SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Bernhard Albler
Bernhard Albler is a Cisco Voice CCIE working in Austria. In 2015, he co-founded Vienna-based Frink Advanced Services, a boutique...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Bernhard Albler | August 03, 2016 |

 
   

IoT: Time to Shine!

IoT: Time to Shine! Your creativity has no limits when it comes to integrating Internet of Things into business processes, including collaboration.

Your creativity has no limits when it comes to integrating Internet of Things into business processes, including collaboration.

Thanks to recent API developments and premier hardware prototypes on the market today, the Internet of Things is officially in the spotlight. While we can build our own IoT products for the first time, big business is thinking beyond just individual needs. Here's what the IoT is all about -- now and in the future.

Since 2013, the IoT has been one of the most discussed topics within IT. For those of you who are into history, it all started back in 1982, when we first started discussing the concept of a network comprising smart devices. At that time, a modified Coke machine at Carnegie Mellon University became the first Internet-connected appliance, able to report inventory and whether newly loaded drinks were cold.

Pretty impressive for back then, but also for quite some time afterwards. Embedding software within physical devices required a great deal of specificity and high expertise on the one hand, and a lot of time on the other.

Things Are Changing
Today's IoT products are affordable and easy to use -- not to mention a breeze to work with for anyone who has some affinity for IT. For this we owe our thanks to two recent developments that helped IoT arrive in the present, giving us the chance to finally start discovering after simply discussing for the past three years.

So let's have a quick look at these two developments:

  1. Rise of the API - For the first time, almost every provider can offer APIs -- the time-saving building blocks programmers need to put things together
  2. Availability of IoT Prototypes, or "Development Kits" - This IoT hardware contains a selected microcontroller, as well as connectivity modules. Best of all, prototype vendors also offer cloud-based backend services to which these devices connect easily. Therefore these kits are not only easy but also ready to use!

Funky IoT Cat Button
So far so good, but what can you do with it? Well, we can tell you what we did.

We decided to program an "IoT cat button" for someone who could be described as a very dedicated cat person (and, as it happens, one of our cofounders). The goal of our experiment was to create a button that she could press when she wanted a new cat image from the Internet to appear in a specially curated cat room on Cisco Spark.

For our IoT cat project, we used the prototype-to-production platform from Particle. It features two crucial components: a hardware platform for easy proofs of concept (breadboard, sensors, Wi-Fi), and a cloud message brokering platform, which can receive events from devices.

As Cisco Spark sits in the cloud as well, data exchange between Cisco Spark and Particle is easy. The flow is as follows:

  • Press cat button
  • Particle receives the event from the physical device and triggers an API call
  • Via another API call, to the platform retrieves a cat picture from The Cat API (we mentioned the rise of the API, after all)
  • This picture posts directly into a Spark room

The experiment was a huge success on a personal level (and is still in frequent use!). Professionally, of course, serving up cat content is of unlimited value. But this IoT project does exhibit how to connect hardware to a cloud-based collaboration platform like Cisco Spark -- and the possibilities of how enterprises might use this capability are endless.

IoT – Infrastructure of the Future
Just like with mobile, IoT will be all about devices and apps. Soon, we will see things like smart parking meters, remotely controllable kitchen appliances, temperature sensors, light controls, and more. We don't need a crystal ball to say that IoT platforms and IoT-based business models will become crucial factors in many industries.

In health care, for example, IoT will provide a way to supplement patient treatment through remote monitoring and communication. And IoT will help keep track of patients as they move throughout a healthcare facility. We are not there yet, but we can bet that it won't take much longer.

Until then, experiment with the first prototypes and program whatever comes to mind! Because that's the beauty of it: Your creativity has no limits.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.