Internet of Things

IoT application development

IoT application development is a territory we have begun to explore over the past few years. We have developed systems for industrial automation and smart fleet management. We help companies at any stages of IoT, from creating brand new IoT systems to extending existing technologies into IoT or maintaining live IoT ecosystems.

man programming using laptop

The Internet of Things – bringing together physical objects via the internet and enabling them to take actions under our control and supervision via a smart application. A new level of connectivity that started to gain momentum in the last 5 years, now already supporting smart networks and generating a collection of related innovative services and technologies, holding infinite promises for the future.

Does IoT make sense for my business?

It isn’t straightforward to figure out what you need to do to win at IoT. It is a still relatively new technology and as with every new concept, there is a lack of use cases or applications ideas, thus discouraging decision makers looking to innovate.

Nevertheless, IoT applications and opportunities transforming productivity are increasing quickly across industries. For example, by connecting fleet vehicles to the internet, operators can remotely monitor the vehicles for defects, apply predictive maintenance and thus reducing downtime events and unexpected costs.

The hardest part to overcome in order to embark on an IoT journey is, first and foremost, a change of the business perspective. Shifting focus from manufacturing goods to exploring new technologies to smart up the production line can feel like a long way. Still, companies need to carefully consider how, where and why IoT aligns with their goals. While considering the promising benefits, managers should also consider what would be the loss of not adopting IoT.

One of our customers, a producer of automotive systems, has moved from IoT-curious to offering a wide array of options to remotely supervise a vehicle, implementing IoT technologies that enable location tracking, fault diagnostics, maintenance and monitoring in 18 months since first getting in touch with us.

When evaluating if and how your company might grow with components of IoT, answering questions like the ones below will help you assess the journey through IoT implementation:

• IoT ideation – what IoT use cases align best with your company’s goals?
• Do you have a strategic roadmap for IoT?
• Have you examined the IoT security facets?
• How will you calculate the ROI of your IoT projects?
• Have you considered how ready is your IT infrastructure for IoT?

The components of an IoT system

There are no standard IoT solutions, what works for one business may not be the right fit for another. IoT solutions will adapt to the organization, its structure, needs and objectives. Outlining the basic components of an IoT system may provide some clarity for where to begin.

Collection

Either sensors or the device itself collect data from the environment. IoT systems can essentially collect any type of data, depending of the requirement. Data can be from as simple as temperature, humidity, GIS coordinates, pressure, speed, gas or dust amount, inclination to full video feeds.

Transmission

The sensors send data to a server for storage, by using a connection, either cellular, Wi-Fi, or internet. The data can be communicated in various forms, such as an electrical signal or a numerical value. Once the data is stored, it is made available for the next step, namely analysis.

Processing

The data gets to the cloud and it is processed towards the desired result. For example, one can check if the temperature is within acceptable bounds or, more complex systems, to identify when certain objects appear in a video stream (for example to protect against intruders). But what if the temperature exceeds the expected limits or if there is someone in your house?

Consumption

The end user will be informed via an application, or other interfaces (email, SMS, notification). Depending on the system, the end user might have access to an interface allowing to proactively check the system, like viewing the video feeds from an app or from the browser, modify the system remotely (like setting the temperature to the desired level), or the system can adjust itself automatically.

In just about every IoT system, the steps above involve 3 key components:

Device: The physical thing collecting data.
User Interface: Web, mobile or another type of application that empowers users to access the data produced by the device.
Backend Web Service: The link tying the two pieces above together. 

How to assess IoT solution providers?

When seeking IoT application development providers, it can be tempting to go for the one offering the biggest savings. However, such an approach comes with the risk of low-quality services, delays or bad communication, As a result, you might need to pick up the pieces and fix things. Instead of just looking at IoT in terms of saving money, you should go for a development company that you can build a long-term partnership with.

