In a previous Freescale blog post, “The Five S’s of IoT,” Steven Nelson laid out the five S’s that are key to the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT): Simplicity, Staying Power, Stability, Security and Standards. I would like to expand that idea to include an additional S: Smart. “Smart” IoT systems will prove an important success factor for mass IoT adoption. Smart IoT system solutions are based on “Smart” software platforms that can be characterized by 8 A’s.
Automated Remote Provisioning and Management – Typically, this is cloud-based, from initial installation and configuration to management. The ability to support remote monitoring, tracking, management and control is critical. Smart sensor devices and smart gateways can and must be remotely managed, serviced and sustained .
Augmented Reality – This can take many forms, including easy-to-use human-machine interface (HMI), gesture user interface, voice in/voice out with natural language analysis/interpretation, and data/knowledge mining. Adaptively is also important. Products will have a learning mode with dynamic, on-demand real-time rule-based adjustment.
Awareness of Context and Location – Smart IoT system solutions are customizable by context and location. Smart software behaves differently according to who, when, where, etc. This level of rule-based abstraction provides additional simplification and ease of use.
Analyze, Take Action - Smart IoT systems have balanced local storage that allows analysis, local processing and data/event filtering at the sensor node and gateway level, as well as making localized decisions and taking actions at the cloud level. This enables faster response and lower latency rather than always going to the global cloud for action, which in turn results in more intelligent, selective transmission of sensor data so as not flood the cloud with Big Data.
Automate – Smart IoT products will improve efficiency by automating and streamlining processes through automated monitoring and control.
Anticipate, Predict - Smart software understands the user and knows their usage history. It then anticipates, making relevant predictions based on context and use history. This can help deliver targeted sales and marketing solutions and services.
Autonomous – A truly smart system independently makes informed decisions and appropriate actions with a self-governing, self-organizing ability. Autonomous systems are usually rule-based with a knowledge-based reasoning ability. Smart devices can “discover” each other and can inter-operate (Collaborate) together. In addition, future smart devices and smart gateways are connected through Software-Defined Network (SDN), this facilitates the entire end-to-end network be visible and manageable as an adaptive smart system, so high availability (HA) such as auto-failover and load balancing can happen dynamically to shift traffic load from one equipment to another.
Attractive – Sensory attraction is important too. Smart products must have a pleasant look and feel, while also delivering a strong user experience.
Smart IoT software platforms include rich M2M connectivity, cloud connectivity and are equipped with rule-based automation that contributes to simplicity and user-friendly interfaces. Smart software abstracts hardware complexity, so the hardware is more transparent to the user, and become simpler and easier to use.
The smart Freescale one box IoT gateway platform includes message-based RESTful API for synchronizing with cloud servers through “request vs publish” types of message-based interfaces (e.g. CoAP – Constrained Application Protocol).
As mentioned by my previous blog post – I like to say that the “I” in IoT also stands for “intelligent” networks. Smart IoT gateways are also SDN-enabled with an OpenFlow agent that allows smart sensors and gateways to be visible and managed by a centralized OpenFlow controller.
Smart IoT systems, based on the above smart IoT software platform, will help accelerate the rate of IoT adoption.
Dr. Kwok Wu is Head of Embedded Software and Systems for the Digital Networking division at Freescale Semiconductor