Right now, there are too many different APIs that app developers need to use today to control IoT devices(e.g. light bulbs) created by different manufacturers or by using different protocols. To help app developers easily interact with different IoT devices, Microsoft recently launched an alpha version of a new open source project Open Translators to Things (OpenT2T) on GitHub. This new project’s aim is to allow application developers to write once, in an open and interoperable way, the exact same code to access functionalities that are shared across similar IoT devices.
The job of the translator is to hide the implementation details about particular data models and protocols, exposing functionalities directly as programmable APIs. Turn a lightbulb on? No need for an app developer to think about RPC vs. REST, HTTP vs. MQTT, CoAP vs. ZigBee. What is needed is myBulb.turnOn() and the translator will map the API common schema call to the appropriate libraries to perform the operation. Cortana or other voice assistants could turn your bulb on whether it comes from Philips, Samsung, Wink, or another manufacturer.
Translators can run on local devices (PCs/tablets/phones) for proximally connected Things. Translators could also run in the cloud for cloud-connected Things or on gateways for gateway-connected Things and marshalled from the cloud.
App developers who are interested in this project can view an end user and code demo videos, read the tutorial, ask questions, and contribute a first translator for their favorite hardware. Read about it in detail here.