Smart City IoT Platform 

Taking the step towards smartness

Bringing smartness to the world starts by measuring and collecting data to really understand the phenomena around us. Phenomena that affect the way we move, the efficiency of energy supply on the grid and the way life develops on Earth. Phenomena that affect how safe or comfortable we feel. Real smartness means that we fine-tune these phenomena in a data-driven way. The ever-growing connection between measuring and adjusting the things we produce makes all this possible. Welcome to the world of smartness, a world made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT)!

What does Technolution have to offer? We can help you realize your ambition to become ‘a distinctive player in a Smart World’ by providing:

  • a Central IoT Platform, as-a-service or installed in your organization, to harvest the synergies that arise from sharing and exchanging data and fine-tuning configurations to meet current needs;
  • direct access to external expert knowledge on how best to deal with this new core technology and how to keep it up-to-date and relevant over time;
  • the ability to bind a vibrant ecosystem of users and other stakeholders to the platform, helping you to become more and more connected, open and innovative.

Central IoT platform

A component that occupies a pivotal place within the IoT network is the Central IoT Platform. Establishing a platform like this is a first step towards bringing smartness to cities, factories, production spaces, warehouses or greenhouses.

We’d like to introduce you to the ins and outs of our Central IoT Platform-as-a-Service. Roughly speaking, the Central IoT Platform consists of four main modules: a User Interfaces module, an Application Manager, a Core Platform and a Hosting Environment module and APIs to devices and applications (‘things’).

Figure 1: Central-IoT-Platform

The User Interfaces module is a suite of web and native smartphone applications used to manage devices, data, services and user accounts, as well as all access rights. Development of this module is highly agile and driven by customer needs, new use cases and new capabilities in the Central IoT platform.

The Application Manager is the hosting environment for business applications. It facilitates the interconnections between devices / edges from the outside, internal processing on the IoT core and the other stakeholders. Development of the Application Manager is mainly driven by trends in the outside world, development projects and use cases.

The IoT Core module is the core of the Central IoT platform. It consists of a thin middleware layer with the fundamental technology for real-time data processing, brokering and storage. This layer acts as a multi-party network platform connecting all users and data-driven services to data and devices in a privacy and cyber-secure manner. Development of this module follows a release planning process driven by technology trends, advances and innovations rather than by specific use cases or customer projects.

The Hosting module ensures flawless 24/7 operation of the Central IoT Platform as a whole in line with service level agreements.  

Basic internal technologies

Our platform consists of smaller, open-source components that together make up a full-fledged Central IoT Platform that meets all the needs of your city, province, or company. This Central IoT Platform will be embedded in your context by connecting it to the devices and applications that are already in place or are planned.

Our Central IoT Platform’s highly modular design has the competitive advantage that it enables very high development speed for each modular component based on the roadmap drivers for each module. This gives us the freedom to apply different ‘how-to’ models for the technology planning (roadmap) and development of these platform modules.

Figure 2: Our Central IoT Platform

Covering any kind of data distribution

Data can be structured or unstructured, streamlined or delivered in batches, delivered at low frequencies or in hard real time at high frequencies, can consist of measured data or control signals, and can be neutral or be privacy-related. In other words, data comes in many forms and there is a wide variety of underlying user requirements. Our Central IoT Platform is designed to handle all these varieties and their associated security and latency requirements.

Life cycle and evolution

A Central IoT Platform like this that links such a wide range of services and solutions through data sharing and exchange is likely to eventually become a mission-critical platform for any organization. This means the automation functions of such a platform must be guaranteed for ten to twenty years or even longer. For periods of this length, life cycle management of the platform and its components is a must. This also requires a platform that can evolve over time, so that it can continue to accommodate existing and new smart solutions.

It’s one of life’s certainties that over the next twenty to thirty years improved technologies will become available for the various components and interfaces, and that availability, security and privacy requirements will become more stringent. Furthermore, user needs and social discussions will inevitably impose new demands on the platform. A case in point is the current debate about the inclusiveness of data and algorithms to ensure that they represent us as users, employees, citizens in all our diversity.

We can also be sure that the ‘things’ that have to be connected will evolve during the lifetime of the Central IoT Platform. After all, we live in a world in which we increasingly automate our assets until they become autonomous actors.

The architectural design we have chosen allows us to accommodate all these developments and eventually to renew individual functions, without affecting the rest of the platform. This evolution builds on our roadmap, which steers the further development of our IoT platform. This roadmap has the advantage of benefitting from strong collaboration with our customers, users and potential users of the Central IoT Platform and from the data that flows over this platform.

Paul van Koningsbruggen, Business Unit Director at Technolution
Our expert Paul van Koningsbruggen
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