Every project is different, yet they share a lot of similarities. We reuse as much as we can, so that YOU can create truly innovative products.
We start with a base package, which is 80% standard and includes the functions which we find in almost every IoT project. To cover those tasks we developed reusable solutions of the highest quality, allowing us to save time and budget for some of the more challenging topics.
Typical use case: There are few dozens of ATIM ACW temperature sensors installed in a hotel. The sensors communicate with a MultiConnect Conduit gateway via private LoRa network. In order to start receiving data the gateway has to be aware of each sensor (AppEUI, DevEUI, AppKey). For this it maintains bi-directional connection with an IoT platform, where the sensors are provisioned via installer's mobile app. This efficient and intuitive mechanism enables rapid sensors installation in hundreds of hotels around the world. Tools used: PTC ThingWorx Core, ThingWorx Edge Microserver, IBM Node Red.
Typical use case: Carrier refrigeration units (reefers) collect surprisingly large amount of data -- vehicle location and speed, multiple temperature readings, internal engine parameters (state, RPM, hours, temperature, fuel level, etc.), electronics parameters (state, alarms, errors, firmware version, battery level, etc.), just to name a few. Processing this data in real time is a key Cold Chain mechanism for preserving transported goods, while reliable data storage and long-term archiving allow compliance audits and contractual use cases. Tools used: PTC ThingWorx Core, Apache Kafka, Cassandra, Amazon S3.
Typical use case: Electronic irrigation controllers became indispensable in the modern farming. Responsible for steady supply of water and fertilizers, those devices have great impact in the fields. Most of such controllers are equipped with some sort of an LCD screen, which is useful as a backup solution but hardly qualifies as an efficient user interface. One of the best ways to control them remotely (especially on the large scale) is a SCADA-like visualization system, updating all important parameters on a single large screen in real time. HTML5 greatly simplifies its configuration and maintenance. Tools used: PTC ThingWorx Core.
This is where we usually spend most of our time. "Common functionality" is what we've already done few times in the past, so it seems to be relatively widespread. However we couldn't "standardize" it because we always find significant differences, varying from project to project.
Typical use case: There is a wide range of mechanisms for protecting goods against counterfeit -- holograms, QR codes, RFID and NFC tags, just to name a few. The latter is especially efficient, being virtually impossible to clone. Obviously, the key success factor for any such system is consumer adoption, which imposes great challenge on implementing efficient and user-friendly UI. While our UX designer works on the look-and-feel, the backend team takes care of standard non-functional requirements such as responsiveness, security and scalability. Tools used: PTC ThingWorx Core or Vert.x, Angular JS and Bootstrap.
Typical use case: Planning goods transportation is a non-trivial process. Things can (and often do!) go wrong almost at any stage, causing delays, frustration and losses. Therefore transport automation and planning has to be very flexible and highly reactive. With vehicles, drivers and even separate pallets all nowadays equipped with some kind of GPS tracking, geofencing and geo-corridoring became standard mechanisms to improve planning precision and calculate expected times of arrival. For instance it allows the shops to prioritize goods unloading activities more efficiently, saving time and money. Tools used: PTC ThingWorx Core, Google Maps API.
Typical use case: Underground gas pipes are protected by special high-visibility signs, preventing them from accidential damage during excavation works. Sometimes those signs are knocked down by mistake, e.g. by the heavy farming equipment in the open field, and the gas pipe operator is then responsibile for repairing it as quickly as possible. Equiping the signs with gyroscope sensors and SIGFOX transmitters is a reliable and cost-effective solution which improves reaction times and reduces maintenance costs. Provider's M2M platform ensures basic QoS and over-the-air encryption (for LoRa only). Tools used: PTC ThingWorx Core, AES encryption.
This is our favorite part, where real innovation begins and our experience shines. We implemented each of those in the past, but every time it was a learn-something-new type of experience. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions here and specifying each of those typically requires dedicated workshops.
Typical use case: "Classic" monolythic systems are steadily becoming things of the past. Modern requirements for availability and performance mandate flexible and distributed microservice architectures. A customer selling complex medical equipment operates his IoT system around the world. Each device generates gigabytes of logs every day, all of which have to be processed by sophisticated failure prediction AI algorithms and then reliably archived. The system has no single point of failure and operates at 99.95% uptime. Tools used: Amazon AWS Cloud Watch, AWS S3, Docker Swarm, Kafka, Cassandra, Spark, MLib.
Typical use case: There is an inherent lack of trust between supply chain actors, increasing service costs and impairing overall transportation efficiency. This issue affects a vast range of businesses across all industries, making it a very tempting target for optimization. Corporate blockchains or hyperledgers provide effective and modern ways to implement smart contracts, allowing to digitalize business relationships. This mechanism becomes extremely powerful when it is backed by IoT data, allowing to detect issues, associate them with responsibile parties and improve underlying business processes. Tools used: Hyperledger Fabric or Ethereum, Cello.
Typical use case: Modern mobile phones are rugged, inexpensive and surprisingly powerful, which make them better choice enterprise applications. Tools used: Ionic Framework, Android Studio, XCode.