Five open source tools for developing IoT applications

The Internet of Things is growing at a staggeringly fast pace, and is quickly coming to revolutionise virtually every aspect of modern life.
Five open source tools for developing IoT applications
Aspiring developers hoping to hop on board and profit off the growing phenomenon are constantly looking for the right tools to use. So what are the open source tools best suited for working with the IoT, and where can developers find them?

According to, a plethora of open source tools lay at the disposal of any would-be developer eager and wise enough to use them. By utilising these five, you will find yourself tackling challenges and developing successful applications in no time.


An Arduino development kit stands out from the rest of the crowd by offering both software and hardware to would-be developers. The cloud-based system allows developers to easily send messages from one board to another, and includes its own Arduino programming language.

Arduino is well suited to anyone seeking to make an interactive application well suited to the IoT economy. The software and hardware are designed for customers who don’t necessarily have a background in programming, and is thus a great option for beginners who want to break into the marketplace.

Home Assistant

Perfect for an aspirant with high hopes to exploit the rising smart home market, Home Assistant is suited for developers looking to increase connectivity between people’s living spaces and the Internet. Tailor-made for the Internet of things, this platform, which runs on Python, is great for tracking and interacting with sensors and smart devices in your home.

While using Home Assistant is incredibly easy on a laptop or desktop, the tool lacks a cloud component, meaning it’s not the best for those looking for a constant Internet connection. Nonetheless, this means Home Assistant is particularly useful during Internet outages, and can be relied upon to keep your data secure at all times.


A fascinating, server-based platform, Zetta, is perfect for taking devices from numerous brands and turning them into API. Built on Node.js and explicitly marketed toward pioneers of the Internet of Things, Zetta heavily relies on the cloud so that is can be run from virtually anywhere.

Often used in tandem with Arduino, Zetta expertly welds together the best parts of reactive programming and WebSockets, making it perfect for data-intensive IoT endeavours.

Device Hive

One of the most popular platforms for developing IoT applications, the AllJoyn-based Device Hive functions as a machine-to-machine communications framework that enables its users to “create, connect, and visualise” their applications easily. Device Hive has huge potential when used to tap into the budding automation market and, like Home Assistant, is regularly relied upon for the development of smart homes.

A cloud-based tool, Device Hive offers remote control over its operations while remaining relatively easy to use. Developers enjoy access to DataArt’s extensive user network, meaning they can find assistance easily when stumped. With a rich IoT gateway framework, Device Hive is perfect for developers who want to take part in the market of tomorrow while still relying on open source tools.


It’s often been said one should beware old men in a profession where most die young. While ThingSpeak is one of the oldest tools on our list, it’s remained relevant for years, and is highly regarded as being one of the most effective tools for making IoT applications.

ThingSpeak is designed to exploit the market’s sensor-frenzy driven by the IoT, and is perfect for tasks like location tracking. It can be used in web design applications and is widely hailed as one of the most efficient tools for crunching huge sums of data, ThingSpeak offers beautifully made and easy-to-read visualisations, and works with many other open source tools.

As more and more companies come to embrace the IoT as the way of the future, and more consumers around the globe plug in devices and connect their homes and cars to the Internet, demand for new applications is only likely to grow. By using any or all of these open source tools, ambitious developers can easily make their IoT visions a reality.

The open source community’s commitment to free-to-use software and hardware served as the foundation for the Internet of Thing’s impressive growth. By exploiting these great pieces of software, any developer can soon become a part their favourite industry while still realising their dreams.


Screen burn

Screen burn or “screen burn-in” is a residual image left on a screen after displaying the same image for a long time. It is a faded version of the image or “ghost image” that covers part or all of the screen.

According to, screen burn is usually caused by video or graphics with content that does not move or change for an extended period of time. Examples include the menu bar on a Mac or the task bar on a Windows computer. On a TV, it may be the logo of a specific channel or the information panel of a video game. On a smartphone, it may be the status bar at the top of the screen. If certain pixels consistently display the same image while other pixels display changing graphics, the unchanging pixels may leave behind a ghost image.

Screen burn affects several types of screens, including CRTs, plasma displays, and OLED screens. In older displays, such as CRT monitors, leaving a single image displayed for a long time could physically damage the screen. This type of burn-in could produce dark spots that were noticeable even when the display was turned off. In modern displays, screen burn typically occurs when the electronics that produce light lose their luminance. When specific pixels display a single image for a long time, they may lose their red, green, or blue brightness relative to other pixels. This may produce a ghost image that is the inverse of the image that was consistently displayed.

Screen burn is rare with LCD panels because liquid crystals are less susceptible to burn-in. OLED displays, on the other hand, are susceptible to screen burn since individual LEDs may lose their luminance relative to other LEDs if overused. This may happen when certain pixels display the same colour over a long period of time.

How to avoid screen burn

Screen burn is rare on modern displays with normal use. For noticeable screen burn to take place, you would have to run the same programme or tune to the same channel every day for several weeks or months.

However, if you consistently play the same video game or watch the same channel, screen burn can happen over time. You can limit and possibly avoid screen burn by varying the content you watch on your screen. You should also turn off your display when you’re not using it. Finally, it is wise to enable sleep mode or a screensaver that automatically runs when the screen has not changed for awhile.


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