Fostering IoT applications from the Cloud
LogMeIn might appear, at first sight, to be an unlikely IoT platform provider. But only before you consider what it actually does. The technical smarts you must have to be a successful remote access service provider (LogMeIn's original line of work) serendipitously become just what you need to orchestrate the secure connections for thousands (yes eventually billions) of connected things like sensors.
Then add in LogMeIn's more recent move into cloud storage with its secure and paid-for Cubby service last year. Unlike other storage companies which tend to use Web-scale cloud storage from the likes of Amazon to support their offerings, LogMeIn build its own elastic cloud framework called Gravity.
Just a year before that LogMeIn folded in London-based Cosm (formerly Pachube, pronounced "patch bay"), a pioneering IoT platform provider headed up by Usman Haque, who we interviewed for TelecomTV's M2M channel (see below).
The result is Xively Cloud Services, Cosm's platform promoted into an IoT Public Cloud with extra platform capabilities added and thus designed to scale up to service large numbers of devices and users across a broad geography.
According to Chad Jones, VP Product Strategy at Xively, "People wanted to build products on the platform so we integrated and built those requirement into our Gravity system. So we have a hardened data centre environment with the gravity platform underlying it all, generating a cloud service spanning 12 data centres."
The Xively announcement this week was boosted by the simultaneous launch of a 'jumpstart kit' to get budding IoTers up and running using ARM's mbed platform. The Xively Jumpstart Kit enables the rapid prototyping and building of connected devices using ARM's microcontrollers.
Together with the Cloud platform it represents a complete system for developing both IoT hardware and applications, the companies claim.
LogMeIn and ARM say the IoT has therefore become a practical reality for anyone wanting to build Internet-connected devices and associated cloud-based applications. It sees the offer attracting a broad range of participants, from small entrepreneurs to established OEMs.
Chad sees the main difference between IoT and M2M as openness. M2M is about gathering information and holding it close, he believes, while IoT, at its best, can be about gathering and sharing, enabling new and innovative applications to emerge.
"Xively is very much about public sharing of data, but that doesn't mean the end of privacy. We can put granular security on [all the data streams that cross the platform].
"Users can share ALL, SOME or NONE OF their data. That allows for the concept of interconnectedness.
See Usman Haque talking about Cosm and the social data exchange aspects of successful IoT below.