supports a wide range of operating systems and hardware options to provide developers with choice and flexibility, making it easier for businesses to integrate with new or existing sensors, cloud partners and management solutions. The incorporation of McAfee Embedded Control security technologies into Intel’s platform integrates the hardware-based security of Intel processors with operating system and application software security, keeping your data secure from the … Continue reading

Arduino team releases new Internet of Things Platform


Here at the LX Group we investigate many Internet of Things platforms for research and fit-for-purpose testing, and one of these is the new hardware and software ecosystem has been announced by the Arduino team in Italy. They have recently released and announced a number of new products and services specifically aimed at enabling cloud-connected wireless solutions and other Internet-of-Things applications, including the MKR1000 develpoment board, their IoT Development Environment, and a companion Community Project Platform. Their new MKR1000 is a tiny, feature-packed board based on Atmel’s ATSAMW25 module, which incorporates a IEEE 802.11 radio certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance along with a low-power ARM Cortex-M0+ 32-bit microcontroller. With a much smaller form-factor than traditional Arduino boards, along with 32-bit ARM performance and built-in wireless networking, the MKR1000 offers a LiPo battery charging circuit and on-board cryptographic support, making it an Internet-connected platform that is compact, powerful, secure and battery-ready – … Continue reading

LoRa wireless nodes made easy with new solutions from Microchip


With the growing interest in low-power wide-area wireless networks for Internet-of-Things and M2M applications, Microchip Technology has been rolling out a number of wireless solutions based on radio technologies such as LoRa – addressing requirements such as long-range connectivity, strong energy efficiency for long battery life, and low hardware cost to enable high-volume deployments. LoRa is a wireless technology developed by Semtech Corporation, which utilises spread-spectrum modulation in sub-gigahertz UHF bands to enable wireless network connectivity over very long distances, with ranges on the order of 10 kilometres. This allows for extremely strong energy efficiency enabling wireless end-nodes that can operate on battery power for up to 10 years. LoRa networks also offer very high network capacity, with up to a million network nodes, high robustness, and localisation capability. LoRa radio technology is ideally suited for battery-operated sensors, smart-city technologies, home and building automation, smart agriculture, wireless sensor networks, industrial … Continue reading

Rapid Internet of Things Node development with Atmel SmartConnect SAMW25


Creating Internet-of-Things nodes and related hardware can be a challenge, however with new hardware such as Atmel’s latest SmartConnect SAMW25 Wi-Fi module – you get a low-power, pre-certified system-on-chip solution that is aimed at the needs of embedded computing, connected appliances and Internet-of-Things applications. This highly integrated module offers an ideal solution for designers looking to easily integrate wireless connectivity into their products using a Wi-Fi platform with FCC precertification for the module. The SAMW25 module is based on Atmel’s industry-leading WINC1500 Wi-Fi chipset combined with a 32-bit Atmel SMART SAM D21 microcontroller on the application processor side. This provides an all-in-one- solution that opens the door to wireless LAN connectivity for a wide range of battery-powered Internet-of-Things devices and applications that require an application processor with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity, without compromising on cost or power consumption. With a compact 34 x 15mm footprint, the module is competitive with other … Continue reading

Implement Internet of Things Edge Analytics with IBM Quarks


Although many interested readers may have a focus on the hardware side of the Internet of Things, there is much that can be done with the data and software side as well. One interesting new and open-source solution is the Quarks framework from IBM. Quarks is a framework for implementing and deploying edge analytics on a variety of different data streams and devices. Quarks allows you to push data analysis and machine learning out to “edge” devices in Internet-of-Things applications – for example, routers, gateways, sensors, appliances and machines at the edge of the network, rather than centralised servers. This new system runs locally on gateways and edge devices, analysing their streams of data. This means these devices can perform analytics or make decisions based on the data they receive locally, resulting in faster responsiveness and reduced communications costs. Quarks enables continuous streaming analytics on gateways and edge devices which can … Continue reading

Enterprise-level Internet-of-Things with Autodesk SeeControl


In the past few months the number of new announcements of Internet-of-Things platforms and services is outstanding – and the latest to come across our view is Autodesk’s new SeeControl IoT service – a cloud service for enterprise-level Internet-of-Things applications, aiming to help manufacturers and industrial users to connect, analyse and manage their products and the data that these systems generate. SeeControl virtualises things such as machines, links them with reporting devices, and provides analytics to unlock the data potential trapped inside industrial devices. SeeControl services help manufacturers incorporate sensors into their products, manage them remotely, and collect the big data they provide. With smart, connected machines enabled by SeeControl, manufacturers can offer higher service levels, reduce asset downtime and lower maintenance and material costs. SeeControl services provide everything businesses need to achieve these IoT benefits in one place, and to get up and running quickly. SeeControl is an open … Continue reading

Increase M2M Device Efficiency with LTE-M Wireless


The Third Generation Partnership (3GPP) telecommunications standard-building organisation has recently introduced the new LTE-M, or LTE for Machine-Type Communications, standard. LTE-M is intended to allow devices that operate on LTE (Long-Term Evolution) cellular networks to be less expensive, both in terms of hardware deployment and bandwidth costs, more power efficient – and generally better suited to the requirements of Internet-of-Things and M2M applications. With IoT and M2M communications becoming more widespread, there has been a growing need for a version of LTE that meets IoT-oriented requirements of low power consumption and low cost at relatively low data rates, and this is exactly what LTE-M aims to deliver – low power consumption (up to five years for a device running on AA batteries), easy deployment, interoperability, low overall cost, and reliable wide-area coverage. A key advantage that LTE-M has over alternative technologies for low-power wide-area IoT networks, such as SigFox or … Continue reading

802.11ah – WiFi HaLow for wireless networking solutions


In order to continue maintaining wireless standards to meet contemporary and future needs – the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced Wi-Fi HaLow, the Alliance’s branding for their work developing and promoting wireless networking solutions based on the IEEE 802.11ah standard. The IEEE 802.11ah standard is a new extension of the very popular and widespread IEEE 802.11-2007 wireless networking standard, providing a new physical layer and MAC layer specification for Wi-Fi networks that can operate in the sub-gigahertz bands at around 900 MHz. Because of the different propagation characteristics of radio waves at this frequency, this change significantly extends the range of existing Wi-Fi networks that currently operate in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands, and allows the radio to propagate through walls and obstructions much more effectively. This allows homes and buildings to be comprehensively covered with reliable Wi-Fi connectivity without using a large number of access points, with a … Continue reading

Zigbee version 3.0 – a new foundation for the Internet of Things


The latest version of the popular ZigBee wireless mesh networking standard, ZigBee 3.0, is an attempt to combine the various different components and device profiles within the ZigBee standard into a single, unified specification. This new ZigBee 3.0 standard aims to provide seamless interoperability across the greatest possible selection of smart Internet-of-Things devices employing ZigBee wireless connectivity – giving consumers and business users access to ZigBee-enabled products and services that will work together seamlessly to meet their needs. It delivers all the familiar capabilities you expect from ZigBee, while unifying most of the different ZigBee application profiles which are presently in use, such as ZigBee Home Automation and ZigBee Light Link, into a single platform. ZigBee 3.0 defines more than 130 different specific devices and a wide range of device types, including home automation, lighting, energy management, smart appliances, security, sensors, and healthcare monitoring devices. All the device types, profiles, … Continue reading

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