Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Advantech and EcoSteer partner on IoT gateway research

Steve Rogerson
March 11, 2015
The R&D teams at Taiwan-based Advantech and UK firm EcoSteer are working together to define the best hardware capable of supporting IoT feeder software required to develop an IoT edge gateway.
“This edge gateway will connect to any type of sensor in the field, legacy or new, wired or wireless, from any manufacturer,” EcoSteer CEO Elena Pasquali told M2M Zone.
EcoSteer is a provider of energy and environmental software and Advantech makes embedded and industrial automation products. The aim is for the gateway to present data from sensors to any third party IoT platform and cloud based applications. Other goals are for it to have a consumer price and provide intrinsic security.
“With this tool we will be addressing the main obstacles to IoT adoption – interoperability on both the T and the I sides, security and cost,” said Pasquali.
While a great many IoT platforms are emerging, their voracious data collection and management needs require a robust, industrial grade capability to reach effectively and reliably to all manner of things connected to the internet and gather the data. This partnership brings together a combination of specialist skills in monitoring large numbers of sensors, and making sense of data gathered from several sites, with the ability to deliver this type of product robustly and efficiently on an industrial scale, leveraging critical IT infrastructure and skills to support various challenging sectors including telecoms, retail and utilities.
Advantech contributes its system integration, customer-centric design and global logistics support and a rich history of delivering innovative embedded and industrial products. EcoSteer offers its knowledge and experience of dealing with the proprietary interfaces and complexity of different types of energy meters and sensors and the responsive ability to process in real time the large data streams these generate.
“We are very excited about this partnership,” said Pasquali. “EcoSteer offers a distributed software model designed to reach to all kinds of devices and sensors and scale to deliver responsive monitoring based on huge numbers of connected devices. With its industry knowledge and technology innovation, together with global delivery capabilities, Advantech is the ideal partner to crystallise the edge capabilities inherent in the EcoSteer platform into an industrial hardware solution.”
One area of immediate interest is to deliver the connectivity benefits of the IoT to small and remote sites, where cost, space and power are at a premium and systems have to be left unattended. This requires a combination of flexible enterprise level software functionality and robust industrial strength hardware.
“Commercial solutions based on the internet of things demand a diverse mix of skills and talents.” said Miller Chang, vice president of Advantech’s embedded computing group. “We at Advantech are passionate about our brand mission of enabling an intelligent planet and in accomplishing this we closely co-operate with partners in order to provide complete solutions. EcoSteer has interesting and unique capabilities in the field of intelligent data collection that are well-suited to many IoT applications and will add significant value to support the Advantech brand mission.”