In every direction one turns in the so-called Internet of Things there is fragmentation. There are many programing languages, devices and, more recently, a disparate set of IoT development and management platforms that are all vying for the market and developer’s attention. They hope, to become the standard in IoT in the months and years ahead.
One of the biggest obstacles to widespread IoT adoption has been the difficulty attracting developers to use the low-level programming languages on which most run. “IoT has been really hard to work with for a long time because a lot of it has required working with the Arduino tool set, for example, which is a lot of C++,” says RedMonk senior analyst Donnie Berkholz. “A lot of developers these days aren’t very interested in working in low level languages anymore,” he says.
Enter the Ethernet IoT Starter Kit for the IBM IoT Foundation. The kit from chipmaker ARM, Freescale, and IBM aims at the industrial Internet of Things apps, and is based on ARM’s mbed operating system, the Freescale-designed development board, and BlueMix – IBM’s cloud service.
According to the ARMmbed blog, the starter kit for the IBM IoT Foundation provides a slick user experience, and makes it possible to get data from the board sensors to the IBM BlueMix cloud within minutes. “It is particularly suitable for developers with no specific experience in embedded or web development, as it provides a platform for learning new concepts and creating working prototypes,” the announcement states.
“After the initial out of box experience, the infinite possibilities of cloud applications can be explored through IBM’s production grade BlueMix platform, in which deployment and device management is as simple for one device as it is for one million. The starter kit hardware can be modified and extended to explore the device design space, and a finalised design can be taken to production using the mbed SDK and HDK,” according to the announcement.
There were additional IoT announcements this week at the IBM InterConnect 2015 conference. Enterprise cloud provider CloudOne announced the launch of their CloudOne Internet of Things (IoT) Lab. The CloudOne IoT Lab hopes to be a platform for real-time collaboration to build IoT solutions. According to CloudOne, it will shortly build a technical center in Chicago, IL to house the companies technical team and provide a space for customers to get hands-on experience with the CloudOne platform, including IBM continuous engineering, asset management and analytics technologies.
“The CloudOne IoT Lab allows our team to brainstorm IoT-enabled solutions with customers in real-time. This will speed delivery of connected products while embracing and extending existing customer investments in partner technologies, data and processes,” John McDonald, CEO of CloudOne, said in a statement.
Also this week at InterConnect 2015, stream network PubNub announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring realtime data streaming and messaging capabilities to BlueMix.
PubNub demonstrated what it called realtime secure device connectivity, powered by its easy-to-use data stream APIs, at the conference. And, according to PubNub, IBM BlueMix customers will be able to leverage PubNub to securely and reliably deliver large scale realtime IoT, web, and mobile solutions.
There has been much movement in the IoT space in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the Raspberry Pi 2 was announced, with operating systems being provided by both Microsoft and Canonical. The increased processing power of the Pi 2 means in can be used in more smart devices from robots to drones.
Many of the recent announcements hope to make devices, data, and development tools more accessible to more developers. All of that is a must if the IoT is to reach its full potential soon.