The Internet of Things. Intelligent Systems. M2M. These terms are now commonly heard in the world of embedded computing. And one of the most important related trends, often erroneously associated exclusively with enterprise computing, is that of big data and rich media. The explosion in the number of devices, the connectivity between them, and their ability to generate large and continuous data streams from sensors, cameras and a range of I/O devices will fundamentally reshape the world in which we live and the embedded computing industry.
Gathering, securing, transmitting, processing, analyzing and storing this exploding torrent of information represents a huge challenge for existing infrastructure but a great opportunity for providers of network and cloud infrastructure technology such as Cisco, Huawei, Alcatel Lucent, and others. As the embedded market moves towards all-IP networks, these companies are well positioned to supply the necessary solutions to meet next-generation infrastructure requirements for both communications networking and M2M. For example, Huawei has developed a cloud strategy involving partnerships with companies that offer cloud services as a highly scalable platform for delivering and managing them. Based around embedded software, Cisco’s Video Analytics solution allows customers to classify recorded events and also count people and objects. This would allow an embedded customer to monitor its facilities more effectively and with less security personnel. These are just two examples of how embedded cloud services and video analytics are being enabled. However, this rich media and big data trend is not just limited to the networks.
The impact of this trend also extends into the end devices themselves. The embedded hardware being deployed for enabling rich media and big data spans the spectrum from embedded processors to integrated computing systems. For example, Intel has released its Xeon Processor E3-1200v2, which has the capability of encoding and decoding simultaneous video streams and can serve in a variety of vertical market segments including communications devices, gaming platforms, digital security surveillance applications and more. At the embedded systems level, Radisys recently partnered with Arkadin to provide media servers for Arkadin’s Cloud Collaboration Platform, which delivers conferencing services through a global-IP network.
So the fundamental question for OEMs is not just how the demand for rich media/big data is influencing system requirements, but also how this new functionality and intelligence translates to new business opportunities/models. This question is at the heart of VDC Research Group’s upcoming market research series: Voice of the Customer: Rich Media and Big Data in Embedded Systems.
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