Embedded Systems

Leveraging upon our technology know-how, MCS ventured into the development of various embedded systems for security applications, including food security.  We had embraced the concept of Internet-of-Things in our solutions before this term became popular. Two examples of such embedded systems which generated much interest are the Personal Identity Key and the Intelligent Agriculture System.

Next on our development roadmap are secured, wearable devices which serve as identification and payment token, health monitor and communication access point.  For faster time-to-market, mature and proven modules from past projects will be updated and repackaged into products of contemporary design.

Personal Identity Key

The Personal Identity Key (PIK) smart device integrates a cryptographic smart card microcontroller, fingerprint sensor, Flash memory and SDHC memory, each with up to 16GB storage space.  This provides a wealth of benefits in a small handy device:

  • Smart card IC -- Trusted identity, digital certificates, 2-factor authentication, access control, data encryption.  Capable of custom application.
  • Fingerprint sensor -- User biometric verification for 3-factor authentication, network login.
  • Flash and SDHC memory -- Storage space for application software, multimedia files, virtual desktop, MCS smart device drivers.  Capable of software updates.

Communication with PIK is made convenient with a host of popular interfaces like USB, contactless, Bluetooth and WLAN.  The user may use a Windows PC to operate PIK via the USB port.  While on the move, a user could directly access PIK with his mobile phone via its Bluetooth interface or Near Field Communication (NFC) interface, if available.  In these ways, the user can access the smart card, have his fingerprint verified as well as utilise the memory storage.  Additional reading devices will not be necessary.
For added security and privacy, the PIK smart device requires a successful fingerprint match to activate the smart card and Flash memory before these components can be accessed by other systems.  This verification is performed offline with the aid of a LCD display and pushbuttons.  Other offline functions may include One-Time Password generation, application selection, communication setup and so forth.

In addition to disconnecting the memory, sensitive data is communicated and stored in encrypted form, within the smart card and built-in memory, rendering it meaningless if they were somehow extracted.  The fingerprint template is stored in the fingerprint module itself and/or the smart card.  Communication with external devices would be encrypted according to respective secure channel protocols, thus practically the entire link from the PIK smart device to the host PC and on to a host server could be encrypted.

Additional functions and software customization can be created by application developers with the aid of the PIK smart device’s software development kit and smart card application development kit.  These applications may be downloaded into the Flash memory, SD memory and/or smart card.

In summary, PIK smart device greatly extends the usefulness of a smart card by addressing areas where the capability of a smart card alone is not sufficient. It is not a smart card; rather it is a smart device that can fulfill a much wider range of needs in a highly secure manner.

Intelligent Agriculture System

MCS brings ICT into the farming industry by developing the Intelligent Agriculture System (iAS). Over the past few years, we have undertaken extensive research and development of this technology together with our tester - a volunteer farmer who is as passionate about intelligent farming system as we are.

Our primary goal is to help farmers cultivate quality, high-yielding crop with the least amount of resources and ultimately achieve sustainable agriculture practice.  MCS acknowledges that many of the farmers are willing to invest in farming technology, but are driven away by the high initial acquisition cost of existing products in the market. Therefore, we at MCS have taken up the challenge to design iAS as a modular system where the farmer need only pay for the necessary features, nothing more. 

System Description

MCS iAS is an extremely customizable and flexible system that can be deployed in a wide range of farming systems, such as conventional soil-based agriculture, aquaculture, hydroponics and aquaponics – a sustainable food production system that combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment.

A variety of sensor modules placed throughout a farm at strategic locations provide farm management with real-time measurements and statuses which together offer the best overall picture of the air, soil or water environment quality.

More importantly, real-time measurements and historical records and illustrative charts about a farm are placed at your fingertips, literally.  Sensor modules report their statuses and measurements to a cloud server which hosts the database and web application. Users can access the latest information from every sensor by logging into the web application remotely from anywhere in the world.

When the environmental conditions fall outside set parameters, the control system brings them back into ideal levels by controlling external actuators that dispenses fertiliser, start the irrigation, open or shut roof panels, and so forth.  Farm management can observe these actions or intervene in their operations.

Available modules:-

  • Environmental Monitoring Module
  • Irrigation Monitoring Module
  • Nutrient Mixing Monitoring Module
  • Cloud based Monitoring Plugin Interface
  • Industrial grade LCD touch screen central monitoring module
  • Control Module

MCS is capable of providing consultancy, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance services on farm automation.


PIK Block Diagram

PIK block diagram

PIK Pro Block Diagram

PIK Pro block diagram

PIK Concept

PIK concept

PIK Development Board

PIK development board