Image: bakhtiarzein/Adobe Stock In today’s vastly digital world, industrial organizations rely on many different types of operational technology to carry out their business actions. Through IoT asset integration, businesses are Continue Reading
In today’s vastly digital world, industrial organizations rely on many different types of operational technology to carry out their business actions. Through IoT asset integration, businesses are taking advantage of the data gained through their digital processes to support their industrial operations.
SEE: Hiring Kit: IoT developer (TechRepublic Premium)
Industrial IoT solutions make this data utilization possible by linking devices, assets and procedures to grant complete visibility across each area of an organization. This innovative IoT data utilization enables organizations to take their business activity further by leveraging their asset data and developing advanced IoT solutions for business optimization.
Best industrial IoT solutions
AWS IoT Core
Best for automotive use
AWS IoT Core is a software service that supports safe IoT connections between devices and AWS services. It also enables users to secure device connections, interactions and data use. With AWS IoT Core, users do not need to handle the responsibility of managing or provisioning servers, as the service does this for them.
The solution provides security through mutual authentication and end-to-end encryption. It supports SigV4 authentication, X.509 certificate-based authentication and customer-created token-based authentication. The Device Gateway feature is the entry point for IoT devices connecting to AWS, which manages active device communications and implements semantics for multiple protocols, including WebSockets, HTTP 1.1 and MQTT.
AWS IoT Core also comes with machine learning capabilities and automation features. It is great for automotive industry purposes, as developers can create solutions using automotive data to generate electric vehicle applications. Furthermore, users can design application products to monitor traffic and track environments, providing safety features for autonomous cars and vehicular automation.
It integrates with Alexa Voice Service, a built-in virtual device that processes audio data to communicate with Alexa Built-in devices. The product integrates with other AWS services that users can leverage to build IoT applications, and developers can write their SDK or use an open-source alternative. The solution comes with the AWS IoT Device SDK that supports connection protocols with AWS IoT Core, including MQTT, HTTP or WebSockets for integration with other tools.
AWS IoT Core is priced with a pay-per-use model, with separate billing for the components used, including Connectivity, Messaging, Device Shadow usage, Registry usage and Rules Engine usage. It also has an AWS Free Tier available to AWS IoT Core customers for 12 months from the date they create their AWS account. Once the free usage expires or if the application use exceeds the free usage tiers, the user must pay the AWS IoT Core pricing rates.
Most customer reviews online express satisfaction with the AWS IoT Core and users especially enjoy the data transmission and cloud server capabilities. It is considered an easy-to-use IoT connection service.
Microsoft Azure IoT
Best edge-to-cloud solution
The Azure IoT platform is an open edge-to-cloud solution that helps users connect and manage their IoT assets. This product allows users to build cloud solutions and access data in real-time via the platform’s edge-to-cloud technologies.
Thanks to this system, users can manipulate, monitor, automate and connect their IoT devices and assets. As a managed application platform, it allows users to gain data analytics to develop actionable insights regarding their IoT applications and business decisions.
Microsoft’s Azure IoT product has several unique features and capabilities to help users develop custom IoT solutions for their business needs. For example, the Azure IoT Hub allows for communication between users’ IoT applications and managed devices, and the Azure Digital Twins feature provides insights for users to optimize their business actions and improve their customer experiences.
The solution can connect virtually any device, as the Azure IoT Hub feature provides a cloud-hosted solution back end. Pricing for this solution can range depending on the services that users choose to utilize within their customizable solution architecture. The ability for users to choose between services within their IoT platform solution makes it a highly scalable option.
The Azure IoT solution was rated favorably by users online. Many reviewers expressed appreciation for the solution’s wide variety of service offerings. Additionally, the product was praised for its IoT platform customization capabilities and monitoring, analytics and insight features.
Best for customization
Particle offers an integrated IoT platform that lets users customize their solutions to suit their needs. The product combines software and hardware to provide users with a stable operating system and the ability to create and manage applications. Rather than build an IoT themselves, users can enjoy the flexibility and customization of Particle with the dependability of an off-the-shelf solution.
