The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a hot topic at ARM TechCon this year. In part due to the large amount of potential growth technologists see in this area for the future. This was evident in terms of the popularity all technical sessions and technology demonstrations from the ARM mbed partnership received at the show. ARM mbed released the new mbed Device Connector service, mbed OS Technology Preview and announced our new mbed reference designs for wearables and smart city. More about this announcement can be found in the release and on our announcement blog.
For those attending ARM TechCon with an interest in IoT, the mbed Sponsored Session on Wednesday Nov 11 of the conference were extremely popular. Below is an overview of each of these sessions.
Krisztian Flautner, the GM of IoT business at ARM, kicked off the full day of sessions with a packed room. The ARM mbed IoT Device Platform aims to provide the building blocks to create connected, secure, and simple IoT deployments at scale. The key areas mbed is focused on addressing to enable of the future growth of IoT are: increased productivity, agile security, comprehensive connectivity, flexible device management and leading efficiency. By concentrating on these areas, IoT developers and innovators can focus on their value-add features and differentiators for their IoT solutions.
A few of the highlights from the presentation were new and enhanced products, such as:
Zach Shelby, vice president of marketing for IoT at ARM, presented along side 1248, Freescale and IBM. He led the discussion by pointing out that “according to Gartner estimates, over 50% of IoT devices and innovations will be deployed by startups and our job is to make it easy for the innovators to do their thing.” As a part of that, enterprises need confidence in investments that the initial deployments can be leveraged and brought to scale. With that mbed aims to facilitate the growth of the IoT markets by delivering access to a comprehensive IoT ecosystem and providing trusted end-to-end security solutions.
Making IoT Scalable, Robust and Easy to Deploy – Pilgrim Beart / Founder / 1248
For those that haven’t heard of 1248 before, they help companies add connectivity to their products without them having to spend time managing the infrastructure on their own. Deployment of devices at scale is a key factor for success of IoT devices. When more devices are deployed, there is increased risk of future engineering costs and maintenance. Their solution for this is their newly announced DevicePilot platform, which works with mbed OS to offer companies the ability to deploy and manage policies between their devices. Therefore, making it simpler to deploy and manage devices at scale.
Freescale Kinetis MCUs & Comprehensive support for the new ARM mbed IoT Device Platform – Michael Norman / MCU Software and Tools Technical Marketing Manager / Freescale
The IoT connectivity landscape is currently fragmented, however by utilizing the mbed IoT Device Platform, the mbed OS helps to help bridge these gaps and standardize IoT implementations. Along with this, Freescale offers the Kinetis MCU series that offers: an optimized low power design, security features, wireless connectivity, ease of use and additional choice for IoT developers. One example is the mbed Enabled™ Freescale FRDM-K64F board. More resources are included in the presentation, linked below.
ARM mbed and IBM IoT Foundation - John Cohn Ph.D. / Fellow – Internet of Things / IBM
IBM has set out to tackle the challenge of enabling the creation of transformative IoT solutions that are centered around data. An example of this can be seen in the video below, where IBM demonstrates how a sophisticated and connected construction-hat can monitor the vitals, location, etc. of works to allow constructions companies to more effectively evaluate their workers’ environments and well-being. IBM is enabling their IBM BlueMix platform to integrate with the mbed Device Server to make it easy for developers to seamless create interactions and transfer of data from their IoT solutions.
Bill Curtis, the Senior Director of Strategy for IoT at ARM and board member at The Thread Group, gave insight into Thread’s networking protocol. He started off the session by pointing out that “the most profound technologies are those that disappear and weave themselves into the fabric of life,” as said originally by Mark Wiesner. As this trend has started to become a reality with IoT, there are two things that devices need to make that happen: they must be extremely low-power and small enough to discretely integrate into your surroundings; and they must have connectivity to tie into the network. Based on those key founding requirements Thread is focused on IP-based network connectivity for low power devices in the home. Additionally, Thread intends to address other requirements of connected home networks such as: whole-home coverage, resilient, security, consumer friendly, fast time-to-market, worldwide, and most importantly it must use existing radios.
One of the key enabling elements of Thread is that the “application-layer is agnostic”. This means that it can support multiple applications layers (any low bandwidth application layer that can run over IPv6) making it easy to integrate with applications and IoT devices.
Thread is nearing completion with consumer products expected to be in the market next year and mbed is helping to provide the software needed to build those products. mbed OS includes Thread integration with the following benefits, as seen in the slide below. Additionally, more information on the technical details of Thread can be found in their whitepapers, here.
Pratul Sharma, Technical Marketing Manager, IoT at ARM, presented on the standards being used for IoT today and the a few of the obstacles we face in the growth of IoT market such as: interoperability, scalability, reusability and differentiation. Currently, most solutions solve specific vertical application requirements in isolation from all others. Overcoming this challenge requires adoption of standards for data communication, security, device management and uniform end to end security. It is important to have a secure and standards based platform that can be used for multiple vertical applications. In his talk he covered some of the key standards like CoAP, 6LoWPAN, IPSO Smart Objects, OMA LWM2M and how we are combining these standards with uniform end-to-end security under the mbed IoT Device Platform.
Amit Shah, vice president of Engineering at Alcatel-Lucent, also shared how Alcatel-Lucent is helping to define standards within IoT. The Alcatel-Lucent MotiveSMART Device Certification Program intends to certify devices that have the necessary tools to be protocol compliant and have a high level of trust. This program helps to catch any bugs early as possible, as the higher in the development chain a product goes, the more expensive it is to fix bugs later on. Thus lowering the barrier to entry and allowing developers and chipset vendors to gain trust through the certification program. This program is open to all mbed developers and partners, find out more here.
mbed is an intricate combination of different elements that need to interact seamlessly. In order for mbed to succeed we need to work together with developers and partners to create an environment with boards, modules, operating system, cloud services, libraries, and products. In this presentation Hugo Vincent, mbed OS Product Lead, and Paul Bakker, Product Strategy for IoT at ARM, gave an overview of the newly released mbed OS and how to gain access to the mbed technology, support and how you can help make mbed a success.
Highlights of the mbed OS:
After a long day of presentations, it there was a lot of valuable information to digest. For additional information about mbed IoT Device Platform, this is a good place to start.