The Internet Of Things (IoT) is one of the world's most popular and fastest-growing sectors. Only in 2022, it generated 142.49B in revenue in the United States, and in the same report, Statista projected that IoT revenue would reach USD 296.97B by 2028. In other words, it would double its value in only six years! Moreover, Business Insider forecasts that the IoT market will be 2.4 trillion USD by 2027.
The IoT software development process is exciting and rewarding in so many ways. Yet, it's not a walk in the park. It involves several challenges, platforms, complex architecture, and many tools. Today, we'll focus on these points to help you better understand what IoT Development implies. We'll also discuss how we've approached IoT development and built successful apps. This article aims to work as an unstructured IoT development roadmap. So, without further ado, let's get started!
What is IoT Development?
If you've just started learning about IoT, it may surprise you to hear that IoT is ubiquitous. Not long ago, only desktop computers and mobile devices could access the internet. Yet, these days, a wide range of devices can access the internet and exchange data with other devices. That's why it received the name of the Internet of Things! They usually do that with sensors' help, which includes any device you can control with a smartphone. Some practical examples are smart refrigerators, fitness trackers, security cameras, and thermostats.
IoT development is all about building devices that can collect and share data. That requires developing IoT platforms, security, safety, and authentication. Therefore, an IoT developer must handle software development, design, and integration. Plus, they may oversee hardware, like sensors and creation. The goal is to ensure that all devices and products work harmoniously.
What Is IoT Architecture?
When talking about IoT Architecture, we're talking about its system's structure and design. That covers hardware, software, and protocols for developing, managing, and maintaining IoT products. There's a huge variety of IoT products, so there isn't a single predefined structure that's best for all. Yet, the most popular architecture encompasses three main layers.
1. IoT Perception Layer. The Perception layer refers to the primary devices that collect and send data. As you might have guessed, this layer involves sensors and actuators.
2. IoT Network Layer. The Network layer handles communication protocols between devices and systems, ensuring their connection and that data reaches back-end services. This layer involves network protocols and gateways and covers seamless communication technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee.
3. IoT Application Layer. The Application layer involves the visual representation of the collected data from the other layers. It specifies how users make sense of the data through analytic tools and software apps.
These three layers represent the most straightforward approach to building IoT applications. Some experts describe IoT systems using a five-layer, seven-layer, or four-layer approach. This last method focuses on where the computing resources process the data. These stages include Device (sensors and actuators), Internet Gateway, Edge IT, and Data Center (cloud environment).
What is the Best IoT Development Platform?
IoT platforms are tools that help developers navigate the challenges of IoT development. Many options in the market have features like device management, cloud-based services, triggers, notifications, and connectivity. Plus, they must also include data analytics, visualization, and collection. Let's examine a few examples of the best IoT platforms and their features and benefits.
AWS for IoT Development
Amazon has provided us with a robust IoT platform that offers a wide range of solutions. The company covers software solutions for devices, connectivity, control, and analytic services. Nonetheless, what's particularly cool about AWS IoT is its Greengrass product. It allows you to run computing and machine-learning models even if they lose access to the cloud. It supports Lambda and S3 integrations.
Azure for IoT Development
The most significant advantage of Azure in IoT development is its scalability. With Azure IoT Hub, you can easily add, connect, and track many devices without too many changes. It offers device management, data analytics, and machine learning capabilities. Plus, it supports integrations with Azure Functions and Stream Analytics.
Salesforce for IoT Development
If you use other Salesforce products, Salesforce IoT may be your go-to choice: integrations will be a total breeze! It also offers real-time, predictive analytics and Machine Learning (ML) solutions.
Oracle IoT for IoT Development
Besides offering excellent Database Management solutions, Oracle also provides state-of-the-art IoT services. Oracle IoT goes the extra mile when integrating all kinds of IoT physical devices. It includes mobile applications, big data, cloud services, and analytics. Its authorization and authentication methods are stellar compared to most competitors.
What is the Best OS for IoT Development?
It may surprise you to hear that IoT developers rarely use Windows or Mac to build IoT products. In IoT development, your chosen OS must have many characteristics, like low energy consumption, real-time processing, advanced security, hyper-connectivity, and more. On top of that, you must also consider modularity, portability, and reliability. Some of the most popular IoT operating Systems are Raspberry Pi OS and Embedded Linux. FreeRTOS, Arm Mbed, and RIOT are also great options.
What is the Best Language for IoT Development?
Challenges of IoT Development
The complexity of IoT products encompasses several challenges for software developers. Achieving reliability and high performance is a huge undertaking when building IoT ecosystems. As mentioned, you need a robust set of specific skills and hardware to make solid and reliable IoT apps, and it includes checking and ensuring all the following edges get covered!
● Security. Security will always be a challenge regardless of the type of product you build. Yet, security is a significant challenge for IoT development because data encryption can be very demanding.
● Costs. Developing IoT solutions that follow high security and reliability standards requires heavy investments. That includes software, hardware, connectivity, and human talent. On top of that, one must also think about power consumption.
● Connectivity. IoT products can only collect and share data with a strong and reliable internet connection. Unfortunately, that isn't a possibility for several communities and locations.
Examples of IoT Development
IoT products have reached many industries and improved users' lives to a large degree. One of the sectors that has benefited the most is security. Smart sensors in IoT devices can seamlessly capture movement and trigger warnings instantly. A great example of this feature is BSA, which gives users a wireless device that lets them know when a car is in their blind spot.
Agero uses IoT to provide top-notch road assistance, accident management, and digital dispatch, leveraging the power of IoT to protect millions of drivers every year!
3. Flash Parking
FP's IoT solutions create a network of connected devices to offer a parking management system. Flash Parking products use sensors, mobile apps, and QR codes to collect and share data.
4. Marathon Kids
Fitness-tracking applications are one of the most popular use cases for IoT development. Marathon Kids has a scanner and dashboard that lets you log, track, and monitor activity. There's nothing like using cutting-edge technologies to improve children's health!
With so many technological enhancements, we can only expect the IoT's pivotal role to continue to evolve in the Digital Transformation (DX) landscape. IoT projects involve practical and modern ways to improve our quality of life and reach business goals. Developers may have to overcome some key challenges, but it’ll get more accessible, with a wide range of services, and more manageable with time. Smart cities and smart homes are progressively becoming more common. Undoubtedly, IoT's critical role will revolutionize industries, reshape infrastructure, and create more edge computing solutions!