Around two years ago a group of us within Camgian began discussing ideas for our next product. With a wealth of experience in building advanced sensor systems and technologies gathered around an engineering white board, we began itemizing a list of capability gaps and issues that existed in the M2M and burgeoning IoT sectors. These issues included key items related to the costly development and integration for new sensor based M2M/IoT solutions, the inability of systems to work off the power grid (where most of the physical world exists) and the high long-term cost of ownership driven by wireless communications.
With these initial problems in-mind, our engineering team began architecting one of the first edge computing platforms for the IoT market in early 2013. Specifically, it was our vision to redefine the relationship between IoT and cloud computing, where real-time processing and analytics were executed at the source of the data (i.e. on-site) with the cloud supporting higher level tasks such as device management, information storage, big-data analytics, visualization and reporting. Today, those efforts have translated into the forthcoming launch of Egburt (Germanic term for “bright edge”), a complete end-to-end IoT platform comprising hardware, software, networking and communications powered from the network’s edge. Through its current pilot and demonstration activities, Egburt is delivering on the early vision of its concept design and in my opinion is poised to pioneer a revolutionary new technical approach in the IoT market.
Recently, I participated in a panel session titled “At the Edge: Devices at Work” at the 2014 M2M Evolution Conference in Las Vegas. One of the key take-aways from that discussion was the panel’s view that edge computing will drive the future of IoT through its ability to improve network performance, lower cost of ownership and increase system reliability. Moreover, IBM’s Paul Brody in his recent Venture Beat article The Internet of Things will cost companies more than they’re ready for said it best, “There is a solution at hand to the mismatch of management costs and revenue expectations for the Internet of Things: distributed, edge-based cloud computing”. I couldn’t agree more! 61 days and counting until our vision for edge computing becomes a reality.