App Developers in Highly Connected IoT World Must Take New Tack

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-01-19 Print this article Print
IoT apps

IoT and User Experience

User experience will be key. Developers will have consider how IoT affects users.

"From a developer perspective, you have to think about how the Internet of things affects the whole user experience you're trying to create and thinking about how you distribute info on mobiles and desktops, but also on IoT devices, gadgets and wearables," said John Thomas, director of developer products at Embarcadero. "At a high level, before you get into the technical aspects of connecting to Bluetooth LE [Bluetooth low energy] or various SDKs or talking to something over REST to interact with a gadget, you need to think about the user experience you can create."

Embarcadero executives are seeking to solve proximity, access control and other challenges. This becomes more important as IoT moves from the consumer-oriented type of solution that it is today to a more industry-level solution. Enterprises will have to scale to thousands of these gadgets and thousands of users having to interact between them all.

"Developers are still trying to understand the business value of IoT," Swindell said. "But over time, what we're really talking about is the 'API-ification' of hardware. Five years from now, there will be billions of different types of hardware that will be programmable and will effectively be an API. You would never have thought of a car as a software platform, but it has become one. Over time, all things hardware will start to become programmable objects."

The industry is still in an educational phase of this movement, Swindell said. "IoT is not a buzzword anymore; it's reality. It's going to change the way people interact with everything around them," he said. "And developers are going to be the ones to deliver these amazing experiences."

Swindell strikes a chord with his "API-ification" strategy. It is a chord that Raw Engineering is playing with its new Flow service and its focus on what the company refers to as the Internet of APIs.

Raw Engineering's Flow is designed to enable developers to create highly sophisticated workflows and orchestrate them across various connected systems and automate "things that previously were unthinkable," said Matthew Baier, chief operating officer.

"Our focus is on APIs to connect all these endpoints," Baier said. "And all these endpoints are not just sensors or beacons but potentially systems and connected services. And anything that has an API can participate in this. When we talk about IoT, we get real excited about the APIs and all the workflows that are possible because that's how businesses will participate in IoT is through the integration in the cloud."

Intel Enters the Picture

A relative newcomer to IoT, Intel in December launched its IoT Platform, an end-to-end reference model designed to simplify connectivity and security for the Internet of things. Intel also introduced integrated hardware and software products based on the new platform and new relationships with an expanded ecosystem of systems integrators that promise to move IoT from infancy to mass deployment, the company said.

Intel's new offerings are designed to make it easier for solution providers to move IoT to mainstream deployments with a repeatable foundation of building blocks that can be customized for limitless solutions.

"With this platform, we are continuing to expand our IoT product family beyond silicon with enhancements to our pre-integrated solutions that make IoT more accessible to solution providers," Doug Davis, vice president and general manager of the Internet of Things Group at Intel, said in a statement. "IoT is a rapidly growing market but faces scalability hurdles. By simplifying the development process and making it easier to deploy new solutions that address market needs, we can help accelerate innovation."


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