Telekom Malaysia R&D: “The Internet of Things is fast becoming a reality”

Dr Gopi Kurup, CEO, Telekom Malaysia R&D

We speak to Dr. Gopi Kurup, CEO at Telekom Malaysia’s R&D unit (TMR&D), about the work he is overseeing on pervasive computational footprints, connecting motes, and so-called “sense-able” applications.

Telekom Malaysia is doing some very exciting R&D work in the broadband sphere. To start with, can you tell us a bit more about your concept of the “pervasive computational footprint”?

With the presence and growth of broadband connectivity to our customers, it provides TMR&D an opportunity to investigate technologies and applications which help create value and impact our clients positively.

The computational footprint or ability to process data is now pervasive within the home, from smart fridges to medical sensors to Internet-ready TVs. The combination of high-speed internet connectivity and smart devices enables us to look at new ways of serving our customers.

What work have you been involved in recently with connecting motes?

The Internet of Things, where all devices, sensors & motes are connected to the Internet, is fast becoming a reality.

We have developed applications around food safety and healthy living by tagging food items within the household and providing real-time information to users on consumption trends, expiry dates and healthy recipes.

With the worldwide trend of an ageing population and urban migration, we are investigating ways to provide better medical support and enhanced security to Internet-ready homes.

We keep a close watch on the latest mote and connectivity technologies and capabilities to investigate new methods to support health and security applications.

What are some of the challenges that you anticipate as data comes from everywhere and goes to everywhere?

Deep data mining, analytics and visualisation are new exciting areas for us. We currently do not make very good sense of the types and volume of data we generate.

The pervasive availability of computing and connectivity also increases energy consumption and carbon footprint. The challenge will be to ensure the energy usage of creating and transporting the data from everywhere is at healthy levels.

What exciting capabilities do you anticipate from so-called “sense-able” applications?

A combination of heuristics and Artificial Intelligence applied to data generated by smart appliances and motes gives us a certain level of sensible and sense-able information.

The challenge for us is to investigate how the data made available from our day-to-day living can be presented in a simple and distributed manner to make meaningful living decisions.

To get a sense of the exciting possibilities, I would highly recommend revisiting The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy and episodes of Star Trek for inspiration.

Dr. Kurup is speaking at the Broadband IP&TV Asia 2012 event, taking place in Malaysia on 15th-16th May. For more information and to register, please visit

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