How IoT is Revolutionizing Mobile App Development
As the media reminds us almost daily, the Internet of Things is a massive opportunity. Globally, an estimated 127 new devices connect to the Internet every second. And that’s just going to grow. IoT could have an annual economic impact of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion by 2025 across many different settings, including factories, cities, and retail environments.
Consumers have started to see the Internet of Things (IoT) expanding into more and more aspects of their daily lives. Hence, It is fair to say that IoT mobile apps have become ubiquitous to the point where people no longer question the addition of connectivity and smart features to devices.
With the rapid technological enhancement of the IoT ecosystem, a mobile app is now on the network, connecting devices everywhere to users and allowing them to manage the devices remotely.
The reality is that businesses looking for IoT mobile app development tend to focus too narrowly when considering how to use it, and this gives room to add more features to improve the user’s experience. The full value comes from taking a much more holistic approach and systematically identifying opportunities across the entire business as part of a tech-enabled transformation that includes digital and analytics—from IoT-enabled mobile app development to enhancing the operations that run the corporation.
As we expect to see many more of these connected devices as they continue to increase dramatically in the next decade, this article will explore the intersection of IoT with mobile app development and what the future of IoT look like.
IoT and Its Intersection With Mobile App Development
In the early days of mobile app development, creating an app meant creating one specifically for a mobile phone and its built-in capabilities. Nothing more than that.
Then came a time when a wave of remote control apps were available to operate almost every electrical device, such as a smart TV or connected streaming appliances like Sonos, and then other remote control smart devices, like cameras and GoPros. Now, there are apps for wearables like smartwatches, smart healthcare patches, robotic toys, connected refrigerators, and other white goods, and, of course, all the various smart home sensors and hubs from the likes of Smart Things.
More recently, a new wave of mobile apps has started to spring forth to leverage the tsunami of connected devices for the consumer Internet of Things, giving us a valid reason to discuss why we should make an IoT mobile app.
One of the biggest advantages of the adoption of IoT is automation. The world around us is moving to IoT-enabled automation in many ways. IoT apps enable the automation of tasks and processes, leading to increased efficiency and reduced human intervention. Devices can communicate with each other and make decisions based on real-time data and optimizing operations.
One of the biggest applications of IoT-enabled automation is crucial and is widely used in industrial systems and manufacturing.
For example, the easy and automatic detection of overheating of flammable or explosive systems can be of critical importance in shutting down the systems automatically if certain conditions are detected.
This example also highlights one of the biggest IoT capabilities in the manufacturing and industrial sector that humans can’t offer, like assembling parts with more precision and speed and increasing the factory work time without fatigue.
Predictive maintenance is another advantage contributing to the rise of IoT mobile app development. Predictive maintenance is the process that involves ongoing monitoring of systems and identifying key indicators of problems before they result in downtime or system failure.
Traditionally, the urgency for equipment or machinery seeking maintenance can be done with manual inspections only. This process is time-consuming and can result in everything from lost data. The biggest advantage of IoT-enabled apps is to automate reporting and sensing the maintenance and notifying the user through the app of the required amends.
IoT mobile apps can help both companies and users save costs. For example, IoT-enabled building management systems can monitor and control lighting, heating, cooling, and other utilities based on occupancy and usage patterns. Philips Lighting system uses IoT sensors to adjust lighting levels based on natural light availability and occupancy, leading to significant energy savings and reduced electricity bills.
IoT mobile apps can improve system uptime and automate processes; the result is efficiency and cost savings.
Data Collection and Analysis
IoT (Internet of Things) apps play a crucial role in data collection and analysis across various industries, revolutionizing the way businesses and individuals leverage information for informed decision-making.
IoT apps enable the collection of real-time data from connected devices, facilitating data-driven decision-making. Businesses can analyze this data to gain valuable insights into consumer behavior, operational efficiency, and product performance.
Application of IOT Apps for Industry-wise Data Collection and Analysis
Here’s how IoT apps empower industries with granular data insights, fostering efficiency, sustainability, and innovation.
