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Benefits of a well-executed IoT strategy can be a “Holy Grail” for an organization
Benefit 1: Safety, Comfort, Efficiency
Imagine measuring and managing hazardous environments without putting people at risk, and optimizing all physical environments for comfort and productivity while controlling energy costs. Now imagine monotonous tasks being automated and done by machines. For example, smart assembly lines could report misconfigurations and errors in real time, producing higher yields and less downtime.
The result is more time for productive and rewarding work. This would drive higher employee satisfaction and retention, while dramatically improving profit margins.
Benefit 2: Better Decision Making
If you can analyze larger trends from empirical data, you can make smarter decisions. This takes assumptions out of the equation, giving you data-backed visibility into every aspect of your business. For example, testing cycles would radically shorten—lowering the costs to optimize a process.
Additionally, the visibility into system behaviors can yield new insights and ideas, guiding your business like never before.
Benefit 3: Revenue Generation
At first, the above benefits from the IoT will impact your bottom line simply by reducing expenses and improving efficiency. However, it’s only a matter of time before IoT data analysis helps you realize new business functions—and thus new revenue opportunities.
The IoT may be the “X factor” that gives many organizations a strategic advantage over the competitors in the next decade.
IoT System Architecture
Hardware Platforms for IoT
The simplest possible way to make things smarter and connected is to add powerful Bluetooth enabled chips and connect them either to smartphones (iPhone/iPad, Android) or more advanced smart hubs.
Our experience shows BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) solutions as one of the most energy efficient and ideal for the case of wearable devices and personal electronics. Bluetooth chips and platforms that we work with: NordicSemiconductors, BlueGiga, Light Blue.
Other chips (Particle Photon/Electron, ESP8266, Electric IMP) give ability to utilise WiFi and cellular (2G/3G/4G/LTE) to connect devices directly to a cloud (like Google based Firebase and PubSub, ThingSpeak etc.), monitor and control them remotely, collect and analyse data.
We work with various protocols and technology stacks: Wi-Fi (all 802.11 stack), Bluetooth v4.x/Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Mesh networks Wi-Fi/Bluetooth (including 802.15.4)
Software Platforms for IoT
Having device connected is not enough – it is important to analyse and display data that comes from devices. It can be connected to a smart dashboard on the web or have a personal application on a smartphone, which we have large experience building.
Building a Prototype
Every hardware device starts from a prototype built with simple tools like Arduino, Photon, RaspberyPi/BeagleBone or other available boards and hardware components - goal is to validate the concept. This does not go without a proper firmware development. NodeMCU Firmware/Contiki/Riot OS/Free RTOS/Tiny OS/mbed ARM are all good candidates that we can build for.
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