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How Doews IoT help in Retail? Continuous and seamless communication is now a reality between people, processes and things.  IoT has been enabling retailers to connect with people and businesses and gain useful insight about product performance and engagement of people with such products. 

Importance of IoT in Retail

  • It helps improve customer experience in new ways and helps brick and mortar shops compete with their online counterparts by engaging customers in different ways.
  • IoT can track customer preferences, analyze their habits and share relevant information with the marketing teams and help improve the product or brand features and design and keep the customer updated on new products, delivery status etc.
  • Using IoT retailers can increase efficiency and profitability in various ways for their benefit.
  • IoT can significantly improve the overall customer experience, like automated checkouts and integration with messaging platforms and order systems.
  • It helps increase efficiency in transportation and logistics by reducing the time to deliver goods to market or store. It helps in vehicle management, and tracking deliveries. This helps in reducing costs, improving the bottom line and increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Inventory management becomes easier with IoT. Tracking inventory is much easier and simpler from the stocking of goods to initiating a purchase.
  • It helps increase operational efficiency in warehouses, by optimizing temperature controls, improving maintenance, and managing the warehouse. 

Use Cases of IoT in Retail

  1. IoT is used in Facility management to ensure day-to-day areas are clean and can be used to monitor consumable supplies levels. It can be used to monitor store environments like temperature, lighting, ventilation and refrigeration. IoT can identify key areas that can provide a complete 360 degrees view of facility management.
  2. It can help in tracking the number of persons entering a facility. This is especially useful because of the pandemic situation, to ensure that no overcrowding takes place.
    Occupancy sensors provide vital data on store traffic patterns and also on the time spent in any particular area. This helps retailers with better planning and product placement strategies. This helps in guided selling with more effective display setups, layouts, and space management.
  3. IoT helps in a big way for Supply chain and logistics, by providing information on the stock levels. 
  4. IoT helps in asset tracking in items like shopping carts and baskets. Sensors can ensure that location data is available for all carts making retrieval easy. It can help lock carts if they are taken out of location.
  5. IoT devices can and are being used to personalize user experience. Bluetooth beacons are used to send personalized real-time alerts to phones when the customer is near an aisle or a store. This can prompt a customer to enter the store or look at the aisle area and take advantage of offers etc. IoT-based beacons, helps Target, collect user data and also send hyper-personalized content to customers.
  6. Smart shelves are another example of innovative IoT ideas. Maintaining shelves to refill products or ensure correct items are placed on the right shelves is a time-consuming task. Smart shelves automate these tasks easily. They can help save time and resolve manual errors.

Businesses should utilize new technologies to revolutionize the retail sector in a better way. Digitalization or digital transformation of brick and mortar stores is not a new concept. With every industry wanting to improve its services and facilities and trying to stay ahead of the competition, digitalization in retail industry is playing a big role in this transformation. To summarize, digitalization helps in enhanced data collection, helps data-driven customer insights, gives a better customer experience, and increases profits and productivity. It encourages a digital culture.

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There have been various innovations that have caused a stir in the healthcare business. As we have Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Augmented Reality technologies. As a result, you see their applications in every field or business, however, some of them are just overhyped or gimmicks.

However, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the most thriving technology, and IoT in healthcare has brought in a plethora of applications that are more than simply gimmicks and are actually pretty beneficial. Aside from the healthcare industry, there is a high need for IoT developers in general. Businesses in a variety of industries, including healthcare, are investing heavily in IoT app development. Let's take a look at how IoT is progressing in the healthcare business.

 

The benefits of IoT in healthcare are:

1) Simultaneous Reporting and Monitoring

Real-time monitoring through linked devices has the potential to save a million lives in the case of a medical emergency such as heart failure, diabetes, asthma attacks, and so on. Connected devices can acquire relevant medical and health-related data by monitoring the state in real-time using a smart medical gadget connected to a smartphone app.

 The linked IoT gadget captures and transmits health data such as blood pressure, oxygen, and blood sugar levels, as well as weight and ECGs. The data is kept in the cloud and can be shared with an authorized individual according to the sharing access authorization.

 Furthermore, the mentioned individual may be a physician, an insurance company, a participating health firm, or an external consultant, and it will allow them to check into the situation.

2)  Data Assortment and Analysis

Managing a large volume of data is not as simple as it seems for healthcare practitioners. Data acquired in real-time by IoT-enabled mobile devices may be evaluated and separated using IoT-powered mobility solutions.

This will lower the amount of raw data collected while also enabling crucial healthcare analytics and data-driven insights, which will eventually reduce mistakes and speed up decision-making.

3.)Tracking and Alerts

In life-threatening situations, real-time tracking and alerts can be a lifesaver by protecting a crucial patient's health with continual notifications and real-time alerts for proper monitoring, analysis, and diagnosis. IoT-powered healthcare mobility solutions provide real-time tracking, alerting, and monitoring.

This allows for hands-on treatments, more precision, and appropriate intervention by doctors, thereby enhancing the overall patient care delivery results.

4.) Remote Medical Assistance

In the case of an emergency, users may use smart smartphone applications to call a doctor who is thousands of kilometers away. With mobility solutions in healthcare, doctors may check on patients and diagnose illnesses while they are on the road.

Furthermore, various IoT-based healthcare delivery chains are planning to construct machines that may administer medications based on a patient's prescription and ailment-related data available via connected devices. IoT will improve hospital patient care. As a result, people's healthcare costs will be reduced.

 

What are the challenges of IoT in healthcare?

1) Data Security and Privacy:

Data Security and Privacy are two of the most serious concerns that IoT faces. IoT-enabled mobile devices collect data in real-time, however, the majority of them do not follow data protocols and standards.

There is a great deal of uncertainty around data ownership and regulation. As a result, data held within IoT-enabled devices are vulnerable to data theft, making the data more vulnerable to hackers who can hack into the system and jeopardize sensitive health information.

Fraudulent health claims and the production of phony IDs for purchasing and selling pharmaceuticals are two instances of how IoT device data is being misused.

2) Data Overload and Accuracy:

It is difficult to total information for essential bits of knowledge and inquiry due to the inconsistency of information and correspondence protocols. IoT collects information in large quantities, and for proper information inquiry, the information should be isolated in parts without overburdening and with accurate accuracy for better results. Furthermore, overburdening of information may have an effect on the dynamic cycle in the accommodation area in the long term.

3) Cost

This point is probably not surprising to you. Costs are one of the most significant challenges when considering IoT application development for medical services flexible setups. In any event, the costs are well worth the effort if the IoT implementation addresses a genuine need.

While establishing an IoT application will cost you a lot of money and assets, the benefits will be significant when your company saves time and labor, all while further expanding the business processes, providing additional income streams, and opening up more business opportunities through IoT.

Applications of IoT in healthcare

The growth of IoT is fascinating for everyone because of its diverse range of applications in numerous industries. It has numerous applications in healthcare. Here are some notable Internet of Things (IoT) applications in healthcare: 

IoT applications in healthcare are intended not just for healthcare facilities, but also for patients! In a nutshell, IoT in healthcare accomplishes the following tasks:

  • reducing the length of time people have to wait at the emergency department
  • Keeping track of patients, employees, and inventory
  • Improving Drug Management
  • ensuring crucial hardware availability

IoT has also offered a number of wearables and devices that have made patients' lives easier. These are the gadgets listed below.

Wearables:

Nowadays, wearables are Bluetooth-enabled, allowing them to connect with your smartphone.

It gives you the ability to filter, equalize, and layer real-world sounds. Doppler Labs is the best illustration of this.

