Tagged: data

Tutorial: How to build a public dashboard with Geckobard

One of the advantages of Internet of Things is that you have more information. How you use it in your benefit can make a big difference. Re-organize all the information you have and make a clear vision of all of it, helps you to make better decisions. Today, we offer you a tutorial about how to build a dashboard with Geckoboard. Geckoboard is an online software to create public dashboards with your metrics. To have a dashboard can help you to see the information.

08

The tutorial has 6 simple steps to build a nice visual dashboard which collects data from Carriots platform. We have used our meteo station to feed the example. The tutorial ends talking about some advises about Geckoboard and some ideas to enhance your project like improving widgets functionalities adding filters for comparison of metrics for example. The tutorial explains this step too. We hope you enjoy it!

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Internet of Things: a Marketing Revolution

Working with Marketing teams to develop  IoT solutions or products is one of the challenges we have in Carriots. This happens because Internet of Things has changed  the vision of some aspects in marketing related with connected products, like: the product lifecycle, the customer engagement or the quality of the service.

Managing the product lifecycle – imagine that you buy a car. Traditionally a car had not a connexion with Internet. Nowadays, most of cars are connected in many different ways and that situation generate new management opportunities and challenges:

  • New business models: most of vehicules are connected products that offer new services to users. On the first year these services can be free and after that they mostly start to have a cost per year or trimestre. The weather service or the parking information can be some examples. This “add-on” is indeed a new business model for brands that obtain new benefits after the sell and now marketers need to learn how to manage this. For example marketers now need to focus on the conversion process of a free trial service into a subscription.
  • New software updates that offer new features. Software updates have become a daily routine, where our mobile apps constantly add new features and this is also becoming normal in connected products using software in the user experience like a Tesla car. Imagine the power to introduce new features to the product by downloading an actualization that transforms the product into  something different from when the customer acquired it.

 

Photo by Laura Gariglio 3
Photo by Laura Gariglio

Customer engagement.-

  • Some weeks ago we wrote a post about that ( you can read it here) . The conclusion was that now you have real data about your clients and how is their relationship with your products. If you offer them something in exchange (for example, the weather forecast for free in the cars) the customers might share with you information about how they use your product.
  • But is not only this, marketers can also track information about how the customers share their product usage in social media . This is information about how people use your product and it is a good feedback.  Marketers here can play a big role, not only analyzing that data . They can cheer up people to use their media to share experiences and create challenges for the customers. Nike, for example, has a big community of runners using their products and sharing information (#justdoit).  

Quality of service.

  • For companies: Like recently was in our post about Condition Monitoring and how Internet of Things are changing the maintenance processes. Including some sensor in products and introducing IOT Data Analytics you can improve a product. A better maintenance increases security and reduces costs. The company not only sells just a product, it is now a connected product that offers new quality guaranties that were impossible before.
  • For customers: Internet of Things can change your relationship with a product. Recently, Jaguar and Shell announced that they launched together the first in-car payment system. It works via Shell app and Shell service stations and is a part  of the new jaguar XE, XF and the F-Pace.The system provides a new step in the quality of service  for both companies: Shell offers something different from another’s gas stations, a benefit for customer: commodity. And Jaguar offers to their clients a new experience, another option. For sure, we will see more of this type of alliance in the near future.

jagshellcashlesspaymentimage15021710-resize-1024x768 (1)

 

Internet of Things is a marketing revolution in someway, because the teams need to have a deep knowledge about  this new features and services that no were available before.

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Tutorial: How to Connect an Apple device to Carriots

Of course, one of the most demanded questions made by makers is how to connect Apple devices to Carriots. The Big Apple company has 1 billion active devices in the world and we are sure that you are thinking that your project must be compatible with iOS. In this Tutorial we show you how easy is to create a Proof of Concept (POC) prototype using an IPhone app, an  Apple Watch (using WatchOS), a Raspberry  and our IoT Platform Carriots.

