The past five to ten years have seen a proliferation of IoT devices. With an installed base of more than five billion smart phones, two billion personal computers, and one billion tablets, there is a massive market for device integration and other development services. Advanced principal technologies and applications such as real-time analytics and artificial intelligence are continuing to fuel the growth of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies. The market size for business applications is large, and since IoT platforms still have plenty of room to mature, there remains significant opportunity for new connectivity and growth.
As consumers become increasingly connected with IoT devices on their smart phones, tablets, and other smart home devices, businesses can take advantage and become more connected with their customers. A mobile app can be an excellent tool to help improve this connection, by providing customer-facing or device-facing functionality that uses insights for added value, such as device management, dynamic dashboards, controls, and embedded firmware and software.
However, if you are considering developing an IoT application, you want to be sure it’s worth your time and money. Identifying the role of your mobile application ensures your product strategy and business goals focuses on an app that will meet your target audiences’ needs. Slingshot’s design team constantly asks:
Winning apps often take advantage of features unique to smart phones which cannot be found on most traditional websites. Here are some examples of smart phone functionality that can give IoT solutions and mobile apps the kind of value that your end users will find attractive:
We use our deep expertise in software development, ux/ui design and application development to deliver high-quality, custom applications that harness the power of connected devices. We can evolve existing business ecosystems and consumer products with IoT solutions, turning connected devices, Bluetooth beacons, sensors and wearables into powerful assets that drive value for our client’s businesses. As a development company, we have years of experience in processing and visualizing real-time data from connected IoT devices, making it easier to analyze and interpret.
Perhaps a business app can allow your customers to make purchases on the go or receive notifications for when to replace or replenish components, allowing your business to sell more supplies and chemicals, reaching customers even after the original smart device has been purchased. Perhaps an app could improve the buying process for your industry in other ways, such as speeding up the quoting process by streamlining the data input and analysis that is often still required to be completed manually. Your business doesn’t lose the human touch of meeting with a potential buyer or handing them a quote in person, but the gathering and processing of the data to generate that quote and subsequent order can happen much faster, and be more user-friendly. Iot development that generates valuable use cases offers businesses the ability to augment their value through more efficient workflows, advanced data analytics, and improved user experience.
Apps should not be mirror images of business websites. If you want just that, you should strongly consider making your site incredibly mobile-friendly and not bother with an app at all. Or try utilizing Apple’s App Clips, a slow-burn software that may soon move to the forefront, promising to alleviate app fatigue and give precious time and sensitive data back to the user. Additionally, there is a move towards progressive web apps (PWAs) and they are becoming better and better. PWAs effectively bridge the gap between mobile apps and websites and come at a time when users demand sleek mobile experiences but are overwhelmed by the number of apps on their devices.
Nor should mobile apps be used to connect to smart devices or wearables simply because every other IoT device has one. People are willing to download and use an app if it provides genuine value, but if the upside is limited to some small level of convenience or a reskin of api-called data, then downloading an app, creating another password-protected account, and using that app on a daily basis becomes much more of a chore than anything else. And that’s the opposite effect of what a smart device, and IoT systems in general, are supposed to have. Rather, apps should augment the customer experience and provide flexibility and options when it comes to interacting with and controlling the IoT technology.
Can you support the app in the long run? A lot of businesses commit to building an app but not all of them commit to maintaining it. Apps need to be updated regularly to fix bugs, improve the interface, and add new functionalities. That’s not something best left to automation. If you are in the planning stages of creating a business app, make sure that you have sufficient software development resources and scalability to evolve and maintain your app over time, or hire Slingshot to manage this process for you.
Arriving in the market with a top-notch app for mobile devices that supports both Apple iOS and Android operating systems shows you mean business, and end users increasingly expect it. Conversely, you can reach your customers on their smart devices and IoT ecosystems with other applications (PWAs, App Clips, Embedded Software) that broaden the benefits of your product and increase user touchpoints with your brand, leading to more frequent, positive user engagement.
Whichever IoT development or app development path you decide, let Slingshot be your partner. Our new product development process is purpose-driven, creating customer experiences that transform and delight, and achieving value that goes beyond aesthetics and trends. Our human-centered design process coupled with scientific thinking expands our ability to provide high-quality user experience, visual design, and implementation, ensuring that what we design, be it embedded firmware, an IoT project, a progressive web app, a mobile app, or an app clip, we will attract and engage users with meaning and utility. Tech works for us, not the other way around.
Want to learn more about how we approach IoT products and mobile application development and design?
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