Why IoT Now?

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Smart, Connected… The IoT Buzz is True
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be a buzzworthy topic as new devices are developed and the general public gains a better understanding of their intrinsic value.  Companies have been reluctant to deploy IoT-based solutions, or even explore deployment options, for various reasons: security on the devices themselves and the networks they run on are a cause of concern, as is the complexity and expense of creating solutions that utilize IoT devices. Marrying solutions to existing enterprise resources also rates as a point of concern. The changes in the IoT landscape over the past 18 months are discussed below — as Revolution11 has been a leader in the forefront of IoT research and development, it is crystal clear that the elements for a successful IoT deployment are well within the reach of developers far and wide.

Dedicated to IoT
In the past 12 months the four major mobile carriers in the US have each rolled out networks dedicated to low power IoT devices. LTE-M is the abbreviation for LTE Cat-M1 or Long Term Evolution (4G), category M1. This technology is for IoT devices to connect directly to a 4G network, without a gateway and on batteries. These networks are not ‘phone’ networks adapted for IoT devices, they were specifically designed for Machine-to-Machine communications. With distinct price plans, they are generally geared toward those providing the services, not the consumer directly.

Learn more about LTE-M Networks

Certified Modules Bring About Change…Quickly
Expense and the difficulty of integrating sensors and other IoT devices into business solutions are often seen as barriers to entry. Prototyping solutions using arduinos or Rasberry Pis was an easy fix, but when the time came to scale a customized group of sensors or devices to move into production, the sourcing, testing, and certifying by mobile carrier was an incredible roadblock which was expensive and time-consuming. Within the past couple of years pre-certified components and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) vendors who produce the parts have, thankfully, arrived on the scene. It is now possible to build your IoT sensors or devices using these pre-certified modules.

Learn more about AT&T’s validated chipsets and modules

Incorporate IoT Solutions Into Your Organization…Today
The time is now to incorporate IoT solutions into your organization! AT&T has an easy-to-use design tool known as “Flow,” along with convenient APIs and efficient data services. Don’t worry about storing huge amounts of data that the sensors generate on your own servers — the data from these services are a snap to incorporate into other IoT frameworks utilizing Amazon and Google.

Learn more about AT&T Flow

Development
In our business this is what we look for, first and foremost. Developing and deploying an IoT solution is now within reach and has quickly become practical for organizations of all formats and sizes… what is the downside to efficient, reliable tracking of your assets in real time? None, really — just to name one of the MANY applications that IoT services deliver to your business. IoT gives deeper meaning to the “things” that are all around us, and enables this technology to monitor (just about anything) and notify stakeholders of performance metrics on demand. Our experience tells us that this is a win-win solution for many developers.

Need more information? Contact Revolution11 to discuss your IoT ideas.

Download a PDF of this entry here: Why IoT Now?

Why IoT Now?

Partner Story: Rapid Systems Engineering

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Project: San Francisco Temporary Occupancy, Night Noise Permitting Management Solution

The Challenge
What happens when your mobile infrastructure construction project is about to begin and you don’t have the proper permits? Nothing happens. The project is instantly stalled and your competition is suddenly in a better spot than you are — all because they have permits and you do not. Proper documentation and permitting is crucial at every step in citywide public works projects. An often overlooked step in the construction process, permitting can be a make or break deal for construction clientele, resulting in thousands of dollars of missed billing or missed work windows that need to be rescheduled at a later date.

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Avoid The Permit Trap
Rapid Systems Engineering (RSE) uses custom software to manage the permitting needs for multiple clients, ensuring that they stay on task and on target by obtaining crucial permits. The telecommunications industry evolves at a rapid pace, and as network expansions rollout to meet the demands of pervasive mobile technology, RSE is prepared to manage the day-to-day so that projects continue without interruption.

Solution
Revolution11 studied the permitting issue with RSE to develop an in-house solution for the management of San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFDPW) Permits, financial records, and documents, which are stored in a unified database for instantaneous access, version control and ease of use.

The resulting solution is a mobile iOS, web application, and desktop application that consolidates permitting data and documentation, records, real-time data capture and uploading of all permitting requests, submittals, and photos. Most importantly, management of critical project control aspects is now accessible from a mobile device, which goes where you go, or web browser so that other project team members stay apprised in real-time.

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Revolution11 Services

Revolution11LogoHeadquartered in San Francisco, Revolution11 is a highly sought-after application development consulting agency that takes a client-involved, design-based approach to building solutions.

Our team puts “boots on the ground” to solve your business challenges. To provide the best results we schedule regular face-to-face meetings – this proven strategy will immediately highlight the benefits of our partnership.

With Revolution11 you work closely with seasoned business professionals who bring years of business analysis, project management, and technical skills to produce creative, high quality business applications.