How it works: Apple to Carriots

In the example, iOS and watchOS are programmed using Swift to send a data stream to Carriots that closes or open a light circuit. All the data streams sent by the iPhone or the Apple WATCH are collected and stored in Carriots. In this tutorial  you will also learn how to build a very simple Alert App that sends an email to you in case the Raspberry Pi closes the light circuit thanks to the streams sent by Apple devices.

Image Carriots on Iphone

We hope you can make marvelous POC´s with this feature and tutorial . And if you have any doubts you can use our forum to contact our team or drop us an email to support support@carriots.com )

Enjoy it!

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Tutorial: how to create a public Dashboard with your Carriots account and Initial State service

This is a new service available for Carriots corporate accounts (subscription charges apply). You can now create very visual dashboards to have a better “picture” of your data. With all sort of widgets you can better decisions in seconds.  We have created a new section, on your Carriots control panel, called Dashboard, that looks like this:

 

01_dashboards_landing

Here you will find information about this new service and its monthly cost. Once you subscribe to it you will be able to create dashboards and configure them with data. To show show how it looks like, we have created a tutorial with the example of our weather station ( and old Carriots project you can read about that here). After a few hour collecting data the visual is clear:

09_initial_dashboard

 

These Dashboards are easy to create and you do not need to write any line of code. Plus you can also share your information with a simple URL and make it public if you want!  We hope you find this new feature of Carriots IoT Platform useful. And if you have any doubts you can use our forum to contact our team or drop us an email to support (support@carriots.com )

Enjoy it!

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Condition Monitoring: real examples of use

Ever wondered how many machines fail around the world every second? It might be impossible to know the exact number because most of the machines are not connected to a system where they can report errors. If the machine is critical to your business or to your life, you might have a maintenance contract to prevent failures or at least have a repair as soon as possible. Companies providing maintenance contracts have tried to prevent failures in their systems by programing periodic inspections and maintenances job and to avoid common failures. Normally periodic inspections follow a protocol the check the parts of the machine and try to fix minor malfunctions to avoid a big one. Internet of Things, in some industries, has revolutionized the maintenance process by introducing Condition Monitoring Systems that can prevent malfunctions and sudden failures. Condition Monitoring, picks data that machinery is transmitting while it operates ( like temperature, vibrations,fluids, electronic data, power consumptions …), analysing them and combining with other external information ( like site conditions, for example the weather or the repair history) . Mix all the data, process it with the right tools and workflows and as result you can predict possible failures.

Verizon has a special division working in develop IoT Products in Smart Monitoring & Management ( you have the link at the end of the post) , if you see the next video you understand better what Condition Monitoring is:

The connected machinery and the Internet of Things allows to have important data to analyze and to program better maintenance jobs. This new procedure is very important for the people who work with this machinery (sometimes very dangerous) trying to prevent possible accidents and helping the Maintenance Team “predict” better inspections. In fact, Condition Monitoring has become a very important step in the Maintenance Strategy. Big companies like Caterpillar (CAT) are working with this technology in many fields and improving it every day to offer better solutions, one example you can see in the video about how Cat® MineStar™ Health works:

The benefits are huge: more secure machines, planned maintenance becomes more effective, important reductions in repair costs and an increase in the machine life expectancy. The IoT has changed the Maintenance Concept of many industries and machines and there are already many examples around us, like in the elevators of ThyssenKrupp.

Sometimes, there are machines working in hostile environments and access to them is difficult. In this case we can combine Condition Monitoring with Remote Diagnosis of the problems. Siemens has expertise in the area. They use remote monitoring and diagnosis in wind turbines deployed worldwide, normally in remote areas to collect all sort of alarms remotely but also detecting potential errors before become major failures.

Carriots Iot Platform is already used by several of our industrial customers in their Condition Monitoring strategy. Our software is a building block of the solution, easy to integrate with existing devices and IT systems used in maintenance workflows. If you are a manufacturer of machinery willing to offer new maintenance services, or a company providing maintenance services, don’t hesitate to contact us!

