Kontakt.io is well known for their industrial beacon solutions, with over half a million beacons shipped. They recently decided to add new technology to their beacon offering, and chose Samsung ARTIK to be at the core of their new product. In this article, we’ll let the team at Kontakt.io describe why they chose ARTIK, and how it helped them solve some critical challenges they faced.
If you’re not familiar with beacon technology, a beacon is basically a local Bluetooth(R) device that reaches out to other nearby devices with information or instructions. As an example, you might set up a beacon to tell your phone to unlock a door when you are nearby. If you are going through a museum, your phone might be given a URL to open with more information about an object you are near. Retailers can use beacons to offer you context- and location-sensitive coupons. The list of use cases is endless!
Normally, a smart device is needed to check on the status of a beacon. Even though this model has revolutionized industrial IoT, Kontakt.io thought it was time for the process to evolve and streamline.
The latest product from Kontakt.io is their Gateway, which helps businesses keep monitor their beacons without needing a smartphone, completely altering the way we interact with modern beacons. The Gateway can interact with local beacons to check their status, including health, performance and movement, and aggregate their data before pushing it up into the cloud, where it can be monitored in near-real time.
Behind the Gateway
The Kontakt.io Gateway can push beacons’ data to the cloud automatically. By virtue of accessing local Wi-Fi, the gateway helps a beacon infrastructure advance towards the seamless, interoperable, and transparent systems that Industry 4.0 promises.
The Gateway works with Kontakt.io’s Location Engine to:
- locate assets or people
- display the range of beacons on a heat map
- collect and analyze beacon data
- trigger proximity-based, individualized events
Research and Development
We’ll let Kontakt.io tell the story from here:
“We searched for a suitable and ready-to-use module that would complete our new beacon hardware for quite a long time. We knew that the process of designing a stable system that would additionally allow us to install Linux or Windows would be very hard and time-consuming, and consequently there was no point in doing it on our own. It turned out there are plenty of modules on the market that we could potentially leverage for our purposes.
“After testing many of them, we found that there are major differences in what each producer offers in terms of technology, pricing, documentation, and conditions of collaboration etc. Based on our research and hands-on experience, we had no doubt that Samsung’s ARTIK 520 was the best fit for the Kontakt.io Gateway.
“To sum up, here’s why we chose ARTIK 520:
- Its overall performance and efficiency simply exceed other standard products available on the market. The huge volume of data generated during the process of scanning for beacons was more than most of the processors could cope with. ARTIK meets this requirement easily.
- The 4 GB of storage memory in such a tiny device is truly impressive. By comparison, our first device responsible for beacon monitoring, the Cloud Beacon, had only 512 KB memory available for code and data.
- Unlike open-source solutions, ARTIK offers a complete built-in security solution that ensures that both code and data on the device are safe from hackers. Additionally, key encryption as well as certificates stored in dedicated memory protect ARTIK from any kind of attack.
- The ARTIK team delivers first-class customer service. They provided us with early access to the newest technology, complete documentation, and engineers ready to answer our questions 24/7.
- The quality/price ratio that ARTIK offers is highly competitive.
“We like how features built in to ARTIK help us extend Gateway’s possibilities:
- Built-in, up and running Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules let us broadcast, gather and then push data to the cloud.
- Having plenty of memory made the software development process for Gateway very easy. In practice, the time between detecting a need for a new feature and implementing it has shortened to the necessary minimum.
- ARTIKs computing power let us process some data in the Gateway before we pushed it to the cloud. This helped us reduce network traffic, saving time and money.
- Pre-installed Linux with ready-to-use drivers and multitasking enabled us to build independent applications quickly. For comparison, we needed three months to implement a new encryption library on our Cloud Beacon; on ARTIK we have it for free!
- The USB interface opens up a lot of new possibilities to interact with third party hardware. Using USB to configure the Gateway, all you need to do is to connect the device to a computer, then drag and drop new files to a dedicated folder on Gateway internal drive.”
Kontakt.io head of hardware, Łukasz Szelejewski, adds this final thought:
“Kontakt.io has been working on the concept of Gateway for some time but the right elements couldn’t be put together until now. We knew from experience that customers place great value on being able to monitor the performance of all their beacons in one place and to use the data collected from them. With its considerable computing power, ARTIK let us build the ultimate device for this exact purpose.”
We want to thank the team at Kontakt.io for letting us share their story. Reducing time to market is one of the primary goals behind Samsung ARTIK, and we’re glad they were able to enjoy the benefit!
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