Not so long ago, we were discussing the benefits of using React Native and Flutter in MVP development and named several weighty reasons why this toolkit is a perfect fit for building an IoT MVP. In this post article, we take a wider view on building a new IoT product and come up with a list of general tips for those who work on an IoT prototype, MVP and PoC or plan to do so in the future.
HexxaSoft is a top-notch mobile app development company offering mobile application development services for iPhone, iPad and Android platforms. Our team of mobile app developers is creative and knowledgeable to accomplish your individual demands as well as your business needs.
In this article:
- Tips on choosing best suited hardware devices
- Professional advice on programming & ui/ux strategy
- Ideas about third-party tools for IoT development
- Cross-platform development
- Development approach idea
What is MVP or IoT, POC and Prototype?
A well-balanced MVP is the best possible way to explore the potential of your idea at the optimum cost and time. It has the right proportion of basic functionality and unique features to prove your product can stand out among its competitors and market. Using minimum viable product software, you show the investors your concept is worth looking into and can test your product on real audience before a big roll-out to the market.
A proof of concept (POC) is a demonstration to verify that certain concepts or theories have the potential for real-world application. In a nutshell, a POC represents the evidence demonstrating that a project or product is feasible and worthy enough to justify the expenses needed to support and develop it.
POC is therefore a prototype that is designed to determine feasibility, but does not represent deliverables. It is usually required by investors who need tangible proof that a startup and its business proposal can guarantee a healthy return on investment (ROI).
Project managers use POCs to identify gaps in processes that might prevent the product from achieving success. It is also well known as proof of principle.
Leveraging next-gen technologies, intelligent algorithms and modern UI that provides sleek UX(User Experience) for your valuable clients.
Success of your IoT Product starts with a great MVP
First of all, building a viable IoT system isn’t like anything else. Fundamentally, IoT is multicomponent and you need to put many things all together. There are different competencies involved, including low-level programming, data pipeline architecture, data analytics and visualization, cross-platform application development, etc. A good set of tips on how to deal with this or that component may not cover competency gaps, but help better navigate the options.
Secondly, we know a thing or two about bringing a brand new product to the market, including an IoT system. Our teams have worked with startups and big tech companies from different industries and developed a range of MVPs across web, mobile and IoT. So most of the tips you find below come from our practical experience.
Choose the right hardware to optimize bring-to-market time
There’s no lack of IoT hardware in the current market, and choosing the right boards, accessories and kits can be a real challenging. There are several factors to consider, including cost, processing power, compatibility and connectivity options, even size and robustness.
Simple and affordable boards are perfect for building a PoC(Proof of Concept) or prototype for IoT devices, validate ideas, shape the design, do in-house testing. Working with blank boards requires soldering and wiring, adding modules for connectivity, extra processing power, etc., but provides ample opportunities for a custom design and dynamic prototyping. On the contrary, more advanced market-ready hardware like the latest models of Raspberry Pi has everything you need. It can be a perfect choice to save time and build an MVP IoT device neat enough to roll it out to the market.
As a rule, hardware producers and vendors offer more than just boards and extensions. IoT hardware platforms provide a wide range of tools and services, including IDE, kits and cloud platforms to facilitate and speed up the development of an IoT product prototype or an IoT MVP project.
Whatever the case, our main goal from the very start is to learn as much as we can about the concept of your app. Who will use it? What platform/platforms we build for? Are there similar systems in the niche? What are the business objectives of this project? Do you have a marketing strategy in mind?
At this step, we conduct a series of interviews and ask these and many other questions to get a clear idea of project goals, context and timeline. Ideally, we engage different key stakeholders on your side such as a product owner, designers, your marketing team and domain experts, etc. This approach allows us to cover as many aspects of the project as possible, hear your expectations, dive into your business and market environment.
Upon gathering all the requirements and have all the information, we move to one of the most important parts of an app development cycle — analytics and research.
Considering your programming strategy
Business and Market Research
Research is defined as a careful consideration of study regarding a particular concern or a problem using scientific methods. Research involves inductive and deductive methods.”
You may include a more significant part of this in your overall enterprise mobility strategy. As one app’s objectives may differ from another, there is still an app-specific impact to the mobility strategy to address during the development process.
We conduct our research in several directions to make it crystal clear regarding the business scope:
- Audience. We learn what we can about the future users of the app — their expectations, challenges, goals, habits, behavioral specifics, tech skills, device preferences. This information is essential to create user personas later at the design stage.
- Competition. It never hurts to know what others offer in your niche. We analyze the competition to see how other companies solve similar challenges, what technologies they use, what features they have. We find out what they do good and what can be done better. This analysis helps understand the market and find opportunities for your competitive advantage.
- Industry. Every domain has its own standards, rules, technologies, monetization practices and simply the ways things work. We study industry specifics and bring in cross-industry expertise where it is reasonable. The results of this analysis will have a huge impact on the design and technology choices.
- Business and technology. We learn about your business, technology infrastructure and operations related to the future mobile app. Thus, we will be able to select an optimal tech stack and design mobile experiences that will reflect your brand’s identity and be consistent with other services you provide.
Third-party tools for data visualization and analytics
There are plenty of solutions and platforms that you can integrate to your application and build your data visualization and analytics strategy on. These multifunctional tools already offer the perks and features your IoT application will need (including a variety of data visualization techniques, permissions, assigned control rights, automated reporting, etc.). You will still need to work on configuration and integration. However, using third-party tools will significantly reduce the price to develop IoT prototype, PoC or MVP compared to starting from scratch.
We make a review of the major platforms like Tableau, Kibana or Power BI and provide expert tips to build efficient data dashboards in the article about data visualization techniques and tools.