EXOSITE™ Selected to Become a Member of Texas Instruments Internet of Things (IoT) Ecosystem

EXOSITE™ is pleased to announce that we have become a member of Texas Instruments cloud ecosystem. The TI IoT cloud ecosystem was established to help manufacturers using TI technology to easily and rapidly connect more products to the growing Internet of Things (IoT).

More information on TI’s cloud ecosystem can be found here.

Exosite has application code written for numerous TI LaunchPads to provide a quick way to start communicating data to cloud where it can be stored, processed, visualized and acted upon from anywhere in the world. Exosite gives developers all the tools they need to be able to turn a flood of raw data into actionable intelligence to drive true business value.

Texas Instruments recently released the Connected LaunchPad Evaluation Kit which uses the Tiva™ C Series TM4C1294 microcontroller and ships with Exosite application code already flashed onto the chip! Take a look at the video below for an overview of the Connected LaunchPad.

We feel honored to be selected to become part of Texas Instruments ecosystem and look forward to growing our relationship to help companies turn their IoT dreams into reality.

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MAKE interview at SXSW 2014


MAKE interviewed our own Brian Ziarnick at SXSW 2014 about the new Texas Instruments Connected LaunchPad.

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Exosite and Texas Instruments Make Building Connected Products Easier than Ever with TI’s New Connected Launchpad!

It’s no secret that the Internet of Things (IOT) is starting to catch the eyes of some of the biggest tech players in the game.  With some experts estimating there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Texas Instruments (TI) has shown they’re serious about the M2M (machine-to-machine) space by choosing Exosite as their cloud solutions partner.  Together, Texas Instruments and Exosite have brought you the foundational elements for building connected products. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, you can use our IOT building blocks to create your connected product vision quickly.

Building a connected product doesn’t have to be difficult. On March 6th, Texas Instruments launches their new Tiva™ C Series TM4C129x Connected Launchpad.  Out of the box TI’s new Connected Launchpad comes with scalable cloud technologies from Exosite which makes opening a gateway to the cloud – and designing for the Internet of Things – easier than ever before.  Be one of the first to receive the new Tiva™ C Series TM4C129x Connected Launchpad!  Click here to register to receive an email alert with instructions on how to purchase the kit once it’s released!

Texas Instruments’ proven track record for innovation partnered with Exosite’s seasoned veterans in the IOT space is sure to push the industry to new heights.  We’ve given you the building blocks to create connected products, the only question that remains is – What will you connect?

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Don’t miss Exosite’s live webinar on “Turning the Cloud into a Rainmaker!” February 27th

launch_pad

Technical experts from Exosite, Texas Instruments, and Avnet will provide a brief overview of Internet of Things (IoT) cloud technology – what it is; how it’s transforming electronic design; and how the technology is evolving. They’ll then move on to tackle the two important questions: Why should you care about IoT cloud technology, and how should it impact your product development and marketing strategy.

The new Tiva™ C Series TM4C129x Connected LaunchPad from Texas Instruments (TI) and scalable IoT Platform technologies from Exosite make opening a gateway to the cloud – and designing for the Internet of Things – easier than ever before. This webinar will explore how to maximize the functionality and profitability of your application by designing with the industry’s first MCU to integrate the ARM® Cortex™-M4 core with an Ethernet MAC+PHY, along with highly customizable, Web-based, visual analytic tools from Exosite. This webinar will also demonstrate how this exciting new technology allows you to accelerate development of differentiated solutions with broad market appeal across an array of target markets using Exosite’s Micro Vertical Engine approach. Watch a short clip here to learn more.

This webinar will be tailored to designers interested in exploring how IoT Platform technology can be leveraged to create differentiated (and profitable) product solutions – while, at the same time, reducing development time and expenses and quickly bringing your devices online without the hassle of writing complex code or calling in expert programmers.

Event attendees will be eligible to purchase the new Connected LaunchPad before its public release. The first 50 attendees to purchase the EVM will also receive a FREE copy of Code Composer Studio.

Don’t miss it!  Register for the webinar by clicking here and if you want to read the full press release you can do so here.

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Exosite Powers Texas Instruments Smart Home Exhibit at CES

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For over 40 years, the international Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held in Las Vegas has served as one of the world’s largest gatherings for innovators to showcase the latest breakthrough technologies.

At this year’s event, Exosite collaborated with Texas Instruments to wire up a complete connected living environment for exhibitors to experience first-hand. Using a smart phone or tablet, exhibitors could walk around the room, or layback on a comfortable couch and take complete control of the home. The desired atmosphere could be set by dimming the lights up or down, with the option of turning on a fireplace, and with a connected thermostat, the overall room temperature could be adjusted, all at your fingertips. Not to mention, the security system was integrated as well and would notify you if windows were left opened after the alarm was set or if a breach had occurred.

