IoT News Roundup

By Mary Catherine O'Connor

Samsung launches ARTIK to speed IoT development; Globalstar releases new tracking device for remote assets; Brightstar teams with Kii on mobile device services.


Samsung Casts ARTIK as One-Stop-Shop for IoT Developers
Samsung this week released a family of software, hardware and services designed to accelerate the development and deployment of Internet of Things products and applications. Called ARTIK, it is an open platform that Samsung hopes programmers and product and solution developers will use to bootstrap new IoT products.

ARTIK offers three IoT modules. ARTIK 1 is a 12-millimeter-wide square chip, with Bluetooth connectivity, 1MB of memory, and a nine-axis accelerometer. It is designed for low-power applications that can run for up to three weeks of usage between charges, Samsung claims. The ARTIK 5, roughly twice the width, has 512 MB of memory and also supports connectivity over the Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Thread protocols as well as video capability. With a bit larger footprint, the ARTIK 10 has the same capabilities as the ARTIK 5, but with 2GB memory.

Each chip contains an embedded security element. The application software also supports what Samsung calls an anomaly-detection system that looks for abnormal or unusual use patterns and triggers alerts for possible hacking or other security-intrusion activity.

The platform includes a software stack with code for basic software libraries designed to help developers move directly to creating an application framework for their products.

ARTIK also provides users a way to perform computations at the device level—as opposed to other IoT application platforms that make devices addressable only through cloud servers, says Samsung.

The chips are compatible with Arduino, an open-source hardware and software platform used widely by developers that create sensor-based IoT devices for personal or professional use. Samsung-owned smart home product company SmartThings and Temboo, a cloud-based IoT middleware company, are already using ARTIK, according to Samsung.

Samsung has also introduced the Makers Against Drought contest, with a prize of more than $210,000 to incentivize developers to create IoT-based technologies designed to help users save water, specifically in drought-stricken California.

Globalstar Unveils New Asset Tag
Globalstar a satellite messaging and emergency notification technology provider, has launched its latest asset-tracking device, the SmartOne C, designed to help businesses manage fixed or portable assets, such as cargo containers, large machinery or vehicles. The SmartOne C includes an accelerometer to alert users when assets move at an unexpected time, which could indicate theft. The device, which transmits data via Globalstar’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) simplex satellite data network, in near-real time, is very compact (2.7 inches high by 3.25 inches wide and 1 inch deep) and can operate 1.5 years on four AAA 1.5V lithium batteries.

Alternatively, it can be connected to line power, which lets the user increase the device’s rate of status reporting without worrying about battery life. Should line power be disrupted, the SmartOne C (like its predecessor, the SmartOne B) automatically switches to battery back-up mode, so that reporting continues.

Customers can configure the SmartOne C’s settings and management by using a software application from Globalstar’s network of Value Added Resellers. These applications provide remote access to asset data, and transmit alerts, based on the device settings, to users via customized application
programming interfaces (APIs), email or text.

Brightstar and Kii Create IoT Services Ecosystem
Brightstar, a company that distributes wireless devices and manages wireless services and solutions such as device protection, replacement, trade-in and financing, is partnering with < Kii, a mobile and IoT platform provider, to help end users reach new customers for cellular-based IoT devices around the world.

The joint service, called Space: The Infinity of Things, is open to manufacturers, developers, retailers and mobile operators. It provides a means for manufacturers to access new mobile device markets by leveraging Brightstar’s distribution network. Developers can use Kii’s backend IoT platform to create applications and services for IoT devices for a wide range of cellular devices and operating systems. Mobile operators can, through the Brightstar-Kii ecosystem, work with retailers to jointly source IoT products. The system is designed to help users bring their products to market more quickly and open new business opportunities.