With the advent of the Internet of Things, potentially billions of devices will report data about themselves, making it possible to create new applications in areas as diverse as factory optimization, car maintenance, transport optimization, real time energy consumption measure and optimization or simply keeping track of your stuff online.
However, doing this today requires programming knowledge. There are now companies, which are trying to make it as easy to create an Internet of Things application, as it is to put a file into Dropbox.
With a new service called Freeboard, Bug Labs (a New York City company) is giving people a simple one-click way to publish data from any sensor or device to its own Web page (visit Dweet.io). You need just a few click to put your smartphone data on the web on a public page and available for analysis and aggregation; you can stop the sharing of information at any time just with a click, again. This first attempt gives basic results. However, a few more clicks will create quick graphical displays of the shared information, such as location, temperature, motor speed, or simply whether a device is on or off.
Freeboard is not the most sophisticated Internet of Things application platform. Many others are emerging, including Axeda, Etherios, and OpenRemote, with different business models and levels of complexity. Big companies like General Electric are also developing factory-monitoring software platforms for professional use.
From these platforms, new applications can be quickly developed without coding, thanks to the use of a standard platform: experiments are underway with Freeboard using a car data interface called Open XC. Data from whether the windshield wipers are running is gathered in order to send a warning alert that could someday be dispatched to a car a few miles back to warn the driver of wet roads
In theory, anything could be connected and such an easy to use platform will accelerate the rise of useful applications.