Energy consumption data was gathered off each device and was sent to Exosite’s cloud data platform to run calculations on usage and rates. On the very same smart phone or tablet used to control the home, the user had a dashboard display that showed how much energy each appliance was consuming in real-time and the total daily amount, along with the monthly electricity cost.

Part of the Exosite team that was at the show is shown below at the TI booth exhibit:

ces_team_elements_smart_home (Copy)

In a world where everyone and everything is becoming connected, we see no reason why our homes should be any different. And with the help of Exosite’s cloud technologies, manufactures can build more products for the growing Internet of Things to make this a reality. To learn about the behind the scenes technologies used to power the demos, please visit: http://www.ti.com/ww/en/ces-2014/innovation.html for additional information.

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Updates to the Arduino Library and a Walkthrough of the Relayduino

I’ve been working on updating our Arduino Library. If you haven’t heard of Arduino yet, it’s a really cool embedded development and prototyping ecosystem. It consists of both hardware development boards and an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) with many useful libraries to quickly and easily create embedded electronic devices. Exosite has created a library that makes getting your Arduino project talking to the cloud easier than ever.

Arduino & Exosite: A match made in heaven.

Arduino & Exosite: A match made in heaven.

Network programming is not an easy beginner project, but with the Exosite library we’ve tried to get it to the point where anyone can get their own device talking to the cloud. Instead of having to understand how HTTP and the other protocols that run the Internet you can just call a single function in the Exosite library to read data from and write data to the cloud. Checkout the provided example code for some more simple examples.

This post is about a new example that we just added, it’s for a really cool product that we stumbled on called the Relayduino. Basically, it’s an Arduino Duemilanove embedded in a PCB that can control eight relays and read four opto-isolated inputs and three 10-bit analog inputs. Luckily for us, it’s got holes for the standard Arduino headers on it so we can solder in some headers and stick an Ethernet shield or WiFi shield on it and control it from the Exosite Cloud Platform.

Realyduino with Ethernet Shield

Realyduino with Ethernet Shield

To get yourself up an running, head on over to the Relayduino Project Page which lays out all the steps you need to get started.

P.S. Once you get your project started, why not post about it in our brand new Project Showcase forum!

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All-Hallows’ Eve Performance Report

Welcome, ghouls and banshees, to Exosite’s spooooky Halloween performance report! Prepare to scream and quake as you read all of our hair-raising aggregate statistics and bone-chilling –

Y’know what? I can’t keep this up. Let’s start over.

Here we go with the first entry in a new series on web performance that we announced last Wednesday. We’re psyched to bring you some hard numbers on the current Portals user experience and point out some areas we’re going to target for improvement. I put together this post with the help of Dan Weaver, our Senior Software Developer, and we both really love numbers.

To get a sense of our system’s overall performance, we picked out a few of the most frequently visited pages in Portals. Then we ran each page through multiple trials on the invaluable, magnificent WebPagetest. We love WebPagetest almost as much as we love numbers. The pages we chose for testing are:

  • Login: The login page is often the first thing you see. The faster it loads, the sooner you can start getting stuff done.
  • Data: This page is meant to provide a quick overview of the data being reported by your network of devices. Emphasis on “quick.”
  • Devices: An overview of your deployed devices. We want this page to load zippily whether you have 6 devices or 106.
  • Dashboard: Dashboards are the flagship feature of Portals. No matter how you choose to slice and dice your data, dashboards enable you to see it all at a glance.

So what did we find?

Overall Stats

We ran our tests, through WebPagetest, on a Thinkpad in Dulles, VA running Google Chrome over a DSL connection. And here are the results:

Page Median First-Load Time (ms) Median Repeat-Load Time (ms)
Login 1 898 1 885
Data 2 095 2 241
Devices 1 867 1 566
Dashboard 1 077 1 031

There’s one point that these numbers really drive home: our pages really aren’t loading any faster on subsequent loads than they do at first. Right away, we see some low-hanging fruit that can greatly improve the Portals experience: making sure we tell browsers to cache every asset they can cache.

Currently, whenever you load a Portals page, your browser has to go and re-download each image and stylesheet and javascript document referenced by it. This happens even if those things haven’t changed since you last downloaded them, which is almost always the case. That’s easy to fix! All we have to do is identify our static resources to the browser, and it will use its own copies whenever it can. That way, pages will load much faster if you’ve used them recently.

Now let’s get down to the nits and grits, by discussing how we search for page-specific optimizations.

Methodology

We can learn all sorts of things from WebPagetest, and the richest tool it gives us is the Waterfall View. This diagram shows each HTTP request made when loading https://portals.exosite.com/login broken down and color-coded by the type of activity happening at each time:

login-waterfall

Requests like A and B are the ones we really need to go after. That initial request, A, breaks down like so:

  • DNS lookup: 95ms
  • Initial connection: 106ms
  • SSL negotiation: 293ms
  • Time to first byte: 229ms

The real killers here are SSL negotiation (293ms) and time to first byte (229ms).

