IoT Links – 06-06-2014

June 6, 2014

Interesting links for the IoT industry this past week.

1. Part of the recent Apple announcement was their entry into the home automation market with HomeKit. Lots of excitement from the Apple fans. I would expect Google with have something similar to announce at Google I/O later this month.  Home automation is going to be a hot topic for IoT.

2. A Microsoft architect posted a critique of MQTT this past week. Ironically the key take away for me is that due to customer demand Microsoft is implementing MQTT support for the Azure platform. It seems MQTT is getting lots of attention.  FWIW, Tim Kellogg did a nice rebuttal to the initial post. Maybe I still have too many Microsoft vs Open Source scars but it does sound like MS is trying to spread FUD about MQTT.

3. IoT is going to require other protocols like CoAP and Lightweight M2M. It is nice to see ARM publishing a tutorial about Lightweight M2M.  We need more….

4. IoT is impacting many different industries, including manufacturing. I found this articles an interesting perspective on ‘What is need to accelerate IoT in manufacturing‘.

5. This past week we organized an event in Ottawa called IoT in Ottawa. Ottawa is my home town so it was great to meet so many people involved in IoT in Ottawa. We had 100 attendees so the event was a big success. A special call out to 3 Ottawa IoT startups: GestureLogic that is creating some very cool wearables, Giatec Scientific that is attempting to modernize the construction industry, especially concrete, and Gymtrack that is targeting the gym industry.  The great thing about IoT is that it is going to change all industries.

IoT Links – 05-30-2014

May 30, 2014

Some interesting links to IoT articles and news from the last 2 weeks.

1. The Economist seems to be getting tired of the hype around the Internet of Things, and it is just getting started. The article titled ‘The internet of nothings’  focuses mostly on the consumer side of IoT. However, it does bring out why what we are doing at Eclipse IoT is so important:

These unglamorous middleware issues of standards, interoperability, integration and data management—especially privacy and protection from malicious attack, along with product liability, intellectual-property rights and regulatory compliance—are going to take years to resolve. Only when they are will the IoT have any chance of transforming society in a meaningful way. That day is a long way off.

2. Design Patterns for an Internet of Things is an interest post by Michael Koster. We need more discussions and people thinking and writing about this topic.

3. I attended the recent O’Reilly SOLID conference. The videos of the keynote presentations are now available.

4. A really good presentation on IoT protocols and device management. This is a popular topic.

5. OASIS has announced the publication and approval of MQTT version 3.1.1. committee specification. An important milestone for MQTT.

IoT Links – 05-16-2014

May 16, 2014

Some interesting links from the past week in the IoT Industry:

1. Last week I attended the IoT DevCon. Two presentations that I didn’t get to attend but their slides certainly look interesting:

Understanding the Internet of Things Protocol  comparing MQTT,  DDS, AMQP, XMPP. Not sure I agree with the entire presentation but it is an interesting perspective.

Internet of Things Standard Wars  comparing standards at the physical layer, including ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, WiFi

2. More and more of the big companies are staking out their IoT positions, ex. HP and TI

3. This past week Benjamin Cabe and I did our IoT Hangout with Raghuram Sudhaaker from Cisco and the project leader for Eclipse Krikkit. I learnt a lot about Cisco’s vision for fog computing, data in motion and Krikkit.






New Eclipse Website – Going live June 11

May 15, 2014

As I mentioned before, we are in the process of re-doing the website. Thank you to everyone that has already provided feedback.

Overall, the feedback has been very positive. It would seem the community is ready for the change. Our plan moving forward is to switch over to the new look and feel on June 11. This will give us plenty of time to fix any significant bugs.

A staging server is available for anyone that wants to see the new site. Please take a look and provide your feedback.  There are still some areas that need work, including 1) the sign-in pages, 2) ide page and others. However if you see a problem, please open a bug or leave a comment on the feedback survey.

