Feeds

Freescale: Cloudy dumb sensors? Nope, not OUR smart Internet of Things

Vehicle-to-X is next big digital gold rush – plus security and privacy, of course

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Wearable devices are great examples of accessible stuff within the Internet of Things, but on the whole they’re pretty dumb sensors.

Typically, they use Bluetooth to crank out information to a mobile or similar gadget, which relays the data for processing in the cloud and then back to a web interface. Wearables are clever, but soon act dumb when the supporting connectivity disappears.

At the Future World Symposium in London last week, high on the agenda was the notion of Connected Intelligence, which goes beyond simply sensing, connecting and reporting. The general consensus at the event was that for Internet of Things (IoT) to really make an impression on the way we live, these devices need to be able to process data independently and be more than a remote sensor, but an Intelligent Node.

Freescale Internet of Things overview

The story so far: typical scenarios for the Internet of Things – click for a larger image

In his talk on Connected Intelligence, Bringing the IoT to Life, Steve Wainwright, chipmaker Freescale veep and general manager of EMEA, outlined the challenges. He spoke not only of his company’s plans in the automotive industry but for the growth and potential for semiconductor manufacturers gearing up for the Internet of Things.

"If you think about home automation, a lot of those individual applications have been around for years and if you’ve been selling micro-controllers for years, you know many of them very well," he said.

"You know about the security side, you know even about the smart energy side. All of a sudden the connectivity dimension of that changes it so dramatically and brand new industries get born as a result.

"At Freescale, networking is a long legacy application that we’ve understood very well, so this gives us some fairly unique features in terms of breadth in this space. For us connected intelligence talks about the technology that’s really enabling the IoT. It’s the sensing, it’s the connectivity, it’s the embedding processing.

"So if the Internet of Things is the conceptual model, the connected intelligence is really the model that enables it, hopefully, seamlessly and scalably. The other thing you get into with these three blocks of sensing, connectivity and embedded processing is really this opportunity to develop the Intelligent Node.”

Freescale Connected Intelligence overview

Connected Intelligence: going beyond sensing to decision making within the device

Although Wainwright recognises that Big Data has an important part to play in the Internet of Things, his focus is on the device itself. As an Intelligent Node it should be capable of managing the processing and working out whether or not to transmit that data anywhere else. To localise the processing has a number of advantages, one of which is perhaps all too easily taken for granted – the networking itself.

Data management

Reeling off some stats, Wainwright claimed that 2008 that was a significant year as the number of connected devices went above the number of people on the planet. The figure today is said to be 7.6bn items, with the most popular projection for 2020 hitting 50bn connected devices. And that’s just the connected devices; how many sensors is that?

"One of the real dangers of this is how on Earth do we manage these networks?" asked Wainwright.

"I think that the idea of connected or intelligent nodes that can handle things close to the edge of the network is tremendously important because that’s going to offload some of that network congestion and network complexity."

"That’s a real opportunity that we all should be aware of and thinking about, certainly in the semiconductor business, because this is the area for integration and for proliferating the technology into all layers.”

Freescale Connected Intelligence networking

Compatibility is king? Connected Intelligence networking has a lot of different protocols to play with

So while connectivity is important, considerations for limiting what goes out to the network is going to have increased significance as each year passes. Also the intelligent node’s capacity to process incoming network instructions, to enable two-way traffic, as well as functioning autonomously are critical to advancing the usefulness of devices precipitating the Internet of Things.

The method of connectivity is another matter which Wainwright describes as a bit like alphabet spaghetti.

“You’ve got every possible portfolio known to Man; everybody competing for what’s the protocol going to be. The answer, from our point of view, is you have to be able to handle everything that’s thrown at you. You always find applications that have got different requirements, whether it be Sub-Gig, Bluetooth Low Energy and really, this is one of the big complexities that we have.”

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.