SSL negotiation shouldn’t require more than 2 round trips between the client and the server, so there’s no good reason that we shouldn’t be able to get it arbitrarily close to twice the initial TCP handshake time (106ms * 2 = 212ms). We’re going to look at ways to tune our server’s SSL negotiation performance, and hopefully rake in some dividends in the form of a narrower waterfall.

The other main bottleneck, and the one that appears in all of the browser’s requests, is the Time to First Byte (TTFB). TTFB is a much more slippery fish. First we’ll need to find out where the extra time is being spent; the server could be database callouts, HTTP callouts to other services, or simply crunching numbers. Once we understand the nature of the delay, we can begin to address it appropriately. Expect some details about – and some reductions in – this TTFB number in next quarter’s Performance Report!

And while we’re talking about the TTFB, it’s important to note that only a few of these requests require server-side processing and callouts. A lot of them are static (CSS stylesheets, images, Javascript documents, and so on). This means our performance could benefit a great deal from distributing these static assets to a content delivery network or CDN. A CDN is a network of web servers optimized for static content and distributed all around the world. They help reduce both your initial connection and SSL negotiation times (simply by being physically and virtually closer to the user) and TTFB (by being single-mindedly tuned for blazing-fast response times).

Looking Forward

I think we’re going to have some really good stuff to show you next quarter. Our engineers are going to dig into each of these performance bottlenecks, and our next report will give some direct comparisons to show you exactly what effects our work has had. And in the meantime, look for some upcoming technical posts detailing about specific hacks and tweaks that we find along the way.

Here’s to snappiness!

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Exosite Highlighted in Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal Article, “Is Minn.’s next big thing the Internet of Things?”

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Is Minn.’s next big thing the Internet of Things? – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Last Wednesday, a reporter from the Minneapoils / St. Paul Business Journal made a stop by the Exosite office to learn more about the growing excitement behind “Internet of Things” technology and the role Exosite is playing in this area.

One of the trends that she noticed is that the Internet of Things market in the Twin Cities’ is getting nationwide attention lately and noted that some of the most established players in the Internet of Things business are calling Minnesota home.

After a couple of hours of Q&A with several Exosite officials, with questions ranging from “Do we prefer the new market term Internet of Things vs. Machine-to-Machine?” to “Who do we see as major players in this space?” to “What are some of your most recent success stories?”, Exosite is proud to announce that our conversations landed us as the highlighted company and topic of discussion in the recently published article, “Is Minn.’s next big thing the Internet of Things?”

This is exciting news for Exosite to see this type of article being published and hearing that others in the industry are taking notice of the Twin Cities’ IoT strength. We have always felt that Minnesota has been prominently known for being home to some of the most renowned medical and medical device companies in the world, but what we felt was not readily known is the amount of horse power in the M2M, IoT space that is being brewed right here in our backyard..

 

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Introducing Speed Reports

We software engineers find nothing else quite as satisfying as a snappy, crisp web experience. Every time we shave a few dozen milliseconds off a pageload, life gets better for us and for our users. And that’s not just our opinion. Studies show again and again that faster page loads mean higher user engagement and higher productivity. Higher productivity: that’s what we want for our users.

That’s why we’re excited to announce our new Speed Report project. Every quarter, we’re going to publish, right here on this blog, a report detailing the metrics we use to evaluate site performance. We’ll talk about changes in those metrics since the most recent report, and we’ll highlight some of the performance work that’s in progress and in the pipeline. Look for the first report on Thursday, October 31 (Halloween! Spooky.)

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Exosite collaborates with Microchip to cloud-enable PIC32 devices

From the Press Release:

Exosite (www.exosite.com) announced today that Microchip Technology Inc. (www.microchip.com) selected Exosite to be an “Embedded Cloud” design partner. The collaboration enhances Microchip’s Internet of Things solutions with out-of-the-box device management, remote monitoring, data analytics and data visualization capabilities.


You can signup on the Microchip device management and web-application platform to get started – it has support for two devices out-of-the box:

M2M Development Platform for CDMA

M2M Development Platform for CDMA
Microchip’s M2M Development Platform for CDMA is a Verizon-certified CDMA device that is a “drop-in-place” M2M solution leveraging the Verizon Wireless cellular network and Exosite’s cloud-enablement platform. Developed by Twisthink, the full-featured platform enables development of custom-embedded firmware applications on a 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) with local area and remote cellular connectivity, including pre-certified two-way communication capability on the Verizon Wireless Network.

DV102412 Wi-Fi G Demo Board

DV102412
The Microchip DV102412 Wi-Fi G Demo Board is a low cost and portable wireless reference design that includes everything you need to design a cloud connected product based on Microchip’s MRF24WG0MA WiFi module. It is also expandable through an 8-pin expansion interface.

A screen shot of the out-of-the-box dashboard for the M2M Development Platform for CDMA is below. The dashboards, business rules, data sets, processing, events and alerts can all be modified to suit your evaluation or application…


dash_example


Enjoy!

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