We also want to encourage the Eclipse projects to covert their project pages over to the new theme, called Solstice. Directions on migrating were sent out last week. For most projects this should not be a large task.

I am really looking forward to rolling out the new site. It looks great!







Can Open IoT Solve the Main IoT Challenges

May 12, 2014

Chris Murphy from InformationWeek has published a fascinating article about some of the challenges organizations face when trying to implement IoT solutions. The article focuses on Industrial IoT solutions and is based on interviews with GE, Union Pacific and others. I certainly recommend reading the article.

I thought it might be interesting to look at each of the challenges presented in the article to see how the Open IoT community might help solve the problems.

1. The data isn’t good enough.

Getting smarter about how to collect and use the data is still a work in progress. The last quote ‘linkage is one of the next big areas to look at’ is particularly relevant. This is why open standards like MQTT, CoAP and others will be so important for IoT. We need to break-down the existing proprietary protocols so it is easy to flow the data from a Nest thermostat or smart-meter into the demand generation of a power generation plant.


2. Networks aren’t ubiquitous.

“The future Internet of Things model often will combine on-machine processing for urgent needs and batch-data uploads for less timely analysis. Bill Ruh, VP of GE Software, describes this as “real-time, big data processing at the machine. We don’t have anything like that today.” 


A lot of the current web and enterprise development architecture assume the existence of a reliable network, in IoT that is not the case. Pushing application logic on-machine or to a gateway will become essential. Cisco has certainly observed this challenge and that is why they talk about ‘fog computing’. It is also why the Eclipse Krikkit project is so important.  IoT gateway solutions will also help with this challenge. Eclipse Kura and Mihini provide open source solutions for people wanting to build IoT gateways.


3. Integration is tougher than analysis.

Companies spend 90% of their IoT budgets on those kinds of integrations, leaving insufficient money to drive the operational changes that actually produce the returns, says Ton Steenman, Intel’s IoT business leader.


Building IoT solutions is hard work. It requires the skills of hardware architects, embedded software developers, network engineers, enterprise software developers and data analytic experts. Each solution is often custom crafting of a specific solution. This is where the open IoT community can deliver a huge benefit. We need to collaborate on building a common set of building blocks that people use to build these solutions. We need to use software in help with the complexity of integration. Communities like Alljoyn and Eclipse IoT are building these foundations to help with integration.


4. More sensor innovation needed.

It would seem the open hardware community is well positioned to take up this challenge. We are seeing tremendous innovation in hardware for the maker and IoT community. My guess is that we will see more and more innovation in this community.

It is interesting to see mention the concept of a software-defined sensor. I need to do some more research in this area but like software defined network or software defined radio, my guess is that open source software would be a great way to provide software-defined sensors.


5. Status quo security doesn’t cut it.

“The biggest fallacy is that traditional IT security solves operational technology problems,” 


<sigh> Everyone sees security as an issue for IoT but I don’t see anyone stepping up to solve it. </sigh> Someone needs to start working on this or maybe someone can point me to a community working on this, please.


I really like this list of challenges since it is based on companies trying to implement real IoT solutions. There is still a lot of work needed to create technology to solve these solutions but in confirms my belief that the vision we have for Eclipse IoT is focused on the correct customer requirements.

IoT Links (Interesting Companies) for 05-09-2014

May 9, 2014

This week I was in California for the IoT DevCon. I had the opportunity to speak about Eclipse IoT and also meet a lot of interesting companies. Therefore, for my weekly IoT links instead of linking to articles on the Internet I thought I’d share with you 3 companies I see doing interesting things for IoT.

1. TempoDB – Andrew Conk, the CEO of TempoDB, is one of the smartest guys I’ve met in the IoT space. TempoDB has a time series database that is well suited for collecting and managing the streams of sensors create in IoT solutions. His vision for sensor analytics is exactly the type of innovation and thinking we need for IoT. TempoDB includes Ninja Blocks as one of their customers but it is some of their industrial customers that I find interesting.

