Tagged: Cloud

Grand Opening ! OpenBerlin, a Cisco IoE Innovation Center to help organizations improve IoT adoption opens on October 15th

An innovation center and workplace for customers, partners, startups, universities and open communities. Everything is around 3 vectors:

  • Demostrating IoE( Internet of Everything) in action to solve business a public sector problems
  • Engaging in rapid solution and product prototyping
  • Research and investments in local resources

cisco_open_berlin

Carriots, is proud to be part of this ecosystem showing our technology Carriots IoT Platform on the Cloud and sharing our expertise in the IoT projects in different areas: like agriculture, water, health, traffic, etc.

This Cisco initiative give us the opportunity to cooperate with other players of the IoT sector and innovative at the edge of business digitalization.

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Improve security systems by supervising disconnections

Nowadays most security systems have sensors to detect events that would trigger alarms. Old security systems had all the elements wired, from sensors to the supervision centre. To disconnect a system, in most cases it would be as simple as cutting the wires in order to prevent the alarm signal to reach the supervisor. Some more advanced systems would detect if the connection was broken and that would be enough to trigger the alarm.

A few years back, M2M wireless connections where adopted by some security systems to replace the wired connections. That change reduced the deployment cost of these systems, as it was no longer needed to spend on wire installations. But this change from wire to radio also offers an extra layer of security because it is harder to jam a wireless connection than cutting a cable. The problem with IT systems using wireless connections is to know when the signal is lost. Perhaps the network elements know the end-device is no longer active but rarely they pass that event to the application, in this case the security system console.

At Carriots we thought on how to upgrade legacy security system into a modern alarm solution using the cloud under the IOT concept. We came up with an interesting feature that can be easily implemented using Carriots platform to avoid thieves from disconnecting alarms or replacing them.

Here is how: Imagine you design a brand new alarm system where every element, every few seconds, sends a “heart-beat” to your central alarm system on the cloud. If the alarm system is capable of controlling the absence of heart-beats it would detect that an element or the whole system is compromised. It would then trigger the alarm, no matter if the thieves would attack the local electronics.

To prevent the alarm from triggering they would have to hack the cloud or imitate the heart-beat of the elements. But how easy is to imitate such a heart-beat? Well, it can be almost impossible if the heart-beats are well designed using the latest IT security features. If each of the streams is unique and uses public key infrastructure (PKI) to cypher and authenticate the data, sender and receiver, then the solution is extremely secure.

In Carriots we already have two features implemented so you can use them to design this type of advanced security system:

  • We have a device supervision module capable of detecting changes in device status based on the absence of data (like missing heart-beats). We already talked about it on the blog. https://blog.carriots.com/status-device-supervision-for-better-iot-applications/ . With this feature you can trigger the alarm the minute after any of the elements is disconnected.
  • If the heart-beats of the security system use our HTTPS REST API and Checksum feature to authenticate the data streams then it is almost impossible to tamper the system.

Obviously these features are improvements to any type of application where it is important to track if the system is online and unaltered like GPS tracking devices, fire detection systems or many other uses.

Artwork © MySecuritySign.com

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Small entrepreneurs empowered by M2M and the CloudSmall entrepreneurs empowered by M2M and the Cloud

 

As this company blog starts, I feel the need to explain the vision that motivated us to create Carriots. Reading Google’s blog I found the right example on how the Cloud and M2M are revolutionary technologies for small entrepreneurs to create new businesses and new products.

Nomanini, the example of a social entrepreneur’s start up:

A small company in South Africa, Nomanini, has created a nice product with small resources by using the leverage of Cloud platforms and cheap electronics. This product also improves rural communities by helping local entrepreneurs to have an extra income.

Nomanini has created this portable sales terminal to sell vouchers for mobile services in Africa:

The Lula, Nomanini's portable voucher sales terminal
Source: Google App Engine Blog. http://googleappengine.blogspot.com.es/2012/12/developer-insights-mobile-voucher-sales.html

The application behind the device is running on Google AppEngine which is a powerful and general purpose Platform as a Service (PaaS). This is how the device integrates with the application over the cloud:

Nomanini uses Google App Engine to support the backend system
Source Google App Engine Blog. http://googleappengine.blogspot.com.es/2012/12/developer-insights-mobile-voucher-sales.html

Google’s approach and Carriots:

Certainly Google App Engine and Carriots M2M Application Platform can be seen as competitors. While Google App Engine has a broad approach, Carriots is more focused on M2M Apps and aims to help you build faster and easier applications for the Internet of Things. We designed Carriots with the same idea that applications should be built on the Cloud and integrated with cheap devices and other IT systems. Our approach is to help small entrepreneurs develop M2M applications faster and easier. We want developers to focus on their devices and their applications instead of writing a lot of code. The true winners of this competition in PaaS solutions are small entrepreneurs who can build lean start-ups, faster and with fewer resources.

Small Entrepreneurs can explore new ideas:

One of the keys of success in business is to experiment a lot and develop as many ideas as possible. Small entrepreneurs around the world have lots of ideas. Most of these ideas never become a new product because the cost of development is too high. Besides, when you develop new products, you have to accept failure as part of the creative process. Since resources are always scarce, entrepreneurs and companies have to prototype new products as cheap as the can. In M2M and IOT products, prototyping is now very cheap due to two factors:

1. Open Electronics Platforms for cheap and fast prototyping:

Platforms like Arduino, Raspberry-Pi or Souliss, just to name a few, help entrepreneurs transform a conceptual idea into a real working prototype. Certainly a prototype is not a product you can sell right away to a customer. But prototypes are extremely helpful to gather feedback from potential customers and test the idea behind your product. This open electronics platforms are the lean start of hardware IOT product design. The cost of hardware development in these platforms is very low and the knowledge of electronics you need is far simpler than developing a device from scratch.

2. M2M Applications Platforms to build applications for connected products:

IOT products and services depend on embedded software on the device and on backend applications. M2M Application Platforms, like Carriots, help developers build fast prototypes of that backend application without the cost of expending in IT infrastructure. Besides if the prototype is transformed into a product, scalability is not an issue. Application Platforms focused on M2M and IOT also provide simpler and proven solutions for issues like:

  • Device Management
  • Data Protocols implementation
  • Database management for Big Data
  • Rule Engine to build Apps
  • Integration with other Web Apps

Combining Open Electronics and M2M App Platforms:

When a Small Entrepreneurs combines these two emerging solutions, he is empowered to compete with large companies with higher resources because:

  • Fewer electronics and software knowledge is needed to develop a new product.
  • Product development is cheaper both in electronics and software
  • Faster the idea is transformed into a prototype to be tested.
  • Transforming a prototype into a product is cheaper and faster.

Besides, since the cost of product development is lower, failure is more acceptable and resources can be allocated into different product development.

The IOT revolution is a Blue Ocean for small entrepreneurs:

The revolution of Internet of Things has just started and the future is full of possibilities. In fact there are so many concept ideas to be tested, that small entrepreneurs have to face a Blue Ocean Strategy. At Carriots we are working hard to create a tool that small entrepreneurs can use to create new products and services.

Our platform is open to your product development. We welcome all kind of entrepreneurs to test Carriots and let us know what is your project about.

Regards,

Miguel.

(This post is written by Miguel Castillo, CEO of Carriots.com)

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