If you thought that the world couldn’t get any more interconnected, you might want to buckle your seatbelt. Early reports are showing that close to $6 trillion will be invested over the next 5 years into IoT apps, IoT devices, and the overarching glue of the Internet of Things itself. For those who are looking to take advantage of this heavy investment in IoT initiatives, now is the time to do so.

Doing our part to help you prepare for the coming explosion of IoT over the next few years, we have put together this article on 5 IoT apps to develop in 2018. By getting a good look at the potential for IoT across various industries, we hope to provide you with the tools you need to not only develop IoT apps, but ones that will be successful. First, let’s begin with some basics.

iot apps

What are IoT Apps?

So, what are IoT apps and how do they work? The Internet of Things refers to any item or device that can exchanged data with embedded sensors. These IoT devices can be just about anything you can think of, from a thermostat to your front lawn. In order to give these devices something to do, IoT apps are used to turn the data coming from IoT devices into an understandable and usable language for consumers.

While you may be wondering how rapid growth in IoT can happen with today’s devices, you should know that most new devices today are already ready to be turned into part of the Internet of Things. Along with this, most mobile devices have the ability to run IoT apps that can work through Bluetooth or otherwise to control IoT devices.

Now that you have an idea of what Iot apps and devices are, let’s talk about apps that are worth developing in 2018 and industries that will benefit from them.

Read also: IoT Devices and You

1. Around the house

When most people think about IoT, they picture something like Nest, a smart thermostat and home control device that is slowly growing it’s smart home accessory product line. While having smart devices in the home is proof of the growing acceptance of IoT apps and devices, the real potential for IoT exists outside of the home.

However, as this is a large part of the current IoT market, let’s first take a look at some ideas for IoT apps that would be good around the house. For example, developers are beginning to experiment with IoT and its relationship to wearable technology. Both of these tech trends are rising at the same time and both seek to make life easier through efficiency and convenience of use, so combining them only makes logical sense.

Thankfully, for anyone interested in developing IoT apps, Nest has put both their API and full documentation access up for anyone interested in developing for IoT. By piggy-backing off of their success, you can start branching off into new, unexplored areas of smart home design.

2. Retail and supply chain

Although you might not think of retail and supply chain management when you think of IoT, this industry was one of the first to adapt IoT platforms and devices. You may already be familiar with smart tags used to prevent against theft, but the evolution of IoT has opened doors into many areas that will make retail work much more efficient.

Like most new technologies, UX design principles are recommended to provide the best possible user experience. The very idea of IoT imagines a world where everything in your house, your commute, and even your work will be accessible through IoT apps. If each of these apps have poor functionality, the ideas will never take off. However, if you can provide a great user experience throughout, you might have something revolutionary on your hands.

3. Fitness and health care

It can be easy to get distracted by all of the cool gadgets and devices that come with the Internet of Things, but some IoT apps have the potential to literally save lives. While the health care sector is often late to the party on technology due to stricter regulations, the capabilities of IoT apps that have been proposed are striking.

For example, there are mobile app ideas floating out there that help with everything from getting better sleep to reminding you to take your medication. Not only are these technologies good for patients and doctors, as they better understand medical issues, but families who want to keep track of their loved ones and ensure they are getting the proper care.

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4. In the car

Another area where we often see new technologies trickle down is the automotive world. After all, most cars today already have large numbers of connected parts where all that’s missing is the right IoT app to bring them all together. Some car companies, usually on the high-end or luxury side of things, provide this for you. However, everything must be done within their system.

When you start to picture a future with not only smart cars, but smart, self-driving cars, your imagination can start to get away from you. Technologies that were once only seen in sci-fi are now becoming realities and with them come endless possibilities. In order to be successful with IoT app development, you need to simply look at where the market is heading and shoot for just ahead of it. Do this, and with the right market research, you can change the world.

5. Agriculture

The final area that we believe has potential for rapid growth in IoT apps and development is that of farms and ranches. As the world continues to grow, agriculture is going to play a vital role in the distribution of food across the globe. By starting to revolutionize the technology and research being done on agriculture now, we have the potential to save time and headache in the future.

There are already apps out there that can tell you soil conditions and when to water your plants, but the more exciting part of agriculture comes in when you start to think of what automation can do. As we said with cars, the key here is to look for existing problems that can be solved or made simpler with IoT apps or devices. That is where growth will occur.

iot app development

Development IoT Apps

The last area surrounding IoT apps that we will briefly speak about is the development itself. As we mentioned earlier, most mobile devices already come with the capabilities you need. While hardware can be more particular, software and IoT apps do not require much outside of what a typical software product development company would be able to handle.

With this knowledge in mind, we hope that you take time to reflect on what the future of IoT apps and devices might bring. Not only is this future inevitably coming, but faster than you might think. When it comes to software development, there’s no time like the present. So get out there and get after it!