Developers are gatekeepers to the future of possibilities enabled by the Internet of Things. Billions of new devices will go online and connect to the cloud by 2020, from simple sensors to smart light bulbs, connected machinery and the gateways managing all those connections. Developers are responsible for equipping each of these devices with the software and applications needed to make them useful, but the developers have their work cut out for them. Interconnectivity will be critical to the continued development of IoT but a common framework for IoT development is still needed.

Too much code

Currently, coding for a sensor, a gateway and a light bulb require slightly different skills. It makes sense for more code to be needed as devices get bigger and more complex, however, even basic products require huge amount of software using current solutions. In addition, coding knowledge does not often transfer from project to project, particularly if they change the hardware class and operating system. While Linux and Android developers have access to an open source framework and tools many IoT developers build from the ground up. The command to trigger primary functions like rebooting a device to apply an update or accessing its serial port and other data should carry over from one IoT device to the next, regardless of size. An open source framework for IoT devices with an uniform and easy to use API would make life a lot easier for developers.

Uniform API would be just one of many benefits of an open source framework. Many IoT devices will be installed and need to be managed, accessed and updated remotely. There’s a broad assortment of hardware and operating systems on the market, but a uniform API and framework can streamline the development process across the board.

Developers hone their skills in certain coding languages and architectures, it doesn’t make sense for each IoT device to require reeducation. Innovation would accelerate if developers could apply a familiar architecture to a variety of devices. That motivated the Soletta Project. The capability to abstract code from one device to another is critical to developers. Additionally, Soletta allows them to create in high-level languages, optimizing the files for devices of different sizes.

The need for interconnectivity

A widely adopted IoT operating system would need to meet some key criteria, all relating back to the importance of interconnectivity. A common set of those basic on/off and access commands would be a good start. It would also need to be suitable for the wide variety of devices on and entering the market. A central gateway and all the sensors and other devices connected to it could run the same protocols. In order to do so, the software would need to be able to function on low energy and low memory as smaller devices have limited access to either. To be truly practical, the best operating framework will be able to work alongside others, including Linux or Zephyr OS. Last, but certainly not least, development needs to occur in a secure environment and lend itself to ongoing safety updates as security is chiefly important to the success of IoT.

The continued development of IoT will lead to a more efficient, connected future. That future, however, is largely in the hands of the developers working on IoT projects. While the wide variety of IoT devices lends itself to unique software, some features need to be standardized across all applications. In order to reach the goal of IoT interconnectivity developers need an open source framework they can all build upon.

image credit: Nando.uy

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