By Howdy Pierce, Co-CEO & Founder, Cardinal Peak
One of the promises of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that by connecting existing devices to the Internet, smarter behavior will become possible. When we started talking about IoT a couple of years ago, it was mostly a distant promise. The engineering barriers in order to connect a coffee maker, for example, were pretty formidable – limiting IoT innovations to only the largest companies. That, thankfully, is drastically changing.
At Cardinal Peak we help companies of all sizes bring IoT solutions to market – something we’ve been doing since before IoT was even part of our vocabulary. For our part, we’ve developed a number of IoT products and have been involved with all aspects of the hardware, firmware, and software engineering of these solutions—including the device, the mobile and web apps, and the cloud back-end that typically connects them.
Through our efforts, we’ve learned a number of things. One of the most valuable lessons we’ve learned is that connecting with the right partners is always a good idea. Xively by LogMeIn is touting a new class of IoT middleware that we’ve learned can dramatically reduce the engineering effort. For our customers, this translates to quicker time-to-market, a more robust product, and of course lower development costs. As a result, it’s now possible for all sorts of smaller companies to offer Internet-connected products.
Let me share an example of what I’m talking about. I recently spent a few days in Boston at Xperience IoT, an exhibition put on by Xively. The value proposition of Xively is that it can help companies build, launch and run their connected products and business. One of the highlights of Xperience for me was a demonstration where the Xively team was able to connect a non-connected air purifier to the cloud and control it through a web-based app. As a partner of Xively, Cardinal Peak was brought in to help bring that vision to fruition. Our experience underscores the value of this technology. Starting from scratch, we were able to build an entire connected air filter in three weeks. This is a significant contrast to the large amount of effort we would have had to spend to develop an equivalent functionality even 18 months ago.
The pace of change around the IoT is furiously high, and what we were able to accomplish with Xively is just one example of what’s possible. If you’re an entrepreneur or product manager who is considering bringing a connected IoT product to market, it’s easier than you probably think.