With internet-connected gadgets becoming ubiquitous around the world, the interconnected ecosystem of devices known as the Internet of Things is here to stay. According to the latest estimates, the worth of the IoT market will be more than $1,400 billion by 2027.
One of the reasons behind its success is the unprecedented potential for bringing the user experience to a new level.
However, this road is not without barriers.
Join us as we cover the transformative power of IoT and the issues to keep in mind for those who decide to harness it.
What can IoT offer to Mobile App Users?
Once a trendy technology comes into vogue, app development services come up with all sorts of promises about how this new big thing is going to change the world as we know it. IoT is no exception, with some visionaries predicting nothing short of a new era of global connectivity. Meanwhile, a more reserved look at the future development of IoT reveals comparatively modest but still impressive advancements. Here are just some of the things that can be improved with IoT right now:
- Research and Analytics
- Customer Behavior Insight
As is common with novel and rapidly developing technology, some of these predictions come true while others fail to materialize, remaining in the realm of neat fantasies. So instead of taking them for granted, let’s take a closer look into each of these claims and see how feasible they actually are.
IoT Increases Productivity
If there is one thing we never knew we cared about before IoT came along – that is tracking our daily activities. Not only did it turn out to be engaging and fun but also offered surprisingly deep insights into our daily routines. This functionality is even more relevant for businesses, where productivity measurement requires tracking an array of metrics. A properly set up network of IoT devices can accomplish this task in real time, enabling timely and well-informed adjustments.
From the user perspective, having access to such information can be satisfying in its own right. Think of it this way: even if you are not bent on becoming more productive, receiving praise from your smart scales still feels rewarding.
IoT Helps Cutting Expenses
No matter how neat your monitoring system is, detecting setbacks in productivity alone will get you nowhere – you need to actually do something about them. Fortunately, this step can also be improved by IoT. For example, having automated and remotely controlled maintenance of equipment in place can alleviate the load on human resources. This approach is already used by businesses in such areas as telemetry, industrial automation control, asset and inventory management, and supply chain. With all the routine production operations handled by a cloud service or a mobile app, the spare resources can be allocated to what matters most – improving the user experience of your audience.
IoT Promotes Safety
Cutting costs and maximizing profits are not the only things that can be achieved through automation and connectivity. In the same way an app warns about faulty equipment, it can send alerts on anything concerning safety. The most evident field where safety plays into the user experience is that of mobile health systems. In fact, it has grown to the point of receiving its own name – IoMT (Internet of Medical Things). Such recognition can be attributed to these factors:
alerts on anything concerning safety. The most evident field where safety plays into the user experience is that of mobile health systems. In fact, it has grown to the point of receiving its own name – IoMT (Internet of Medical Things). Such recognition can be attributed to these factors:
In a sense, IoMT is the most closely monitored segment of the Internet of Things family, which is why it is also the best illustration of how responsible hardware design and app development should be handled for the best possible user experience.
IoT Broadens Horizons for Research
The strongest point of the Internet of Things is the sheer volume of data it has at its disposal. For the most part, it is used for real-time monitoring and storage. However, once gathered and processed, this information can be used to fuel all sorts of research initiatives. Want to know which features of your app are used the most often? How about detecting pain points? This is just a glimpse of what IoT data can tell you.
And it gets even more interesting from there. Some app development companies choose to go the extra mile by donating the IoT data to spearhead public initiatives like smart city planning. With corporate social responsibility quickly becoming expected, if not mandatory, it is easy to understand why such research will have a positive effect on user experience.
IoT Helps You Understand Your Customers Better
If socially responsible research is not within your app’s scope, here’s a better target: your user base. After all, fulfilling their expectations should be the main driver behind your app development in the first place. Well, here is the tricky part: humans are notoriously unpredictable. No matter how well you think you understand their behavior, there is always plenty of room for surprises. And, when it comes to smooth user experience, surprises are not something to be thrilled about.
The good news is, with IoT you can optimize your app to the needs of your audience by tracking relevant metrics more accurately. Granted, operating such sensitive information imposes certain responsibilities However, once the system is up and running, it will tell you everything you need to know to fine-tune your mobile app to perfection.
New Challenges for App Development
With such an alluring list of advantages offered by IoT, one might think it sounds too good to be true. And, once you take a closer into the technology, you’ll probably discover that it is. Leveraging IoT to improve user experience is hard – for numerous reasons. Here are the three main ones:
- Technological Complexity: Even the simplest IoT gadget needs to be capable of connecting to the Internet and interface with other devices, which requires additional layers of technology.
- Diversified User Base: Many of the consumers in the new market are outside the usual tech-savvy target audience mobile app developers are used to.
- Management and Coordination: Because of all the complexity it adds to the development cycle, IoT requires an extra level of coordination between different teams.
Simply put, with so many things coming into play, delivering a consistent user experience may become a challenge. Here is a rundown of things to take into account before venturing into this new field.
The first thing to keep in mind is the hardware. After all, there is no Internet of Things without, well, things, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Many IoT-powered mobile apps depend on gadgets other than the phone, and that extra piece of hardware matters a lot. If it is poorly designed or even visually unattractive – that’s minus one point to user experience.
Then there’s the consistency of user interfaces, not to mention the fragmentation of mobile platforms. IoT devices often have their own displays and controls. Even a simple discrepancy in control schemes between the gadget and the app can become a pain – and a step away from success.
Finally, web interfacing should be taken care of. All elements of the IoT network must be able to maintain a steady connection and reliably communicate with each other. Skip this step and all the potential of IoT is gone, followed by your customers’ loyalty.
If that’s not enough, you get an additional level of issues once you decide to take on industrial products with IoT capabilities. Being slick and convenient might suffice for a smart watch; a system for monitoring vital signs of patients is a different story. Most likely, it will need to comply with certain regulations. You will also have to make its data compatible with the standards used in the field of healthcare. Also, be ready for an audit to demonstrate how securely your app data is managed.
On top of that, such products are often meant for audiences with specific expectations. Non-tech-savvy customers will prefer a clean and simple UI over a feature-rich one, whereas healthcare specialists would prioritize data quality over both. It is only after you take care of every tiny detail that you can count on a smooth user experience.
A Way Out: App Development Services
As you can see, an innovative idea for a novel IoT application is only a starting point followed by a host of challenges to overcome. Here is the good news, though: even if you don’t have what it takes, you can still create a good product with the help of app development services who do. At SwagSoft, we offer specialized skills and expertise necessary for creating engaging, efficient, and quality products. Our team uses a development process that covers all relevant aspects of IoT-related software and ensures compliance with the highest standards. Whether you are looking for a way to create a smooth user experience or a polished and reliable technical solution, we are up to the challenge.
Despite all the hype around it, the Internet of Things is neither a magical all-in-one solution nor (hopefully) the harbinger of Skynet. One thing is clear, though: it has tremendous potential for both businesses and customers. However, it is not enough to just slap the IoT label onto your app and hope for the exceptional customer experience. There are still pitfalls on that path, so the only way to stay ahead of the curve is to be prepared for challenges.