IoT apps have become part of a whole new trend in IoT development that highlights a streamlined, seamless user experience while delivering robust industrial-grade products.
IoT apps stand for ease of deployment, instant updates over the air, and attractive UI. These, in turn, have become indispensable to IoT initiatives, becoming part of the complex interweave of connected devices, IoT sensors, networks, and data analytics in the cloud or at the edge. Ease of use, speed, and instant availability are the primary drivers behind this trend.
This way, the complexity of IoT implementation and deployment is tackled in the background while users install complex logic on remote devices at the push of a button, roll out IoT apps on multiple devices at once, and run OTA updates in batches. But what exactly are IoT apps and why are IoT providers working hard to incorporate them into their offerings?
What Are IoT Apps?
When we speak of IoT apps or smart apps, we refer to lightweight IoT software running on IoT devices. This can involve complex logic, machine learning models, or deep learning algorithms. In short, this includes any sort of AI packaged as an app to be installed on embedded devices. But IoT apps can also be simple yet effective packages consisting of no more than twenty lines of code.
The logic to be installed on IoT devices can be generic and transferable across industries. Think of a GPS reader app that can be used for anything from pet tracking to machine monitoring in manufacturing. But it can also be highly specific and applicable to just one industry or vertical.
One thing is clear: IoT apps are present in both industrial IoT and consumer settings. They span highly sensitive domains such as military and healthcare. But they also cover classic areas such as industrial automation and automotive. Even more so, IoT apps have already entered consumer domains such as smart homes and wearables.
The reason behind the popularity of IoT applications is the simple fact that they abstract a great deal of the complexity of IoT deployments. This way, they help companies to automate, streamline, simplify, and oversee processes at a much greater pace. IoT apps can deliver crucial insight, give performance briefs, track both IoT devices and ambient conditions, and much more. All that makes them highly suited for the monitoring and control of IoT assets.
Because of this versatility, IoT apps can become the backbone of new business models, product development, and service provision initiatives within a company.
Application Areas for IoT Apps
Ultimately, IoT apps are tiny packages that deliver a streamlined experience and give you the advantage of speed. Especially when used in the context of all-in-one IoT platforms, these can become powerful tools for rapid IoT development. You develop, test, deploy on devices, and update in one continuous gesture from within one single venue. The high level of transparency that an IoT platform offers also means that you can monitor and control app performance at all times.
So IoT apps generate value in more than one way, both within enterprises and in consumer settings. For one, they can become the basis for sophisticated IoT products. Companies can weave new features and services into new connected products that deliver improved user experience and better access to complex IoT operations.
But IoT application development can become relevant at the level of the very business processes too. Machine learning, deep learning, and predictive IoT analytics have become the path toward the transformation of processes at all levels. Faster information delivery and deeper insight can lead to significant improvements in enterprise operations.
Applications for IoT Apps by Industry Type
To get a glimpse of the entire scope of IoT application areas for apps, here is a breakdown by industry type:
The classics here involve predictive maintenance, red button alerts, asset tracking apps that trace machine behaviour on the shop floor, as well as more complex logic that tells machines and industrial equipment to perform specific sophisticated actions at specific intervals. Extended uses include power consumption tracking and battery lifecycle management, automated security alerts, and customized machine status updates per email. For all of these, individual IoT apps can be created and rolled out on multiple devices simultaneously.
You can build smart apps to track soil moisture, plant photosynthesis, water consumption, or overall water management, and go all the way to greenhouse optimisation, crop protection, and irrigation control. If the smart solution is comprehensive enough, it can transform entire businesses by moulding a fully-fledged IoT product that can be presented on the market as a standalone offering.
Logistics, including maritime applications and air travel
Apart from generic location tracking offerings, you can build IoT apps that track equipment with a full overview of the locations of maintenance equipment, fuel management apps, and supply tracking solutions. These will boost the efficiency of staff, saving time and money. But more fundamentally, they will contribute towards improved processes and a somewhat better-looking environmental balance sheet.
Here you can roll out smart apps on anything with attached sensors. This allows you, for example, to monitor medication temperature limits and medical supply shortages. Further, sensor data allows you to oversee the condition of medical equipment or control the access to biohazard areas and materials by installing IoT apps that alert you every time a perimeter is crossed or a hazardous material is being removed from its protective container. Vaccines’ storage and expiration dates can also be tracked using IoT apps, as is the case with just about any perishable healthcare material sensitive to environmental conditions.
In the service sector, apps can help staff receive notifications about any sort of service issues. And then, these may extend to recommendations about the next course of action. This way, manual checks are slowly becoming a thing of the past, saving companies time and money. Consumer IoT is already treading on this ground too. It makes it possible to track the behaviour of coffee machines, fridges, or vacuum cleaners in the smart home, or equip living spaces with IoT apps for maximum energy efficiency.
Sports & Entertainment
IoT apps can become indispensable to event organisers. Especially when it comes to crowd management scenarios during concerts or large-scale sports events. Companies can use a mix of sensors and cameras at strategic locations to track crowd movement, for example. This way, they prevent security breaches and ensure spectators’ safety. Gaining deeper insight into traffic patterns during such events can also create opportunities. Companies will be in a position to place additional safety equipment at strategic spots or even come up with new products and services that anticipate the needs of crowds.
Curious about the Record Evolution IoT App Store? You can have a look here and sign up to access the IoT app development environment.
About Record Evolution
We are a data science and IoT team based in Frankfurt, Germany, that helps companies of all sizes innovate at scale. That’s why we’ve developed an easy-to-use industrial IoT platform that enables fast development cycles and allows everyone to benefit from the possibilities of IoT and AI.