The Internet of Things (IoT)is becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives these days. Once the pet subject for the technology community, it has nowgonebeyond that niche and into the mainstream.
And this is just the beginning, quite literally.
It is a widely-held belief that the IoT technology movement is one that will grow rapidly over the coming years. According to Gartner, by the end of this year, “6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide.” This equates to “total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015.”
What is IoT tech?
Internet of Things technologyis the connecting of objects or things with the internet, so that they can communicate with humans (and with each other), thus making life simpler and better for all of us.
How do humans communicate with these objects though?
That’s simple – we use the one device that is capable of seamless connectivity and everyone seems to have on them at all times these days – the humble smartphone. And of course, if you want to use your smartphone for anything other than its stock in-built functions, you’re going to need an App.
In what ways can App builders leverage this IoT tech to move forward?
- Use wearable technology
Wearable technology such as smartwatches, smart glasses, etc.are all part of the big IoT revolution. Most, if not all wearables, support third party applications and have the software development kits (SDKs) available to make these possible. Enterprising App makers can use these smart wearable devices and build unique Apps around them. This would effectively mean no requirement for the creation of additional IoT technology, and a readymade platform for the development of the App.
- Look for open-source projects
A lot of manufacturers that are exploring the IoT space are providing the source code for their products, thus allowing enterprising App developers to gain access to the inner workings of these IoT devices. This in turn allows developers to put their own spin or modification on the way these devices function, allowing them to explore the potential of this technology to a possibly greater degree than what the manufacturer may have imagined.
Say you have a connected home device setup, as well an IoT lighting system in place. You would typically need two separate Apps to use them. App builders could look at such IoT devices or systems that are compatiblewith each other, and create an App that works as a bridge between the two. So in this case, one single App that provides you with the ability to control two or more of these IoT applications that you may have installed in your home, making things that much simpler and more straightforward in the process.
- Use existing technologies
Smart devices already have a number of in-built sensors (like Accelerometers, gyroscopes, barometers, magnetometers and light sensors) that detect a variety of things. All these sensors mean your smart device can be turned into an IoT device. Creative App builders can use these sensors, widely available in a majority of smart devices these days, to build an IoT App that could prove useful.
- Niche uses
Apps that are built towards IoT need not help everyone all the time. App makers can target the building of simple applications that a specific core of users will find highly advantageous. An App that uses your wearable to help improve your golf swing, or an App that helps medical staff get readings of blood pressure and other vitals, for instance. You can create Apps that are purpose-built by identifying gaps in major industries like sports, healthcare, finance, logistics or anything else that would be receptive to improved efficiency, and customize your App for that avenue.
It is imperative for an App creator to have a clear strategy in place when deciding to leverage IoT.
- Who is your target consumer?
- How much (and in what ways) will the App benefit them?
- What is the future scope of this App?
- Will it be used in a way that ads will not prove bothersome?
- Should it be paid or free?
These are some of the things you must take into consideration when beginning to chart the future of your App. The future of IoT is shining brightly, and App makers who think on their feet and start inculcating this technology in their Apps could bask in its glow.