Mobile Apps to play a significant role in building IoT-enabled Smart Cities

In simple words, Internet of Things (IoT) is the transcendence of the Internet into everyday objects, connecting them via a network and allowing them to receive and send data. Once these objects are brought online, so to speak, they can be easily controlled and monitored via mobile apps, giving users an unprecedented amount of freedom and ease over them.
Rapid Pace of Smart Device Adoption in the Home is Accelerating the IoT Revolution
The recent “State of the Smart Home” report by shows that at least 54% of the American population intents to buy at least one smart home product in the next year. In Canada, this number is slightly lower at 50%. While Gartner estimates by 2022, a typical family home could contain up to 500 smart devices.
However, a completely interconnected smart home, where every appliance in your home – from your toilet to your coffee pot – can be accessed via a central unit, like say a cleverly developed app on your smart phone, is still a ways away from being affordable to the masses.
Which is why creating IoT enabled cities – smart cities – is being seen as a much more attainable, efficient and realistic application of the technology.
Mobile Applications play an Integral Role in the adoption of IoT at an Urban Level
The adoption of IoT at the urban level can only be achieved when national and state governments implement ICT solutions to manage its public affairs – like waste management, transportation, energy management, surveillance and policing etc. – thus building a truly Smart City.
Central to realizing this ambitious vision is a technology. Not just the tech that governs the infrastructure, i.e. state of the art sensors and broadband connectivity embedded into the devices, but the tech that controls these devices.
This is where mobile apps come into play.
A single well developed mobile app has the ability to interact with several smart devices and collecting pertinent data to provide the users a unique and utilitarian experience.
A cleverly developed mobile app interacts with a broad spectrum of sensors, thus enabling a user to monitor, control and access several smart devices with a single mobile application.
Experienced mobile developers can configure different parameters when working with various communication protocols into a single mobile app, making the management of a plethora of smart devices easier.
Cleverly designed and developed IoT mobile applications that seamlessly leverage big data and analytics are key to promoting Smart City initiatives globally.
These mobile applications can transmit accurate user insights and actionable information collected from the real-time data streams to the governments. Equipped with this information, governments can take the necessary decisions and efficiently make adjustments to any municipal system according to the needs of the citizens.
The Escher Group in their Smart City Planning report name developing comprehensive mobile and web applications and e-services as one of the essentials needed to build a sustainable and scalable smart city.
The backbone of any successful smart city is the proprietary IoT software or platform that acts as the foundation that would enable real time interaction of every smart device in the city. A comprehensive mobile application would act as the front-end of this software; helping the users and the governments make sense of the terabytes of data that would be available at their fingertips.
Developing Secure Mobile Applications is a key to the Growth of Smart Cities
However, a mobile application will only be useful to an IoT enabled smart city if it ensures complete security of the humongous amount of data being sent back and forth between the devices.
A poorly developed mobile app that does not pay critical attention to cyber security will enable cyber criminals to manipulate and hack any smart device that the mobile application interacts with.
An unsecure mobile application has the potential to put the entire infrastructure of the smart city at risk. This is why partnering with the right mobile application developers, who have the experience and technological expertise to develop wholesome mobile applications is of the utmost importance.
About the Author:
Shahid Mansuri co-founded Peerbits, one of the leading mobile app development companies, in 2011. His visionary leadership and flamboyant management style has yield fruitful results for the company. He believes in sharing his strong knowledge base with a lean concentration on entrepreneurship and business. Being an avid nature lover, he likes to flaunt his pajamas on the beach during the vacations.

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