Thailand looks to make mark at IoT fair

The National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre is taking NETPIE to Singapore

A community of makers is growing in every part of Thailand. Photo: SASIWIMON BOONRUANG

A group of veteran researchers from the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre will be introducing to the Asean maker community their emerging and innovative platform, NETPIE, for the first time at the Maker Faire Singapore 2017, which sets to take place next week.

NETPIE is a Platform as a Service that facilitates interconnection of various smart devices, known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The platform provides tools and software libraries that accelerates the IoT development process, so IoT developers can spend more time innovating their devices and less time worrying about administration of back-end servers and data storage.

According to Panita Poogpaibool, NETPIE project leader, Singapore has active maker communities, with the IoT at the heart of the Singapore government's "Smart Nation" policy. The Maker Faire event is the epitome of do-it-yourself maker culture.

"NETPIE is designed for makers. When we launched the service in 2015, Thai makers gave us a warm welcome. We would like to expand the NETPIE user base outside of Thailand, and we think Maker Faire Singapore is the right event to do so," she said, noting that the Maker Faire is a licensed event. Singapore is the only country in Asean that received the full Maker Faire license. Thailand and Malaysia only have "mini" Maker Faires.

"NETPIE is still growing. We have tripled growth in the past 12 months, with over 6,000 user accounts and over 18,000 devices on the platform.

"We are starting to see business and commercial usage. For example, NETPIE was a platform of choice in a factory of Nidec Shibaura Electronics (Thailand). SMEs and start-ups are implementing NETPIE into their products and services," she added. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) has committed funding to support the NETPIE platform for the next three years. This funding will sustain the platform existence as well as help educate Thai developers and industries through a series of workshops and seminars.

NETPIE's flexibility and versatility in design allows practical usage in many areas, such as smart home, smart farm, smart energy, and smart factories through several public and commercial projects. For example, it is set to interconnect all environmental sensors in Phuket Smart City, a national project under a government initiative.

Moreover, Nidec Shibaura Electronics (Thailand) has chosen NETPIE as its core platform to implement its smart factory. With its wide-ranging applicability, NETPIE was voted "the most promising innovation project to invest" from potential investors at the NSTDA Investors' Day 2016, an annual event organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Thailand.

With its success in Thailand, NETPIE is now ready to introduce its revolutionary platform service to the Southeast Asian IoT communities.

NETPIE can support rapid growth of IoT product development in the region through its highly scalable architecture, and it is going to broaden the possibility for IoT designers and creators.

"During the past two years, we have focused our service on Thai users. By attending the Singapore Maker Faire, we hope to test our service with regional users. Our long-term goal is to make NETPIE a default IoT platform of choice within the Asean region. Maker Faire Singapore is our first step toward that goal," Panita said.

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