Software Development Blogs

How to Create IoT Applications

Could you imagine waking up to the sound of your favorite song while your curtains open after a good rest thanks to devices monitoring your sleep and adapting your room accordingly with humidity, heat, and sound?

Now imagine having breakfast balanced perfectly to fit your diet, as you know all about your health condition thanks to the multiple detectors in your wristband that measures your heart rate, sugar levels, and blood pressure. And after finishing your breakfast, you don’t have to go to the garage and start your car. The car is already waiting outside, offering the best rout to work in its dashboard. Well, all that and more can be possible thanks to IoT and IoT apps,  but what exactly is IoT, or rather The Internet of Things? 

IoT refers to the network of billions of physical devices - “things” around the globe that are connected to the internet and therefore constantly sharing data. Thanks to the fast technological development, now it’s possible to connect almost anything to the web, from a small speaker to a rocket, and turn it into a part of the IoT. But how to create an IoT app?

IoT market statistics

The Internet of Things market is huge, and nowadays IoT devices are everywhere and part of our daily life, from smart cities to our cellphones, homes, and cars. According to ZDNet, tech statistics predict that in total, there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices by 2025, or "things." Consumer IoT spending was expected to hit $108 billion, making it the second-largest industry segment: smart homes, personal wellness, and connected vehicle infotainment will see much of the spending. Plus, the overall enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) spending grew 12.1% in 2020 to $128.9 billion, indicating that IoT remains a high-growth market with opportunities across the entire technology stack.

IoT app use cases 

As technology keeps evolving, the digitization of society continues, making IoT an ever-increasing market, creating more and more jobs. From robotic vacuums to self-driving cars and remote medical devices that let doctors diagnose patients, the Internet of Things will keep on growing in every industry. 

Healthcare

Before IoT, patients’ relationships with doctors were limited to physical interactions as there were no physicians to remotely monitor patients’ health continuously and make recommendations accordingly. Now the Internet of Things has made remote monitoring in the healthcare sector possible through smart devices, unleashing the potential to keep patients safe and healthy, and empowering physicians to deliver outstanding care; plus all the data collected from IoT devices can help physicians identify the best treatment for patients.

Diverse hardware like wearables, sensors, or scales facilitate proper monitoring and allows doctors enough time to take preventive measures and give precise diagnoses, improving overall treatment efficiency. As a result, medical organizations can significantly reduce their costs.

Logistics

Due to globalization, over the past years, supply chains have become more complex and we have seen a continuous increase in shipment transactions and customer expectations. The rapid boom of e-commerce and online shopping has left the logistics industry coping with enormous staff shortages in transport, fragmented markets, and low margins.

In this context, IoT has become the perfect solution to aid the logistics process of people and goods, tracking objects, but also by collecting and transferring current data of the transported assets. For example, IoT can be used to remotely control elements of transport processes, saving energy and improving customer experience as it can also help customers to avoid waiting times. Nowadays large companies like DHL and Amazon have already found all the benefits of using IoT solutions in their logistic processes. The sensors installed inside DHL’s trucks track position, temperature conditions, and best routes for delivery. This use of IoT-enabled devices has allowed them to decrease transit times by half and control both time deliveries and product good conditions, taking their customer experience to a whole new level.

Check out a related article:

Automotive

“Automotive IoT” refers to the integration of IoT components into vehicles and their use as a system for the connection of cars, predictive maintenance services, fleet management, etc. With an annual production of almost 78 million units produced worldwide, the automobile sector is one of the biggest manufacturing industries in the world. However, for car manufacturers to attract and keep consumers in our technological world, they need to consider the use of new technologies and embrace IoT.

IoT has revolutionized the automotive industry and has transformed cars into a “near-artificial intelligence”, from navigation apps to self-driving cars. It is a vast platform for the extension of IT possibilities.

Smarthomes

When talking about IoT, smart homes are something we can not overlook. Home automation refers to the ability to control domestic appliances by IoT-enabeled devices and systems. From complex heating and lighting systems to remote-controlled home security controls, homeowners can set full control of their properties and economize on public utilities by monitoring energy and water consumption. 

Does the smart home mean the end of the “home” as we know it? We don’t know it yet, but if something we know for sure is that home automation through IoT is enhancing people's living convenience and conditions day by day.

IoT system structure

No matter the industry and use of IoT, this system of physically connected devices that exchange information via the Internet hold in common are 4 distinct components:

Software: Embedded and end-user applications. The first is developed and used for IoT devices to function properly, therefore is task-specific and requires an almost non-user interface. End-user applications are developed for the users to interact with the system and can be web, mobile or cross-platform.

Hardware: All physical devices that will help you connect to the internet; sensors, chips, measuring appliances, etc. Selecting hardware is a crucial stage for the IoT-based system because it should comply with the required performance, and be compatible with the operating applications.

