How to Develop an IoT App
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is making a lot of new things possible. Using internet-enabled devices – sensors and computers alike – even appliances can be made smarter and more connected. There are some very interesting IoT applications on the market too.
The smart home devices we have today, for instance, are becoming more capable thanks to IoT. You can turn on your air conditioner or have the coffee machine brew a cup remotely or automatically. In fitness, IoT makes tracking your health easier.
The challenge now is developing new IoT apps and penetrating more of the market. This isn’t as complex of a task as you might imagine, especially with the tips and tricks we are about to discuss in this article.
Nail the Hardware
IoT apps rely on connected hardware to deliver data. That connectivity – and the fact that it can send and receive data – is what makes IoT apps smart and capable in the first place. This means data connectivity is the first thing you want to nail when developing an IoT app.
M2M solutions are usually the way to go. M2M connectivity allows for two devices to connect directly with each other. You can have your IoT hardware connect to a network via 3G or 4G too, especially with solutions providers like Soracom focusing more on the IoT market.
Optimize Data Pulling
IoT is meant to improve the quality of our lives, which is why the best IoT solutions are the ones that solve real problems on the market. The smart thermostat solution mentioned earlier does this brilliantly, automating many of the manual tasks of controlling the interior climate in the process.
Most IoT connectivity solutions available today let you monitor hardware using centralized API, so the process of developing the actual application is a lot easier. Assuming that the IoT hardware you use are equipped with sensors, you can pull data from them this way.
Refine Your App
Once hardware and data pulling are tackled, it is time to figure out the software side of the application. Now that cloud infrastructure is becoming more accessible, you can develop your application as microservices and fully leverage cloud computing for your IoT app.
One thing to keep in mind: the first iteration is never your best. That’s the beauty of developing the app as a microservice. You can continue improving the whole application bit by bit, microservice by microservice, until the entire IoT app is capable of solving real problems.
One last thing to do before deploying your IoT application is the testing stage. This is an equally important step, especially since there are challenges like compatibility, connectivity issues, and – more importantly – security to get right from the beginning.
Testing is always a bit of a balancing act, but there are tools and resources that can help you. Test for 5 key points: usability, reliability, data integrity, security, and performance. Make sure that the IoT application can handle the tests you throw at it before releasing it to the market.
That’s it! With these tips in mind, developing an IoT application will not be a hurdle. Find a problem to solve and start leveraging IoT to help you solve that problem.