Verizon explains ThingSpace platform
Verizon launched its ThingSpace IoT platform in 2015 amid a blitz of publicity and buzz around the enormous potential of the internet of things. At the time, the IoT was a new concept for many of Verizon’s customers and partners, but now the carrier has a significant IoT business, and ThingSpace is a growing part of it.
Uzair Siddiqui, Verizon’s ThingSpace product and platform manager, explained the ThingSpace platform recently at the Enterprise IoT Summit. He said there are three parts to the platform: ThingSpace Develop, ThingSpace Manage, and ThingSpace Market.
ThingSpace Develop is just what it sounds like – a place for developers to access Verizon’s application programming interfaces.
“We have over 15,000 developers currently and we take part in hackathons and developer education,” said Siddiqui. “We want to make it easy for the developers to use the IoT technology to turn their idea into a prototype.” He said Verizon’s goal with developers is to “make it easy for them to develop their solutions by making dashboards available for them to ingest sensor data and make sensor data actionable.”
When it comes to hardware, Siddiqui said Verizon and its developer partners usually choose Texas Instruments’ LaunchPad, or a Renesas development board with multiple embedded sensors.
“You can put a cellular module on top of it and now you have sensor data that’s coming into the ThingSpace platform,” Siddiqui explained.
ThingsSpace Manage is software that enables Verizon’s customers to manage their connected devices. Dashboards give users visibility into their assets on the Verizon network.
“Once you have deployed hundreds of thousands of devices, we can activate, deactivate, see how much data they are using, and then be able to do firmware patches and device management,” Siddiqui said.
ThingSpace Market is a way for Verizon to help developers bring their solutions to potential customers. Although Verizon prefers to work with developers who are creating products for the Verizon network, Siddiqui said that the ThingSpace platform can analyze data from other connected devices as well.
Like AT&T, Verizon does not see the IoT as purely a network play. The company wants to create a cloud platform that will be used by devices that connect to the internet through wired broadband, Wi-Fi, and even through competing cellular networks.
“Any kind of connectivity that will allow you to take the data from Point A to Point B, ThingSpace can ingest that data into the platform,” Siddiqui said.
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