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Startup Aims to Unsnarl IoT Code

7/17/2013 11:35 AM EDT
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DMcCunney
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
DMcCunney   7/18/2013 11:28:13 AM
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I don't see why not.


Part of the problem with the IoT is the wide variety of protocols, like 6LowPAN, CoAP, DASH7, EnOcean, Insteon, Zigbee, and Z-Wave mentioned in the article.  Any grouping of IoT devices will likely be heterogenous, with each one possibly needing to be addressed and controlled in a different way.

In this case, a JavaScript library run on the controller encapsulates those differences, and provides a standard API for a programmer.  The programmer doesn't need to be concerned about the details of the devices, because the library abstracts that.

What's the difference between home and industrial applications?  For the purposes of what is being done, nothing.  They are simply seperate instances of a general problem: addressing and controlling a network of IoT devices.


The nice thing about JavaScript for this usage for this usage is that it's ubiquitous and cross-platform, and a large number of folks already know it. There is nothing tying it to the specific hardware WigWag is using.


The other possible languages I can see being used are Java and Python, which are also available for a wide variety of platforms.  And there is a well developed toolchain for working in JavaScript, starting with support in every major browser.


Developing DeviceJS might have been the single biggest part of WigWag, but once done, many things are possible.  And WigWag stated plans to make it open source, so developers encountering things the library doesn't support can contribute updates to add them.

The underlying notion - abstracting the underlying IoT devices behind a JS library - strikes me as broadly applicable beyond what WigWag is doing.


junko.yoshida
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Re: China connection
junko.yoshida   7/18/2013 9:23:40 AM
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@mcgrathdylan, Allwinner is by far the number one tablet apps processor company in China. The company has big ambitions. Obviously, Allwinner wants to get into the smartphone business (and automotive). But it is interesting to learn that it appears to keep an eye on IOT. 

More on Allwinner, please go to the following link. It's based on my visit to the company located in Zhuhai.

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1264667

jpnKevin
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Re: China connection
jpnKevin   7/18/2013 3:29:50 AM
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Wuxi city center is long taxi ride from the train station, about 40 minutes as I recall. 

rick merritt
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Re: China connection
rick merritt   7/18/2013 2:45:32 AM
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Junko: I would LOVE it if you could make a stop in Wuxi on your next trip and profile this IoT center. The Zigbee folks told me about it last year. Sounds interesting!

Susan Rambo
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Re: Yet Another JavaScript Library.
Susan Rambo   7/18/2013 12:30:22 AM
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DMcCunney, do you think Javascript will be a good longterm solution for industrial M2M and IoT? I'm not completely clear. What other concerns do you have? This WigWag technology is for home automation, but will it find a home in industrial applications, too?

Net_chief
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Re: Can this work?
Net_chief   7/17/2013 10:15:46 PM
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It could be useful if used in a two-stage development. Initial prototype implementation is done using the libraries. Then, following market validation that there is a significant market, start stage 2 - code, resource, cost, performance optimized implementation.

The catch is not getting caught up in release/update cycle, and allocating sufficient time and resources for State 2 development.

mcgrathdylan
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Re: China connection
mcgrathdylan   7/17/2013 8:07:13 PM
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Seems its a prerequisite nowadays for a chip company of any size to have team in China.


I thought it was an interesting design win for Allwinner. My perception of that company is that it makes relatively inexpensive apps processors for tablets, but it seems as though there is more to it than that.

DMcCunney
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Yet Another JavaScript Library.
DMcCunney   7/17/2013 7:08:43 PM
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What interests me is the use of a JavaScript library for the implementation language.  JavaScript is beginning to creep in everywhere, but it's a "batteries not included" language, forcing the developer to to concerned with low-level details.  A plethora of JS libraries have been spawned to encapsulate low-level operations and provide a high-level API for the developer to use, and this is yet another example.

I'm less concerned about the possibilities for home integration, and more with the industrial applications possible using this approach.  JavaScript is cross platform - as long as a JavaScript interpreter/compiler exists for the platform, you can run it - and JavaScript runtimes are available for just about everything. 

As we are moving to a world where just about everything can have an IP address and be connected by TCP-IP, I see all sorts of potential beyond the stated use case here.

 

 

 

junko.yoshida
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China connection
junko.yoshida   7/17/2013 6:14:24 PM
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The small startup like WigWag already has a team in Wuxi, China, and the software runs on Allwinner's chip, aside from that of Freescale, speaks volume for the anticipated IoT pickup in the Chinese market. 

Bert22306
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Re: Can this work?
Bert22306   7/17/2013 3:00:34 PM
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Only if the IoT product developers want it to work, would be my answer. This quote kind of says it all:

"Home automation is almost a dirty word among some technophiles because it's been tried and tried again and hasn't taken off."

I would say "home integration" rather than "home automation." I have PLENTY of automated appliances in my home already, including a fancy new toaster oven, but I have no need or inclination to integrate them. Even creating an IoT, for some of these home appliances, does not necessarily mean that there's any need to integrate among them.

This discussion is somewhat related to the one about automobile hacking. Next thing you know, we'll see a frenzy about the potential security holes that COULD emerge in homes, IF your kitchen faucet is tied to your washer, drier, and power meter.

Although parenthetically, it might make sense to tie your cold water kitchen faucet to the garbage disposer, to prevent the latter from being switched on in the former isn't open. Whether the Internet and your Facebook page need to know about this is something else again.

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