Developer Spotlight with Dom Guinard of EVRYTHNG

Who are you?

My name is Dom Guinard and I’m the CTO and co-founder of EVRYTHNG, a UK Web of Things software startup making everyday products smarter and more connected through mobile & AutoID technologies. You can also follow me on my personal blog: Web of Things and twitter.

Tell us a little about EVRYTHNG

After 7 years of experience in the Internet and Web of Things research, I decided it was the right time for the IoT and embarked on a startup adventure together with Vlad Trifa, Niall Murphy and Andy Hobsbawm.

At EVRYTHNG, our vision is to build the Facebook of Things, where every physical product gets a digital identity.

What is your current ‘day to day’ role(s)?

As a CTO, I helped architect and code the basis of our platform as well as some of the end-consumer mobile Web experience. Nowadays I’m more focused on the R&D side of the company, experimenting with a lot of new technologies and seeing how they would fit for us.

What kind of phone are you currently rocking?

I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus running Android and I love it.

Where do you see mobile going in 2-5 years?

For us, clearly the mobile web will and covers already the bigger part of our developments. The ability of interacting with products without the need for dedicated native apps is fascinating for me as it opens the doors to very different type of interactions, a lot more spontaneous.

So I’m betting a lot on mobile web sites becoming main-stream at least for IoT apps. We already see a trend for HTML5 to provide direct access to a lot of hardware features, the camera, the motion sensors, the GPS. I think the next 2-3 years will be the years of mature and standard Javascript APIs or HTML5 markup to access all the goodness mobile phones have to offer.

Outside of the mobile web I think mobile will increasingly become the gateway to a plethora of other devices. The fact, for instance, that both iOS and Android are supporting Bluetooth Low Energy clearly shows that mobile phones will lead the IoT gateways.

What excites you about working in mobile?

Again, for me mobile phones are unprecedented gateways to the physical world. Mobile applications have no boundaries; they do not stop at your office door. This unlocks a whole new world of creative apps and solutions.

Where do you see the IoT going?

The IoT is going to finalize its mutation into a WoT: Web of Things. Where IoT was about connecting all kinds of physical devices together, the WoT will provide a comprehensive and standard layer for building applications for the IoT based on Web tech.

Having been in the IoT and WoT research for a while now, I can really sense that the concepts are now taking-off. You see many device manufacturers dropping proprietary standards to use open Web standards. You see many cities adopting real-time sensing, you see a lot of easy-to use WSN platforms popping up and becoming increasingly more popular (Arduino, OpenPicus, I/O bridge, Beagleboard, electricImp, etc.). So the coming years are the years of the IoT. But we’ll face many challenges on the way there and hopefully cloud platforms like ours will help ensuring that there are safe and flexible cloud services out there that can fuel IoT innovation beyond the hobbyist use-cases.

What is one dev tool you couldn’t live without?

SublimeText 2

What does your desktop usually look like?

What’s a desktop again? I’m a total Ubuntu Unity fan and in this world desktops are so last week, all you need it quick search 😉

What mobile apps do you use most?

NFC Task loader & Rsync backup. Put them together and they save so much time!

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring developers, what would it be?

If you want to be a great coder (at least from a CTO’s view-point): be pragmatic, love simplicity and avoid over-engineering at all costs.