Developing smart, connected products represents a big risk at many levels. But it is a risk that more and more companies will be pressured to take, even as the ultimate results remain uncertain.
Given this risk and uncertainty, the importance of rapid prototyping in product development is more and more evident to help reduce costs and reduce time-to-market. But the context of the IoT adds new requirements as to what is to be prototyped. In addition to the mechanics and electronics of the thing, you need to make a user interface which runs on a mobiletelefone or in a browser. You also have to consider not only how that thing will be represented in the digital world, but also how it will interact in that world.
As illustrated on this page, IoT Rapid prototyping is simply a way to enable parallel development of the user interface and the embedded software. This is enabled by using a common data model at the outset which will be used in the both branches of development. The Seluxit IoT Platform features this IoT rapid-prototyping tool through Wappsto (currently in alpha).
Users can register and start using Wappsto in conjunction with the Seluxit IoT Platform for free. Inside Wappsto there is a tool called IoT Rapid Prototyping where you describe the data model of your product simply by filling out a form. This results in code templates and SSL certificates that can be installed on the hardware of the product. We currently generate these code templates for Python, suitable for use on a Raspberry Pi, for example. When the embedded software templates are finished by the developer to enact whatever behavior desired (e.g., reading a sensor value, activating an actuator). The data model is also expressed as JSON, allowing developers to write their own code in the language of their choice for the hardware of their choice. Connection to the Seluxit IoT Platform is either through SSL or VPN.
Developers can use the Seluxit IoT Platform API to create an application, such as a mobile app. But the process is made much quicker by using Wappsto. With Wappsto, you can develop, run and share web apps with background automations (‘wapps’). Wapps orchestrate heterogeneous smart things and services in new combinations. In the context of IoT Rapid Prototyping, the developer will use the Seluxit IoT Platform API. This can be combined with other services, for example weather forecasts or smart lights.
Creating a wapp gives the developer of the user interface immediate basic control of the device where the embedded software has been installed, resulting in a product prototype that functions with a user interface right out of the gates.
Please contact us if you’d like to see a demo of IoT Rapid Prototyping or better yet, register for a beta account for Wappsto to access the tool yourself.