Samsung's ARTIK Cloud platform dangles IoT carrot in front of devs, but whether they'll bite is uncertain

Multiscreen Internet of Things

Samsung Electronics last month unveiled the Samsung ARTIK Cloud, an open data exchange platform that may lead many developers to pursue Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities. 

The Samsung ARTIK Cloud is now available and provides developers with open application programming interfaces (APIs) and tools to help them deliver new IoT offerings.

"Our vision for the ARTIK platform is an end-to-end experience that reduces the obstacles, challenges and time-to-market for IoT solutions," Samsung President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn said in a prepared statement. "The launch of this exciting new platform not only signals Samsung's foray into the cloud services market but reinforces our belief that, by creating powerful open platforms, we can harness the information generated by the IoT to develop new insights and new approaches to address the major global challenges of today and tomorrow."

What does the Samsung ARTIK Cloud mean for developers?

Samsung CEO BK Yoon pointed out the ARTIK platform enables developers to participate in a growing IoT ecosystem -- but how exactly?

The ARTIK platform could make it easier for developers to deploy IoT-enabled apps and generate new revenue streams.

It serves as an open cloud solution that can work with any connected device and other cloud services, Samsung noted, providing developers with the flexibility to launch IoT offerings that could appeal to large groups of consumers worldwide.

Also, the platform provides a number of developer tools, including:

Samsung ARTIK architecture

(Source: Samsung ARTIK Cloud)

  • Universal Data Access APIs -- Developers can use these APIs to collect and query data from numerous devices.

  • Software Development Kits (SDKs) -- Enable developers to build apps and services with Objective C, Swift, PHP, Python, Ruby and other mobile and platform SDKs. 

  • Visualization Tools -- Ensure developers can visualize data from disparate devices at any time.

  • Developer Portal -- Provides self-service access to API documentation, samples, forums and other developer insights and tools. 

  • Rules Engine -- Gives developers the ability to implement cross-device actions and alerts instantly.

Developers can begin using the ARTIK platform for free, and Samsung's pay-as-you-go pricing model ensures developers can upgrade to the service tier that suits their needs.

But even though the Samsung ARTIK Cloud's pricing structure offers flexibility, the platform's success among the developer community likely will depend on whether developers choose to embrace the IoT. 

Are developers ready for the IoT?

The IoT remains relatively new, but many developers have already shown significant interest in it. 

VisionMobile IoT developer commitment

About 25 percent of all developers are involved professionally with IoT development, from a total of 56 percent who are involved in some way with developing for the concept. (Source: VisionMobile)

For example, a recent VisionMobile survey of more than 21,000 software developers revealed the IoT "is not mainstream yet -- but it is getting there."

The survey, titled "Developer Economics: State of Developer Nation Q1 2016," indicated 25 percent of all developers are "professionally involved" with IoT development. In addition, the survey showed 58 percent of IoT developers earned at least $1,000 per month -- a figure that may increase thanks in part to new IoT development platforms like the Samsung ARTIK Cloud.

"Ironically, while the hype cycle dips and people increasingly talk about the complications associated with developing software, building hardware and launching businesses for IoT, there are tens of thousands of developers succeeding in IoT every day," Jake Ward, president of nonprofit app developers organization Application Developers Alliance, told FierceDeveloper. "The immediate and exact implications of a connected world aren't known, but the excitement of developers working in the space is unmistakable."

With the Samsung ARTIK Cloud, IoT developers can add another IoT development platform to their arsenal. 

Meanwhile, developers who previously ignored the IoT can utilize the Samsung ARTIK Cloud to better understand the IoT space and launch IoT-enabled apps and services. 

What does the IoT offer developers?

Ward noted the IoT serves as "a new, scalable, platform with infinite opportunities to innovate and build."

The IoT is expected to grow, and technology research firm Gartner has predicted 6.4 billion connected "things" will be in use by the end of the year -- a 30 percent year-over-year increase.

Developers should expect the demand for IoT-enabled apps and services to rise accordingly. And thanks to platforms like the Samsung ARTIK Cloud, developers are better equipped to embrace the IoT. 

Jonsson

"Developers are definitely starting to get the idea around what IoT is and how it differs from previous endeavors involving the industrial Internet," Alex Jonsson, co-founder of Swedish mobile app developer Evothings AB, told FierceDeveloper. "As tools providers in the mobile IoT space, we will see a definite increase in activities and also a change in the nature of the ongoing conversations in the developer community."

Jonsson also pointed out developers who can provide apps and services that leverage IoT tools and fulfill consumers' needs will succeed in the IoT space.

"There's so much investment done in infrastructure, sensor endpoints and connectivity that creation of mobile services and apps [and] efficiently and securely closing the loop in getting value back to customers is the necessary remaining step to monetize on [IoT] investments," he said. 

How can developers enter the IoT space?

A slow, steady approach may prove best for developers who want to enter the IoT market. 

Jonsson recommended IoT developers "start niched and grow" to differentiate their offerings in a highly competitive global marketplace. He also noted identifying IoT market trends and opportunities may provide developers with the insights they need to succeed. 

"Learn about what's coming out from the established players and how they approach the market," he suggested. 

Marthe Rana, marketing manager at Evans Data Corporation, a market intelligence firm, pointed out that security remains paramount for developers, and IoT developers should prioritize security at all levels of the development cycle.

"[Security] is a pretty big concern in the emerging IoT space, considering how many of the IoT platforms and applications are new," she told FierceDeveloper. "Things that were once unconnected are now enabled for the internet, and now can be hacked. And the sheer amount of data collected in real time that is being shared in transactions can often be personal and valuable. This is something developers and platform vendors are keenly aware of, but this is something that everyone should continue to think about."

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