Building IoT Apps in 2022: Technologies, Costs, Tips
In the upcoming years, IoT solutions are expected to increase their market presence. Why so? The main reason is their ability to open up various revenue streams, enhance business performance, and facilitate new business models. Also, they improve how existing services are delivered across various sectors.
With years of experience in IoT development, in this article, WebbyLab’s developers will showcase how to make an IoT app that is efficient for your consumers and profitable for business.
We’ll also cover the pitfalls and tips that can facilitate and optimize the IoT app development process and discover how to find the best vendor for your IoT project.
Finally, you’ll learn different niches of IoT solutions with real-case examples of WebbyLab and other authoritative firms, which will help you to create a powerful IoT app solution for your business.
Examples of Good IoT Apps to Understand the Particularities of the Market
How to develop an app for IoT that is sure to outrank the competitors and conquer the target market in 2022? Reviewing the successful IoT-based case studies can help you identify the key trends and get insights for your custom app project!
- MyBox – EV Charging Stations. MyBox is an EV charging station manufacturer and supplier that needed to develop a cloud-based ecosystem for private and public EV charging station management. WebbyLab helped them create a stable and secure custom application for the remote configuration, maintenance, and management of numerous EV chargers with various user flows and hardware.
- Factory of the Future – Manufacturing. The IoT solution of Airbus implies extensive usage of smart devices to enhance the communication between operators and robotic tools responsible for different construction tasks.
- FIELD System – Industrial Automation. An open platform by FANUC which enables the execution of various IIoT applications that focus on heavy devices like robots, sensors, and machine tools.
After discovering well-made IoT projects, let’s dive deeper into the platforms and tools to use for the development of IoT solutions.
Platforms & Tools to Help Develop IoT Applications
Hardware and software communication is the key point for any IoT device. Below are some of the key technologies that will help you to better understand what tools are essential for creating such a solution.
|IoT Protocols||IoT Platforms|
|Purpose of Use: ensure smooth and secure information exchange between IoT sensors, devices, gateway, or services. |
Examples: WiFi, RFID/NFC, MQTT, AMQP, Bluetooth and BLE, Cellular, CoAP, DDS, LoRa and LoRaWAN, LWM2M, XMPP, Zigbee, and Z-Wave.
|Purpose of Use: allow managing the connectivity of the devices and efficient development of new IoT software applications. |
Examples: Google Cloud Platform, AWS, IBM Watson, 2Smart Cloud, ThingWorx, Open Remote, and more.
With over ten years of presence on the market, WebbyLab has accumulated a vast experience in different aspects of IoT app development, including web and mobile development, backend and infrastructure planning, and hardware engineering.
In our portfolio, you can find multiple cases dedicated to different industry-specific IoT development, from eLearning and smart home solutions to eCommerce ecosystems and B2B segments. So far, we have successfully delivered the 2smart, Intersport, ITbox marketplace, and many other projects, which you can study anytime on our website. With our team, hundreds of enterprises across the globe have already achieved their business goals, and we’re always ready to address the challenges provided by our new clients as well.
As you can see, WebbyLab has lots of practical experience with IoT development, so we decided to share some technical details on developing an IoT application. After reading it, you’ll be able to avoid common mistakes and make the most out of the creation process.
IoT Components & How Does It Relate to IoT Apps
When learning how to create an app for Internet of Things, one of the key steps you’ll need to understand is the basic components of an IoT solution. Regardless of the industry and required features, the typical Internet of Things application includes hardware, software, cloud, and network integration. It ensures smooth and efficient communication between the end-user and the device.
Overall, the IoT solution includes the following components:
- An IoT device with embedded software
- Cloud backend (MQTT broker), responsible for the communication and interaction with IoT devices in real-time
- Cloud backend, which ensures efficient user management through the frontend interaction
- Web interface, required for vendor support and management services
- The mobile app, responsible for user-device communication in general
Apart from this, another essential aspect to consider is historical data collection. In IoT, this process implies a real-time performance recording of different sensors and devices within the system.
How to Build an IoT Application: 5 Key Development Stages
When developing a functional IoT solution, you usually need to build a user-friendly mobile app and full-fledged server-side system. Below you’ll find the five essential steps that help to turn your bright idea into a fully functional, successful IoT product.
At WebbyLab, we successfully leverage all the approaches below to streamline and optimize the IoT application development process.
Plan the Framework of Your App
First, consider the most efficient delivery model for your IoT app development: building from scratch, using SaaS platforms or their alternatives. The framework is a so-called “backbone” of your IoT app solution. It helps to better understand the project timeline, budget, and technical requirements.
Additionally, at this stage, you need to plan the data and network protocols, cloud architecture, open APIs support, and scalability of your product. Make sure to consider the hardware support, firmware updates, and security mechanism to make your IoT solution reliable and safe for use.
Create the IoT App Prototype
In IoT, prototyping is one of the proven ways to widely allocate the costs within your project, ensure it’s relevant and provides all the functionality required. Designing the prototype based on the user journey will help you to reduce the costs, optimize the development time and enhance the functionality of your final product.
