How to create an IoT application that stands out: a complete guide for your startup

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Companies are fighting to build an IoT application that will be sold. Why? Because most of you probably have met someone who has one.. or you have a smartwatch, smart band, or even a smart LED bulb in your home. So yes, everyone wants to create an IoT app to have a piece of the big business. However, how many know how to build IoT device apps?

Is it hard to create an app for IoT? Let's find out.

First of all, what is IoT?

Before thinking about building IoT applications, you should learn what this means. IoT comes from the Internet of Things. Smartphones are innovative, but they can only do so much. They won't water your plants or open the door when you're late for work. That is why IoT exists - in order to bring the internet to everything else. The Internet of Things allows machines and objects outside our personal computers to communicate with one another and exchange data via the internet.

Which way is better?

Before you build an IoT app, you should decide whether or not you should start from scratch, or you'll use a ready-made template.

IoT app templates can be very useful because they save time and money. However, for some founders, building a custom app from the ground up is the only option. App templates are most useful when the developer knows what he or she wants. They may provide an easier way to navigate complex coding problems and save hours of development time.

Steps to build an IoT application

Let's start with the steps which you should take in order to come up with very good IoT applications that can make you proud.

Step 1: Consider hardware first

With the rise of the IoT, building a robust hardware solution is now the standard for most projects. While reliable connectivity may be integral to a well-functioning IoT system, good hardware is still essential. Choose your hardware carefully and integrate an app that can quickly deliver seamless updates to speed up the development process and deliver a finished product that does everything you need it to.

Step 2: Plan scalability

Mobile apps are a crucial part of IoT, and they need to be designed with scalability in mind. Understand how your app will scale alongside the amount of data users generate through their devices. Cloud technology is ideal for this, as companies can add server-side capacity on-demand to handle future growth.

Step 3: Speed is king

One of the most important characteristics of a good IoT app is speed. If your product doesn't respond to remote control or data-sharing requests quickly and reliably, you will frustrate your customer. A connected vehicle might not accelerate when an operator taps the accelerator pedal, for example, or a doorbell might ring late.

Step 4: Focus on security

An IoT device's security isn't as simple as turning a switch on or off. You need to make sure that your data passed over the internet is kept confidential and secure. There are three general components to security design: authentication, confidentiality, and integrity. These components cover how you identify yourself to other entities, how you keep your data private, and how you prove that your device isn't acting maliciously or when it shouldn't be.

Summary

It's not easy to build an IoT application. If you want your app to succeed, the user experience is more important than the features. In essence, you must follow different standards - make the app safe from security threats, optimize it so that it works fast on different devices and browsers, and even if you make it this way, there is still one more step: ensure it has the potential to scale without causing trouble.

Walter Guevara is a software engineer, startup founder and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He is currently building things that don't yet exist.

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