APIs for the Interoperability of Things (IoT)

Today, the Internet of Things is largely a collection of devices and apps that don’t work together. We see a need to address two challenges that are critical to break down these silos and drive large-scale adoption of IoT among consumers and businesses:

  • Enable device makers to securely expose their device data to other devices and apps, so that their devices don’t live in silos, but can interoperate freely with other devices and apps.
  • Empower developers to leverage data from many siloed devices and data sources in order to generate new insights and deliver new experiences.

While device makers possess deep expertise in making things, they do not typically have the expertise to make their devices work with other devices and apps and grow a developer ecosystem. At the same time, developers do not have the resources to make devices interoperable before they can generate insights from them.

Without solving these challenges, IoT can’t live up to its ideal – allowing the end user to benefit from all this connectivity without having to think about the underlying technology.

So you connected your device to the cloud. Then what?

IoT today generally refers to connecting a device to the cloud and remotely controlling it using the device maker’s smartphone app.

But what if end users want to control their devices not from the device maker’s app but from their favorite app? Or have their device change state as a result of an event triggered on another device? Customers today adopt only those connected digital experiences that blend most easily into their lives and work. (We’ve seen this play in mobile as well.)

To address this problem, device makers could start by building point-to-point integrations with third-party devices and apps. However, this approach doesn’t scale – there are far too many apps and devices out there, and this list is only growing.

Device makers might be better served to develop a more scalable solution: stand up a developer portal to onboard and manage developers; develop well designed, scalable APIs and SDKs; write policies to transform and normalize data; implement a strong authentication, authorization, and permissions model to protect their products and their customers’ data; grow a developer community; do all the above at scale while keeping latency low; and more.

Unfortunately, doing it right is more complex, resource-intensive, and time-consuming than simply remote controlling a device from its app. At the same time, if device makers don’t take steps to make their devices more interoperable with other devices and apps, they risk becoming less relevant to their customers.

From homogeneous data to diverse data, new insights, and new experiences

Solution developers looking to combine many disparate devices to generate new insights face similar challenges.

As an example, take a building operator seeking to reduce the energy footprint and better manage occupancy by blending the various devices deployed in the building, along with weather data and signals from the energy grid.

The building operator, whose expertise is in energy management, needs a way to figure out how to connect devices that were never designed to work together, develop custom cloud connectors to access data from other device clouds and online feeds, write custom software to store and normalize the heterogeneous data, and feed the normalized data into machine learning algorithms. Only then can the building operator generate meaningful insights from the device data.

Unfortunately, these challenges distract solution developers like the building operator from their core expertise – delivering new insights and experiences for their customers.

This is where Samsung ARTIK Cloud, which we launched this April, comes in.

ARTIK Cloud is designed for Interoperability

We built ARTIK Cloud to make it extremely easy for developers to connect devices and apps that were never designed to work together.

Device makers start by using the UI to create a device manifest that describes device states and actions. Then they can connect devices to ARTIK Cloud and visualize data. It takes just a few minutes. Developers have immediate access to built-in open APIs to collect and store sensor data from physical devices and device clouds, and gain fast access to normalized data and pre-analytics. Using these APIs, the rules engine, and privacy and security features, their devices can securely exchange messages and actions (two-way) with third-party devices and apps – enabling interoperability while protecting their devices and their customer’s data.

Developers can also easily integrate the data into their enterprise workflows by developing new APIs, dashboards, or user portals on top of the open ARTIK Cloud APIs. With ARTIK Cloud, device makers can focus on building better IoT products and bring them to market faster.

ARTIK Cloud is designed to accelerate new insights and predictions from diverse data

ARTIK Cloud provides solution developers fast access to normalized data and pre-analytics – aggregations and statistics. For example, even though a device sends messages, say, every second, the built-in APIs make the sum, minimum, maximum, mean, and count of message fields available in near-real-time.

Data scientists and analytics teams can now apply machine learning to this normalized data and generate insights faster, while accelerating time to market for their intelligent IoT solution.

Putting the user first

We built ARTIK Cloud to break down silos between devices and apps. IoT starts living up to its promise when the interaction between data, devices and services becomes transparent, and the user can focus on what the devices are trying to say. With ARTIK Cloud, we’re enabling developers to help IoT live up to its ideal – allowing the end user to benefit from all this connectivity without having to think about the underlying technology.

To connect your own device or build your app using devices that are verified to work with ARTIK Cloud, visit http://artik.cloud and get started today for FREE.  We welcome your feedback!