Developing IoT Applications – Best Technologies and Tools for IoT Developers

POSTED: September 6, 2019 10:19 am, By

IoT - Internet of Things

IoT (Internet of Things) has become a real buzzword lately. The potential of IoT to shape the future and make our life easier, safer, and more productive has led to lot of applications, hardware’s and ecosystems being developed to support this technology. By 2020, the number of smart connected IoT Devices will reach 20 Billion. That’s a huge number, and it will just keep increasing. Empowering this new technology requires a network infrastructure which requires several years to develop and more to implement. With the development of the IoT technology, the need of IoT apps development will increase too. Open source community, IoT Provider companies and High-Tech government institutions have taken the lead to create a development infrastructure by creating software and hardware designs to help Developers explore IoT devices and applications. In this article you can find the best to date technologies and tools for developers who are interested to develop next-generation IoT Apps.

Content:

Operating Systems for IoT
IoT Platforms
Hardware Used for IoT
Software Platforms for IoT
IoT Platforms
IoT middleware Tools

Operating Systems for IoT

Raspbian
https://www.raspberrypi.org
There are distributions for the Raspberry Pi aimed at IoT, but the quickly maturing Raspbian is still the best. It’s the most popular and one of the most widely used IoT platforms. Developers can rely on numerous projects and tutorials for help.

Contiki
http://www.contiki-os.org
Contiki is an open source operating system for the Internet of Things which seamlessly connects tiny low-cost, low-power microcontrollers to the Internet. A powerful toolbox for building complex wireless systems, Contiki supports fully standard IPv6 and IPv4, along with the recent low-power wireless standards: 6lowpan, RPL, CoAP.

mbed OS
https://www.mbed.com
ARM mbed OS is an open source embedded operating system mainly for the „things“ in the Internet of Things. It includes all features to develop a connected product based on an ARM Cotex-M microcontroller security, connectivity, an RTOS, and drivers for sensors and I/O devices. Some of mbed OS key features include providing necessary libraries which are included automatically on device. This lets you to focus on writing application code. Further, there are several options for connectivity in mbed OS with support of software libraries, tutorials and more.

The ThingBox Project
http://thethingbox.io/
The ThingBox is a set of software already installed and configured. With ThingBox Project, you can create new unlimited applications interacting with connected objects from a simple web-browser. For users with no technical background, this site provides graphical interface to take full advantage of Internet of Things. For users with technical background, ThingBox is a ready to use device released under the WTFPLlicence

RIOT
https://www.riot-os.org
RIOT is a free, open source operating system developed by community consisting of academia and hobbyists from across the globe. RIOT implements standard operating standards to ensure that Internet of Things that is connected and secure.

IoT Platforms

IBM Watson

https://www.ibm.com/watson
With IBM Watson, you can enable cognitive computing features in your app using Language, Vision, Speech and Data APIs. This API makes it simple for developers and offers a host of different services. With Watson’s featured APIs, you can build chatbots understanding natural language and deploy on messaging platforms and websites, on any device. You can also rapidly build cognitive search and content analytics engine.

Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/
With Azure, you can integrate your existing devices and systems with IoT solutions specially designed for your business helping get insights to transform your business. Azure provides flexibility to connect devices and operating system already being used by you. Azure’s common preconfigured solutions help accelerate IoT projects and stay ahead of the competition.

AWS
https://aws.amazon.com
AWS IoT is a managed cloud platform to connect devices in a seamless and secure manner and interacit with cloud applications and other devices. With the ability to support billions of devices and trillions of messages, AWS can process and route messages to AWS endpoints and devices securely.

Hardware Used for IoT

IoT Hardware Platform

Particle.io
https://software.intel.com/en-us/iot/hardware/galileo
Particle.io is an end to end IoT platform offering IoT hardware development platform, connectivity, device cloud and apps. It offers a robust, reliable infrastructure to build and manage your IoT fleet. Particle’s cloud-connected microcontrollers power your product, making it easy for hardware to get your device connected in minutes – over Wi-Fi, cellular (2G/3G/LTE), or mesh. Its cloud-connected microcontrollers are powered by a lightweight operating system for embedded IoT devices, Device OS. Particle’s industrial-grade connectivity modules are secure and reliable allowing scalability.

Adafruit Feather
https://www.adafruit.com/category/777
The Adafruit Feather is a complete line of development boards from Adafruit with a large suite of accessories that rapidly accelerate development. Standalone and stackable, feathers are flexible, portable, and light just as the name suggests. It comes with a complete line of accessories and FeatherWings to stack boards and for prototyping. With several renditions, adding unique functionalities has never been easier. Adafruit Feather is an ecosystem of products – and the best way to get your project flying.

Espressif
https://espressif.com
Specializing in creating chips, Espressif offers a high level of integration and smart solutions. Espressif’s development boards provide easy prototyping and interfacing. These robust and all-in-one dev boards help create IoT applications in a quick and hassle-free manner. Espressif comes with a wide range of well-integrated and energy-efficient wireless SoCs which are hugely popular among IoT community. Its fully-certified modules combine Wi-Fi and BT/BLE.

Intel® Galileo Board
https://software.intel.com/en-us/iot/hardware/galileo
Built on fully open-source hardware and designed specifically for developers, students, educators, and DIY electronics enthusiasts, the Intel® Galileo Gen 2 board is Arduino* certified with a software environment for advanced compute functionality.

Re-Mote
http://zolertia.io/product/hardware/re-mote
Developed jointly with universities and industrial partners from several countries, Re-Mote is a powerful development board to build real IoT projects and solutions. Re-mote was built in context of context of a European Project to create IoT hardware for logistics, smart cities, and industrial project. RE-Mote is fully compatible with main IoT operation systems and a perfect hardware platform.

