The 10th Pentaho Community Meeting took place in Mainz Germany in November 2017. As usual, Pentaho Community meeting was full of fun, networking, interesting talk, and presentations. One the highlights of the meeting was a Pentaho Hackathon in a cosy wine cellar lounge on Friday night. The Specialist team within Hitachi Vantara EMEA Sales Engineering group participated in the hackathon and presented their Internet of Things (IoT) demo for sensing and predicting levels of alcohol in the audience.
Not just about fun and alcohol: the key concept behind the IoT demo
IoT is referred to systems with sensors & actuators connected by computer networks. These systems generate an enormous amount of data. The value of these data is huge. Research and advisory firms estimate the value of IoT market to reach 267B $ by 2020. Potential applications of IoT cover many settings such as homes, cities, worksites, factories, retail and other. For example, sensor data from machines at a factory can be used to monitor their condition and prevent potential failure leading to the shutdown of a factory. In cities, sensor data can be used to monitor air and water quality to ensure health and well-being of residents.
However, the successful outcome of IoT projects heavy relies on suitable tools for connecting to data sources, capturing sensor data, processing, applying analytics and displaying results in dashboards and reports. In short, building an IoT platform is a key to success of IoT projects and initiates. IoT platform is an enabler for getting value out of sensor data. Two important aspects of an IoT platform are
1) the end-to-end approach for building data pipelines and
2) ability to apply advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms to the data.
Pentaho platform covers both aspects. Capabilities of the platform made it a part of wider Hitachi Industrial IoT platform called Lumada that also allows performing asset registry and creation of “digital twins”.
So being inspired by the immense value of IoT market, capabilities of Pentaho platform and surroundings of the cozy wine cellar, the Specialist team started building an IoT demo during the hackathon.
How was the IoT demo built?
The IoT demo was designed around an alcohol sensor suitable for detecting alcohol concentration just like any common breathalyzer. The sensor was mounted on Arduino microcontroller and data from it was injected into Pentaho Data Integration tool via connection to SCADA gateway. The reading coming from the sensor could be examined using Pentaho Dashboards. But just monitoring the sensor data was not enough. And the team took a step further. The team implemented advanced D3 visualizations for alcohol levels and applied predictive analytics to the sensor data.
The demo was built in 2 hours during over the hackathon in a wine cellar. For some, it can be considered as a “fun” exercise mainly aimed to entertain the attendees of the Pentaho Community meeting how could monitor and predict their level of alcohol consumption in it. In fact, the demo highlighted several important things:
- Diversity of skills within the Sales Engineering team
- Ability to extremely rapidly (within a few hours!) prototype IoT solution that includes data integration, advanced visualizations, and predictive analytics
- Capabilities of Pentaho as an IoT platform: from edge to outcome!
The specialist team had a wonderful time during the hackathon and enjoyed the beautiful surrounding of Mainz and Frankfurt. The team is looking forward to the next challenges and interesting projects in 2018.