Agriculture Sector: For collecting real-time data on moisture levels, temperature, and nutrient content, allowing farmers to optimize irrigation and enhance crop yields.
Healthcare Sector: For tracking vital signs and activity levels, enabling doctors to monitor patient health remotely and detect anomalies early.
Infrastructure: For utilizing IoT-enabled sensors to gather data on traffic flow, energy consumption, and waste management, facilitating urban planning and resource allocation.
Manufacturing: For generating data on equipment performance, facilitating predictive maintenance, and reducing downtime.
With the IoT, it’s quite evident that the connections are invisible—all the consumer sees is the device and a mobile app connected to it.
For example, your Apple Watch or other wearable device connects to other apps that operate it. There is also a possibility that even your doctor uses the app for emergency alerts using IoT innovation. Similarly, the smart meter outside your home allows the energy utility service to record your energy bills but may also be connected to your refrigerator and other home appliances to track their energy efficiency. Everything is done automatically and remotely, reducing manual or human intervention with the help of IoT mobile apps.
With the vast opportunities in IoT across industries, here are the new market opportunities in IoT mobile app development.
New Market Opportunities in IoT Mobile App Development
Elevating the performance and production capacities of enterprises, IoT created a huge market demand for mobile app development services supporting industrial IoT solutions. Most of the time, connected machines require proprietary software to function seamlessly.
Mobile IoT-based apps enhance predictive maintenance, streamline asset tracking, and improve inventory management and supply chain monitoring. By providing a safe working environment and machinery control, mobile IoT technologies drive the growth of construction, mining, manufacturing, and energy companies.
Top IoT Use Cases in the Manufacturing Industry
- Supply Chain Optimization: To track the movement of raw materials, components, and finished products throughout the supply chain.
- Quality Control and Inspection: To monitor product quality on the production line, detecting defects and ensuring consistent quality using IoT-enabled cameras and sensors.
- Inventory Management: For providing real-time inventory tracking, minimizing stockouts and overstock situations.
- Energy Management: To monitor energy consumption in manufacturing facilities, identifying areas for optimization and cost savings.
- Asset Tracking and Management: To track the location and usage of tools, equipment, and vehicles, improving asset utilization and reducing losses.
- Process Optimization: IoT data analytics can help identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in production processes, leading to improved workflows and increased productivity.
In general, mobile app development for healthcare industry has always been lucrative. Now, as healthcare is taking a major step forward in collecting and analyzing high-quality data by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is greater potential for improved healthcare outcomes for patients using IoT mobile apps.
Medicine has long been driven by data, from making diagnoses to prescribing treatments. One of the major technological explosions happening in healthcare was caused by the pandemic and resulted in the form of telehealth. With the widespread use of smartphones, telehealth has become one of the significant tools among all healthcare providers. This uses electronic information to communications technologies to provide and support healthcare when distance separates the patients and doctors. The gap between patients and doctors created by social distancing has been bridged using digital applications, software, or other electronic communications to deliver clinical services built using AI, machine learning, blockchain, and big data. Providers connected with patients via videoconference and used remote monitoring to avoid in-person doctor’s office visits to mitigate a potential contagion risk. This technological advancement is further adopted by every healthcare facility across the globe.
Here are the Use Cases of IoT in Healthcare
- Remote Patient Monitoring: Wearables to track patients’ vital signs and health metrics in real-time and give healthcare providers access to monitor and manage chronic conditions remotely.
- Smart Medical Devices: To transmit data to healthcare professionals, allowing for timely interventions and personalized treatment plans.
- Medication Management: For sending medication reminders to patients, tracking medication adherence, and even dispensing pills automatically.
- Hospital Asset Tracking: For tracking the location and availability of medical equipment, reducing search times, and improving asset utilization.
- Telemedicine and Remote Consultations: For enabling virtual doctor-patient interactions, facilitating telemedicine and remote consultations.
IoT in agriculture, also known as smart agriculture, has had a huge impact on the growth of the quality of agri produce all this time and is gaining more momentum.
