Open Source IoT Platforms – Ready for Primetime?

Open Source IoT Platforms – Ready for Primetime?

Episode 65

If you’ve been listening to my show for a while you know I’m a lover of IoT platforms. It just doesn’t make sense to create your own plumbing from scratch – especially since there are so many beauties to choose from that sport business models that are so agreeable early on. But what about open source platforms – are they ready yet for primetime? In this episode of the IoT Business Show I speak with Hans Scharler about where open source platforms are today, and when it makes most sense to use them.

In this episode of the IoT Business Show, I speak with Hans Scharler about where open source platforms are today, and when it makes most sense to use them.

Hans is the creator of ThingSpeak, an open source Internet of Things platform, and is currently a Principal Engineer at MathWorks, where he develops IoT technologies. Hans has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, inventor, and consultant. And he even has a toaster connected to Twitter with over 2,000 followers.

While I’m a believer, I still have this gnawing feeling about building your house on rented land. With IoT hype has come a lot of IoT platforms. And like with any hype, there’s going to be a sugar crash in which many of these platforms aren’t going to survive. Then what? What happens if the platform you invested in, bricks? What I’ve done with my clients is ensure their platform vendor puts their source code and keys into escrow as a hedge against that fateful day. But even if you do get full access to the source, it’s still going to be a nightmare to keep things going. That’s why I like and believe in open source IoT platforms… but are they ready for prime time? I’m not sure, but perhaps the most important best practise when building upon any platform – commercial or open source – is to isolate and make your intellectual property portable. Specifically, when it comes to your model, app and analytics, write your code in such a way that if the bad day comes, you can walk away with your IP and plop it atop another platform – hopefully with minimum fuss.

Here’s What We’ll Cover in this Episode

  • Top 5 reasons to choose an open source IoT platform over a commercial IoT platform.
  • A great definition of an IoT platform.
  • How the IoT open source movement got started.
  • The $3 microcontroller with Wi-Fi that came from heaven.
  • The curious IoT squirrel product.
  • The most popular trends and countries using the ThingSpeak platform.
  • Monthly network costs to keep 30,000 IoT projects connected.

Mentioned in this Episode and Other Useful Links

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Have you seen any successful non-traditional business models work in consumer IoT?