Monday Nov 30, 2015

ICYMI: $5 Raspberry Pi Zero Will Ignite IoT

In case you missed it: There was the new launch of the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero over the Thanksgiving holiday. But... It's sold out already. Wah, wah, wahhh... Oh, well. It's still so very cool, though. It comes with a 1Ghz ARMv6 (ARM11) CPU (able to run Java SE Embedded 8 on Raspian Linux OS), a micro SC slot and micro USB ports for data and power. You can also use the USB ports to connect Wi-Fi or Bluetooth dongles. So, très I.o.Chic.


Raspberry Pi Zero $5

Here's a quote:

 The Raspberry Pi Zero is 
 about the size of a stick 
 of chewing gum but comes 
 with endless possibilities 
 for everyone from 
 programmers looking to 
 create fun new projects to 
 students learning about 
 programming in the 

 Popular projects with 
 Raspberry Pi include 
 connecting the computer to 
 home devices to create an 
 "Internet of Things" 
 ecosystem, building an 
 inexpensive robot and 
 creating games. 
The toughest part is waiting for it to be back in stock!!! Hopefully, before Christmas... Tap, tap, tap... Still waiting...

Tuesday Nov 24, 2015

Imagination Technologies Crowdfunding IoT Dev Kit

Here's yet another IoT development kit, but this one is being developed as a Kickstarter project by Imagination Technologies, maker of MIPS processors. They are hoping to raise £20,000 which is about $30,199.


Imagination IoT Dev Kit

Here's a quote:

 Why does Imagination need to 
 go down the crowdfunding 
 route? It’s more about 
 wanting to tap its target 
 dev community during the 
 product development phase, 
 says Imagination's Alexandru 

 "Using Kickstarter allows us 
 to directly communicate with 
 the maker community, start-ups 
 and individuals interested in 
 new dev kits and get their 
 opinion on how and what we can 
So, if Imagination Technologies is just using Kickstarter to "communicate" with the developers of the maker community, they don't need the 30 G's, right? And, that means they can give away their IoT Dev Kit for free to the maker community, right? 😉 What better way to "communicate"?

Wednesday Nov 11, 2015

Architect Your Own IoT Industrial PLC - Programmable Logic Controller (Part 2)

Before we start, we should first go over the difference between a Solid State Relay (SSR) versus an Electromechanical Relay (EMR). A SSR is able to turn on or off a switch (such as the power switch) for a piece of machinery or equipment using a control signal from a digital circuit, microcontroller or computer (such as a Raspberry Pi) through use of non-moving electronics, typically a silicon controlled rectifier.

An EMR does the same function, but uses movable contacts that are mechanically operated by magnetic force. EMRs are most common and you can hear them "click" on and off as they operate when control signal causes the magnetic force inside them to physically move a set of contacts to complete the electric circuit or to open the circuit.

EMRs are most common in electronics since they are cheaper to manufacture and can be used in harsh environments. SSRs are more common in industrial use, such as in Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) on a factory floor, as we are simulating in this blog series, since they are have no moving parts, are faster for frequent switching, and can be easily controlled by digital circuits and computers (such as the Raspberry Pi).


Difference Between SSR and EMR

It's important to start out with the right parts to meet the requirements of the use-case, such as the IoT Industrial Use-Case we will address in this blog series. Next, we'll look at having multiple SSRs in the 8-channel SSR we'll use in our prototype, and how they can all be controlled with one embedded computer (like the Raspberry Pi).

Monday Nov 09, 2015

Architect Your Own IoT Industrial PLC - Programmable Logic Controller (Part 1)

A PLC is an industrial grade Programmable Logic Controller, which is essentially a general purpose computer (such as a Raspberry Pi) connected to a set of relays or switches (usually solid state relays to give real-time response times), and programmed with a simple to use computer language (such as Java).

Here, in this series of blog posts, I'll show you how to architect your own IoT Industrial PLCs to control your assembly line, factory floor, or warehouse. Or, your Christmas lights if you don't have any of those. :-)

Start with this part, which you can get on Amazon:

SainSmart 8 Channel SSR

PLCs are the way to go if you want fast responding, real-time control of equipment. And, remember to use Java to keep it fast while having a full-featured IoT programming language.

Friday Nov 06, 2015

IoT used for Retail Inventory - Levi's in San Francisco

Levi's and Intel are teaming up to use IoT to track retail inventory in some Levi's clothing stores. That's one way for the Enterprise side of IoT to really take off. And when jeans are being taken off (of the shelves by paying customers), that's a good thing.


