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January 16, 2015

Cloud system enables remote control over IoT devices

Toshiba's system is designed to control more than 100,000 devices instantaneously.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Toshiba is looking to increase its footprint in the Internet of Things (IoT) space after releasing details of its latest real-time remote control system for IoT connections.

The cloud system, unveiled at the IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference, is designed to control more than 100,000 devices, such as home devices and sensors, by using a virtual server instance and WebSocket protocol.

WebSocket is designed to allow web browsers and servers to have real-time exchanges of live communications through voice, video or data.

"At a scale of more than one million devices, multiple relay servers that mediate communications between home devices and mobile terminals via the cloud are necessary," commented Toshiba.

Toshiba claims that the system can increase the number of connections per server, while improving system scalability and efficiency simultaneously.

"Our system improves memory usage efficiency in encrypted communications and can connect more than 100,000 devices using a virtual server instance in the cloud that is not high performance (equivalent to a regular laptop computer with 4 GB of memory)," Toshiba said.

The system can also switch the WebSocket connection according to the load status of the server, while other functionalities can adjust the number of servers in use across the entire system.

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"For example, as the number of devices in use differs between day and night time, the number of servers can be automatically decreased during times when the number of devices in use is small," Toshiba said.

The company added that by connecting the mobile terminal and home device to the same server via a connection mediation function, it is possible to maintain a low-latency communication even if the number of servers increases.

"If the mobile terminal and home device are connected to different servers, the control command must be forwarded between servers and will follow extraneous paths," Toshiba added.

"However, this does not occur in the new system. We confirmed that roughly one million virtual devices were successfully connected with ten virtual servers for relaying (same performances as above) and one server for mediating."

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