Mentoring And Mashups for IoT

Part of the iHive Incubator Posts Category.

This is my sixth article in three months for iHive/CyberTech/CyberHive. Darin Andersen, Founder and Chairman, gave me an opportunity to spread my “syndicated wings” for his organizations. I’ve enjoyed finding topics to write about here concerning the Internet of Things (IoT).


I’m a huge believer in Mentoring and the Pay It Forward concept. My life is enhanced by all that mentored me and those I’ve mentored. One my friends, Peter Yared, Founder and CTO of Sapho, has a broad vision of the Internet, users, and how to build successful companies. He’s also very supportive of those two concepts mentioned above.

Peter’s work history and patents speaks highly for his accomplishments. In fact, Peter’s patents are listed in his LinkedIn page and has direct applicability to IoT.

Peter hired my software partnership, Newbound, Inc.,  over the past nearly four years to work on two specific projects in which my software partner, Marc Raiser, wrote a great amount of code: Postano and Sapho.

Peter’s projects helped Newbound finance our own internal software development during that time. We at Newbound are hard at work these past two and-a-half years working on our own IoT software, the Newbound Network, part of the Newbound Software Library (NSL).

Networking with mentors like Peter is a huge plus for small companies. It’s one of the important ingredients of building a successful business in IoT.

Three Topic Mashup

So as the Labor Day Holiday approaches here in the United States, I found three topics to mash together this time around. I hope it is pleasing to my readers. 🙂

First topic up is a prediction from this article, The 3 ways the Internet of things will unfold (by Galen Gruman):

    • Machine-to-machine is simply about efficiency, not fundamental new opportunity, utilizing:
      • ODBC User Agent adoption
      • Hadoop and similar mass-scale data processing technologies
      • The ubiquity of the HTML5 Web standard in client devices

“None of these is a revolution, but they come together now to enable the scale and speed not possible a decade ago in the M2M/SOA worlds, when everything was essentially custom, nonstandard, and heavyweight,” Anger notes.

That by itself is only one of the drivers. Here’s another referenced by Galen:

    • The notion of smart systems will gain traction, with Bluetooth peripherals as the first step, because of:
      • Bluetooth connectivity
      • Smart systems that communicate with each other at device level
      • Federated connections, bridging the gaps that exist today.

Apparently from my reading and in my opinion, the third diversion in Galen’s vision is akin to the old American Wild West:

    • The ad hoc Internet of things is well under way
      • New collections of ecosystems
      • Major players are vying for ways to “lock-in” customers

It’s an exciting time to determine which direction to venture. There will be many success stories and likely more failures along the way.

The second topic concerns Hadoop. I discovered this summer article by, Stephen Lawson, whom wrote, Hadoop analysis now tackling IoT to improve transit. Stephen focuses on the Big Data analysis for large city Transit Systems.

From Stephen’s article I learned that a transit system can be improved by a variety of learned perspectives based upon the huge volume of small discrete pieces of data. I quote from the article:

“Transit is a classic example of the kind of business that may be transformed by IoT. It has a lot of moving parts, serves constantly changing rider needs and faces demands for efficiency. Transit also is built around specialized infrastructure that stays in place for years or even decades, something it holds in common with power transmission, logistics and other IoT hotspots.

There’s a lot of useful data generated in a transit system’s day, Rosado said. Buses may check in with a GPS location every 30 seconds, sensors on doors can count how many riders get on and off, and payment systems know about ticket purchases and validations.

“They do absolutely collect this data, and they use it within the constraints of the system that was designed to report on it, but where the weakness exists is in integrating those data sources to paint a more complete picture of what’s actually happening,” Rosado said.”

If you’ve ever been stranded at a bus stop in winter weather, you would appreciate any effort that would help keep transit vehicles on-time with their schedules. Riders can already use their mobile devices in many metropolitan regions to see what the status is of a particular route of the service. Hadoop derived data on the other end may make that mobile information more timely.

[ Note ]: I wrote book review on Hadoop back in March 2011, O’Reilly Book Review: Hadoop: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition. Take a look at that link if you’re interested in my comments about that reference.

Lastly for this post, I am very interested in small computers for less than $100-$150. I possess two Raspberry Pi (Rpi) computers for Newbound projects. The Rpi run Linux and are great tools for exploring IoT.

I found this Infoworld article, Move over, Raspberry Pi: 7 single-board computers for geeks, written by Paul Krill. Paul describes other small and inexpensive computers in competition with Raspberry Pi.

Depending on your performance needs, these alternatives are easy to use and can help developers test out software/hardware solutions at low cost.

For instance, at the Newbound Michigan office, my software partner built a Web Enabled Powerstrip (shown below)that uses a Rpi, hardware from Phidgets, incorporated into that Powerstrip device created by our MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer. My software partner, Marc engineered the entire design and made it along with his other creations posted on the Thingiverse website.


So to wrap up, the field of IoT is growing and each day new technologies are either created or leveraged to deliver new products and services. The cost of development is going down and the global market enlarges. Jump in the water is fine!

Get involved as Newbound is as a mentor and Pay It Forward proponent. Attend Meetups related to IoT. If you live near San Diego, California be aware that region is a focal point for technology development and mentoring. Take a look at my June 17th post, iHive Launch and San Diego Startup Week, for validation of that effort.

Thank you for your time in reading what I write.


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About Don Larson

Using computer technology since June 1980.
This entry was posted in Education, Hadoop, iHive Incubator Posts, Internet of Things, Newbound Network, Newbound, Inc., Raspberry Pi, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.