JavaScript is everywhere. As the world’s most popular programming language, JavaScript is being used in all aspects of development from software to hardware, POCs to enterprise-grade applications, backend to frontend, in all industries. According to Stack Overflow’s 2017 survey, JavaScript was the most popular programming language with 62.5% of respondents using it. JavaScript is the most widely used technology by both front-end and back-end developers and it continues pervading all aspects of development, and especially expanding within Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

JerryScript LogoWith the continued increase of adoption of open source technologies, JavaScript is now making a name for itself in the world of IoT. Recently, Fitbit introduced its newest smartwatch, Fitbit Ionic™, which is the first production device to ship with the JS Foundation project, JerryScript, since the Pebble. JerryScript is a lightweight JavaScript engine built to power the Internet of Things. It’s capable of running on microcontrollers with less than 64KB of RAM, making it ideal for compact smart devices. It supports on-device compilation and execution for very resource-constrained devices.

“This is a very exciting time for the JerryScript project and the JS Foundation,” said Kris Borchers, Executive Director of the JS Foundation. “Seeing JerryScript once again being incorporated into a production wearable device with a household brand like Fitbit is a great accomplishment for that team. Fitbit choosing to use an open source project to bring JavaScript’s power and approachability to the wearable app space illustrates the positive shift in corporate perceptions of the safety and reliability of open source and JavaScript.”

Fitbit logoIn conjunction with the launch of the Ionic smartwatch, Fitbit released its software development kit (SDK) to allow developers to create applications and clock faces for Fitbit OS to share and submit those apps to the Fitbit App Gallery. The Fitbit SDK utilizes JavaScript, CSS, and SVG as the basis for app and clock face development work. This marks the first time that Fitbit has opened up its platform for development to external developers, via Fitbit OS, allowing anyone to build their own JavaScript-based application or clock face to customize their device and share with others.

“We are thrilled to offer a JavaScript SDK on Fitbit Ionic,” said Brad Murray, Fitbit Developer Platform Manager. “The combination of a very large developer community, the richest set of tools and libraries as well as a language which scales from beginners to experts made this choice obvious to us. We are thankful to the JerryScript project which accelerated our efforts significantly.”

Fitbit IonicFitbit Ionic marks an exciting evolution in the smart device market by both incorporating open source technologies, like JerryScript into the device itself, and allowing developers to build on top of the software and contribute apps. It demonstrates the flexibility, stability, and scalability of the JavaScript language and its adoption into mainstream smart devices in IoT. Built on web standards like CSS and SVG, as well as JerryScript which is an ECMAScript 5.1 (JavaScript standard) compliant JavaScript engine, Fitbit Ionic’s apps and clock faces available to users in the Fitbit App Gallery are built on a common base to provide universal collaboration amongst developers. In addition to that, by using popular web technologies to build apps, it makes the process easier and more approachable for developers to eventually contribute to and improve the platform.

This also continues to prove out that JavaScript is the most dominant programming language in the world and the JS Foundation continues its mission to extend that dominance across the developer landscape. It is now possible to build your entire application stack using JavaScript and primarily using open source JS Foundation projects. This is thanks to projects like JerryScript providing JavaScript APIs into IoT devices and peripherals, Node-RED gathering and directing data flows from those IoT devices, Marko and its UI component model to present and visualize that data, and architect provisioning and deploying that application to a serverless environment. The opportunities are endless as open source tooling continues to grow and span all use cases.

Daniel Appelquist, Director of Web Advocacy & Open Source, Samsung Research UK and JS Foundation board member added, “At Samsung Open Source Group we are excited to see JerryScript, a technology we were instrumental in creating, enjoying continued success with this roll out, supported by JS Foundation.”

This permeation of JavaScript across the development stack also opens up new hiring possibilities to organizations adopting and contributing to the open source JavaScript ecosystem. By tapping into the largest and fastest-growing developer ecosystem, there is now a new, enormous hiring pool from which employers can find their next candidates for jobs they would not have been able to fill with JavaScript developers in the past.

We’re excited to watch the evolution of the JavaScript ecosystem as open source technologies continue to help IoT developers build innovative products. As the JS Foundation, we support the the continued sustainability and growth of these technologies and look forward to an exciting future for the world of JavaScript.

Interested in sharing your JavaScript IoT story? Get in touch!

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Kaitlyn Barnard

Author Kaitlyn Barnard

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