Our day-to-day ‘things’ such as kitchen appliances, smart bulbs, power tools, irrigation, water pumps, gardening installations etc are made smarter by dropping sensors with non-cellular, non-IP air interfaces such as BLE, Zigbee, LoRa, ZWave etc. This necessitates a ‘gateway device’ to connect these things to cloud platform reliably and securely. Making a separate ‘gateway device’ mandatory to connect to cloud represents a hurdle for those manufacturers of low-cost things.
On the other hand, the ubiquitous mobile phones are packing more and more of wireless radios while their processing power keeps accelerating. It makes perfect sense to convert a mobile phone into an IOT gateway by making the IOT Gateway function as an ‘app’.
Recent announcement of Android Things tries to leverage the massive presence of Android operating system and the developer base.
Android with its openness, is also making notable inroads into Point-of Sale devices (POS) and Human machine Interfaces (HMI) which are used to print parking/bus/train tickets and on a factory floor to visualize the assembly line respectively. These devices are strictly not IOT ‘Things’, but need management and monitoring just like IOT things would.
At Vitalpointz we have embraced Android OS and productized our device-agent as an android application. We are calling it Vitalpointz Edge Service Platform Agent (VESPA-Android) which can function as a IoT gateway, bridging the connections from the “Things via BLE, NFC etc” to the Cloud. Hence any Android devices like phone and tablet can be converted to a gateway. VESPA-Android can also monitor and manage POS machines. VESPA-Android will be one more invaluable tool in our IoT arsenal enabling the world of digital revolution thru Internet of Things!
I strongly feel Android operating system has good potential to become a commonly and most widely used Operating System for IOT systems, there is already a lot of sensor APIs available. When it really happens, we are ready to ride the wave!