APIs- Molding the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is growing tenfold, not to forget that it is roping every gadget in its shadow which has the potential to simplify our lives. Technology has grown equally, humans can achieve much more tasks right at their fingertips. The concept – Internet of Things (IoT) is fueled widely by startups lately. These new entrants are finding innovative means to command over machinery/electronic gadgets and other human task simplifying tools. IoT comes into the picture when four things are met – software, hardware, connectivity and purpose. In all of these four components, purpose is the most important one as IoT orbits around this component. Apps are designed to simplify our needs, a constant touch or control is what we look forward through IoT as a medium.

To consummate every aspect of technological advancement IoT has to offer, the scope needs to be expanded in consumer, healthcare, automotive and industrial automation domains specifically. In a recent survey conducted by Gartner, IoT market will expand to $8.9 trillion with over 212 billion connected things by the end of 2020.

Galloping over IoT hurdles
When we talk about problems in IoT, the list goes on and on. Here are some of the common problems faced by IoT:

  • Data Management – Every IoT based deployment will generate humongous amounts of data which needs to be processed and analyzed. If it is not processed at a smooth speed, then users can expect a delay in response. Further it also questions the goals of a startup if they can invest in better infrastructure that offers exceptional processing and analyzing functionality.
  • Security – In the digitization phase, hacking is one of the basic problems faced by any domain which has the backing of technology. Since IoT connects millions of devices from healthcare, automotive, defense, domestic and industrialized sectors it will be important to offer exceptional invulnerable facilities, which would again come at a cost.
  • Connectivity – For IoT based devices, their basic communication between the server and device lies on network connectivity. In poor network areas, it is impossible to bridge the communication which can affect output. Network failures, bandwidth issues and high latency are some of the problems under the umbrella of connectivity.
  • Clones – In one of the previous lines, it was mentioned the need of purpose for creating an IoT based app. The importance of purpose can be seen as a barrier because if there is a purpose then only an app or service can be deployed. Innovation is at its peak but repetitive concepts are barging where the purpose is tweaked to survive competition.

From waffle chips to coding software
So how are IoT concepts churned into reality? The answer is, by developing smart apps and making use of sensors in devices. Also, let’s not forget that Web APIs, RESTful architecture and API Management are the backbone of any IoT based app. APIs are useful as they help in offering a secured communication between sensor nodes and applications. The bridged communication can be paired in cloud, API-enabled hardware or even a datacenter. There lies the need to make the configuration hack-proof, as obvious it can be, consider RESTful communication as a well-established security pattern in this case. The list continues further with authentication, data security, authorization, compliance and leak protection. Devices with artificial intelligence (AI) are in spotlight lately and they are certainly the future for IoT. Moreover, devices with sensors are always on the move; sensor middleware should be in a position to adapt with the ad hoc changes happening with the network topology. This would yield a quantitative impact to higher levels of IoT based services and allow connectivity at all times. Digest the fact that larger the number of sensors, the larger amount of data is transferred resulting in higher integration costs. However, directories of established APIs can save the company from these costs.
There is more to IoT APIs than just coding in an IoT based app. There are few APIs worth mentioning which have actually given us the edge of being in the 21st century:

  • Evrythng API – This API enables sharing, managing and accessing of information through unconnected items like camera, pill/water bottles or even cycles. The cycle as an example would deliver data as to which all places it has visited in its last use along with other important statistics like Speed, average speed, maximum speed, number of pedals/min, distance travelled, breaks taken and so on.
  • Fitbit API – Offering of health statistics is one of the leading sectors in IoT. This API offers fitness related statistics, which include – number of steps taken, calories burned, distance travelled, heart rate analyzer, and exercising metrics. Wearable tech lately has mainly populated the use of IoT. Sensors are installed in these devices which help in recording real-time information.
  • Ninja Blocks API – If you need security across your home, consider this API to solve your problems. The Ninja Block API offers home security alerts through its sensors and a hack-proof system. The user can receive alerts pertaining to detection of motion at the doors and windows, house break-in and garage door alerts. It even offers the user to control the humidity and temperature control for your house.
  • Thermostat API – This API offers extensive control for the thermostat installed in your home. You can manually control the minimum and maximum temperature required for activating the thermostat right though your mobile phone.
    These are some of the IoT APIs which are actually molding the futuristic concept in the present. Apart from just receiving updates about the electronic gadgets/machinery we use, these APIs also enable the user to share these updates across social networking sites as well. And that’s what you call globalization in IoT sense.

To sum it up, APIs has no limitation in the IoT World. API management also plays an important role in syncing servers and sensors used in devices. However, IoT as a concept which is still evolving, there is much more to it and every passing day the depth of this field is redefined farther from our reach. Device manufacturers and app developers under the cape of IoT have much more to decipher, it’s like we have just scratched the surface.

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