Thing 1, Thing 2... Internet of Things starts to gain a developer following

The so-called Internet of Things gains traction, with two out of five developers looking at the possibilities.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

The Frankensteinian creature many refer to as the Internet of Things is starting to gain a foothold in the developer community, suggesting that we'll be seeing more applications headed our way.

Kimmel Arts Center Phila PA - photo by Joe McKendrick
Photo: Joe McKendrick

That's the conclusion of a new survey from Evans Data Corporation, which finds that 17 percent of 1,400 developers participating in its latest survey said they were "working on applications for connected devices for the Internet of Things." Another 23 percent expect to begin work on applications for connected devices in the next six months.

But, of course, there's really no such entity as the IoT, and no developer is going to start writing applications that point to an amorphous IoT.  Rather, IoT is an agglomeration of platforms and technologies. Evans did some parsing to see exactly what was being targeted in development work.

The survey found that 31 percent of IoT developers most associate cloud computing with IoT, followed by real-time event processing (26 percent), big data (17 percent) and machine to machine (15 percent).

Of course, IoT is in the midst of a major hype cycle, so there's a lot of industry buzz about IoT, along with a thousand interpretations of the term. As IT prognosticator Jason Bloomberg points out in a recent post, "the IoT explosion is rather curious if you think about it, as the Internet has been with us now for nigh on two decades, and everything connected to it has always been some kind of thing. But now it seems every kind of thing from dishwashers to doorknobs require an Internet connection, since after all, we all know our dishwashers have long harbored a pent up desire for scintillating conversation with our doorknobs."

We're going to be hearing a lot in the months and years to come about consumer and device data being swapped back and forth across the IoT. A lot of it will be hype. But beyond the cutesy stuff, there are some fascinating enterprise-scale applications that are emerging -- such as GE's concept of the "Industrial Internet," in which major components such as aircraft engines and generator turbines are outfitted with sensors that can radio performance data back to their makers. This is where the IoT will have a real impact, and it will be interesting to see where developers take these kinds of capabilities.

(Disclosure: I am an occasional contributor to Evans Data, mentioned in this post, but was not involved in this project.)

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