Five Things a Bus Can Teach You About IoT Success

Rob Risany – Executive Vice President – IoT Strategy and Business Solutions at ADLINK Technology

I’m really proud of the work my CTO, Joe Speed, carried out at CES this year with CTA, IBM, and Local Motors on #AccessibleOlli. Front and center in the main hall of the exhibition, #AccessibleOlli showcases what happens when major industry players come together to solve real world problems. In this case, it’s about helping people with disabilities get around. You can get a real time feed on #AccessibleOlli by following #JoeSpeed on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeSpeeds

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Joe Speed, ADLINK IoT Solutions & Technology CTO at CES with #AccessibleOlli

I think there’s some great lessons to take away from the #AccessibleOlli program.

  1. Put the focus on the mission, not the technology. If you factor in all the cloud vendors, enterprise software companies, the computer hardware providers, below the radar startup vendors, AI platforms, sensor companies…. Let alone emerging technology coming out of academia – there’s a lot of technology out there. The only way to make sense of the plethora of technologies is to IGNORE THEM at the beginning of your initiative and focus on the outcome of your program. #AccessibleOlli started with a question: how can we make it easier for people with disabilities to get around? Technology provided perspectives on how to answer the question… but was NEVER the driving force for the initiative.
  2. IoT is a Team Sport. I’ve been in countless meetings with technology professionals who are bound and determined that THEY will build the real platform for IoT – and that no one else will be able to compete. Sorry, I don’t buy it. #AccessibleOlli has been successful because it’s a collaboration of many players, each with different skills. If you are being told – by either internal or external coaches – that one solution or one tech team has the IoT panacea – run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.
  3. Continually question your solution. It’s so very easy to fall into the trap of declaring victory and stopping innovation. In a landscape shifting so fast, you have to look for new approaches continually. #AccesibleOlli has shifted over time from reliance on specific sensors to broader sensor fusion approaches, including LIDAR and 3d imagery.
  4. Arm your experts and get out of the way. IoT is so trendy right now, everyone wants a bit of it. With almost CIO on the planet right now measured on having an IoT program running by end of 2018, it would be easy to spin up a large cross functional “management task force” and noodle and micro-manage what needs to be done and the choices to make. #AccessibleOlli on the other hand has always been a bottom up program. Experts from a lot of fields came together and have created something amazing. This is not to say that it’s just about engineers – you need people who understand your customer and your mission intimately and those may be in your marketing or even you customer service department. But you don’t need seventeen vice presidents.
  5. Place Lots of Bets, not One Big One. Unlike other technology and industry shifts in the past – like big data or ERP – no one knows what the shape will be in the end. There is no perfect formula yet. Rather, the most successful are trying many ideas out simultaneously – it’s a time of experiments. #AccessibleOlli has evolved that way. What started as a test of digital printed car parts moved to an exploration of autonomous vehicle algorithms, to now a platform which communicates with the deaf and blind. Each stepwise move was a low cost test, touching a different angle of the mission. It has involved different contributors at every stage.

At ADLINK, we are committed to the mission of creating an easy on-ramp for our customers to use IoT as a tool to try new things in their businesses. #AccessibleOlli is a great example of the kinds of projects on which we love to work.

For more information on how ADLINK can help implement your own IoT digital experiment, contact us.

Exploring Vortex Edge Connect: Web UI Tutorial

Following the successful launch of Vortex Edge Connect in May 2017, we produced a series of tutorials to assist system developers evaluate the software. Vortex Edge Connect enables data interoperability and connectivity between industrial data sources and applications, independent of whether they are deployed on local edge networks close to machines or in the cloud.

In this first tutorial, we feature the web-based User Interface attribute of Vortex Edge Connect which is running on Vortex Edge Smart Gateway connecting a ModBus, potentiometer and LED lights. Vortex Edge Connect is pre-configured on the Vortex Edge Smart Gateway which collects and processes data from the sensor, then is shared with other communication endpoints.  Vortex Edge Connect is an extensible and scalable framework for connecting different endpoint technologies together in an Industrial Internet of Things system.

The Vortex Edge Connect is available for evaluation. For inquiries, contact PrismTech.

PrismTech Predicts Edge Computing, Next Generation Smart Gateways will Come of Age to Enable the Industrial Internet of Things in 2017

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Mainstream adoption of edge computing and the advent of second-generation smart gateways are among PrismTech’s top predictions for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in 2017.

Steve Jennis, SVP and Head of Global Marketing for ADLINK and PrismTech, compiled the list based on his extensive knowledge of IIoT users, vendors and technologies, as well as through his collaboration with peers in industry initiatives such as the OpenFog Consortium, the Edge Computing Consortium, Open Edge Computing, the Industrial Internet Consortium® and the Object Management Group®.

Jennis predicts that:

  1. Edge computing will become a mainstream term for IIoT systems.
  2. Edge computing will be recognized as the solution to fixing the shortcomings of M2M for IIoT (latency, resilience, cost, peer-to-peer, connectivity, security, etc.).
  3. Real-time (edge) analytics and IT/OT security become two of the key drivers for new IIoT platform/infrastructure deployments.
  4. IT departments will exert more and more influence over the requirements for OT systems connected to corporate IT systems or the Internet.
  5. The Edge will become the vendor battleground in IIoT markets between traditional CT, IT and OT vendors.
  6. Users will move from tactical to strategic IIoT thinking as previously deployed point-solutions (e.g. most M2M systems) reveal more and more functional limitations and IT management issues.
  7. Major IT systems integrators will begin to offer “managed solutions” for edge computing in addition to their “managed services” for cloud computing.
  8. Interoperability and legacy integration problems will be reduced with connector technologies, data normalization and shared micro-services delivered in/on “smart gateways”.
  9. Second-generation IIoT smart gateways (software-defined with on-board IIoT software stacks, connectivity and shared services) will quickly render first-generation (hardware-defined) M2M gateways obsolete.
  10. Security at the edge will be positioned as an IT/OT firewall. The potential for hacking OT systems, possibly through IT connections, is increasingly becoming a concern. Edge computing appliances will serve as the IT/OT firewall.

