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Java – silently powering the M2M revolution

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Sometimes the most effective things in life are not those which attract the most attention. Java, the coding language developed by Sun Microsystems in 1996 and now owned by Oracle, is a fine example of this.

Java sits at the heart of one of the most significant technology revolutions of our generation: the emergence of machine to machine communications (M2M) or the Internet of Things. Though you may not know it, Java is what has already enabled over three billion devices, from mobile SIM cards through GPS-enabled Sat Navs to pioneering health monitoring systems and smart grid technology.

Given the impact that Java is having on the way we live, work and interact, it’s gratifying to see this somewhat unheralded technology getting some airtime this week. Oracle’s JavaOne conference (taking place in San Francisco until Thursday) helps to shine a light on current innovation in Java development. This year’s event has already been preceded by major announcements, not least Chief Architect Mark Reinhold’s unveiling of the JDK 8 developer preview builds a fortnight ago.

Gemalto has also been making its own headlines at the conference with the launch of a new M2M development kit on Monday, which would appear to be exactly the kind of technology required by the Java development community. The Cinterion Concept Board will give Java developers (all nine million of them!) a simple and cost-effective way of creating new, M2M-enabled devices, potentially cutting development times from days or weeks to just hours.

If Cisco’s prediction of there being 50 billion connected devices by 2020 is to be realized, then engaging the developer community will be crucial. Developments from Oracle and Java will be pivotal in making the Internet of Things a reality.

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