Ingestible sensors:

Ingestible sensors are truly a miracle of contemporary science. These are pill-sized sensors that monitor the medicine in our bodies and alert us if any anomalies are detected.

These sensors can aid diabetic patients by reducing symptoms and providing an early warning of significant health risks. One such example is Proteus Digital Health.

Moodables:

Moodables are mood-enhancing items that help us feel better throughout the day. It may seem like science fiction, but it's not that far off. Thync and Halo Neurosciences have already begun working on it and have made significant progress. Moodables are head-mounted wearables that deliver low-intensity electricity to the brain, therefore elevating our mood.

Computer Vision Technology:

PC Vision Technology, in conjunction with Artificial Intelligence, has resulted in drone innovation, which intends to replicate visual understanding in order to empower dynamic in view of it.

Drones like Skydio employ PC vision technologies to detect obstacles and navigate around them. This invention has also greatly aided externally disadvantaged folks in exploring effectively.

IoT-fueled gadgets lessen a significant part of the manual work. For example, a specialist needs to utilize IoT gadgets during patient graphing. Here, IoT sensors can gauge a wide range of od information, for example, circulatory strain, internal heat level, and so forth, and diagram everything into an application associated with estimation gadgets through IoT.

Furthermore, it makes the patient's information promptly available for audit. Such an IoT application could set aside to 15 hours/seven day stretch of a specialist's manual outlining.

 

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In the age of hyper-connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology has provided countless innovators the opportunity to build software and hardware for different purposes — from medical smart devices and manufacturing to smart cities and homes. 

According to Statista, 15.9 billion connected devices will be connected worldwide by 2030. The global IoT spending will reach $1.1 trillion the same year. However, the growing number of IoT apps has also increased the amount spent by businesses to recall defective IoT devices.

You see, developing an IoT device is the only step towards ensuring its longevity. It is also essential to conduct proper QA testing to ensure the IoT software is strong enough to withstand security threats, performance malfunction, and connectivity issues. 

Your IoT device should work collaboratively and deliver value to the business as intended at the end of the day. In this article, we will discuss the definition, benefits, process, and types of IoT testing. But first, let us start with the basics: 

What is IoT testing? 

The general IoT network connectivity comprises four core layers, including the physical layer (sensors and controllers), network layer (gateways and communication units), data management layer (local or cloud services at the backend), and the application layer (software for user interaction). 

Since data is heavily transmitted from one object to another over the Internet in the ecosystem, it is vital to verify that your electronic devices can exchange sensitive information easily before the market launch and throughout their lifecycle. 

That is why all successful IoT businesses rely on automation, penetration, and performance testing tools to spot any defect in the IoT device before it reaches the hands of end customers.  

IoT testing is the practice of conducting QA tests to validate the performance, minimize security issues, and boost the functionality of an IoT device. It broadly revolves around device networks, operating systems, security, analytics, platforms, and standards. 

QA testers trace and associate software releases and cycles, test cases and scripts, look for defects, test executions, and gather other requirements. The complexity and variability of IoT testing make planning a crucial aspect of the process. 

The significant benefits of IoT testing 

QA engineers and developers can provide better  service offerings by employing IoT automation testing in their general practices with the right plan and purpose in place. These are the benefits that they can plan to see with IoT testing: 

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1. Faster time-to-market 

IoT testing ensures that businesses can launch their safe and approved IoT products in the market by leveraging automation. 

2. Business future-proofing 

IoT testing offers an integrated approach for validating IoT platforms' practical and non-functional testing requirements. The practice future-proofs the business by enabling higher interoperability and security with performance testing tools. In the end, you can deliver safer solutions and, therefore, be a better prospect for consumers. 

3. New business opportunities 

Testing the IoT solutions speeds up innovation with less risk and without delaying the response time or using too many resources. With set testing processes, businesses can experiment much more freely with IoT products in the market with minimal human intervention. 

IoT testing framework 

Given the complexity of IoT solutions, check all layers separately, verify the entire system's operation, and determine the interoperability level of several layers. Please refer to a robust testing framework to ensure the testing is done properly across all software versions. Some fundamental features that should be a part of the framework are listed below: 

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1. Performance testing 

It is essential to strategically approach the development and implementation of an IoT testing plan. That is why measure the IoT app's performance metrics such as throughput, CPU utilization, latency, and so on. Validate the stability of the entire app's functioning under changing operational and network conditions such as intermittent failures. 

2. Security testing 

Testing how safe and secure an IoT app functions is paramount. After all, many users access a massive amount of data all the time. You must, therefore, have data privacy controls and validate users via authentication as a part of your security testing processes. 

3. Compatibility testing 

Multiple devices are connected in a typical IoT ecosystem with different software and hardware configurations. Please ensure your IoT product is highly compatible with different tools and platforms for its smooth functioning. 

Use data recorders, for instance, to check out how the recorded data plays across different device end-points automatically and freely. 

4. Device interoperability 

IoT testing ensures that the end customers have a state-of-the-art user experience across multiple channels such as web apps and mobile devices. 

Visualize the required use cases and arrange the testing process. For instance, all layers should be checked for security and functioning separately. Then deploy APIs to review the application and data management layers. Test the physical and network layers for compatibility. 

Seven types of testing tools 

To execute a wide range of IoT tests at the staging phase, use the right automation, visualization, simulation, and measurement tools. Here are the different IoT testing tools that can make a ton of difference to how you approach the process: 

1. Device or protocol simulators 

As the name suggests, these IoT testing tools are often simulated in large numbers and configured to map the required real-time scenarios. The simulators are standards-compliant and support numerous IoT protocols in format testing processes. 

2. Record and playback test automation tools 

These tools are multi-purpose as QA testing teams find them useful in many test scenarios. The assessment involves recording a user's actions and matching objects behind the scenes to identify which units of code are routinely used and how. In this type of testing, a coded test script file is generated, which the QA engineers replay as is. 

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3. Mobile testing tools 

These IoT testing tools offer automated functional mobile testing, replicating customer experience and ensuring the IoT app works as expected. 

4. API testing tools 

Integrate an automated API testing tool with your continuous integration pipeline for improving your IoT app's codebase quality. Detect bugs early on in the IoT app development lifecycle with end-user application testing. 

5. Visualization tools 

The real-time validation of the IoT application is difficult and time-consuming. Introducing IoT data visualization tools can help finish the development process faster with minimal dependence in the real-time environment. 

That is because they initiate the cost-friendly and timely execution of compatibility tests without making any hefty investments in the hardware, browsers, platform services, operating systems, and so on. 

6. Automated deployment tools 

Automation testing tools help create virtual machines on the cloud or on-premise for rapidly commissioning managed services and configuring and deploying customized applications and services. Improve speed, productivity, and effectiveness of quality over execution. 

7. Security testing tools 

These can be categorized as static code analysis, threat modeling, and run-time threat-inducing. Unearth vulnerabilities, prioritize them, and offer recommendations on how to fix them with the help of security testing tools. 

The ultimate IoT testing process 

An IoT setup deploys various software testing approaches that are slightly different from the regular QA practices for validating IoT apps. Here is what a typical IoT testing process looks like: 

1. Lay the groundwork with the help of QA engineers 

Assign a QA testing team while the specifications for the IoT application are being decided. Having them on board at the beginning will help them choose how often the IoT development team will need to collaborate with the QA engineers to prioritize relevant test cases, enable regressing testing, and efficiently manage defects. 

They will also confirm the IoT testing risks and design an overall risk mitigation plan for your IoT app development project. Taking the QA team's help ensures proper test automation frameworks and configuration to address quality issues and whatnot. 

