IOT dashboards are essential for visualizing IOT data, and controlling IOT devices.
A Dashboard is a crucial component of any IOT platform.
An IOT platform is an hardware and software system for managing IOT devices and collecting, storing, visualising and analysing data from those devices.
There are many IOT platforms on the market, and the functionality of these platforms varies enormously.
Although All IOT platform will have a dashboard to display data some platforms are essentially a dashboard and are only really capable of displaying data from devices.
Dashboards vs Platforms
You will often find the terms Dashboard and platform used interchangeably.
An IOT Dashboard can be considered as a basic IOT platform
A Dashboard can Usually
- Display data
- Control devices
However an IOT platform can Usually
- Collect data from various sources
- Store data
- Control Devices
- Display Data
- Run Tests
- Deploy device updates
- Manage device Inventory
Open Source or Proprietary
Both open source and proprietary platforms are available but open source platforms are likely to predominate.
Cloud or Local Platforms
Some platforms are available as cloud only solutions- Platform as a Service whereas others are available for local installation on your own hardware.
Enterprise and Medium/Small Business
Large vendors like IBM and SAP will focus on large organisations.
Just as happened with the web. Many Platforms targeted at small to medium sized businesses will be available and it is likely that a “WordPress” type IOT platform will eventually emerge and dominate.
Current Platforms and Usage
Thingsboard -ThingsBoard is an open-source IoT platform for device management, data collection, processing and visualization for your IoT projects
Thingstream -Thingstream’s intelligent Global Connectivity Platform provides low power, low cost, ubiquitous IoT connectivity via MQTT over GSM.
ThingWorx– ThingWorx delivers tools and technologies that empower businesses to rapidly develop and deploy powerful industrial IoT applications and augmented reality (AR) experiences.
Thingspeak -ThingSpeak is the open IoT platform with MATLAB analytics.
Wolkabout – IoT Application Enablement Platform that integrates any device, transforms real-time readings into meaningful data and combines different devices and services into a complete IoT solution.
IOTgo -IoTgo is an open source IoT platform, like WordPress, ZenCart and all other open source software, you can deploy your own IoTgo cloud platform.
kaa -Kaa is an open-source IoT platform for device management, data collection, analytics and visualization, remote control, software updates and more.
OpenRemote – 100% open source IoT platform running in Docker. It can be installed on local hardware, starting with RaspberryPi4, or hosted servers, while the Edge Gateway model can connect both, allowing for basic but very useful overview dashboards and remote control.
These are dashboards that support the MQTT protocol and can be used to display data from MQTT devices.
It can be used both for data monitoring, and device control.
Note: I expect this list will grow considerably in the future.
Thingsboard– Open source data visualization and device management. Open source Apache license. Available as cloud service or to install on local hardware.
There is a good introductory YouTube video here
Freeboard.io – Open source -Very popular but doesn’t currently support MQTT out of the box
However there is an MQTT data source plugin available here.
Available as a service but also available from Github
Looking through the Github page it doesn’t seem to be being actively developed.
Android Based MQTT Dashboards and Device Control
These are very useful for viewing and controlling individual devices and small systems.
Note: you can see an example of using MQTT Dashboard in the controllable sensor tutorial
The IOT Platform and Dashboard market is still very new and is developing rapidly and by 2023 is expected to reach $23 billion. –IOT Analytics
Just as with Operating systems one or two main platform will eventually dominate the market.
However I would expect that because of the breadth of the IOT market there will be IOT platforms for specific industries like manufacturing, cars, health care,smart home etc.