Element14, EnOcean, IBM Offer New IoT Solutions

Feb. 24, 2016
In another supply chain partnership announcement, technology companies team up to provide self-powered IoT solutions designed to help both makers and industrial customers.

Global electronics distributor element14 announced the launch of two Internet of Things starter kits that combine the Raspberry Pi single board computer with technologies from EnOcean and IBM. The supplier’s Entrepreneur and Enterprise editions feature micro-computer boards from element14 and energy-harvesting wireless sensors from EnOcean and provide seamless integration to IBM’s Watson IoT Platform.

Both kits launch this month at IBM Interconnect 2016 in Las Vegas and Embedded World 2016 in Nuremberg. The announcement follows news from Avnet Inc. and IBM earlier this month, in which the two companies formed a collaboration designed to help customers develop new IoT solutions based on the IBM Watson IoT platform.

Using the Raspberry Pi single board computer, element14’s these out-of-the-box, IoT-ready starter kits serve as gateways to developing intelligent building products for hospitals, homes, airports, and other venues on the way to a seamlessly connected IoT, the companies’ said. The Entrepreneur kit is more technical in nature, for ‘makers,’ engineers and start-ups; the Enterprise model caters to facilities mangers, property owners, and property management companies.

“In our increasingly digital world, element14 is committed to pushing the boundaries of today’s electronics landscape, and the Entrepreneur kit and Enterprise solution are confident steps in the right direction,” said David Shen, group chief technology officer, Premier Farnell, parent company to element14. “By joining with EnOcean and IBM, we hope to enhance and broaden today’s IoT landscape and lay a sound framework that inspires future innovations.”

The Entrepreneur solution includes EnOcean self-powered sensors, a Raspberry Pi and EnOcean Pi boards from element14, and provides access to the IBM Watson IoT Platform and Bluemix services from IBM. The Enterprise model includes EnOcean OEM self-powered sensors and EnOcean Gateway from element14, as well as access to software and services from IBM including IBM’s Watson IoT Platform and IBM TRIRIGA facilities management software. 

“The possibilities of the Internet of Things are huge and will take intelligent buildings to the next level of energy-efficiency, security, and comfort,” said Andreas Schneider, chief marketing officer, EnOcean GmbH. “We are combining field-proven energy-harvesting wireless sensors with the IBM Watson IoT Platform for a smart, cloud-based solution that provides new forms of automation. It’s great that element14 is opening these capabilities to developers and companies with two customized kits for an easy start into the world of the self-powered IoT.”

EnOcean’s energy harvesting wireless technology provides self-powered, wireless sensors to capture and transmit data across an increasingly connected IoT network. They use miniaturized energy converters, which gain energy from motion, light, and temperature of the surrounding environment, allowing the sensors to work without batteries, and are maintenance-free. The converters, together with wireless modules, comprehensive energy management, and ultra-low power radio communication offer OEMs a complete energy-harvesting platform.

The IBM Watson IoT Platform allows organizations to securely and easily connect devices, from chips and intelligent appliances to applications and industry solutions. Scaling through cloud-based services and using rich analytics, the IBM Watson IoT Platform provides organizations with new insight for innovation and transformation. IBM TRIRIGA provides a single system to manage facilities’ lifecycles. Its integrated workplace management system increases the operational, financial, and environmental performance of facilities.

Element14 said both products should be available in early April through its Newark element14, Farnell element14 and element14 brands worldwide.

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