Tech giant Google yesterday launched its cloud-based IoT management platform, Google Cloud IoT Core.
The Cloud IoT Core is a fully managed service that lets business users manage IoT devices, and the data they generate, as well as building new applications, all in one platform.
This is essentially Google’s answer to AWS IoT or Microsoft Azure IoT, and just like these rivals, it works best when integrated into a broader IoT network. For example, a utilities company using Cloud IoT Core will be able to monitor its connected devices, analyze the data generated by those devices and predict consumer energy use in real-time.
Likewise, a transportation and logistics business could ensure they are deploying their fleet in the appropriate place and at the right times, or an oil and gas manufacturing company could schedule equipment maintenance at a time which will minimize downtime and maximize production.
Reasons to launch
Google is likely launching the product now to keep up with the likes of AWS and Microsoft. The IoT market is lucrative and more competition should be welcomed. However, in a blog post announcing the Cloud IoT Core, Indranil Chakraborty, a product manager at Google Cloud, suggested that the platform will also address some growing needs.
“Many enterprises that rely on industrial devices such as sensors, conveyor belts, farming equipment, medical equipment and pumps — particularly, globally distributed ones — are struggling to monitor and manage those devices for several reasons,” Chakraborty said.
The reasons he refers to include the operational costs associated with managing the deployment, maintenance, and upgrades of IoT devices, as well ensuring the security of those devices.
Similarly, Chakraborty noted that the massive amount of data generated by these devices is often stored in silos with a short expiration date, and hence never reaches downstream analytic systems or the relevant decision-makers.
Naturally, Cloud IoT Core aims to get around those problems by providing a platform to connect and manage millions of IoT devices in one system. It will also integrate with Google’s cloud product portfolio, including Google Cloud Dataflow, Google BigQuery and Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine, and it comes as a managed, pay-as-you-go Google Cloud Platform service.
Early trials in fleet management
IoT fleet management software provider, Noa Technologies, has had the benefit of trialling the Cloud IoT Core. Noa’s vice president of engineering, Jose Uglia, said of the platform: “With Google Cloud IoT Core, we have been able to connect large fleets of bicycles to the cloud and quickly build a smart transportation fleet management tool that provides operators with a real-time view of bicycle utilization, distribution and performance metrics, and it forecasts demand for our customers.”
The Cloud IoT Core is currently available as a private beta, but Google is launching with hardware and software partners including ARM, Intel, NXP, Helium and Tellmeplus. For a full list of partners, see here.