Cloud: Without the cloud, it would be hard to manage the flow, storage, and processing of the enormous amount of data that IoT-enabled devices produce minute by minute worldwide. 

Network: The IoT network helps to link all devices within the system. The connectivity methods vary and can be MQTT, HTTP, LPWAN, LAN, wireless, satellite, WiFi, or Bluetooth.

IoT Development process

From design to support, like any other technology, IoT has a clear development process and it is crucial for you to familiarize with it before embarking yourself on the IoT applications journey. Now let us tell you how to develop iot apps in 6 step:  

Design

The best IoT apps have a great back-end as well as an excellent front-end. Remember, the design of IoT software should be created always with the end-user in mind, so you need to find a solid partner with the right tools and expertise to help you create an intuitive and engaging user experience while bringing your IoT ideas to life.

Prototyping

Application prototyping is a simulation of your final mobile product that allows you to answer specific questions and/or check your IoT app’s UI design and attractiveness to users before fundraising or making an investment into the actual product research and development. However, in many cases, prototyping a robust solution may cost you a lot of money so we recommend you look for a partner that can help you tackle this step and save you money.

For example, due to our solid nearshore/offshore footprint, Intersog is able to save you up to 50% of your prototype development spending as compared to onshore/in-house development. 

Development

Product development is the process required to bring your IoT app from just a mere concept to reaching the market. This is a crucial process to ensure value for your potential customers, as well as confirm there is enough demand for your IoT application and that it is of the highest possible quality before your take it to market. 

Keep in mind that staying on top of any industry requires innovation and evolution, so we advise you to partner with someone that can offer you full-cycle development, together with strategic consulting and project management.

Testing

Now, you cannot launch your IoT without being sure it is perfect. If you want people to actually download and use your application, you have to get it as close to being perfect as possible. You should also test it for security by trying out different penetration techniques. All of that can be done by a professional team of QA experts who would run through your app times and times over checking it for every possible flaw. Be sure to partner with an expert that runs both manual and automated tests and checks every component of your software to eliminate possible issues.

Maintenance and support

Keeping your IoT software, networks, and apps running smoothly is as important as designing and developing them. You cannot just code and say goodbyes to it. For this final stage of your IoT app development, we strongly recommend getting a true partner that keeps on supporting your application throughout its lifecycle, adds new features, and expands its functionality for years to come. IoT is a dynamic domain, which means that you cannot afford to lose that momentum.

IoT app development tips

Remember, if you plan to develop IoT apps, you should know that it involves much more than developing a customer-facing mobile application; you need to take into account behind-the-scenes but at the same time robust back-end systems. Here are some tips for you to succeed in creating solid and functional IoT apps from the get go.

#1 Secure your IoT Devices

When you develop IoT applications, it’s rarely a single mobile application to control hardware, rather a mini-ecosystem comprising lots of different elements. That’s why your IoT app must include a multi-layered approach to security from start to end. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Data encryption: Ensure that all sensitive information is securely encrypted and use well-recommended encryption frameworks.
  • Access management: Every platform module and the user should have access to the required minimum of data, while you limit access to device debug capabilities only to approved staff, and keep a log of all access instances.
  • User authentication: Require all users to reauthenticate before providing access to personally identifiable information and enable two-factor authentication.
  • Safe protocols: Instill a strong password policy by disallowing weak passwords and avoid duplicate passwords across smart devices.
  • Protected networks: Use the secure HTTPS connection to transfer data between devices and applications.
  • Security standards: Verify that your security measures comply with such standards as ISO27001, SOC2 Type 2, and IEC 62304 (if it’s a healthcare-related IoT app)

#2 Build an IoT App With Scalability in Mind

All the layers of your IoT system should be scalable as it will need to manage increasing amounts of data and many different devices and processes. Think of solutions that can be easily modified and scaled up whenever you needed to be. For this you can work with a partner that can modify and update your existing solutions to help you meet new business challenges, so you are always ready to tackle them.

#3 Pick the Right Hardware Vendor

IoT Hardware includes a wide range of physical devices such as devices that manage key tasks and functions such as system activation, security, action specifications, communication, and detection of support-specific goals and actions. Some vendors that offer software for their devices can miss potential software vulnerabilities. For your IoT app, make sure to choose reliable hardware or run it by specialists.

#4 Use a Reliable IoT Platform

There are plenty of end-to-end IoT platforms to create IoT apps. Be careful to chose a reliable one based on its capabilities, communication protocol, and products it offers. Browse through the most popular IoT cloud-based platforms and evaluate their pros and cons before making a final decision. Here are some options for you to look at and understand what they can offer and contribute (or not) to your success. 

IoT development platforms 

Oracle IoT

Oracle IoT is one of the leading software solutions for the development of Internet of Things applications, built over one of the most flexible programming environments.