2. Prepare for IoT app testing 

Even when the QA team has designed a comprehensive testing strategy, they are still required to regularly revise and update the test artifacts. It would help if you also had a balanced combination of manual and automated testing to make sure the IoT app is error-free and to avoid data- and time-intensive repetitive test cases execution. 

Prepare for conducting different types of testing, including conducting usability testing, simulating sensors, verifying data integrity, determining the end-to-end workflows of the entire IoT application, and flawless communication between various IoT app components with their tech stack compatibility. 

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3. Select a vendor for outsourced IoT testing 

If you do not wish to carry out the function in-house, consider outsourcing as it proves to be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time staff. Plus, you have access to a greater talent pool and technological expertise. IoT testing becomes hassle-free. To select a fitting vendor of automation testing tools, please do the following: 

  • Shortlist vendors with successful IoT testing projects in your sector. 
  • Create a comprehensive request for proposal which includes your IoT solution's specific requirements. 
  • Consider their existing tech stack and human resources, so you do not get stuck in the middle of running tests. 
  • Understand their approach to an IoT testing strategy, testing toolkit, the planned test automation, and so on. 

4. Launch your IoT tests 

Once you have figured out your resources, it is time to design test cases and build test scripts. Check the end-to-end functioning of the IoT product by creating an IoT test lab with the help of service visualization tools. These labs serve as the digital portfolio for experimenting and simulating real-time experiences that fuel more innovative automation testing tools. 

Over to you 

IoT solutions can be challenging to develop, manage and test given the multiple components and interactions between them. It is, therefore, necessary to monitor the performance of the app more closely with automation testing tools. A thorough testing process ensures a quality IoT product and high customer satisfaction. So, how do you plan to get started with IoT testing?

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Is it not amazing how we all started living in a hyperconnected world without even realizing it? It all started with internet access on smartphones. Now we have digital assistants that can turn on the lights and set the preferred temperature at home even before we arrive. We can work, have fun, and socialize through our phones and connected devices. Now the cities are embracing advanced technology to inter-connect various functions and improve the usage of infrastructure, energy, utilities and public services to elevate the quality of living. This digital phenomenon that we are experiencing in our day to day lives is the Internet of Things (IoT).

What is IoT?

Internet of things is popularly known as IoT. IoT refers to a hyperconnected digital ecosystem where human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction is enabled through the internet network. The machines, humans, objects are allotted Unique Identifiers (UIDs) through which they can interact, perform within the digital ecosystem.

For example, a sensor installed in the farm may alert the farmer when soil moisture is not within the normal range or anything else that requires the farmer’s urgent attention. Similarly, a chip in the car’s tire may alert the driver when the pressure is low. This may save him from a flat tire. Or it can be as simple as your refrigerator telling you to bring milk home when you run out of milk.

In the IoT universe, everything is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This IP enables them to communicate and transfer data they acquire from their surroundings using an IoT gateway or devices.

What Does the Future Look Like?

A projection by Statista suggests that the market of IoT will breach the benchmark of 1 trillion USD in 2030. It indicates more than 100% growth just within a decade. The study further suggests that the number of IoT connected devices worldwide will triple during this period. IoT technology and devices will be consumed in almost all industry verticals and consumer markets.

Statista forecasts that by 2030, the world will have more than 8 billion IoT devices. IT will be mainly used in electricity, gas, steam, AC, water supply, waste management, retail, wholesale, transportation and storage and government functioning. Currently, smartphones are the most used devices for IoT, but the future will see several innovative devices that will transform the experience of living.

IoT will usher in an era of connected vehicles, payment terminals and automation that will reduce human intervention in the day-to-day process and elevate the quality of life by creating an efficiently connected world.

How will IoT Impact Businesses?

An assessment from GlobalData’s Thematic Research indicates that giants like Tesla, Amazon, Qualcomm, Samsung have realized the importance of IoT way before the others and they are best positioned to take optimum advantage of this technology especially in the automotive sector.

Statista’s report suggests that businesses across the globe are embracing IoT to increase cyber security, reduce operational costs and improve efficiency. In 2019 only, 120 billion USD were spent on IT security. Worldwide governments have also increased their spending after smart city initiatives and IoT technology.

These developments indicate that IoT is a major emerging trend. The companies that will match steps with the changing trends will have a competitive advantage over others. If you own a business, the time to look for an IoT solution company is NOW.

What to Expect?

  • A brighter, environment-friendly future:

While reducing human intervention and providing enhanced personal autonomy, IoT companies are also working towards finding sustainable, environment-friendly solutions. Several IoT companies are working towards creating a future with minimized waste and optimized use of energy. This is done by predicting maintenance activity, reducing downtime and finding ways to reuse and recycle. In smart cities, waste management is a segment wherein IoT is greatly contributing.

  • Better security:

From your baby monitor to your digital locker to your car, everything will be connected through IoT devices for an enhanced living experience and better security. At present, many IoT devices such as wearables do not have strong security measures in place. The more connected world is also prone to cyber attacks from many directions. The IoT companies are actively working to enhance the safety and security of IoT devices. This suggests that in near future, we will be living in a more secure digitally interconnected world.

  • Confluence of technologies:

IoT connects people, devices, systems but when it is combined with other emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), it can work wonders. For example, AI can provide valuable insights from the data collected by IoT devices. Without it, the data is of no use. The tech companies are merging IoT with various technologies like AI, ML (Machine Learning) to get actionable insights to derive optimum benefits.  

  • Decentralized network:

More connected devices also mean more pressure on the cloud infrastructure and rising maintenance costs. Realizing this emerging challenge, tech companies have already started looking for alternatives to a centralized network to reduce dependency on a single network. Experts believe that the blockchain approach will prove to be a game-changer.

In a nutshell, IoT is a prominent, inescapable technology trend that is going to shape the way we live and work. If you want to be a frontrunner, the sooner you embrace it, the better.

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There was a time when we used to imagine how self-driving cars and home automation systems would look. However, over time the advancements in the IT domain have converted our fascinating assumptions and stories into reality.

In order to transform our imagination into reality, emerging technologies, such as AI/ML, IoT, and cloud, have played an essential role. These technology domains are like a buzzword across the global industries. Most of them, including AI and cloud, has become the mainstream technologies for IT operations, but IoT is yet to become one.

What we know about IoT technology is that it is some sort of technology connecting electronic devices communicating over internet connectivity. But you know what fascinates us the most, is that why it is known as the Internet of Things? Let’s find out.

What is IoT (Internet of Things)?

In simple terms, the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a system where several physical (circuit-based electronics) devices are interconnected and communicate via Internet connectivity. They also gather and share data among connected devices, applications, or systems to further perform analytical operations. The data is shared among them in such a way, feeling like they are actually communicating to us and other connected things.

Apart from being a commercial system, the IoT platform is being used in many props, from smart wearables to industrial sensors, biotelemetry, and many others.

As per the research of Statistica – a leading research firm, the adoption of IoT technology or devices is expected to reach 13.8 billion units by the end of 2021 and 30.9 billion units by 2025.

The History of The Internet of Things:

The first forecasting about IoT was done by Nikola Tesla in 1926, where he said that: “When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance.”

Further, the first project of connecting sensors and intelligence to the basic things was first ideated in the decade of 1980-the 1990s. Also, the journey from internet-connected vending machines to self-operable cars was very slow due to some technology and required skills barriers. Initially, the chips were big and bulky in size, creating barriers to establishing effective communication between objects.

