Simon Bisson recently (and correctly) pointed out that “There’s a Huge Gap at the Heart of the Internet of Things” in an article that showcases the main reason that the smoothly running interconnected systems promised by the Internet of Things haven’t yet manifested in many industries.
There are many reasons for this void. One culprit is the culture of small, limited-function apps that don’t scale well and can’t communicate with other apps without proprietary APIs and a lot of code. A plethora of competing protocols and proprietary environments also make merging smart devices into a single infrastructure quite difficult.
The smart hardware already exists to realize the potential of IoT. Embedded operating systems and devices like Raspberry Pi make it possible to make nearly anything a ‘smart’ device with the addition of a few sensors. And the software certainly exists. So why isn’t it being threaded together?
The answer may be that few software solutions make it easy to plug in devices with a wide variety of disparate protocols, and few are easy to use and offer easy access to the kind of cloud architectures that make IoT solutions possible.
But there are answers for this gap. HMI software like InduSoft Web Studio was created to act as a hub for connected devices, allowing users to use over 250 communication protocols to connect to industrial equipment like PLCs and controllers. InduSoft EmbeddedView and IoTView were designed to run small-footprint HMIs on Windows Embedded operating systems and non-Windows systems like Linux and VxWorks. With an intuitive interface and free training, it’s no longer necessary to create extensive amounts of code for what should be a simple process of connecting smart devices in a single application that can send and receive data from the cloud and create the IoT dream of multiple interconnected systems capable of sharing information back and forth.
As Bisson says in the article, “The road to an interoperable Internet of Things isn’t hard to find. We just need to remember that our things are now software, and apply the lessons we’ve learnt about building secure and interoperable systems to those software things.”