Barriers to the machine to machine Internet have just come down with Kontron’s development kit
German hardware maker Kontron has launched a newly-accredited developer kit for creating machine to machine (M2M) systems on Vodafone mobile networks.
The M2M sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors in IT, according to M2M specialist VDC Research, which predicts that around $25 billion (£15.5bn) will be spent on Internet-enabling inanimate objects by 2016.
The launch was announced after Kontron’s M2M Smart Services Developer Kit passed Vodafone’s 2G/3G testing process this week. The benchmarking by the Vodafone Test & Innovation Centre means the developer kits can be used to create M2M projects anywhere in the world with decent Vodafone coverage.
The company urged the channel to use its application-ready M2M platform to make GSM-based 2G/3G networks the foundation for embedded cloud applications. Resellers, systems integrators, and OEMs should be able to exploit the reach of the Vodafone network and the processing power of its smart edge platform to cash in on this boom market, according to Kontron.
The idea behind the programmable Kontron platform is to make it easy to get involved, claimed a spokesman. “The Vodafone certification is a decisive factor for our global OEM customers as it makes for a quick and cost-efficient introduction to the market,” said Kevin Rhoads, VP of Kontron’s embedded products business unit. Getting the channel up to speed on the concept of cloud-based remote supervision and the management of appliances will put them on a learning curve, he said, and the vendor wants to make it as easy as possible.
The developer kit can be upgraded as needed, with processor performance a work in progress that can be added to via “computer-on-modules”. Other features include optional extensions for audio-video smart services over M2M, which tend to be increasingly demanding as a project progresses and will need upgrading.
The kit also supports 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN (wireless local area network) and 802.15.4 WPAN (wireless personal area network). Its pre-installed 3G WWAN (wireless wide area network) can be extended for higher bandwidth applications via a 4G module.
The rationale is not only to create a basic platform that offers an easy introduction to M2M over 3G, but also create the foundations on which to build much bigger systems, according to Kontron. The modular approach will take away the barriers to entry and obviate risk for OEMs, smart services developers and independent software suppliers (ISVs) promised Rhoads.