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How IoT Transforms Mobile App Development and Impacts Its Future

IoT In Mobile App Development

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been present in multiple spheres since 1999. According to the World Economic Forum report, over 41.6 billion computerized, Internet-powered devices will be in use by 2025. Just some of the industries with a high level of IoT adoption are electronics, medicine, retail, automotive, aerospace, etc. 

Especially prevalent and significant IoT devices are in logistics, transportation, and healthcare. According to Diversido, there are 60% more IoT devices in hospitals than just three years ago. With more markets and services benefiting from these technologies, it’s worth looking into why exactly IoT is important and how mobile app development changes when IoT is involved. 

Mobile Apps with IoT Integration

The importance of app development for modern business is hard to overestimate. Back in 2015, businesses invested $310 billion in enterprise software, but as of 2022, the level of expenditures increased more than twofold to $672 billion. 80% of the global population uses smartphones; it’s a huge market. 

Internet of Things is a term for systems that include data sensors, receiving devices, and networks that connect them, and IoT integration usually means connecting smartphones or computers (receiving devices) to wearables, smart tags, etc (sensors.)  

People use IoT daily without even knowing they do. A regular smartwatch that measures pulse, blood pressure, sleep duration, and other metrics. A smart vacuum cleaner they control via smartphone is an IoT device.

An app that tells them where the delivery they’ve ordered online is via tracking a label on the package uses an IoT network. 

Now, let’s explore the benefits of IoT mobile applications. 

IoT Advantages That Empower Future of Mobile Applications

It’s no surprise that IoT is a demanded and highly used technology as its benefits to customers and businesses are substantial.

1. Better Service Connectivity 

IoT enables better connectivity between app users and business or service providers across industries. In healthcare, wearables and remote health monitoring solutions help doctors provide better, more personalized treatment, which is crucial for establishing home care for senior people and people with chronic conditions.

In marketing, IoT beacons help deliver to consumers’ smartphones location-based promotions.

In logistics, supply chains become more resilient to disruptions thanks to people across the chain instantly discovering when packages with goods are damaged, unpacked, or stuck in the same location for a long time.  

2. Wide Integration Options

Another great thing about IoT is that devices, data, platforms, and applications powered by it can be combined with other IT assets via APIs. 

Data streams from beacons installed in airports can help analyze passenger flows via Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm and design better navigation, waiting areas, etc.

Within digital healthcare, wearables are a significant asset within clinical research — through applications, these devices can help get accurate data about participants’ health and analyze the treatment efficiency quicker through machine learning (ML) algorithms.

Data from beacons installed in shops can also become a large pool for consumer data analytics within retail. 

In essence, IoT transforms mobile app development, expanding what can be possible for the industries these apps are developed for. 

3. More Interactivity

As it’s already been mentioned, IoT is often an invaluable asset for making solutions more personalized and interactive. 

For example, an IoT-powered application for the manufacturing industry can be an interactive system for industrial, robotic-enabled equipment control. As such, employees may manipulate a digital twin of an industrial assembly bot — which will help them control the real robot without direct involvement.

Fitness apps connected to various wearables can help users track their muscle gain in real-time or to offer them exercise when they’re sitting for too long. 

4. Mobility = Accessibility 

It is unnecessary to be physically present in a particular location nearby devices from an IoT ecosystem to manipulate them. IoT-powered mobile apps allow users to employ the full functionality of the connected gadgets from anywhere, i.e., provide location independence. 

So it is possible to manipulate an IoT-based system with the help of a mobile app only as long as there is a reliable Internet connection.

For instance, in agriculture users track crops moisture measurements through apps that receive corresponding data from sensors on the fields and increase or decrease watering if needed without being present on the farm. 

Drawbacks of Building Mobile App with IoT

As with any other technology, implementation of IoT and creating apps based on it have risks to consider:

  • Security issues: Despite IoT technology being relatively old, the cybersecurity risks within various IoT-powered systems are still high. Those can be battled with proper security safeguards like access controls, firewalls, and data encryption, embedded into the system from the ground up. 
  • Data collection and processing issue: IoT sensors gather large amounts of data, and it’s often challenging to filter “noise” and gather relative, significant data. Fixing it through employing proper sensors and building an accurate machine learning model requires expertise not many have. That’s especially crucial for wearables and sensors that are used in digital healthcare: there, anomalies vital for establishing a correct diagnosis can be written off as noise by a biased machine learning model. That’s why IoT devices that are planned to be used in medicine go through rigorous testing and certification by FDA and other regulatory organizations. 
  • Compatibility issue: Balancing hardware and software functionalities is also vital for ensuring optimal performance of IoT systems overall. It is complicated with frequent device updates, which may not be compatible with an outdated version of a connected app. So bug-fixing, releasing software updates, and other maintenance procedures are due to resolve the compatibility problem. 

All these drawbacks can and must be addressed within app development, early on. Only if that’s done, companies unlock amazing IoT potential. 

IoT Prospectives for the Mobile App Development

As for the future of IoT mobile apps, given that they already occupy the mobile software market, their influence will likely increase further. Most industries have started to adopt IoT solutions impacting the demand for corresponding applications. 

There are niche markets that do not require IoT mobile apps yet. Compatible devices in less digitized industries such as construction, real estate, and others are still to be popularized. But business owners and customers in these industries are also likely to become buyers of IoT solutions soon.

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