IoT Roadshow, Denver – Cardinal Peak: The do-it-all IoT design house

It’s widely accepted that no one company can do the Internet of Things by themselves: There are too many different technologies, use cases, and business models. That is true, but Cardinal Peak, an engineering services company located in Lafayette, CO, comes pretty close.

At the Cardinal Peak offices I had the opportunity to meet with Howdy Pierce, the company’s Founder and CEO, who explained his organization’s capabilities across most, if not all, the major areas of IoT, including:

  Mobile and web application development

  Cloud infrastructure

   Network protocols

  Embedded operating systems

  Signal processing

  Hardware design


Of course, the company isn’t developing all of the building block technologies themselves to serve these various markets, but using them to design and manufacture complete solutions. This puts Cardinal Peak, and design houses like it, in the interesting position of not being beholden to any product, vendor, or technology. With each new project they take on they must use solutions that fit the cost, time to market, and design requirements of their clients, which not only means that Cardinal Peak must be versed in the gamut of silicon, software, and networking paradigms that serve the IoT, but also that they aren’t forced to tow the traditional messaging of major manufacturers and their ecosystem partners.

In the first of two podcast interviews (a new initiative by the editors of Embedded Computing Design and IoT Design), Howdy Pierce provided perspective from his level of the IoT food chain – where many devices and systems are actually built and come to fruition – on just what the IoT is and where the pain points still lie. In it, he identifies the disjointed protocol landscape as the area of biggest concern if we are to realize IoT’s potential.

In the second, I asked Howdy for his opinion on the use of object-oriented programming (OOP) languages in embedded development as IT coding paradigms begin to intersect with traditional embedded design methodologies on the Internet of Things. A long-time programmer himself and without any predispositions towards technologies like Java, he maintained the need for software developers of all types to become proficient in C as it’s still the only way to control your build from the application layer all the way down to the silicon. In addition, he provided some suggestions on what languages need to be in every software engineers toolbox today, including Python. To hear more, check out the interview below.

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