There’s no denying that the Internet of Things has seen a massive boom in the last few years. In 2015, there were about 15 billion connected devices. By 2020, some are predicting that number will double, with Intel going so far as to predict 200 billion devices in the next few years. Regardless, it’s clear that IoT development has become a large part of the tech industry and will only continue to grow as time progresses.

In order to take advantage of this rapidly expanding industry, we want to show you where to get started in the new year when it comes to developing your own IoT solution. While there are some obvious basics, with so many devices out there it will be important to focus on a few key factors like security and value-add to stand out. We’ll review this and more as we guide you through running an IoT development project in 2019.

iot development

2018 in review

The first thing we should look at as we move into 2019 is how IoT faired in 2018 and what we can learn from reviewing its widespread success. The main story of the year regarding the Internet of Things comes from record-breaking start-ups Bird and Lime, who use IoT to have their users unlock scooters they can ride around the city.

While this isn’t as obvious as other IoT devices, the ease of use shows that customers are becoming more sophisticated when it comes to interacting with these IoT apps. Other standouts from 2018 include an increase in Voice device integration, more IoT devices on market than ever before, and more efficient processes. Looking forward, developers should piggy-back on these successful ideas and get a head start on what’s next.

The future of IoT

As these trends continue, it will be interesting to see where the future of IoT goes and what new technologies will come from it. While we will take time to review the upcoming trends of IoT, we first wanted to say a word on the technology in general.

The Internet of Things was originally created to make users lives easier. By connecting devices that could be run automatically or controlled remotely, IoT gave users the ability to work more efficiently and effectively. Moving forward, for IoT to remain relevant, this trend must continue.

This means that every future IoT development project should have clear design guidelines and processes in place to boost the user experience. Trends will ultimately come and go, but focusing on the user will never go out of style.

2019 Trends

Keeping UX in mind, there are some exciting trends in the upcoming year that we think you should know about. IoT development is still new enough that more trends might pop up over the course of 2019, but for planning out your project now, keep these trends in mind.

1. New levels of integration

While just about every digital device today has the ability to connect wirelessly to an IoT system, the first trend you should expect to see in 2019 is even further integration. Now that developers have had time to try out what does and doesn’t work with IoT, we expect there to be an increase in platforms and software that offer API integration with IoT devices. Not only that, but the current integrations will continue to improve with additional features and benefits.

When it comes to your IoT development project, we recommend seeking out integrations first before you begin building your system or device. With so many different platforms out there, it’s likely that someone else has already built the integration you are looking for. Save yourself time by utilizing these integrations and you’ll soon find yourself ahead of the competition.

2. Protocol consolidation

The next trend we expect to see in 2019 is the consolidation of protocols within IoT platforms. As it currently stands, there are tons of different protocols that companies use to run their IoT devices and applications. However, when 5G coverage is hopefully rolled out later in the year, experts hope that this will allow IoT developers to consolidate protocols into clearly defined processes that can be used across the industry.

Although this obviously sounds very exciting, as it will make IoT development easier than ever, it will take the buy-in of development teams to make it work well. If you are building an IoT project this year, make sure to do this on your own in preparation for a wider call for consolidation.

3. Incorporating Blockchain

Another trend that will likely continue to grow in 2019 is the incorporation of Blockchain into IoT solutions. The main reason for this is that the security of IoT platforms is often seen as a weakness, but by combining IoT with Blockchain, we can run everything with great efficiency and security.

It should be said that both of these technologies are still in fairly early stages of their development cycle and thus should be approach with great care. Make sure that you have a solid, trustworthy relationship with the Blockchain team you work with in order to achieve the best possible results.

4. Better data usage through AI

Finally, the last trend we will see in 2019 is better data usage through machine learning and artificial intelligence. While you might be tired of reading about AI, there’s no denying the significant impact that this technology will have on our future. Instead of resisting it, we should embrace it and find the best way to couple it with IoT for further success. After all, one of the main things holding back IoT is processing power, something AI can help improve.

When it comes to using AI yourself, there are lots of options out there, ranging from simple to complex. We recommend starting simple with some basic machine learning to optimize your processes. Then, once you see good results, you can add in more features and automations to steadily add to your IoT development project.

Next steps

As you can probably tell, there are going to be a lot of changes to the world of IoT in the next couple of years. However, now that you have a better understanding of the technology and where it is heading, you are well equipped to get started with IoT development in the new year. The next steps you take are up to you, but we’re confident you have the tools and knowledge you need to be successful.

Still unsure of how to actually build the IoT project of your dreams? Tell us more about it. Our development team would love to help you out.