IoT is a generic term which can mean a lot of things (no pun intended).
IoT systems can include a range of features and products, and this varies from solution to solution. At Compsoft Creative we have delivered a wide range of IoT solutions which include; custom hardware and firmware, MQTT messaging brokers, OTA software updating, reporting and management portals, automation and rules, mobile apps for end user control and voice control systems.
If you are planning an IoT project, it is useful to review which elements you require for your solution. Read below for some real world examples.
Our projects have involved custom hardware including; wearable devices for Rolls-Royce pilots, e-device control for Brompton Bikes, HVAC control for Rio Heating and home automation for Resi Central to name a few.
It is critical that the approach to integration with the hardware and the rest of the IoT ecosystems (whether that be via Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi or MQTT) is carefully scoped and specified, while remaining flexible in order to deal with those unforeseeable challenges.
Compsoft Creative has experience as sourcing custom hardware and firmware, or with working with our customer’s custom hardware / test rigs including working closely with our customers’ firmware development teams.
MQTT is the standard for communicating messages between devices and server applications in IoT ecosystems. MQTT is a low latency, topic based communication protocol. There are a number of options when considering MQTT including hosting your own broker(s) or using MQTT services offered by platforms such as AWS and Azure.
Regardless of the choice of broker, it is crucial that the MQTT strategy for an IoT solution is correct to avoid overloading the broker and that it is secure and scaleable.
At Compsoft Creative we have experience in developing and maintaining custom brokers and configuring Azure IoT services.
OTA (Over the Air) firmware updates can be a critical lifeline and insurance policy when releasing hardware into the wild. OTA allows product owners to send up updates to deliver new features or fix issues in distributed hardware.
Compsoft Creative has developed an number of OTA solutions which cover the whole update lifecycle, including in-house testing, BETA testing and full public release.
IoT can often mean thousands of devices collecting data by the minute as well as full control for things such as lights, heating or switches. Raw data is good, but it needs to be presented to users in a way which makes sense to them.
Compsoft Creative has significant experience in developing Management and Reporting Portals which make sense of the raw data pouring into the system via MQTT. This includes maintaining snapshots of historic data, displaying trends, statuses, warnings as well as allowing full two way control of devices.
Simple control is what required by the end user. Behind the scenes you can have Brokers and Portals and APIs and Rules and Automation (the list goes on)... The end user does not care at all about any of that.
They want to set a schedule, roast some coffee, turn on their heating, see how much battery they have left of the journey home. And they want to be able to do this with the minimum of fuss.
This is what all the effort often boils down to, and it’s where it all started for Compsoft when we got in to developing the most user friendly, beautiful mobile apps in 2009. This is where we start - how can we make the end user’s life genuinely better and deliver that seamlessly in an app?
Automation and Rules is the magic behind the scenes! We have control, we have reports - now we want to be INTELLIGENT and use that data and control in such a way that makes the world a better place. Saving energy, making things safer, make people more comfortable.
Compsoft Creative has developed solutions which allows not technical users to set up powerful rules and automation, think of IFTTT but inside your IoT solution.
App control is often the first step, but Voice control is also key especially when it comes to B2C projects. Voice control allows your users to ask for the lights to be switched on, what the temperature is, or if the the battery has finished charging.
Voice control also allows you IoT solution to have a presence in the big players such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri. At Compsoft Creative we have developed IoT solutions which have integrated with all of the major players in the smart assistant market, as well as implementing custom voice control for niche requirements.
XR, VR, 5G, Improving AI, App Clips/Instant Apps are all recent evolutions which open up new doors for innovation to make IoT solutions better. We are constantly looking for what might be next and how might it positively impact the systems we build and maintain. You can be sure we will be doing this for your project to make sure you are either taking advantage of, or positioning yourself to take advantage of the latest innovations in technology.
“IoT is a simple term which belies its complexity.
IoT systems are usually put in place to make someone’s life easier, however, in order to make something simple, a burden of complexity needs to be borne by the IoT solution.
We have done the hard work, we have put in the hours, we have developed the solutions, so that our customers do not need to worry about the risks that the complexity of IoT brings.
At Compsoft Creative we are a safe pair of hands and we’d be happy to demonstrate that!”