What is IoT?
First, what is the Internet of Things? I will try to answer this question based on my personal research and experiments as a Tizen and IoTivity community contributor.
Many analysts or programmers may feel the “IoT hype” is overrated, since it became one of top buzz word of this year 2015, (it replaced big data which took the place of cloud the year before).
Believe it or not but I also think something big is happening now in the embedded world, pretty much similar to what happened when local networks were connected together into the Internet.
This can be a hasty analogy, but I see the very same pattern: while we’re used to connect embedded devices or computers, let’s transpose this one level down, then it’s easy to imagine the connections between each components of the system and the ability to deal with them as network nodes.
Let me illustrate this with an example, like a fire detector that will detect smoke and raise an alarm.
In the IoT world it would be just a set of dumb components like a smoke detector, temperature sensor and alarm speaker, connected to a network and the logic would live outside the system itself but into a controller(s) unit. I let you define the form of this controller, it could be some software running on a home gateway, cellphone, or whatever computer anywhere in your LAN or cloud as long as the data is visible to it.
So is this granularity shift changing everything? Almost, nothing is hardwired anymore now, so designers have to think in term of usage and services, which introduce new problems like interoperabilty, scalability, and probably before performance, security will be one of Sine qua non challenges.
As a technologist, I will pass on the economic aspect, and focus on the topic of interoperabilty, there is no doubt that this very 1st stone is the base of it all, (like http+html combo made the web).
What about Tizen ?
Speaking about Tizen which is marketed as the OS of everything, there is an explicitly need to support IoT features, but instead of reinventing the wheel, some of its main supporters have been pushing for a new consortium to provide such a standard and a reference implementation known as IoTivity.
To make it short in a couple of words, IoTivity is a free and open source software library that provides seamless device-to-device connectivity for IoT. The project is hosted by Linux Foundation (like Tizen) and licensed under Apache-2.0.
But best is to try IoTivity by yourself on your own Tizen devices as announced at FOSDEM 2015 in the IoT room where my colleague Sdx presented Tizen:Common While, I integrated iotivity, mraa, upm packages into Tizen contrib’s repo, (and you can ask me for support).
Less than a month later at Mobile World Congress, Tizen and Open Interconnect Consortium shared the place and showed a “smart-home demo”.
Listen to the explanation of the doll house powered by MinnowBoard MAX with different kind of sensors.
Last but not least, We at Eurogiciel continued some Tizen+Iot experiments about connecting Tizen Gear 2 to a robot.
Let me challenge the Tizen Community, tell us where is the magic trick in this chain from Samsung’s Gear 2 to Arduino board through Intel’s Edison (running IoTivity on OIC Yocto layer) ?
What’s Next ?
I bet that new Tizen devices will provide more and more IoT features and services I can not even imagine now.
While community or hobbyists side, I am wondering if there is any interest for a full “FLOSS IoT Concentrator for SmartHome”, your feedback is very valuable to us.
Where to find more resources ?
To finish here are some references I wanted to share with community :