Develop, Implement, and Deploy the App
Based on the prototype and project documentation, build a robust IoT application that works with your hardware best. At this stage, focus strongly on the UX/UI components and back-end coding architecture. These processes will ensure your product is user-oriented, bug-free, and provides the highest value to your end-users.
Mind the App Testing & Integration Stages
IoT solutions become more complex and feature-rich. So, the QA process is a must-have stage in any IoT development. It helps to identify and address various types of errors, as well as consider adding other functionality that might improve your app’s performance. There are five different testing types used in the IoT QA process: security testing, performance testing, usability testing, compatibility testing, and scalability testing.
Maintain and Improve the Application
Once the IoT app is released, don’t overlook its further maintenance and improvement. Besides the marketing hustle, you’ll also need to process customer feedback to enhance your product’s performance and help get it in the top positions in the IoT software market.
How Much Does It Cost to Build an IoT Application?
The overall cost for IoT app development can vary depending on different factors, and we’ll share the estimate according to WebbyLab’s experience. The factors influencing the final cost include the project’s type (Prototype, MVP or full IoT product), its complexity and development approaches, company rates, and many more. On average, developing an IoT solution for your business starts from 15 thousand dollars and higher.
There are two approaches to custom IoT development:
- Creating the system from scratch – enables the creation of more customized and feature-specific solutions. However, it requires building servers and a well-prepared team for the system support
- Utilizing the specialized platforms for IoT development – is perfect for rapid development. It implies getting the required functionality from ready-made templates. This can greatly reduce the delivery time and simplify the overall development process without sacrificing the app functionality.
What to keep in mind if you’re developing custom software from scratch? Consider a wide range of processes, from product planning and development to release and maintenance.
Luckily, today you no longer need to hire in-house experts to deliver the IoT project you need: there are many authoritative vendors, such as WebbyLab, ready to deliver a functional, robust product at the most reasonable cost.
Below you can learn the average rates and delivery time for IoT app development services at WebbyLab, depending on the project type and processes performed.
|MVP IoT Product||Standard Ready-to-Market IoT Solution||Custom IoT Product with Advanced Features|
|Research Phase, Estimation & UX/UI Design||From 40 hours|
From $ 1200
|From 80 hours|
|From 130 hours|
|Mobile App Development||From 200 hours|
|From 360 hours|
|From 500 hours|
|QA Testing & App Launch||From 80 hours|
|From 150 hours|
|From 200 hours|
|Tech Documentation Outline & Maintenance||From 40 hours|
|From 60 hours|
|From 80 hours|
As for the MVP development, our team provides the development services of the IoT hardware, software (web or mobile app), and an IoT platform. The overall development price for such a project starts at $30,000. It can be delivered in as fast as 12 weeks.
However, you can also include the customization features to the final IoT solution, like integrating IoT Cloud services with third-party devices, specific data metrics, analytics, etc., which will add to your product’s functionality and value. The pricing for the add-on features is calculated individually for each project.
Let’s proceed to the overview of the global IoT market so you’d better understand its main challenges and trends. This would help you make a well-informed decision on whether or not your business would benefit from developing an IoT solution.
Growing IoT Application Market Overview
The IoT market is huge. Millions of IoT solutions have been widely integrated into other markets. It seems like in the future, we’ll see more and more Internet of Things devices embedded across a variety of fields. According to Grand View Research, some key players have already started leveraging IoT app development, including ABB, IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Siemens AG, Microsoft Corporation, and more. Healthcare wearables, farming equipment, and logistics tracking to smart devices for homes and factories — just to name a few.
IoT Market Size
The increasing demand for IoT solutions has organically stimulated its overall market growth and development perspectives. As of 2021, the global IoT market size was valued at $385 bn. According to the forecasts of Fortune Business Insights, it is expected to increase to $2,465 bn by 2029.
Most Perspective Segments in IoT
The comprehensive IoT market study by Grand View Research has showcased that this technology has the highest application in energy and power, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries. The last one will lead the market, accounting for approximately 28.4% of total revenue by 2030. Another segment that shows excellent potential in IoT app development is logistics and transportation. The reason? Asset management and smart tracking solutions are becoming widely adopted.
North America traditioonally leads in IoT technology development. The region featured an overall revenue share of more than 33% in 2022, generated by well-established market players from Canada and the US, such as IBM Corporation, Google, Siemens AG, Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, and others.
However, in the long-term perspective, some of the most tech-developed Asia Pacific players, namely China, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore, can compete with the current market leaders. With more and more manufacturing companies realizing the potential of IoT, robotics, and AI, China has all the chances to become the world’s largest tech hub by 2027. At the same time, plenty of venture capitalists around the region heavily invest in IoT solutions to gain tech advancements in their target industry segment.
Challenges in IoT App Development
The major challenges of the Internet of Things app development are mostly connected with four key aspects: security, reliability, privacy, and tech inconsistency. Let’s review the specifics of each. You’ll get a better idea of how to build an IoT application for your business.
System security should be implemented in the initial stages of IoT software development. It reduces the risks of breaches and inconsistent performance. For example, in a charging station developed by WebbyLab, there is an option to pay for charging via the app. It’s essential to ensure the app can’t be breached to prevent unauthorized charges.
