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Can relayr bring IoT to the data centre?

This article was originally published on Technology.Info.
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Despite venture capital funding rush and ample column inches dedicated to the subject,in many other ways, the Internet of Things is a long time coming. For data centre engineers who can visualise the the many possible applications of IoT inside the data centre, the wait could be over. Self-service app development on top of pre-configured connection options is how


believes we will deliver the promise of possibilities, and its


ispositioned for those who cannot wait for suppliers to catch-up.

App-building made simple

The WunderBar is designed to allow easy building of innovative and apps that connect smart devices together. It provides a platform that will connect different sensors with different smart devices.

The idea for the WunderBar arose from co-founder Jackson Bond’s family situation, and the need for his grandmother to move into a care home. From that came conversations about the needs of older people for care and support. It is, it seems, almost possible to maintain your independence at home with the support of smart sensors, wearables and the like. But there’s still nothing that brings the information from all the sensors together, and enables someone to manage their life. No platform. That’s the gap that the WunderBar fills.

Simple in concept, and mind-blowing in terms of its potential, the WunderBar has six Beacons (BLE), sensors, and Wifi. The sensors include light, colour, distance, temperature, humidity, remote control (infra-red), accelerometer, gyroscope, a sound/noise sensor voted for by the public and a Grove connector. This last allows it to connect with all the sensors in the Grove system. The WunderBar connects all these sensors together, and to other smart devices, via the relayr OpenSensor Cloud, allowing a joined-up approach to app development and the IoT.

The WunderBar is also, and possibly most importantly, easy to program. If you doubt this, relayr has run its own

team hackathon

to test it out. It is happy to report that even the least technically-minded in the team were quickly able to get to grips with the system and what it offered. From a device to protect your property from being stolen, through a gas and alcohol detector, to a proximity-tracking system usable for children, dogs or luggage, as well as a robotic spider, the team’s ingenuity in terms of ideas was impressive. But it’s almost equally impressive that they delivered too, demonstrating the ease of use of their product.

Secure and open

The WunderBar is also secure. You can input your local Wifi credentials and create a secure connection between the WunderBar sensor modules and the relayr OpenSensor Cloud. You can use secure SSL

connection to the cloud

, encrypting the data using the ‘Secure-It’ option. Although relayr admits that building security into low energy devices over domestic networks is a challenge, it’s doing its best to rise to it.

relayr is also committed to keeping the IoT open and accessible, by releasing its SDKs and API implementations as Open Source projects. It also plans to open source its hardware as much as possible too.

Crowd-funded confidence in an experienced team

Team credentials explain its positioning. relayr CEO and founder, Harald Zapp, has over 25 years’ experience in IT, and was recently an executive at

Cisco Systems Europe

. Co-founder, and Chief Product Officer Jackson Bond has plenty of experience in start-ups, having founded and sold a Speech Recognition Apps company. He is also co-founder of MONOQI. The CTO, Cedric Deniau, has built global-scale transactional platforms for Jesta Digital and eMusic, and Chief Engineer Paul Hopton has experience of building ambitious, secure, high-transaction cloud platforms, for Bosch and Number4. There’s a lot of expertise, and a lot of experience there, both technical and commercial.

It’s an impressive team, and it certainly seems to have caught the eye of investors. The team has spent time at Startup Boot Camp in Amsterdam. relayr also launched a

crowd-funding bid

back in January and had reached its target for investment by March. In fact, it’s made 22% more funding than was actually required, and has a delivery date of this summer, so it’s very much a matter of watch this space, as developers start to use WunderBar for real.

Hear more from Harald Zapp when he joins a keynote entitled "

Extending the platform: using APIs to integrate from bricks to bytes

" at Data Centre EXPO on Wednesday 8th October in the Data Centre Keynote Theatre.