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Awakening the potential of IoT with programming languages

In IoT, a tiny circuit used for one purpose accumulates data from sensors and transmits it to the server in a uniform time interval. Once upon a time, specialized embedded processors required electronics knowledge and restrictive languages. Nowadays, you can just pick up an Arduino and write a few lines of script in almost any programming language and empower the IoT device.

Potential of the internet of things

Every electronic gadget features computing power as well as connectivity. Thermostats, security devices, locks and lights, vacuum cleaners and air conditioners — all of them contain small computers, and all are interconnected via the internet. Given the ubiquity of IoT technologies, it can achieve an unbelievable level of coverage in both space and time for observing any events with a complex or simple programming language.

Predictions for 2020 promise many connected devices per person and terabytes of data per second to process — without including IoT-connected dogs and cats. The goal of IoT is to fully integrate people into smart systems that are self-seeking, self-controlling and self-optimizing.

Main programming languages for the internet of things

The internet of things is still a mystery to many, even though it has been around since 1982. The concept of securing up physical devices and making them talk to each other is great.

IoT is an entirely different platform for developers and engineers, where the only one thing has remained consistent: the programming language. Developers seem to be using the same languages for their projects, while also integrating some specific settings for IoT.

IoT consists basically of the devices doing some job and the web servers these devices are talking to. As a conclusion, to “cover” both sides you need programming language used for embedded development (C or C++) and programming language used for web server development (Python, Go, Java, C#).

Speaking to industry professionals that have worked on IoT devices and systems before, I have found C, C++ and Java are the most popular choices for general-purpose projects.

Overview of programming languages

C is a popular programming language for low-level projects. It considered the most useful for IoT devices because it doesn’t need a lot of processing power.

C++ is an optional programming language if the IoT device requires more complex tasks. For example, think of water level detectors and smart lighting rather than devices that detect heat.

Java is useful for IoT devices that require a lot of computation, since it is more manageable than C++ and more commonly practiced.

Python is commonly mentioned by IoT developers. It has become a valuable resource for web application developers. But it comes with a huge baggage — the entire Python interpreter has to be installed on the tiny computer. Some IoT devices do not have enough RAM memory for this. Another trouble with the Python programming language is that it is super slow. Many IoT devices are real-time things — they produce data quickly on relatively slow CPUs.

C# is a robust and powerful object-oriented programming language, but not many developers practice it. Mastering C# is not a trivial task, but it is not quite as challenging as other programming languages. However, it is very easy to use with Raspberry Pi.

Perspectives on the internet of things

IoT adds value to the products we already own and the services we already use. The data extracted from IoT devices is meant to tell us important insights about the market. The potential for highly individualized services are endless and will dramatically change the way people live.

The main goal of developing applications is to increase the level of communication with the help of one of the main programming language. In this way, the implicit goal of developing IoT technologies is simplifying data collection in a more secure and economical way, increasing the general well-being of individuals and society as a whole.

New, complex networks or interconnected devices that can share infinite amounts of information are being created right now, and more companies will allocate money to IoT development in the coming years. It is not a science fiction anymore; these innovations will be borne of technologies and cover the globe.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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