IBM announced that it has extended its Bluemix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology to help developers build applications for the Internet of things (IoT).
Big Blue unveiled a set of digital tools that change the Internet of things landscape by enabling developers to build an IoT application in just a few minutes. The cloud service was developed based on the thousands of IoT client engagements IBM has led under the umbrella of its Smarter Planet initiative, IBM officials said.
The new service, called the IBM Internet of Things Foundation, makes it possible for a developer to quickly and easily extend an Internet-connected device such as a sensor or controller into the cloud, build an application alongside the device to collect the data and send real-time insights back to the developer’s business.
The IoT Foundation service is part of IBM Bluemix, IBM’s cloud application platform. It delivers rapid access to, and provides valuable insights from, IoT device data coming from billions of Internet-connected sensors and controllers. IBM Bluemix is a cloud platform for building, managing and running applications of all types, including for the Web, mobile, big data and smart devices.
“Think of the IoT Foundation as an extremely fast on-ramp to the cloud for the millions of intelligent IoT devices that are now being shipped, and the billions already Internet-connected,” John R. Thompson, vice president of the Internet of things business unit at IBM, said in a statement.
“While many vendors are talking about IoT, we’ve led thousands of engagements and are one of the first to enable business to rapidly gain access to the big data that billions of sensors, chips, controllers and RFID tags generate,” Thompson added. “Combined with our proven cloud, analytics, mobile and security capabilities, IBM provides one of the most comprehensive IoT solutions for clients to derive new business insights and competitive advantage.”
By placing the connectivity in the cloud, equipment and asset manufacturers can use the Internet of things to provide remote service and monitoring to residential and commercial customers, oil and gas companies can remotely monitor and provide predictive maintenance to equipment, and logistics companies can track and monitor the condition of goods in transit.
In addition to industrial applications, the Internet of things will enable insurance companies to provide pay-as-you-go insurance, allow city administrators to make critical infrastructure smarter and give automobile manufacturers the ability to provide new connected services for vehicles.
“SilverHook Powerboats uses the IoT Foundation service within Bluemix as the basis for its real-time power boat telematics platform, allowing it to run complex diagnostic analytics in real time on racing boats traveling at high speeds on the ocean,” Nigel Hook, CEO of cognitive computing solution provider DataSkill, said in a statement. “The ocean can be a brutal environment, and it’s the platform that DataSkill and SilverHook Powerboats chose to prove out their IBM solutions for intelligently predicting performance and reliability while on the ocean race track at 140 mph.”
IBM Launches Internet of Things Foundation
Market research firm IDC estimates that by 2020 there will be as many as 28 billion autonomous IoT devices installed. Today IDC estimates there are 9 billion such devices.
Meanwhile, IBM also announced plans to form a partner program for IoT, along with a set of certified instructions, or “recipes,” for connecting devices, sensors and gateways from a variety of its partners. The partners are expected to include ARM, B&B Electronics, Elecsys, Intel, Multi-Tech Systems and Texas Instruments, IBM said.
“Combining trusted, open-standard based data from connected devices with other data sources can lead to the creation of exciting new services,” said Krisztian Flautner, general manager of the IoT business at ARM. “The IBM IoT Foundation can unleash the potential of a connected world, and by utilizing the ARM mbed software ecosystem, there is a real chance that IoT solutions can positively influence the way smart cities, businesses and homes develop.”
“The Internet of things is a huge opportunity for developers to connect their devices to the cloud to collect and share data, making factories, automobiles, homes, buildings and personal electronics more intelligent,” Avner Goren, general manager of strategic marketing for Embedded Processing at Texas Instruments, said in a statement. “IBM’s IoT Foundation complements our broad portfolio of hardware and software system solutions for IoT nodes and gateways.”
As a core part of IBM Bluemix, the IoT Foundation is designed to provide simple, secure application access to IoT devices and data. Developers can rapidly compose analytics applications, visualization dashboards and mobile apps that can generate valuable insights when linked with back-office enterprise applications.
For example, developers can easily combine data from sensors with predictive analytics to forecast failures in critical equipment before they occur and automatically dispatch a repair technician, which can reduce downtime and improve productivity.
“Big data requires big access, and enterprises with large capital investments in industrial systems need a proven solution that can deliver valuable information from their legacy devices deployed in the field to the Internet of things,” Karl B. Gemperli, CEO of Elecsys, said in a statement.
“The IBM IoT Foundation, when combined with our rugged IoT gateways, extends the edge of IT networks to interface directly with existing industrial equipment and provides a fast track to easily capture and integrate vital process data from large populations of devices in the field, all without the need for substantial investments in new field equipment,” Gemperli added.
The IoT Foundation is offered as a cloud service within IBM Bluemix. The software service will enable developers to quickly on-board devices using standard APIs and protocols.
The IBM Internet of Things Foundation will be available on Oct. 21, IBM said. The IBM Internet of Things Business Partner program will be available on IBM PartnerWorld.