By Joe Cozzarelli ( joecozz), IoT Business Development Manager at Verizon
Designing an IoT solution can be a daunting task, and the challenges associated with all the elements of building a successful offering cut across many disciplines and critical capabilities. The advent of the hardware development kit (DevKit) can accelerate the time to first demonstration and ultimately the time to market for new IoT solutions. Verizon has embraced the DevKit model by developing key OEM partnerships and building the ThingSpace platform, all while remaining flexible to developers’ preferences. We have made every effort to make sure that designers have a good start on their design by selecting a flexible base kit with an appropriate microcontroller, cellular connectivity, and ThingSpace easy access. We built this strategy based on several key factors.
At the outset, we recognized that DevKits were not substitutes for production-grade hardware so we took that into consideration. They are tools to show proof-of-concept and gain early approval and acceptance of a design approach. For example, when a designer either comes up with an idea or is asked by the business side of an enterprise to validate an idea, starting with a DevKit is an easy way to demonstrate that first level of functionality.
Of course, developers have to consider many criteria when starting a project but the most significant goal is to get to market and generate revenue as quickly as possible. That means the faster you can demonstrate functionality the sooner you can secure key resources such as headcount, budget and time. A DevKit is a fantastic way to accomplish just that. The process can be tricky and designers can’t afford to waste time with restarts so we considered some critical factors in selecting our DevKits:
- Ecosystem Flexibility
- Microcontroller Selection
- Connectivity Selection
- Open Development
In this post, I’ll get into ecosystem flexibility and microcontroller selection factors and then a second post will provide some insight into connectivity selection and open development.
The first factor we considered was ecosystem flexibility with respect to microcontrollers. Verizon recognizes that developers invest a great deal of time and effort into learning and becoming proficient in their preferred set of tools. So we are partnering with each of the leading MCU manufactures to configure kits that are “ThingSpace Ready,” which means they have all the features developers are used to plus the kits easily connect to ThingSpace. We have also used our engineering resources to configure kits in a way that “makes sense” for IoT solutions.
By leveraging the flexibility of Verizon working with partners you’re comfortable with, a ThingSpace Ready DevKit can help you bring your next solution to market efficiently and help get to profitability faster than ever.
The second factor to consider is the “sizing” of the Microcontroller in the DevKit. It can have a real impact on the success or failure of your device. Verizon has selected microcontrollers that are sized for most IoT applications with appropriate speed and bit width. It must support a security strategy that includes, at a minimum, secure boot and secure key storage. Our ThingSpace Ready DevKits also support Verizon’s IoT Secure Credentialing. We have done our best to get developers started with familiar partners and a microcontroller sized for scalability and success.
(Note: this is the first of two posts about Selecting a DevKit. For the second, check back next week.
Inside the Verizon ThingSpace community at thingspace.verizon.com, you’ll have a unique opportunity to get involved with the Verizon partnership ecosystem.
Members of the community can:
- Share ideas, challenges, and inspiration with your peers
- Communicate with Verizon to chat with subject matter experts
- Read the latest news and information related to ThingSpace updates and developer events
To get into the ecosystem, and see how Verizon can help with your next development project, join the ThingSpace community today.