IoT News Roundup

Sierra Monitor expands suite of industrial IoT products; new Wi-Fi deadbolt from Brink's; Zebra and Atmel demonstrate sensor system for refrigeration monitoring; research predicts 35 percent CAGR on IIoT spending; Brother announces NFC-enabled printer, scanner; CDC occupational health center issues RFI on sensor systems.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jan 22, 2016

Sierra Monitor Announces Suite of IIoT Connectivity Products

Sierra Monitor, which makes Internet of Things connectivity products for the industrial-automation and process-control sector, has unveiled a suite of new products designed to enable manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment to better understand the performance of their boilers, chillers and air conditioners. The company will demonstrate the new offerings, known as the IIoT On-Ramp Suite, at the AHR (Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating) Expo, to be held in Orlando, Fla., on January 25-27, 2016. The suite includes the FieldPoP device cloud, the FieldPoP analytics integration service, the ProtoAir wireless gateway and an application engine with pre-packaged applications.

The FieldPoP device cloud is cloud-based software offered as a subscription service, and is designed to help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) register and manage their fleet of gateways and routers, manage user credentials, manage cloud-based notifications, and securely access and manage applications running on gateways and routers deployed remotely. Sierra Monitor says it will begin best testing FieldPop with select OEM customers during the second quarter of this year, with general availability expected midyear.

The FieldPoP device cloud can also be used to connect cloud-based third-party applications and analytics platforms from various companies, including Salesforce, PTC/ThingWorx, SAP, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and the Oracle Cloud. Through this integration, data-in-use gathered via Sierra Monitor's FieldPoP device cloud can be fed into visualization and analytics services from those third parties.

The ProtoAir wireless gateway is Sierra Monitor's first wireless product in its FieldServer protocol gateway and router family (the incumbent routers and gateways connect to a user's network via Ethernet). The ProtoAir wireless gateway translates native wired protocols into standard automation protocols, such as BACnet MS/TP, BACnet/IP, Modbus and LonWorks, connecting over the air to management systems or to the cloud. ProtoAir beta tests are slated to begin late in the second quarter of 2016, and Sierra Monitor expects to begin shipping the system to customers during the second half of the year.

The four distinct product offerings can be used individually or in combination with each other.

Brink's Digital Deadlock Connects via Wi-Fi

Hampton Products International, a California-based manufacturer of residential security products, introduced the Brink's Home Security Array digital deadbolt this week at the International Builders Show, in Las Vegas. The Array lock contains a Wi-Fi radio that a homeowner can connect to a home wireless network to enable wireless control via a smartphone app available for iOS or Android devices. The lock also offers two alternate forms of entry: a touchpad and a traditional metal key. The Wi-Fi radio is powered by a replacable lithium ion battery, which is recharged through an integrated solar panel made by SunCore. The company has not released a specific expected lifecycle for the battery, saying only that it should last for "mulitple years."

According to the company, the Array lock, its corresponding app and the cloud-based Array server use encryption keys to secure data sent over the air. The door lock requires two-step authentication to configure and connect to a home network.

Users will also be able to provide access remotely by creating and sending single-use codes to third parties via email, using the Array website. They can also utilize the site to remotely check whether the door is closed and locked.

The Array digital deadbolt will be compatible with the Apple HomeKit smart home platform, as well as with Nest products. Pricing has not yet been released.

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