Kenneth Rohde Christiansen

Web Platform Architect and Browser Engineer, Intel


The web in an era of smart devices

The improvements in size, features and price of hardware has ushered new opportunities in creating small, smart devices (aka internet-of-things) which can be integrated in homes and industries. In these places, the devices can help automate common tasks, as well as give information about the state of things, such as temperature of a machine, air quality etc.

Installing an app for one such devices might seem fine at first, but it doesn’t scale nicely to 100s of devices, or devices you seldom interact with, like in an industrial setting. Devices might even have different security restrictions, like being locked behind a physical key.

So how do we communicate with these devices? The web has always been known for its low fraction and easy onboarding. No need to install any software, just type in a URL and off you go. And it has always been very secure with its sandbox system, and companies can even have URLs be restricted to certain WiFi networks (intranet).

In the last couple of years, the web has taken a quantum leap in usability, with offline support, and many ways to make the experience very app-like. So the question is unavoidable, can the web be the platform to make smart devices succeed?

The web lives in a sandbox, and its security model has allowed people to trust it and for it to grow enormously over time, but the world is changing around us. There is a growing need to access new hardware capabilities such as sensors or just connect to devices around us.

The great news is that the web sandbox is growing with new capabilities and with new security models, allowing us to connect to devices via Bluetooth, USB or even talk NFC. There are now even ways to directly get magnetometer readings on Android devices.

In this talk we will look at this new landscape and how it enables the new wave of smart devices. We will also look at how easy it is to use some of these new APIs.

Come join me for a look at how the web can make your smart devices success

Level: Intermediate


Kenneth Rohde Christiansen is a Danish software engineer and architect, specialized in mobile and web technology. Working at Intel out of Copenhagen, Kenneth helps define Intel’s strategy and plans regarding the Web Platform, as well as puts it into action. Before joining Intel, Kenneth was employed by Nokia (Denmark and Brazil) where he worked on the Nokia N9 web browser, Qt, WebKit, as well as many other mobile projects. Currently working on Progressive Web Apps and emerging web standards like Web App Manifest, Generic Sensors, Web NFC etc.