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August 30, 2016

What Is the Internet of Things and How to Thrive in It

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If you foresaw the power and potential of the Internet 25 years ago, congratulations. You’re likely reading this from your gold-plated private jet. For the rest of us, even those who remember the clanging bells of a dial-up modem or the robotic voice reminding you that “You’ve got mail,” the Internet seems as natural as the air we breathe. It’s incredible to think how heavily we have come to rely on a technology that didn’t exist a generation ago.

What is it?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the new Internet. It is the next logical stage in the evolution of data networks. Although you may have missed the nascent stages, it’s by no means too late to get on board. Right now is a pretty darned exciting time to be an app or software development company.

Depending on your perspective, the Internet of Things is somewhere on a spectrum between Kubrickian horror and technological utopia. A lot of our “things,” like our laptops, phones, tablets, televisions, and fitness trackers, are already a part of the IoT. The gist of the IoT is that all of the electronic devices you use – alarm clock, lamp, toothbrush, coffeemaker, car (and that’s just before you get to work) – will be connected to the internet in order to collect and transmit data.

The world is changing. Today’s kids can’t imagine a world without the Internet. Tomorrow’s kids won’t be able to imagine a world without the Internet of Things. And it’s time for a mobile app development company to understand the implications of that.

It’s the way of the future…but it’s still relatively unknown

If you’re still not sold on the Internet of Things, consider this: Intel, the tech giant which invented the modern day microprocessor, predicts that by the year 2020 there will be 200 billion connected devices. That’s 200 billion — as in twice the number of stars in the Milky Way.

There are a number of factors driving this incredible growth. As technology costs fall, it’s easier for manufacturers to create Wi-Fi capable products. At the same time, smart phones – with Internet connectivity – are becoming the standard communication device. Industry leaders like Apple are already integrating fitness trackers, televisions, and mp3 players into the IoT, with many players expected to follow suit.

Yet, even with these bold predictions and trends pointing towards the IoT as the next big thing, there’s still not much awareness of the concept among the general public – even those who use it on a daily basis. In fact, according to Forbes magazine, 87 percent of people either do not understand or have not heard of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The potential for growth is huge

If you’re a software developer this should sound like music to your ears. As the app store continues to bloat with over one and half million games, trackers, and timewasters, IoT presents a whole new playing field for you to branch out. By comparison, there are only 1,000 apps offered for the Apple TV and 10,000 for the Apple Watch.

To break into the IoT, become an expert in a field that’s still untapped. If you spend the next five years with an app development company creating software and apps for showers or toaster ovens, chances are no one will know more about your niche than you do. The IoT is so multifaceted that it’s impossible for the major players to cover every device. It’s an absolute goldmine for a custom mobile app development company.

The biggest thing to remember, should your software, app, or other IoT creation take off, is to ensure scalability. While research and development are important in early stages, it’s important to plan for best-case contingencies. Will you be ready when the order for a million units comes in?

There’s incredible potential in the IoT so long as you understand how it works and where you can fit in. What a time to be alive!