The solution’s hardened, stable operating system supports connectivity for connected products through its data pipeline. The scalable pipeline and device management interface allow users to connect to the Particle cloud. Another simple option for users is to leverage Particle’s pre-provisioned devices for their connected products.
Noteworthy features provided through the Particle IoT solution include pre-integrated over-the-air firmware updates so users can process OTA updates without requiring any setup. The software also delivers integrated connectivity diagnostics, so users can monitor and gain visibility into their devices and infrastructure.
The integrated IoT Platform as a Service provides everything developers need in one place so even non-experts can leverage the solution. Users can also choose to utilize one of Particle’s pre-integrated devices, which are pre-certified with FCC, CE, IC, & GCF, PTCRB and Giteki certifications. In addition, Particle IoT works with open APIs, as DeviceOS is open source and built on FreeRTOS.
Particle offers a free plan for their service with support for up to 100 devices, a complete IoT toolkit, cellular service and a sandbox environment with 100K data operations per month.
Their Growth plan is priced at $299/month per service block, which is ideal for growing organizations. Their Enterprise plan lets users scale their operations with white-glove support and predictable billing, and interested readers can contact their sales department for more pricing information.
Customer reviews were pleased with this product, as most reviews averaged around 4.5/5 stars. In addition, reviewers enjoyed the product’s testing services and identified the solution as a good IoT product for beginners.
IBM Watson IoT Platform
Best for data storage
IBM Watson IoT Platform is a cloud-hosting service that provides IoT device set-up and management, data management, connectivity and security for its users. The fully-managed service enables users to perform device actions to maintain their firmware, conduct bulk device addition and removal, and access device metadata and diagnostics.
The solution supports scalable connectivity and real-time data exchange to and from devices with industry-standard MQTT protocol. In addition, the MQTT with TLS protocol enables users to retrieve data and communicate with devices. Other security features include anomaly detection in devices through use patterns.
IBM Watson IoT Platform supports data management throughout the data’s lifecycle. Users can access data from their devices in real time and store it for their chosen period. Keeping data can allow users to benefit from access to historical and real-time data, providing more visibility into their devices and more accurate analytical insights.
Users can connect their apps to their device data using APIs and send the data to the cloud. IBM Watson IoT Platform provides various ways for users to connect their devices, including their partner program for IoT and verified instructions for connecting sensors, devices and gateways. Through IBM’s solutions for connecting and managing devices, users can gain real-time analysis of their data.
Pricing for IBM Watson IoT Platform can be found by contacting the software provider. The solution received average ratings of 4 to 4.5 stars and many reviews identify it as a flexible and reliable platform for IoT devices and data management. This product provides fewer capabilities than some competitors but could be considered a nice simplistic option.
Best for security
Oracle IoT Cloud Service enables users to assimilate IoT into their digital strategies and develop beneficial solutions through IoT connections. This way, users can manage and reach insights from their IoT-connected devices in real time.
The solution lets users form data-driven decisions through real-time analysis tools that can process incoming data streams. This is made possible by the Oracle IoT solution’s bidirectional communication between the cloud and the users’ IoT devices.
Users can feel safe about their IoT data use, as the platform secures communications between devices and the cloud. It assigns unique digital identities to IoT devices to form trust relationships between assets, and it enforces authentication and authorization for secure end-to-end communication. Users can also directly address devices connected to the cloud with the system’s cross-protocol functionality.
The Oracle IoT service lets users connect their assets through built-in integrations, or they can integrate their connected devices with their enterprise applications through REST APIs. Users can connect devices directly to the cloud or indirectly through a gateway.
The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is priced based on the services utilized and users are charged with a pay-as-you-go plan for the resources they consume. The Oracle IoT Cloud was highly rated by users, receiving 4 and 5-star scores while many reviews expressed appreciation for the system’s scalability and multi-layered security features.
Best for IoT prototyping and visualization
ThingSpeak lets users take their IoT analytics to the next level through its visualization and analysis capabilities. The platform service can generate instant visualizations of live data for users so that they can understand and monitor their IoT assets and data operations.
