So far, we have been in contact with coffee makers, heating systems, security cameras, cars and numerous other objects we would never expect to get an internet connection, so who is to say what is next?
The fact is, two years ago we were surrounded by more than 15 billion connected devices; in three years from now, we are bound to see this number reach 30 billion, and 75 billion by 2025. Actually, if we were to believe Ericsson, next year there will be more IoT gadgets than mobile devices.
The truth is, we are finding it difficult to define what is an IoT device. With more and more people driving their connected cars and parking them in front of their smart homes, it is evident this market is only going to progress; and it is all happening at a rapid pace.
And what are the platforms that are contributing to this extreme development?
Arduino represents one of the most widely-used IoT platforms, in most part because of its hardware and software offer. Its boards read inputs – whether you have placed a finger on a button or sent a Twitter message, it turns it into an output – be it motor activation or publishing a piece of content online. In order to do so, it utilizes the Arduino programming language and the Arduino Software (IDE).
It is the first choice for a number of different people, from students, artists, and hobbyists, to programmers and other professionals. Over the years, users' contributions have made this platform a source of great knowledge that is of great help for newbie IoT developers.
Now, this is something we have been waiting for – the power to take control over all our home devices. It is geared towards automation; it operates on a Python-based coding system and can be controlled either using a mobile browser or a desktop one. What makes it so popular is its simple setup and is being praised for its privacy and security capabilities. Currently, it supports almost 250 smart devices and the system is updated every two weeks.
The only setback users have indicated is the fact that there is no hub for Home Assistant network, nor cloud component. Nevertheless, its creators point out that this can be easily overcome since Home Assistant stays active even in the offline mode, and your data stays safe despite the Internet being down.
Just when you thought things couldn't get any simpler, IFTTT hit the market. It is a free service used to create chains of simple conditional statements, better known as applets. It runs on both Android and iOS and it is precisely why it is one of the most popular platforms for app development in Sydney. What happens is that they get triggered by certain changes which occur within other web services, for instance on our social media networks or Gmail; an applet sends an email when a user copies a photo to their archive, or when they use a hashtag on twitter – basically, it represents an initialism for if this then that.
What makes Zetta ideal for assembling a number of devices into real-time applications is its ability to combine REST APIs, reactive programming, and WebSockets. It runs on, well, everything – cloud, PCs, as well as single-board computers. It allows you to link PCs, Raspberry Pis and BeableBones together with some cloud platforms in order to create geo-distributed networks.
Building an IoT system is, no doubt, quite complex and time-consuming. Owing to Zetta’s countless possibilities, a developer gets the chance to improve their productivity levels, while at the same time providing direct access to underlying conventions and protocols which allow them to focus on a bigger picture without neglecting the important details.
The Internet of Things is growing at a staggering rate and is revolutionizing literally every single aspect of our (modern) lives. Those who are hoping to contribute to its further development are now presented with a multitude of tools that can help them. The above-mentioned are just the crème of the crop, but which one will best suit your needs and help you achieve your goals depends on your personal preferences.