Today, processors have become very cheap, compact, powerful, and cost-effective to connect billions of devices together.

The Invention of the RFID tags – They are more like low-power chips establishing wireless communication and have solved some connectivity-related issues by increasing internet broadband’s uptime alongside cellular and wireless networking.

The Invention of IPv6 – It is among another connected internet of things providing sufficient IP addresses for connecting IoT devices of the whole world. It plays an essential role in scaling IoT networks.

In the beginning, IoT was a buzzword among businesses and manufacturing industries where its application used to identify as M2M (Machine-to-Machine), but now it is being mounted in our homes, offices, and many places with smart devices.

This way, IoT technology is transforming our way of living, and we all can agree with it today.

Benefits of Having IoT Technology In Place:

Better Data Monitoring:

The IoT technology primarily helps us in monitoring. It also helps us detect the precise quantity and quality of supplies, check the air quality at home, and many others. It also provides data that is difficult or even almost impossible to collect flawlessly. For example, it can detect the quantity of printer ink present in the printer and let us know that it’s time to buy a new ink cartridge to avoid future hurry and trips to the store. The advancement of IoT has been done to the extent that it can also check the expiration of the product.

Easy Access:

Nowadays, technologies have become so advanced that real-time information sharing can be done smoothly from anywhere across the world with just a smart device and internet connectivity. IoT devices integrated with emerging technologies like AI/ML and cloud can make it possible to share data from one location to another in real-time.
Cost-Effectiveness:

The more organizations adopt IoT devices to enhance their productivity and profitability, the more this technology will be tailored to help businesses achieve success. IoT devices are increasingly impacting from cybersecurity to workforce efficiency alongside companies’ bottom line. If IoT devices are built using highly integrated sensors, they definitely support business applications to run at their peak level at reduced maintenance costs.

Efficiency and Productivity:

The efficiency in terms of the IoT can be referred to as automating repetitive or time-consuming tasks that ultimately cut down the overall time and effort investment. For example, an IoT-based automated program for converting PDF into other formats and sending it to the respected recipients directly. This process eliminates obstacles to PDF editing and archiving alongside better communication and documentation speeds.

Summing Up:

IoT can be considered the next-gen technology that automates all of our mundane workloads, gathers data in real-time, performs analytical processes on those data, and provides actionable insights to their improvement areas at reduced costs. IoT technology also plays an essential role in creating new business opportunities for organizations through innovations to traditional IT operational models. Also, they offer a better customer experience, which also acts as a revenue generation model for businesses.

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Progressive web apps are the next big thing for the mobile web today. It was by Google in 2015 and since then it has already attracted a lot of attention as it offers relative ease of development. This is with instant wins for the application’s user experience. You would agree a progressive web app is simply a web app installed on devices to deliver a user experience that is similar to that associated with native apps. Think of a PWA as a combination of web apps and native apps; they serve to ease the usability of a given app across a variety of devices. One of the biggest advantages PWAs offer is that they help companies target multiple platforms in one go. But what does any of that have to do with IoT? Why don’t you read on and find out?

1. Better user experiences: Given the usability of IoT and the many, many benefits it brings to the table, it ought to come as no surprise that IoT-driven apps are used across not only different industries but also different departments within any given industry. So what role do PWAs play here? Well, PWAs help ensure seamless workflows via service workers as well as their ability to manage device caches. In this context, PWAs also help deal with challenges related to data latency; this means users gain the ability to pause their task and be able to resume from right where they left off.
2. Improved security: In the general digital world, security is one of the biggest concerns as is. So imagine how much more important it becomes when we talk about IoT. Unsurprisingly, IoT apps necessitate high levels of security measures to avoid the risk of hacks, data breaches and safeguard data. To that end, TLS makes sure that the delivery of PWAs is executed via secure HTTPS connections to assure the security of the data. Plus, PWAs also keep secured and unsecured content on web pages distinct, thus further closing any gaps in the security of distributed networks.
3. Engaging design: The thing about the Internet of Things is that it involves a continued exchange of data to enable the requisite control over devices and processes from wherever the users may be. Now, for IoT to truly achieve its potential, the apps involved in the process must be responsive and users should be able to access the required data from across devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. As you can imagine, building an app for each of such devices and then countless different screen sizes, OS platforms, hardware capabilities, etc. within these subsets is not an easy task. Thankfully, we have PWAs to help address this particular problem and ease IoT development projects.

The business world is becoming decidedly complex on account of the rapid evolution of technology. Thankfully, the market has plenty of solutions that empower companies to keep up with the times. The union of two of such leading technologies, i.e. Progressive Web Apps and the Internet of Things, is among these solutions that stand to empower companies to not only survive but also thrive in today’s cut-throat market. As demonstrated via the discussion above, the duo can, together, help companies offer substantially improved user experiences, achieve robust levels of security, and so much more. If you too want to leverage the might of this union for your business, then we recommend you start looking for a web app development team right away. Their expertise will prove to be invaluable to the success of your company’s endeavors.

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Internet of Things (IoT) today has brought a significant change in our day-to-day lives. And, with connectivity improving in the last few years it has become more widespread with the passing time. This technology has gained a lot of traction with the help of growing mobile technology. It is expected to witness a surge in the number of IoT applications that are expected in the coming years. 

So, it wouldn’t come as no surprise that companies are now starting to consider the integration of this nifty technology with iOS app development. This is because of the benefits such as ease of data collection, employee mobility, process automation, etc.

The integration of IoT into iPhone app development is one of the hottest technologies. It is making the rounds these days. Interestingly, this helps create numerous business opportunities for many enterprises across various sectors as more and more people find their way into the connected world of devices with data.

Before we move on to discussing how one can pick the right IoT development provider, allow us to also quickly list some of the main challenges you are likely to face during this process.

The development of IoT-driven iOS apps is also subject to a plethora of challenges and concerns as is any other digital product. Nonetheless, in the specific context of IoT apps, some of the key issues that are likely to emerge during the development process are connectivity, compatibility, privacy, and security. We mention these challenges to help you ensure that these challenges are properly addressed during the development process.

Now, some tips to help you find the right service provider for developing iPhone apps fortified with IoT.

1. Before you set off to find a development partner for your IoT-fortified iOS development project, it is highly advisable that you first take the time to understand precisely why you want to develop such an app. Take the time to elucidate the goal of developing such an app, what you expect to achieve with it, who is your target audience, etc. All these factors will, then, help you understand what your app should look like, the features it must have, the challenges you will face, and the kind of skills and experience you will need to help you get through this process with a robust product on the other end.

2. The next factor you must keep in mind while looking for a development partner is that the company you choose must be able to help you build a top-quality IoT-driven iOS app and that too without burning a hole in your pockets. What that means is to find a service provider who can deliver the required product without needing massive investments.

3. Now that IoT has firmly established itself as a force to be reckoned with, plenty of development service providers are looking to cash in on the popularity of this new technology. However, that does not necessarily mean they have the skill or experience one needs to develop high-quality iPhone apps. This is why experts recommend opting for a reputed company, even if engaging their services is comparatively more expensive. This will help ensure the timely development of a robust app.

It is clear as day to see that IoT brings a whole lot of value to the table, more so when it comes to iOS apps and their development. We understand trying to embrace new technology in your business and apps can be an intimidating endeavor, but hopefully, the above discussion can help allay some of the concerns you may have had about the process. For the rest, it is advisable to find an expert development company that has the relevant skills for developing iPhone apps for your business and the industry in which you operate. Once you find a trusted development partner, the rest of the process will be rather simple to navigate through.

