We’re at the beginning of a new technological revolution: an era where thousands of hitherto disparate and unrelated devices will become connected and able to share information via cloud-based services.
Imagine a world where your tablet is automatically populated with the latest movies, simply because you placed a diary entry into your smartphone indicating you were taking a long-haul flight. Or a situation where your home routinely switches into an energy-saving mode after the last person departs the house, predicting when the occupants are likely to return based upon GPS data from their smartphones. Or a message indicating all is well with a dependent relative, triggered automatically because they are following their morning routine of taking their medication, turning on the TV and boiling the kettle.
This type of interaction will ultimately be made possible through hundreds and thousands of connected sensors, actuators and monitoring devices attached to physical objects, or otherwise embedded within the fabric of buildings, or simply dispersed within the ambient environment. Each of these devices generates relatively small amounts of data, which are then relayed through IP gateways to servers housed in large data centres.
Big Data 2.0
Powerful algorithms and data analytics engines are then employed to make sense of all this data and draw conclusions on what is happening in the real world, allowing intelligent decisions to be made autonomously by the technology. It’s a phenomenon called Big Data; and it’s already becoming a reality.
So how do you take a world of dissimilar devices and contrasting services, each of which act independently without coordination, and draw them together to make coherent systems that are truly smart? The technical challenge is significant. Even the simplest solutions require a careful blend of apps and services, a comprehensive set of software APIs, substantial internet bandwidth, racks of servers capable of both collating and storing the information, and potent data analytics tools. It’s difficult, time-consuming and expensive, especially if you have a business built around niche or highly specialised market segments.
Likewise, building connected products can appear quite daunting, especially if your product or service has never required connection into a large IoT or M2M ecosystem before.
To compete effectively in this new technological revolution, in the race to build truly smart products, you need a comprehensive end-to-end solution. Last month Imagination announced that its ground-breaking FlowCloud IoT and cloud technology will now be even more accessible to developers. FlowCloud is designed to accelerate IoT development on a range of low-cost MIPS development boards, including the chipKIT™ WiFire platform available from Digilent Inc.
FlowCloud removes one of the primary barriers to developing cloud-based services by making robust IT infrastructure available for anyone to build valuable, connected applications, providing everything a developer requires to intercept the new world of Big Data and create an era of truly smart solutions.
Come back to our blog over the coming weeks to find out what FlowCloud is and how it can be used in a variety of applications, including home control and automation, e-healthcare, and music streaming services.
Want to know more? You’ll find further information on FlowCloud via the dedicated developer portal at http://flow.imgtec.com/developers/; this series will include the following articles which will be published over the following weeks:
- FlowCloud IoT and cloud technology emerges in a world of challenges
- What is FlowCloud?
- PowerBox is a simple home control system that uses FlowCloud
- Creating secure electronic healthcare systems with FlowCloud
- Designing a full cloud music streaming service with FlowCloud
- How do I get started with FlowCloud?