How to build an IoT application: Steps, Resources & Insights

Almost every device in the world has a version that can connect to the Internet. This proliferation of connected devices is known as the Internet of Things. If you are an entrepreneur, there’s never been a better time to build an IoT app. But how exactly do you build an IoT application? What will it cost? And where do you start? 

Steps To Take When You Build an IoT App

Before you can build an IoT application, you have to go through the necessary research phase. The platform, hardware, and software you choose will impact the cost and the type of them you need. 

Picking the Best Platform

There are a few platforms that are suitable for building IoT applications, including Azure IoT suite, HomeKit, Xively, and ThingWorx. Google also has a great IoT platform called Android Things that can support devices from a number of manufacturers. Remember that an IoT device has to be able to connect with dozens of devices, including smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets, as well as hardware sensors, voice assistants, and more. That’s why it’s best to work with a platform that is ready-made and able to accommodate IoT technology. 

Choosing The Best Hardware

When you build IoT device apps, you will need some hardware produced by other device makers. Whichever hardware you choose, it should suit your product’s needs and remain accurate. You also don’t want to spend too much time on maintenance or replace the batteries too often. It’s a good idea to build an app that’s hardware-agnostic so that your future clients can use their existing infrastructure. It will be a valuable selling point when you go to market. 

Opt for Scale and Speed

Your app will have to scale – think of how much data and how many different devices an app will interact with over a year! That’s why most IoT developers use cloud-based technology. The cloud enables apps to expand really quickly, even as they accumulate more and more information over time. You also have to ensure that your app doesn’t experience too much lag. Think of how frustrating it would be to have a connected car or a connected building that can’t respond to your commands because of a slow Internet connection. When you create an IoT app, you have to prioritize performance and high-speed connectivity.

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Secure Your App

IoT devices are often soft targets for hackers that use printers, home security or even smart televisions to access the larger network and sensitive information contained within it. Use encryption, two-factor authentication and other best practices to ensure your IoT app is protected.

IoT Resources and Developers

When you are hiring developers and putting together a team, you have to make sure they have the right skills to build your IoT app.

Look for developers that have worked in an agile or lean development environment. You want to launch as soon as possible, and make edits along the way. Your developers should be skilled in frameworks like React and React Native, Ruby on Rails or Nerves. 

Next, look for a trusted cloud services provider. AWS IoT is very popular, but Microsoft Azure IoT or NervesHub are also good options. Your developers should be familiar with the cloud platform of your choice. 

Your developers should also be familiar with languages like Ruby, C or C++, HTML, C# and Elixir or Python. If they understand or have experience with machine learning technologies, all the better. 

You can hire your own team or hire a full team offshore to do the coding.

Conclusion

When you build an IoT app, you are joining a multi-billion-dollar industry. Make sure that you do your due diligence before you get started.

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