LEA PROFESSIONAL - IoT BLOG
IoT: The Internet of Things and Pro Audio
May 17, 2019 by Blake Augsburger
IOT: The Internet of Things and Pro Audio First of all, what is IoT? IoT devices are becomin
g more prevalent in our daily lives. To begin with, IoT translates to “Internet of Things”. In short, can be defined as an object connected to the internet, that is able to collect and exchange data.
How Does IoT Work?
IoT objects can communicate data either wired or wirelessly with little to no human intervention. As a result, this allows them to provide notifications of events, predict patterns of behavior, and give useful data based on the user’s habits, interests and needs. For example, object health updates and/or requests for inputs or actions. In addition, other familiar consumer IoT devices include thermostats, lights, blinds, kitchen appliances, and security cameras, for instance. With industrial applications, factories typically use Machine to Machine (M2M) IoT devices in production machinery and robots to make critical decisions. In addition, IoT can also be found within the rail, air and sea transportation networks and even in the future autonomous car. So then, it is clear that IoT is a key element of infrastructure communication and decision making. Therefore, isn’t it time that we take advantage of IoT for our professional audio projects? How does IoT Benefit Pro Audio? First, for the system integrator, there are advantages to using an IoT device within an audio installation. For instance, with IoT you can now control and monitor devices remotely without having to VPN into the local area network. As a result, systems are much easier to use. As a rule, there are two types of data that is typically available (depending on the device’s IoT architecture) – hot and cold path data analytics: Hot path provides real-time notifications allowing the integrator to observe and analyze performance data that is occurring in the present. Cold path gathers the historical data and enables long term analytics. Consequently, with these cold path analytics, the device can send notifications before a failure occurs. As a result, integrators can learn about an impending service call. Therefore, the integrator can make faster and better decisions on service and preventative maintenance schedules. Having a connected IoT device inform the integrator, results in increased system uptime and reduced system downtime. Controlling IoT-enabled Pro Audio Devices Within a professional audio IoT device, there could be hundreds of data points available for control, monitoring and/or analysis. Generally, this is accomplished using custom web application software and local device firmware. Using a Web App, the integrator can easily setup the device and monitor performance status. This type of control architecture is perfect for reading real-time meter data in particular. As a result, the integrator can group critical data sets around system I/O such as: health, digital signal processing, and even external load conditions. In addition, they can also download security, software and firmware updates by simply accepting a notification. This platform also allows for easy integration of software plugins for integration with other devices within the integrator’s system design. IoT Generates Recurring Revenue IoT audio technology simplifies the audio device installation, configuration, and improves the overall system control and monitoring. In addition, installers have an opportunity for an IoT service model and monthly recurring revenue for the integrator. As a result, the integrator now has the opportunity to solve problems before they happen in real time with the hot path analytics. In this case, they can do this by using remote scheduled maintenance along with monitoring and notification of faults and data variances provided by IoT. Beyond that, implementing a Cloud further enhances this model by providing advanced data analytic capabilities with the cold path analytics. In addition, manufacturers can also store data like, factory presets and firmware updates. Also, expanding beyond the Web App with a Mobile App brings in simple notification capabilities and further ease of use. In conclusion, the IoT architecture is a solid foundation for building connected integrator solutions that pay back. What about the security of LEA IoT devices? LEA devices utilize the same globally accepted security protocols large companies like NASA and Netflix use with AWS IoT core. The LEA device will have three unique certificates for each device:
Device Certificate – used for authentication and encryption between the LEA device and AWS IoT Core. Manufacturers install the Device Certificate at the factory. It can’t be modified or changed. This ensures the intended communication path to the cloud is both authentic and encrypted.
SSL Certificate – used for any communications between the amplifier and the HTTP/Websocket Server. This ensures the communication path while on the local area network is secure locally.
Repair Tool Certificate – used by the service center and manufacturer. This tool gives LEA, as the manufacturer, the ability to completely erase all previous cloud data and any private settings. Once erased, the manufacturer can reassign a new certificate. This ensures nobody who has access to that device can access any data before the device is put back into service.
IoT Audio and LEA All of this is the cool technology that is built into the LEA Connect Series of professional amplifiers. Besides being innovative power devices, we believe our products are the first true IoT devices for the professional audio installation market. There are no buttons on the front panel. Thus, the installer configures and monitors everything over a Web App. In addition, all of our products connect via ethernet or WiFi, with each product being a WiFi hot spot. We provide a Cloud where installers can analyze data for health measurements and speaker tunings can be saved in libraries. LEA also provides over-the-air software and firmware updates and easy remote monitoring over firewalls. In conclusion, we have built a platform that is secure, flexible, and easy to adjust as integrators create recurring revenue models. And this is just beginning our innovation road map for the professional integrator.
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