Integration With App
Integrating Your Internet Of Things Device With Your App
Most Internet Of Things devices have a companion App that they work with. The App usually allows the Internet Of Things device user to remotely control the device, get status data from it, extract reports etc. The App appears to work seamlessly with the device, just like using a remote control with your TV, but what is going on under the covers?
In most (but not all) scenarios, the App and Internet Of Things device do not actually directly communicate. Instead they both talk to “Cloud services”. Your Cloud service is a piece of software written specifically for your device that allows your App to communicate with the device. Think of the Cloud as a telecoms network and your Internet Of Things device and your App as telephones and you’re pretty close to the truth.
You tell your App to turn your device on. Your App tells the “Cloud service” to turn the device on. The “Cloud service” tells your device to turn on. It might seem a little more complex than it needs to be, but this arrangement allows you to control an Internet Of Things device from anywhere in the world. At least, anywhere in the world with an Internet connection!
Not all Internet Of Things devices connect using cloud services. Technically, if the device doesn’t connect via the Internet, then it’s not an Internet Of Things device, but that seems a small technicality!
For example, you may not wish to connect your device to the Internet for security reasons. Instead you may choose to just add it to a local WiFi network. In this scenario, your App would need to be connected to the same WiFi network to access the device. This is more limiting from the remote control perspective, but a little more secure.
If you have never had a direct relationship with your end users before, then an App that controls your Internet Of Things device could open up a lot of new opportunities for you. For example, if you’ve been selling fresh air vents for years via third parties, you probably don’t know your end users very well.
Creating an App for your users to download that connects to a useful Internet Of Things device also gives you direct communication with the end user. You can use your app to share information about your products and services as well as to gather unfiltered feedback from real users.