Is IoT a deep-rooted trend?

Beyond the M2M narrative: The Internet of Things grows bigger

Gabriela Motroc
Internet of Things
Jigsaw puzzle pieces image via Shutterstock

IDC predicted that the Internet of Things market will exceed $1.7 trillion by 2020 and the number of IoT connected devices will increase to over 30 billion. It’s safe to say that IoT will be everywhere —but where does this leave us?

Machine-to-machine is just the tip of the Internet of Things iceberg.

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications is a term used for automated data transmission and measurement between mechanical or electronic devices. Although many people assume that the two terms (M2M and IoT) are synonyms, the former is just a starting point for the latter. As CRN reported last year, IoT is beginning to outgrow the M2M narrative. The publication quoted PTC General Manager Howard Heppelmann as saying that “the devices are changing profoundly.” Heppelmann emphasized that one of the biggest differences between M2M and IoT is the immense supply of use cases all the connected devices will have, as well as the huge amount of data that will be gathered and analyzed.

But what’s the end result of all that? The Internet of Things is growing bigger as companies realize that the data gathered does not have the main role in this narrative and that the future of this technology belongs to the users who choose to use that information. The end result is to create not only better products, but better experiences.

How to win at the Internet of Things

Mobile apps

The time has come for mobile app developers to design IoT-friendly applications, but integrating interactive sensors in the physical objects will solve only one part of the puzzle. Creating an IoT app requires one to add a rule to the events that are performed by the objects. Also, it is essential to create the secured data exchange unit along with the device control unit having the monitoring and calculating capabilities. These are just a few of the most basic needs when adding rules to events, creating a secure data exchange protocol and building a device control unit with monitoring capabilities. All of which must be accessible as services as a simplified pick & add elements by the IoT developer.


Although the IoT universe appears to be polyglot, there is one language which topped the latest Eclipse IoT Developer Survey and that is Java. Ian Skerrett, VP of Marketing and Ecosystem at Eclipse Foundation, wrote in a blog post announcing the results of the second annual IoT Developer Survey that Java, C, JavaScript and Python were the most popular among IoT developers.

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According to a report by Oracle, one of Java’s biggest perks is the robustness of of application code. While C uses explicit pointers to reference memory, all object references in Java are implicit pointers which cannot be manipulated by application code. This automatically rules out potential issues such as memory access violations that can inevitably cause an application to stop all of a sudden.

One of Java’s strengths lies in the fact that it is portable, something very handy with the IoT. Like C and C++, Java is also flexible enough to be used in various different projects.

Technical skills

To stand out, developers will need to cultivate their own set of useful skills. In the past decade, the world has become increasingly mobile, and that’s only set to continue with the Internet of Things. Developers with a diverse range of mobile skills will already have an advantage over the competition.

However, one should think of big data as the thing that fuels the IoT. Therefore, knowledge of analytics tools will also be a major benefit in getting a proper handle on the massive amounts of data that will be used. Plus, developers who have experience working with the cloud and making applications for it will be better prepared for how to use it to make the IoT work.

Now you are  truly ready for the Internet of Things.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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