MThe world today is exploding with the Internet of Things, as the technology has been pleasantly received by the people and it has earned a name in mostly every industry today, be it smart home systems, machinery, medicine, healthcare, security, education, and much more.
Basically, in case of IoT, different devices communicate among themselves, and thus form networks, which then are aligned with each other and with Internet. The fields where Internet of Things technology can be used are growing exponentially.
There are a number of firms which are showing interest in IoT technology, and they are highly engaged in the development of IoT, even the biggies Apple, Samsung, Google, Intel, LG, Qualcomm and several others.
Research made by International Data Corporation (IDC) states that an apparent market transformation is going to scale up the expenses for IoT segment from 1.9 trillion in the year 2013 to 7.1 trillion in the year 2020. Gartner analysts says that by 2020, the amount of connected devices is going to reach almost 10 billion. Also statistics presented by Ericson says, the IoT-device market growth will be creating a situation where number of connected IoT devices is going to the number of connected mobile phones in the coming times.
Today we are having smart homes, cars, appliances, watches, toothbrushes & even forks. So, what mobile apps for smartphones do is they serve as a link between the users & their devices as through them, it gets easy managing Internet of Things devices. IoT app development, and mainly the development of mobile apps offer vast benefits and opportunities. This is why, in the recent years, IoT technology has become crucial in the arena of mobile app development.
Image Source Ericsson
Before you Begin
So, you have an idea to create an app. Now this is a great start, but it is not enough. So, before you begin to look for the professionals to develop an IoT app for your business, you must first have a detailed view of what you desire to accomplish. Like what is your app’s goal, its essential idea, who will be the user of your IoT app, how can they benefit from it, what hardware you can use for your app, what features to include in the IoT app (more the features, the more the time and cost), possible challenges and issues that your IoT app may face?
This stage tends to be quite important as the more details and information you are able to provide to your IoT mobile app developers, the better results they will be able to come up with. At the same time, it will save time for unnecessary corrections & discussions. Hence, it is better to give special thought to this initial stage.
For instance, consider IoT challenges, like they can be:
So, when you use Bluetooth to connect devices, it is better to consider Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology as that would result in lesser power consumption. Also, keep in mind that developing features like social media synchronization, geolocation, across mobile devices would need more time as compared to other features.
Thus, as you become acquainted with your needs and various challenges that would come your way during the IoT app development, it is now time that you begin looking for the right IoT app development company with enough experience and expertise with the technology and tools.
Time consumed for IoT Design Stage
The procedure to develop an IoT app is pretty similar to the other mobile apps and it begins with these following steps, like:
- Information Analysis: It includes Goal definition for the project, market & audience research, functionality and takes up to 20-40 Hours
- Prototyping: UI/UX Design, Interface Design, IoT Prototype and takes up to 40-80 Hours
- Visuals: Application’s Logo, Icons, Design and takes up to 80-300+ Hours
So, which are the most time-consuming factors at the design stage:
- Large project size
- Vast features & screens
- Complex UI/UX
- Amount of visual elements
- Usage of new technology & tools
- Undefined requirements
How much time it takes to create an IoT App?
Well, to determine the time to develop an IoT app, it actually depends on project’s complexity level and features you’re keen to integrate. Various factors are needed to be considered like project volume, number of icons, screens, features, IoT app complexity. However, generally, the development process consumes six months to create an average IoT mobile app.
Mostly, each IoT project has its specific requirements, however the rough number above serves as reference to above questions i.e. “How much time it takes to create an IoT app”? Further, as you get in touch with an IoT App development firm, they will provide you with right estimate of time & resources needed for the development of your IoT app.
Meanwhile, the features that will be consuming most of development time and cost are:
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Payment Integration
- Auto-learning feed
- New technologies
- Data Encryption
- Third-party API integration
- Synchronization across the devices
Usually, the task to create IoT software from the scratch may prove to be difficult & expensive, thus IoT app developers usually use pre-built component and also preferred IoT platform in order to speed up the development and to ensure cost-efficiency for clients.
