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December 2, 2014

Google, Wireless Partner Look to Merge Cloud, IoT

Google Cloud Platform and Telit Wireless Solutions, an “enabler of the Internet of Things,” are joining forces to sponsor an IoT competition aimed at encouraging technology innovation around connected consumers and their devices.

The IoT Big Data Challenge will encourage developers to submit new applications in business, consumer and “social well-being” categories. That third category includes new applications that would benefit society.

The competition requires contestants to create web-based and mobile apps based on data from a wide variety of networked sensors and devices. Telit said the apps would be delivered to the Google cloud via its m2mAir Cloud “application enablement platform.” (The designation “m2m” refers to machine-to-machine communications.)

Submissions will be judged based on four criteria: innovation factor, or “Why didn’t we think of that?”; potential commercial impact and scalability; best use of Google and Telit developer resources; and “look and feel,” or “entertainment value.”

The Internet of Things consisting of networks of connected sensors and devices is expected to contribute to an estimated 50-fold increase in data volume by 2020. Much of new data will be unstructured.

Other cloud providers are also looking to expand big data orchestration services on their platforms. In October, for example,

Microsoft added IoT streaming analytics, data production and workflow services to its Azure cloud platform. Microsoft said in a blog post its Stream Analytics tool “is a real-time event processing engine that helps uncover insights from devices, sensors, infrastructure, applications and data.”

The Azure-based big data tool is intended to allow vendors describe their desired analytic function in an SQL-based query syntax, then the system handles distribution for scale and performance, Microsoft said.

Google and Telit said their collaboration is aimed at “harmonizing the worlds of connected devices and cloud computing in a simple, seamless fashion” to unlock the potential of the IoT.

For its part, Google has been steadily investing in companies and technologies focused on connected devices ranging from Nest home control units to driverless cars. Karol Ussher, a technology partner manager with Google Cloud Platform, added that customers have already begun rolling out IoT applications using sensor, social, internal and third party data.

An IoT “hackathon” sponsored by Google Cloud Platform was scheduled this week to kick off the competition. Submissions are due by Jan. 9, 2015. Winners for the Americas and Asian regions will be announced at the deviceWISE Global Summit in Miami on Jan. 27, 2015. Winners in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region will be announced on Feb. 3, 2015, during a Google IoT hackathon in London.

A dozen prizes will be awarded, including six winners who will receive $1,500 in Google Cloud Platform credits and six runners-up who will each get $750 in cloud credits.

Google said it would give each contestant $500 in cloud platform credits to launch application development.

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