March 19, 2019
The Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping industries, and an increasing number of IoT apps are being built to leverage this technology in both business and personal settings.
The idea of the “Internet of Things” dates back to the late 1990s, but the opportunities have been multiplying rapidly in recent years. McKinsey estimates it will grow into an $11 trillion industry segment by 2025. The term IoT is mainly used to reference extending internet connectivity to devices that would not normally be considered “smart.” Sensors are imbedded in everything from natural to man-made objects, enabling these devices to transfer data over the network, independently of any sort of human action.
IoT apps collect and leverage this sensor data, providing an interface for businesses to do everything from operate more efficiently to improve customer experience. IoT apps are also enabling consumers to take better control of their health, home, and more. In this post, we’ll review some of the ways IoT apps are being used to manage health, increase workplace efficiency, and customize your home.
IoT Apps in Healthcare
The healthcare industry continues to improve through the digital revolution – and IoT already affords new ways to tailor patient care and interaction with providers. CYCORE, an IoT app that monitors vital signs through a Bluetooth connection, has presented cancer patients with improved ways to keep their symptoms in check. The app allows doctors to view real-time health checks and see how their patients respond to treatments. In a clinical trial of 357 patients, those using the CYCORE monitoring technology showed improved symptoms, including how they responded to treatments, as the real-time updates provided via the IoT app allowed for doctors to immediately address complications.
Another IoT app impacting daily life is part of a smart pill technology. Proteus Digital Health has produced pills with micro-sensors that pair with a small, wearable patch. These IoT pills help people stay on track with their medication as the patch sends real-time data through a Bluetooth connection to an IoT app on their smartphone. Patients can manage the information for their own purposes or choose to enable sharing with their healthcare provider or relatives. Doctors with access to their patients’ dose usage can adjust treatment as they determine how individuals respond to certain medications.
InspiringApps has also been involved in developing IoT apps for the healthcare industry. We created an IoT app for Sunrise Medical, a wheelchair manufacturer, that pairs with powered wheelchairs through Bluetooth. Intended for quadriplegic patients and others with limited mobility, this IoT app facilitates wheelchair movement so that users change their position throughout the day. Known as “pressure relief cycles,” regular switching of position is critical for wheelchair users to prevent sores and other complications. The IoT app notifies its wheelchair driver when they are due to change position. It also sends other types of messages that help a user know the best way to modify their position and allows individuals to adjust the length of their pressure relief cycles. SunMed focuses on user accessibility, including out-of-box native design elements intended to simplify the app experience.
IoT Apps for the Workplace
IoT technology is having a growing impact on the modern work environment too. Robin, for example, provides an IoT app that allows businesses to manage physical space and organize meetings. The app can pair with both Google and Outlook calendars to schedule meeting rooms and reserve space within an office. It additionally offers recommendations for the best locations to reserve for certain types of meetings and work. The longer your company uses Robin, the better the recommendations get as the IoT app technology “learns” the nuances of your unique office layout.
Other IoT apps specialize in office security. Kisi changes how we access our workplaces with keyless control. This IoT app uses a cloud-based system that pairs with a smart door reader to manage who enters the office. Already have an electronic lock? Kisi can pair with other locking systems, letting employees open doors through an NFC or Bluetooth connection. Unlike other IoT apps, Kisi sends a certified installer to your office to assess the particular needs of your building and give you a customized quote.
Energy management also becomes streamlined with the help of IoT apps. Using data analytics and smart sensors, the Energy Manager of Enlighted helps businesses control light levels and view real-time information about power use. The web-based system lets you change settings, create different employee profiles, and set up automation controls on a timed schedule. It includes security and encryption technology to ensure that your office stays protected while you manage your energy use and your energy data.
IoT Apps for Your Home
Just as our office experience benefits from IoT apps, the technology also extends into your home. Honeywell Home offers a line of smart thermostats with IoT capabilities. Their Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat lets you remotely control the temperature of your home, either by setting a schedule or in real-time, using an IoT app. Additionally, you can customize the background color of the touchscreen device to suit decoration preferences. The thermostat is also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant to fully connect your home.
Apple’s Home provides an all-inclusive approach to connecting your living space. Users can hookup their lights, smart locks, and blinds within the same IoT app interface. The app affords an extension to the Apple “hub” concept in allowing a fully integrated home experience that you can control from any of your devices. With more than 100 accessory options, Home gives you control of your house from your doorbell to your outlets, letting you manage all your accessories from the same IoT app.
Even indoor horticulture is benefitting from the Internet of Things. AcroOptics produces a line of smart lights for growing vegetables, flowers, and other plants at home. InspiringApps developed an IoT app for their LED Grow System, enabling growers to manage and monitor the health of their produce. Clients use the IoT app to adjust light cycles, select particular light colors to control growth, and make the home growing process as easy as possible. With a six-color range, the System offers a customizable user experience to meet specific needs of different plants and schedules. (AcroOptics also sells a highly lauded high-end Reef Aquarium Lighting System especially designed for SPS corals that employs a similar model to care for large scale aquariums.)
In summary, IoT apps are bringing exciting changes in both our personal and professional worlds. From home automation, to remote monitoring and control of manufacturing, to new services based on real-time sensor data, the Internet of Things is having a profound impact. Contact us if you have an IoT app idea that you’d like to explore
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