Eclipse IoT

4 Takeaways from “All Things IoT” week at EclipseCon Europe

Last week, the Eclipse IoT community was pretty busy at EclipseCon Europe. We were having our largest Eclipse event of the year, and it featured lots of IoT.

After a much needed weekend break to recover from an incredibly fruitful week, I am taking some time to write down some of my personal takeaways.

Oh, and before you ask: we are working on uploading all the IoT sessions from the IoT Working Group meeting and IoT Day to YouTube. They will be available shortly, and as you can see in the blog post below, some of them already are! 🙂

IoT Day featured lots of real-world talks

I was really pleased with the turnout of the IoT Day. What was particularly interesting was hearing not only community insiders tell us about what they are doing for, and with, Eclipse IoT projects, but also getting the point of view of people who are pure consumers of the technology.

This year, for example, we had people like Müge Kural (Eteration) or Nicola La Gloria (Kynetics) telling us how projects like Eclipse Kura or Eclipse hawkBit have helped them implement use cases such as advanced dashboards for Electric Vehicles, or scalable software updates for Android-based IoT devices.

Look out for the video recordings of their talks, in the meantime, you can read more about Kynetics’ story in our recently published case study.

Eclipse IoT Testbeds Hackday

Open IoT Testbed Hackday at EclipseCon Europe
Open IoT Testbed Hackday at EclipseCon Europe

As you probably know by now, we are ramping up our Open IoT Testbeds initiative, and it was great to use EclipseCon Europe as an opportunity to spend some quality time with the different companies involved in the testbeds and discuss next steps. To encourage collaboration, we held a “hackday” on Wednesday.

There was a strong focus on the Industry 4.0 / Production Performance Management testbed, and it was great to see participants from different companies sitting at the same table, brainstorming about the roadmap for the next few months.

One of my action items from the hackday was to get a mailing list set up. So, if you want to get more involved in the testbeds, you can now subscribe to [email protected] to participate!

It’s all about the integration

EclipseCon Europe coincides with the anniversary of the Eclipse IoT Working Group, and 6 years into the adventure it is great to see that this year, even more than others, the project teams spent a lot of time discussing how to better integrate the different projects with one another. For example, it has become pretty clear that Eclipse hono will probably become the de-facto standard for device connectivity, and there were lots of discussions on how to provide hono protocol adapters for PPMP (Eclipse Unide), OPC-UA (Eclipse Milo), or Eclipse Kura gateways.

Also, at the IoT WG meeting, we discussed how to structure the community work better and collaborate towards a more integrated Eclipse IoT stack. It has been proposed that we establish a sub-committee of the IoT WG dedicated to integration work. Expect to see more on that topic soon!

New projects got unveiled

You may have seen the news: just a week before EclipseCon, two new Eclipse IoT project proposals have been announced.

First is Eclipse Thingweb, a project that will be hosting an open-source toolkit for the W3C Web of Things ecosystem. Matthias Kovatsch from Siemens presented the project, and you can get his slides here.

The other project, Eclipse Cyclone, will put an open source implementation of the DDS (Data Distribution Service) middleware standard of IoT developers. Hans van’t Hag from ADLINK gave the presentation below, and his slides are here.

I am looking forward to seeing these projects move to Eclipse IoT over the next few months!

Eclipse IoT

3 reasons to attend the IoT Day next week

EclipseCon is literally around the corner, and I am looking forward to seeing old and new friends next week in California. Of course I will have a particular interest in everything IoT, and in particular the IoT Day on Wednesday March 11.

You still have time to register for the event, and here are three reasons why you really want to:

1. Learn from the experts

There are many IoT conferences, no doubt about that, but unfortunately many of them barely scratch the surface on what’s needed to make IoT work . The speakers for the IoT Day all have years of expertise in building actual IoT solutions.

You will learn about IoT Security from Sierra Wireless, how to implement standard Device Management for your gateways from Eurotech, and much more.

2. Discuss concrete solutions to IoT’s hottest topics

Everyone talks about how important security is for IoT but no one really seems committed to providing actual solutions. Fortunately, we will learn how market leaders like Verisign and Sierra Wireless do implement security nowadays. And yes, they think open-source is going to be key!

IoT is also going to be about engaging with developers, and I’m looking forward to learning more on how Zebra Technologies is designing its IoT platform APIs and how they are leveraging open standards to appeal to IoT developers.

