The world’s smallest class managed edge computing engine leverages web technology, control, surveillance and visualization of data on IoT devices simply, cost-effectively and rapidly

Tokyo, Japan, 8 June 2016
− ACCESS CO., LTD., a global provider of advanced software technologies to the automotive, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and digital TV markets, today announced the launch of NetFront™ Agent. Developed by ACCESS, it is one of the world’s smallest managed edge computing engines, combining sensors and various other data input/output devices to administer data gathering and output on IoT gateways. As of today, NetFront Agent is available globally for operators looking for a solution to provide devices and services using IoT gateways to make homes and large-scale facilities such as plants, offices and hotels smarter. NetFront Agent has been primarily designed for consumer electronics, industry and business device manufacturers; gas and electricity suppliers; telecom carriers, cable and Pay TV operators, system integrators, home builders and more.

Background to Development
In anticipation of the advent of a full-scale IoT society, there is increasing activity in the search for new services and new business models leveraging IoT in a variety of industries and fields. Moving forward, the number of IoT devices capable of gathering data is expected to explode. With this increase in data gathering IoT devices, the volume of data uploaded to the cloud will also expand, and many businesses will face issues related to the operability and economical viability of new services utilizing the data while recognizing business opportunities. In addition, it is becoming increasingly complicated to manage the security and authentication of each IoT device, alongside the update of the gateway software.

An IoT gateway device is a node that interconnects networks that use differing communication protocols to relay data. With the increasing spread of smartphones and IoT devices, as well as growth in the use of wireless sensor networks and cloud services, the IoT gateway market is growing rapidly, and the scale of the global IoT gateway market is forecast to reach 12.64 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.*

This expected demand, combined with its expertise in embedded software development, led ACCESS to develop NetFront Agent, to add intelligent functionality to IoT gateways, such as collecting and outputting data together with optional functions such as security, Firmware On-The-Air (FOTA) and heartbeat. NetFront Agent can also be used as edge computing technology to process the vast amount of data on the gateway side and reduce the network load on the cloud. This enables businesses to effectively realize the potential of IoT services.

Example of system configuration
NetFront Agent

 

Product Overview
NetFront Agent is based upon the unique engine of NetFront™ Browser, a browser for embedded systems that has been shipped in over 1.5 billion devices worldwide. Featuring memory-saving characteristics together with highly advanced portability and scalability, it can be integrated within an IoT gateway to aggregate data transmitted from sensors and other IoT devices operating on differing wireless communication standards such as BLE, Wi-SUN and WiFi, and to transmit data to cloud infrastructure. Businesses can visualize data on the cloud on PCs and remotely control IoT devices via NetFront Agent. In addition, the types of data received from IoT devices are refined by NetFront Agent and transmitted to the cloud, making it possible to reduce the network traffic on cloud infrastructure.

For example, plant facilities that are adapting their industrial equipment for IoT, and installing NetFront Agent to the IoT gateway located in the plant, can confirm the operating status of equipment using a PC in the office. Using a set-top box provided by a cable TV operator as an IoT gateway, it is also possible to provide added-value services such as confirming the operating status of home devices such as refrigerators, televisions, and air-conditioning by smartphone and operating them remotely.

NetFront Agent allows businesses to boost the intelligence of IoT gateways installed in plants, commercial facilities, or homes, thereby improving the automated maintenance, breakdown prediction, and plant productivity while easily and rapidly creating value-added services, such as remote control of consumer electronic devices, at a small cost.

Main Features

  • The world’s smallest class engine
    Utilizes a NetFront Browser core engine for embedded systems producing memory-savings that cannot be matched by solutions based upon JavaScript engines using Open Source such as node.js (v8) or PhantomJS (JSCore)
  • High portability
    NetFront Agent modules do not contain program code depending on any unique platform, making them readily portable to any IoT device
  • Possible to link with various cloud platforms
  • Cost reduction and improved efficiency in development
    Support for JavaScript facilitates development, making it possible to control the gateway itself, sensors and other components that connect to the gateway via JavaScript.

ACCESS will showcase NetFront Agent at Interop Tokyo 2016 (June 8 – 10, 2016, Makuhari Messe) in Booth W3C, Hall 7.

Moving forward, ACCESS intends to add new functionality, including both device and cloud management, as well as control through edge computing using NetFront Agent as the core.

*Source: Press release issued by Global Information, Inc. “IoT Gateway Market by Nodes (Smart Watch, Camera, RADAR, Thermostat, Actuator, Smart TV), by Connectivity Technology (Bluetooth, WiFi, ZigBee, Ethernet, Z-Wave), by Component (MCU, FPGA, Sensor, Memory), by End-Use [&] Geography – Global Forecast to 2022″(April 4, 2016)
https://www.gii.co.jp/report/mama355647-iot-gateway-market-by-nodes-smart-watch-camera.html

About ACCESS
Since 1984, ACCESS CO., LTD. (Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers Index, 4813) has provided advanced IT solutions centered around mobile and network software technologies to telecom carriers, consumer electronics manufacturers, broadcasting and publishing companies, the automotive industry and energy infrastructure providers around the world. The company develops mobile software solutions that have been installed on over 1.5 billion devices, and network software solutions that have been used by over 300 telecommunication equipment manufacturers. Utilizing its network virtualization technology skills and knowledge, the company is currently focusing on the development and commercialization of Internet of Things (IoT) and media solutions that combine embedded and cloud technology. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company operates subsidiaries and affiliates in Asia, Europe and the United States to support and expand its business globally. Learn more about ACCESS at www.access-company.com.

© 2016 ACCESS CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
ACCESS, the ACCESS logo, and NetFront are registered trademarks or trademarks of ACCESS CO., LTD. in the United States, Japan and/or other countries. All other trademarks, logos and trade names mentioned in the document are the property of their respective owners.