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Intel Edison – closing the gap between the IoT and your products

Intel Edison 1

The new Edison development platform is the latest in a series of low-cost and product-ready, general purpose computing platforms from Intel that aim to help lower the barriers to entry for all entrepreneurs, from hobbyists and makers to professional engineers and companies working with Internet-of-Things, wearable computing and consumer electronics applications and product development. The Edison platform includes a robust set of features into its small size, delivering great performance, durability, and a broad spectrum of hardware I/O interfaces and software support. Those versatile features help meet the needs of a wide range of customers and market segments. Although announced some time ago, the platform is finally in the retail market, which has waited patiently as the Edison packs a large amount of computing power, communications and networking capability into a small, compact package – including an Intel Atom dual-core system-on-chip, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy, along with a … Continue reading

Advantages and Possible Downsides of Agile Development


Agile project management methods aren’t new, however they can still be considered somewhat foreign to most teams developing hardware or combined embedded hardware and software products. There are a number of both advantages and potential disadvantages that are worth considering when it comes to the role of Agile management methods in hardware projects that should be considered in the decision-making process of switching from a traditional waterfall project management method to an Agile approach for the management of your projects. Imagine a team that focuses on how their work will be used by the customer, and who quickly incorporates feedback from other teams and test users to build something that gets better and better in noticeable and usable incremental chunks of productivity. They may work without the usual documentation and strict procedures because communication is fast and usually face-to-face, with the results being what is important. These are some of … Continue reading

Mango – the world’s most popular open-source M2M platform

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Mango Automation is an open-source software platform aimed at machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, industrial control and SCADA networks, home and building automation and smart energy applications as well as other applications in the Internet-of-Things domain. As a web browser-based, Ajax-enabled M2M software platform, Mango enables users to access and control Internet-of-Things networks and devices over multiple protocols simultaneously with a product that is easy to download and install across a range of different platforms.However there is much more, Mango is a flexible, cross-platform software suite for industrial control and SCADA applications that allows you to record, log, graph, animate, alarm and report on data from sensors, equipment, PLCs, databases and webpages -providing an all-in-one data logging, control and monitoring system with a web browser based interface. Because of Mango’s highly modular design, you can use Mango to put together the exact application that fits your needs. And as Mango is web browser based, … Continue reading

Gilmo – a New Standard in Password Security


  In today’s society, it is almost impossible to exist without some requirement to access computer bases systems. Be it retrieving money from an ATM through to online banking or accounts on a myriad of other web sites, almost  always there is a requirement to gain access via a username and password. To make life harder, each of these passwords  require different  combinations of characters, symbols and numbers and will need renewing at different times. So how does the average person remember all these passwords in a way that is easy to access and secure? There are those that try to have the same password for everything, there are those  that use easy to remember details such as birthdays and pets names and then  those that keep a paper based notebook in their top drawer. Probably  the most popular is to store these very personal details on a phone or … Continue reading

Improve Customer Satisfaction with Agile Practices


Agile project management practices, which can be applied to the management of hardware development or other engineering projects – and not just the software development projects for which these methods were mostly originally developed, have the potential to deliver increased customer satisfaction compared to traditional project management methods such as the “waterfall” technique. These improvements in customer satisfaction that can be achieved by Agile projects come about because of a combination of many different advantages that Agile practices can offer, particularly in the ways that Agile project techniques involve and engage the customer, the customer’s feedback, ideas and expertise throughout the product development lifecycle. These Agile project management practices can increase the satisfaction of your customers by keeping the customers involved and actively engaged through the development cycle of their new product, making the customer feel like they are a valuable, integral part of the project team – which, of … Continue reading

Harnessing connected devices with the PubNub Network

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The PubNub Data Stream Network enables developers to rapidly build real-time apps that scale globally, without worrying about infrastructure. PubNub enables you to easily build and scale real-time apps and connected data-stream services for home automation, Internet-of-Things applications, connected devices and just about anything else with APIs and support across a large range of different platforms, operating systems and programming languages. Using PubNub’s extensive, friendly documentation, quick-start guides, APIs and building blocks, you can easily get started building your own real-time, connected apps very quickly – building an entire simple app in minutes, without worrying about cloud connectivity or infrastructure. The aim of the PubNub system is to provide a real-time infrastructure and framework for developers to build real-time apps as easily as building a web page. The PubNub Realtime Network provides global cloud infrastructure and key building blocks for real-time interactivity, allowing developers to spend their time and effort … Continue reading

LX Design House – an ABA100 Winner for Enterprise in The Australian Business Awards 2014


