Industry experts compare the launch of AI to the invention of the printing press or the first personal computer. It has become one of the leading software development areas with vast growth potential. Over 50% of businesses have already adopted AI to their operations, and 76% of enterprises report increasing investments in AI in 2023. Statista’s data suggests that the...
You hear about the Internet of Things everywhere these days. From smart homes to connected cars to automated factories, the IoT market is transforming the world and is expected to grow from 1,177.21 billion USD in 2023 to 2,226.58 billion USD in 2028.
The best part is that IoT technology offers modern businesses enhanced automation, improved decision-making, and optimized operational efficiency. Сompanies can derive actionable insights, streamline processes, and create new revenue streams, ultimately driving innovation and competitive advantage.
In this article, you’ll discover top IoT platforms, modules, and development kits to power your next project. From prototyping to production, simple to sophisticated, open-source to commercial – there’s something for every maker and entrepreneur here. So get ready to be inspired and start building the future!
IoT Tools for Hobbyists and Small Projects
The variety of tools and platforms can be overwhelming when you’re just getting into IoT. But you only need a few basics for small hobby projects to get started.
Arduino is a go-to choice for prototyping with sensors and actuators. Its simple IDE and Wiring language make it perfect for beginners and pros alike. You can connect your Arduino to the cloud with ease.
Adafruit Feathers are ready-to-use microcontroller boards with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Simply plug in the sensors, run the code, and you’re ready to go. Their user-friendly design gets you prototyping in no time.
IoT Development Frameworks
Arguably the most popular IoT development framework, Arduino IDE is an open-source platform that makes creating hardware projects easy. The intuitive interface and simple coding language C/C++ help quickly prototype your ideas.
PlatformIO is an open-source ecosystem for IoT development, supporting a vast range of development boards and microcontrollers. It also has a robust library manager, advanced debugging tools, and continuous integration.
Thonny is a beginner-friendly IDE for Python programming with a simple interface designed for learning. Thonny is perfect for IoT projects using microcontrollers like the mentioned Raspberry Pi with the support of Python.
Scratch for Raspberry Pi is a visual programming language that makes it fun to code interactive stories, animations, and games for kids as well as adults. It allows you to control hardware like LEDs, motors, and sensors.
ESPHome is an open-source framework for home automation that lets you control your ESP8266/ESP32-based devices from any phone or tablet. ESPHome has a simple setup and integrates with popular smart home software.
Adafruit IO is an easy-to-use cloud platform to store and retrieve data from sensors, actuators, and more. With Adafruit IO, you can quickly visualize data from your projects and trigger actions with IFTTT-style applets (‘if this, then that’ – the concept of an easy way to automate apps and devices). It allows you to build dashboards, control outputs, and integrate with other services like Twitter, email, and webhooks. Perfect for beginners and professionals alike.
Connect your devices to the Internet in minutes with Ubidots. The platform offers a simple drag-and-drop interface to visualize data, create dashboards, and trigger alerts. It also integrates with other popular services like Thingspeak, Blynk, and AWS. Ubidots supports a wide range of hardware through pre-built libraries and works with any MQTT, HTTP, or TCP device.
Home Assistant is an open-source home automation platform that prioritizes local control and privacy. It is powered by an active developer community producing integrations for hundreds of devices. The platform enables you to automate your lights, sensors, appliances, and much more. Home Assistant can run on your hardware or in the cloud.
With some basic gear and skills, you’ll be prototyping in no time. Start with something simple like a smart home sensor to get familiar with the technology. Then let your creativity go wild – the possibilities for fun and useful connected gadgets are endless. What will you build?
Must-Have IoT Tools for Middle-Ranged Business Automation
When it comes to business automation, the IoT opens up a world of advantages. There are so many handy tools out there to help you set up smart solutions for your company. Let’s look at some of the best.
Industrial PCs offer the stability, reliability, and longevity required for IoT edge devices. With features like extended temperature range, vibration resistance, and fast processors, industrial PCs can serve as the backbone of your IoT infrastructure.
Intel’s NUC (The Next Unit of Computing) mini PCs are perfect for IoT applications that require a small footprint but plenty of processing power. The wide range of models offers different connectivity options, CPU choices, and expandability to suit various IoT needs.
Being an open-source electronics platform powered by an embedded Linux board, the tiny BeagleBone Black is packed with useful features. It offers programmable GPIOs, a USB host, an Ethernet port, and more, making it ideal for building IoT prototypes and proof of concepts.
NVIDIA Jetson modules bring the power of AI and GPU acceleration to edge devices with features like HDMI output, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and more.
IoT Development Frameworks
Microsoft Azure IoT Suite is a comprehensive set of cloud services and APIs that helps you connect, monitor, and control billions of IoT assets. You can collect data from IoT devices at any scale, analyze the data using Azure Machine Learning, and take action on the insights using business logic.
AWS IoT Core is used to connect IoT devices to the AWS Cloud. It provides a managed cloud service that lets you easily supply and register millions of IoT devices and interact with them seamlessly and securely.
