By Mehul Rajput
There was a time when people had to manually transfer data to a computer or share files with other people. Now, with the rise of IoT, the world has changed. The interrelation between digital machines, computing devices, and objects provides a unique experience to users.
IoT is undoubtedly creating a thriving network for mobile apps that ensure convenience to its users.
According to estimations, there will be around 41 billion IoT devices by the time 2027 rolls around! And by 2023, at least 70 percent of vehicles will be connected to the internet.
Additionally, as per the International Data Corporation report, spending on IoT based solutions was approximately $745 billion in 2019, a significant increase from the previous year. By 2020, many predict that the value will reach $1 trillion.
According to what statistics show, it is safe to say that the IoT sector, through its contribution to mobile apps, is transforming users’ lives at a rapid pace.
How Does IoT Work?
IoT consists of an entire integrated ecosystem whereby web-enabled smart devices are used to share and collect data. This data is sent through the Cloud and analyzed. The required action is then taken accordingly.
For instance, you can now monitor your house’s alarm system through your smartphone, regardless of where you are. Here, the alarm system is sending real-time information to the smartphone, and any action you take on the latter is communicated to the former.
One popular IoT mobile app of today that is bound to help you understand how technology works is Uber. The e-hailing app is considered by many to be among the first-movers into the industry.
Here, IoT is used to connect passengers to self-employed drivers. As a passenger, you press a button to order a ride through your smartphone. IoT then helps connect your request to the smartphone of the driver, in real-time.
The location sensors present on both devices come into play to allow both parties to monitor one another’s location. This is made possible because all information extracted is available on Uber’s data system present on the Cloud.
Examples of Mobile IoT Based Applications
Different mobile IoT based applications can be and are being developed to help provide convenience to their users. Here are some of the most promising examples.
Gone are the days when you had to manually turn on the alarms of your house, or change the temperature. Now, thanks to IoT, you can do so remotely as well. And this is part of the Smart Home technology.
Smart Homes are defined as houses that feature interconnected home appliances and devices. According to Statista, such houses and solutions are projected to reach global revenue of 175 million USD in 2025.
Smart home mobile apps allow people to manage an array of devices inside their homes. An app on the smartphone is used to control home appliances, alarm systems, as well as your heater/air conditioning system.
As healthcare continues to be expensive and inaccessible to some, IoT apps for the sector can positively impact users by making the service cost-effective and reachable.
IoT enables healthcare providers to monitor, track, and report patient conditions in real-time. And according to a study conducted by the Center of Connected Health, remote patient monitoring can reduce readmission rate by 50-percent.
How do such apps work?
Well, a smart medical device is added to an IoT based app that allows healthcare providers to collect medical information in real-time, remotely. This helps in ensuring that the right steps can be taken during emergencies.
You will be surprised just how old the wearable sector is! Along with Claude Shannon, Edward Thorp invented a computer that was small enough to fit in a shoe, back in 1961!
Since then, the sector has grown slowly. But from the year 2015, there has been a massive increase in wearable technology development. In 2018, as per Statista, 178 million units of wearable were sold. By 2019, the value reached 255 million units.
Now, wearables are equipped with IoT technology. Whether it be your fitness tracker or your smartwatch, these are all examples of mobile IoT applications.
For instance, fitness trackers monitor certain health metrics like the number of steps taken, which you can then view from your mobile app.
Apart from serving end consumers, IoT based apps also positively impact the retail industry by streamlining the supply chain, inventory management, and operation process.
Let’s take an FMCG company as an example. Right from the beginning of shipping raw materials, IoT apps can help companies keep track of their supply chain. They can know at what stage and location their consignments are.
Similarly, retail outlets can use IoT apps to gather real-time information about their inventory. Upon detecting that the supply of certain items is running out, the app automatically reorders, or at least notifies the manager, thereby ensuring the efficiency of operations.
As the world gets highly urbanized, megacities are now at the epicentre of economic growth. By incorporating IoT into the mix, various metropolitan challenges can be solved.
IoT apps can also help connect entire cities. For instance, apps can be used for traffic and accident alerts that can lead to better crisis management. For energy reduction, lighting can also be connected to apps to switch on and off as per the requirement.
According to a report published by Deloitte, using apps to create smart cities has various benefits and obstacles. Here is an illustration of it all.
The 4 C’s: Impact on End-users
IoT based mobile apps have the potential to positively impact end-users. Here are the key ways it does so.
It makes various tasks easier and quicker whether the end-user is an individual or an organization. The fact that IoT apps allow for real-time monitoring and action ensure that lesser human attention is required.
For instance, rather than individually locking your house’s doors, you can do so with a single press of a button.
Mostly, this is a positive impact that organizations have experienced. Rather than employing a plethora of workers for a given task, IoT apps replace the said workforce with an integrated system that works autonomously, to an extent.
This helps in boosting efficiency and reducing the costs associated with running a business. This impact then trickles down to end-users through the rise of affordable and accessible solutions.
Consumer Behavior Insights
With the use of IoT, the behavior patterns of a consumer can become an open book. Such apps collect a variety of data. Depending on the solution in question, data gathered includes GPS tracking, social media usage, internet usage, health metrics, and video surveillance.
This can be used by businesses to understand consumer behavior, thereby leading to the production of better products and experiences.
A customer’s experience with a brand is a driver of success for the given organization. Regardless of how great your product is, a poor experience can mean that a customer may never return.
IoT solutions improve customer experience. For instance, when shopping online, users can keep tabs on their transaction history, as well as track orders in real-time. Such customization of service is bound to be lauded.
Yes, the future of IoT seems quite promising. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the present isn’t too bad either.
Currently, Mobile IoT based applications are enhancing the lives of the masses and shall continue to do so, as the technology progresses. Not to mention that entering the industry now means that you will get to reap the benefits of being among the first few players.
Create an app, while the ocean is still blue, and competition is low. Decide which niche you wish to enter through your IoT based app. And begin developing.
About the Author
Mehul Rajput is a CEO and co-founder of Mindinventory, a mobile app development company that provide web and mobile app solutions from startup to enterprise level company. His role involves heading the operations related to business and delivery with strategic planning and defining road-map for the future.