UNLOCKING THE EDGE

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Plug-and-play IoT edge gateway launched for industry, mining

By Schalk Burger 27 March 2018

Information technology (IT) hardware multinational DellEMC and local Internet of Things (IoT) developer IoT.nxt have launched an edge computing device, called the Raptor, which enables businesses to deploy an IoT network in their operational environments to integrate existing sensors and industrial devices into a platform that businesses can immediately use.

Speaking at the launch of the device, in Midrand, on Monday, IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn said clients were able to achieve value from Raptor deployments within about a week, adding that the Raptor can manage any sensors and connected devices, whether wireless or wired, using industry standard protocols.

“Cloud computing in Africa is often hampered by poor connectivity, intermittent connectivity or a complete lack of connectivity. However, intelligent edge gateways, such as the Raptor, can manage the sensors and components of an IoT network without the need for the cloud and, in combination with the cloud, can provide an effective way for companies to conduct analytics on their operational data, regardless of the link to the site or sensor.

“The true value for industrial IoT will come from the edge [of the network],” Steyn noted.

IoT.nxt has conducted proof of value pilot trials with clients in the agriculture, manufacturing and mining sectors.

The launch was a live demonstration of setting up a Raptor, which involved the installation of the device, which functions as a network gateway and requires only power and network connectivity; the linking of a basic water sensor; and the creation of a visualisation field for the sensor’s output.

The intelligence of the “off-the-shelf” IoT edge device, a patented IoT.nxt technology called software-defined device integration (SDDI), is that it will auto-provision itself, will identify the components and sensors linked to it, even proprietary sensors and devices, and serve as a gateway to the rest of the industrial or business network.

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