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What is an IoT testbed and how do I benefit?

Businesses are increasingly relying on hardware to provide the real-time data that is used for decision making. We offer development from idea to working prototype, UI and service design to realise even a vague idea into a digital PoC, running on our testbed IoT platform. Beyond our technical expertise, we are an active coach on your journey to building a new business venture.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a thing for a while now. Everything is becoming smart and automated. Businesses are increasingly relying on hardware to provide the real-time data that is used for decision making. In greenhouse farming, for example, humidity and temperature sensors are used to autonomously regulate both watering and ventilation. Hardware and software work together to provide the optimal outcome.

In an upcoming blog post we will explain how we are building a ultra-wideband (UWB) system to track movement indoors. This system is designed to track people as well as objects ranging from small packages to massive trucks. As with all things IoT, this works by using hardware to collect and transmit data over a network. We will start the first pilot cases at the end of the year, running our own hardware and algorithms. 

In this post we will dive into what it takes to come up with a case like the one above and turn it into an IoT project. You will gain some insight into how Veracell helps companies (yours?) connect their physical and digital worlds in the most sensible way (Read: the most profitable, cost-saving, or potentially even life-saving way). 

Step 1: Find the right use case

With IoT, the possibilities are truly endless so finding a use case is easy, finding the right use case may prove to be a lot trickier.

The main ingredients for success here are technical audits and service design. And these two fields really work hand-in-hand, where the existing technology guides service design and vice-versa.

We typically start with a technical audit to map out the digital infrastructure; which data does your company store, where does it come from and how is it processed? This way we can identify easy wins that do not require complex and time-consuming infrastructure investments.

Once a winning use case is selected, new infrastructure is planned and service design enters the picture. In other words, how can we together ensure that the use case matches your business strategy? And how do we then make the most of your resources and provide the best possible user experience to both employees and customers? This experience is especially important to drive adaptation of a unique solution, as often is the case with IoT.

The designs are also turned into (semi-)functional UI or service prototypes before any development work starts. We use prototypes to show how the service works and to ensure that everyone is on the same page before moving forward.

Step 2: Turn the use case into a proof of concept

So now you have a business case, a prototype, and a clear plan of how everything should look and work. Then what? 

Then it is time to create something tangible.We take the use case and plans to create a proof of concept (PoC). To do this in the most resource efficient way, Veracell offers an IoT platform as a testbed for piloting new ideas quickly and cost-effectively. Through concepts such as a shared component library we can rapidly prototype and test new business cases.

Step 2 really turns the plans into something that everyone can use, experience, and interact with.This, in turn, gives everyone involved the ability to give in-depth feedback that can be used to iterate and change plans before any strong commitments and investments are made. The main goal here is to find and validate the most important questions regarding business case, data quality, and user experience.

For the tech curious, we work with technologies such as TensorFlow, Keras, Spark, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Docker, and Kubernetes. And we are absolute polyglots when it comes to programming languages. We typically program in any combination of JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, React, Scala, and R. 

Step 3: Go from PoC to pilot and beyond

The next step is to take the PoC and turn it into a fully functional pilot in a cost-effective way and in a relatively short time frame. At this point everyone can congratulate each other for entering the future: you are now working with IoT technology.

A pilot differs from the PoC in that it is rolled out in the wild and will involve people who were not part of the creation process for some good and honest feedback. These learnings are essential to bridge the gap between theory and practice. 

Finally, when a pilot has been proven to work as intended, we also offer the total package to turn your pilot into a full scale production implementation. And who would be better to turn your IoT case into a business success than the guys and girls who helped you think it all up?

What Veracell has to offer

While this may not come as a surprise to the attentive reader, Veracell helps companies with all of the above. What this means in practice is that we offer development from idea to working prototype, UI and service design to realise even a vague idea into a digital PoC.

We work with startups as well as large corporations. We have helped scale product development from a few developers to a full product development team and helped businesses grow their revenue from zero to millions.

To help us achieve these results, we have 20+ hardware and software designers and developers working on different kinds of consulting projects as well as internal R&D. Additionally, we find the right people to solve business problems. The type of people who genuinely want to help others grow and succeed. Beyond our technical expertise, we are an active mentor/coach on each journey to building a new business venture. 

Designing and developing IoT solutions for the past 10 years

We have helped think up a lot of ideas in the past 10 years. In manufacturing we have helped companies set up continuous quality monitoring and predictive maintenance based on statistical process control, six sigma, and fault predictions. 

We have significant experience in healthcare, where we have worked on wearables for activity and daily rhythm tracking and the fall recognition case that is referred to earlier in this post.

Then there is sensor fusion and computer vision for autonomous maritime navigation and low energy, low cost, high fidelity UWB solutions for indoor location tracking. And the list goes on and on.

But truth be told, we would love to get in touch with you and make the list even longer. Because even after 10 years, IoT continues to be the forefront of innovation. It is the ultimate blend of what’s real and what’s digital -- and we love being part of that.

Do you want to find out how to harness data to grow your business? If so, we would love to have a chat.