Our IoT family has recently been expanded with the addition of the new Bluetooth key fob. But what isn’t classed as IoT nowadays?! Definition time:
‘Internet of things – connection through the internet of everyday devices to send and receive data.’
[Oxford English Dictionary]
This overused term has become a handy catch-all that perhaps confuses but rarely clarifies what a company is offering. It is indicative that we do not hear a potential customer requiring an ‘internet of things’ solution.
Now I’d like to explore some clarity.
- Internet connection – think we get that – but needs quality!
- Everyday device – mmmmm……I’ve seen this expressed as ‘familiar objects that you don’t expect to be used in this way’ ?!?
- Send and receive data – well yes. But we do need the sense of quality (again) and value in that data
We were challenged by the question (and we like challenging questions), of how to assert driver ID as a security measure. All manner of ‘answers’ in terms of components, sensors, form factor – but our preference is for a more expansive view. By which I mean responding to the market and customer requirements while considering the possibilities of what could be done.
We identified Bluetooth Low Energy as the most suitable connectivity solution.
First, we selected an off-the-shelf module that enabled ease of development and fast time to market. Then we designed a circuit board for the most efficient and effective provision of driver ID, whilst also offering scope for future thinking. The board was designed to accommodate environmental sensor technology to allow response to future requirements from innovative customers.
Of course, there is opportunity in home, in pet and in vehicle, in sensing temperature, power, current, pressure – and more.
Additionally, we scrutinised power efficiency, and include one year’s worth of juice from a single coin cell. To avoid limiting ourselves to component solutions, we have built-in flexibility throughout our platform in our own firmware and software. This allows us to evolve in line with customer needs. For example, the device, whilst starting off in driver ID mode, can be used as a beacon in any and all manner of applications, including integration with smartphone apps.
The Vehicle Asset Management (VAM) device sends sensor data from source to DataWarehouse via the mobile network.
More generally, data from wireless sensors to a database to a webpage – we really have only just begun.
I am sure that we all attend numerous conference events propounding the IoT ‘art of the possible’. We prefer to be a little more pragmatic. Thinking and doing and will continue quality sensors to deliver data of value to you and your customers.