For further information:

http://www.verizonenterprise.com/products/internet-of-things/smart-monitoring-management/condition-based-maintenance/
http://www.cat.com/
https://max.thyssenkrupp-elevator.com/es/
http://www.energy.siemens.com/co/en/services/renewable-energy/wind-power/remote-diagnostics.htm

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Waste: a big problem with many IoT solutions

The Internet of Things is useful in many sectors and also has benefits for our Environment. The process of recycling starts always when we put the waste in their correct recycling bin and ends in the treatment plants for glass, paper, textile… but in the middle there are many things that our cities, our Smart Cities can do. Here are some examples of companies working NOW in this area.

Enevo is one of the many companies around the world developing sensors to convert existing waste containers into IoT objects. The data tell us if the container is full or not and automatically generates trends which the system analyses to generate pickup routes to collect the waste. Here is a real example in the Municipality of Rotterdam (Netherlands) with Enevo´s Sensors:

Bigbelly is another player who has a Smart Waste and Recycling System. Instead of upgrading the existing containers, their concept is to replace them with their own bin with a compactor system that presses the garbage down and allows eight times more waste than a conventional container. You can see how it works here:

Technology is nice but recycling demands the citizens commitment in the process. That is why it is also interesting to take a look at project like the one in Alcalá de Xivert (Spain) where citizens receive benefits by recycling! Formato Verde is the company who runs it through special bins for waste in the area. Citizens are invited to participate and receive a RFID card who allows to open the bin and leave the waste in each container distinguishing between: paper, plastic or organics. In this way citizens win green points who reduce the garbage municipal tax…GREAT!

You can see a video here ( in spanish but you can see the idea works)

These are just a few example of companies developing IoT solutions for a better sustainable world.

You read can more information about this companies in their websites:

http://www.enevo.com/
http://bigbelly.com/
http://www.formatoverde.com/

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Fresh and New Carriots Control Panel

In some way Carriots is like a giant iceberg. The control panel is the visual part of the software. But this user interface is only a small part of our IoT Platform. Since we launched our first version, almost our entire product enhancement happened in areas below the user interface surface. We added a lot of features to make our engine more powerful and some of these features were only available through the API.

For the past months we have worked on updating the control panel to be friendlier and give you more useful information. Here is the result:

cpanel1

As you can see we added some new features:

  • Dashboards to monitor the usage and limits of you account (both minute and daily limits) detalleLimits
  • A better Geo-location integration (Don’t forget to declare the position of your device like you configure it)detalleMap
  • A better Alarm management system
  • A new Terminal to test the code of your listeners with colors to help you the writing and debugging.detalleConsola
  • A new navigation through shortcuts.detalleShortcuts

 

We also have a new very exciting feature: A new Apps Market Zone. This area is designed for third party apps or services to be integrated with Carriots. Here you will find free services like Twitter or Dropbox but also paying services from other companies offering amazing extensions to Carriots. We just launched our first paying service with Initial State dash-boarding service. With InitialState you can create powerful dashboards, using your data in Carriots with a very simple drag and drop. Here is a sample of the result:

waves-ss

In the following weeks we will post more about this area and how we partner with other companies to promote it.

We hope you enjoy Carriots new features and visual user interface. Stay tuned because many more visual features are expected in the coming months.

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Tutorial: Export data to CSV, XML or JSON

We have just released a new feature to make Carriots more open and flexible to our users. Now you can export all your data on Carriots to a single or multiple files. Although Carriots makes it very easy to integrate your data with many external IT systems, some of our users wanted a simple way to export data to a file, to load it on a program or just to make a backup of it.

List of Export Requests Available

The export tool we have created starts with a simple form that lets you:

  • Filter the data you want to export; or export everything.
  • Sort data in many ways.
  • Select the format of the output file (CSV, XML or JSON).
  • Limit the size of the output file in MB or lines per file. The data will be chopped in several files if the limit is reached. Remember this is BIG DATA, and you can have a HUGE amount of data stored in Carriots!
Fill this form to request an Export of your data.

