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Connected Things – What it Means to a Software Professional



While you are having a discussion on technology trends in the future, you will come across several people who have various kind of notion regarding technology.  Some people are a little skeptical when it comes to technology and complain that technology has made people lazy. A quick walk to the bank, to your favorite food joint, meeting your friends, et al, has been replaced by virtual world objects. That’s just one perception.

Another way to look at the same change is that technology has brought modernization in the society and improved people’s life style and communication, tremendously.

Connect Anything with Internet of Things

Connected objects like Television, washing machine, CCTV, door knob, health wear, cars, street lights, etc. are expected to bring in the next revolution. From connected desktops, to laptops, to mobiles, the progression is rapid and people seem to embrace the new phenomenon with open arms.

Components of a Typical IoT System

Let’s take a closer look at the components which is making this change happen.

IoT - Connected Things

  1. Devices (Sensors, Actuators)
  2. Gateway/Controllers
  3. Back-end Services
  4. Presentation (Browser/Mobile Dashboard & Control)
  5. Analytics
  6. Network

Where the different components are based, determines the level of the IoT system. Typical level 1 system involves all the components located in one location or premise. As the level progresses, services and then controllers move to cloud, having a truly distributed network of devices.

As per the above diagram, it is, basically, a union of several engineering streams – Devices (Mechanical/Chemical/Electrical), Controllers/Micro-controllers (Embedded/Computer science), communication between devices and gateway and between gateway and services (Network Engineering), Cloud, Analytics, SOA/Services, Presentation (Software Engineering).

Gateway controllers like Raspberry Pi is a fully functional stripped down processor which is more powerful than my first 512 MB/700 Mhz Dell (10 years back). With the size of a credit card, it comes with HDMI connectors, built in RAM and GPU, and ports to connect it to devices, network aware, etc.

It has Linux support. So, you mount Linux and then use your favorite language (Java, Python, Go, C/C++  etc.) to talk to the devices, and to the Internet without getting bothered  about the low level stuff.

All in all, transition to IoT for a developer is not an arduous or troublesome task.  With the exception of ‘Off-The-Shelf’ devices, rest is all Software territory (Linux, Programming language, Cloud, UI-UX, Big Data Analytics, etc.).

Empowering Business

By the year 2020, there will be tens of billions of data-spouting devices that will be connected to the Internet. IoT is, already, changing the way we live and work. Though there are certain thorny problems which are looming, these intelligent machines are ready to take on the world. Be it health care, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, household management or power generation – every industry seems to be adapting to stay ahead in the competitive market and win customers. These micro devices have the capability to cause macro shifts in the world we live.

It’s worth the effort to delve deeper to get more knowledge about what the hype is all about and be rest assured to get a fair idea of the next trillion dollar economy.

So, stay tuned for more blogs and whitepapers on IoT in the coming months!


Pravin Panicker

Sr. Software Architect at RapidValue




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