The IOT and Big Data

We have had a remote monitoring application for some time now called BBD Control.  Typically we monitor temperature and various sensor voltages.  Time-stamping and logging measurements to a file are sufficient for many applications but the types and amount of data that can be collected today is remarkable.  To me, this is the true promise of the Internet of Things (IOT).  It is not about 5G connectivity so much as it is about getting accurate data in people’s hands.  I’ve seen sophisticated post-processing and analysis lead to great insight based on a simple log file of accurate data.  The promise of Big Data all starts with the data.   

As we got into more demanding applications we developed a web based interface that controls measurements and displays results in tabular format so you can check on things remotely using a web browser. Along the way we added an SMTP email capability to inform users of measurement results and alarms.  This turned out to be quite handy.  It is nice to be able to show someone an event happening in their system miles away while having a nice lunch at the Farmer’s Daughter ( a local favorite). 

Recently we got involved in a project to add AC power measurements to BBD Control. We measure and analyze power draw.  This entailed adding a small microcontroller based circuit board and fair amount of software to control and display the measurements.  It measures AC voltage, current, and frequency.  Then it calculates real, apparent, and reactive power. 

Here is a screenshot I grabbed of the power monitor in action. It is quite useful for applications like measuring power draw for a custom block chain processing engine running different software algorithms. We scroll the 10 most recent measurements in a table on the power monitoring page.  Measurements are initiated by clicking on the measure power button or they can be made automatically at fixed intervals.