Local Motors Connected Car
https://launchforth.io/localmotors/connected-car-project-internet-of-things/
After creating an open source connected Rally Fighter to demonstrate Internet of Things capability, Local Motors is moving a step further. The open source design includes an automotive grade Linux distribution, a Raspberry Pi board, Arduino relay boards, and Octoblu open source software.
SmartEverything
SmartEverything is main component to accelerate the “Internet of Things” ecosystem. As an Arduino form factor IoT board, SmartEverything is equipped with factory bundled I/O ports and sensors and energy-efficient wireless connectivity technology dedicated to all projects in the IoT and IoE fields.

Arduino Nano
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardNano
Arduino Nano is a breadboard-friendly board based on the ATmega328 (Arduino Nano 3.x). With nearly the same functionality of Arduino Duemilanove, the Arduino Nano can be powered via the Mini-B USB connection.

Arduino Pro Mini
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/arduinoBoardProMini
For applications where space is a major issue, this board comes to quick rescue. Available in 3.3 V and 5 V versions, powered by ATmega328, Arduino Pro Mini is for semi-permanent installation in objects or exhibitions.

Arduino Yún LininoOS
https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardYun
Combining the power of Linux with the ease of use of Arduino, Arduino YÚN is the perfect board to design connected devices specifically Internet of Things projects.

panStamp
http://www.panstamp.com
panStamps are autonomous low-power wireless modules made for telemetry and control projects. Its modules communicate over the free 868-915 MHz bands across the globe and are designed to last for years when powered from simple alkaline batteries.

ThingsSpeak
https://thingspeak.com
ThingSpeak is an IoT analytics platform service to aggregate, visualize and analyze live data streams in the cloud. ThingSpeak enables sensors, instruments, and websites to send data to the cloud to store in a channel.

Software Platforms for IoT

IoT Software Platforms

PlatformIO
https://platformio.org/
It is an open source ecosystem for IoT development. It comes with C/C++ Intelligent Code Completion and Smart Code Linter for rapid professional development. It comes with multi-projects workflow with Multiple Panes, as well as supports themes with dark and light colors.

prPL
https://prplfoundation.org/
The prpl Foundation builds collaborative contributions from the best minds in security, chip and stack design, carrier and mobile communications design, enterprise and storage systems, consumer applications, and much more.

Tessel 2
https://tessel.io/
Tessel 2 is a robust IoT and robotics development platform which uses all libraries of Node.JS to create high performance devices in a matter of minutes. Tessel boards extend its capabilities by plugging in modules.

Programmable Wireless
https://www.twilio.com/wireless
Programmable Wireless delivers IoT connectivity offering much needed scalability to the enterprise, and serves developers across the globe. With Twilio Console or via the Twilio API, developers can effortlessly control, analyze, and monitor cellular connectivity. Twilio Programmable Wireless can let add cellular data, voice, and SMS capabilities to your connected devices.

Losant
https://www.losant.com/
Losant is an IoT platform to quickly, easily, and securely build IoT solutions. With this platform, you can experience seamless connectivity among a wide range of abstract hardware, several devices, store and evaluate the data, and take action in real-time.

AllJoyn
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/iot-core/archive/alljoyn
Sponsored by the AllSeen Alliance, whose members include the Linux Foundation, Microsoft, LG, Qualcomm, Sharp, Panasonic, Cisco, Symantec and many others, AllJoyn is a „collaborative open-source software framework that makes it easy for devices and apps to discover and communicate with each other.“ AllJoyn is an open source software framework which allows devices and apps to discover and communicate with each other. Developers can write applications for interoperability irrespective of transport layer, manufacturer, and without the need for Internet access.

IoT middleware Tools

IBM Watson
https://www.ibm.com/watson
With IBM Watson, you can enable cognitive computing features in your app using Language, Vision, Speech and Data APIs. This API makes it simple for developers and offers a host of different services.

Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/
With Azure, you can integrate your existing devices and systems with IoT solutions specially designed for your business helping get insights to transform your business. Azure provides flexibility to connect devices and operating system already being used by you.

AWS
https://aws.amazon.com
AWS IoT is a managed cloud platform to connect devices in a seamless and secure manner and interacit with cloud applications and other devices. With the ability to support billions of devices and trillions of messages, AWS can process and route messages to AWS endpoints and devices securely.

Open Source IoT Protocol

Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP)
Open standard for business messaging Internet protocol. It communicates between applications or companies seamlessly connecting systems, feeds business processes with the information and transmits instructions to attain objectives in a reliable manner. AMQP connects different aspects of Organizations, technologies, systems not available simultaneously, as well as operate at a distance in case of poor network.

 

Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP)
https://coap.technology/

The Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) is a specialized web transfer protocol for use with constrained nodes and constrained networks in the Internet of Things. The protocol is designed for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications such as smart energy and building automation.
CoAP is specified in a Standards-Track RFC. RFCs that serve as Internet Standards Documents are generated by the IETF based on an extensive technical review and quality control process. CoAP is simple enough to implement from scratch for a simple application.
Very Simple Control Protocol (VSCP)
https://www.vscp.org/

While the term protocol may sound misleading, VSCP is a framework. It is a scalable, free and open solution framework for the discovery and identification of devices, configuration, autonomous device functionality, securely updating the devices — overall, a solution from the sensor to the user.

The word „Protocol“ may be misleading. VSCP is much more and should probably be called a framework instead.

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