JavaScript: The Perfect Language for the Internet of Things (IoT)

August 21st, 2015 | By Jscrambler | 5 min read

JavaScript's versatility and ability to write complex, responsive programs make it the perfect programming language for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Its reputation for providing users with beautiful, interactive websites is not where its usefulness ends. JavaScript is also used to create mobile applications and cross-platform desktop software. Thanks to Node.js, this programming language can develop and run servers and databases!

Given its ubiquitous nature, it is only natural that it would be considered a fitting language in this new Internet of Things, a term coined in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton.

Let’s dive into the meaning of IoT and explore the role JavaScript will play in it, if any.

What is the Internet of Things?

Up until recently, most of the information in the cloud was human-consumable. The information it contained has been accessed by and about people.

IoT aims to create a network of things, from electronic devices and sensors to even people themselves. They not only have access to this wealth of information but is also capable of communicating with it and each other.

Supporters of this movement often cite many benefits, a few of which include improved automation in nearly every industrial field, an improved economy, lower pollution, and so on.

The Perfect Programming Language for IoT: JavaScript

JavaScript, originally designed as a web scripting language, evolved into something else. Drawing from its versatility, it is now perfect for creating IoT networks and devices.

Also, it can be used to write complex, responsive programs. IoT is becoming more popular. Consequently, developers have to devote more time to technology.

The popularity of JavaScript has ensured its place as one of the foundation languages. Its usefulness in enterprise applications is well-known.

What is the JavaScript Role in the Internet of Things?

You do not have to be a die-hard JavaScript fanatic to appreciate the many benefits given to developers regarding IoT, as described below.

JavaScript benefits to the Internet of Things

  1. JavaScript is easy to learn.
    JavaScript is an easy programming language to learn. You can pick up the basics over the weekend.

    If you have a web browser, you have what you need to begin learning JavaScript. The ease of startup means that entry-level developers can get instant feedback while programming. Helpful for those who learn by doing.

  2. JavaScript is already a common language across the Internet.
    JavaScript is already a common language across the Internet, so it only makes sense to include it in devices that will become part of it.

  3. There is a community of developers.
    JavaScript already has a community of developers who contribute to the language. You can find and use thousands of resources, including YouTube videos, newsletters, blogs, events, and tutorials, to improve your knowledge.

  4. Its event-driven architecture fits perfectly with how the world operates.
    We live in an event-driven world. We act and react to different events, which is how JavaScript operates.

    This event-driven modality is also more efficient for sensors.,battery life, and CPU usage.

JavaScript Versus C for Embedded Systems

Regardless of the benefits, there is still some debate as to whether JavaScript is up to the task.

Let’s take a look at a comparison between JavaScript, the language of the Internet, and C, the standard go-to language for embedded systems programming.


JavaScript is a high-level language. While this usually means that it is more human-readable and more user-friendly, the downside is that this can also make it somewhat slower. Being slower means that it may not be suitable for situations where timing and speed are critical.

However, if speed is a requirement, Peter Hoddie says that using a JIT (Just-In-Time) compiler or using asm.js, which is an optimized subset of JavaScript, may help get that performance boost you need. While this does require additional memory on the microcontroller itself, new lines of microcontroller boards are coming out that are designed with this in mind, giving developers the best of both worlds.

JavaScript’s event-driven architecture is also perfect for listening and reacting to input and output events like button presses and information received from sensors. Another huge benefit is the drastically decreased power consumption and CPU usage, an important facet considering the small size of microcontrollers these days.


Typically, C is the go-to language for embedded systems programming. The main reason is that C is a low-level language, meaning that, although it’s still in a human-readable form, it’s much closer to machine language than JavaScript.

This proximity to machine language makes it extremely fast, efficient, and reliable.

There are some disadvantages, though:

  • The learning curve is steeper;

  • It is not as easy of a language to learn as JavaScript.

This may not be a block to avid developers, but for hobbyists, it can play a huge role in whether or not a project gets completed.

The Internet of Things is Already Here

If you’ve been wanting to start tinkering with some user-friendly electronics — and if you don’t feel like learning a complicated language to do so — you’re in luck!

Here are some popular JavaScript-enabled development boards to help get you started.


The Espruino is a small microcontroller that runs JavaScript. It has little power draw, boasting a battery life of up to a year. It does not require a complicated IDE. You only need a terminal.

The best part is that, depending on the needs of your device, you can even compile your JavaScript code into C! Unfortunately, there is only limited support for that at the moment.

Tessel 2

The Tessel 2 is a development board with integrated Wi-Fi, an ethernet port, two USB ports, and two Tessel module ports.

Each Tessel module has a companion source library downloadable via the Node Package Manager, and there are plenty of tutorials and instructions available online to get you up and running quickly.

Kinoma Create

The Kinoma Create dubbed the JavaScript-powered Internet of Things construction kit, is a full-featured prototyping tool with tons of plug-and-play capabilities — all right out of the box!

Attractive features: touch screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and a micro-SD slot.

Time to Get Started

JavaScript for embedded systems is still in its infancy, but we suspect that major advancements are on the horizon.

If you’re a hobbyist or looking to build out that prototype you’ve been dreaming of, JavaScript is a great way to get your feet wet, learn a thing or two — and have fun doing it!


The leader in client-side Web security. With Jscrambler, JavaScript applications become self-defensive and capable of detecting and blocking client-side attacks like Magecart.

View All Articles

Must read next


Q&A With Jasvir Nagra, Jscrambler Technical Advisor

Jasvir Nagra, Jscrambler Technical Advisor, explores the present and future of web security and the biggest challenges that organizations are facing.

January 14, 2021 | By Jscrambler | 5 min read

Web Development

8 Code Playgrounds to Test your JavaScript Applications and Skills

Code playgrounds can be a great solution either you want to test your JavaScript skills or make your application run safely. Check out some options you should have on your bookmarks.

August 14, 2017 | By Jscrambler | 5 min read

Section Divider

Subscribe to Our Newsletter