There’s nothing better than a little bit of hyperbole in the morning, and today’s dose comes courtesy of Lunera. For those who haven’t heard of them before, Lunera is a company involved in the ever-exciting IoT space. In particular, Lunera covers a bunch of the baseline things that are needed to drive deeper IoT usage – edge technology, networking, compute, sensors and controls capabilities. The sort of applications that Lunera enables, and which it offers on its own marketplace, include indoor wayfinding, asset tracking, Wi-Fi monitoring, proximity messaging and space utilization.

Anyway, Lunera is today announcing the introduction of its own smart lamps, the compute software platform and the aforementioned marketplace. In the case of its lamps offering, Lunera is embedding edge-computing into the lamps – networking, compute, sensors and controls.

And obviously, once you have compute and networking embedded into each lamp, you have the ability to link all those lamps together to create a mesh – Lunera does by utilizing a number of different communication protocols including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4 and EnOcean.

All of those devices, connected by all of those protocols, means that Lunera can enable some interesting stuff – the ambient nature of the mesh that Lunera creates across its lamps means that a bunch of hyper-local use cases – from indoor wayfinding and asset tracking to Wi-Fi monitoring, proximity messaging, space utilization, occupancy-based HVAC control and automated demand response – can be run on, and between its lamps.

On the one hand, this is absolutely an embodiment of what ambient computing is. But by conflating what is admittedly a really useful platform to achieve space-related outcomes – with a Matrix-like computing fabric is, perhaps, gilding the lily somewhat. Indeed, taking up the gilding brush with aplomb is John Bruggeman, chief executive officer, Lunera who suggests that:

Not too long ago we went from believing that the computer is the computer, to understanding that the network is the computer. Today, Lunera is leading the next shift, one that has the potential to be even bigger: the network is everything around us. Until now, no one has conceived of the light bulb as the network or the platform for ambient computing. We believe Lunera is perfectly situated to realize the promise of this new compute paradigm.

Building a marketplace

Marketing hyperbole aside, it is interesting to see Lunera enable both a base layer platform offering and the marketplace on top of that. The Lunera Ambient Compute Marketplace (now there’s a mouthful) allows third-party vendors to build applications that leverage all the stuff that Lunera offers. The initial marketplace offering includes:

  • Real-time location-based services that turn each lamp into a beacon that can transmit and receive signals. The platform supports both Apple iBeacon and Google Eddystone for proximity messaging, indoor GPS, asset tracking and space utilization.
  • IoT networking that enables connectivity of smart devices to realize the potential of the IoT within indoor settings.
  • Energy management will allow for a different user experience for each building occupant. Utilizing Wi-Fi connectivity, each lamp can send energy usage to the cloud for interpretation and action and adjust automatically to its surroundings. Lunera also enables tighter connectivity between utilities and customers to drive greater energy savings. Lunera provides Automated Demand Response (ADR) controls at the lamp and HVAC level, as well as occupancy-based HVAC control.

MyPOV

OK, so there was probably no reason to overplay the references to The Matrix and its ilk in the briefing materials. Lunera is actually enabling a good thing, but it’s not going to displace more centralized computing paradigms anytime soon. It’s also worth noting that Lunera isn’t the only vendor looking at edge computing – pretty much every vendor out there that has a play in the cloud, is also thinking about moving to the edge – AWS, Microsoft, and Google all have very strong IoT platform stories, and ones which tie back strongly to a central cloud core, as well.

I like what Lunera is doing, but am reminded of a saying my father used to be fond of: “slowly, slowly catchy monkey.” You’re doing good stuff, Lunera, but maybe tone it down a little?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

1 Comment
  • “The Network is the Computer” yet again!

    Since John Gage who is credited with creating the phrase; it has had a long and distinguished journey from the data center, to the cloud, and now mobile and IoT.

Leave a Reply