How many smart thermostats can you recall by name? If you’re like me it’s one, and it’s nearly as expensive as a laptop. Sure, there are probably a few others produced by the big names we’ve known to be in the thermostat industry all our lives, but where’s the competition? This thermostat has dominated the market for a few years already… I’ll tell you why: IoT ain’t easy!

Some of us are still waiting for our favorite “kickstarted” hardware devices to ship, or have given up on the tech giants for developing an elegant solution to program for it. Whether it’s certification, connectivity, device deployment, or even user experience we’re seeing organizations large and small struggle to deliver solutions that fulfill our expectations as end users.

IoT can be especially hard for the budding entrepreneur, the weekend warrior, or the pivoting company who recently decided to capture the value of IoT. It’s tough to focus on continuing to do what you do well, while concurrently designing, developing, and implementing an IoT solution to optimize your workflow. Here at Andium, we’re looking to make that process a bit easier to navigate. From prototype to certified product, we’re working on tools and architecture that paves the way to an end-to-end connected solution.

Now, just getting the toolbox dropped in your lap isn’t enough, show me the code! This way I can iterate on your work, improve, and accelerate. This sort of progression is the lifeblood of the Open Source movement. If you’re familiar with the concept of open source skip ahead; if not, let me explain with a story about two masons…

The first mason has been building homes for a living. He first constructed homes out of mud but they took forever to complete and needed constant upkeep. Because of this, he could only build a few homes a year. One day one of his workers developed a novel process to form their mud into bricks, and utilize them as building blocks. They could now stockpile their materials and build walls in days instead of months. He told his brick maker to keep their new brick making method top secret! They were going to be the only mason to offer bricks. They’ll be rich!

Around the same time a second mason also discovered how to form his mud into building blocks. He was so excited about his findings he shared the recipe for bricks with all of his neighbors. Soon the first mason was experiencing issues with his brick homes, they were cracking. The second mason also ran into this dilemma. They each handled the scenario in two very different ways.

The first mason assigned his best brick making employees to stop making bricks and come up with a solution. The small team of brick experts worked day in and day out to come to a solution.

The second mason handled things a little differently. He held a meeting with his neighbors and clients and explained the issue of the cracking bricks. Before he could finish, the neighborhood baker exclaimed, “oh I’ve seen that before, I know how to fix that!”

Fast forward a few years and guess which mason is still building the best bricks? Guess whose bricks inspired the creation of roads, cities, skyscrapers? Iterative development and community improvement of tools are one of the great foundations of the Open Source movement. Andium would be crazy not to participate. In fact, we feel we’ve improved a few bricks of our own and we can’t wait to share them with the community!

Utilizing these building blocks you can enable developers to iterate on your creation, build solutions faster, with less effort, and see higher rates of success. Open source is at the heart of who we are at Andium. In fact, one of our first hardware products is a registered Open Source Hardware (OSHW) shield for Arduino. The shield of course is coupled with a library of open source code built by, you guessed it, the open source community!

While we bury our heads in our monitors and push towards our upcoming platform launch, keep an eye out for our open source contributions on our Github pages and prepare for some better bricks coming soon!