There are around 40% respondents who stated that they mostly or always use a RAD (rapid app development) tool to create IoT mobile apps, rather than creating from the scratch.
Meanwhile, RAD is basically an approach to develop software that favours the prototyping rather than planning. Usually, prototypes complements or even replace design specifications.
What is the best mean to create an IoT mobile app?
Creating an app for Internet of Things was definitely pretty tough and it required plenty of resources and time. Like, your entire budget had to be well-planned out before you begun with the development. However, with time, as IoT has become more prominent and a number of solutions being available, this technology has become more & more affordable each day.
However, with that, complexity of the technology is also growing as it features endless sensors, networking chips as well as other things which ensure the data transmission. This is why, you must develop an app that can well respond & interact with the other connected devices and create a single chain. Or to say, it is important that your products work in tandem with the other connected devices like TVs, cars, microwave, airplanes, etc.
Now with there are being so many tools available to create an IoT app, it is important that you consider these following tips that would help in the development procedure.
The IoT App Level: Firstly, it is important for you to realize how your app is going to interact with the whole IoT system. How will it work? What functionalities should it have? What are the objectives should it fulfil? It is advised that you avoid common mistakes and don’t give much thought to the app first. Rather think of the devices its will be using.
Once you have answers to all of these questions, then you’ll have a clear and better understanding of the hardware & other layers important for your project. You can then decide on the infrastructure & data management. Besides, data processing is the key functionality of any of the IoT product. It is vital that you understand how processing is going to be organized and what top level your end user can see. The top level is the app itself.
Go for readymade platform: Even though IoT is developing vastly, there still are various unknown issues and unanswered questions. Like, creation of the app from the scratch is quite challenging. Like, you have no idea how it’ll actually work. Thus, many of the developers use readymade IoT platforms, as they come with a greater security level, are fully-equipped and have all needed analytic tiers.
The IoT developers can choose from wide-ranging readymade platforms, in fact even Google & Apple plan to come up with their own platforms. Microsoft, as well, as released its Intelligent System Service. Thus, getting a third-party help can be helpful too. However, developing a customized IoT app will have its own benefits and more advanced features can be integrated as per your business requirements and goals.
Create a Scalable App: It has its own benefits to create a scalable app. What happens is that IoT changes with its surrounding environment. Hence, we have no idea how IoT will evolve in coming decade. Thus, it is better to create a product that can be scaled up easily thus to follow latest trends in IoT. This way you’ll be prepared for the forthcoming changes.
Consider a Wider Market: Often start-ups fail to look at the bigger picture. Like they main concentrate on a single niche thus they limit their products, whereas IoT has no limits and same is with IoT app.
Thus, providing highly specific functionalities is actually good, but IoT nature asks for an over-the-edge communication. So, when you create an app for the IoT cars, it must be able to interact with the security services, etc. Thus, the idea is focus on broader pictures while the development takes place.
Security: Security is certainly the biggest concern as it comes to the Internet of Things. In fact, some firms realize the need of IoT platforms but they are very much afraid to implement them owing to the hacking possibility, security malfunction, etc. Hence, it is vital to take care of this aspect, as you develop an IoT app.
Now, next, it is time to determine the cost to develop an IoT app, so here let’s find out.
What are the factors that affect the cost of IoT app development?
There are a number of factors, the development of an IoT app depends on, such as:
- The kind of app you require and what is its complexity level (includes features and functionalities). Simple app will definitely cost lesser.
- The amount of time needed to create an app. It directly depends on the app type and number of platform it is being developed for.
- Number of team members who are involved in the app building process.
- Hourly rates of the designers & programmers involved. This depends on the region the developers live in, like:
- The cost in Eastern Europe is $30-50/hour
- The cost in North America is $50-150/hour
- The cost in Western Europe is $60-130/hour
- The cost in India is $20-50/hour
Meanwhile, the rate may vary as it also depends on programming language & experience and expertise in IoT development.
Considering these factors, the cost to develop an IoT app should be somewhere around $10000-250,000 depending on the app types (simple, native, gaming) and as per the additional features.