Theres a lot of buzz around IOT nowadays, and as app developers, we are always hearing questions about how we can break into this market and what is the true potential there. So this blog post is going to break it all down for you and talk about how real IOT is and how mobile app developers can monetize from it.
IOT or Internet of things is simply a growing network which connects physical objects to Internet. It has been around since 1999, but the maturity level of IOT against various industries are very different. For instance manufacturing industries have been using IOT for years now, whereas Home Automation systems are more recent adopters.
So to give you a sense of perspective, here are some statistics:
In the world today we have over 6 billion IoT devices around us.
The average car released in 2014 has about 50 – 100 sensors built in
According to Gartner, by 2020 we will have 26 billion IoT devices.
And we have more and more Electronic giants joining this technology. Samsung, to name but one, has gone on the record in CEBIT 2015 to pledge that in two years time, they will have all their devices including Microwave ovens and Refrigerators connected to the internet.
IoT connects billions of devices and sensors to the internet. These devices include home appliances, mobile devices, automobiles and even animals and human beings. A huge volume of data is collected through these devices and transferred to a network, where it is compiled into meaningful insights. These insights are inturn used for increasing efficiency of energy management, business or even lifestyle.
The ecosystem under Internet of Things offers opportunities for many players including Chip manufacturers, Network operators, Machine to Machine service providers, Cloud computing, Data analytics and App developers.
Chip Manufacturers are quickly adopting Nanotechnology to make sensors that are smaller and smarter than ever before. With billions of devices connected and generating data at a rapid pace, real time big data analysis is becoming increasingly important in creating meaningful information. Cloud computing is the undisputed enabler for all of this, by providing a reliable, elastic and agile platform to support this data.
But let’s talk about importance of mobility as a driver of the Internet of Things.
The growth of the mobile app industry in the past few years has been enormous. It is already reinvented how organizations deliver value. So, it is only natural that Mobility acts as a bridge between IOT objects and users.
IOT device come equipped with mobile apps that can be used to control, track and monitor these smart devices. Tapping into mobility allows IOT providers to bring more value to their devices and offers customers a greater familiarity in the use of new technologies through Smartphones, tablets and wearables. IOT devices coupled with mobility offer more personalized, context-aware and valuable experiences.
Here are a few examples to consider:
The retail industry, is fast adapting IoT technologies.
Imagine walking into a store.
The moment you enter, the door reads the RFID in your mobile, or credit card and identifies who you are. This triggers a backend process which examines your previous shopping tendencies and presents you with a list of latest offers on your phone, directing you straight to the aisle where ice cream is sold.
Since it’s the weekend and you pick up two ice cream packs, the drop in inventory flags a signal to the purchase section to restock the product.
As you walk through the aisles, the products introduce themselves to you through your mobile device, telling you where the biggest savings are. As you go to the checkout, simply scanning your credit card against the cash machine will read your details and process an automatic payment.
Imagine the impact of this. Increased sales. Faster checkout processing. Automation.
Healthcare is another industry where IOT has huge impacts.
When a patient is taken to the casuality, one of the first things that happen is that a printed tag is placed on the patient.
This tag will contain information on patient condition, needs, age, medical history etc
Using this tag, staff are able to easily identify the patient and also attend to their special needs.
Smart devices and wearables together with technologies like Beacon and Bluetooth offer new and unique capabilities to support this process. The same technologies are also being used to offer patients with an indoor navigation system which helps them move around the large hospital premises.
Mobile devices, also provide a unique opportunity of supporting patients in a clinical setting.
On the one hand, application can provide patients with information on their condition, treatment, and also easier access to their doctors. On the other hand, these connected applications allow caregivers to manage patient records more effectively and to remotely track and monitor the health of their patients.
mHealth platforms like Apple’s HealthKit have effectively tapped into this, and is capable of aggregating data from a range of apps and devices. Such apps are used both in the post hospitalization scenario for remote monitoring, but are more commonly aligned with the monitoring of vital statistics and activity tracking on a daily basis.
Pharmaceuticals have also started release of smart pill bottles, which coupled with your smartphone sends you reminders on prescription refilling.
Hospitals are also increasingly investing in Mobile telepresence technologies which provide proxy access in critical care settings like the ICU, where family members are not allowed to be with the patients.
This is the future.
So the real question is, why is IOT not as wide spread as the original predictions? Where did IOT go wrong?
To start with, IOT did not maintain its initial thrust primarily because of fragmentation. With multiple platforms, numerous protocols and large numbers of APIs, IoT systems integration and testing will be a challenge which has led to slow adoption.
The biggest issue with IOT however has always been Security concerns. As IoT connects more devices together, it provides more decentralized entry points for malware. More layers of software, integration middleware, APIs, machine-to-machine communication, etc. create more complexity and new security risks which we are not yet equipped to deal with. With remote sensors and monitoring a core user data, the need for new privacy laws also come into play.
The basis for making the IoT happen is connecting things. Given that most of the things have a limited energy supply, a robust connectivity and stable internet is one of the main challenges faced.
Another issue faced is having the technical knowhow and infrastructure to make sense of all the heterogenous data created by IOT. A survey done in the UK has found that 60% of UK based firms lack the data center infrastructure required for big data analysis that would support the IOT movement.
IOT also mean a cultural shift from in the sales process. Organizations face the increase challenge of training sales people to sell IOT services. It also places an increased demand for customer support services. The combination of which can mean large investments for an organization to overcome.
Partner ecosystems are also a challenge faced. With so many players involved with the IoT, there will be multiple standards that evolve based on device class, power requirements, capabilities and uses. This presents challenges for application developers and organizations that want to enter the IOT arena.
And finally, it comes down to monetization. WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF IT!?
Studies show that over 70% of IOT solution providers have been unable to monetize from their services.
So to conclude – we know THIS for sure
The Internet is expanding. Machines are becoming connected. Machines are talking to humans, and also to one another.
The world is getting smarter and more connected. And while there are still a lot of road blocks to overcome before IOT becomes mainstream
the Internet of Things represents a potential multi-trillion dollar market that organizations can now tap into.
3E is a full service Web and Mobile App development company that specializes in hybrid and native app development using HTML5, AngularJS, iOS and Android. With a talented creative team and certified developers, 3E has a diverse portfolio drawn from more than ten years of experience. Our solutions include: responsive design, web app development, mobile apps, social media, video production, testing and Odoo ERP implementation.