Axeda has been providing connectivity and monitoring magic for a wide range of machine-to-machine (M2M) applications for years. By both connecting and monitoring the health and functions of far-flung devices including ATMs, kiosk-based services, distributed medical equipment and many other scattered nodes, Axeda's Platform plays a significant role in stitching together networks out of end devices that aren't necessarily obvious candidates for the typical contemporary client-server paradigm. The company's latest announcement is good news for its growing and diverse customer base.
Sweetening the promise of cloud-based M2M management, Axeda now facilitates the development of custom applications with its recently announced Developer Connection, touted as the ultimate source for M2M application development. Using a variety of tools including .Net, Java, Flash, and several other scripting utilities, customers have newfound freedom in extracting valuable data out of Axeda-connected devices. The portal features a simulator that allows design and testing of new apps in offline sandbox mode, or with real-world inputs from connected devices using Axeda agent code.
Given the steady march of former stand-alone products to ever more available cellular and wireless networks, I asked Axeda VP Brian Anderson to give an example of how the new development framework can benefit existing and prospective customers. Anderson tells a fascinating tale of just how connected society really is, and how big of a role Axeda plays behind the curtain.
One real-world scenario makes the point: a town that wanted to extract statistics from its inventory of digital speed signs ("Your Speed Is...") used in traffic control. Were the signs working to calm traffic in the locations where they were deployed? Were enough cars passing to warrant sign deployment during certain hours? What were average and maximum speeds observed? The signs themselves lacked the intelligence to gather and forward the desired information to a central repository where reports could be extracted.
The fix was to add radio modems, Axeda's Platform and a custom application written in the Developer Connection to provide powerful new reporting capabilities to previously dumb devices. The payoff in this case is better management and use of assets based on real-world data, and a newfound goldmine in knowledge of area traffic patterns and driver habits. Beyond this example the premise is simple- virtually anything can be connected to provide informational amd management value, and Axeda makes it happen. Axeda's Developer Connection provides tutorials, examples, a wiki, and more- along with a 60-day free trial.