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Enable a new generation of connected devices?

Enable a new generation of connected devices?
by Eric Esteve on 08-19-2014 at 4:08 am

Imagination Technologies has designed a complete environment to address the needs of emerging IoT and other connected devices, FlowCloud. The technology has been engineered by Imagination to optimize device to cloud connectivity for embedded applications. FlowCloud is a cloud based application independent development platform, but it’s also a set of of core services and supporting infrastructure that form a set of building blocks specifically designed to accelerate the deployment of cloud-based applications. FlowCloud provides a platform that enables rapid construction and management of machine-to-machine and man-to-machine connected services, equally suitable for the hobbyist programmer through to large corporate clients. In other words, anybody can design an IoT or cloud-connected devices using FlowCloud. But the platform is also able to handle complex services relying upon subscription, billing and payment mechanisms.

The white paper introducing to FlowCloud can be accessed here (you may have to register before downloading)

In the real world, once the concept of the innovative emerging Internet of Things (IoT) or Machine-to-Machine (M2M) cloud-connected devices has been sketched, you want to be able to prototype it, and do it fast. Imagination’s silicon partners have created several low-cost reference platforms with full support for FlowCloud. For example, the chipKIT Wi-Fire development platform from Digilent is an ideal starting point; it uses a PIC32 microcontroller (MCU) with a MIPS microAptiv CPU and boasts on-board Wi-Fi. You can exercise your application, still using FlowCloud. At the heart, there is a set of core services and supporting infrastructure that form a set of building blocks specifically designed to accelerate the deployment of cloud-based applications. State-of-the-art data centres host the FlowCloud platform and supported services, using cluster server technology and built-in redundancy to deliver high reliability and guarantee system uptime.


Let’s take a look at some real case applications.
Case 1 is a Simple home control application. PowerBox is an example application that tracks and controls the electricity consumed by an appliance, enabling running costs to be monitored by the consumer. The application also delivers remote control and scheduling of individual power sockets.

Case 2 is an example of Secure systems, Electronic Healthcare, where high integrity, security and privacy of data are primary considerations. In the example of the SensiumVitals system from Sensium Healthcare, the device itself takes the form of a medical patch worn by the patient which provides live monitoring of vital signs including respiration, heartbeat and body temperature.

Reading Imagination white paper, you will discover how FlowCloud can be used to build a complete system competing with Apple itself, with Case 3, Cloud Music Service. The service allows full subscriptions, billing and micropayment.


Major features of FlowCloud include device and user management, asynchronous messaging services, event logging, data storage facilities, secure transactions and electronic payments. From the analytics standpoint, a full suite of administration and reporting tools provide dynamic views into the data stored server-side, enabling monitoring and management of all user interactions plus the status of all devices registered to your cloud-based services. Moreover, the tools allow both aggregation and deep analysis of this data, enabling the creation of advanced intelligent services.

If you read this white paper too quickly, you may only get the cloud based “development platform” view and miss the innovative set of FlowCloud services, including registration, authentication, association, security, notifications, updates and remote control. Imagination also proposes optional plug-ins modules to accelerate development including FlowTalk (VoIP), FlowFunds (electronic payments), FlowMusic (audio subscription services) and many others.

FlowCloud has been designed like a consumer interface, a cloud based set of services allowing from hobbyist programmer through to large corporate clients to realize the rapid construction and management of machine-to-machine and man-to-machine connected services. FlowCould may allow garage start-up to quickly develop and demonstrate, not only the system, but also the business model, and exercise it in the real life…

From Eric Esteve from IPNEST

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