The Influence of IoT on Website Creation

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a highly-discussed topic in the IT industry, due to its immense potential, practical applications and uses. It has significantly impacted almost every sector, from commercial manufacturing to healthcare and consumer goods, but has had a particularly notable effect on web application design and development.

A new report from McKinsey estimates that the Internet of Things could generate up to $11.1 trillion in economic value each year, if politicians, corporations and legislators take the necessary steps over the coming four years. To be prepared for this increased demand, web developers and designers across all industries must be ready to utilise their expertise to create novel IoT applications and services.

How, therefore, do apps designed for the Internet of Things differ from more conventional web or smartphone apps?

How Does a Smart Home App Differ?

A “classic” web application is a software programme that runs within a web browser, enabling users to perform specific tasks. As opposed to mobile devices or local systems, these applications operate on a web server.

Users can interact with the Internet of Things (IoT) through their applications, which are available for iOS and Android mobile devices. This allows users to communicate with, connect to, monitor and manage their IoT device networks.

To the uninitiated, this may appear to be a typical application, however, there are marked variations. Currently, there is a requirement for Internet-of-Things devices to be able to display website data and results, though this can only be accomplished with complex communication between operational models and website development. These applications incorporate both digital interactions as well as give users the ability to manipulate physical objects.

The considerable amount of data, communications, interface updates, security requirements and reliability demands introduce further complexities to the environment. Desktop applications can provide access to the online world, whereas Internet of Things (IoT) applications may be responsible for controlling domestic appliances, industrial processes and even vehicles.

Fundamental Alterations to Web Development for the Internet of Things

When compared to traditional methods of website app development, there are certain key features that must be incorporated throughout the web design and development process.

  • A Lively and Natural User Interface and Experience

    Designing and implementing an excellent user interface is easier said than done. Creating an app that is compatible with all devices and operating systems is challenging due to the vast range of hardware and software solutions available.

    User interfaces must be capable of accommodating the needs of a diverse range of users. The effectiveness, reliability and versatility of IoT devices depends on the expertise of web development and design teams who are aware of the latest design trends, and are able to provide robust programming capabilities.

  • Confidentiality and Safety

    The Internet of Things (IoT) involves physical control rather than just virtual control. However, due to its complexity, it can make hacking relatively straightforward, so security and privacy must always be taken into account. To ensure these devices are used safely, developers must adhere to stringent standards when working with IoT devices.

    The security measures, fail-safes and fallbacks incorporated into internet of things (IoT) devices must be robust. Web developers have a responsibility to ensure security is prioritized, particularly when dealing with IoT. User authentication, identity verification and access control methods must also be implemented for new IoT devices.

  • Extremely Large Data Sets

    Security and scalability are given greater consideration during the web development process for IoT devices compared to more standard websites. IoT devices capture massive quantities of data in real-time from sensors, which is then transferred to and from the cloud.

    The exponential growth of data has emphasized the need for robust cyber security solutions, in addition to the potential for network slowdown and data loss due to interruptions in the network connection. For this reason, it is essential that Internet of Things (IoT) application developers are proficient in languages such as Laravel, JavaScript, Java, Angular.js and other programming languages which facilitate seamless scaling.
  • Meaningful User Interactions and Chatbots

    The use of chatbots has become increasingly prevalent on conventional websites and apps in recent years, however, the integration of Internet of Things (IoT) applications has enabled further exploration of potential uses. To ensure these chatbots are able to provide automated responses to user queries, developers must incorporate machine learning into their design. It is anticipated that the demand for this is likely to grow.

    When implemented correctly and with consideration, features such as voice search can enable users to make the most of the programmes without having a detrimental effect on user interactions or page loading times.

  • Real-Time Analysis and Reactions

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is already providing a range of services which are used regularly by a large number of people. It is helping to improve their lives by providing instant information, feedback or responses in different formats depending on the device being used. The IoT is powered by advanced analytics protocols; allowing users to engage with and understand connected objects.

    Smartwatches are an example of wrist-mounted computers that are capable of executing calculations in real-time. They are able to monitor the user’s heart rate and blood pressure, count the user’s steps, and act as a reminder to stand up from a seated position periodically.

Modern and Future Internet of Things

It is reasonable to suggest that the Internet of Things has already had a significant impact on the realm of website development and design, and that this disruption is set to become increasingly significant as the technology continues to evolve in terms of both technical capability and applicable use cases. As web developers refine their approach to best utilise these increasingly important and beneficial technologies, this has had, and will continue to have, a major influence on the web development process for the better.

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