There is a new technological revolution happening in consumer and enterprise computing. We are entering an era where previously standalone devices are becoming connected, communicating with each other, the cloud, and people. While M2M has existed for some time, this technology is expanding into a new world of IoT, where connected technologies will soon be woven into the fabric of our daily lives.
Research analysts Gartner have stated that by 2020 there could be as many as 26 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices. To put this into perspective, writes Andrew Thompson, VP of Strategic Marketing, Imagination Technologies, most predictions of the global population in the same year are around the 8 billion mark. Whether or not you believe the numbers will be this high, there is clearly a great opportunity for embedded IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions as everything becomes intelligent: meters, automobiles, entertainment devices, office equipment and beyond.
The technical challenge in creating truly smart, coherent systems is significant. It starts with basic or smart sensors inside devices, to collect and often synthesise data. This data is then transmitted to cloud servers where powerful algorithms and analytics engines draw conclusions on what is happening in the real world, allowing the technology to autonomously make decisions. All of this requires a careful blend of apps and services, comprehensive software APIs (application program interface), substantial internet bandwidth, racks of servers to collate and store information, and potent data analytics tools.
Imagination designs and licenses a range of technologies to companies looking to build innovative connected products and services. This includes Intellectual Property for CPUs (central processing units), video, vision, graphics and connectivity. Because many of our customers are using these products in M2M or IoT products for a wide variety of markets, we also offer FlowCloud technology that provides a comprehensive application-independent underlying platform for rapid construction and management of machine-to-machine and man-to-machine connected services.
FlowCloud removes a primary barrier to developing cloud-based services with a robust infrastructure readily available for anyone building valuable, connected applications. It provides everything developers require to intercept the new world of Big Data with core services including registration, authentication, association, security, notifications, updates and remote control; plus optional plug-in modules to accelerate development including FlowTalk (video and voice calls), FlowFunds (electronic payments), and FlowAudio (radio and music streaming services), among others.
Faster mainstream IoT adoption
We believe that such a scalable platform is needed to accelerate mainstream IoT adoption for everything from small real-time monitoring applications to full-scale internet-based subscription services with several thousands of users.
The IoT market is being built around partnerships and collaborations between companies which nurture an environment created around technology enablement. Platforms like FlowCloud help companies minimise the resources required to make a product fully connected by providing a portfolio that includes connected devices, standardised programming languages and interfaces, and a secure and robust package of IoT services.
We’re on the cusp of an exciting technology revolution as more products connect to the internet, their environment and each other — and impact the way we work and live in ways that we can’t begin to imagine.
This blog is by Andrew Thompson, VP of Strategic Marketing, Imagination Technologies