The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a network of physical devices all around the world connected to the Internet, collecting and sharing data through the use of sensors and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). A cursory look at this definition might not reveal anything phenomenal, however, it won’t take long to see the vast applications of IoT smart cities, self-driving cars, accurate market forecasts, etc. The list is endless
The “things” in IoT refers to both humans and any physical device you can think of. Thanks to the ubiquity of low-cost microprocessors and sensors, devices can now be connected to one another via the internet, thus bringing digital intelligence to an even higher level.
Technologies such as Analytics for Big Data, AI and Machine Learning, cloud computing, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) have been instrumental to IoT. In order to achieve the goal of successfully connecting the world, mobile app development will become essential to IoT.
Why is this? Well, for the Internet of Things to function properly, it relies on four (4) basic components. They include:
This is your physical device. Most machines today, like devices with NFC capabilities, have the ability to emit and detect frequency signals around them. This is possible by using the temperature, motion and pressure sensors embedded in them. Using these sensors, your device can convert physical parameters into signals measurable by electrical appliances.
Just like its name, the gateway is a bridge between the hardware and the internet / interconnected web. It is basically the middleman. It collects data from the emitted signals of the devices (hardware) and transmits this data to the internet infrastructure.
3. The Cloud
The cloud is basically what makes the devices smart. This is because the cloud is an infrastructure with the ability to hold any volume of information. What happens is that the signals emitted from these physical devices are processed on this database and they are made available in real time.
4. Mobile Application Development
IoT application development is the real focus of this post. The devices communicate primarily with binary codes (0s and 1s), and mobile app development facilitates communication between humans and the machines. The mobile apps developed to receive and transmit important information to us. In addition, it allows us to send commands to the smart devices. Mobile app development pertains to consumers and end users as they allow us to monitor and control these physical devices otherwise known as smart devices.
Mobile App Development in Detail
As the proliferation of mobile devices continues to soar, it’s only fitting that mobile app development also enjoys the same level of advancement. Today, IoT development is not only accessible to established companies like Apple and Tesla, startups can also leverage IoT application development to cement their position in a fiercely competitive marketplace.
Mobile app development is also breaking barriers, and demonstrating relevance in different spheres. We have seen wearables like smartwatch apps, applications for self-driving cars, diagnostic apps for healthcare, and even apps which monitor logistics and retail. The diverse applications of IoT development give developers the confidence to go the extra mile.
Not only does the mobile app development facilitate competition on a larger scale, it also ensures convenience. Through IoT application development, concepts like smart homes, smart cars, connected machines, autonomous robots, etc. can be envisioned.
Role of Mobile Development in the IoT
Mobile App Development Improves Customer Engagement
With a mobile app, customers learn about your product without you spending so much on marketing. Imagine how connected users are to their Alexa smart app or Cortana. They use the app to control the light bulbs, to search for contacts, to schedule meetings, to shuffle their music playlist, etc. All these make it relatively easy for Amazon and Google to be ingrained in the minds of users.
A Paradigm Shift is Imminent
Before now, mobile app development was concerned with the function of the application and how it serves a greater purpose. However, the focus is steadily shifting to the function of ‘things’ and how they can integrate with these applications. Hence, when hiring a team for IoT development, you require developers who have a solid understanding of the underlying technology of these ‘things’ and development will be contingent on this.
Reduced Effort Goes into Data Collection
IoT development seeks total integration of mobile devices and other gadgets/machines. An average person spends at least 3 hours on his mobile phone daily. These two facts might not mean much individually, but together, they present immense opportunities. Companies can now track relevant metrics in the hopes of pursuing sustainability, and future predictions about the behaviour of certain products can also be made.
The Security Issue with IoT and Mobile App Development
For several years now, security concerns are dissuading certain organizations from fully adopting IoT development. Although there are secure alternatives, such as the hybrid approach, these security threats still exist.
This is attributed to the extreme level of constant connection IoT allows between devices. Having two devices sharing data incessantly opens up possibilities for hacking. This hacking is no longer restricted to cybercriminals or fraudsters. Governments and private organizations can also benefit when they obtain sensitive data from you.
It is envisaged that stricter regulations will emerge to govern the way large companies handle data obtained via IoT in order to prevent manipulation or any form of tradeoff. These regulations will prioritize the protection of individual customers and limit the amount of compromise which can be done to the network.
IoT is a unified platform which cuts across iOS, Android, Windows, etc. Organizations, in the nearest future, will require the expertise of developers with a sound knowledge of these frameworks, especially regarding the interconnectivity of these different devices. The concept of the Internet of Things is a truly revolutionary one and the impact of mobile app development heralds vast potentials for growth.
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