Those that know me today may be shocked to hear that I was a quiet, shy, nerdy kid in high school. Well, at least the shy and quiet part, I probably still have the nerdy part covered.Back then, like most kids, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life.I liked playing with gadgets, but didn’t know how to turn that into a career. One day I heard an announcement about an interest meeting for the school’s robotics team and figured I’d check it out.It’s been over a decade since I walked into that classroom and I’m still involved with the team and the organization.
Recently at HarperDB, we have been performing some proof of concept projects which demonstrate the ability to consume, process and distribute sensor data directly on the edge and in many cases directly on these actual devices. Some of the projects are with clients while there are others that we undertake ourselves for R&D. In the past month we have integrated a variety of sensors with HarperDB including GPS and OBD2 sensors for vehicles, and high performance electrical relays for industrial plants. The projects all have the same workflows and similar outcomes - collect high frequency sensor data, perform filtering and analytics directly on the edge and provide real-time pertinent events directly to end users. The edge database capabilities of HarperDB provide a platform for edge computing and analytics - allowing companies to keep up with the explosion of sensors and data.
For whatever reason the tech world seems to like using weather metaphors to describe various levels of computing: cloud, fog, and mist being the most common. Visibility seems to be the best way to describe these, and yet somehow, it’s still not very clear what the differences are. Then, of course, we have the Internet of Things(IoT), which is just that: things. Generic on purpose. Anything and everything can be a thing! What happens when we network those things together? We get IoT. In this blog, I’m going to attempt to provide some clarity on how the mist, fog, and cloud are intertwined with IoT and how an edge database can be used throughout.
In engineering school in the late 80’s, I was required to take drafting class my freshman year -“rotate that pencil to make consistent lines.” By my senior year, the university purchased something mind blowing - it was CAD/CAM. This attests to my experience and unfortunately my age, but it was the disruption caused by the digitization of the engineering process that left an impression. Instead of taking a more traditional path as a freshly minted engineer, I was fortunate to land at an innovative computer graphics company in Alabama called Intergraph. At that time, Intergraph was a leader in the application of computer graphics and was disrupting the engineering industry. It was an interesting time and demonstrated how digital technologies could transform industries. I have many stories of trying to teach old school draftsmen(drafts people I guess would be the correct term) and machinists how to adopt this new paradigm. This was the advent of Industry 3.0.