Recently we reported in a press statement about our work within the internet standards organisation W3C. Lemonbeat team member Frank Reusch was in Sapporo at the TPAC15 event to present Lemonbeat in the context of Lemonbeat smart Device language, our proposal for a universal device language for the internet of things. We took a moment on a chilly winter afternoon in Dortmund to catch up with him around how it went.
How did you end up working for Lemonbeat?
Well I started work within the Logistics industry, looking at IT automation. It’s a while ago, but I guess that always fitted well with what we are trying to achieve with Lemonbeat. I joined RWE IT GmbH, a subsiduary of the RWE group, and ran a number of projects on an international basis, mostly relating to software. When the Lemonbeat came looking for new staff as part of their growth drive, I was keen to take part.
So far I’ve been coordinating the work around internet standards within the Lemonbeat stack, and of course discussions around Lemonbeat smart Device Language (application layer) within W3C.
So, we’ve often talked about trying to sum up Lemonbeat effectively. How would you describe it?
Lemonbeat is a solution that combines distributed intelligence with the highest level of automation, meaning without centralized control. Devices can communicate with each other and include new devices with no manual intervention. An example is the smart system from Gardena which Lemonbeat helps support. Sensors, various sprinkler systems and lawn mowers work autonomously with each other.
Our clients then have a significant added value. The development times are faster and operation more flexible. And it could even lower costs.
Ok so where’s the key USP?
The great strength of Lemonbeat is that it’s easy and flexible to use with any kind of constrained devices, but can still serve complex requirements on more intelligent devices, all within the same structure. This is a unique selling point compared to other solutions out there.
And how did it come about?
The origin of Lemonbeat was the RWE home automation system RWE SmartHome. Our colleagues there have considerable practical experience. They know what sort of technical limitations, can lead to higher effort and operating restrictions.
Using this experience we wanted to address the question of what does a communication protocol need to address for the future. The answer was Lemonbeat. Soon it became clear though that this would not just be a good basis for future RWE SmartHome devices but for all sorts of solutions in a wide different industries.
So your meeting was in Sapporo, Japan, how did you find it?
Well first off, it was a great experience. I’ve had the chance to travel with my work in the past, but we’ve tended to operate within Europe for the most part. Getting to go to Japan was certainly exciting, and I suspect that there will be more international work to come.
That said, we were run off our feet once we got out there. There was our presentation and demo which kept us busy, but also a lot of interesting discussions in the coffee breaks and evenings too.
So we’ve talked about the location, what was the main objective of being there at the TPAC15?
RWE is a member of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), the main international standard organization for the World Wide Web with over 400 members from all over the world on board. Therefore, the RWE attendance was mandatory if we are planning to standardize our technology in the worldwide focus. We had 30 minutes to present our approach. My colleague Daniel Lux, from the company Seluxit, entered the technical commands.
My job was to explain the behavior and logic of Lemonbeat to around about 100 experts. During this technical demonstration we made radio communication between two devices transparent. We used a sniffertool named Wireshark to see what no one was able to see. Secondly, we configured and showed three examples of different traffic light sequences based on Lemonbeat. We proved that you can change the behavior of a device during runtime quickly and flexibly. The old, harder methods of going about this are, thanks to Lemonbeat, obsolete.
What are the biggest challenges which Lemonbeat has to face with?
The first point is the standardization process to develop and establish Lemonbeat smart device language (LSDL) as a worldwide technology. The second point is to find opportunities for the business model.
Making the appearance at the TPAC15 may well help us on the way to the first point, and we have made a number of important contacts with potential business partners which could help address the latter aim.
Thanks very much for taking the time to answer our questions!