Levi’s And Intel Push IoT

Here's a quote:

 While improving inventory management 
 through IoT strategies might seem 
 appealing to some retailers, avoiding 
 inventory inaccuracy can be just as 
 important. A study conducted by GS1 US 
 and Auburn University’s RFID Lab found 
 that 63 percent is the average for 
 inventory accuracy. The lower that 
 accuracy falls, the more likely the 
 retailer is to run into supply and 
 delivery issues. 
So, watch IoT in the retail space as it develops, since it would be an easy thing to connect IoT sensors to store items and send the data to an IoT Cloud Service, just like the Oracle IoT Cloud Service, to have IoT data feed into existing business apps, and for enterprises to make more money.

Monday Oct 05, 2015

Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service: An Overview YouTube Video

Here's a cool video from Oracle describing the new Oracle Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud Service, which is the product I work on, connecting IoT devices to the Cloud.

There's even Big Data and Analytics involved, but you all know that's where the value is with IoT, not just the sensors being on the network by themselves. I've been saying that all this time on my blog, and now you can see it in our shipping product from Oracle.


Oracle IoT Cloud Service

It's a nice summary of what the Cloud can do for IoT that can't be done with just sensors and actuators dangling from a Raspberry Pi by itself. That's kinda sad if a Raspberry Pi has nothing to talk to.

Friday Aug 28, 2015

Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Hub in San Jose

Some Internet of Things companies are partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense in creating an innovation hub in San Jose, Calif. to focus on military-related wearable technology.


Pentagon Looks To Collaborate

Here's a quote:

 The Pentagon is teaming up 
 with private sector companies 
 like Boeing and Apple to create 
 high-tech sensory gear for a 
 variety of defense purposes, 
 in lieu of developing the 
 technology in-house.
Nice! Now, let's see if we can get better wireless signal coverage in San Jose. You wouldn't want a mechanized body armor suit to freeze-up in the middle of a test-run battle, would you? 🚀 📱 💣 😱

Monday Aug 24, 2015

Map of Internet of Things Smart Devices

In this VentureBeat article which embeds the Goldman Sachs "Map of IoT Smart Things", you can skip the first 5 over-hyped Internet of Things markets and go right to the real market potential: #6 Industrial.


IoT mapped: smart things landscape

Here's a quote:

 [A] big potential market covering 
 everything from crops and livestock 
 (farming and ranching in the 
 Agriculture sub-category) to oil 
 and gas production and 
 transportation. In between, there 
 are many opportunities to add to 
 existing telemetry to power 
 continuous analytics at the 
 individual component or system 
 level and to aggregate data for 
 trend analysis, demand management, 
 and capacity planning.
The first 5 markets that the article lists (People, Vehicle, Homes, Towns, & Commerce) are just gimicky, over-hyped IoT areas that might wind up saving a few dollars here and there for some set of ill-defined segments, but it is the Industrial market (#6) where IoT technology will enable companies to _make_ more money, not just save money. And, that's an important distinction.

That's the key for IoT, is to apply IoT technology and continuous analysis to areas that will produce more products, increase efficiency, and drive more revenue, which will generate more profits. Saving money is finite. Making money is infinite. What better place than the factory floor or in the warehouse to make money off of IoT devices and data analysis. That's where the IoT money will be. Cha-ching. 💰💵💲

Monday Aug 17, 2015

Do you want fries with that? Or, some IoT data?

In the future, companies selling Internet of Things will offer data along with their core products and services, just like fast food companies sell fries with your burger.


3 Ways IoT Will Change Business

Here's a quote:

 Take John Deere, for example.  For 
 decades, they’ve sold the tractors 
 that make farming on a 21st 
 century scale easier and more 
 profitable. But since 2012, 
 they’ve added data connectivity to 
 their equipment, giving farmers 
 information about which crops to 
 plant where and when, when and 
 where to plow, and even the best 
 route to take while plowing.  They 
 are essentially now in the 
 business of selling data as much 
 as they are selling tractors.
So, get ready for the revolution, where data will be the "blades" and IoT devices will be the "razors". Want fries with that? 🍟 🍔 📱

Monday Aug 10, 2015

No, no, no, that's wrong--That is _not_ the Internet of Things

Here's yet another Web article that gets IoT wrong. Once again, an article thinks that Internet of Things is just about Internet-connected devices that are remotely controlled by a smartphone app. Oy. Will these articles ever get the real value of IoT right? It's about the huge amounts of data that these connected devices will generate for their related automated actionable insights that make the Internet of Things highly valuable.


Web Article Gets IoT Wrong

But, geeky cool devices catches eyeballs on the Web. So, we'll continue to see these types of hype pieces for some time... until the companies doing smartphone app controlled IoT devices start going out of business. 💨💤

Monday Jul 27, 2015

Analytics And Big Data Define Internet Of Things (IoT) Growth

IoT Growth is not about connecting devices, but instead is all about Analytics and Big Data. So says an Evans Data Corp survey of developers.


