Accelerating Internet of Things (IOT) Apps

Sensors are at the heart of IOT revolution, which was clearly evident at recent Sensor Expo in San Jose, June 27th to 29th. With nearly 350 sensor and sensor integrated system vendors exhibiting at the event, it was a real demonstration of world class sensor technology and the progress it has made over the last 12 months.

It was apparent that sensor vendors are in a competitive often crowded space. There were so many of the vendors demonstrating similar or same type of sensors for similar business / industrial applications.

From a buyer’s perspective, after conversations with a few vendors, it was difficult to distinguish the differentiations between various vendor products. Most vendors demonstrated pieces of hardware — pieces of technology, chipsets on a PCB, and little housing cases to put them in.

The few vendors who stood out, demonstrated a real application — like one vendor who had built a complete solution demonstrating measurement of water quality, water level etc.

Sensors have become very powerful and have multiple applications in the IOT world. It is hard to think of all possible applications and build demonstrations for them. We have to think of new ways of showcasing sensors and their full set of applications in a more dynamic and far less expensive way. One such solution is creating a sensor virtual lab and a mobile app to feature the sensors. The layered architecture shows such a capability.

Sensor layered architecture — courtesy mulesoft

At the bottom of the stack — a set of sensors, sensing and passing on the data to device hub or gateway. The gateway is capable of dealing with various protocols. Data management layer is aggregating data and shared with any application that is interested in using this data via API’s. The APIs are very powerful as they allow applications to deal with one or more sensors via APIs. Applications bring in the business / industry logic to make sense of sensor data. Applications can be web or mobile. They allow users / consumers to monitor, control, manage, analyze and take specific actions.

Using the concept of a virtual lab and mobile applications capability, Sensor companies can rapidly build such a framework for any sensors, very affordably. This allows partners and customers to see the full potential of the sensors.

Without an approach like this IOT acceleration will be slow and stunted.