Google Cloud IoT Core is a fully managed service that will help you connect, manage, and ingest data from globally dispersed devices. It provides a scalable, efficient, and economical IoT data pipeline to Google Cloud.
The IBM Watson IoT Platform helps businesses collect and organize data from billions of connected devices. It offers an open and scalable platform for quickly developing IoT applications and insights.
AWS Greengrass is perfect for running local computing, messaging, data caching, and ML inference at the edge. Deploy your cloud logic to connected devices so they can act locally on the data they generate while still using the AWS Cloud for management, analytics, and durable storage.
Run AI and custom business logic on edge devices with the same Azure services you use in the cloud. Azure IoT Edge extends Azure IoT to the edge of the network, enabling IoT solutions that deliver low latency to operate autonomously and access data where it’s created.
Bring AI and advanced analytics to the edge with on-device machine learning. Google Cloud IoT Edge is a tool to deploy and run containerized services directly on edge devices to process data and act on it immediately.
With the right tools and a little creativity, you’ll be automating your business in no time. The future is smart, so get out there and start connecting!
Advanced IoT Tools for Enterprise and Smart Factories
When you’re ready to take your IoT project to an enterprise level, it’s time for some heavy-duty tools. These solutions handle vast amounts of data, automate complex systems, and give you complete control over your smart factory.
Industrial IoT (IIoT) Hardware
Get real-time data to power automation and predictive maintenance with industrial sensors designed to withstand harsh industrial environments. Monitor critical parameters like temperature, pressure, vibration, and flow rate.
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) act as the brains of your automation system, controlling machinery and processes. The latest PLCs offer increased processing power, connectivity options, and advanced features to support IIoT applications.
Industrial-grade PCs serve as data collection and communications hubs, connecting machines to the industrial Internet. Choose from a variety of form factors to suit your needs.
Human-machine interface (HMI) panels provide operators with visual feedback and control of automation systems. Modern HMIs feature intuitive touchscreens, advanced graphics, and IoT connectivity for remote monitoring.
IIoT Platforms & Solutions
Siemens MindSphere (now Insights Hub) is an advanced IIoT system that collects data from connected products and assets. It then applies artificial intelligence and analytics to gain insights, optimizing processes and operations.
Bosch IoT Suite is a cloud-based platform connecting products and machines to the Internet of Things. The suite offers tools for device management, data collection, data analytics, and app development to provide valuable insights from connected products.
GE Predix is an industrial-grade operating system for the Industrial Internet that allows data from machines to be analyzed and used for optimization. Predix collects data from assets and applies analytics and AI to generate insights that drive improvements in operations.
IBM Maximo Asset Monitor is a comprehensive solution that uses IoT sensors and AI to gain insights into the health and performance of physical assets. The solution monitors assets for anomalies, predicts issues, and offers prescriptive maintenance to reduce downtime and optimize asset usage.
Data Analytics & Processing
Apache Kafka is an open-source stream processing platform for handling real-time data feeds. It can ingest massive amounts of data and distribute it to applications or databases for analysis.
Apache Spark is an open-source big data processing engine that offers fast in-memory data processing. Apache Spark is useful for batch processing, streaming, and machine learning within IoT applications.
Apache Flink is another open-source framework for distributed stream and batch data processing. It offers low latency, high throughput, and exactly-once stream processing semantics.
Apache NiFi is a data flow management system for extreme throughput and scalability. It allows users to manage data flow between disparate IoT systems easily.
Apache Hadoop is an open-source software framework providing excellent support for large-scale batch processing of IoT data.
AI & Machine Learning
Originating from the innovative minds at Google, TensorFlow is a solution to build robust and efficient machine learning models, thereby propelling IoT devices to new heights. Flexibility and extensive resources make TensorFlow a favorable choice for you to deploy intelligent features across various applications and platforms.
Developed by Facebook’s AI Research lab, PyTorch is another shining example of an open-source machine learning library, noted for its flexibility, ease of use, and dynamic computational graph. It can facilitate intricate computations, model developments, and modifications with utmost precision and efficiency.
IBM Watson Machine Learning extends its capabilities to empower developers to build, train, and deploy ML models with superior efficiency. Watson’s cloud-based solutions equipe IoT devices with the ability to quickly analyze and interpret extensive data, making real-time, informed decisions possible.
Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning provides a myriad of tools and services to construct and deploy machine learning models faster and more efficiently. The platform simplifies AI development, enabling IoT devices to reach new echelons of autonomy, intelligence, and connectivity.
Well, now you have a comprehensive list of 40 amazing IoT tools to build anything from a fun weekend project to a fully automated smart factory. The opportunities are infinite when you have the passion and motivation to be different.
If you want to take your IoT project to the next level and determine the best hardware, platforms, and development tools, CHI Software is a great partner to have in your corner. We have a dedicated team developing customized IoT solutions since 2017. Just let us know when you’re ready for a chat!
Ivan keeps a close eye on all engineering projects at CHI Software, making sure everything runs smoothly. The team performs at their best and always meets their deadlines under his watchful leadership. He creates a workplace where excellence and innovation thrive.