It’s always great for someone working in the technology sector to see the point when a specific industry or application experiences a slowdown in marketing hype and a steady ramp up in products and solutions. One such example is the much anticipated Internet of Things or IoT market.

For example, in a whitepaper just released this week on our website titled A Creator approach to smart farming, we see how IoT can be applied to solve real world problems in areas such as agriculture.

The future of smart farming

Although these markets are nascent, they face similar challenges that are common across many sectors:

  • Security. Developers want to focus on delivering value in their area of expertise and don’t want to have to become experts on security, especially in all the different layers required to secure remote data capture applications.
  • Interoperability. Developers want to future-proof their development as much as possible and want to adopt well supported standards that offer them freedom.
  • Connectivity. Connectivity standards such as 6LoWPAN and LoRa are enabling remote data collection for new use cases around low-power applications. However, the cost of integrating these new technologies can be high, pushing up development costs and time to market.
  • Open source. An active, well documented open source community is seen as a valid alternative to proprietary solutions.

In the specific case of agriculture, my colleagues use our Creator hardware and software platform as a demonstration platform to overcome the issues presented above. The Creator Ci40 dev kit for IoT is used to help save water, a scare resource that needs protecting, while at the same time driving up production yield and quality across a number of blueberry farms in Portugal.

Build IoT with Creator Ci40

The paper also looks at the synergies created between three different companies (Imagination Technologies – a technology IP supplier; MakeSense – a system integrator; and Agroop – a service provider) to allow the scaling of the collecting of data and (just as importantly) of the over-the-air support and maintenance of the remote sensors themselves.

I hope you find it is an interesting read!

About the author: Paul Evans

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Paul Evans joined Imagination Technologies in January 2012 and is now a director for the MIPS Business Unit. Prior to joining Imagination, Paul worked for Altera Corporation for 11 years, most recently as the senior marketing product line manager for Altera’s mid-range FPGA series the Arria family. Prior to Altera, Paul acted as technical services manager for Ometron Ltd. where he established Ometron’s technical services department. Paul has also held engineering positions at Image Automation Inc. and Smiths Industries Ltd. He holds a BEng in digital electronic engineering from the University of Kent at Canterbury in England.

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