One of the highlights of Dreamforce 2014’s Developer Zone was the Internet of Things area, which brought together over a dozen sponsors, hands-on workshops, a robot arm-mounted laser tracker system and a connected-basketball challenge. This year’s Developer Zone (located, as usual, in Moscone West, level 2) will feature more sponsors, more workshops and a cornucopia of connected products, each one of them integrated with Salesforce and/or Heroku.
You may have already read about, or even seen, the Lynx SmartGrill – it won an Innovation Award at CES this year. The SmartGrill is the world’s first voice activated and connected grill, with functions such as ignition and burners automatically controlled from a mobile app. The SmartGrill’s communications, hundreds of recipes shared by all SmartGrill users, connectivity between grill and app, and analytics all reside on Heroku.
Carvoyant returns to Dreamforce this year, demonstrating an in-car integration of Salesforce with Android Auto via the Carvoyant API and platform. Events in Salesforce, such as a new sales or service activity, are relayed to the driver via dashboard notifications, allowing real-time reaction to new opportunities and service calls. With Carvoyant’s platform abstracting away the differences between integrated telemetry and aftermarket GPS adapters, their solution is applicable to any connected vehicle.
Staying with the automotive theme, All Traffic Solutions will be bringing a connected traffic sign, managed online through the ATS TraffiCloud web-based service, showing live Developer Zone statistics. Devicify‘s CPM (Connected Products Management) was key to this integration, bringing data from the devices into a Force.com application, allowing customers such as ATS to connect Salesforce applications such as billing, service management or inventory to the Internet of Things.
Are you ready to bring your game to the IoT area? Jeff Kimble and Lonnie Comer, two engineers at Deloitte Digital in Denver, CO, have built a connected foosball table, and are planning to run a foosball leaderboard, and perhaps even a tournament, throughout Dreamforce. Sensors, Arduinos and a Raspberry Pi track game and player data; the Raspberry Pi calling the Force.com API when a game begins, when a team scores and for other game events. Come play a game, and don’t miss Jeff and Lonnie’s breakout session where they will reveal how (and why!) they put it together.
Salesforce partner Xively by LogMeIn is bringing no less than five connected products to the Developer Zone. Lutron’s Caséta Wireless home automation solution allows consumers to control their home’s lights and shades from Android devices, iPhones, iPads, or the Apple Watch. Xively used their enterprise IoT platform to connect with Lutron’s Smart Bridge, and built a Node.js application on Heroku to connect the Lutron mobile app to their platform. The result is that consumers can control their Lutron devices via the Smart Bridge from any mobile device, anywhere in the world.
Moving away from the consumer space, the New England Biolabs NEBnow connected freezer gives biotech researchers in academia and industry access to restriction enzymes and related products. Xively built an application to run on a tablet mounted on the freezer using Heroku and integrated it with Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. In just 100 days, NEB was able to deliver secure Internet of Things (IoT)-connected freezers to scientists’ labs.
A brand new Xively integration, the Symmons Industries Inflow Shower monitors water temperature, flow rate and duration. Here, Xively’s platform connects to the shower sensors and aggregates and displays vital information to help manage water for commercial property owners and managers. Integration with the Salesforce Service and Sales Cloud allows Symmons to address service issues on-site or even remotely in real-time.
SureFlap is a name I personally know very well – I installed their microchip pet door at home about a year ago, and I’ve been a happy customer ever since. Their pet doors and feeders use the standard RFID identification chip implanted in many pets, and also available as a collar tag. SureFlap decided the next step was to have Xively Internet-enable their products, creating an app allowing pet owners to get real-time insights into their pets’ lives. Now you can know when your cat last went out, when they ate, if they are home safe, and even lock them in if there’s a storm on the way. The connected pet door is still in pre-production, but you’ll be able to get a sneak preview in the IoT area.
Finally from Xively, you’ll be able to see a SATO CLNX industrial thermal printer connected to the Service Cloud via SATO Online Services (SOS). Xively enabled SATO to create an new support model for CLNX, integrating the device with their existing business systems, improving remote management and product updates. The backend API, database storage, front end web pages, and front end mobile apps are all built on Heroku, with Heroku Connect synchronizing data with the Salesforce customer service portal.
Founded way back in 1890, Emerson is nonetheless blazing a trail through the Internet of Things, displaying a range of connected HVAC products in the IoT area:
- The Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat integrates with the Service Cloud, allowing homeowners to remotely manage and monitor their home temperature, via smartphone, tablet or PC.
- The ComfortGuard Monitoring Service predicts problems with customers’ heating and cooling equipment. A data hub gathers and transmits data from ten custom sensors, installed directly into the HVAC equipment. Emerson is planning to integrate ComfortGuard with Salesforce to manage sales, customer experience and marketing.
- The Ecovent system of wireless sensors and vents lets customers control their home climate room-by-room through a mobile app. Sensors detect temperature, humidity and pressure, working with smart vents to control the flow of hot or cool air to each room.
Drones have long been a feature of the Internet of Things, and PixiePath are building an orchestration platform that aims to make controlling a drone as easy as making a few REST calls. Unfortunately, we can’t fly a drone around inside the Developer Zone, but PixiePath have built a fun prototype system where activating an ultrasonic proximity sensor creates a case in Service Cloud. The PixiePath platform is notified of the new case, and instructs the drone to take a photo. The photo is uploaded to Salesforce and becomes instantly visible on the case record.
I’ve never had a big enough lawn to justify buying a lawn tractor, but I’m thinking I can expense one now for ‘research’ – MTD has outfitted their Cub Cadet lawn tractors with sensors to monitor engine performance and battery voltage. The sensors connect to the Cub Connect mobile app to enable maintenance alerts and track corresponding service activities. Acumen Solutions is helping MTD create an end-to-end connected product solution for Cub Connect with Salesforce Service Cloud, Analytics Cloud and Heroku, leveraging device data to help MTD better serve their customers and gain deep insight into their products.
Remember that robot arm I mentioned way back at the start of this blog post? Well, last year, Hexagon Metrology were showing it with a prototype connection to the Service Cloud. You could knock the vibration sensor and see a case being filed automatically. Since then, Hexagon have productized the system as MMS PULSE, and are shipping it with their range of Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs). What does a CMM do? Well, they can check manufactured parts against CAD models and report accuracy down to a micron – that’s a ?m, or one thousandth of a millimetre. This turns out to be a big deal in areas such as cars, planes, power stations, medical devices and more!
One final thing… Our friends at Proximity Insight are building an iBeacon iOS app to help you navigate the connected product showcase. You’ll be able to download the app at Dreamforce and, as you move around the IoT area, it will give you information on the nearest product on display, links to more info and act as a live demonstration of iBeacon technology.
Whether you’re already elbow deep in sensors and microcontrollers, or just trying to figure out what this IoT thing is all about, drop by the IoT area in the Developer Zone on Moscone West 2 and be inspired by the cutting edge of the Internet of Things!