3. Meet Eclipse IoT project leaders

EclipseCon is of course the opportunity to meet with the developers behind Eclipse open source projects. If you are even remotely interested in IoT, I’m sure you’ve already used or plan on using an Eclipse project (if you’re doing MQTT, chances are that you are using Paho or Mosquitto, same if you’re into Device Management, with Leshan and Wakaama, etc.) and what best than discussing with the people working on these projects to learn how to make the best of them, or propose improvements, bug fixes, etc.

Some of our newest projects will also be represented, in particular Eclipse Vorto which is going to be a critical enabler for IoT interoperability.

By the way, if you are joining us for the whole EclipseCon event and are in town all week, we are getting together for dinner on Monday 9. So feel free to add your name to the list and I’ll be happy to see you there! EclipseCon 2015


Powering EclipseCon France with IoT magic

In just about a week is EclipseCon France, and here’s one more reason why it’s going to be awesome! This year you will all be actors of a real-world Internet of Things setup, that leverages several Eclipse IoT technologies.

We’ve been wanting to do this for a couple years, and finally the great folks at the Grenoble University gave us a hand to build a system that will allow every EclipseCon France attendee to easily evaluate all the sessions!

How does it work?

Click on the drawing below and read the following chapters to learn more on how this voting mechanism has been implemented.

Voting machine drawing

NFC badges

nfc At the heart of the voting system is the NFC technology. In case you are not familiar, NFC (Near field Communication) allows to transmit information between devices when there are close to each other. The kind of information that can be exchanged depends on what devices are involved in the communication: two phones can e.g. use NFC to exchange contact infos or bookmarks (see Android Beam).

A use case that is very common is the use of RFID tags to “stick” information to an object, and allow this information to be retrieved later by any NFC-reader (smartphone, USB dongle attached to a computer, …). At a very minimum, this information is an ID that is unique to the tag and allows to identify the object you are “reading” ; other information can be stored in the tag but usually you only have just a few hundred bytes of memory on these lil’ things.

In the context of the voting machine, we will be adding an RFID tag to each participant’s badge, allowing to track who’s who when a vote will be performed, according to the unique ID of the badge.

Inside the voting machine, an MQTT publisher

Inside the voting machine is an Intel Galileo board (if you’ve ever heard of the Raspberry Pi, and I bet you did, the Galileo is a very similar beast, running on an Intel chip when the Raspberry Pi runs on an ARM architecture) that runs Linux, iPopo, and a Python MQTT client from Eclipse Paho. Attached to the Galileo are three NFC USB dongles that allow to detect the presence of a tag in front of the -1, 0, and +1 areas of the voting machine. iPopo is an OSGi-like container for Python scripts, and in our case it’s running several bundles for doing the NFC tags detection, handling the MQTT communication, etc. You can actually check out the source code of the Python bundles on Github.

Whenever a tag is in proximity of the voting machine’s -1/0/+1 areas, a very simple MQTT message (the NFC tag ID and the vote are the only informations transmitted) is sent to, allowing any consumer to subscribe to the broker to make sense of this information.

Interaction with

One of the strength of MQTT and an actual requirement for making scalable IoT architectures, is the ability to decouple data producers from consumers. And this is exactly what we are leveraging in the context of these voting machines: each voting machine publishes very naive messages to a broker, and it’s very easy to add a new node on the IoT network that will monitor such messages, and react. One node could be responsible for persisting the votes in a database, another could display them graphically, etc. The important point being that we’re not introducing any tight coupling between all these “agents”.

So in order to convert the raw vote “signals” into meaningful votes that can be fed into the website, we need to have a new node on the network that will have the knowledge of:

  • the mapping between NFC tags IDs and attendees (since we want to eventually post session reviews on behalf of a conference badge owner),
  • what session is in what room at a given time

Therefore in addition the voting machines, we’ve deployed a Raspberry Pi running a NodeJS application that uses MQTT to retrieve “raw” votes, compute the associated attendee + session for which the vote was made, and turns this information into ah HTTP POST request to the Drupal backend that powers!

See you real soon!

EclipseCon France 2014

Thanks again to the LIG team, and to Paul Guermonprez from the Intel Software Academic Program who provided most of the hardware used in the voting machines.

I’m really looking forward to seeing these cool machines in action next week! If you haven’t already, wait no longer and register today before the registration fee goes up!