Internet of Things APIs aim to speed development

A new Internet of Things API, looking for funding, promises to make development painless.

jilia lead image

Left: Jilia Pi; Right: Jilia Bone

Credit: CentraLite

We're beginning to see tools that promise to ease the enterprise into the Internet of Things, a la 'shovels in a gold rush.' Remember the adage? Who got rich during the California Gold Rush? It wasn't the miners in many cases, it was the shovel vendors.

I recently wrote about Samsung's all-in, production-ready IoT platform ARTIK that is geared towards developers in "Samsung launches Internet of Things boards," for example.

Well, some of these IoT tools might help. Just like the shovels did.

You can add Jilia to the list. Jilia is a cloud-based platform and toolkit for coming up with and building IoT projects. It consists of an Application Program Interface (API) framework with hardware.

The kit is looking for funding right now on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

API with hardware

Jilia's idea is to create an open-source API with a hardware kit that connects to popular, existing credit card-sized development computers like Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black. It then becomes easier and faster for groups to come up with IoT projects, the developers think.

An API is a set of tools for building software applications. In this case it also comes with hardware.

By using an API, IoT development should become one of ideas, rather than one of creating a complicated end-to-end solution, the developers reckon. Implementation should be faster.


CentraLite, the company behind the project, is an existing manufacturer of connected home devices, such as door and window sensors, lamp modules, and thermostats.

"The most costly and complex step in creating IoT devices and services is building a cloud-based infrastructure to manage, communicate, and control millions of always-connected devices," John Calagaz, CentraLite's CTO, said in an email.


The boards, if the project is funded, will include connectivity for the ZigBee wireless language, Z-Wave home control, and Bluetooth. Wi-Fi is supported on BeagleBone only.

Also on the Jilia boards are a motion sensor, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, accelerometer and compass. CentraLite will also make available its water sensor and appliance module, plus some others, too.

In fact, "many customers will only need to develop an app to complete their IoT project," CentraLite says.

State of play

Jilia pledges still available start at $45 and include the development kit and "Start-up" account.

A "Climate" pack, which includes a thermostat and two other sensors of your choice, comes in at $200. Similarly, a "Lighting" pack with dimmer and other modules is also $200.

As of writing, the Jilia project has raised $2,725 from 65 backers. The Kickstarter project will only be funded if at least $50,000 is pledged by August 13.

If funded, shipping will commence in mid-to-late October, CentraLite says.

Other APIs

Bear in mind that CentraLite's Jilia framework isn't the only API out there. Bob Reilly of The New Stack covered a bunch of them in his article "The Different Flavors of IoT APIs."

Reilly included Temboo, the software stack to create code for IoT; Zetta, from Apigee, an open-source platform for building IoT servers; Xively, an IoT platform; ThingSpeak for connecting devices to the cloud; and some others. Apigee is a sponsor of The New Stack website, by the way.

Get those shovels out.

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