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Jon Eggins

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Jon Eggins last won the day on November 23 2016

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  1. Hi Adam, Thanks for joining and commenting. It's always great to see people getting in to this space. We host year 10 students for work experience, and they are all over it. Bodes well for the future, but also a bit of a kick for more experienced guys to stay current. Re you questions. "In the short term, what would be a good place to start to learn how to get data from a Thing to a cloud?" Yes - and vice-versa. I would suggest AWS as the simplest entry to the cloud space, and then initially getting a feel for comms transport via some basic PC or mobile device app. There are many options for comms and transport. Choose one that has library support for your mobile device and AWS and use it. Better to know one REALLY well than 10 superficially. Don't forget the downlink - you'll want to be able to actuate you mobile device app from the cloud (presumably via a web GUI). You could make your own thing, or buy a thing, but a mobile device is a highly capable and transparent dev tool for things. That said, you may want to branch out to more things, say BLE-connected to your app, and then sub-squently available on the IoT. Again, at the local wireless network level, there are many options. Choose the ones that are best supported and learn them from end to end. BLE and WiFi are easy entry points. WiFi is possibly the simplest but is power hungry(er). Re Image gathering, and AR, certainly it is a hugely cool topic. It's not my particular area although we do do image recognition stuff & triggering of abstracted logic based on that. Yes the video is also more data and processing hungry. If you had a good data plan to play with you could upload to the cloud and process there if you thing was not up to the task. Check out https://artoolkit.org/. Cheers! Jon
  2. Hi Stuart, I very much enjoyed reading your post. It was great to feel your enthusiasm. A good starting point for cost-benfit is with the saving of labour costs (and its morally/ethically nice to think that roles could be upskilled to where humans can be adding value that tech can't easily add, eg pattern matching, strategic decision making etc - tech is great & more reliable than us when it comes for laborious/repetitive work). So, if you can tally staff infrastructure costs (in as much detail as you can get) from people/cars/petrol/insurance/accommodation/etc etc, plus rationalise the cost of tooling for manual measurements (and its life cycle), then it may just flow in terms of a commercial model. Do be prepared to present options, and perhaps the lowest end option would have a migration path to add on extra capability. Ie, have a base option that gets a foot in the door, so to speak. I would also suggest two perspectives, one being retro-fit to an existing plant install, and one being a "green fields" install. It may well be that in some instance that green fields will be cheaper, as the instrumentation may be easier to install during plant installation? I'm not an expert in your application domain however and so what I mention here is generic with my perceptions of reality :-). Cheers! Jon.
  3. "Perhaps we need to focus more on the M2M interactions?" Jimbo, I definitely agree. I will be posting a few more blog articles in the near future that discuss this, but it seems that the current view of IoT is not so much "Internet of Things" but "Internet of Sensors" or "Internet of Big Data". I have no doubt that there is value in gathering sensed data and doing analytics - a-la the Australian Bureau of Statistics and census. But what does this achieve other than developing medium and long term knowledge, or allowing a corporate to do a better "sell job" on you? It seems like many involved parties who should know better thing that IoT is a matter of putting sensors on everything, establishing communications for data gathering, and then mining the data. The IoT needs to contain actions - ie have actuation allowed for. (This is a big "pet" interest of mine.) And these actions are the 50% of the value of IoT in many, many productivity related applications. And productivity = value to end users and $$$ to service providers and product sellers. Yep - M2M :-).
  4. Gold!!! In all seriousness, it's true - most people really don't know or understand what IoT is meant to be. They thing its about inserting a sensor into the Internet, and then seeing what happens.
  5. Andrew, I could not agree more. I am writing down my thoughts on this progressively; you may be interested:
  6. I’ll be blunt: the hype surrounding wearables as a mainstream commodity item is overstated, even in the context of IoT. I confess that I do own a watch, a gift from my wife, but I also confess that it languishes somewhere in the “third draw down”, along with other items that are out of sight and out of mind, but not necessarily in that order. Indeed, back in the day, everyone who could afford one wore a watch. When I was going through school, calculator watches were the representation of the pinnacle of electronic accessorising. And possibly handy in the classroom, too. Fast forward a couple of decades, and the hard data nowadays shows an obvious decline in the traditional wristwatch market; one that set in at around 2005. This doesn’t correlate with the surge in uptake of smart phones, but it does correlate with de-bulking of the “classic” generation of “dumb-phones” and general thrust toward affordable miniaturisation of consumer electronics. And for myself, that was the point at which my wristwatch was jettisoned. My mobile phone was now omnipresent in my hip pocket, keeping time and life rhythms. It turned out that my wristwatch was just baggage. Here is where I cut to the chase: aside from comfortable clothing, most people hate wearing stuff on their arms, wrists, and other body parts, without some mandatory utility. It’s un-natural. Just ask any cat! There must be a good reason to over-power this pragmatism, and those that do, broadly speaking, either value fashion over discomfort (ever tried on a pair of high heels?) or have a fundamental functional need for a wearable device (for example, aged care or patient monitoring). Wearables are a niche, and only the truly dedicated, security bound, or medically duressed will subscribe to their functions and fit, long term. Apple know this. The price point of Apple’s iWatch has been chosen with this directly in mind. Starting at $500, but escalating all the way toward $20,000. It is true to say that Fitbits have been popular, but are the anything more than a fad for most owners? My assertion is that it is mostly “fad”. Segue now to gym memberships - you know, those things that people buy as guilt-easing “carb offsets”. It has been estimated that 80% of Americans with gym memberships do not attend the gym. Why would Fitbits be any different? And, with slowing population growth, and thus a finite number of human wrists, necks, ankles etc, and the general trend in bodily divestment of “things” hanging off one’s limbs, the commodity wearables market is indeed one that must suffer a greatly compressed growth. So I am personally not seeing wearables as a facilitator for IoT or M2M growth outside of the B2B sector. There is undoubtedly a great B2B niche for wearables in aged care, and disabled care, if wearables are functional and technically integrated to become more than just “another sensor”, and add genuine value to the carers workload and economies of scale. Ditto that for animals of the four-legged variety, in the context of their “carers”, a.k.a “farmers”. We, as an industry need to “get over” commodity wearables, and wearables as an enabler to IoT nirvana. Like a gym membership that never gets used, they are distracting us from the more fundamental (and lucrative) challenges of IoT and IoT platform development. Thanks for reading. Jonathan Eggins - COO - Genesys Electronics Design
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