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Waste management is a global concern. According to The World Bank report, about 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste is generated globally every year. 33% of that waste is not managed in an environmentally safe manner. Waste management in densely populated urban areas is a major problem. The lack of it leads to environmental contamination. It ends up spreading diseases in epidemic proportions. It is a challenge for both developed and developing countries.

By 2050, it is estimated to grow to 3.40 billion tonnes. But here is the catch. IoT waste management systems can help, Municipalities across the globe can employ IoT to manage waste better. IoT technologies are already being employed for modern supply chains. IoT waste management systems have become invaluable as they optimize and automate most of the processes in the industry. IoT adoption, however, is far more significant on the supply chain side. While many IoT-based waste management systems are already in place, a lot of challenges hold them back. 

A smart city collects data of personal vehicles, buildings, public transport, components of urban infrastructures such as power grids and waste management systems, and citizens. The insights derived from the real-time data help municipalities to manage these systems. IoT waste management is a new frontier for local authorities, aiming to reduce municipal waste. As per a recent survey by IoT Analytics, over 70% of cities have deployed IoT systems for security, traffic, and water level monitoring. It is yet to be fully deployed for smart waste management systems using IoT.

With rapid population increase, sanitation-related issues concerning garbage management are on a decline. It creates unhygienic conditions for the citizens in the surrounding areas, leading to the spread of diseases. IoT in waste management is a trending solution. By using IoT, waste management companies can increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. 

The waste collection process in urban areas is complex. It requires a significant amount of resources. More than $300 million per capita is spent annually in collecting and managing waste. Most of the high-income cities charge their citizens to cover a fraction of this expense. The rest of the expense is compensated from the tax revenue, which financially burdens the local government.

Municipalities and waste management companies have improved route efficiencies. But they haven't leveraged technological innovations for improving operational efficiency. Even with the route optimization process, the manual process wastes money and time. The use of smart devices, machine-to-machine connectivity, sensors, and IoT can reduce costs. A smart waste management system using IoT can reduce expenses in the trash collection process. But how? How does the use of IoT in waste management improve waste collection efficiencies?

 

How Does IoT in Waste management Respond to Operational Inefficiencies?


A smart waste management system using IoT improves the efficiency of collecting waste and recycling. Route optimization is the most common use case for using IoT waste management solutions, which reduces fuel consumption. 

IoT-powered, smart waste management solutions comprise endpoints (sensors), IoT platforms, gateways, and web and mobile applications. Sensors are attached to dumpsters to check their fill level. Gateways bridge the gap between the IoT platform and the sensor, sending data to the cloud. IoT platforms then transform the raw data into information. 

 

Benefits of IoT Waste Management Solutions


There are several advantages of using IoT-powered waste management solutions. 

  • Reduced Waste Collection Costs:
    Dumpsters that employ IoT can transmit their real-time information on fill-level. The data is shared with the waste collectors. The use of data and selection of optimum routes leads the waste collection trucks to consider the dumpsters with high fill levels. This saves fuel, money, and effort. 
  • No Missed Pickups:
    The smart IoT waste management system eliminates the overflowing of trash bins. The authorities are immediately notified when the trash bins are about to fill up to their capacity. And the collection trucks are scheduled for pickup. 
  • Waste Generation Analysis:
    IoT waste management isn't about route optimization alone. The actual value of an IoT-powered process lies in data analysis. Most IoT solutions are coupled with data analytics capabilities. They help IoT waste management companies anticipate future waste generation.
  • Reduction In Carbon Dioxide Emission:
    Optimized routes cause less fuel consumption. They reduce the carbon footprint and make the waste management process eco-friendlier.
  • Efficient Recycling:
    Over the years, the appearance of consumer electronic devices in landfills has become a growing concern. This is due to its harmful chemicals and valuable components. But this concern also presents an opportunity. IoT offers an opportunity for businesses by using sanitation systems to recycle e-waste for resources.
  • Automating IoT Management Systems:
    IoT waste management can also be helpful in waste categorization. The use of digital bins can help in automating the sorting, segregation, and categorization of waste. This saves a lot of man-hours. A Polish company Bin-e combines AI-based object recognition, fill level control and data processing. Its 'Smart Waste Bins' identifies and sorts waste into four categories - paper, glass, plastic, and metal. This makes waste processing more efficient. 


Future of IoT Waste Management


IoT waste management is a boon. The growing use of IoT linked with the management of everyday urban life improves the everyday experience of the citizens. Additionally, it reduces carbon footprint. But to do so in the waste management segment, more support is needed from the public sector through incentives and regulations. The private sector needs to contribute via innovation. Engagement from the various state agencies is required to implement the usage of IoT applications. This will help build a more sustainable future.


Conclusion


Those managing the waste collection, sorting, segregation and categorization, can benefit from a smart waste management system using IoT. By employing IoT in waste management, waste management companies can increase operational efficiency. It can reduce costs and enhance the satisfaction level of citizens by ensuring dumpsters don't overflow.

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Many businesses are already taking advantage of IoT solutions to improve their efficiency and create new revenue streams. However, if you're considering launching a connected business, one of the most important factors to contemplate is the cost of IoT software implementation. This article will give you an overview of what goes into IoT software development and maintenance. 

Different factors feed into the cost, but the two most common concerns for companies getting into IoT are the cost of initial software development (or “integration”) and ongoing expenses after devices have been deployed. Unfortunately, as key stakeholders ponder over the ever-present build vs buy dilemma, the ones who lean towards building often tend to underestimate both significantly.

Let's take a look at a minimum set of software products you would need today to run a connected product, business, or service. First of all, firmware - software that is uploaded and then runs on the hardware. It provides a low-level control for the device's specific logic. Networks and connectivity – it's a part of firmware development, but I would move it into a separate domain, crucial for any IoT implementation.

Cloud is any service made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider's servers. The IoT servers have different purposes, like administration, monitoring, data gathering and analysis. Applications - once the device is connected, in today's reality you would need a user interface to interact with the device or service, configure it, control and monitor remotely, visualize processes, etc. It can be a touch control, a mobile app, a web app, a voice app (e.g. Amazon Alexa skill), etc.

Working with deployed connected products also usually requires two different types of apps: customer-facing applications (remote control, automation settings, maintenance alerts) and applications for internal company use (fleet management, analytics, device health tracking, performance tracking and maintenance alerts). And one thing is to offer an app, and a totally different thing is to build an app people will actually love to use. The latter requires a particularly strong UI/UX expertise in addition to the expected front-end, back-end and QA resources. 

As part of an IoT solution, you'll need additional storage capacity and processing power to perform analytics, run reports, and house the vast amounts of data that will be generated. Invoicing for these capabilities can vary—from a fixed monthly cost to metered billing—so make sure you understand the pricing model to anticipate cash flow better.

Various IoT platforms offer parts of the solutions for the software needs mentioned above. However, it often takes at least 3-5 different vendors to get everything an IoT powered business needs. Not only is it challenging to manage so many vendors, but also the costs really start adding up, making IoT implementation and maintenance pricing prohibitive for many companies, especially the smaller ones.

Fortunately, there are now options like Blynk IoT platform that have launched solutions tailored specifically at small businesses and startups. As a result, engineers and entrepreneurs worldwide can build and commercialize connected products without the heavy investment typically required to start an IoT-enabled business. Anyone with an MCU, some coding skills, and a great product idea can create an IoT business. And their monthly software costs will be less than what they pay for a typical TV subscription in the US.

