Sprint and SoftBank’s Packet partner up on ‘Curiosity’ IoT platform

14 Sep 2018

Sprint store exterior. Image: Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Sprint and Packet have announced the launch of a new IoT platform dubbed Curiosity.

In internet of things (IoT) news this week, Cubic Telecom made major waves with the announcement of its Global Connectivity Management Platform, which will be offered as a service. The new platform has open interfaces, allowing device makers more choice when it comes to IT systems and vendors for any country or region.

Cubic already operates connected car services in more than 40 countries around the world and it recently extended its partnership with automaker Audi.

Sprint launches brand new IoT platform

During Mobile World Congress Americas this week, Sprint unveiled a new IoT platform called Curiosity, which it built in collaboration with Packet, a SoftBank-owned firm.

Sprint said: “Enterprises will now be able to manage IoT devices and connectivity over the air across multiple SIM profiles. Intelligence from device data will be generated instantly through the dedicated, distributed and virtualised core, built together with the new operating system. And the ultimate level of security will be provided from the chip to the cloud.”

The OS uses Arm’s Platform Security Architecture, which includes open source firmware and security analysis, Pelion Data Management, Pelion Connectivity Management, and Kigen SIM solutions. The latter helps to manage SIM connectivity across any device deployed on any network, from cellular and satellite to LoRa.

Packet’s bare-metal servers create a virtualised and distributed IoT core, which reduces the distance from 1,000 miles (approximately 1,600km) down to less than 50 miles (approximately 80km) between the device generating data and the IoT application processing the data.

“Sprint’s unique IoT platform design called for a distributed core to bring the network to the data, rather than the data to the network,” Packet CEO Zachary Smith noted.

Sensors spur advances in connected health

A new report from Frost & Sullivan notes that the shift from reactive healthcare to proactive, precise patient care is partially due to the increasing capabilities of sensor technology. Devices such as wearables or e-skin sensors, which aid chronic disease management, as well as further improvements in the size, sensitivity, selectivity and communications capability of sensors, are giving a huge boost to real-time remote monitoring.

It also outlined that several technologies – AI, big data and blockchain – will create the smart hospitals of the future. Analyst Varun Babu said: “Sensors, artificial intelligence, big-data analytics and blockchain are vital technologies for IoMT [internet of medical things] as they provide multiple benefits to patients and facilities alike.

“For instance, they help with the delivery of targeted and personalised medicine while simultaneously ensuring seamless communication and high productivity within smart hospitals.”

Fog World Congress will have special robot guests

The largest gathering of fog computing experts worldwide, Fog World Congress, is kicking off in San Francisco at the beginning of October.

As well as a series of demos and talks, autonomous robot guests will be traversing and mapping the venue floor in real time for conference attendees. Organisers cite the experiment as an example of how fog computing systems from an array of domains can communicate with each other. In the demo, three separate domains – Japan, Shanghai and Taiwan – will collaborate to jointly map the venue floor in real time and display a complete map to visitors via a website.

The robots have LADAR (laser detection and ranging) to collect sensing data. They also feature SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping) algorithms located in the fog nodes’ gateways to generate the maps.

Sprint store exterior. Image: Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects