Connecting the Big Data Cycle

- 7th July 2017 -

With just three weeks to go, we're halfway through the Big Data Cycle, where we're using IoT devices to track our Business Development Manager, Terence, as he trains for RideLondon100 in support of stem4. 🚴

When installed on Terence's bike, these devices measure environmental points as well as rider performance, giving us valuable insights into the surrounding area and his training progress. But how does it all work?

There are a number of key points to consider in any IoT project:

- 1 - Making objects smart

First up, it's all about what you want to monitor, track, or control. For this project, Terence's bike presents an excellent opportunity to collect not only environmental data, but insights into how well an athletic training session has gone.

Our device, known as a GeoNode, has been provided by our IoT ecosystem partner WRD Systems, a global hardware, software, and embedded systems developer. As one of the most configurable and flexible tracking platforms, the GeoNode is compatible with hundreds of sensors and is small enough to be installed onto or into the frame of a bicycle to make it a smart object.

Our device has been designed to collect information on: Motion Acceleration and speed Temperature G-Force (crash detection) Location Altitude Air pollutants Carbon offset Distance Calories burned

- 2 - Connectivity considerations

Next we need to connect the smart object(s) to a network so applications can capture data, analyse it, and in some cases, make decisions about what should happen. Without connectivity we can't monitor the object and its environment in realtime, or control it remotely.

For this project we're using Pangea multi-network SIM cards. These SIM cards roam across all four major U.K. networks, meaning Terence will always have high speed connectivity for seamless and accurate data collection.

- 3 - Powering the Big Data Cyle

Often overlooked in projects, no end-to-end IoT solution is complete without something to power all that tech! Power draw can come from a number of things including the CPU of the device, the sensors gathering the data, and the connectivity method.

On event day, we'll be adding a few more devices to the mix, so we'll need a battery that can support all our power requirements for around six hours. Collectively, we also need to make sure the equipment is as lightweight as possible to not impact on Terence's race time. Based on our calculations, we've chosen to support our project using a lightweight 2000mAh battery that's slightly larger than a lipstick.

- 4 - Management & monitoring

With connectivity and power all set up, the data collected by the smart object can be sent to centralised online platforms for viewing. In the Big Data Cycle, WRD's firmware extrapolates the data to give readings of air quality and rider performance all displayed on an online portal.

Portals like this one give simplified, real-time views of a single (a bicycle) or group (a fleet of shipping containers) of smart object's behaviour and the surrounding environment, allowing for remote monitoring, analysis, and control, from wherever, whenever. πŸ”πŸ“ˆπŸ—ΊπŸ’»

- 5 - Actionable analytics

Finally, there's the mission of using the data in a way that really counts. Analytics gathered from the data can not only be used to determine what is happening right now, but answer why it's happening, and what could happen in the future.

For businesses, this could mean using IoT to optimise processes, drive efficiencies, design value added services, keep workers safe, enhance user experiences, delight consumers, or reduce costs. πŸ­πŸ—πŸ’°πŸ‘·β€β™€οΈ

For the Big Data Cycle, it's all about the environment and cycling. A greater understanding of environmental points could be used to improve air quality through a number of initiatives, including more accurate and efficient tree planting, or rerouting traffic to ease congestion. πŸš—πŸ—ΊπŸ“ˆπŸ”πŸŒ²

These extraneous variables can also affect rider performance, and IoT is fast becoming the go to tactic in helping world champions win sporting events.

Performance metrics collected by IoT devices such as speed, movement, and location can help cyclists plan, fine tune, and improve strategies for training. With a better understanding of his rides, Terence can leverage IoT analytics to make more informed choices in order to get the best possible outcome. πŸ“ˆπŸ”πŸš΄

Next week

Keeping cyclists safe with IoT

Three weeks to go

Terence will be cycling in RideLondon for stem4, a teenage mental health charity. You can sponsor him here--any donation is much appreciated! Visit our Big Data Cycle page to find out more and explore the story so far Connect with us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter 🚴

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