I don’t know about you, but I do enjoy Weird Al songs. I currently have his “It’s All About the Pentiums” song stuck in my head after reading about the role that data plays in the Internet of Things. Weird Al’s song would be, “It’s all about the data, baby.”
All those things (devices) in the Internet of Things are generating data and ultimately taking action on data. (Harriet Green joined the Into Tomorrow podcast recently, where she talked about this very topic, suggesting that we will create a brontobyte of data from connecting all the things in the next 10 years.)
This WIRED magazine article, “Internet of Things: Where Does the Data Go?” by Patrick McFadin, is what sent me down this nerdy path. You have to understand, architect, and design the flow of data through your IoT solution. According to McFadin, you have to consider how you send data, store data, and analyze data. (McFadin didn’t even touch on one of the top concerns in IoT: security and how you secure the data, which is an unfortunate oversight, really.)
With an IoT Platform (which, simplistically speaking, is a set of software that connects the devices, data, and apps together), the platform manages the flow of the data. For example, the Watson IoT Platform considers data every step of the way: you send your data using the MQTT messaging protocol, you can store your data using the Cloudant NoSQL Database for Bluemix service, and you can analyze your data using the rules and actions in the Watson IoT Platform cloud and edge analytics capabilities.
Watch this introductory video that shows how an IoT Platform integrates the data, stores the data, analyzes the data, and sends the data to other apps and systems, all over a secure connection among devices and apps:
You can see all these parts and pieces in action by following along in this developerWorks tutorial, “Turn your smartphone into an IoT device.” (Or, you can really dive into the ultimate thing and all its data, by considering how to connect your car to your home.) You can explore recipes that share how to use Mosquitto to be a gateway that aggregates device data, or how to use the cloud analytics in Watson IoT Platform to do real-time data analysis on your data, or even how to use the IBM Watson IoT Edge Analytics Agent to move your analytics out to the edge of your IoT ecosystem.
So, be honest with me: Weird Al’s song is still running through my head… is it still running through yours?
- MQTT messaging information in the Watson IoT Platform documentation
- Cloudant NoSQL DB connector information in the Watson IoT Platform documentation
- Analytics information in the Watson IoT Platform documentation
- developerWorks IoT hub
- developerWorks Big Data and Analytics hub
- Data and more data: how IoT could impact the lives those with diabetes