In this digitally connected world, our lives are getting more convenient thanks to smart devices and data-driven decision-making with the help of the Internet of Things. Widely adopted across industries, the Internet of things (IoT) refers to a network of connected equipment, sensors and devices that communicate with each other. According to German research company Statista, the number of IoT devices worldwide is anticipated to nearly triple, increasing from 9.7 billion in 2020 to over 29 billion by 2030.

Providing optimized energy efficiency, enhanced security, predictive maintenance and more, IoT-enabled smart building is transforming the way we live, with APIs playing an essential role in seamless communication between end-user applications and devices.

A Connected Future Enabled by APIs

APIs, the software intermediaries that allows communication between two applications, are used to connect IoT devices to networks and services. APIs empower IoT-based smart building; by providing a standardized way for applications to interact with each other, APIs accommodate various communication protocols and data formats from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting systems, sensors and more. Besides, with the capability to extract, merge and analyze heterogeneous data sources, APIs further provide insights for smart building systems, helping building owners and operators with better decision making and predictability. Moreover, by facilitating data exchange, interoperability, third-party integrations and more, APIs allow services to leverage IoT data to provide more personalized experiences for users.

As the innovation driver, APIs can further build a smart and strategic IoT ecosystem. Take the electric vehicle (EV) charging services ecosystem as an example. From charging stations, cameras with OCR for license plate recognition to transportation cards for parking fee payment, the EV charging services ecosystem involves the convergence of smart building, smart city and open finance through API-led connectivity. For example, APIs facilitate the communication between charging networks and applications by connecting the parking lot’s charging stations to an EV driver’s mobile app. This allows the EV driver to see the availability of charging stations, make a reservation, and pay for the charging service. In addition, APIs can be used to monitor the energy consumption of the charging stations and optimize the energy grid’s usage based on demand and supply of electricity.

Navigate the Complexities of IoT with A Full-fledged Middle Platform

Smart buildings collect and process large amounts of data from networked devices, which can raise security concerns. Another challenge is interoperability, as smart buildings often consist of various subsystems developed by different manufacturers using different technologies and protocols. To address these challenges, a full-fledged integration middle platform is essential for smart buildings; it should have the security design that is mandatory for international Open API specifications, counter-measurements against OWASP API Security Top 10 vulnerabilities and more. TPIsoftware’s iPaaS middle platform DigiFusion has all these features in one-single package without the need to install extra components.

IoT and smart buildings will continue to evolve in the future. With APIs, the future of smart buildings is expected to be characterized by greater connectivity, integration and innovation.