Building IoT App to manage IoT devices

What is IoT ?

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a system of interrelated, internet-connected objects, which are IoT devices, that are able to collect and transfer data over a network. Building IoT app helps in controlling managing and monitoring these IoT Devices.

What Are IoT Apps?

IoT Devices functions through Smart phone Applications associated with them. There are various verticals which are automated and where monitoring and controlling can be done though our Smart Phone Apps. Healthcare, industrial automation, smart homes and buildings, automotive, and wearable devices are just a few. Integration with AI and ML in IoT apps is increasing to add smarter and intelligent devices.

Need for building IoT apps

There are many ways in which IoT applications (apps) can be used to simplify business workflows and carry out improvement, automation and control of processes while providing the relevant information, and even do the monitoring of environmental conditions remotely.

Due to these capabilities, IoT applications can help steer new business models and revenue streams and provide real-time data that businesses require to improve existing products and services, and develop new ones.

Knowing about IoT ecosystem

IoT Hardware 

Hardware in  IoT covers different low-energy sensors that communicate over wireless network and connect to the internet. From IoT development boards to custom hardware , there are various stages to implement your IoT idea. Prototyping of IoT device is generally a first step going towards a product.

IoT firmware

The hardware code which is programmed in microcontroller to perform specific tasks is known as firmware. The microcontroller choice in IoT is also dependent on the complexity of the functions which are required to perform by hardware.

IoT Software

Software for an IoT system is a cloud-based application, which can either be a web app or a mobile app. It is a dashboard for monitoring and controlling all functionalities on IoT devices connected to it. The dashboard also collects information from sensors and shows it to users.

Cloud Platform in IoT

The cloud is one of the most vital units of the IoT ecosystem. Cloud integration in IoT acts as a bridge between hardware and the software. It stores and processes all the data received from IoT devices. There are various cloud platforms which can be used with IoT solution

Communication protocols /sensor Network

The network is a crucial pillar in the IoT structure. All data exchange between IoT devices, devices and apps takes place over the communication protocol. The IoT communication protocols makes sure of connectivity between hardware and cloud , cloud and Mobile application as well as communication between IoT devices.  Hence, it’s important to have a robust network for extracting the best out of the IoT systems.

Building a powerful IoT app

Choose the right platform

Building IoT apps requires various IoT Platforms. 

Apart from the technology required and the cost involved, technological compatibility/inconsistency is one of the major challenges to solve through these platforms. This is proving to be quite helpful in allowing IoT developers to connect devices from different vendors that speak different protocols into one unified system.

For example, Android Things, a google IoT platform supports devices from various manufacturers and can connect to low-energy sensors. [/vc_column_text]

IoT app development

Choose the most reliable hardware

Choosing the most reliable hardware will help to make your IoT system functionally more robust. When we talk of reliability of the hardware, we are referring to the fact that this hardware must correspond to the requirement of the product solution. 

Also, the hardware connection accuracy is also important. You can choose electronic components like controllers or sensors made by reliable device makers to get this quality assurance. 

If there is internet accessibility in hardware, then implement FoTA for future updates, so that you won’t require physical access of device to update them.

Make your IoT app scalable

Before you plan your app’s functionality, you must spend time thinking about the speed at which you plan to develop your app’s functionality. The relevance of your app will depend on how scalable it is. It must be able to manage increasing amounts of data, devices and processes.

IoT apps that have cloud platform support are best in terms of scalability.  

Design your app so that it is fast

Users do not like apps that hang or lag. Therefore, it is imperative that your IoT apps load fast. This is especially true when we are remotely controlling devices.

Just imagine an IoT car app that won’t act immediately on your voice commands. This situation can ruin the entire customer experience. That’s why performance and high-speed connections are top priorities in the IoT ecosystem.

Make your app secure

Safety and security of your app is the top priority.  Because of the large number of devices connected over the IoT network, the IoT app is vulnerable to security breaches.

Homes, cars, healthcare infrastructure are the few verticals with IoT implementations. Data breaches in these areas can result in leakage and loss of sensitive personal data.

Here are a few quick tips for making your IoT apps secure:

  • Choose hardware vendors carefully – For your IoT app, make sure you choose reliable hardware or you can also run it by security specialists.
  • Always use trusted IoT platforms – Make sure that you use reliable platforms that test their tools and update them regularly.
  • Be careful of network attacks as well as physical attacks – Any data stored on a device should be not only encrypted but also physically protected: make sure it isn’t easy to remove the storage.
  • Use protected networks – All data that circulates between your app and devices through a server or the cloud should be encrypted.
  • Apply best practices for app security – Deploy encryption, 2F authentication, and other such techniques to ensure that your IoT apps are buffered against malicious cyber-attacks. 

Tech stack for building IoT app

IoT app developers use the following frameworks for IoT app development:

  • MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, Node)
  • Flutter
  • Ionic
  • Swift
  • Kotlin

While Flutter, Ionic and React native frameworks are used for Hybrid IoT app development, Swift and Kotlin frameworks are preferred for the development of Native IoT apps.
Check this link to know about native and hybrid IoT App.

Final tips for building a robust IoT app

IoT app challenges

There are two main challenges to IoT app development:

Security

Security is the single most important concern in the IoT ecosystem.

As per a survey conducted by Bain, a high percentage of consumers value security when using IoT solutions.

The security rules for IoT are rather vague and manufacturers and IoT software developers solve security issues in their own way, thereby making IoT systems quite vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches.

Technological incompatibility

Technological incompatibility is a glaring challenge in the IoT industry. The term refers to the situation wherein the IoT solutions are not compatible with the existing device and technology framework.

Take the case of an IoT app you want to create for a smart home. It is still a challenge to control all third-party smart devices through a single app due to compatibility issues.

Conclusion

Despite the challenges in IoT app development, it’s an area where continuous research and development is going on. Since IoT is rapidly spreading to every aspect of our lives, be it healthcare, business, and even industries, IoT app development has a bright future.

PsiBorg specializes in IoT mobile and web app development for a wide range of applications including Smart homes, Industrial monitoring, agriculture, wearable technology etc. Do reach out to us for all your IoT device and application development needs.

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