Out-of-the-box, Blynk is supposed to cover 90-100% of software needs a business typically faces in the first 2-3 years of IoT operations. The platform functionality includes device provisioning and management, data hosting in the cloud, mobile and web apps for customers and staff, firmware over-the-air updates, user and organization management, data analytics, all kinds of automations and much more.

 

IoT software - build or buy?

As you can see, building your own IoT software from scratch is not a cheap endeavor, especially with a team based in the USA. If you have all of the right people on board and have a bulletproof ROI model for your IoT investment - go for it, build in-house. But if you are an OEM whose main focus remains on their core products and you care about optimizing costs and your time to market - then you are probably better off leveraging a solid IoT platform. Those folks have already spent those years (and in most cases, millions) building out the software you need and testing it out with real clients, in real world conditions, with all of the priceless learnings that come with that.

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, as the name suggests, enable a company, no matter the industry, to better plan the use and management of its resources and achieve seamless operations. Such solutions, when integrated with the Internet of Things (IoT), i.e. a network of connected devices that enables the exchange of data in real-time, can work wonders in the manufacturing sector. No, really. Now, if you are wondering why that is, allow us to demonstrate via some key benefits of this duo.

  1. Better management of assets: Perhaps one of the best things about technologies and their evolution that helped businesses tend to their assets, machines, and equipment much better than before, i.e. not wait to tend to it till it has broken down and rendered unproductive, even if temporarily so. But thanks to IoT sensors embedded in such assets, it becomes that much easier to identify any wear and tear, any issues, etc. across their lifetime. These factors are then flagged to the ERP software, which then further informs the appropriate teams and people responsible for the maintenance of such assets. This allows companies to undertake preventive maintenance, thus prolonging the life of their assets. It also helps ensure that operations are not interrupted since maintenance work can be scheduled in a manner to prevent or minimize downtime.
  2. Access to real-time analytics: As the basic idea of IoT suggests, what they do is double up as a source of 24x7 information. They glean data collected from the sensors and then channel said data into the requisite systems. This ability to collect data at all times, from all the connected devices, means manufacturing businesses can process the data through ERP systems to gain access to highly valuable information such as market trends, processes that might need improvements, any possible quality issues, and so much more. Such information, in turn, drives much more informed strategies and marketing-related decisions and that too in real-time.
  3. Improved quality control: Quality is typically one of the key concerns on the priority list of any business involved in manufacturing, no matter what it is that one may be making. Of course, this is where long-established, archaic quality checks would come in, but the problem is that it is quite time-consuming, prone to high levels of human error, etc. This problem, thankfully, is easily addressed with an IoT-integrated ERP solution, which can empower companies and their management to better the quality of their offerings via round-the-clock monitoring of their production processes.

As the world and the technologies around us continue to evolve at a dizzying pace, ERP solutions have emerged as the crowd favorite for all modern businesses. Now, as evidenced from the above discussion, the said popularity of enterprise software development, fortified with advanced technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence, etc., can bring a world of benefits to manufacturing companies as well as those operating in other sectors across the globe.

Hence, driving the demand for such solutions further up. With that being said, if you too wish to make use of all the aforementioned benefits and countless others such as automation, better levels of customer service, and more, you know the integration of ERP with IoT is the right way forward.

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Have tyou ever imagined you would one day wake up to news that technology is influencing an industry as offbeat as fashion? Well, here we are in this phase of tech evolution, where we would soon get to wear apparel not from clothing lines like Gucci or Saint Laurent but probably from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google or more.

Yes, smart clothing seems to be the future of wearable technology that kickstarted with ambitious projects like Google Glass. Today, we have first generation Iot wearable technology devices like smartwatches, health monitors, FitBits and more but soon, we will have clothing with embedded sensors that will connect to the internet.

Wearable fashion or smart clothing will be part of the Internet of Things revolution and soon give us insights on our vitals, temperature, hydration levels and bring in a range of predictive analytics concepts into our everyday life.

Excited?

We are, too and that’s why we decided to publish a post that explores what smart clothing is and how it is redefining conventions.

Let’s get started.

Smart Clothing Is The Future Of The Wearables Industry

Let’s start with some numbers. Statistics from the World Economic Forum revealed that around 10% of the people around the world will wear clothes that connect to the internet by 2025. 

This is a really good sign for the smart wearable technology industry. And if you’ve been wondering if this concept is something new or fresh, it’s not. Smart clothing has been a micro niche for a long time with several sports companies like Nike and Adidas rolling out very specific lines of smart clothes for sports purposes. What is new is the approach of mainstream commercialization of smart clothing. 

The idea is to embed IoT-specific peripherals like sensors, batteries and more into the fabric of clothes and connect the entire ecosystem to an app for visualization of diverse insights. With the app, consumers can also execute a couple of fancy actions like changing the design or color of their apparel in real time, change hues and do more.

To give you a quick idea of how remarkable the concept of smart clothing is, here are some pointers:

Smart clothing is highly beneficial in keeping track of vitals in people. Technology is also being developed to monitor the accumulation of brain fluids in real time and report stakeholders and doctors about consequences.

  1. The predominant use of smart clothing lies in the sports industry, where several metrics could be monitored by coaches of individual players and the entire team to reach fitness and tournament goals.
  2. From a manufacturer’s perspective, fraudulent and unauthentic copies of labels and apparels can be eliminated from the market through codes and layered validation mechanisms.
  3. Patients in hospitals could wear smart clothing to track their recovery, reactions to medications, notify or call for nurses and doctors and more.
  4. People suffering from dementia or Alzheimers could sport smart dresses to enable their friends and families to track them from a distance.
  5. Adventurers, spelunkers, high-altitude trekkers and more could also benefit from smart clothing with details on oxygen levels, anticipated temperature, location tracking modules, hydration levels, humidity sensors and more.

Though this looks futuristic and ambitious, the biggest challenge for the smart clothing companies would be to incorporate IoT solutions into their fabrics. The human body consistently generates sweat and heat and there are chances that water from sweat could damage batteries or sensors embedded in the clothes. When we fix these concerns and deliver optimized outfits, smart clothes could very well be what we wear to work every day in the coming years.

Smart Fashion Products In The Market

Like we mentioned, smart clothes are in development and some products are actually available in the market as prototypes. Tons of Kickstarter campaigns are exploring the limitless possibilities of smart fashion as well. For a better clarity on what the products are, here are some real world examples. 

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Smart Jackets

The best product in development is the smart jacket. Since 2015, two market players - Google and Levi’s - have been collaborating to launch smart jackets with touch-sensitive fabric. In this, capacitive threads made of copper have been developed and used as the jacket’s fabric to allow users to use their smartphones by just using their hands and gestures. 

Minority Report vibes anyone?

Smart Socks

An inevitable accessory, socks have always been in our wardrobes.Smart socks are here to replace the conventional ones and give you a more immersive experience. 

What could be immersive in socks you ask? 

Well, smart socks could sense the pressure you put on your foot when walking, calculate your walking speed, the distance you cover (and could cover) and offer a detailed visualization of insights from multiple data points. This could influence the way you walk as well.

Smart Shoes

If we’re making our socks smart, why leave behind shoes? Somebody out there had a similar thought and the result is a pair of shoes that tracks your fitness, speed, pressure and most importantly, lets you control your television using your feet. All you have to do is extend your foot, point at something on your television and press a button. We’re sure there would be more experiences added to the product as it evolves.

Smart Sleepwear

Sleep has always been a concern for most of us. While some of us oversleep, a few of us hardly get good sleep. There are tons of factors influencing our sleep including our sleeping positions, stress and anxiety levels and more. 

