The concept of connecting devices to the Internet and to each other is gaining a lot of traction and attention lately. More and more people are beginning to talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) at conferences and in the press.
We at Fluidmesh have been involved in connecting smart devices, such as cameras for video security applications and sensors for industrial automation, to networks and to the Internet since the day we started the business in 2005. Nobody was talking much about the Internet of Things back then, although Kevin Ashton, a researcher from MIT, proposed the term “Internet of Things” for the first time in 1999. During the initial few years we were in business, people were still mainly focused on connecting specific devices to each other and to a backbone fiber network. Recently, however, as cloud applications have evolved, more and more applications need to get networked devices connected not only to each other but also require having devices that can access the Internet. This is because the real intelligence of the overall implementation often runs in the cloud in a server farm in a remote location, miles away from the actual on-site deployment.
Today, there are many different applications that fall under the IoT umbrella. Fluidmesh focuses on a subset of those applications and our wireless technology acts as an enabler of IoT applications, particularly in those environments where the first challenge is allowing smart and networked devices to connect to each other and to the Internet. Urban areas and large industrial sites are the typical locations where people want to experiment and deploy applications based on the Internet of Things concepts but face connectivity as their first challenge to overcome. Connecting all the devices that any large city may have deployed over the past couple of decades can certainly bring many benefits to the community in terms of security, safety and mobility. Who, for instance, wants to waste hours in a traffic jam simply because traffic signals are not property synchronized with traffic cameras? However, wiring a large urban area or an industrial site can be extremely complex and expensive. Consequently, the first challenge to resolve is getting the smart devices connected to the Internet. The Internet of Things then becomes a Wireless Internet of Things as reliable wireless transmission makes the IoT application possible.
We launched Fluidmesh in 2005 because we felt there were many mission critical applications that required a reliable wireless solution to connect devices to each other, even in those scenarios where each device can be miles apart from each other. Back then, the most common applications that required our products were urban video-surveillance. Fluidmesh has been involved in many deployments involving video security and wireless video streaming for Homeland Security, law enforcement agencies and military-related applications. However, over the years we have also been involved in many projects beyond wireless video streaming. We are proud that we can say that Fluidmesh is a leader in Wireless Internet of Things deployments because, for ten years, we’ve helped cities, federal agencies, private entities, airports, seaports, railways and utilities overcome the challenges of connecting their devices, sensors and actuators to each other to enable their Internet of Things applications. These span urban video-surveillance, smart grids, wireless industrial automation, railroads signaling and automation – all applications where “things” and devices need to be connected to each other.
Since the launch of Wi-Fi technology in the late ‘90s, most wireless vendors have been mainly focused on connecting people to the Internet using, for example, the Wi-Fi 802.11 protocols and all its different revisions over the years. Fluidmesh, on the other hand, has always focused on connecting devices, initially to each other, and more recently, to the Internet as cloud applications have become a reality and a requirement in industrial and government-related applications. Seeing more and more people understand the impact of the Internet of Things on our lives excites me because Fluidmesh can be counted among those pioneering companies that pursued a vision when IoT was not yet a buzz word. We experimented with the challenges of connecting cameras, sensors, substations, vehicles and trains to the Internet when everybody else was trying to connect laptops. This decade of experience sets us apart from the rest of the market and makes us part of the small club of visionary organizations that are not only leveraging the Internet of Things today but created and envisioned the Internet of Things ten years ago.
CEO and co-founder