MicroEJ took to CES 2020 to lay out how it plans to revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT) via an Android-like app stores and experiences for developers, users, and OEMs. The company says that its MicroEJ platform has already shipped on more than 37 million partner devices to date. That includes IoT smart gadgets from a wide assortment of top brands such as Airbus, Audi, Bosch, Continental, Huawei, and Sony.
The market projections of Atherton Research show that more than 5 billion such devices will ship this year. Over the next 18 months to two years, millions of apps are expected to be released. That's compared to 1.5 billion smartphones predicted to ship over the period. So smart home and IoT devices represent a much bigger platform for app-driven experiences, MicroEJ says.
MicroEJ will serve to undergird the growth of applications for the IoT, which the company refers to as the Third Wave of the IoT Revolution.
How can MicroEJ replicate app-stores for IoT?
Of course, the IoT covers just about any internet-connected gadget that links to the internet and/or is interacted with via the same. But the company isn't picky with regard to where it believes MicroEJ can be useful. It includes everything from smart city, healthcare, and industrial applications to wearables, automotive, connected home, and appliances. In effect, anywhere AI-driven gadgets are serving to make lives better.
That large gamut is made possible by the fact that MicroEJ is essentially a way to bring platforms together. According to the company, MicroEJ can serve as a means to update IoT devices so that they support the newest IoT protocols and standards.
That includes standards like the universal open-source Connected Home over IP project that was recently announced. Built by Amazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance, Connected Home over IP has quite a lot to offer. For instance, it works over IP and can provide end-to-end private and secure communications between devices. But that also works between gadgets and cloud services or mobile apps.
Another major part of MicroEJ is that it shares the same secure virtual container tech that's used for Android. That enables seamless connections to Google's IoT Cloud but also to Microsoft's Azure and Amazon's AWS. Simultaneously, it enables developers to work with common languages such as Java and C++.
What does that actually mean for end-users?
All of the above-listed points lead directly to the conclusion reached by MicroEJ. The universal nature of the platform also couples well with Google's decision to end Android Things IoT support. That decision left a void to be filled and the rise of MicroEJ as effectively the only solution means that IoT devices could soon be much more like smartphones.
In effect, that should mean that third-party developers can build out their apps once and then watch them grow across multiple devices. That would work exactly as it does on Android devices. For instance, a third-party developer could create an app for a smart clock or speaker using MicroEJ. That would then work across other speakers built on the supported platforms.