REAL-TIME DATA TRANSMISSION WITH MQTT
Message Queuing Telemetry Transport, MQTT for short, is an open message protocol that enables efficient and reliable data transmission. As a result, it has become one of the main transmission methods in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0.
In the field of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, for example, it is successfully used to exchange the data measured by sensors with a server. Whether temperature sensors, doorbells or the control of displays and smart LEDs - thanks to its simple transmission structure, MQTT is suitable even for low-power devices and works even with a limited network structure.
Based on MQTT, we have examined whether a representation of IoT data is possible and useful not only with a 2D dashboard but also with the help of new technologies such as virtual reality. The prototype developed for this purpose should offer considerable added value compared to traditional data visualization and a corporate VR solution suitable for everyday use. It should also be able to provide a more effective overview of the data of M2M communication and a more efficient processing of this data.
The video shows a recording of the EXXETA prototype. With the help of a selection tool, the user can retrieve and control information about individual machines, such as speed or capacity. Compared to traditional 2D solutions, the VR application allows a particularly large field of view.
To enable the prototype to be used in M2M communication, we have integrated an MQTT interface which is capable of retrieving the necessary machine data. This includes meta data such as manufacturer, location or software version of the industrial machine, but also a job list or the turning speed of the individual spindles.
In addition to the efficient processing of the machine data, another requirement of the prototype was that it should be flexibly applicable and offer a clear added value for the user. That's why we chose the Oculus Quest VR headset as the end device. This stand-alone solution does not require an external tracker or computer, but relies on a fully-fledged mobile platform with Snapdragon processor and an Android-based operating system (OS). The Quest eliminates some of Virtual Reality's biggest barriers to entry - high acquisition costs and hardware requirements - and brings the benefits of VR to a wide range of users.
The added value of this solution compared to a 2D web dashboard is that VR glasses provide an enhanced field of view (FOV) than augmented reality or a standard monitor. This makes it possible to get a larger amount of information at a glance than would be possible with alternatives. The use in the area of Industry 4.0 is therefore quite reasonable.
With the EXXETA prototype we were able to show that efficient data visualization is not only possible on a 2D dashboard. Virtual Reality offers the user an unlimited white space, which can be used to the fullest in order to clearly display machine data. The concrete benefit of the MQTT protocol lies in the effective and guaranteed transmission of messages. The transmitted data are very compact in their formatting and have only a small file size. This, in turn, makes the protocol applicable where others fail. Due to the lightweight protocol and the efficient message transmission, MQTT guarantees ideal communication conditions on almost every terminal device and even with weak network connections.
Based on these prototypes, we can now create further use cases to achieve a solution for meaningful data representation in VR applications. For this purpose, however, it is still necessary to develop a data structure that sufficiently balances complexity and overview.
We would be pleased to advise you on a reasonable use of Virtual Reality for data visualization in the area of Industry 4.0 or IoT. Do not hesitate to contact us. And if you are looking for a reliable, free and easy to use MQTT client, EXXETA's CorreoMQTT client may be just what you are looking for. You can find the project here on GitHub.