The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of interconnected devices and objects that can interact through the internet. This allows devices to collect and exchange data and often means that objects can be controlled through a separate device such as a smartphone. The IoT continues to expand as more and more devices become connected.
Current trends project that there will be more than 64 billion IoT devices by 2025. Additionally, the global IoT market is slated to have a value of $1.7 trillion by the end of 2019. This rapid IoT growth is enabled, in part, by improvements in cloud computing. As the number of connected devices continues to grow, it is important to optimize the means of device management.
IoT mobile apps are an optimal way to control and manage IoT-enabled objects. Some IoT mobile apps require special considerations, such as maintaining a consistent user experience across platforms and voice-enabled capabilities using Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. If you are considering a development project, here are some IoT use cases for inspiration.
Smart Home – Google Nest
Google Nest encompasses a variety of smart home features. With these devices, you can control:
- Indoor and outdoor security cameras;
- Alarm systems;
- WiFi, and more.
Now you can manage your nest devices from your Nest Hub or Google Home, both of which include the Google Assistant.
The Google Nest Hub is a digital photo frame that allows users to control their other connected devices. This ability is called Home View, which is described as a “command center for your home.” Voice activation and Google Assistant integration also allow users to interact with the device in a hands-free manner. The clean, modern design features a simple menu and graphics with an intuitive layout. Thanks to the IoT, these devices can communicate with each other to create a modern, connected home.
Wearables: Fitbit and Apple Watch
Wearables are another popular category of IoT devices. Some of the most common devices include fitness trackers and smartwatches.
Due to the limited surface area through which to interact, wearables are not commonly used for complex tasks. Some of their greatest features target health and fitness. Through these devices, users can monitor blood pressure, heart rate, steps and more. One of the most popular fitness tracking brands, Fitbit, extends the capabilities of its fitness trackers through a mobile application. Through the Fitbit app, users get an expanded view of daily activity, health, nutrition and sleep. The larger display is more optimized for statistics and tracking progress over time. You can also log on to your dashboard through your computer.
A smartwatch is more than just a device used to tell time. However, developers would be remiss to overlook that key feature. Other Apple Watch capabilities include:
- Accessing and downloading apps from the app store;
- Monitoring health and fitness data;
- Playing music; and
- Apple Pay.
When connected to your smartphone, wifi or other data source, users can also call and text, check the weather, stream music, and use Siri. Since Apple Watches have access to the app store, the capabilities of these devices can be personalized to fit the user’s needs.
When designing mobile apps for wearables, developers must consider the look and feel across multiple devices. Size, capabilities, and layout are all factors that go into the final product.
The display of a smartwatch does not encourage the same interaction as a smartphone or computer. Due to this, voice control abilities are important. For fitness trackers like Fitbits, the mobile app should extend the features of the wearable while providing a seamless transfer of data and transition for the user. These two IoT use cases show the importance of considering the capabilities and limitations of the device.
Agriculture: Smart Greenhouse and Blossom
Greenhouses offer plants a controlled environment in which to grow. However, changes in the environment–such as fluctuations in temperature–can be disastrous. With smart greenhouse remote monitoring systems, agriculturists can manage sensors and equipment and collect data for analysis.
A smartphone app allows users to control temperature, humidity, shading, lighting, and much more. By collecting data from the plants, equipment and environmental conditions, Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning can be used to analyze the data and even implement changes automatically. Users can also set up system alerts through email or text.
On a smaller scale, the Blossom mobile app, launched through Kickstarter, allows home-owners to control their sprinkler systems from their phones. Using the app, users can select days, times, duration and areas for their sprinkler systems. Through smart watering, users can also conserve water by automatically adjusting based on weather data. Though the Blossom app is still improving, controlling lawn care through your mobile device is possible thanks to the IoT.
Mobile apps should be tested and optimized to fit the needs of their target users. The purpose of the app–whether it is managing a greenhouse or a homeowner’s yard–will inform the functionalities that are included. User feedback is important to determine how these apps can be improved and what features are most useful.
Aviation: Maintenance and Optimization
The IoT is really taking off in the aviation industry, from connected airports to plane maintenance. AFI KLM Engineering and Maintenance employed the use of an app to track and locate equipment for plane maintenance and repairs. The German airline, Lufthansa, is testing electronic luggage tagging. Airports are implementing connectivity features, sensors and beacons to:
- monitor and manage traveler flow;
- provide information and services;
- increase efficiency, turnaround and more.
As more airlines integrate IoT enabled devices into their own business practices, we will continue to see which IoT use cases have the greatest impact in this industry.
Athletics – Athlete Performance and Smart Stadiums
In athletics, connected technology is being utilized in many ways. Between optimizing athlete performance and integrating smart stadiums, this industry also provides us with multiple IoT use cases. Sensors are used to monitor athlete health and help them achieve peak performance by analyzing vitals and body mechanics. RFID tags can also be used to monitor speed, positioning, and distance. When combined with a player’s stats, these sensors and tags give a more holistic view of athletes’ performance. Sensors can also be embedded in sports equipment, from footballs to basketball rims to clothing.
Spectators can also get in on the action through smart stadiums that are optimized using IoT technology. For a market that has been seeing a decline in attendance, this new approach to improve the spectator experience could be what sports need to recapture their attention.
IoT use cases are a great way to learn about the capabilities of connected devices and how they are being utilized in various industries. If you are looking to develop a mobile app for an IoT device, the team at 7T is ready to help. We can help you determine the best features and functionalities to fit the needs of your business project. In addition to app development, 7T also specializes in custom software development, data governance, and system integrations. To discuss your development project, contact the 7T team today.
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