Using agricultural smart devices makes a crop’s lifecycle and environmental growing conditions easier to track in real time.
IoT for agriculture can help farmers track water use and nutrient density and adjust the amount of fertilizers and pesticides used. Farmers can ensure optimal harvesting yields and improve agriculture management systems.
Here are the Use Cases of IoT in Agriculture
- Crop monitoring: Using sensors, drones, and satellites, one can easily identify and monitor the health of the crop and the areas of attention. Crop monitoring leverages the earth observation information that is provided by satellite sensors, including humidity, rainfall, and temperature. This helps in helping in observing the vegetation on a daily basis.
- Smart pest control: Using the IOT-based software, it is now easier to detect the presence of pests in the crops and dispense the required amount of pesticide. Smart pest control works by installing a low-quality image sensor that captures the pests in the crops and sends it to the platforms for further action.
- Smart irrigation: Smart irrigation systems make the care of crops much easier by tailoring the water schedules and running automatically as per the scheduled pattern. With smart irrigation, one can easily identify the amount of water needed by the selected landscape.
- Weather forecasting: IOT-based weather forecasting helps in knowing the right time to apply fertilizers to the crops. Not only this, but IOT-based weather forecasting also helps in knowing the amount and type of fertilizer to be applied to the crops.
Retailing has changed drastically over the past ten years. The broad movement from brick-and-mortar shops to online stores has shifted consumer buying behavior and fundamentally altered how commerce works. As the consumer base is transitioning from baby boomers to Generation Z, retailers are investing in technologies that enable them to serve customers safely and cost-effectively while also protecting their workforce.
Sephora Case Study
Sephora is famous across the globe as a multinational chain of personal care and beauty stores. What made Sephora popular is the intense data and analytics collection through its app and in-store experience of users to create a true omnichannel model. Consumer interest in products is captured through the company’s loyalty program and customers’ ability to scan products in-store through the app. Sales associates can access this customer data (for example, purchase history) through custom-made IoT mobile apps on their devices and use the data to offer tips in-store. Sephora also creates a personalized online shopping experience that allows customers to use augmented reality to try any lipstick virtually. With the help of its Color IQ devices, Sephora’s mobile app gathers customers’ skin information to determine the best foundations, concealers, and lipsticks for their skin tone.
Application of IoT Mobile Apps in Retail
Self Checkout: Self-checkout is the fastest-growing use-case of the IoT. The apps related to self-checkout solutions range from simple registers where customers scan and pay for their items to completely automated and cashier-less retail experiences, such as what we see in Mcdonald’s and Decathlon. These IOT apps use advanced algorithms to analyze images of products scanned by customers in order to identify them and calculate the total cost of their purchase.
Inventory Management and Tracking: Inventory management and tracking through IoT-enabled apps provide real-time visibility into inventory levels and product locations throughout the supply chain. This helps retailers optimize stock levels, reduce excess inventory, and improve order fulfillment.
Loss Prevention and Security: IoT- app-enabled surveillance cameras and sensors can monitor store premises for theft and unauthorized access. Retailers can receive alerts and take immediate action to prevent losses.
Real-Time Personalized Promotions: Real-time personalization is key to the next generation of in-store experiences. Personalizing the in-store experience has three important benefits for the consumer: it saves time, offers relevant discounts, and displays the correct products.
Cities have consistently been a locus of innovation in the use of the IoT. The combination of large, concentrated populations and complex infrastructure makes cities a rich environment for the IoT. Specifically, the promise of doing more with less—whether through upgrading services, relieving traffic congestion, conserving water or energy, or improving quality of life— is a compelling value proposition that contributes to the adoption of IoT by cities and consumers. With more and more people expected to move to cities, the IoT’s potential impact is magnified. Increasing urbanization is the most important scale factor for the IoT.
Here is the Application of IoT in Building Smart Cities
Smart utility meters
One of the major applications of IoT in industries is the smart meter. These devices attach to buildings and connect to a smart energy grid, allowing utility companies to manage energy flow more effectively.
