Prototyping speeds up our access to IoT

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Rapid prototyping is crucial in helping developers and companies experiment with and test emerging technologies to get Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to market faster by creating a network of physical objects.

Prototyping enables developers to explore different technologies and evaluate the creation of a viable IoT product.  It also provides valuable feedback on exactly how the product might evolve and show how the product design can be executed at the next level. This in turn cuts down on risk and accelerates time to market.

Out of the box prototyping
Orange has been working with ARM on a Live Objects Software Development Kit (SDK) running on top of mbed OS, ARM’s open source embedded operating system for IoT, which facilitate development and can thus speed up prototyping.

The result of the collaboration is Orange IoT Soft Box developer’s kit. The kit is made up of an mbed enabled development board, pluggable sensors, an SDK and access to Live Objects services. It is essentially a toolbox to allow object makers, developers, or international corporations to achieve rapid end-to-end solution development.

Live Objects, as a solution of Datavenue, is a cloud-based platform that connects equipment and objects to business applications and IT environments. It includes connectivity interfaces, device management, message routing and data storage.

The kit has been designed to reduce the need for hardware or software embedded skills. Object makers and developers can build and test end-to-end IoT solutions, from devices right through to cloud services.

Powered by Datavenue, Orange’s IoT and data analytics modular offer designed specifically to help develop new IoT and data analytics services, the SDK focuses on the development of “constrained IoT devices”.  These are small footprints with limited memory and processing power such as smart meters and smoke detectors.  Orange expects it will be used to prototype solutions within the industry and smart cities markets, for example.

Nurturing the IoT ecosystem

IoT Soft Box has enormous potential to accelerate IoT solutions time to market and quickly expand the ecosystem. ARM already has a large and diverse developers community who are familiar with mbed OS.  IoT Soft Box’s capabilities have been designed for them and will provide them with the powerful capabilities of Datavenue, including the ability to connect Live Objects for testing and getting access to an extensive data catalog.

The IoT Soft Box smart greenhouse demo
Orange has already used the kit to demonstrate customer use cases, like a ‘smart greenhouse’, designed using IoT Soft Box to provide the optimal environment to maximize plant production. The prototype was showcased during ARM TechCon 2016 in Santa Clara.

The developer used IoT Soft Box to prototype a connected solution that uses sensors to control the brightness, humidity and temperature of the smart greenhouse. The micro-climate inside the building - including luminosity, humidity and temperature – can be controlled remotely.  By utilizing IoT Soft Box, the developer can see exactly how the idea may take shape from inception to execution using prototyping, and whether it is actually feasible. In this specific case, Live Objects allowed for receiving and displaying data, configuring the device and sending commands remotely. It also configured rules to automatically control the device, thanks to an event processing feature.

Getting ahead of the curve
Building any new product, especially in the unchartered territory of IoT, brings with it risks. Being an IoT pathfinder, means that there is no experience to draw on or existing plans to follow.  Orange IoT Soft Box allows you to experiment, meet challenges head on and make design decisions up front, saving time and effort in reaching your end goal.

The products you are building will be part of the future of IoT.  Start prototyping now to speed the process up, get your solution to market faster and allow IoT to reach its potential in connecting our world that bit faster.

Find out more about the power of Orange Business Services’ Datavenue here.

The free open source software is already available on the Live Objects developer web-portal.  

Julien Sicart

Julien Sicart, VP Connected Objects Technologies, Orange Business Services is responsible for the group’s expertise in embedded OS, software, chipsets, connectivity and networks sold into Orange's EMEA region. Julien manages an international team working alongside Orange’s global technology and ecosystem partners to secure the interoperability of new technologies found in connected devices with the group’s network in 28 countries.