 

Here are some of the criteria that can help you select which IoT service provider is the best fit for your company

The breadth of knowledge or specialization
One can generally say that the IoT application development supplier market includes full-service providers and specialized providers. The specialized providers focus on one or just a few of the specific parts of the value chain, like devices, data transmission or processing. Full-service providers offer the devices, software development services and services that make the way through the entire IoT value chain. Also, they usually pay particular attention to a specific vertical market of IoT, for example, transportation or industrial applications.

If you plan to develop or need focused attention on parts of the solution, specialists are a better option. They also suggest the benefit of premium technologies and tools. Full-service providers are a more convenient choice if you are building a full IoT solution. They also suggest a better choice in terms of security.

Experience
As with any service providers, experience is an important assessment factor. In IoT, the experience in vertical markets, particularly related to technology specializations, is even more important as IoT is about interconnecting several machine types. For example, a manufacturing environment can include multiple machines, devices and sensors. To synchronize all of them in an efficient and secure IoT system one need to have a good understanding of the types of machines and equipment being connected. Finding a partner that has already done implementations similar with your IoT use-case will save you time and money. This can suggest a good-quality end result.

Scalability
The more connected devices in a system, the higher the risks of performance, network capacity, and cloud data storage. The specific parts of the value chain used in an IoT system need to be able to keep the performance if the number of connected devices grows. If your IoT system provider is using shared infrastructure for all its customers, an increased load on one customer could affect the other systems. Question to ask your potential IoT supplier: how many endpoints can you support for a system in a single vs across all data centers?

Security
With so many components in line, IoT system poses higher security risks then the traditional cyber security we’ve all come to master. The devices, the connections, and the cloud solutions, they all have individual security protocols that need to be addressed. At a bare minimum, the connectivity between the devices and the cloud platform should be secured using standard identity-based authentication such as X.509 based certificates. Ask your provider about the existing authentication methods and encryption ciphers and the capability of the platform to handle SSL termination.

Support & System Lifetime
With IoT, the support services are essential for maintaining the system once it is rolled out. In case of anything going wrong, one needs to be able to easily transfer the system to someone else. Ask about the existing options for long-term support and full project documentation. If available, you will rest assured in case of a possible migration to another platform.

IoT application development services

We offer end to end IoT solutions from helping companies to discover the potential applications to implementing custom systems.

Build & deploy

We develop intelligent systems that empower connected assets to sense, network and transmit multi-faceted data, standardize and analyze the information. The platform to store data can be either cloud or local based. We empower the systems with smart web or mobile applications and analytics. This way we transform the data into business insight and improve the performance.

Extension into IoT

We can extend your old machines into smart IoT enabled devices that facilitate remote tracking, management and networking. As a result this will improve the speed and precision of production execution and planning. Our services cover the full process, from discovery and assistance with hardware selection to software development, security protocols and maintenance.

Support

Every system we develop receives a free 6-months warranty. This doesn't include the hardware parts, that are covered by the manufacturer's guarantee. During the initial 6 months, we will clear any possible software faults that are related to our own code at no additional charges. Beyond the warranty, we offer flexible long term maintenance options, covering software modification and evolution.

Technologies 

C#, Python, Java and Javascript are programming languages we master for creating IoT systems. We have a deep understanding of sensors and wireless communication.  We can create business applications for Linux and Windows IoT compatible devices.

Example of IoT app development

We have created a few cool IoT systems for factory automation and transportation, and we are ready to develop more. Some of the solutions we have created are:

Device Fleet Management: A company specializing in electronic control systems for vehicles now organizes and coordinates work vehicles via a web application. This enables fleet managers to track in real-time the vehicles' locations. They can also identify potential faults and get actionable insights from a remote location.

Quality Control on the Manufacturing Line: A steel construction company has adopted a real-time quality control system. The system uses a 3D camera system to analyze the metal pieces on the production line. The company is now able to collect, relay and act on real-time data. This helps to optimize end-to-end quality control within the production process.

What is your challenge right now?

Backed by 20 years of experience and 300+ completed projects, we're confident that we can help you no matter the challenge.