Rapid Systems Engineering Services
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RSE is a certified Woman Minority Owned Business (WMBE) with expertise in Systems and Process Development, Implementation, Technical Analysis, Scope Management and Process Improvement.  We combine systems engineering and program management to enable cost-effective solutions considering customers business and technical needs.

Contact RSE for permitting services for telecommunications network construction including: SFDPW Temporary Occupancy Permits, Night Noise Permits, Night Noise Notification and Radius Maps. Contact: 1.707.515.0807 • rapidsystemsengineering.com

Download a PDF of this blog here: Permitting Solution

Partner Story: Rapid Systems Engineering

Why We Think We Won the AT&T Hackathon

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The Revolution11 Team

“Winning means you are willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.” – Vince Lombardi

Winning the AT&T IoT hackathon in September 2017 has propelled Revolution11 into a new realm within the Custom Application Development market. Several clients have asked for details on the overall contest and they are intrigued as to why we won with our “Smart Manhole” project. In response, we have noted that it is the same DNA, drive and culture that powers Revolution11 in the Custom Application Development market that served us especially well in winning the top prize at the hackathon. The Revolution11 philosophy focuses on small, well-thought out projects, developed in the Agile style. Our cohesive team concentrations on developing solutions for the mobile market; our subject matter expertise and years of experience working with IoT devices and services means that this win is just a springboard to new and exciting innovation for our trusted clientele..

Agile Development
In today’s competitive environment, a company’s processes, and even its business model, changes with a frequency that is undetermined, yet necessary. Traditional software development models rely on long foundation and discovery phases, which often leave software and end products that no longer meet the needs of the organization. And its expensive to boot! Revolution11 utilizes the agile style which suites our goal of rapid, yet precise, development and allows us to pivot with no downtime. A simple debrief with key stakeholders let’s them understand the overall environment. This collaboration permits us to pick the smallest element of a process that will have a big impact, i.e., solving a pain point, saving money or increasing revenue. The solution is then rapidly prototyped, tested by our team and given to a select few end-users. Then comes the live environment where the pain point becomes a thing of the past.

A Small Cross Disciplinary Team
Many old school Application Development firms segregate their teams by technology. The web application team, the database team, an iOS team and the list goes on – the problem with this approach is the segmented thought process often presents itself, not in a good way, in the final product. Rather than use the correct tool for the job, the team that landed the project will contort the project to fit their perspective, rather than applying the most efficient tools for the problem(s) at hand. Firms may employ a variety of strategies that involve technical architecture and insist that the segmented teams to execute against a rigid plan – often leading to delays, and huge cost overages.

Experience Counts in the IoT Industry
IoT development is not a new experience for Revolution11. Our proven forte is to prototype devices and applications based on input from a variety of markets – including the utility and industrial application space. Our team places creativity at the top of the list and is, therefore, well prepared to craft applications specifically designed to solve problems, be they old or new.

Download a PDF of this blog post: Why We Think We Won

Why We Think We Won the AT&T Hackathon

“Smart Manhole” System Design

Revolution11 Takes 1st Place at IoT Hackathon

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GSMA Conference

Overview

The Revolution11 “Smart Manhole” project originated from a hackathon hosted by AT&T and the GSMA in San Francisco, CA September 9-11, 2017. Read the story here.

The goal of the “Smart Manhole” project is to address the following needs in utility hole maintenance and infrastructure wiring: 1) the ability to know the inside wiring layout before opening a utility hole, 2) the wireless tracking of temperature, humidity and other telemetry data without having to open the utility hole, and 3) receipt of alerts to prevent unauthorized or incorrect access to the infrastructure when a utility hole cover has been opened.

Components

The overall system consists of three main subsystems:
the IoT Device, the Cloud services and the iOS application.

att-iot-s-kit@2x1. IoT Device
The IoT Device is a prototype constructed with the AT&T IoT Starter Kit. The device, once properly enclosed and weather-sealed, is to be adhered to the underside of the utility hole cover. The device serves functions including telemetry data gathering and transmitting, as well as utility cover locating/identification.

  • Sensors: temperature, humidity and acceleration sensors are integrated in the NXP K64F Development Board.
  • NXP K64F Development Board: part of the AT&T Starter Kit, the main development board that hosts and runs the software which handles and controls the cellular shield to transmit the data gathered by the sensors.
  • Avnet Cellular Shield: part of the AT&T Starter Kit, uses the WNC M14A2A LTE module to connect to the AT&T cellular network to transmit data over HTTP.
  • Bluetooth Beacon: a passive bluetooth beacon which serves locating and identification purposes.

> Learn more about the AT&T Starter Kit here:
https://www.business.att.com/enterprise/Service/internet-of-things/iot-platforms-development/starter-kit/

> Revolution11 provides a thorough overview of Beacon technology here:
https://revolution11blog.com/2016/05/27/using-sensors-to-get-information-sent-to-your-mobile-device/

iot-flow-designer-overview-infographic2. Cloud Services
The Cloud consists of all databases and services that are hosted in servers, VMs or other connected computer resources.

