The modern concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved from the idea of automating every home appliance and even entire factories to the greatest possible extent. At the dawn of their revolutionizing future, connected technologies were not supported enough by ubiquitous ownership of internet-connected gadgets, and it was problematic to massively implement IoT for industries’ automation. As of now, IoT turns into a niche for investments due to its availability, cost-effectiveness and adoptability even in the most remote and underserved areas. It is estimated that more than two dozen devices will be connected online by the year 2020. Given all that, software development companies take vested interest in gaining the reputation of reliable IoT solutions providers.
IoT is not all about the development of innovations. Mainly, new solutions are built based on the proven tech stack that doesn’t require vast novel engineering knowledge and techniques from the developers. Savvy engineers actively use a number of key open source components to craft custom IoT solutions: MySQL, NGINX, SDK Tools, Gradle and AWS services, to name a few. However, the development process features specific requirement and present certain difficulties.
Leading software development companies leverage the power of IoT to improve such social spheres as transportation, healthcare provision, retail, various tracking apps and so on. Off-the-shelf systems often fall short of consumers’ needs, while custom software can become a perfect fit in. We at OCSICO software company offer full-cycle IoT development services, effectively using Agile methodology and making NPI process as efficient as possible.
What does a value-adding IoT custom system comprise? Like any other solution, IoT hardware requires OS as the basis.
OS for IoT
Complex systems would be a challenge to run without an OS or RTOS (Real-time operating system). Since IoT involves a great a number of constrained devices, chosen OS ought to feature several vital parameters. Firstly, scalability and portability, that allows launching IoT systems on different hardware platforms. Secondly, the necessary support of connectivity protocols and compliance with security standards. Thirdly, the provision of tools for encryption. Other parameters depend on customers’ hardware and their business aims since there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
Healthcare and fleet management are most sophisticated fields for IoT technologies implementation, when the real-time processing mode is one of the basic requirements. RTOS is a reasonable choice to power both users’ devices and gateways, as this type of OS allows real-time application running and data processing.
The embedded systems require low memory and perfect timing capabilities to enable a better management of task acceptance and completion by one or another app. The systems also require different kinds of communication capabilities to effectively maintain connection between providers and users. That’s why RTOS that fuels IoT solutions feature a number of capabilities such as the following: scalability, modularity, connectivity and reliability.
A scalable and flexible RTOS reduces time to market and makes the whole system cost-efficient. It is built on 32-bit MCUs to carry out the bulk of the work of embedded devices. Sometimes, several MCUs can be employed: to operate with different sensors and to support the work of a network interface. Such approach allows IoT systems to meet RAM requirements and other constraints of embedded devices. No wonder that MCU market experiences predictable growth to serve IoT solutions with a set of small and large MCUs in the nearest feature.
Modular OS gives the possibility of choosing the components needed for a particular custom IoT system. Modularity enables smooth system deployment and allows to reach a minimum of memory footprint. It is helpful in case of developing software for devices with different capabilities. The devices sharing one common kernel can be customized with modules specific for one or another app. Such solutions require small memory footprint and less RAM, thus making a whole system cost-reductive.
The cornerstone of IoT technologies is smooth network connectivity. For instance, the gadgets owned by patients at home and the devices employed within medical facilities are expected to be mutually connected and maintain ongoing connection with a network. RTOS necessarily supports such connectivity protocols as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, IEE 802.15.4, 6LoWPAN etc. Along with this, RTOS allows picking the protocols relevant to a particular custom system in order to save memory and cut budgetary expenditures. In case an existing embedded system requires more connectivity protocols, they can be easy added to enrich overall functionality without making changes to the core.
IoT systems mostly often operate with personal data, and such tasks presuppose security and reliability while processing. In the light of this, RTOS needs safe-critical certification to ensure flawless functioning of devices. IoT stack employed by healthcare and transportation services providers should include such certificates as ISO 62304 for medical purposes and SIL3/SIL4 IEC for logistics and transportation field.
The bottom line
The development of IoT solutions is a challenging field since it requires vast expertise in costume software development. To date, the IoT popularity is soaring, and business leaders and individual clients will face the need of reliable software vendors who would arm consumers with competitive solutions. At OCSICO, we are ready anytime to create and adjust most complex tech systems to our customers’ business strategies. Our work helps clients to make well-informed decisions and to promote success of their businesses around the world.