Open Source Software Tools for Developing IoT Applications

The Internet of Things is turning into something of a nebulous concept, as more and more devices enjoy connected status it’s become more difficult to draw a line in the sand between what does and does not constitute as an IoT device.

Smart homes and connected cars can include so many different IoT devices it’s easy to see that this multi-faceted market shows no sign of slowing, and development continues marching towards progress.

According to Gartner, six billion IoT devices were installed in 2016 giving the IoT market a valuation of over $1 trillion. Similarly, HPE Aruba found 57% of companies have adopted IoT technologies, with that number set to increase to a huge 85% by 2019.

Initially one of the main driving forces behind this IoT revolution was the open source community whose constant experimentation, combined with accelerating technological possibilities, created many new and interesting applications. These applications range from Wi-Fi kettles to smart data analysing machines and everything in between.

1. DeviceHive

DeviceHive is an AllSeen Alliance member and Data Art’s AllJoyn based device. The free open source machine to machine communication (M2M) framework was launched in 2012 and continues to be one of the leading development platforms for IoT applications.

Its cloud-based API can be controlled remotely regardless of network configuration. It’s management portal, protocols, and open-source libraries, can also be controlled this way. Among its potential applications are security, smart home technology, remote sensors, and automation.

The DeviceHive website has a vibrant community and a series of blog posts from enthusiasts mean that you’ll never be short on support. Everything you need for DeviceHive, including components, can be found on their website.

2. Kaa

Kaa is backed by Cybervision and is aimed at providing end-to-end support for connected devices across a large cloud. The multipurpose middleware allows developers to create IoT solutions, connected applications, and all manner of smart products.

One of the main benefits of Kaa is that it is easy set up and offers many features that can be easily plugged into the platform. Kaa has described the open source kit as ‘hardware agnostic’ meaning that it can interface with just about any hardware you desire, including devices, sensors, and gateways.

The dev kit can also be used to set up cross-device interoperabilty, distribute over the air firmware updates, and analyse user behaviour to deliver targeted notifications. An all-round excellent piece of tech for anyone looking to get into IoT development.

3. Arduino

Arduino is one of the better known platforms, due in part to the fact that it offers both hardware and software. The development kit allows users to code in the Arduino language using an integrated development environment (IDE). Currently the cloud system consists of an MQTT broker which enables developers to send messages from one board to another.

Projects that have been created using Arduino include a location tracking device for pets, a method to take photos and have them automatically uploaded to popular blogging site Tumblr, and for businesses it’s possible to create a print issue receipt from GitHub onto paper.

The Arduino cloud platform will be adding new features over the coming months and are looking for feedback on the current setup. Now seems as good a time as ever to jump on board.

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