Cloud communications supplier Twilio has launched programmable mobile connectivity platform Twilio Programmable Wireless.
Twilio hopes the platform will help developers innovate better around the internet of things (IoT) by removing some of the more mundane burdens associated with the development process.
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Twilio said that by making connectivity programmable, developers will be able to focus their time and energy on building their products, rather than having to spend time dealing with mobile network operator (MNO) business models.
“Despite the hype surrounding the internet of things over the past several years, IoT has been largely out of reach to developers because there has not been a developer-friendly connectivity provider,” said Chetan Chaudhary, Twilio general manager of IoT.
“Twilio Programmable Wireless makes connectivity accessible to millions of developers via Twilio’s platform, empowering them to begin experimenting with IoT. We can’t wait to see what they build.”
Twilio said the sheer variety and complexity of MNO ordering, billing and reporting processes meant that IoT developers previously often had to wait ages to get started while they dealt with the fundamentals of connecting an IoT device to mobile broadband.
The programme will change this by providing developers with standard subscriber identification module (Sim) cards to give them access to mobile networks in 120 countries.
Then, using a similar application programming interface-first approach that it has developed over the past decade to help developers to embed communications services into their applications, it will enable them to easily configure their Sims and manage their service connectivity, even to monitor device data consumption in real-time.
IBeat, a San Francisco-based startup that has built a connected wearable for people at risk of cardiac incidents, has been using the service in beta to enable its devices to proactively alert paramedics, family members, and a network of CPR-trained volunteers if its wearer falls ill.
“The survival rate for an individual experiencing a cardiac arrest increases from 10% to 40% if there is a witness present. The iBeat watch is that witness,” said Chris Bumgardner, iBeat CTO.
“Twilio Programmable Wireless plays a critical role in helping us achieve our mission by enabling our watch to securely communicate life-saving information to emergency responders in real time.”
Bike-sharing firm LimeBike has also incorporated Twilio Sims into its bikes (and recently introduced scooters), and is using them to track the location of its fleet and detect any problems.
Meanwhile, Eatabit, which supplies mobile printers to restaurants to help them accept online food orders, is using the service to make itself more marketable to restaurants that don’t have reliable Wi-Fi.
System One, which delivers medical testy results, is using the service both to overcome reliability problems with local connectivity providers, and to scale more rapidly by having pre-established carrier relationships through Twilio in new markets.