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Panasonic and IoT: Existing technologies and beyond

Posted: 27 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Panasonic? IoT? AllSeen Alliance? open-source? IP?

Rytting: The cloud solution was originally developed by emWare (Salt Lake City, Utah). With a goal to bring the Internet to everything ranging from industrial systems to resource-limited 8bit MCU-based devices. emWare, founded in 1996, designed and developed device networking software.

The idea of the Internet of everything already existed then?

Rytting: Yes. We had that idea, although it was on a smaller scale. Panasonic began working with emWare in 2000 to leverage emWare's cloud solution technology for home management systems. Then, Panasonic acquired emWare in 2005.

The whole company? Lock, stock and barrel?

Rytting: Yes. emWare's assets, IP and a team of engineers all went to Panasonic. I was employee No. 11 at emWare.

Then what happened?

Rytting: Unlike conventional acquisitions by Japanese companies where an expat from Japan often becomes the head of an acquired company, Panasonic left emWare alone. The CTO then, who knew the strength of our software capability, asked us, "Help us understand networking software, connecting to the Internet and programmable technologies." A huge number of patents, originally from the M&A, were filed and awarded after Panasonic's acquisition.

Of all the technologies and patents you have, what will Panasonic contribute to the open-source community?

Rytting: We already made a decision to contribute 400,000 lines of code from our software library and 500 pages of protocol specifications. As to specifics we offer to AllSeen, we will work with the group, and offer our technologies that complement, and help strengthen, what they already have.

Can you give us the high-level view on Panasonic's IoT technology building blocks?

Rytting: As we all know, there is no one-size-fits-all IoT solution.

As I mentioned before, no solar panel sites, for example, use the same protocols and communications. At Panasonic, we've built an object-oriented framework and developed a gateway to bridge different system implementations, so that we can get to their databases, analyse them, and manage different solar panel farms from the cloud.

We're getting very good at bridging. We're also good at providing security down to resource-constrained small devices, which typically use less memory and less powerful processors.

Our software has strong attributes both in connectivity and authorisation. Our network software is also scalable, applicable from enterprise systems to consumer devices.

Open Distributed Object Framework Example

Asset management and monitoring applied to solar PV project

Asset management and monitoring applied to solar PV project (Source: Panasonic)

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