August 4, 2014

The Thing with the Internet of Things

I was recently asked what I think of the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon, and it got me thinking about the sci-fiesque possibilities it promises. Wearable devices that send medical information to your doctor in real-time. Alarm clocks connected to self-starting coffee machines. Pressing “play” to watch a movie and your home drawing the curtains and turning off the lights automatically. The consumer in me is excited, but my inner software developer is curious about the implications it’ll have on our industry.

The premise of the Internet of Things is connecting the devices that are disconnected from each other and the Internet. This will bring about fundamental changes in device designs and require developers to work closely with product teams to develop regulation-compliant applications with intuitive interfaces that also take into consideration the myriad of endpoints. Software testing will need to accurately reflect real-world scenarios, which are almost endless in their variation. And because of the size of the ecosystem these devices exist in, it’s critical that software is developed with API’s evolution in mind. It’s also worth noting that IoT development challenges don’t end at launch—maintaining the functionality of these devices is the only way companies will successfully embrace the trend and keep their customers happy.

If this topic interests you, take a look at my post published on WIRED’s Innovation Insights blog. Done right, IoT will be an exciting time for both the companies pioneering the technology and the developers making it possible.