  • AT&T Flow: single point of entry for all transmissions from the IoT device.  Processes the data received, appends derived data to the payload and stores to AT&T M2X. Based on the derived calculations, the Flow also pushes data to the email services to generate alerts.
  • AT&T M2X: a time-series database with GET/POST APIs. Used to store all sensor and derived time-series data.
  • External Email Service: An API that the Flow application calls to send emails for temperature/humidity/opening alerts. Currently a PHP service hosted on Amazon EC2 as a temporary measure for prototyping needs.
  • External Database: stores all non-sensor related data from
    external sources (e.g., utility company’s database) that pertain
    to the utility holes.
  • Data Services APIs: API services that the mobile app or other front-end applications can call to obtain all data available that pertain to a particular utility hole. Currently, a set of PHP services hosted on Amazon EC2 serves as a temporary measure for prototyping needs.

> Find more information on AT&T’s Flow Design tool here:
https://www.business.att.com/enterprise/Service/internet-of-things/iot-platforms-development/flow-designer/

> AT&T M2X information found here:
https://m2x.att.com

> Amazon’s EC2 cloud services, go here:
https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/

vector_iphone_6_6s_7_by_aslittledesign-daq6a6i3. Mobile App
The Mobile App is the front-end interface (other than email alerts) that interacts with the end user. The mobile app obtains the UUID and location information from the bluetooth beacons on the IoT device via Bluetooth-Low-Energy 4.0 standard and then, if the user requests, queries the Data Services APIs with the UUID to obtain the sensor time-series data as well as data from the external database to display on the mobile interface. The mobile app queries the Data Services APIs periodically (depending on configuration) to ensure the data displayed are refreshed and up to date.

Flow

System design & data flow diagram:

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Conclusion

This prototype, when fully developed, has the potential to save utilities and municipalities both time and money. It will also help increase the security around critical infrastructure.

Revolution11 looks forward to continuing to offer leadership in the IoT space.

Download a PDF of this blog post: Smart Manhole Design

“Smart Manhole” System Design

Revolution11 Wins AT&T IoT Hackathon

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On September 10, 2017 Revolution11 took 1st place in the AT&T IoT Hackathon. It was great seeing all of the exciting ideas in this space. Many of our clients have been asking for more details on the solution we created and why we think we won, so we’ve created a couple of blog posts explaining just that!

> Read about why we think we won.

If you are interested in bring the world of IoT into your organization, you can contact us at 415.630.7004 or inquiries@revolution11.com.
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Revolution11 Wins AT&T IoT Hackathon

PushingBox API: Real Time Notifications for IoT Devices – Part 2

In previous blogs we introduced FileMaker’s support of iBeacons and the PushingBox API. We now cover the integration of a FileMaker App that will make use of the new RangeBeacons Script Step to search for an iBeacons UUID. When the UUID is found, you can use the PushingBox API and Pushbullet to send notifications to both Chrome and iOS devices. This functionality can also be used to send a file or photo to Chrome; it can also be used similarly to perform a script or other actions with the “Insert from URL” script, or to send variables in your notifications that are read from a sensor or device.

First, we will demonstrate sending a notification via the Insert from URL script step with the PushingBox service.

Follow the steps in the previous PushingBox post to set up the scenario and action.

Here we will set up an example that sends notifications on the temperature of a room using Pushbullet and the PushingBox HTTP API method where variables will be used for $room$ and $temperature$. The full message and title are: The $room$ temperature is $temperature$ degrees

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Remember that you will need your Pushbullet Token and Pushingbox DeviceID to make this work. This is the unique key that identifies the scenario you want to launch. The DeviceID can be found on the Scenario Page. You can also create more arguments to define custom notifications text using your own variables.

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Within FileMaker we can accomplish the notification with a single Insert from URL script step where the details of the script step are:

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Below are the results on…

Chrome:

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iOS (iPad):

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iOS (iPhone):

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We will now use the App to scan for an iBeacon and send a push notification and file (to Chrome) when found. The scripts are:

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This will search for an iBeacon UUID and perform a script to send the message and file. Since the app uses the RangeBeacons Script, it is performed from FileMaker Go 15 as shown below performing searching for the iBeacon.

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The results on Chrome and iOS are featured below. You can see in the desktop notification that a zip file was successfully sent with the notification.

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The scenarios and possibilities with PushingBox are vast and when combined with the emergence of connected devices and the support of iBeacons via FileMaker Go 15. Revolution11 staff have been busy coming up with many different scenarios that will fill the needs of our clients!

Go to Part 1 of this subject.

Download a PDF of this blog here: PushingBox API Pt2

 

PushingBox API: Real Time Notifications for IoT Devices – Part 2