Embedded World ended March 1st in Nuremberg, Germany. It was an impressive display of innovations across the entire embedded spectrum, attracting more than 1,000 exhibitors, 30,000 trade visitors, and 1,700 conference participants from 73 countries. Our exhibit drew nonstop crowds who experienced Intel’s vision of smart, connected solutions, including everything from hardware to software and other resources for edge-to-cloud IoT development, from prototype to product.
Innovative solutions at the Intel booth included a “Face Access Control” demo that compared people to an image-database in real-time to control access to secure areas. In another “People Counter” demo, we collected crowd statics on the exhibit floor, correlating the traffic flow to the timing of conference keynotes. Aiming an Intel® NUC-connected USB camera at the exhibit entrance allowed us to automatically count people walking in, and at high frame rate. The appliance identified people in each frame, and continuously-updated the traffic count.
The demos, optimized with Intel® Software Development Tools, were created in just under two weeks. I asked my technical marketing colleague how he did it. He said, "I used a Meal Kit." He was poetically referring to a new class of companies like Blue Apron and HomeChef who deliver food-preparation packages with everything you need to quickly prepare a high-quality meal at home.
That made me think: yes, building a device always seemed like cooking. A few years back, it was natural to create a project concept, shop for individual hardware and software ingredients, and try to follow a recipe. But the overall success rate was tied to hope more than to planning. When you are cooking a meal from scratch, and you have never made it before, it seems like a miracle if you get a tasty dish on the first try. Bringing all the complex pieces together for an embedded edge-to-cloud solution follows the same pattern.
One alternative to cooking from scratch is to microwave a pre-cooked TV dinner. There is only one word for that: “awful.” The Meal Kit is a new and better solution in the culinary universe. It offers the best of both worlds: you concentrate on creativity while the kit delivers all of the ingredients and information you need in a box.
The basic ingredients of People Counter appliance consists of using multiple tools and libraries included in Intel® System Studio tool suite and Computer Vision libraries. Because these tools are designed to work with each other and designed for performance, burden on the software developer is highly reduced. These tools help connect sensors, build applications, use complex math and inference libraries and improve performance using analyzers.
In absence of these SDKs and libraries, you would have to first shop for a series of separate software development, debugging and optimization tools. Your initial learning curve goes up exponentially as more software components have to be integrated. You would have to spend your precious time scavenging multiple community forums for critical tips and tribal knowledge.
Alternatively, integrated SDKs and libraries act like Meal Kits, ready to download without any commercial hassle and designed to work together. That’s how our technical marketing team was able to create the demos in couple of weeks.
Inspired by that idea, we present these sample recipes. Bon appetite!
About the Author
Dinyar Dastoor heads up the Intel System Studio business. Before joining the Intel Software & Services Group in June 2017, he was VP and General Manager at Wind River (an Intel company). With over 25 years of management experience in embedded, control and IoT products, Dinyar has built and led global teams in R&D, systems design & deployment, product management, sales, marketing and customer support.
Meal Kit for Both Recipes