With an avid curiosity for emerging technologies, our IoT development team builds lightening fast products that innovate industries.
What is IoT?
IoT, also know as the “Internet of Things”, is the application of connecting devices to the internet and to other internet connected products. Internet of Things can be viewed as a collection of devices that share usage data and data of the environment around them. If integrated correctly, these devices can control the operations of other controlled devices; such as moving security cameras with a mobile application. The term IoT refers to a range of smart devices from autonomous vehicles to smart refrigerators to wearable devices (such as smart watches and self-lacing shoes) and well beyond.
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How do IoT devices work?
With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, sophisticated sensors and chips are embedded in physical devices and connected to an Internet of Things (IoT) platform. This connection allows these devices to transmit data to the IoT platform as well as to other connected devices. The data transmitted between these devices includes how they interact with one another, how we interact with them, and how they interact with the environment around them.
By way of machine learning and the accumulation of data, IoT technology recognizes patterns within the data and can offer insights and recommendations on how to optimize a product (or the use of a product) based on its feedback. Beyond the mundane, IoT apps make it possible to automate complex actions.
For instance, a backpack manufacturer who is interested to find out which features of their backpacks are used most often could add sensors to different backpack components. These sensors could then tell the manufacturer how often any given feature is interacted with. The backpack manufacture may find out that people use the water bottle holder feature of their backpacks often, but rarely use the pencil pocket. The backpack manufacturer could then test those findings against sales data to identify similar patterns. If they find alignment across both datasets, they then have the insights necessary to optimize their decisions on backpack features, supply, pricing, and more. The metrics provided by IoT devices allow businesses to identify strategic opportunities for advancement based on easy to gather, real-world data.
What defines successful IoT development?
While IoT platforms and IoT applications are still in their infancy, there are a couple of factors that indicate success in IoT solutions development:
- Connectivity The foundation of IoT is connectivity. To qualify as an IoT device the device must be able to connect to the internet and must be connected to one or more sensors or actuators. Connectivity not only refers to internet connections and hardware connections but also connections to other devices. An IoT device must be properly connected in order to receive and transmit data to and from its given IoT platform.
- User Experience Although most don’t think of user experience when discussing IoT, proper UX Design is necessary for users to actually want to use your product. While design theory leads us so far, having an experienced UX Designer map out the proper flows and interaction designs will account for all touchpoints of your product to ensure intuitive features and functionality.
- Security As IoT devices and platforms transmit sensitive data from a wide audience, securing data privacy features is a no brainer. Simply put: Data can not slip through the cracks! So how do developers prepare for data leaks and potential hacks? Precautionary measures must take place before development begins with ideation and implementation of security tactics around the IoT network, authentication, encryption, PKI, API and much more.
- Data Patterns There are two approaches to data patterns that can be used to develop and iterate upon IoT products. First, there is cold-path analytics. Cold-path analytics is a way in which stored data is processed by machine learning algorithms to offer insights. Alternatively, there is hot-path analytics in which real-time data (not previously stored data) from the product sensors provides immediate feedback. Developing a database for tracking and analyzing this data will provide your IoT product with the infrastructure it needs to continually be improved for your target users.