The IoT and What That Means for Mobile Apps Going Into 2020

by Nicolas Costa
Blog Post

IoT is simple: it’s about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, doing their best to simplify our lives. It refers to the network of smart devices that we rely on every single day.

The popular, if silly, example is the smart fridge: what if your fridge could tell you it was out of milk, texting you if its internal cameras saw there was none left, or that the carton was past its use-by date? – Apps are the answer to connect this fantastic idea with our daily life.

The discussions and predictions surrounding the “Internet of Things” (IoT) are about the future. To fully appreciate the potential and capabilities of IoT, you actually don’t need imagination to come up with ideas for what impact it will have on mobile apps.

All you need is observation.

Much of the talk has been around Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, how it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors, immediately connected and mobile. It will, supposedly, make everything (cars, streetlights, coffee makers, beds, etc.) “smart”.

For mobile app users, automation of tasks and “workflows” will matter the most. You’ll see retail and e-commerce being some of the first places for IoT disruption.

For mobile apps, what matters are the wide range of objects and usages, connecting objects in our homes, surroundings, and businesses, and controlling the way that we communicate over networks.

5 Trends & Predictions That Matter for the IoT and Mobile Apps

The IoT is a collection of several technological trends that experts believe could change the ways that we access information and communicate with each other.

It’s more than just wearable tech, but that will be another area where you’ll see mobile apps being taken to the next level of innovation and disruption.

Trend #1: Growth of IoT is Explosive and Exponential

The growth of IoT is expected to expand dramatically, encompassing over 50 million individuals in just a few short years — and well over 50 billion devices. Current predictions talk about how IoT is expected to reach full fruition by 2020.

Each individual is estimated to have approximately 6.5 devices in use. That’s a lot of gadgets to keep track of, let alone use.

This, of course, means that the utility of mobile apps will not only increase in demand but the potential for what these apps can do will be expanded, too. Controlling your air lights with an app is cool, but how can that app make life easier, faster and more efficient?

Trend #2: More Capabilities with High-Power Processing

Mobile and other devices will be “smart” processors (to be called “systems on a chip”) that will provide smartphones and tablets just as much computing power as a laptop or desktop computer — and much faster than today’s technology.

As this article is being published, semiconductors are already being developed to support the significant power requirements that these chips will need, tailored specifically for IoT and “system on a chip“.

What app ideas are being held back today, that may be possible in just a few years?

Do you have the imagination to dream about what might be next?

Trend #3: Unlocking Memory with M2M

Memory systems called M2M Flash Memory, RAM processes, and increasingly lower-energy communication will become more prevalent.

Technological professionals even suggest that RAM capacity will continue to grow exponentially, giving much more than “sufficient” memory for personal area network programming, data storage devices, and memory to memory communication between devices.

How could a mobile app tap into this kind of memory?

Trend #4: Unlimited Wi-Fi and P2P Sharing

Wi-Fi systems are expected to open up as the sharing of Wi-Fi networks can be between individuals, instead of relying on carriers of wireless services.

OpenWireless.org further suggests that many networks will be unlocked, eliminating idle home networks that aren’t maximizing their potential.

Current untapped bandwidth networks utilize more communication between a router’s owner, giving them priority over users when they’re in range. This integration provides users opportunities to route traffic rather than getting annoyed over slow services, as server integration gives rise to anonymous software systems that utilize VPN networks and devices depending on which IP is available.

Users will be individually encrypted to networks over a new protocol, called EAP-TLS, which offers the equivalent of HTTPS for users for maximum security.

With Wifi and data networks not being a constraint anymore, what capabilities can be added to mobile apps?

If the IoT ends up facilitating more P2P use cases, what could you do with that in your app?

Trend #5: The Power of Wireless Sensor Networks

More advanced communication systems will extend technological growth, research, and network speed, as cooperative communication becomes more complex.

These Wireless Sensor Networks (called WSN) approach cooperative relaying between the energy consumption of sensor nodes, giving all sensor networks increases in activity through star topology.

Further advancements toward wireless ad hoc networks will completely automate and organize networks without the complicated centralization of a “controller”.

This will ultimately disrupt the nodes of communication that we’ve been using for temporary “functional” networks, which support seamless integration of user captivity.

What These Trends Means For Users And Mobile Apps

The integration of new communication and disruption of WSN networks could be drastic.

Harnessing IoT supercomputing processing will give industries complete control of consumer data, ownership of network, stored data in cloud storage systems.

You’ll see expanded capabilities and automation, eliminating redundant tasks and usage.

At the same time, our understanding of “data ownership” (which is already blurry) will become even more unclear.

These trends will change the ways that we receive and handle all this information, too.

New communication systems will explode and force network industries to completely revolutionize the wearables that people will be using every single day.

This might not seem like a “big” deal, but it’s already having a drastic effect on mobile network providers (commonly referred to as MNOs) like AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and even T-Mobile.

Expect huge infrastructure changes to update the systems, with huge MNOs dumping as much as $36 billion into systems that develop better transfers of information, like Verizon’s $3 billion investment to install fiber optic infrastructure in New York City.

The Challenges IoT Presents for Mobile Apps

This expansion of devices and wearables will have drastic effects on the way we view our devices.

The main areas that present challenges are:

  • Data security and privacy. How much are you willing to give up to get the benefits?
  • Complete overhaul of standard operating procedures, protocols, and information transfer.
  • Dramatic changes in the power consumption of mobile devices.
  • Distributed computing performances in comparison to current technology.
  • Geographic “dead zones” controlled by those who have low density interaction with IoT areas, creating fly over states, oceans, and continents for those with fewer active technological resources.

The “Internet of Things” has potential for major disruption for telecom systems and cable infrastructures.

While IoT opens up more opportunities and capabilities for mobile apps, we face a tumultuous time of change and growth — which is both frightening and exciting.

Is your company ready for this revolution? How are you planning to take advantage of IoT? Join the trend!

We’d love to help you succeed with what IoT has to offer for future developments.

Tweet this out or shoot us an email at mvp@koombea.com if you have any idea you want to check with our experts.

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by Nicolas Costa
Blog Post