How The Internet of Things Expansion is Helping Boost Third Party APIs

by David Burkett, May 16, 2016

Remember when you were young and dreamed about the day interactive robots would become the norm in society? Well, with an innovation boom in full swing and technology constantly improving, that day may be sooner than you think. What's currently in the innovation spotlight? That would be this concept of the Internet of Things (IoT). The quintessential textbook definition suggests the Internet of Things is a network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment.
The Internet of Things revolves around machine-to-machine communication, is built on cloud computing, is virtual and is obsessed with this notion of making everything ‘smart'. Picture a system where the human input is minimal, that is, a system where the machines do most of the work. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure. When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems
Gartner forecasts that approximately 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016. Consumer applications are the main contributor to this figure as seen in the table below. 
For the purpose of interpreting the table above, cross-industry devices include connected light bulbs, HVAC and building management systems - mainly deployed for cost saving purposes. The second class includes vertical-specific devices, such as specialised equipment used in hospital operating theatres, tracking devices in container ships and others.
So what does this mean for third party APIs? Well to answer that question we must consider what it is that connects these devices. In many cases, these devices form part of a larger application ecosystem, connected to the cloud and sharing the same APIs. Because they share the same/similar APIs, developers who offer third party APIs can attract multiple users. To put it more generally, an increase in ‘connected things' will lead to an increase in the demand for third party APIs.
With the growth of ‘connected things' set to continue, it's not hard to see the allure of servicing this booming market. If you're offering a relevant third party API then you may soon be as popular as One Direction is amongst adolescent girls.