LX DESIGN HOUSE IN MOTION LX Design House has been recognised as an ABA100 Winner for Enterprise in The Australian Business Awards 2014 for their outstanding commitment to the creation and development of well-managed initiatives. Since being established, LX’s in-house manufacturing facility has massively reduced the turnaround time for certain kinds of product development. “We specialise in high speed prototyping, so producing boards in-house massively reduces the turn around time caused by shipping to manufacturers overseas. It means less time in transit and more time with our engineers!” -Simon Blyth The Australian Business Awards are a national, all-encompassing awards program honouring Australia’s business, innovation and technology leaders through the recognition of their ground-breaking vision, innovative products and exemplary execution of projects, technologies, service, programs, systems and other initiatives. The program engages with leading corporate, government and non-government organisations providing regional recognition with a global significance through an established set of … Continue reading

Frameworks for Agile Hardware Development


There are many different agile development methods and process frameworks, with Extreme Programming, Scrum, Kanban, and Dynamic Systems Development Method being some of the best known. Although there are many different agile process frameworks and methods, most are fundamentally similar in that they promote teamwork, collaboration and process adaptability throughout the whole life cycle of a development project. The various agile methodologies share much of the same underlying philosophy as well as many of the same characteristics and practices. From an implementation standpoint, however, each has its own combination of practices and terminology. Most agile methods break tasks into small increments with minimal planning, without directly involving long-term planning.At the end of teach iteration in the agile process, a working product is demonstrated to stakeholders. This minimises overall risk and allows the project to adapt to changes quickly. Iterations might not add enough functionality to warrant a market release, but the … Continue reading

EnOcean – the new low-power Wireless Standard

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The success or failure of new Internet-of-Things products is predicated on many factors, one of those being autonomy for portable devices – that is, how long the battery will last between charges. The less power your devices uses, the more attractive it will be to the end user and customer. And to help with this goal in mind, a new standard has emerged. The International Electrotechnical Commission has recently ratified the new ISO/IEC 14543-3-10 standard, specifying a Wireless Short-Packet (WSP) protocol optimised for ultra-low-power and energy-harvesting nodes in wireless sensor networks. It is the first and only existing standard for wireless applications that is also optimised for energy harvesting solutions, aimed at energy-harvesting wireless sensors and wireless sensor networks with ultra-low power consumption. Devices in low-power wireless sensor networks and Internet-of-Things applications that utilise energy harvesting technology can draw energy from their surroundings – for example from vibration, light or … Continue reading

Challenges of Agile Product Development


In the adoption of Agile project management practices to the development of hardware or combined hardware-software engineering projects, and the adaptations to common Agile techniques that may be applied for best results with hardware projects, let’s consider some of the challenges that may be faced and how you might address them. For example, do you develop software and firmware only after you’ve developed and assembled an iteration of physical prototype hardware? Or do you develop an iteration of your software and firmware concurrently with the development and assembly of the corresponding hardware and use other methods such as simulation to stand in for the hardware until an iteration of the physical hardware is ready?  When using Agile project management techniques, it is desirable to be able to rapidly produce and demonstrate a working prototype of your technology and to rapidly iterate and refine and build on each prototype without necessarily … Continue reading

Easily extend your products to the IoT with Arrayent


The Arrayent Connect Platform is an Internet-of-Things platform that enables you to connect your products to smartphone and Web applications, providing the value-add of cloud services and IoT connectivity with low cost and simplicity, particularly aimed at existing manufacturers of appliances and consumer electronics who want to add the value of Internet-of-Things connectivity into their existing products. Arrayent’s IoT platform has been optimised to maximise your product’s value by keeping extra hardware costs at a minimum, keeping devices simple, and pushing the majority of the IoT complexity to the cloud where possible. By ensuring that product installation “just works” and is friendly for end users. Arrayent’s plug-and-play installation process is designed to maximise customer satisfaction and reduce the costs of customer support for installation. Arrayent also aim to support strong scalability to as many as millions of devices. Therefore with the Arrayent IoT platform you can reliably and securely connect your products to … Continue reading

Tools for Agile Hardware Development Success

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When using Agile project management techniques, it is desirable to be able to rapidly produce and demonstrate a working prototype of your technology, and to rapidly iterate and refine and build on each prototype without necessarily having a perfectly engineered product ready to go at the first iteration. When attempting to apply Agile methods to electronic and hardware design, what methodologies and tools should we consider in order to rapidly prototype and demonstrate hardware systems?What if the lead time that is required to source components, to fabricate PCBs, to have prototype layouts assembled by an external pick-and-place assembly contractor or to have custom plastics injection-moulded, and so on, is longer than the time allocated to an iteration? These types of external supply and manufacturing dependencies are unique to hardware, and aren’t present in software development – so they present a unique challenge when trying to apply agile methods to the management … Continue reading

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