I’ve been working with embedded systems since 1987, and kept on designing things in my spare time even as I rose to CTO. When I discovered the Arduino platform in 2009, what first struck me was the rapidity of prototyping. As an engineer, I was able to get the first examples running in seconds, not days. In the time since then, the Arduino ecosystem has gone from strength to strength, adding connectivity with everything from 433Mhz RF to LoraWAN, sensors, indicators (up to 1000’s of LEDs) and motor controls. Over time I discovered that not only is it fast to get things working, but the platform is incredibly robust. I have $20 Arduino-powered devices with uptimes in years.
These days, I find that the combination of Arduino powered sensors and indicators running MQTT, along with Raspberry Pi powered local servers, that then reflect up to the cloud, provide a rapid, robust, standards-based ecosystem for prototyping almost anything, and then scaling back the design for productisation. Using this methodology, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth (+LE), Zigbee, LoraWAN, mesh networks and other networking protocols are easy to integrate.
Concretely, prototyping the “Things” of the Internet of Things is something I am highly skilled at. Whether it be simple, cloud-upgradable temperature sensors, or an array of objects that need to be consolidated into a big data solution, I run the IoT Lab at the Pangloss Labs open innovation centre as a multidisciplinary experimentation zone.
In addition to the hands on prototyping, I’ve been working on IoT strategy since 1999, when I was demoing IP-based home automation for Philips across the US. I have spoken at a number of conferences about the IoT, especially talking about the unforeseen consequences of the Internet of things when deployed on a massive scale. The approach you take to the IoT can make a huge difference to your organisation’s future.
I run strategy workshops on the implications of the IoT for your business, and am happy to consult around the changes needed to your organisation in order to not just deal with the consequences of the Internet of Things but to take commercial advantage of it.
Lastly, I’ve seen hundred of terrible pitches by IoT companies, where they are so taken with the technological wonderfulness of it all that they forget to tell us just what it is that their new widget actually does. If you’ve ever made your pitch, only to be confronted by a look of blank incomprehension, I can help you to focus on your key messages and sell your organisation.