Smart sleepwear, however, is here to fix our broken and disconnected sleep patterns by giving us insights on breathing, heart rates, sleep positions and more. The best part is that you don’t have to wear an additional wristband for this. The fabric has embedded devices that take care of its intended purposes.

Is Smart Clothing The New-Age Market Wearable?

Wearable tech plays a crucial role in the tech space because it’s probably something that could be the most integral to people. Conventional wearable technology devices like wristbands, smartwatches, eyewear and more appear and function as extensions but that’s not the case with clothing.

It is us and who we are. From a consumer’s perspective, there’s no challenge involved whatsoever in maintaining smart clothes. It’s on companies to develop and launch products that could take in the regular wear and tear of humans and be resistive to it, be washable and more. 

If these preliminary challenges are taken care of seamlessly by companies, smart clothing could easily become the new-age market wearables in the future. It’s similar to what electric vehicles are to the automotive industry. 

Wrapping Up

This is an exciting time to be alive and innovations like these are proof of our collective wisdom taking us to a new level. Let’s wait and see if our favorite clothing brands join the smart clothing bandwagon and launch personalized clothing just the way we would like it individually. Also, let’s see what more innovation is waiting on the cards in this space.

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The world has seen the emergence of countless advanced technologies over the past few decades and among them, one of the most notable and impactful has been the Internet of Things. Often described as a critical part of the foundation of our technology-driven future, IoT has shaken up pretty much every industry on the face of Earth. For the better, of course. Anyway, this transformation brought on by IoT has made its way into the world of web and mobile apps development too, and understandably so. After all, today apps are not only the most omnipresent modern tools but are relied upon by millions and millions of people every single day. Suffice it to say that app development is vital to the cause of keeping the world running and IoT has only entered the scene to further improve things. But the question remains: How?

The Internet of Things is a dynamic technology that has, for starters, completely changed how users in the digital realm interact and engage with web applications as well as mobile applications. It not only enables companies to effortlessly deal with humongous volumes of data, but also ensures top-notch security, seamless communications, and so much more. After all, the Internet of Things market is not projected to touch $11 trillion in economic value by 2025 without reason. Studies have also found that the global investment in IoT could touch $15 trillion by 2025. Now, let’s explore some of its other contributions to app development in detail.

1. Smarter UIs: While it can be quite challenging to put together UIs that integrate modern technologies and still successfully tend to users’ expectations, IoT can help considerably in this regard. It is highly conducive to the development of effective UI and integrates relevant latest trends to further enhance users’ experiences while engaging with the app. Oh, and let’s not forget that it also enables A/B split tests to help developers identify which iteration of the app is best suited for success.
2. Cybersecurity: Of course, ensuring high levels of security with your apps is a top priority for everyone. IoT helps ameliorate this process by helping programmers to integrate the latest security measures and strategies. This includes modern identification and authorization methods to monitor the continued safety of all the data stored within the app.
3. Chatbots: Now, artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven chatbots can be further integrated with the Internet of Things to empower them with access to even more sources of data. This, then, allows them to answer customers' queries and issues in a much more proficient manner, which is critical to ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction in an increasingly competitive market.
4. Data collection and processing: Data collection and its processing are critical to the success of any app in the world today. With the Internet of Things, that ability is fortified since one now gains access to a wider set of sources for data. Furthermore, IoT also helps avoid any lags in the relay of this information, thus enabling it to be used in real-time.

There is not even a shred of doubt that avant-garde technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc. have completely transformed the web and mobile app development process and for good! So, if you want to take advantage of IoT and other such technologies to build modern apps that are more secure, highly customer experience-focused, and enable the seamless collection of data among other things, all you have to do is find a qualified service provider for their development. Their expertise and knowledge will further fortify your product and thus, your customers’ experiences.

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Provisioning, managing and securing devices in an IoT product requires careful planning at the very start of the process. Rigorous evaluation of options, then a Proof of Concept helps determine the right solution. Once the POC has been approved, the IoT product moves to production. Then the real fun starts and many strategic considerations come into play. We can list them as follows:

  • Robust and secure OTA software updates

  • Security by design

  • Scalability

  • Automation

  • Remote terminal management

  • Device configuration, monitoring & troubleshooting

Robust and secure OTA software updates

Robust and secure OTA software updates are essential for keeping IoT devices secure as the software on these devices will become outdated during their lifetime and vulnerabilities are certain to arise if left in their initial states. Therefore a secure, risk-tolerant, and efficient update mechanism must be at the core of each product development team from the inception of the project to the end of its life.

How about a homegrown solution?

Homegrown solutions are less likely to be best-of-breed, can be hard to scale, can suffer from over customisation and scope creep, come at an inherently high cost and can be left in trouble if the star developers behind their creation suddenly jump ship and leave the organisation.  They also often lack the requirements needed to ensure security and robustness of software updates. Various open source solutions exist, but none provide an end-to-end solution and lack the overall functionality to make them enterprise-grade. Generic public cloud IoT stacks wish to cater to the entire IoT value chain but fail to deliver a purpose-built solution for software updates. Proprietary and platform solutions cause lock-in to specific cloud infrastructure, operating system, or development tools.

The common thread among all of these solutions is the lack of a fully optimized end-to-end OTA software update and device management infrastructure that can minimize risk, increase efficiency and enhance security and uptime.

Security by design

A device security breach incident can interrupt operations, damage systems, and negatively impact both virtual and physical processes. This translates into unhappy customers and lost business. As Colin Duggan, the Founder and CEO at BG Networks says in an interview with the Device Chronicle, “It is difficult to add security after the design has been completed. There are a number of reasons for this. Embedded systems have limited MHz, memory, and limitations of network interfaces on embedded processors. Security features can be added after the fact but usually will not close off all the vulnerabilities.” That is why it is so important to ensure security by design, in the very early stages of the product’s lifecycle.

IoT product security should be approached holistically with a framework that addresses the people, devices and process. To help IoT professionals make the right decisions concerning their product development, we designed a simple framework based on these factors and called it the Triangle of Trust:
Triangle_of_Trust-1024x575.png

Scalability

There’s a significant difference between managing a small number of embedded devices and having thousands or even millions of devices deployed in the field. Microsoft’s new IoT Signals report found lack of scalability as a leading cause for IoT project failures. Complexity is one of the greatest scalability issues. As such, choosing the right solution with the right architecture is important to safeguard the long-term management viability of your fleet of connected devices. More on the topic of IoT scalability can be read here.

Automation

When one of the arms of the Triangle of Trust fails, the other two are endangered. To prevent any risks arising from human mistakes, automating some of the processes is a solution that might save your business thousands of dollars. Mender.io is an OTA software update manager for Linux-based embedded devices, and it also offers a wide range of automations to securely manage these devices. One of the features that Mender offers is automatic retry of failed device deployments. Deployments to devices might fail for various intermittent reasons like loss of power, network or device usage. Automatic retry upon failures reduces device deployment error rates up to 90%. This translates to time and money savings managing deployments, and also leads to customers receiving the updates faster.

Remote Management

Remote management is a necessity for any kind of embedded device. Any company rolling out its IoT products needs to have control of its systems from a central location. SSH, secure tunneling and remote terminal access is preferred by service providers to VPN access as they can assure their customers of security when accessing and troubleshooting devices. Furthermore, the management involves grouping and accessing embedded devices, provisioning, configuring, and monitoring remotely and securely.

