IBM (IBM) has teamed with Libelium, a wireless sensor network platform provider, to offer an Internet of Things starter kit to facilitate application development, testing and scalability that could result in enabling a huge number of sensor applications.

With the volume of Internet-connected devices expected to more than 22 billion by 2020, the Internet of Things is steadily attracting the resources of big name players, including not only IBM but also networking giant Cisco Systems (CSCO), Oracle (ORCL) and mega-conglomerate General Electric (GE).

What’s in it for VARs? The more connected devices and objects the more opportunities and possibilities in more industries, the greater the chance to differentiate and specialize and gain an edge others might not have.

In IBM’s case, the vendor is combining its Mote Runner software development kit based on the IETF 6LoWPAN protocol specification for IPv6—a platform and protocol for developers to connected sensor and actuator nodes (or motes)—with Libeliuym’s Waspmote wireless sensor platform. The companies are calling the resulting solution an Internet of Things Starter Kit, or the integration of a real-time operating system with Libelium Waspmote nodes to support more than 60 different sensors available off the shelf, enabling developers to build applications on top. The SDK also includes the source code of the 6LoWPAN libraries so that researchers can modify and add their own algorithms and improvements.

“If we can harvest the Big Data insights from all of the things connected to the Internet we can more precisely understand how our world actually works,” said Thorsten Kramp, an IBM Research computer scientist. “By making Internet of Things application development easier, the answers to the grand challenges of our age becomes more feasible.”

David Gascón, Libelium CTO, said the platform is a “powerful tool for improving and testing 6LoWPAN capabilities in the context of wireless sensor networks and the Internet of Things."

Libelium believes that owing to the modular, horizontal and easy integration of its products into third-party systems, Waspmote holds the promise to become the Internet of Things’ standard, universal platform, a possibility also apparently shared by IBM.