If a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound? Similarly, if an IoT system detects a failure and can’t communicate the situation to those affected, is it really being useful?
IoT, the automation of systems with computerized sensors that are connected via the Internet, is exploding as thousands of new applications are being developed. From computer-controlled beer dispensing systems to intelligent elevator call boxes, low cost and compact computing systems and Internet connectivity have created a fertile opportunity for inventors and innovators to create new labor-saving and business-enhancing products.
An important element of IoT systems is communicating status and alarms to users or managers when it needs attention. It might be as inconsequential as a beer keg running low at a bar, or as critical as a stuck elevator. In some cases, a mobile-based application on a smartphone is sufficient to notify a responsible person with the right status to change or alarm. But what if numerous people need to be notified or if not all of those who need to be notified have a smartphone or have the application installed? This is where the merger of IoT and communications APIs can fill the gap.
Using communications APIs and Communications Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) offerings, developers of IoT systems can integrate SMS messaging, voice, and video into their applications. Similar to reverse 911 systems, an IoT alarm could trigger a mass notification of a stuck elevator to emergency and maintenance personnel. First responders can be notified and quickly establish a voice or video session with the passengers of the stuck elevator, reducing stress and potential harm. The possibilities are endless.
I’ll be presenting on the intersection of IoT and communications APIs and the innovation they enable during the All About the API event held July 19-21st in Caesar’s Las Vegas Convention Center on Tuesday at 9 AM in Room 20. It's not just an abstract discussion, as I’ll be sharing an IoT project I’m working on to automate a private water system that supplies 45 families with domestic water. Sensors, gauges, and notifications are all challenges that must be solved.
See you at the event and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the intersection of IoT and communications APIs.