With the help of IoT mobile applications, urban centers are opting for centralized and adaptive traffic control. Optimizing traffic could realize significant savings for the typical household and for the broader urban economy.
Smart waste management solutions
Smart waste management solutions are another application of IoT that can alleviate some of these pain points by monitoring how full trash cans are at a given point and sending that data to waste management companies, providing the best waste pick-up routes.
Consumer IoT is the integration of IoT technology into consumer devices and applications. It involves billions of physical devices connected to the internet and the use of sensors to collect, process, and share data.
Unlike Industrial IoT, the Consumer Internet of Things aims to provide solutions and convenience on an individual level. These solutions include efficient tracking, enhanced connections, better insights, higher control, and increased comfort. All these qualities can be applied to different aspects of daily life, including entertainment, home safety, healthcare, and asset tracking.
Other examples of IoT devices in the home include:
- Smart light switches
- Smart air quality monitors
- Smart locks
- Home voice controllers
- Doorbell cams
- Voice controllers
- Smart smoke alarms
- Hue bulbs and lighting systems
IoT Mobile Apps and User Experience
The role of mobile apps with higher user experience in the entire IoT infrastructure is vital. These apps allow end-users to interact with smart sensors — send commands, transfer and analyze data, and configure the connected devices.
Once an IoT ecosystem is set up, new devices continue to get added to it as per requirement. To enhance the user experience, the IoT network should be scalable so that it can handle the surge of connected devices. As different types of devices connect over different types of networks, protocols different from the internet are required.
Some of the protocols used include ZigBee, Z-wave, Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity), Li-Fi (Light Fidelity), NFC, 5G, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), IETF 6LoWPAN, IETF’s CoAP (Constrained Application Protocol), etc. Coming back to the design aspect of the IoT mobile app, due to the complex nature of IoT technologies and varied components of the system, the UX/UI design of a mobile IoT app significantly differs from a traditional one. IoT includes multiple devices with various interfaces created to interact with each other and with end-users. The design for IoT apps requires a coherent approach to provide a seamless experience not only with the app but across the entire IoT ecosystem.
Here is How IoT Mobile Applications Play an Important Role in Enhancing the User Experience.
The IoT devices let users make life simpler with the help of features like real-time data exchange, remote control, and automation. These features come into the picture by leveraging the capabilities of immersive technologies. Mobile development stacks, such as iOS and Swift, are then designed to discover and connect to IoT devices over Bluetooth.
For Example- there are machine manufacturers in the industrial equipment space that can advertise the state of that piece of equipment over Wi-Fi and allow an augmented reality overlay through your device, looking at that piece of equipment to help you visualize the internal state of the machine.
Things have gone full circle from mobile to IoT and then back into the physical world through augmented reality capabilities.
Convenience and Automation: Allowing users to control and monitor multiple devices remotely through their smartphones, i.e., users can adjust their home’s thermostat, turn on lights, or even start their coffee maker from their mobile device, saving time and effort.
Personalization: Customized settings and preferences for different devices. This personalization ensures that devices adapt to individual user preferences, creating a more enhanced experience, i.e., a smart lighting system to change color and intensity based on the user’s mood or time of day using the IoT mobile app.
Data-driven Insights: Data collection from sensors and connected devices to present this data to users in meaningful ways, providing insights that help users make informed decisions, i.e., IoT mobile app connected to wearable devices can provide users with detailed activity reports, sleep patterns, and heart rate data.
Remote Monitoring and Control: Enabling users to monitor and control their devices from anywhere with an internet connection. This is particularly valuable for security systems, home automation, and industrial applications. Users can receive alerts and notifications if something goes wrong or if a specific condition is met.
Future Trends in IoT and Mobile App Development
The world’s IoT market is growing rapidly and could very potentially mark $2,465.26 billion by 2029, which puts the CAGR in the period from 2022 to 2029 at more than 26%.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about connecting real-time data with the people who use this data to maintain a portfolio of products. Both now and into the foreseeable future, there will continue to be a need for the IoT’s mission to make life easier for people with the help of IoT mobile apps.
