Industry is rapidly revolutionizing and showing an array of growing opportunities for the IoT industry in the years to come. And, Internet of Things (IoT) holds a huge potential for mobile app development: IoT apps. It intertwines sensors, networking devices, cloud, and analytic—elements that can be combined in numerous ways to produce new applications. The challenge is the complexity.
There are various toolsets from platforms, like the lately launched Google’s Brillo and Apple’s HomeKit help meet the challenges that come along with implementation of IoT. Smart mobile app development companies (big or small) have been banking on the immensely prevalent business opportunities that come along with the integration of the space and all the systems across the universe of the IoT. Appinventiv knows a lot about this topic, read this Guest Post to learn more about IoT platforms for mobile app development.
It’s the internet of fragmented and connected devices, providing either an aggregated intelligence, control or automation
The IoT and its scope of integration can be broadly categorized into various levels: operating systems, the radio networks, connected-networking devices and the mesh networks. Each level of integration (right from the small local connectivity to the larger universe of IoT involving disparate and distantly present devices) brings with it loads of business opportunities for the app development companies.
While at the nascent state, this market is growing exponentially. App development companies having unique ideas are being invited to partner by the businesses that are slowing championing IoT business, be it B2C or B2B. Majority of the IoT opportunities get initiated as a POC ate comparatively smaller scale. With the success of the POCs it becomes bigger and bigger with the expansion of scope and scale. Factoring this immense potential and needs for partnership to test concepts and involve innovation and unique ideas, it seems that the possibilities for application development at all levels (especially the mesh networks that, for example, helps IoTize home and allows devices to connect locally and transform) are immense and unique on one hand and involve a huge scope of innovation on the other hand.
So, any app developer that believes in its creativity and innovation potential and its dexterity to smartly build a connected mobile app or handheld devices hold an excellent chance to take a pie out of this huge market, which is still at its exponential growth trajectory. Mesh networks, which connect devices locally, expand the opportunities of app development especially for the home automation systems. It helps in transferring the data from one device to another.
The more flow of data between devices, the more will be the possibilities for application development. Google has entered into at least 15 partnership channels with device makers, thus increasing the range of strong bond possible between them.
Apple's simple and user-centric strategy is somewhat related with IoT and is allied to offer various opportunities for the platform HomeKit. Further to this, Google’s Brillo is a related connectivity software that can help a universe of devices focused on Nest in integrating other software and hardware. Google and Apple are the leaders in the mobile space and their divergent approaches reflect in their priorities. Apple has chosen to earn consumer attention by offering them the opportunity to make their own choices from the range of hardware, which are certified and from the best existing vendors. On the similar lines, HomeKit has published strict guidelines for developers and approved devices that can be integrated with it.
However, Google by following an earlier trend is focusing on analytics and is looking for an integrated solution to ensure data access. And, that’s why Google recently acquired Revolve that will empower Google to intertwine any flavour of radio communications technology. Nest is the focal point when it comes to integration with other devices including Dropcam, which is now renamed as Nestcam.
Even in the past, we have seen that Apple and Google always try to supersede on the latest technologies and they are following the same for IoT as well. They are trying to dominate each other on the existing IoT proprietary standards and the open standards by partnering and collaborating with various vendor networks. For example, Google is seeking to associate with AllSeen Alliance's AllJoyn framework at the backdrop of releasing some APIs that allows it to connect with devices outside its own space.
At the same time, Apple has created hubs that acts as channels to other ecologies. Numerous vendors - including Insteon (use both Z-Wave and HomeKit and act as a connecting bridge to devices that don’t use HomeKit). Although, these devices come with an inherent restriction that they don't get control on home devices that are available on HomeKit.
After the launch of Siri, Apple has designed a user-centric interface, which is organized into "rooms" and can host articles including lights, thermostats and appliances, etc. and all of these accessories can be controlled by using Smartphones that are integrated with Siri. In contrast, Google's seems to be a bit is uncertain about HomeKit, while it has provided a few control features through phones.
Opportunities for app development companies in the IoT universe
IoT brings enormous amount of opportunities for developers as well. Today, the practice that involves developing IoT based solutions has moved beyond developing niche applications. IoT has raised the level of app development and has given opportunities to test trending and new technologies. For example, IoT provides enablers that help easy integration with several sensor ecologies, which can help in building smart cities. To put things into perspective - according to industry gurus and geeks, beyond 2025, it will be hard for IoT to endure with a narrow emphasis on application development.
However, IoT comes up with the numerous opportunities for the mobile app development space. Developers who can easily understand the interaction and the nitty-gritties of bridging multiple ecologies are likely be the successful and showcase themselves as ingenious in IoT aligned application development space. At the same time, it seems implausible to utilize and integrate the numerous standards and protocols available across the several ecologies in the IoT space. As a result, successful IoT developers do require assistance through open APIs that can be easily accessed by communities.
Developer Communities are going to play a crucial role in this success journey. Developers who are proficient in one environment and wish to expand horizon into other will now have to take help from communities to meet the several challenges that may appear in diverse situations. On these lines, Apple has started working with IBM to create Watson cloud that will help its developers to access data efficiently, while Google owns Bigtable cloud.
Furthermore, in a bid to leverage analytics advantages, Apple in collaboration with IBM is attempting to integrate analytics. Although, IBM doesn't seem to have a prudent history of successfully serving consumer needs in this space. On the other hand, Google has excelled the art of analytics and is now in a way to extend it to IoT platforms as well. So, it is expected that with Google as the environment, developers are likely to encounter comparatively less challenges.
In the last two or three years, experts widely affirm that the environment for IoT app development has enhanced significantly. And, harping on the growth achieved in integration and standards-based platforms, this platform is expected to become more popular and successful. Appinventiv is already trying it.