by Tony Harris
• May 11, 2021
Anything that can be connected will be connected. This is the ultimate goal of technology. Connections with new objects and devices open the door for big data and new insights. It’s a branch of technology long in the making, with just a few hiccups. But advances in API technology aim to address these concerns and advance the IoT into a new era. As these advancements continue, organizations are learning that APIs can play a crucial role in increasing connectivity across the suite of IoT applications.
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Simply put, the Internet of Things describes how a network of “dumb items” can connect to the internet using Wi-Fi and act as data sources along with providing new functionalities. This could be anything from the smart bulb in your living room to a high-tech refrigerator ordering more groceries on your behalf. The interface becomes the object itself, rather than a screen and keyboard, and the system collects data based on how you use the object. The idea is seamless connectivity.
The Internet of Things is nothing new. But with the popularity of social media and smartphones, it has taken on a new life. Before we examine how APIs and IoT can enhance connectivity for your organization, here are some use cases of the Internet of Things in action that you may not be aware of.
John Deere is a common name in the agriculture industry, in business for well over a century. They recently gave their “dumb” farm equipment a major overhaul in their digital transformation project and added smart technology to their latest tractor lines. This new technology gathers and analyzes data based on how operators use the product and historical data such as weather patterns and crop features. John Deere then shares this data and analytics to stakeholders to help them better manage their operations.
Adding new features and connectivity to everyday items isn’t as difficult as you think. The Internet of Things can be a DIY process, as evidenced by the multiple tutorials available for making smart mirrors and more with a Raspberry Pi device.
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But while IoT applications promise great things in the way of technological advancement, there are still some serious concerns about their implementation.
It can be hard enough for computer programs to talk to each other. How can you make your coffee maker compatible with your running shoes? The Internet of Things links wildly different industries with their own standards and operations, adding a new layer of complexity to integration issues. You will need to have some standardization across connected devices to ensure all connections run as they should.
Anything that can be connected will be connected, but it will also be hacked. The Internet of Things promises massive amounts of user data. How do you keep that IoT data out of the wrong hands while maintaining the functionality of your devices? Companies will need to find a way to implement some form of authentication.
APIs offer solutions to both of these concerns. Using an API between devices bridges the communication gap by acting as a middleman, sending API calls between endpoints to send commands and gather data. The API acts as a translator and communicates with each device instead of the smart devices communicating with each other. You can also add authentication functionality to add security measures to the data you collect. Other features made possible by adding APIs include automation, machine learning, and data analysis to better handle the data you collect.
DreamFactory is the platform to handle all of your API management needs and is the ideal platform for getting the most out of your APIs and IOT applications. You can start by building a new API from scratch in minutes, or you can convert your old SOAP web service into a simpler, more secure REST API. This is all possible without you writing a single line of code, making API technology and IoT devices more accessible to those outside of the technology sector. What would you do with your own API?
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