Pros: 

  • Integrated technology stack: There’s no need to create a medley of third-party services, Oracle delivers an entire well-integrated system of apps, middleware, and database
  • Customization: Oracle provide customers with truly flexible core infrastructure services, automatically optimizing resources to match application requirements and significantly reduce costs. 
  • Speed: Oracle advanced technologies make its cloud platform fast and high-performing. 
  • Price: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides one of the best price/performance available in the market. Workloads deployed on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure often require fewer compute servers and block-storage volumes—lowering the cost of delivering optimized workload performance.
  • Scalable architecture: Oracle offers a sophisticated infrastructure that is fully scalable, allowing organizations to expand their IT platforms as they evolve. 

Cons:

  • Poor low-end offering
  • Poor performance with solutions based on .NET.
  • A minimum product might not be enough: Oracle services and products are very minimal solutions that might not be sufficient for companies that need simple functionalities.

IBM Watson

IBM Watson is IBM’s portfolio of business-ready tools, applications and solutions. IBM Watson is a premier enterprise-class artificial intelligence solution that offers companies the capability to expedite their research and development.

Pros:

  • Industry-Leading AI: IBM Watson’s advanced AI and machine learning translates into detailed analyses of complex data that allows organizations to extract meaningful insights to anticipate system disruptions. 
  • Customer Behavior: The insights gathered also helps companies to better understand customer behavior, allowing companies to enjoy the capability to personalize the experiences of customers in various touch points. 
  • Leveraging Employee Behavior: Companies can measure employee behavior and feelings to improve working conditions, performance and relationships.
  • Increase Security: IBM Watson can also help your company increase the security of its digital information and processes.

Cons:

  • Language: It’s only in English, which limits the areas of use.
  • Doesn't process structured data directly
  • Increasing rate of data, with limited resources

Azure IoT Suite

Azure IoT Suite is a software package from Microsoft, specifically created for the simple integration of information collection devices into a consolidated system for transferring, storing, analyzing and processing data.

Pros:

  • High Availability: Microsoft Azure offers high availability and redundancy in data centers on a global scale. Because of this, Azure can offer an SLA of 99.95%.
  • Data Security: Microsoft Azure has a strong focus on security, positioning it as a leader in IaaS security. Not only is the platform protected, but the end-user is also covered with Azure.
  • Scalability: Microsoft Azure makes it easy to scale compute power up or down with nothing more than the click. 
  • Cost-Effective: Azure’s pay-as-you-go pricing allows companies to better manage their IT budgets, purchasing only as much as they need.  

Cons:

  • Requires Management: Azure needs to be expertly managed and maintained, which includes patching and server monitoring.
  • Requires Platform Expertiеse: Unlike local servers, Azure requires expertise to ensure all moving parts work together efficiently. 

IoT app development cost

Now that you know more about all the factors to consider when developing your next IoT project… Here comes the one-dollar question: How much does it cost to develop an IoT app? Well, we are sorry to tell you there’s no straight forward answer to that question. The cost of IoT development services depends on several factors:

Device: As stated before, IoT ranges from a wide variety of different devices, managing different types of information and leveraging multiple connection formats to the Internet. Therefore, each device will have its own complexity which will help to determine the price of developing its software. Think about it, it doesn’t require the same amount of work to connect a pair of earplugs as to connect an airplane. 

Features: Depending on the device, the set of features will be different, however keep in mind that the more features you are planning to develop, the hi overall development cost will be.

Complexity: This is dependent on your product and system.Apart from the physical internet connectivity development, the complexity will depend on the data model and how IoT data is represented and sent/received from the cloud.

Developer’s location: A developer’s location is crucial to determine the cost of your IoT development projects. The IoT developer salary in the U.S. won’t be the same one as in India or the Latinamerican (LatAm) region. Here is a useful article on how and where to find the best IoT developers outthere.  

Integration cost: IoT development cost will also vary depending on the need of software integration, that is the process of bringing together various types of software sub-systems so that they create a unified single system within your IoT app.

Summing up 

The presence of IoT is increasing at an impressive speed and we can deny that IoT has become an integral part of our lives. Therefore, there is no better time to seize the opportunity and get all the necessary insights on how to build an IoT platform to enter the market of IoT apps. However, as stated in this blog, building an IoT solution is not a piece of cake; it requires a fundamental approach, deep knowledge of hardware and software technologies, and a solid development strategy.

Do you still have questions on how to develop IoT applications? We can help. At Intersog we offer enterprise IoT solutions tailor-made for your business. Our team of IoT experts will deliver your project in time, ensuring its completion within your budget and the scope of work.

Your IT success partner
Intersog has been recognized as a leading IT solutions provider in the United States and beyond. The company has been providing tech consulting, staffing and software development services for Fortune-500 companies, tech startups, and SaaS enterprises for more than fourteen years.

Related Posts

Software Development Blogs
How to Hire AI Developers: the Basic Guide

Software Development Blogs
Why Is Good UX Important?

Software Development Blogs
What Is the Average Salary of an IoT Developer?