By Clarke Stevens, Principal Architect at Shaw Communications
As part of the Open Connectivity Foundation’s goal of making IoT development simple, interoperable and secure, the OCF periodically hosts IoT Meetup events, allowing developers of any experience level and others interested in the OCF to get an introduction to developing for the IoT with OCF technology. This month, I co-hosted a successful IoT Meetup event at the Shaw Communications office in Denver, CO. Brian Scriber of CableLabs and I split the evening into two activities. Attendees enjoyed a presentation on IoT security followed by a live IoT development tutorial.
We were very happy with the turnout, with 30 attendees eager to learn about the OCF (this could be attributed to the free pizza and drinks we provided, but it is my humble opinion that it was our engaging content that sustained their interest). Attendees ranged from older male developers and startup owners to a woman in the IoT industry accompanied by her nine-year-old daughter. Overall, it was great to see the level of interest from a wide array of individuals, all of whom enjoyed both the presentation and creating an IoT device.
The event began with a 30-minute security presentation led by Brian. His presentation focused on security profiles, the importance of building security into your IoT systems from the outset, and the need of a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). It gave the participants a detailed overview of the state of security in the IoT, and how organizations such as the OCF alleviate security risks.
Following Brian’s presentation, I began the live IoT development tutorial, utilizing the OCF Developer Kit. In order to prepare for the live tutorial, I preconfigured Raspberry Pi boards to work with the local network and formatted a “master” SD card with everything pre-installed, running through the process of building an IoT device. Using a program called “Pi Bakery,” I was able to configure the devices and connect them to the network in advance. These preparations saved a great deal of time, as this process can take up to 20 minutes to complete, so attendees could jump right into building their IoT device.
The participants had an hour and a half to follow along with my tutorial and build a working IoT device. For a more detailed look into how the OCF Developer Kit works, I invite you to read my earlier blog detailing the process. Close to half of participating attendees were able to operate a working IoT device by the end of the tutorial, using the OCF set-up and control application dubbed “OTGC” to control their boards. This was exciting for them, as they were able to see first-hand how quickly and easily their device was able to be set up and controlled.
These developer events are the perfect setting to promote the OCF and the development tools we provide. The OCF Developer Kit provides everything you need — attendees were able to develop a fully functional IoT device in an hour and half and control it via a smartphone app. Additionally, these devices all had security built in, using code from our open source implementation, IoTivity Lite.
In addition to demonstrating OCF developer tools, these events are a great opportunity to build OCF awareness. The OCF standards aren’t your run-of-the-mill IoT systems; they have top-level security built in from the beginning, with top-level manufacturers using it around the world. These developer events allow us to communicate this effectively, with hands-on experience to back it up.
Most of the people attending hadn’t been familiar with OCF prior to the meetup. However, at the event’s closing, an individual with an IoT startup was considering certifying his devices with OCF, and all attendees left knowing how the OCF makes IoT development both simple and secure.
These IoT Meetup events are made possible through the OCF Ambassador Program. If you are interested in becoming an OCF Ambassador and hosting developer events such as this in your city, visit our website to learn how to get involved.