Seeing the necessity for not only secure over-the-air processes, but also for reliable ways of monitoring, provisioning, configuring, grouping, and accessing the embedded devices, the team behind Mender decided to expand their offering by the mentioned remote management features. Mender is open source software meaning there are many contributors to make it better and support a variety of customer hardware and software such as NVIDIA Jetson and NXP's family of iMX processors. It provides flexibility in choosing your infrastructure, software, and hardware from prototyping to production which means there is no vendor lock-in. Mender supports all device software updates from a full disk image to application updates with the freedom to customize the update and installation process to fit your workflow. It is also integrated with Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure IoT for easy device authentication. 

Device configuration, troubleshooting and monitoring

A proper device management set up should never be overlooked. Robust and secure device management is a necessary cornerstone for an IoT product and therefore you need to find a high quality solution. Once you deploy thousands or millions of devices into the field you’ll need to be able to configure them properly, gather the data, and quickly troubleshoot any arising problems. Many organisations treat these capabilities as an afterthought. Engineers realize that they need some kind of device management solution right before their deadlines and product releases, which results in rushed fixes being made, that may have serious implications for the robustness and security of connected devices.

Conclusion

In order to roll out a successful, secure, and robust IoT product a few things have to be taken into consideration before the release. To ensure security by design from the earliest stages of the product life cycle, the team behind the IoT product needs to find a solution for deploying secure and robust OTA updates, remotely monitor, configure, and troubleshoot the devices, and automate necessary processes in order to avoid human-made mistakes.

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 Over the years, IoT has made its way into the complex consumer markets and made millions of lives easier and smarter. Without a doubt, the industry holds enormous potential for upcoming entrepreneurs to introduce innovative solutions. In fact, the number of IoT start-ups have grown by 27% from 2019 till mid-2020.

 

While many of these IoT projects have made the cut, others are struggling to realize the intended RoI. Although tempting but it still a highly challenging space to be in and create sustainable companies. 

 

While a new organization is a collaborative effort of many people, it is the leaders who hold the vision strong and spearhead the transformation. For those setting on their journeys of tech start-ups, here’s what you can learn from the best.

 

Targeting the right KPIs 

The rule to achieve your KPIs is simple – never ignore them. Start-ups who planned around the KPIs were able to meet them quickly and seamlessly. Starting from product ideation to distributing the budgets across marketing, development and acquiring customers and retaining them, the complete lifecycle should be evaluated periodically through metrics such as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Retention Rate (CRR) and the Life-Time Value (LTV).

Customer Retention Rate (CRR) is the total number of customers a business is able to retain over a given period of time. High retention rates are a clear hint of a successful product and a fully satisfied customer while high attrition rates mean the opposite. Life Time Value (LTV) is the net value of a customer to the business. When these metrics are evaluated in relation to each other such as the LTV/CAC ratio, the total capital efficiency of a company can be predicted.

IoT enables you to take a step further in tracking KPIs:

  • Track end usage using IoT and deduce usage analytics.
  • Take user feedback at the point of usage using IoT and deduce user experience in real-time.
  • Use remote device management to monitor the health of your IoT solution and run diagnostics to find and fix issues. This will help in keeping MTTr rate (Mean Time to Repair) as controlled as possible.

These advanced indicators can directly help you in reducing expenses and increase revenues by improving customer experience.  



Why are these important? Entrepreneurs who stayed intact to meet these KPIs have seen a 10x increase in business efficiency. This is an important takeaway for budding entrepreneurs who have to justify their investments periodically. Since CAC has increased by 50% over the past few years, not ignoring performance KPIs is the foremost lesson for every new leader. 

 

Rapid adoption to change

IoT is not the same as it was 5 years ago. In fact, it may not be a ‘new technology on the block’ anymore. It is continuously evolving and start-ups have no choice but to keep experimenting with newer builds and processes. For example, embracing new technologies such as Edge computing or bringing anonymity to the data transfers, IoT products must upgrade. Likewise, project owners can improvise their development process by officially collaborating with other companies. It is a mesh and more hands will help to simplify. So be it outsourcing the resourcing requirements to a partner or outsourcing end-to-end product development, start-ups must weigh their choices and utilize the available expertise optimally.  

 

Few entrepreneurs have been able to resolve this complexity by trekking the midline. They sensed that the risk of not embracing change is greater than the risk of failing. Therefore, budding entrepreneurs must understand that experimentation doesn’t have to replace your existing processes. It can be an additional vertical which is committed to embracing contemporary product offerings or technologies. 


Despite the world being restricted indoors due to Covid, the following tech entrepreneurs have brilliantly led their workforce and achieved impressive results. 

 

Yevgeny Dibrov
CEO Armis Security

Armis Security ventured, attempted and mastered a market that most companies are scared of trying – IoT cybersecurity. Led by the hugely ambitious Yevgeny Dibrov, Amris is a security platform that discovers devices across the network, analyses their behaviors and identifies risks. For an industry plagued with cybersecurity threats, Amris is a huge reassurance. The company has a line-up of customers across sectors such as healthcare, automobile, finance and manufacturing.

While the start-up completes 5 years shortly, CEO Yevgeny quotes – “ "As companies accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, securely enable employees to work from home long-term, and adopt 5G, we are seeing an explosion of connected devices. At the same time, this uptick has increased the risk profile for businesses, especially around ransomware attacks, which is driving even more demand for our industry-leading agentless device security platform”.

 

Daniel Price
CEO - Ioterra Inc.

When most start-ups were swaying in the hype of IoT, Ioterra foresaw the complications and immediately plunged at the opportunity to resolve a huge gap in the IoT ecosystem – the challenge of quickly sourcing reliable IoT service partners and other resources needed for a successful IoT initiative. Unlike other technology markets, IoT is a rare space that involves sourcing complications regarding IoT services as well as solutions from all walks of technology – hardware, software and wireless communications. Besides delaying projects, sourcing difficulties lead to cost overheads. As an IoT consultant himself, Daniel along with his team created a digital marketplace that enables project owners to seek sourcing assistance based on their business model, type and sector. 

Daniel says, “Startups are advised to ensure a minimum of 12-18 months of runway. The most important reasoning behind this thinking is that you would invariably pivot 2-3 times before you get it right and you need to survive until then. Unless you watch the KPIs regularly and quickly pivot adapting to what you see on the ground, you cannot build a growing startup”.

 

Amir Haleem
CEO - Helium

Technologies from all sectors and markets have started to embrace Web 3.0 and Helium is IoT’s big bet. It is a platform that empowers businesses to develop connectivity for devices and sensors over a peer-to-peer wireless network. CEO Amir Haleem who was always ambitious about wireless coverage for low power IoT devices aims at bringing more projects on the stage.

He quotes - We’ve worked hard to bring native geo-location to everything that connects to the network. This opens up all sorts of interesting use cases that haven’t been seen yet, which have otherwise been impossible to build.

 

What’s common in all of them?- The Ethos to grow 

Ultimately, no start-up can grow without the mindset to win. Although most tech leaders ensure a learning culture within the organization, the motivation is mostly missing at the employee level. This largely happens when leaders don’t communicate their vision to the workforce and keep them restricted to the task assignments. The ethos to grow has to reflect at the individual level and that’s the hack to organizational success that many don’t get right.

Moreover, the missing KPIs and not retrospecting upon those failures along with your teams is a big flaw. In a startup environment wherein the team structure is mostly lean, the entrepreneurs must share quarterly progress with everyone. Besides keeping everyone in unison about the expected outcomes, such sessions float innovative ideas to achieve the results more efficiently. Therefore, upcoming entrepreneurs should ensure a work culture that acknowledges creative inputs. 

Motivated employees with a growth mindset, diligent tracking of KPIs and quick adaptability to change lay a solid foundation for success.

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