The Internet of Things has been hyped up over the past few years, and for good reason. IoT has gone from a buzzword to an ever-growing concept that has influenced our everyday lives – both at home and at the workplace.
Besides being able to control the air conditioning and lights with your phone, IoT will massively change the way we do business. We’ll see improvement in areas like inventory tracking and management, data, remote working, energy and production. The most common way of communicating with internet connected ‘things’ is through an app. If you’re thinking of developing a business app to connect with IoT devices, here are some application development tips that might help you:
Use a Readymade Platform
Consider building your app using an existing IoT platform such as the Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT platform or IBM Watson IoT. Most of these platforms already have security features such as authentication and encryption. They also usually come equipped with the ingestion and analytics tiers, making it easier to work on the end product. Building an application on a secure, well-engineered framework will ensure that there are no unexpected surprises.
Use Secure Hardware
If you want to protect your data, make sure you buy sensors from established vendors. Certain hardware vendors will also help you ensure user privacy, with Enhanced Privacy Identity (EPID) technology.
Consider The User Experience
To be successful, your IoT business app needs to be useful to your customers and enhance their lives. Start by talking to your customers to understand how they interact with your products and what their needs are. Design your app to focus on features that are most important to them. Addressing real user needs is the best way to ensure that your IoT app is worth the investment.
Consider how the user, the app and the physical ‘thing’ communicate with each other. For example if the app activates lights on the device, will these be visible in a bright room? What about sounds in a noisy environment? Will the user always have internet connection on their phone to access information from the device? If the IoT device has a user interface, this should be designed to work with the app as a cohesive experience.
Use The Right Developers
Before hiring a developer, define your user base so that you can easily target the platforms they engage with. This will help you to choose someone with the proper programming language. It’s also important to choose a developer with the necessary experience, someone who has worked with the platforms and programs you require. Another thing to look out for is someone that is a good culture fit who you can build a relationship with.
Partnering with an existing developer will make sure your app is functional and effective. At Zoosh, we make an effort to understand your business requirements before developing business applications that are intuitive and easy to use. If you would like to know more about the possibilities of IoT and enterprise application development, check out our interactive game, “The Game of Apps”.