'Visible Things' platform could enhance the IoT
Avnet Memec announced the launch of the Visible ThingsTM platform for the development of IoT systems and applications. Targeting a wide range of industrial markets, Visible Things is a highly flexible and comprehensive evaluation and development platform for edge-to-enterprise IoT projects. The platform delivers tested, proven, secure and integrated hardware and embedded software to connect smart sensors and embedded devices via gateway solutions or LPWAN, right through to the cloud and enterprise software applications.
“With Visible Things we are one of the first distributors in the market offering a highly flexible edge-to-enterprise solution devoted to enable fast and easy development of industrial IoT applications,” said John Jones, director of innovation at Avnet Memec – Silica. “Unlike other supplier specific solutions which consist of a headline part with the rest of the building blocks left for the customer to optimise, Visible Things was developed based on best-in-class technology regarding function, cost and long term availability.”
The platform provides a unique set of benefits such as
• Fast deployment due to integrated and tested features
• Highest degree of flexibility with a range of smart sensor and connectivity options
• Simple ‘out of the box’ setup and experience
• Lowest power solution
• Size, cost, power and production optimised to closely match the end product
The platform supports short-range connectivity to a gateway, and Wi-Fi-, 3G and 4G cellular communications to the cloud and enterprise software applications. It also supports the SIGFOX and LoRaWAN IoT networks. These networks have been designed with specific features such as secure low-cost narrowband information messaging to meet the requirements of the IoT and smart city, machine-to-machine and industrial applications.
Avnet Memec – Silica will continue to augment the Visible Things IoT evaluation and development platform with new hardware and software technology options in the coming weeks and months, including a new chip that integrates a secure element for deployment in smart sensor edge devices.
To help users get up and running quickly with their IoT project, there are three reference-design starter kit boards available at launch, each managed by ARM Cortex based microcontrollers:
The first kit comprises: a smart sensor board including Bluetooth Smart connectivity and a range of sensors including motion, temperature/humidity and light/proximity; a gateway board, which manages all the necessary connectivity to the cloud service via Wi-Fi; and a mini-USB cable. A GSM peripheral module with embedded SIM and SIM-connector options is available as an expansion option to the gateway board to enable cellular connectivity up to cloud enterprise software services. The starter kit is exclusively available from Avnet Memec – Silica now at a resale price of 199€.
The second and third kits are designed for use with the SIGFOX and LoRaWAN networks, and include respective SIGFOX and LoRaWAN module sensors, with each board also integrating additional motion and light sensors. IoT application messages can be exchanged with the cloud service without the need to communicate via a gateway.
Also available in the Visible Things platform is a mobile app that runs on iOS and Android and provides users with easy access to local hardware configuration and also supports connection to cloud services. The app also provides a quick start guide to make it simple to connect and configure the system from edge to enterprise.
The Devicepoint cloud service is a key element of the Visible Things platform. Underpinned by IBM software components and run by partner company Spica Technologies, the Devicepoint cloud service builds upon data from sensors and edge devices with contextual information, plus data from other sources to deliver real-time analysis and long-term business intelligence.
Connecting via the gateway, or directly to a SIGFOX or LoRaWAN network, the platform provides instant visualisation of sensor data in a simple standard cloud solution, allowing users to take appropriate action such as turning on actuators in industrial control systems. Further customisation is also available for the management of sensor data for analytics, reporting and workflow management.