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Startup Afero Platform Addresses Internet of Things Communications Security

by Kevin Farnham on Jan 13, 2016 |

Tech startup Afero has launched a new platform that addresses both hardware and software necessities for securely connecting the internet of things (IoT). The platform interfaces IoT devices with a secure Bluetooth smart module, which communicates with a mobile phone that interfaces with the Afero cloud. All communications between the Bluetooth smart module node and the cloud are encrypted.

Natasha Lomas, who interviewed Afero CEO Joe Britt for TechCrunch, writes: "Afero aims to take away the headache of figuring out the connectivity layer for IoT devs so developers can instead focus on whatever the core functionality of their smart device is -- whether they're building something relatively simple, like a smart lock, or a more sophisticated IoT device like a connected home appliance or even a car."

The IoT hardware foundation for the platform is the ASR-1 Secure Radio Module.

Afero's developers page describes this device as:

 

A Bluetooth Smart system-in-package (SIP) that supports ultra-low power connectivity for data communication. It is well designed for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Built into every ASR-1 is a security chip, preprogrammed to operate in conjunction with the Afero Cloud.

When an IoT application relays its communications to the ASR-1 module, the data is securely transferred to the Afero Cloud. The Afero Cloud provides RESTful APIs by which applications that utilize the gathered communications can access the original data that is transferred from the remote device.

Developers can review details on the ASR-1 module (PDF). Early access to the Afero toolkit is also available to developers who wish to develop apps for iOS or Android, or wish to utilize the Afero Profile Editor. The developer documentation includes tutorials and API, firmware, and hardware references.

The out-of-pocket cost for getting started with Afero is low. You can buy an ASR-1 module for US $11.

According to TechCrunch, "In potential scope at least, Afero could be bigger than Android -- given analyst projections about the potential size of the IoT devices market (Gartner forecasts more than 20 billion connected devices by 2020), and the fact Afero is hardware and software agnostic."

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