With this solution, users can control the privacy of their data by choosing to collect data in private channels or to share it with public channels. Users create these channels for data gathered from their apps or devices to be stored for easy access. They can then control the channel’s privacy by configuring the settings and can even subscribe to receive messages when a channel updates.
ThingSpeak works with MATLAB analysis and visualization apps to provide users with views of their channel data. The MATLAB analysis app can enable users to prepare, process and analyze their data. The apps offer template codes to users that help them manipulate their data, perform live or historic data operations, and explore relationships between data. Users can also visualize the statistical distribution of data through plots, charts and gauges.
With data collection in the cloud and data analysis using MATLAB, ThinkSpeak lets users act on their data. It supports device communication for reacting to data and queuing up commands as the user directs, like scheduled calculations to occur at certain times or triggered actions.
ThingSpeak is priced based on how many channels a user requires and the count of messages to be processed and stored. Fortunately, the vendor website helps potential buyers determine the cost of their ideal products with their online pricing calculator. In addition, reviewers online enjoyed the solution for its easily-accessible data storage and fast prototype functionality.
Best for asset management
The OpenRemote Open Source IoT platform helps users connect their devices, design new applications and manage their data all in one solution. Users can combine their data sources by supporting valuable device connections to reach new insights. The asset and data management solution also helps users to design, create and manage their customized IoT applications.
The OpenRemote Protocol agents enable users to connect their devices and data sources through generic HTTP, MQTT and specific protocols like KNX. Alternatively, users can form connections automatically through the solution’s auto device provisioning feature. All connected devices and solutions are translated into an asset and attribute model to provide visibility into users’ application integrations.
OpenRemote’s Manager interface makes it possible for developers and non-tech-savvy users to leverage data and configure automation rules. The automation actions let users transform their data and trigger actions. In addition, the Manager interface can be customized and used to connect and manage users’ assets. Users can also develop their own applications to communicate with the Manager API.
A nice aspect of the platform is its asset management capabilities, as the solution lets users keep track of their devices, gateways and data sources. Users can also customize these assets with relevant properties and characteristics. The data visualization page even allows users to monitor the KPIs they set for their projects. Other helpful asset management features include asset location tracking and a health status provider, so users can monitor their assets.
Connections between assets and the OpenRemote platform are supported by Manager MQTT, HTTP and Websocket APIs. All asset communication and data storage is secured whether hosted on-premises or in the cloud. Those interested in this product can access pricing details by contacting the OpenRemote sales team.
Best for beginners
Akenza.io is a low-code IoT platform that simplifies IoT actions and device management for its users. The IoT stack provides direct connections to asset analytics and additional low-code features and capabilities, so users can customize their IoT assets and data activity.
This solution helps users manage their connectivity efficiently and on their terms. The device connectors support different protocols and technologies, enabling users to manage their connectivity through various input sources. Users can choose a device connector or connectivity provider to manage a scalable connectivity portfolio and connect their IoT data to cloud analytics or ERP systems.
The solution can perform various device management tasks, like letting users set asset tags and generate custom fields. Users can also use bulk actions to perform multiple asset management tasks simultaneously and support scaling. In addition, the platform can produce device lifecycle notifications, so users are always aware of their device status.
With the Rule Engine feature, users can set up triggered actions to process their IoT data based on business logic, event occurrences, schedules or custom logic. They can also use a generic data processing flow as a no-code method to create a data path.
Users can leverage pre-integrated devices or build custom device types that suit their data use needs. The product can also support connections between IoT data and existing EPR systems or analytics environments. IoT data can be utilized in virtually any system using Akenza’s output connectors, as the platform has HTTP, MQTT, COAP device-to-cloud protocols and LPWAN connectivity technologies.
Akenza.io can be accessed with a 30-day free trial. After this, buyers are charged through a usage-based pricing model. The cloud-based IoT application enablement platform is advertised for organizations of all sizes. However, its low-code accessibility makes it a suitable option for buyers seeking an easy-to-use solution.