“Today’s trends show that the term ‘Edge Computing’ will continue to grow in usage and come to represent most implementation scenarios for the IIoT,” Jennis said. “The addition of new capabilities ‘at the edges’ of OT systems, IT systems, the Internet and cloud services will come to define the evolution of the IIoT and its new business value-add.”

“Next-generation smart gateways and industrial servers will supply the edge platforms to support the demands of the IIoT. These gateways and servers will host the software stacks that enable data connectivity from the sensor to the cloud, while also supporting edge compute and intrinsic security,” continued Jennis. “They will thus support fog computing architectures where applications can add-value at the most appropriate place in an end-to-end IIoT system: at the device, on the edge appliance, or in the IT/cloud environment. This multi-tiered architecture will come to define the IIoT and provide the ubiquitous (and secure) data accessibility and distributed systems capabilities needed to support new vertical solutions in, for example, smart factories, intelligent transportation systems and integrated healthcare systems.”

 

Getting Smarter at the Edge

With over 2 billion people around the world now users of a smartphone, we have more computing power than ever right at our fingertips than ever before. Our cars, houses, factories, cities, etc. are all becoming smarter too. With all of this distributed computing power and applications, we’re producing and consuming vast quantities of data … but are we using this data effectively?

As systems grow in complexity and the number of connected devices/sensors increases, so too does the sheer volume of data produced. That is a lot of (potentially sensitive) data to be sending to the cloud to be analyzed for faults/abnormalities. Then there is the issue of network connectivity: what if the network goes down? What if the latency is too high for the safety/mission/business critical scenario? There are many single points of failure in a cloud-reliant solution. Local computing is therefore still vitally important to many industries, but this data still has value. Aggregating this data at the edge for cloud analysis is one way in which companies can derive massive business benefits without overburdening network communications. This aggregate data can be analyzed for insights, and results deployed back down to the edge.

Automation is an area in which edge computing plays a vital role: when you need an action to be taken immediately should something happen; you require a low-latency instantaneous response. Running edge based analytics enables companies to perform reactive, predictive, and prescriptive actions in real-time with no bandwidth costs or WAN networking issues to worry about. Automating decisions at the edge enables geographically isolated systems to benefit from big-data analytics without requiring high-bandwidth, low-latency connections to the cloud.

Edge computing is enabling many areas of high interest: self-driving cars, factory automation, autonomous drones, predictive maintenance, and the list keeps growing. Unlocking the potential of the ever-growing volume of data being produced means greater efficiency, more effective and timely actions, and valuable insights.

The recently announced Vortex Edge PMQ solution utilizes the power of PrismTech’s Vortex data-connectivity software, ADLINK’s ruggedized industrial hardware, and IBM’s advanced Predictive Maintenance and Quality analytics. Vortex Edge PMQ provides an edge analytics solution designed for Industrial Internet of Things environments where cloud computing access may be limited or otherwise not desired.

For a more detailed look at Vortex Edge PMQ and implementation examples, visit http://www.prismtech.com/vortex/vortex-edge-pmq

Introducing Vortex Lite Webcast

Date: 27 January 2015

Why Attend:

  • Learn about what makes Vortex Lite the right DDS implementation for resource constrained embedded IoT devices and environments,
  • Understand how some of the features provided by Lite simplify application development and ease porting across computing / networking stacks,
  • Learn about Lite’s performance characteristics.

Abstract:

Vortex Lite brings Data Distribution Service (DDS) connectivity to resource constrained embedded systems. As a first class citizen of the Vortex platform it can be used for peer-to-peer fog / edge computing between embedded devices as well as gateways and for very efficient device to cloud data sharing. Vortex Lite has been designed with efficiency and portability in mind. This makes it the fastest DDS implementation on the market on enterprise grade hardware and the most lightweight on embedded targets. Likewise its architecture makes it highly portable across computing / networking stacks.

This webcast will introduce Vortex Lite, provide an overview of its architecture, its design choices as well as highlighting its performance characteristics. The webcast will also explain the role played by Lite within the Vortex family and how it can be used for both device-to-device (fog / edge computing) as well as device-to-cloud data sharing.

The webcast will last approximately one hour.

Webcast Presenter:

Angelo Corsaro, Ph.D. is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at PrismTech where he directs the technology strategy, planning, evolution, and evangelism. Angelo leads the strategic standardization at the Object Management Group (OMG), where he co-chairs the Data Distribution Service (DDS) Special Interest Group and serves on the Architecture Board. Angelo is a widely known and cited expert in the field of real-time and distributed systems, middleware, and software patterns, has authored several international standards and enjoys over 10+ years of experience in technology management and design of high performance mission- and business-critical distributed systems. Angelo received a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Computer Science from the Washington University in St. Louis, and a Laurea Magna cum Laude in Computer Engineering from the University of Catania, Italy.