Why sensors should be platform independent (and platforms sensor independent)
Sensor technology, IoT and ‘data-driven decision making’ are here to stay, and the field is still rapidly expanding. Historically, sensor hardware is getting a lot of attention, which is logical since sensors are tangible. Because access to - and interpretation of - sensor data is key, many sensor suppliers have developed their own platforms/apps around their sensors. In the past, the key reason for this was that there were no alternatives (platforms) available. Luckily, this situation has changed. In the past couple of years, many great platforms have emerged, diminishing the need for proprietary apps and fueling the need for an API-first approach.
The existence of so many proprietary apps has led to a 'modern' problem for end-users: they are toggling back and forth between about as many apps as they have sensors. With 2 or 3 apps, this is may be not such a big problem. But with growing numbers of sensors, this is causing a lot of headaches for end-users, who are using between 5 to 20 apps on a daily basis. Besides the ‘toggling issue’, an even bigger disadvantage of using different dedicated apps/platforms is that it’s often impossible to derive combined insights from different data sources - or add additional inputs.
In recent years, many strong ‘data-driven decision making’ platforms have emerged, which perfectly align with Sensoterra’s ‘API-first’ philosophy. Sensor hardware keeps developing, new sensors are invented and, even more important, different situations require different insights - thus different parameters to measure. Which means that sensor end-users should be free to combine different types of sensors for different purposes – which purposes may shift over time or between different crop or plant/tree types.
The Sensoterra API gives full control over sensor data and sensor settings, and offers real-time Push notifications into your own platform (to learn more about the Sensoterra API, read our extensive blog post about API integration best practices). The complimentary Sensoterra monitor is a simple interface to view soil moisture data, change basic sensor settings and add low and high setpoints. But it’s not meant to be compared with a ‘data-driven decision support’ platform as such – and the Sensoterra API offers such a high level of integration, that the entire Sensoterra Monitor can be bypassed – one less app to toggle!
Some practical examples of platform integrations: