CyberLightning shows its muscle in IoT
This Finnish company is an expert in gathering and analysing massive amounts of data from connected devices.
It seems simple. You’re cold, so you turn up the thermostat and in no time at all you’re warm. What you don’t see is all the work done in the background to keep infrastructure like energy networks working. The Finnish company CyberLightning makes sure such infrastructures work efficiently, but they aren’t an energy utility. Instead they specialise in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data.
The IoT is a network of connected devices, while Big Data refers to huge and complex data sets. CyberLightning creates solutions to control and monitor IoT networks. In essence, they gather massive amounts of information from many connected devices, analyse it, and then display that data in an easy-to-visualise format which customers can then act upon.
Their clients are large industrial companies which manage large networks. The energy industry is a prime example, as they need to control the complicated generation and transmission of power to millions of people.
Things have been heating up since the company landed 3.2 million euros in funding a couple of years ago.
“Our energy sector offering is expanding,” says CEO Ville Mickelsson. “We have helped solar energy management and developed smart grids offerings with our partners. We see big potential in Russia and are working on a case there now. We have also already deployed with the energy company Fortum for Espoo’s district heating system.”
We’re already thinking beyond the Internet of Things to the Internet of Everything, which includes not just things but people, data and processes.
The district heating system in Espoo, Finland includes a CHP power plant, nine heating plants, 13 pumping stations and 800 kilometres of underground piping which delivers heat to residents. The energy company wanted a wealth of information: production and network flow, operational data and even the location and status of maintenance teams in the field. Additionally, they needed weather data and predictive analysis: will it get colder tonight so we need more heat?
Using their CyberVille platform, CyberLightning integrated all the data sources into a single processing engine. Data is displayed in a multi-layered 3D view, allowing efficient management of energy production while potential problems are swiftly identified and fixed. It is used with a simple point-and-tap interface just like a smartphone. And most importantly, when you turn up your thermostat you get heat.
A unique platform
“CyberLightning’s software platform allows for distributed intelligence – using the cloud or small, embedded computers,” continues Mickelsson. “When you combine that with our analytics and communications our IoT platform is in its own category, a unique solution.”
The Oulu-based company licenses their platform and software development kits to third parties who then build their own solutions. This method gives them a far greater reach than they would have otherwise.
“We have a white label, commercial software solution which relates to large-scale deployments,” Mickelsson explains. “Then we also enable digital platform as a service, which anyone can set up for the masses.”
The company has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium and the European Commission’s Future Internet project (FIWARE) and are deeply involved in how the technology is developing.
“We’re already thinking beyond the Internet of Things to the Internet of Everything, which includes not just things but people, data and processes,” says Mickelsson. “There have been huge investments in the industry and more are coming. We have such a great opportunity for the future.”
Text: David J. Cord