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Democratise the internet

How Hursley inventions changed the connected world for everyone

More people than ever before can use technology to improve things for themselves, for their clients, and for the world. Two inventions from Hursley now used around the globe make it easy for anyone to connect hardware and software to find and analyse previously unimaginable amounts of data. 

MQTT and Node-RED have democratised the Internet of Things (IoT) and the cloud. You don't need to be an expert programmer any more to achieve impressive results. And even if you are, you can now concentrate on the really tricky stuff instead of spending ages on the basics.

MQTT is the protocol that makes the devices or the "things" in IoT effective. It connects enterprises to vehicles, oil rigs, sensors, escalators, retail stores, energy monitors, smart phones, medical equipment, flood warning systems, social media messages, and more. It even enables a house to communicate via Twitter! 

It came out of a customer engagement, where a smart Hursley IBMer spotted its potential beyond that single case. It is extremely simple and lightweight, ideal for constrained devices and low-bandwidth, high-latency, or unreliable networks. Today MQTT is the primary means of connection for IoT devices around the world.

Node-RED is a programming tool that makes it easy to create and test applications by wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It's had over a million downloads worldwide after only a couple of years.

Like many great ideas, it started as an experimental project by two Hursley developers, and that quickly grew to widespread use in the IoT community. It's available for anyone to use, and is even being shipped as part of the Raspberry PI distribution, used to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries.

See how they've been used in a variety of demos across the Festival - and talk in person to the developers who devised them.


IBM UK Lab Campus, Hursley,
Winchester, Hampshire,
SO21 2JN
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