Fujitsu brews up cloud platform to test IoT ideas

The development platform is aimed at speeding up the trial phase for Internet of Things businesses

Fujitsu wants to promote Internet of Things (IoT) technologies by launching a cloud-based development platform.

The Human-Centric IoT platform allows Fujitsu customers to try out their ideas for IoT applications and works with Fujitsu sensors, networks, middleware and applications, according to the electronics manufacturer.

Connecting offline equipment to the Internet requires various hardware and software technologies. The platform is aimed at accelerating the speed at which IoT businesses can get off the ground.

"We believe when customers are starting up a new business using IoT, the most time consuming part of this is the trail phase," a Fujitsu spokesman wrote in an email.

"This platform enables businesses to overcome that problem. It also allows people without specialized knowledge to create applications and, where necessary, get hold of the required hardware, software, networking, etc."

The company is pitching the service as another way to attract interest in its cloud business and is offering up to six months of free use on the IoT platfom. Fujitsu said it can also support the commercialization of IoT concepts once they complete the testing phase.

Fujitsu technologies that will be available through the IoT platform include security know-how that allows for data to be analyzed while keeping private information confidential. The company announced a version of this in January with a method that uses homomorphic encryption, which allows for operations to be performed on encrypted data without having to decrypt it.

Real-time sensing, which Fujitsu implemented in the form of low-cost eye-tracking technology for PCs, is another feature of the platform.

Fujitsu has already worked on IoT projects in Japan including network connections for LED streetlights and testing wearables for maintenance staff at a waterworks.

The IoT platform has garnered interest from large vendors such as Microsoft Japan and small manufacturers like Osaka-based RT Works, which showed off a sensor-equipped, connected walker for elderly users in Tokyo last month.

Fujitsu said it hopes to work with over 100 enterprise clients on IoT testing over the next year in Japan, but has not decided whether to offer the platform overseas yet.

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Tim Hornyak

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