The process works asynchronously, this means that an export request is created and Carriots process it when it is possible and then sends you a notification email when done. You can have 10 requests simultaneously.

Once you export request is finished (normally it takes just a few minutes) you will have 7 days to download the file(s).

Simple download the requested files

Just access the Data Export feature from the Data Management section. Another day we will talk on the possibilities of this new feature and complexity of transforming Big Data into a single file.

In the meantime Enjoy Carriots!

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Status Device Supervision for better IoT applications

In this article we want to share with you our vision on how we can supervise the status of devices to create better IoT or M2M applications. This is a Best Practice that we recommend and it is based on our experience in developing large corporate M2M projects.

Normally M2M developers check the status of a device with only 2 possible Status: Disconnected or OK. They can do so by checking Data Streams and their expected frequency. Like in this diagram:

2 Status Device Supervision

You can also program your device to keep an open connection with the server to know if your device is connected or disconnected. But under the IOT paradigm where Internet and Energy resources need to be smart managed, this approach is highly dissuaded.

Lets take an example project where we need to supervise the status of a device:

Project Scenario:

Imagine a project where you build an RFID reader controlling a door opening. When a RFID tag is read, it sends a data stream to Carriots and if credentials are granted then Carriots sends an order to the PLC that opens the door. This door should be opened at least one time in a workday and exceptionally in a weekend. Imagine that as part of your project you need to monitor the status of the RFID reader to make sure it is OK. Carriots could check if a data stream has been received in a time range, a day and then check if the reader is working correctly.

Following this example, checking the RFID reader health is a matter of tracking data streams once a day. But if in a weekend the reader is not used, it seems that the reader is not working properly. So, for checking if RFID reader is alive its better done by sending status streams periodically and expect their reception in Carriots in a defined time range, independently from data streams.

So in order to help developers create better applications, Carriots has implemented some unique features, related to device supervision, that are optional to use. Lets review them and how you can take advantage of them.

Carriots features related to Device Status:

At Carriots we wanted to improve this basic functionality with the possibility of:

  • Having extra statuses based on information status information of the device and application data sent by the device.
  • Having the possibility to program actions based on status changes.

When a Carriots device is created there are two kinds of streams that can be sent associated to that device: data streams and status streams. Those streams can be controlled in order to expect the reception of one of them in a time range.

Carriots offers two device properties to check streams expected reception in a time range.

  • Data Stream Frequency – It is a number representing the time range in which a data stream should be received for that device. Expressed in minutes.
  • Status Stream Frequency – It is a number representing the time range in which a status stream should be received for that device. Expressed in minutes.

When a stream is not received within the expected time range, Carriots changes it’s inner status and fires an event.

Possible Device Statuses at Carriots:

These are the different inner device status in Carriots:

  • Disconnected – no status stream nor data stream received in the expected time range defined by “Status Stream Frequency” and “Data Stream Frequency” device’s properties.
  • No_data – no data stream received in the expected time range defined by “Data Stream Frequency” device’s property. Status stream received.
  • No_status – no status stream received in the expected time range defined by “Status Stream Frequency” device’s property. Data stream received.
  • OK – Data and status streams received in the expected time range defined by “Status Stream Frequency” and “Data Stream Frequency” device’s properties.

This diagrams shows how the flow of status change:

4 Status Device Supervision in Carriots

Programming actions on Status Change Event:

When Carriots detects stream absence within a defined time range the event “Event Device Change State” is fired. When a device changes its inner status, Carriots raise an event and injects the context to be used in listeners and rules scripts. A status change implies two statuses: one before the change takes place and the other when the change is done. For example, a device can be in a “no_data” status and may change to “disconnected” or from “OK” to “no_status” and so on.

With this feature you can program a Listener in Carriots with a Groovy scripts that can perform pretty much any action that you want, from activating a repair procedure to detect that an abnormal behaviour in the application.

You can get more information on this, by reading our documentation on Device Inner Status.

Please let us know what you think of these features by posting your comments to this post.

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