Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Toshiba plans development platforms to tackle IoT healthcare applications

Steve Rogerson
November 3, 2015
Toshiba is bringing out a series of development platforms to tackle IoT applications from healthcare to logistics using its applications processors.
The first development platform will tackle wearables for healthcare applications using the Japanese company’s App Lite TZ1000 applications processor, Armin Derpmanns, general manager of the Japanese company’s European division, told journalists in Munich last week.
“The importance for us is covering all the future requirements of the IoT,” he said. “We know the market is going to be huge.”
The healthcare development platform is aimed at elderly and assisted living applications, where data can be uploaded from wearable devices to check on motion, heart rate, muscle use, and eye and brain activity. This, said Derpmanns, means the platforms has to support different levels of functionality and data rates.
“The data rates you have to support can be very different,” he said. “A heat rate monitor, for example, is low data rate but very sensitive to power consumption. We have a lot of modularity to fit what the customer wants to do. There are different versions of the processor to suit the application.”
The development platforms will come with set-up algorithms that can be used with the hardware.
“We are going to produce different implementations for the different applications,” he said. “There will be different reference modules. Depending on what they want to do, we will supply them with a set-up for that platform.”
For example, the processor can also be used for cargo tracking, and this is likely to be the next development platform where sensors can collect data while in transit, even in flight, and upload the data to the cloud.
“When you are shipping valuable goods, you want to monitor them,” said Derpmanns. “You are looking for damage from shocks, humidity and temperature. We are bringing out reference modules to support this. It can also be used for logistics in a factory for, say, detecting carbon dioxide.”
Smart homes is another application area for recording data so power consumption can be reduced while keeping living conditions comfortable. And they can be used in drones for security and other applications.
A graphics library to go with the development platforms is planned for next year. As to the other development platforms, he said: “There is a roadmap under development for the logistics and industrial versions, but it is too early to say what this is.”