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Summary:

LogMeIn has launched a cloud platform that inventors and developers can use to create next-generation connected devices, and it’s partnered with ARM to provide a “Jumpstart” kit to speed up the process.

Just a few weeks ago, my colleague Stacey Higginbotham covered an interesting Spanish outfit called Carriots that’s building a platform-as-a-service (Paas) geared specifically towards the internet of things (IoT). As with other startups such as Electric Imp, the aim here is to make it super-simple for developers of connected devices and the services around them to, well, connect those devices. It’s a lot easier to innovate on top of an established platform than to rebuild the fundamentals each and every time.

Well, those startups now have seriously heavyweight competition in the form of LogMeIn, the remote connectivity specialist, and ARM, the British firm whose low-power chip designs underpin the vast majority of mobile devices, and which is now competing with Intel to own the IoT space.

LogMeIn has just launched its own PaaS for the internet of things, calling it Xively (the beta version was known as Cosm). And developers wanting to start creating connected devices on this platform are being offered the Xively Jumpstart Kit, which combines Xively with ARM’s mbed platform, for building devices using ARM’s microcontrollers. With this kit, the companies promise, developers can “rapidly progress from prototyping to volume deployment”.

Xively is based on LogMeIn’s Gravity infrastructure – the same one used to support the company’s cloud storage offering, Cubby — and it comes with development tools for writing and prototyping services, a provisioning engine for deployment and a scalable management console. It supports real-time messaging and directory and data services, as well as analytics, and it uses a “pay-as-you-grow” pricing model that should make the platform attractive to startups.

The directory services extend to a “commons” named the Xively Connected Object Cloud, through which different companies’ devices can interconnect. According to LogMeIn, a “fundamental philosophy” baked into the Xively terms of service states that “customers own their data and can choose whether or not to share all, part, or none [of] it.”

A showcase page for the platform shows early projects built on Xively that include the Visualight smart lightbulb and even some of the post-Fukushima crowdsourced radiation-monitoring efforts (which used an earlier iteration of the platform, called Pachube at the time).

While the Xively Jumpstart Kit should help inventors and developers gravitate in ARM’s direction, it’s not like Intel is sleeping. Intel said in February that its own Intelligent Systems Framework – a set of specifications for connecting, managing and securing IoT devices – had been used to support more than 50 products. The company also released new software tools for, you guessed it, reducing time to market.

Although ARM does benefit from a much broader ecosystem than Intel, it’s too early to call that race. However, those startups trying to build their own PaaSes for the internet of things had better get a move on. LogMeIn’s offering is already pretty mature for this space and, given the momentum rapidly building behind the IoT movement, its timing is exquisite.

(Incidentally, the internet of things is a subject that will be discussed at our Structure 2013 event in San Francisco on 19-20 June, so be there.)

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  1. The true internet of things will not be tied to a single platform. As much as the providers may wish it to be so.

  2. James Richardson Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    Absolutely agree with Doug’s previous comment here; these futile attempts to “own” the IOT by creating a single platform will always fail. This is the “CompuServe” of devices in a PPP world. Stop thinking of how to “control” it and focus on the potentially endless innovations and solutions to things that matter.

  3. Pachbe was great. Every time they get acquired and renamed, it feels like it’s less open and more of an attempt to trap everyone in a proprietary pay service. And they don’t do anything of enough value to extract taxes on the IOT forever. Any decent developer could build their own logging and graphing easily, so “Xively” is just a minor convenience, not anything that will extract $billions from the IOT, because anyone smart would move off rather than pay huge fees. Electric Imp is also proprietary, but at least they did something difficult/valuable. And selling hardware and giving the platform as a free service is a smarter business strategy.

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