'OBUNO IoT Engine', a wholly made-in-Nigeria IoT board with sea of possibilities, has been unwrapped by an NGO - Innovation Habitat Initiative for Indigenous Technology, as a launchpad for the nation into the emerging technology economy.
The Board adopts a modular and scalable architecture that addresses challenges facing the IoT adoption, adaptation and deployment in Africa, especially in Nigeria; in diverse areas such as e-Government, eHealth, fleet management, telematics, banking & financial services, utilities & service providers, eAgric, eLearning, amongst others.
Dr Agu Collins Agu, mentor at Innovation Habitat Initiative for Indigenous Technology, who midwifed the OBUNO IoT Engine highlighted, in a document obtained by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, said that there is the increasing need to fast track capacity development in emerging technologies such as IoT through hands-on training and workshops.
This, he said is to demystify the underlying technology and building blocks which translates to skills acquisition that will transition Africa into an outsourcing destination and manufacturing economy.
Agu, who doubles as director of Corporate Planning & Strategy Department of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said, as the world enters into the 4th Industrial age, the Internet of Things (IoT) is identified to be a key enabler with an estimation of more than 24 billion IoT devices on Earth by 2020 translating into approximately four devices per person; "As we approach that point, $6 billion is predicted to flow into IoT solutions, including application development, device hardware, system integration, data storage, security, and connectivity and these investments will generate at least $13 trillion by 2025".
"The fact remains that the market share of IoT by 2020 will be 19 trillion USD with over 50 billion devices connected. Now the question is: Do we engage the usual Adoption Model or get innovative and engage the Adaptation Model.
"I would recommend the later; underscoring the need for scarce skills development & acquisition to enable us achieve Technology Adaptation and Customization (TAC), which will be a big shift from the traditional Technology Adoption that has kept us as consumers with no digital sovereignty".
He also argues that the introduction of local content policy was a bold step by Nigeria to leapfrog technological developments.
"Nigeria has woken up to these challenges by the introduction of the Local Content Policy in ICT and The Executive Order, mandating the patronage of indigenous products and services with NITDA as the Watchdog. I must say that the countdown has commenced for massive explosion in hardware development such as the OBUNO IoT Engine to drive the penetration and application of IoT. Enforcement of the laws will be a major catalyst in materializing start-ups to drive the knowledge economy", Agu said.
He further described OBUNO® IoT Engine as the perfect platform that brings both professionals and students (industry and academia) to explore the possibility of talking to the cloud, creating great opportunities to assimilate smart technologies, design the next big thing and solve unique problems.
"It is maker friendly and fully compatible with Arduino IDE and peripheral modules. OBUNO® IoT Engine, an end-to-end platform helps IoT developers avoid tunnel vision and its consequences by providing a comprehensive set of hardware and software components that easily combine into complete IoT applications, providing developers with a head start on their custom designs".