The Internet of Things (IoT) denotes a technology with “intelligent objects” which support people in their activities and are intended to make life easier without being distracting or conspicuous. It concerns the interconnection of physical objects with a virtual representation.
What does the IoT include?
Alongside activity and fitness trackers (which fall under the “wearables” category), items such as heating systems or locating devices are also part of the Internet of Things. Today, it is already possible to measure and regulate a home’s temperature or to control televisions, music equipment, roller blinds, surveillance systems or lighting. Empty refrigerators can order fresh supplies all by themselves, beer kegs can provide information about how much is left inside, and printers can determine paper or toner levels and inform the service technician or IT department.
There are also medical devices that monitor their wearers and immediately contact a doctor or the emergency services in life-threatening situations. Even cars that take over the brakes in critical situations, assist in parallel parking or provide information about the traffic in advance or places of interest can be categorised as part of the Internet of Things. The IoT is closely related to the theme of the “Industrie 4.0” digitisation initiative, although that primarily concerns B2B communication. These are all just examples, but possibilities are endless and we’ve only just begun.
The “petpointer” example
Hergtech AG sells an innovative GPS tracker that allows people to pinpoint the location of their pet at any time. The device, which is attached to the animal’s collar, wirelessly transmits the location via HTTP at selectable intervals to the server hosted by nine.
This is how it is implemented from a technical point of view:
Petpointer / GPS: The geographic position of the collar is analysed at regular intervals using a satellite system and sent to the server via M2M (machine to machine). The GSM network is used for this. The tracker has been designed to allow any number of transmissions - even from abroad. There are no roaming costs for the end customer; petpointer functions in over 220 countries.
Server: The collected data is gathered and checked at hosting infrastructure provided by nine in Switzerland. Before petpointer displays the information to the customer in question, the radio cell is mapped to verify whether the location is actually in the same cell. This eliminates discrepancies such as false data.
Customer devices: Users can retrieve the location of their pet from nine servers at any time through the petpointer website or app. If the customer is online at that moment, the most recent location information is displayed live.
Petpointer customers can also define notifications that are triggered when, for example, the animal leaves a predefined area or when the petpointer’s battery runs low. In both cases, the customer is informed by email.
The comprehensive, stable infrastructure from nine in combination with the petpointer device ensures that your pet can be tracked at all times. Although nine does not directly offer any Internet of Things services as such, we can serve as a platform for IoT-based products; through our flexible hosting infrastructure and extensive experience, we provide a stable basis for every possible product.
What does every developer have to consider when planing an I-o-T project ?