Considering that, here are the IoT mobile app development trends that will rule the IoT landscape in 2023 and beyond.
Security of IoT is the Highest Priority
As the number of interconnected devices increases, security becomes paramount. IoT mobile app developers are focusing on implementing robust security measures, including encryption, secure authentication, and over-the-air updates, to safeguard sensitive data and prevent breaches.
IoT apps are built on a different architecture and are said to be easy prey for hackers. Hence, developers have started paying more attention to protecting IoT apps seeing the growing role of these systems and the crucial importance of stored and processed data. The applications that deal with sensitive data are being enriched with tools such as biometric login, machine-to-machine authentication, and other AI- and ML-powered techniques for data protection.
Enhanced Data Analytics
Enhanced data analytics at large is revolutionizing how organizations leverage data generated by connected devices and is expected to become a key trend in the development of the IoT ecosystem. IoT apps utilize advanced data analytics to process and analyze data in real-time. This enables immediate decision-making, allowing businesses to respond promptly to changing conditions and optimize operations. With this data trend going on with a frenzy, IoT mobile apps are already combined with enhanced AI-based tools for providing advanced assistance in decision-making for various industries.
Having better analytics at hand lets app users make better and more effective decisions for their businesses and private lives. And with all the new possibilities this feature of data analytics offers, it’s believed that demand will grow over the next few years.
Hybrid Application Development
Hybrid application development is gaining traction in the context of IoT mobile app development due to its ability to address certain challenges and capitalize on specific opportunities. This trend of hybrid app development intersects with IoT as Hybrid apps can be developed faster than building separate native apps for different platforms. This agility is crucial in the rapidly evolving IoT landscape, where quick deployment is often necessary to stay competitive.
Built on a different architecture, IoT devices frequently require updates and maintenance. With hybrid apps development, updates can be made to the single codebase, and changes can be pushed to all platforms simultaneously. This simplifies the maintenance process and ensures that all users have access to the latest features and bug fixes.
For IoT mobile apps, UX/UI design will be both philosophical and technological, where businesses need to plan accordingly so their business can take advantage of the changing tide while ensuring the app has the easiest navigation from the rest of the competitors.
Apps made up of high-quality imagery, 4K videos, and live streaming in HD are becoming the norm. These immersive websites are full of animations and take you on a real adventure. Augmented reality (AR) will continue to become more integrated into daily app use.
The trend in IoT app design is to keep interfaces clean, uncluttered, and intuitive with the goal of providing users with straightforward navigation and easily understandable controls that enable them to interact with various interconnected devices seamlessly.
Personalization and Customization
IoT apps incorporate user profiles that store individual preferences and settings. Users can customize device behaviors, notifications, and interactions according to their specific needs and routines.
IoT technologies require making apps that are highly interactive, with customization opportunities to ensure a better user experience and convenience. The ability to customize ensures that the app remains helpful and appropriate regardless of changing conditions and requirements. For personalization, IoT apps use machine learning algorithms to analyze user data to understand behaviors and preferences. With this information, IoT apps can suggest optimal settings, predict user needs, and automate routines, enhancing user convenience.
How Crucial is the Role of Mobile Apps in IoT Landscape?
When Tim Berners-Lee proposed the framework of the World Wide Web in 1989, the way for the Internet of Things was made to make it a household essential. It was 1990 when the world wawa was introduced to smart and collected devices when John Romkey connected a toaster to the internet-enabled application, and it could be switched on and off. In 1993, the Trojan Room Coffee Pot was built in the University of Cambridge computer laboratory.
With IoT making our life easier every day, we understand the complexity behind building an IoT-enabled app, making Successive digital a leading IoT mobile app development company. Our experts provide a range of specialized IoT mobile app consultancy, from maturity assessment and IoT app road map designing to device selection and architecture development. Our mobile app development experts at Successive Digital create innovative IoT apps and their designs that are functional, reliable, robust, scalable, secure, and cost-effective. They design fully optimized IoT products for agile development, easy testing and troubleshooting, and predictive maintenance.