Kii offers an on-ramp to the Internet of Things

The Kii IoT platform is designed to work with any chipset or operating system

The Internet of Things is a nascent market, so any help an organization can get setting up its own cloud-connected swarm of devices could provide it with an edge over competitors.

With this in mind, Japanese mobile software development company, Kii, is offering a new platform that takes care of many of the details involved in building out an IoT system.

Unlike many of the startups in the emerging market, Kii brings almost a decade's worth of expertise in large-scale deployments of enterprise and carrier-grade mobile-device development and management software, according to CEO Masanari Arai.

Japanese mobile provider NTT DoCoMo, for instance, uses Kii's mobile platform for three applications for its many users: a backup service, a concierge service that makes purchase recommendations, and a print server.

Kii's mobile development software can be found in over 7,000 mobile applications used by 140 million people worldwide.

It's now extending its toolset to the Internet of Things.

The IoT market will reach $US7.1 trillion by 2020, according to IDC estimates. It will connect refrigerators, thermostats and countless other electronics to the Internet, where cloud services can provide enhanced analytics and operational controls.

Kii's IoT platform is designed to provide all the functionality needed for an IoT service, including a development kit to build software for end user applications and the devices themselves. It provides software to handle data in Kii's cloud or within the user's facilities, and the communications protocols to connect the app with the device and the cloud service.

The platform could be used, for example, to build a cloud-based digital video recording application for a low-cost Internet-connected video camera, for security or other purposes. The platform can work on all hardware devices, operating systems and chipsets, the company claims.

Kii joins an increasingly crowded field of companies offering IoT platforms of one sort or another. Others include Freescale, Oracle, IBM, Postscapes, Carriots, ThingWorx, Axeda, and ioBridge.

Because of its history, Kii says it already has good relations with many chipset and component makers. That could help ease the development process for users trying to build custom hardware. Partners include the open source IoT consortium AllSeen Alliance, IoT hub provider HWTrek, electronics provider Winner Micro and Amazon Web Services.

The Kii platform is not commercially available yet, though organizations can download an early preview to start testing the software. The full commercial edition should be available by the end of the year.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
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