Based on our experience in IoT optimization, we suggest adding multiple security layers encrypted and embedded to the devices’ ID numbers at the production stage. Additionally, to secure the station from third-party access, you can add a “dangerous activities” entity, which needs manual confirmation from the super administrator to perform certain actions.
Wearable, home, and many other IoT devices often collect personal information and sensitive data. For instance, biometric data, personal preferences, users’ behavior, or any other data hunted by frauds. The hacking methods become more tricky and severe, so the IoT engineers must create a robust system with an advanced security level and consistently update it (including IoT devices updates) to minimize the risks of data compromise.
That is why, for instance, IoT home devices require regular mobile app updating from the official vendor to ensure the highest level of personal data security.
There are different approaches to ensure the high reliability of the data storage and maintenance for your IoT device:
- Grandfather-father-son backup (GFS) – the approach in which there are three or more backup cycles, such as daily, weekly and monthly. It helps to timely update the reserved copies of your data.
- The 3-2-1 backup – implies having at least three copies of your data: two local (on-site) but on different devices, and at least one copy off-site. This ensures high security of data storage and minimizes the chances of its loss.
- Software encryption – the approach in which the data is stored encrypted and can be accessed with the encrypted key only. This prevents sensitive data leakage and its further use by criminals.
These options allow you to efficiently reduce the risks of system compromise and ensure a smooth performance of your IoT solution from the long-term perspective.
Lack of standardization has become one of the most notable technical IoT challenges on the market. Company-developer needs to combine different IoT protocols integrated within a single IoT solution. In most cases, the IoT app developer defines the possible ways to combine the basic MQTT protocol – Message Queue Telemetry Transport – with other protocols used within the target system.
Why You Should Develop an IoT Application
Before we start explaining how to create an IoT app, it’s essential to make sure that it works for your business goals. The companies already investing in IoT-based solutions can improve their competitiveness in the target market segments and gain more advantages for their business performance.
The most common reasons it’s high time to develop an IoT app today include
- Cost efficiency. The IoT functionality allows performing various routine operations with minimal human support, which enables workflow automation and higher productivity
- Customer behavior insights. With IoT, businesses can collect and analyze the data on product performance and buying trends, thus providing customers with what they want and increasing their revenues.
- Enhanced employee performance. According to McKinsey, increased activity monitoring and indoor sensing provided by IoT can increase worker productivity by an average of 10% to 12%, or $19-43 bn.
- Business opportunities. For startups, IoT can be a great opportunity to set up strong partnerships with well-established enterprises. Also, compared to the apps on App Store and Google Play Store platforms, IoT products have a much higher monetization potential. Thus, you can set up a sustainable business model faster.
- Risk reduction. IoT app development also significantly automates various business operations. Such solutions empower timely updating about the issues or any related troubles. Thus, a company prolongs the period of equipment operation and increases the business profits.
The other reasons for building IoT apps? Let’s name some.
- remote monitoring in real-time,
- optimized production,
- constant feedback of the implemented features,
- reduced barriers between the business and its clients.
Key Niches for IoT App Development
Now we know the potential you get when deciding to build IoT-based solutions. Let’s review the most prospective fields for various IoT app ideas you can use for your business.
- Smart homes: Gardening equipment, smart heating and lighting, voice assistance, air and water quality monitoring, safety and security devices.
- Healthcare: Patient cost optimizations, accelerated treatment, remote health monitoring, asset management, and maintenance.
- Manufacturing: Remote equipment and asset management, production monitoring and maintenance optimization solutions, improved supply chain efficiency.
- Logistics: Cost-saving opportunities, increased safety, profitable routing, reduced energy use and congestion, vehicle maintenance, warehouse management, and improved operational performance.
- Retail: Enhanced supply-chain management, smart inventory management, improved client experience, automated checkout, and fully automated stores.
- Finance: Customer experience improvement, workflow automation, optimization, behavior tracking.
- Energy: Remote asset monitoring and management, smart decision making, innovative power solutions, grid balancing, process optimization.
- Agriculture: Agricultural drones, greenhouse automation, monitoring climate conditions, cattle monitoring, risk assessment, and control.
Already inspired to build IoT apps? Keep on reading to discover the key challenges in IoT app development. Thus, you’ll get ready to create awesome products for the IoT market!
Building IoT Solutions with WebbyLab
To conclude, we have now reviewed all the aspects of launching an IoT application that works for any business model across different industries. The IoT app development involves building a solid ecosystem that seamlessly integrates multiple web and mobile applications to deliver the best performance to the end-users.
Now that you know the basics of IoT app development and can better understand the key aspects of creating a custom IoT application. At WebbyLab, we feature years of experience in creating various IoT devices and hardware modules, as well as software and firmware for those.
So far, we’ve delivered hundreds of innovative products and advanced solutions for businesses from different industries, which has made us one of the top-ranking companies in the IoT software development market.
Are you considering the IoT project or already looking for a dedicated team of developers to build an IoT application? Contact us anytime to get an expert quote concerning your topic from WebbyLab’s most competent experts!
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