UbiBazaar: App Store for the Internet of Things
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Recently the world witnesses the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, as new commercial IoT products by both large tech companies and new startups are coming to market daily. The recent boom in hardware prototyping platforms such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi also contributes to the development in IoT field, as user innovators (such as Makers, tech enthusiasts and researchers) can build their IoT systems and prototypes easily and cheap. Despite the development efforts by the latter, we feel the user innovation in IoT has not reached its full potential. We believe that this is caused by the means the user innovators reach the end users. Our research shows that there is a lack of efficient and usable software distribution channels where user innovators could offer their software the the end users, share and collaborate with other innovators. This project proposes an app store for the Internet of Things, as a means of software distribution in IoT, a tool connecting user innovators to end users and other innovators. This proposed system should help the user innovators with distributing their app to the masses and the users to install the apps easily to their devices, just as easy as they are used to install apps on smartphones. In the scope of our project we performed surveys consisting of questionnaires and interviews with researchers and member of Maker communities, we analyzed those and derived requirements for our system based on the findings. Subsequently, we proposed an extensible architecture for the system to be built upon, created a paper prototype and evaluated it with a focus group and implemented a working software prototype than can be used to IoT apps to Raspberry Pi devices using Docker. Both the architecture and the prototype have been evaluated accordingly. The findings from the prestudy show a big variance between used IoT platforms and require the app store to support a multitude of different platforms and be extensible to support new platforms as they come to market. Other challenges found were relating to device configuration and context in which the devices are used. The projects is in the stage of a working prototype, however more work needs to be done before this can be launched as a product.