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Developing for the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is, as its name would suggest, an assortment of physical objects tied into one grand network. The past few years have seen a barrage of innovative hardware released to market: thermostats, mattresses, smart webcams, refrigerators, sprinkler systems, and more. IoT is still in its infancy — as an industry we are still figuring out what makes sense to connect and how to market our solutions. Ultimately, you will need to figure out how to make your bright idea a reality.

Ordinarily, you need to configure your platform to interact with each type of device hardware you want to integrate. That sounds easy up front, but the reality of device integration can induce headaches. More or less, every device speaks its own language and even if what you have communicates through a familiar interface, it likely has its own singular quirks. It doesn’t help that a lot of the more generic hardware coming out is poorly documented. To add insult to injury, when you roll out new hardware or device firmware down the road, you may find yourself back where you started.

This is where Omega DevCloud comes into play. Our shiny new tool is a platform that allows developers to deploy any type of device quickly. With DevCloud, you create your own listener and parser on the fly. Then, you can access everything through our handy RESTful APIs. The particulars of your hardware don’t matter; we take the raw output from your device and allow you to rapidly parse the data. Once configured, it’s ridiculously easy for you to tie in hardware to your own platform/project/app. We have always been about “making it easy” and Omega DevCloud fits into that philosophy nicely.

Omega DevCloud Data Chart

If you’re developing for the Internet of Things, your job is going to be so much easier working with RacoWireless and KORE. Omega DevCloud ties in directly with our award-winning Omega Management Suite. Whether you’re deploying ten devices or three thousand, you can use Omega Management Suite (OMS) to keep abreast of the situation; OMS makes it easy to track wireless data usage and system activity. With accessibility to a range of strategic global carriers, partners of RacoWireless are able to scale their businesses and accelerate their time to market without the worry of managing multiple carrier relationships across the globe.

Your first ten devices in Omega DevCloud are free of charge. Get started today!

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Feature Spotlight: Traffic Analyzer

trafficanalyzer2As a service provider, finding an edge in the IoT/M2M space is critical to success. That edge can come in a variety of ways: application design and development, a successful market launch, or effectively managing the application in the market. All of these can effectively contribute to that coveted ‘edge’. Now, with OMS, getting that edge is easier than ever before.

Recently tested and launched, our software engineering team released a groundbreaking new feature called Traffic Analyzer. This feature allows OMS users the ability to see, like never before, what their devices are doing on the network in real-time. Providing a granular, yet easy to understand interface, Traffic Analyzer assesses the data transmission and can report on the source and destination of data, the amount of data that was sent and received, at what time, and even report the protocol that was used in the process. We created an advanced user interface that provides powerful filters to enable users to analyze the data within the interface as well as export the data if they would like to analyze it outside of the application. Below is a screen cap of the filters. The interface offers print, export to PDF, and download to CSV.

Traffic Analyzer

To access this feature in your OMS account, get started by clicking on any one of your connected devices and select the Traffic tab from that screen. If you haven’t yet enabled the Traffic Analyzer function, you will be asked to do so from that screen.

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Holiday Connected Gift Guide 2014

The holidays are upon us once again and we are more excited than ever about the Internet of Things. There are a huge number of connected devices available for sale and these are some of our favorites!

1) Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat
Easily the slickest thermostat on the market, the Nest Thermostat promises to lower heating and cooling bills up to 20%. Most people leave the house at one temperature and forget to change it. So the Nest Learning Thermostat learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled remotely from your phone. Even better, Nest Thermostat provides integration with a growing number of smart home technologies.

2) Zubie

With Zubie, you can make any car a connected car. Interfacing with the OBDII port found in about every car manufactured since 1996, the Zubie Key monitors your driving habits, keeps tabs on your vehicle’s health and allows you to track your vehicle’s location with built-in GPS. We especially love these for keeping track of teen drivers!

3) Parrot Bebop Drone

Parrot’s latest consumer-grade drone shows that you don’t need high-end gear to produce incredibly beautiful video footage. The Parrot Bebop creates its own WiFI hotspot, streaming video and physical control back to your smartphone or tablet. Create a dynamic flight plan with GPS coordinates or control the drone on your own. If it loses connection, the drone is programmed to return to its start point for retrieval. So. cool.

4) littleBits

Littlebits connected home kitFor the aspiring engineer or DIY wunderkind, littleBits is the easiest way to prototype and learn with electronics. It’s an ever-growing library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets so you can invest practically anything. Their Smart Home Kit is especially cool: it can turn anything into an IoT device. Automate your curtains to open at sunrise. Make a remote controlled pet feeder. If you can dream it, then you can build it.

5) Parrot Flower Power

Another product from French company Parrot, Flower Power is the one tool you need to turn your thumb from black to green. In a pot or in the ground, its suite of sensors monitor the four factors any plant needs to thrive: sunlight, water, fertilizer and temperature. Whenever your Flower Power detects that your attention is needed, you will receive notification on your smartphone or tablet.

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Internet of Things Still Faces a Major Hurdle


As more major players lay the foundation for the Internet of Things, questions of IoT standards have been raised: Can there be an industry standard? And, more importantly, who will set this standard?

With a wide spectrum of developers working on a variety of projects, a standard might soon be needed for technological compatibility. The competing networks are more fragmented than the smartphone market ever was, and this poses a large obstacle for the IoT to overcome. While Apple seems like the biggest player in the IoT, it might not be Apple that makes these industry decisions.

In this article, John Horn discusses the future of industry standards in the Internet of Things. Read it here.

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IoT Security: Stealing the Thunder

The rise of M2M security as a discussion topic has hit the gas peddle in a big way! This rise in topic interest is absolutely all part of the progression that a high-growth industry experiences. No more a niche sector within the technology space, IoT and its connected applications are gaining the recognition and trust of the everyday consumer. Homes and businesses from all over the globe are deploying time-saving and cost-cutting applications. As you think for a moment as we bring connectivity to the “things” of our lives (cars, home appliances, healthcare devices, etc…), it’s easy to see how imperative proper security measures will become.

Everyone that plays a part in this ecosystem needs to mindful of where they may be exposed to a security threat. In a recent whitepaper that we published, we laid out 10 questions that every solution provider should be asking their technology providers. They are as follows:

  1. Are all servers and network components within the organization’s network updated with the latest security patches and updates?
  2. Is there a process in place to apply new patches and updates in a timely manner?
  3. What model firewalls are used?
  4. Is there an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) in place?
  5. Is there a DDoS defense system in place?
  6. Are background checks performed on all individuals with root access to servers and network devices?
  7. Are all security events logged? How long are those logs kept?
  8. Is there a SIEM solution in place to provide analysis and correlation of security events?
  9. How often are root passwords changed?
  10. What systems are in place to secure & authorize access to physical servers and network components (PIN code, ID badge, biometrics, etc)

When it comes to IoT security, understand your risks, and equally important, make sure that you’re partnered with technology providers that can turn your level of security up a notch.

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