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Wolfram offers data analysis stack to device makers

Joab Jackson | Jan. 8, 2014
At CES, Wolfram is pitching its numerical analysis middleware as the lingua franca for the so-called Internet of Things.

To use these capabilities, a device manufacturer would install a Wolfram Language driver on each device, one that delivers the low level data to the WDF, which in turn could convert it into more sophisticated data structures.

WDF-based services could then be run either on a local computer, or as a cloud service by the device manufacturer.

Using WDF devices, a jogger, for instance, could easily compare the times of his or her recent runs, as captured on a sports watch, or analyze them for long-term trends. Then, the jogging times can be combined with daily weight taken from a bathroom scale, so the two sets of data can be correlated to observe the effect of jogging on average daily weight.

Or, a hospital could compile patient data from a variety of WDF diagnostic instruments, to have all the information in one location.

In addition to health monitoring, connected electronic devices could deliver information about a wide range of activities, such as home energy usage or the location of children and pets.

The WDF datasets would be richer than those typically offered now, because they are in a more structured and computationally friendly format, Wolfram argued. Instead of using a simple dashboard, users could deploy a search engine to specify the exact parameters of information that they are seeking.

Already some Wolfram software has made it into portable devices. For instance, the Wolfram Language is already bundled into the Raspberry Pi US$25 Linux computer.

The company also announced it is working with Intel to develop a version of the Wolfram Language for Intel's Edison, an embeddable computer the size of an SD flash storage card. Wolfram expects the Edison, which Intel announced at CES, to be used in a wide range of portable devices.

The Wolfram Connected Devices Program will serve as a directory of devices that could support the WDF. Thus far, the company has compiled basic entries on a few thousand devices, including kitchen scales, sport watches and GPS devices. Overall, products from about 300 different companies are represented in the database.

Visitors of the directory can use the Wolfram|Alpha search engine to search for, and compare, devices, by their individual characteristics.

 

 

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