How ‘IoTfy’ Plans to Build an Ecosystem for IoT Device Makers

by May 27, 2015 0 comments

Most recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Zero defect, zero effect’ slogan for high quality manufacturing in India without impacting the environment was in a highlight as the country’s first Internet of Things policy. According to a document titled ‘Draft policy on Internet of Things’, which is published by the department of electronics and information technology, the government will setup projects using IoT for planning preventive and in-time maintenance for equipment in various manufacturing verticals. The government will offer up to 100% duty benefit on imports of raw materials required for manufacturing IoT products. Raw materials purchased from domestic market will be entitled for reimbursements of excise duty and CST.

For the first time, the government is giving special preference to young companies to get best of technology implemented for various projects in the country. Moreover, the Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (CoE-IoT) will host IoT incubation infrastructure to support start-ups, SMEs, students and other innovators based on membership and support from design to prototype in productizing their ideas.

With such interest from the government, it is quite hard for techies with innovative bend of minds to not capitalize on it. Having said that, a bunch of tech savvy entrepreneurs, Arpit Chhabra, Shivam Dikshit, Shashank Saxena, Sushant Taneja and Saurabh Shandilya are building India’s first IoT cloud platform called IoTfy. IoTfy is a cloud platform that provides a reliable cloud infrastructure for IoT device makers.

What IoTfy does to promote IoT

IoT is a network of devices that communicate among themselves using internet without human intervention. Simply put, it’s basically connecting any device to the Internet (and/or to each other).

Generally speaking, things, in IoT, can vary from medical devices such as smart health monitoring devices, automobiles with built-in sensors that captures vital information about the automobiles, smart thermostat systems like Nest, or home appliances such as air conditioners, dishwashers that utilize Wi-Fi for remote monitoring.

All these devices require a reliable cloud backend and a secure channel for communicating information captured by these devices to the cloud backend. IoTfy as a platform takes care of both these parts by providing a reliable cloud backend and a secure two way messaging channel. By using IoTfy’s SDKs and libraries that are available for various hardware platforms, hardware and device manufacturers can quickly enable their devices to leverage the power of IoTfy.

Along with this, IoTfy’s REST APIs Framework helps device manufacturers to access data coming from their devices and also helps them to connect with other third party internet services.

“We are a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for IoT. Think of us as a WordPress for IoT. The way we have designed IoTfy, we believe IoTfy has potential to disrupt the IoT space in a manner similar to how WordPress disrupted the web publishing space. Specific focus while designing IoTfy has been on making it no-brainer for hardware and device manufacturers to set-up their cloud infrastructure within minutes.” said Arpit, who has been a serial entrepreneur before, having built and sold two businesses before starting with IoTfy.

How IoTfy works

IoTfy is a cloud platform designed to quickly setup cloud backend for hardware, one can think of it as WordPress for IoT. Apart from utilizing the cloud backend, secure two-way communication channel, and Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs framework, hardware manufacturers can also create customized user interface to their end users. For instance, using IoTfy a GPS tracker manufacturer can setup a custom user interface for user of their GPS tracker, who can visit the site and track the location of the GPS tracker.

SDKs and Libraries

IoTfy provides SDKs and Libraries for hardware platforms such as Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone, Arduino, and custom hardware devices for easily connecting the devices to Iotfy’s cloud backend. By end of this year, IotFy will also release platform for the Android, iOS, and Web SDKs to make the offering more robust.

Two-way messaging

IoTfy provides secure two-way messaging service that allows you to send data from your server to your devices, and also to receive messages from devices on the same service. This service handles all aspects of security, queueing of messages and delivery to the target devices.

REST APIs Framework

IoTfy also provides robust REST APIs framework to help a hardware developer to connect and access data coming from the devices and other third party internet services.

According to the founding team, IoTfy has been developed keeping in mind requirements of the entire ecosystem and in most of the cases, IoT platforms don’t consider the requirements of the end user. The team’s vision is to provide an IoT platform that does not neglect the end users and that is the reason why they have IFTTT like recipes and recipe store.

Founded in San Francisco, California, IFTTT is a web-based service that allows an user to create chains of simple conditional statements, called ‘recipes’, which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram,etc. For instance, a ‘recipe’ might consist of sending an e-mail message if the IFTTT user tweets using a certain hashtag. Or, if the user is tagged by someone on Instagram, then that photo will be posted to user’s flicker account automatically. This kind of recipes would be available at IoTfy.

On enquiring about the challenges faced in developing the product, Sushant mentioned, “Shivam & Shashank have been involved in developing custom IoT solutions for enterprises for last four years and their knowledge about the space helped us in designing IoTfy.” Shivam Dikshit, Shashank Saxena are founders of ATRIM Electronics, a government funded market leader in Electronic Consultancy and Design. While Sushant Taneja is presently involved with SnapDeal’s team.

Internet of Things (IoT, or devices connected to the Internet), which is poised to be the biggest technological revolution yet, and expected to create $2.7–6.2 trillion of economic impact globally by 2025 . This impact is likely to be created by leveraging IoT to do business through novel forms of customer interaction, following new business models centred on assets and information and dynamic pricing, and by enhancing and optimizing operations through better efficiency, quality and safety.

Because of the vast opportunities in this domain, the startup has also garnered investor interests from senior entrepreneurs and industry veterans in India and is expecting to raise its first round of funding by June.“We are already in the market and are in talks with strategic investors. Presently we are in talks with some investors in the US & Singapore region,” told Shivam.

The paltfrom IoTfy is running in alpha mode as of now and presently the product is an invite only for hardware developers. The founding team is planning to launch the beta version of the product in July this year. On the way forward, the team will also integrate big data analysis for developers, which will leverage BI for device makers.

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