What is IoT open source?
An IoT open source device is a piece of technology that is designed to connect to the internet, and its firmware coding or software is freely available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. Open source technology promotes collaboration, transparency, and community-driven development, leading to innovative solutions and often lower costs compared to proprietary alternatives.
Some examples of IoT open source platforms include ESP8266/ESP32 boards, Arduino, and IoT with Raspberry Pi. These products and platforms are often used for home automation, IoT sensing, and other top IoT use cases.
Benefits of using IoT open source devices
There are several advantages of open source devices, let’s see what they are:
Cost-effective: Open source IoT devices are usually less expensive than standard devices, since there are no licensing fees or costs associated with using the software or firmware; However, rapid prototyping is necessary to ensure the device will operate as promised.
Collaborative development: The open source IoT platform allows communities for collaborative development, where users can share their modifications and improvements with others. Thanks to this, there can be faster development and a wider range of features and capabilities.
Customizable: Among the most interesting features of an open source IoT platform, is the possibility to access the source code of the device to modify it as pleased. This allows for greater flexibility and adaptability in the design and use of the device. See some examples of products we have developed at DeepSea Developments that are open-source devices: TermoDeep and DeepDeck, our open source macropad; find out more about our presentation at Crowd Supply Teardown event.
Click on the image to know more about this open source technology created by DeepSea Developments:
Interoperability: Open source hardware can be integrated with other open-source devices and software (maybe through a new dashboard), making the IoT platform open source easier to connect and communicate with other devices and services.
Transparency: With an open source device, users can see how the device actually works and ensure that it is secure and respects their privacy (since people have access to the source code).
Scalability: IoT open-source devices can be scaled with ease, as the code is accessible, making it easy to add new features, functionalities, and widgets.
Cons of open source IoT devices:
Open source projects sound wonderful, since they open up the possibilities for many changes or new functionalities, however, there are some cons that must be considered.
Quality control: The most important part for a company when it releases a new product is to ensure the quality and stability of its devices. IoT open source devices may have a lower level of quality control compared to standard devices, since there is no central authority responsible for ensuring that the device meets certain standards or specifications. Also, the use it can receive may be completely different to what it was “aimed for” in the beginning.
Limited support: Open-source products may have limited support compared to standard devices. Why? Because the development and maintenance of the device is typically done by a community of volunteers rather than a dedicated team (engineering team from the company that originally created the device).
Limited documentation: IoT open source devices may have limited documentation, especially when compared to commercial devices. This can be an obstacle for users that want to understand how to maintain and use the product.
Security: Since everyone can have access to the source code, the IoT open source devices may be vulnerable to hackers that are able to identify vulnerabilities. On the other hand, new updates or patches may not be as frequent as standard IoT devices.
If you are interested in developing an open source device, you can get in contact with us. Check our hardware development service and all the benefits we offer with our knowledge and expertise.