CentraLite Systems, a Mobile-based company providing end-to-end hardware and software solutions, recently rolled out its latest high-tech product, an application programming interface (API) named Jilia, to an award-winning response at a recent tech conference.  

The device is a cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) framework that allows developers to create IoT connectivity between smart devices faster and more cost-effectively than before, according to a news release.

For Lagniappe’s non-tech-savvy readers, API technology consists of a set of requirements governing how one application “talks” to another. APIs enable smaller services to “piggyback” on larger services. One example cited is how Google Maps allows smartphone app Yelp! to display local restaurants in a geographic area.     

Simply put, IoT is the concept of connecting any device on the Internet with an on/off switch as well as to each other when needed. This includes something as simple as cell phones or home security systems to complex machinery such as jet engines and oil rigs.

IoT is a giant network of connected “things” (people, machines, etc.) that can be set up as people-to-people, people-to-things and/or things-to-things.

According to a recent survey by analyst firm Gartner, by 2020 there could be more than 26 billion devices connected via IoT technology. Other experts estimate the number could be closer to 100 billion in five years.

Think “Terminator” without the Artificial Intelligence bad attitude (yet).

At the week-long “I Love APIs” conference in San Jose, California, sponsored by Apigee Technology, Jilia won the “Top API for IoT” award. The accolade recognizes companies demonstrating groundbreaking innovation in the IoT arena.

“A successful IoT entrant will use APIs to enable things to use data in new ways that enhance the way people live, work and play,” Apigee stated in a news release.

“The introduction of Jilia fills what we perceived to be a serious shortcoming in the IoT landscape, specifically as it relates to APIs,” said CentraLite Chief Technology Officer John Calagaz. “The most challenging and expensive part of creating IoT devices is building a cloud-based infrastructure that can direct and link up thousands to millions of connected devices. Jilia provides these capabilities directly through a single API. Jilia is cost effective and its scalability makes it an ideal solution for companies regardless of size.”

The product is being launched in two stages. The first is a portal providing access to a “virtual sandbox” hub where developers can connect to virtual devices in the cloud as if they were sitting on their desk; access the Jilia virtual gateway to the cloud; and virtually connect with and trigger actions in other devices.

The second stage is an enterprise solution that will include software, hardware and a physical gateway with full functionality for testing operational improvements and process efficiencies of physical devices.

“With Jilia, we are eliminating the difficult embedded layers of communication within an API interface. We let developers go from concept to proven product in just weeks, with or without hardware,” Calagaz said.

Since CentraLite already develops and manufactures a wide range of connected devices (light switches, thermostats, door and motion sensors, etc.), the addition of Jilia favorably positions the company as a “one-stop shop” for IoT solutions, according to Mike Dow, executive vice president of business development for the company and former mayor of Mobile.

Established in 1997, CentraLite provides solutions for some of the biggest names in the connected home space industry, such as Samsung/SmartThings, Lowe’s, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Osram Sylvania. The locally owned firm has a presence in nearly 50 countries. More information can be found on the company’s website.      

Commercial real estate moves
Ashbrooke Boutique recently leased a 1,600-square-foot retail space in Sugar Mill Village at 875 Hillcrest Road near the intersection of Airport Boulevard in West Mobile. The women’s clothing and accessories store brings the shopping center’s occupancy up to 100 percent, according to Michael Wilson with White-Spunner Realty, who handled the transaction.

A new, 5,000-square-foot Mexican-themed restaurant called Caliente will soon open at the former Oyster Rockefeller location at 312 Schillinger Road S. near Airport Boulevard. John Delchamps with the Merrill P. Thomas Co. Inc. represented the local investor leasing the space. Buff Teague of JLL worked for the landlord.

Some 1,750 square feet of retail space was leased by Chic Jolie, according to Angela McArthur with Stirling Properties. The women’s clothing shop is located adjacent to the Target Shopping Center at 790 Schillinger Road S. in Mobile.

According to Michael Wilson with White-Spunner Realty, Merchant’s Bank has leased 1,500 square feet of office space at the Justice Center in Semmes, adjacent to Winn-Dixie and near the intersection of McCrary and Moffett roads.

According to Robert Cook of Vallas Realty, the former Century Bank property located at 5127 Moffett Road was recently purchased by Ace Title Loans for $165,000. Cook worked for the seller and Bradford Ladd of Roberts Brothers Commercial & Property Management represented the buyer.     

McCarthy inducted into American College of Trial Lawyers  
Brian McCarthy with local law firm McDowell Knight Roedder & Sledge LLC has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

The induction ceremony took place recently before some 900 conference attendees at the college’s annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

Founded in 1950, the college is composed of 5,680 of the best trial bar lawyers from the U.S. and Canada. Fellowship in the college is extended by invitation only and after careful investigation. Lawyers must have a minimum of 15 years’ trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship. Membership in the college cannot exceed 1 percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province.

McCarthy has practiced law in Mobile for 29 years and is an alumnus of the University of Alabama School of Law.

McDowell Knight represents Fortune 500 companies and other international, national, state and local entities in Alabama and throughout the Southeast.