IoT platforms and protocols for logistics


The main problem of traditional telematics and container & trailer tracking solutions are the closed data silos. The collected data of the customers are captured in the databases of the individual application provider. The new Internet-of-Things (IoT) development platforms advertise with a openness and modularity of the solution. The data of the crowd

On the other side low-power consuming and cheap prototyping devices with additional sensors for geo-location, shock detection, temperature measurement, light sensor, RFID detection are available. Currently the devices are a commodity and many additional use cases are possible like monitor the cool chain, detect theft and damages in real time.


Prototyping IoT Hardware

The IoT hype started with the credit card-sized and cheap (>20€) Rasberry PI single-board computers. University and Hobbyists make this open miniaturized hardware board to the best selling computer all time already. The span go from $2 single computer like ESP8266 with integrated WiFi until 70$ like Zolertia Re-Mote for low power and wide range use cases or Tessel2 with a very advanced development platform and support for simple to use programming language JavaScript (Node.js).New more industrialied products like Intel Edison and Qualcomm DragonBoard and Bosch XDK try to step into the IoT Sensorization market. After the prototyping and development phase the IoT hardware provider can order a more industrialized device in high quantities and lower costs in a ruggedized shelter, to protect the electronic from water and dust (e.g. IP68).


Publish and subscribe for MQTT events; Source: 

IoT’s opportunity and challenge will be to connect 50 billion devices in a meaningful way to deliver truly distributed machine-to-machine applications. It will connect 10 times as many devices as the mobile revolution and be the driving transformation of our time. Therefore the IP6 was introduced to address all these new devices. With this amont of data the 25 years old HTTP protocol can’t meet the requirements of low overhead, response time, security and reliability. In this case two IoT protocols MQTT and CoAP introduced. MQTT can be used for event based publish and subscribe pattern. CoAP is a very fast, lightweight IoT protocol with a blockwise transfer, security, reliability, and discovery features.


IoT dashboard in relayr

Currently the big players Google, Amazon, Microsoft offering IoT platforms using the common IoT hardware platforms to connect all devices. But there are many other open IoT platforms and development  frameworks like Relayr, CumulocityKaa IoTSite WhereDeviceHive, or DSA, to also connect and visualize the data. The plain sensor data will be graphical interpreted in a human readable dashboard overview.


  1. There’s a huge connection between IOT and cloud. They are inseparable. I think it’s relevant and its 100% accurate for us to be talking about IoT. IoT itself is becoming a very deep subject where you know, you’ve IoT of consumers, IoT of machines, m2m, IoT of things in so many different ways. Thanks for the very interesting article Matthias.

  2. This is great article indeed, Matthias!

    These IoT Platforms are the key for the development of scalable IoT applications and services that connect the real and virtual worlds between objects, systems and people. However, as the IoT Platform market represents a truly new segment that was almost non-existent a few years ago, the landscape is complex and changing very quickly.

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