From smart home automation to security sensors, robotic automation and self-driven cars, Internet of Things (IoT) is turning new possibilities that were not even in our dreams a few years back. Today, we can virtually interact with home appliances, electronic gadgets, cars, and many more devices at our homes and offices, all thanks to this technology. But, have you ever paused a second and thought how does IoT work? What’s the driving force behind?
Let’s dig out the secret.
Internet of Things (IoT), in simpler terms, is defined as a hub of devices and equipment that can interact with their surrounding environments and other connected devices through embedded processors, sensors, actuators, or communication hardware. These incorporated elements share real-time data to cloud-computing servers from where it can be accessed and analyzed via mobile apps or browsers on our smartphones/computers. Besides, we can interact with the connected devices (also called smart devices), give them instructions, gather data or ask for an update. They will perform all the tasks with/without our surveillance.
IoT & Mobile App Development:
As already explained above, smartphone technology and apps are fueling IoT. While connected devices represent one end of this technological innovation, mobile applications are on the other end. This implies variation in demand for IoT will influence the need for apps and vice versa.
Garner predicted that the IoT sector will experience a rise to $662.74 billions by 2021. This indicates that the technology will have an impact on mobile app development trends.
So, are you prepared for it?
Though both IoT and apps are co-related, building an IoT app is not a cakewalk. You will face various challenges and hurdles to create an app that works with a myriad of devices, from electronic gadgets to automated sensors and self-driving cars. Some of the prevalent challenges are:
To boost the use of IoT connected devices in the market, it is utterly important to build trust and promote the use of IoT apps. Just like that in case of the Internet, the users of Internet of Things have to be assured that they are secure enough to do anything in the connected environment. But, is it so easy?
As the trend of connecting devices is increasing, various new security vulnerabilities are coming into existence. Poorly designed apps are exposing customer data to cyber attackers. Poorly secured devices are serving as an entry point to the IoT environment and thus, re-program a device or add malicious things to affect data security. Along with, a rise in the number and nature of IoT devices will also increase the risk of attacks. Whenever a poorly secured/designed device is coupled in hyper-interconnected IoT environment and is connected online, it will affect the security of the hub globally, not locally. For example: A poorly secured television or refrigerator might send a wide range of malicious spam emails to recipients across the globe using the user’s Internet connection. And the biggest challenge in this scenario is that most of the IoT devices work with the user having less-to-no involvement into the internal working or the data produced. This raises the security vulnerability as the customer will be expecting proper functioning of the devices while they might be performing unethical practices and gathering more data than they are supposed to.
So, you have to consider best practices for designing IoT apps, promoting shared responsibility and collaboration among stakeholders, ensuring the best data access, confidentiality and authentication measures, and so on.
Interoperability And Standards:
To build a successful IoT environment, it is crucial to ensure that any IoT device connected is able to connect and exchange information with another connected device. This might sound simple but is quite complex. Devices interact with each other at different levels within the communication protocol stack. Besides, interoperability across any device is not completely feasible or desirable.
When it comes to interoperability, IoT development companies face numerous challenges, such as lack of standards, hassle to modify the configuration of devices, technical risks, etc. You have to keep all these into consideration while developing an IoT application.
Privacy is yet another challenge faced by the app developers during IoT development. As the connected devices accumulate and employ the user-related data for offering better services, it is necessary to consider that the privacy is not compromised at any level. If the users find that their privacy is violated or the implemented privacy standards do not meet their expectation, they will not trust your app for connecting and interacting with devices.
For example, if a fitness track shares your activity data with the experts, but it also shares additional information, such as your geolocation information or timestamps. Will you be ready to use the device? Definitely not. Take another situation where a device is sharing your additional details but without your awareness. Will you be able to trust the device?
To ensure that such situations never arise, you need to consider different practices, such as adopting fair means of data collection, maintaining transparency in the system, enforcing privacy standards etc.
Emerging Economy And Development Issues:
IoT development is effective in developed nations where people have enough resources and knowledge. However, building an IoT application for areas where there’s lack of infrastructure, investment, technical and regulatory is quite tough.
To ensure that your app earns higher ROI, you need to consider that the environment is suitable with respect to the requirements and expectations.
IoT technology is slowly and gradually taking over the market with the concept of connected devices and ease of communication. It is becoming more important to invest in the technology than ever. However, you will come across various challenges while building an application for the same. So, be prepared for it. Consider the challenges, find the best possible solutions and build a successful mobile application interacting with these smart devices.