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Digital Catapult worked with KEREVAL to create an extension to the F-interop platform so that developers can remotely test their 6LoWPAN solutions. Reducing the barrier that the high cost and the accessibility of testing creates for startups and standards implementers.

Interoperability and standards are key challenges facing the development and adoption of IoT solutions across Europe.

The internet of things (IoT) is a relatively new field and, as such, does not have established universal standards. This is slowing down the development and adoption of the technology as businesses developing IoT solutions need to test and adapt them to work with multiple protocols. To be commercially viable IoT solutions need to be interoperable with all the popular standards in the market.

Solution testing is a real barrier to market entry as there are few opportunities to test. Businesses usually have to travel to events set up by standardisation bodies and may be on the other side of the World. For startups, the costs associated with these opportunities to test can make it impossible to participate, significantly slowing product development and time to market.

Digital Catapult is part of a European consortium delivering F-Interop, a programme supporting growth of the IoT sector.

These issues are not unique to the UK, so Digital Catapult supported F-Interop, a three year EU-sponsored programme that aims to research and develop IoT industry standards, develop a platform that enables remote interoperability and performance testing for IoT solution developers, and support researchers and small and medium businesses that are developing IoT products.

F-Interop aims to extend its platform to offer interoperability testing for 6LoWPAN

6LoWPAN is an acronym of IPv6 over low-power wireless personal area networks. IPv6 is an internet communications protocol that provides identification and location for computers on networks which overcomes the long-anticipated issue of the supply of IP addresses being exhausted.

The original concept of 6LoWPAN was the ability to apply IPv6 internet protocol to the smallest devices, even those that have low power or limited processing capabilities should be able to participate in the IoT. 6LoWPAN encapsulates and compresses headers so that packets of IPv6 data can be sent and received.

F-Interop wanted to extend its platform to allow developers using 6LoWPAN to remotely test the interoperability of their solutions and to give the opportunity to start-ups to test and improve their IoT products.

Digital Catapult collaborates with KEREVAL to incorporate 6LoWPAN testing tools into the F-Interop platform

KEREVAL were selected after responding to a Digital Catapult open call to develop this extension. Its solution, 6LoRiTT has made it possible for developers to remotely test their IoT solutions to see if they are interoperable with 6LoWPAN.

Over the course of 12 months funding and support from Digital Catapult enabled KEREVAL to:

  • update test specification for interoperability used for 6LoWPAN/6lo plugtests
  • develop new test scenarios
  • comply to the needs and requirements gathered from the 6LoWPAN community
  • develop and provide a new testing tool for 6LoWPAN interoperability testing
  • use an extendable design for 6LoWPAN testing tool which will allow further extension to other underlying technologies
  • provide full integration to F-Interop platform, enabling remote and online execution of the tests
  • feedback F-Interop consortium, IETF communities, and other communities about state of the art on 6LoWPAN adoption and interoperability

6LoWPAN interoperability testing now available remotely via F-Interop

As a result of the development of 6LoRiTT, developers that are working with 6LoWPAN can test the interoperability of their solutions remotely. This reduces the barriers that access to testing and cost of testing present for startups developing solutions that use 6LoWPAN.

As a result of the project the graphical user interface (GUI) of F-Interop has also been improved to make it easier to use.

KEREVAL also gained a lot of IoT knowledge as a result of the project that will help it to continue its development in this space.

6LoWPAN remote testing now available

Testing easier to access and more cost effective