Reach new heights in IoT with open source technology
IoT is becoming increasingly central in a number of everyday operations. But how about if we went one step further?
Internet of Things is changing the world as we know it. The network of interconnected physical objects is ever-growing and increasing in quality and efficiency, allowing for better communication between devices and interaction with real-world implications. While IoT did face some skepticism at first, it developed to a point where it is undoubtedly seen as the future of technology.
Its uses have expanded to sectors like healthcare, manufacturing, security and astrophysics, revolutionizing the way we obtain and interpret data, derive insights and decide on solutions. Seeing the phenomenal growth of IoT in the past two years, one is faced with the obvious question – how do we develop IoT even further?
As the majority of experts agree, the answer is in open source software.
Innovation is accelerating at an incredible pace in a variety of segments, such as digital health (patient monitoring), ‘invincible’ (connected pills, connected contact lenses) and augmented reality, as well as around the enterprise and industrial Internet (with technologies for asset tracking, energy management and machinery monitoring).
Matt Turck, TechCrunch contributor
With open source technology coming to the fore, these applications can be made available for industrial and customer usage. New open source platforms are being developed around the world to integrate seamlessly into any ecosystem or any other platform with an open API. This flexibility opens the door to a wide range of possibilities for developers to create finer-tuned applications based on specific requirements. Java development companies, especially, are at the forefront of this development, using Java embedded systems to create open source platforms for IoT devices in a variety of sectors.
Open source hardware
With the sort of success that Raspberry Pi and Arduino have scooped, open source hardware is expected to play a major role in IoT development in the near future. Wearable tech products, connected appliances, etc. are all expected to be on the rise with the growth of open source hardware opportunities.
Building smart-city infrastructure is possibly IoT’s biggest goal today. In this regard, tangling with open source hardware plays a huge role. Open source allows citizen engagement which essentially means that the city is not only built for its citizens but at least partially, by its citizens as well. There are many examples over the last two years which show the positive impact of encouraging and facilitating citizen engagement in smart-city projects.
In Amsterdam, a Smart City Lab was set up, enabling citizens to use technology to interpret their environment and in turn improve the system by feeding back their knowledge. This allowed data-driven decisions to be taken on aspects of civic life such as pollution levels, traffic systems, etc. Another example of this implementation is in the neighborhood of Red Hook, New York where economic conditions are poor and the pollution levels are very high, leading to frequent cases of asthma and other air-related health implications. IoT sensors were used in the region to take quality measurements on air quality, noise levels, light, pedestrian counts, temperature, pressure and humidity. These numbers were analyzed to pinpoint areas of improvement and push for legislative backing to improve the conditions.
Interoperability refers to the ability of smart devices to exchange information and draw meaningful analyses out of raw data, in spite of geographical distance or strength of connection. The sheer number of devices connected to a network makes it virtually impossible to view two connected products disparately. Hence, interoperability is key to ensuring that the connected environment stays robust and sustainable. Developers are almost exclusively turning to open source platforms to keep their IoT systems running interoperably.
As mentioned before, a Java development company for example, would have the advantage over a closed-software to build interoperable systems because it has the ability build modules to exchange information that can fit into the network by integrating itself with the larger stream of data. This is key in creating IoT products that are better connected, faster and can derive better insights from each other. The aim is to create systems that can be a hundred percent independent of hardware restrictions, protocols and application interfaces. With the development of such systems, we will enable the usage of IoT devices not just more frequently in everyday lives, but also across a wider range of uses, unrestricted by territorial or hardware limitations.
Thus, we can see how IoT is destined to grow in the future, and the sort of impact it can have on our lives. With proper implementation, IoT can change almost every aspect of how we lead our lives, usher in greater developments, make superior infrastructure and push public policy based on data. Taking an open-source approach will allow IoT to reach new heights by opening the development doors to independent experts and integrating different technological achievements to build better modules.