Analytics Define IoT Growth

Here's a quote:

 [App] developers who are 
 actively working on the 
 Internet of Things are more 
 likely to be interested in 
 analytics and big data 
 rather than connected 
 devices, a recently 
 released report says.
Make sure to focus your IoT project on Analytics and Big Data and not on connecting a Yet-Another-IoT-Smartphone-App (YAIoTSA) to a lightbulb. That's soooo 2014! 😝

Friday Jul 24, 2015

Top IoT Sensor Design Practice: Collect & Analyze IoT Data Like a Boss

In the new field of Internet of Things, it's important to remember how to best design IoT sensor systems. One place to look (as is the case many times) is Science Fiction.

In Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, hundreds of Internet of Things probe droids are sent among different star systems to collect data to ascertain where the new Rebel Base is located. These IoT probe droids are autonomous data collecting units, with wireless connectivity back to the the home star destroyer, and use an encrypted communication protocol that even C3PO can't crack.


IoT: Learn from Data

The Imperial IoT probe droids have enough onboard AI to use pattern matching, high definition cameras to detect anomalous energy generation and life signs, but it is the data scientist (in this case Darth Vader) who can collect and analyze the data coming in from all those many IoT droids (using complex data algorithms, aka the "Dark Side of the Force") to determine that the Rebel Base is indeed on the ice planet, Hoth.

That's a Best Practice of IoT. Just remember to use it for the Light Side of the Force and not the Dark Side, and you'll be all set. ⚡️ 👽 💡

Monday Jul 20, 2015

IoT Enterprise Opportunity: Controlling the High-Flow Data Spigot

More and more articles confirm that it's not the Internet of Things Smartphone connected Egg Counters and Remote Fridges that will have the biggest impact in the IoT world. Instead, it will be the ability to process and analyze the huge high-volume data flow (like water from a fire hydrant) coming from a vast array of IoT devices, that will be the money-making opportunity.


IoT and the Enterprise

Here's a quote:

 Creating Value From IoT Data

 Data originating from things 
 creates a vast pool of information, 
 threatening to overwhelm 
 established resources and 
 traditional approaches to 
 information management. However, 
 the processing and analysis of 
 this data will generate much value 
 for enterprises across many 
 business functions, creating new, 
 far-reaching opportunities for 
 digital marketers.
So, stay away from those silly Smartphone apps that claim to be IoT. They are just the superficial aspects of IoT. It will be the tools and analytics software that will enable IoT to really achieve its potential. Hoo-ah! 📱📠📟💰💵

Thursday Jun 25, 2015

10 IoT Clichés: Avoid these use-cases

Here's an article at IT World Canada that lists the Top 10 Internet of Things Use Case Clichés. They are the same tired old stories unimaginative marketing types like to tell to hype IoT. Zzzzz... When you hear any of these 10 use cases, tell whoever is pitching it to move on and walk (run) the other way. Someone's thought of it already, and it. just. isn't. that. interesting. anymore.

See: 10 IoT use case clichés

Here's a quote:

 Ever since Google acquired 
 Nest, the idea of using 
 technology to remotely control 
 the temperature of rooms 
 or entire homes has been on 
 the rise.  Although Nest was 
 recently updated with software 
 with reportedly even more 
 intelligence, it may take a 
 while before adoption hits 
 the mainstream...
What is more interesting is on the data side. How will the valuable bits of data get from your sensors to your analytics software in a fast, secure way? Now, that's something more interesting for IoT and not the same tired story about putting RFIDs on cows. 📻 🐂 🐄

Monday Jun 22, 2015

Oracle's new cloud services including (ta-da!) Internet of Things Cloud Service

Oracle announced a major update on the cloud business that will be launched by year's end, including... drum-roll... Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud Service. Yay! 👏


Oracle Updates Cloud Services

Here's a quote:

 "We now have a complete suite of 
 services for building applications 
 in the cloud," said Ellison, 
 promising customers can now take 
 all of their applications... and 
 put them in the Oracle cloud "with 
 the push of a button."

 Oracle unveiled more than two dozen 
 new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) 
 and Infrastructure-as-a-Service 
 (IaaS) products... such as 
 databases, analytics, 
 Internet-of-Things, ...
I like that last one! So, as our executive chairman and CTO says, "with the push of a button", you can connect your IoT devices (sensors via gateways, embedded systems, Raspberry Pis, talking refrigerators, etc.) all to the Oracle cloud.

That's a powerful button! 👉🔴


Hinkmond Wong's blog on making the Internet of Things (IoT) smarter with Java Technologies


« November 2015