The Internet of Things is here to stay. More and more devices communicate with each other or with their user. The purpose is to provide added value and extra comfort to our daily life. Our customer In the Pocket built his own beacons platform called Harald. Their platform at Brussels airport did not go by unnoticed for Z-ICT, the IT TV show broadcast on KanaalZ.
Z-ICT Report episode 3 on KanaalZ
What are beacons?
Beacons are very small battery-, Bluetooth-driven devices which you can hang from the wall. They emit a signal, a Bluetooth signal that can be picked up by all modern equipment, smartphones, you name it. When it is picked up by a telephone, an app can be woken up and certain interactions can actually be triggered in the background which may be important at certain locations.
Harald actually consists of three important components: software, hardware and professional services. The software consists of an SDK which can be used in the apps and a CMS to manage interactions and campaigns. For the hardware In The Pocket has a team that goes on the road to implement installations and actually monitor the project. And the last bit, the professional services, is about helping companies set up their strategy to start using beacons.
Reliable hosting required for beacons and the Internet of Things
Such scalability should be covered with cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is designed to switch quickly in any direction. Therefore, it is important to provide a system within the cloud solution which automatically measures when certain resources are in higher demand and which can add capacity accordingly. Feel free to call it (auto)scaling in the cloud.
Besides, hosting solutions for these platforms are a complicated matter. They require good agreements between the hosting provider and the developer of the applications.
For these things you must consider redundancy and high availability matters. You have to make sure to avoid every single point of failure in your hardware platform and then ensure a system where everything is at least available in twofold. Therefore, it is important to help our customers design their applications. We call it “Design for failure”. They have to learn to accept the fact that they need to provide everything in twofold, i.e. when one system fails, a database for example, their application must be able to switch to another system.