We’ve previously written about the central role that 3G networks will play in enabling the Internet of Everything and in helping to future-proof embedded products and solutions. And while the core benefits of mobile broadband networks for smart services remain the same (e.g., extensive coverage, low latency for real-time communications, higher levels of security, faster data rates for high-bandwidth applications, lower cost per bit, etc.), there’s a new capability emerging within this space that could have an even greater impact: application downloads.
Historically, embedded connectivity requirements have been pretty straightforward: pull data via sensors from an object and transmit the information back to a data management server by way of a wireless modem. But with many embedded products expected to have useful lives of 5 to 10 years or more, having the ability (and flexibility) to expand capabilities and take advantage of new business models/service opportunities is key to maximizing return on investment.
Enter Brew Mobile Platform (MP). Brew MP is a robust, integrated and highly scalable mobile OS offering that builds upon technology found in hundreds of millions of handsets in use today. The Brew MP team continues to optimize the platform for embedded connectivity by enhancing the ability of Brew MP-enabled devices to talk with other hardware/peripherals, as well as reducing its memory footprint and lowering device boot-up time. With Brew MP, new applications, drivers, APIs and firmware upgrades can be remotely downloaded to a connected device to greatly expand functionalities and help prolong its life in the field.
One of the first companies to integrate Brew MP into its embedded solution is SmartSynch, a smart grid technology company based in Jackson, MS. At the recent DistribuTECH conference held in San Diego, SmartSynch announced the availability of its Brew MP-based SmartMeter® platform which has enabled the company to offer the world’s first integrated, over-the-air application portfolio for the smart grid.
The system is designed to save utilities time and money by giving them greater flexibility and control over the applications they deploy in the field today while also enabling them to use the same platform to remotely download new smart grid applications as they become available.
PayGo Electric’s pre-paid electricity solution will be the first application made available on SmartSynch’s app store. The application will enable utilities to offer prepaid electric solutions to consumers who will be continuously informed of their account status and be able to pay for their electricity on a schedule which best fits their needs.
Application download capabilities won’t be limited to the enterprise segment. In many instances, consumers will be able to download applications to products such as home energy management systems, security systems and connected home products to add new features and functionalities.
By leveraging mobile broadband technologies and Brew MP, embedded solutions will remain on the leading edge of performance for years to come.