2. Aeris Communications – I had the opportunity to attend a Connected Car presentation from Aeris Communications at the Silicon Valley IoT Meetup. Aeris is networking company that appears to be focused on a lot of the reliability issues of keeping a car connected to the network. Connected Car is definitely going to be a hot solution over the next number of years so it was interesting to learn about Aeris’s approach. They didn’t provide a lot of details about their software stack but it does appear they are using MQTT for their messaging.

3. Cisco – The Eclipse Krikkit project is part of the Eclipse IoT community. It is also being lead by some very smart people within Cisco. Cisco’s vision for IoT is called ‘Data In Motion’. They want to push the processing of data out to the edges of the network so IoT solutions can be smarter and more responsive. A key component is defining rules for the data. Krikkit will be the api for defining and processing the rules. Next Wednesday, we will be doing an IoT Hangout to talk about Data in Motion and Krikkit with the guys from Cisco. Cisco is also hosting a hackathon on May 20 in San Francisco that includes hacking on Krikkit and Data in Motion.


How to categorize the Internet of Things

May 3, 2014

I was recently asked how to categorize the Internet of Things. IoT is so broad and multi-dimensional that I am not sure if there is one easy answer or set of categories. However, here is my current thinking…

1. IoT Hardware

A lot of the excitement in IoT and the maker community starts with the cheap, easily accessible hardware. Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone are the poster kids in the space. Now there are a ton of new hardware solutions be made available, ex Parallela (16 cores for $99) , Galileo from Intel

2. IoT Standards and Protocols

There is a lot of talk about IoT protocols and which one will win. It is too early and I agree not any one protocol will win. One thing I do know is that closed proprietary solutions are not going to win. We do need to work on having a common set of standards like CoAP, MQTT, Alljoyn, SensorML, etc  Of course, we also need to make sure that we have open source implementations for these standards and protocols. That is why Eclipse IoT is so important for an Open IoT.

There will also be a lot of vertical standards that will be developed for IoT, like OneM2M, Continua, etc.

3. IoT Gateway Software

The typical IoT solution architecture will have some type of gateway solution that connect the sensors and actuators to the Internet. Eclipse Kura and Mihini are good examples of this but there are certainly others.

4. IoT Middleware

Companies like IBM, Axeda, Sierra Wireless, 2lemetry, ClearBlade, Microsoft, Eurotech, Thingworx, Litmus Automation and others are providing IoT platforms/middleware solutions. This is definitely an emerging space where all platforms are not equal. I expect to see a lot more startups and the big enterprise middleware vendors driving the innovation for IoT middleware.

 5. IoT Databases

The amount of data generated by IoT solutions has the potential to be Huge Data, not just big data. AS pointed out by Matt Asay, the exists a massive opportunity in analyzing IoT data.  Splunk seems to be the leader in this space but I expect a lot of innovation in this space.

6. IoT Solutions: IoT & Humans vs Industrial Internet

There are also a lot of  industry specific and user-case specific IoT solutions. Tim O’Reilly wrote a recent article titled ‘The Internet of Things and Humans‘ which does a very nice job summarizing the human impact of IoT. In fact a lot of the hype for IoT is around wearables and home automation.  Nest is the poster-child for IoT&H but you can’t go a week without finding another home automation solution being launched on kickstarter.

There is no doubt the human side of IoT will be important but I find the Industrial side to be a lot more compelling. SCADA systems like the London Tube system , Nespresso providing remote management of coffee machine, the work GE is doing for hospitals, aircrafts, etc. are the things  are fascinating and exciting opportunities. This is also where a lot of the profits in IoT will be made.


In the last 6 months the activity/hype around IoT has exploded. It will be fun to watch how these categories emerge and merge in the next 1-2 years. Of course an Open IoT is what is needed for all this to be successful. Eclipse IoT will be an important part of the solution.





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