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Lviv IoT Hackathon

December 2, 2015

CoreValue recently hosted an Internet of Things (IoT) Hackathon sponsored by Microsoft Ukraine and the Lviv .NET User Group. The event aligned well with CoreValue’s R&D IoT research initiatives and specifically the internal IoT project “RFC POS Terminal”.
The Hackathon was well attended by developer teams from several IT companies and speakers from Microsoft and Lviv .NET User Group. Teams were provided with Raspberry PI 2 single-board computers, Arduino, Netduino microprocessors, a set of sensors and modules (motion sensor, temperature sensor, smoke sensor, etc.), as well as access to Microsoft Azure.

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Many of the teams took advantage of Microsoft Azure Event Hubs in their projects – technology for cloud-scale telemetry ingestion from websites, apps, and devices to handle data acquired from sensors.

The easiest way to think of Event Hub is as a giant buffer where you place messages that are retained for a given period of time. There are lot of technical similarities and differences between Event Hubs and standard queue/topic approach but, from a use case standpoint, Message Queues are great at handling messages and events telling what to do while Event Hubs handle messages telling you that something has happened.

Messages in Event Hub are removed by default after 7 days, persist after somebody receives them and can be accessed by offset. Azure Event Hubs stream throughput capacity is controlled by throughput units. One throughput unit includes up to 1MB/sec ingress, up to 2MB/sec egress, and supports 1,000 events per second. Event Hubs also introduce a concept of partitions – a data organization mechanism designed to support multiple concurrent readers.

Azure Event Hubs use both Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) and HTTP REST. A major competitor of Azure Event Hubs is Amazon Kinesis which provides the ability to stream data continuously to S3 Buckets or Redshift and provides the ability to analyze the streams via Amazon Kinesis Analytics.

CoreValue team’s idea of RFC POS Terminal was to build Payment Terminal for CoreValue’s kitchen based on individual RFC keys
already used in door security system. RFC module was successfully connected and tested so we hope soon we’ll have fully functional POS in place.

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