IoT: Lessons Learned
Oct. 18, 2017
Have you ever tried developing your own hardware and software at the same time? We have. It’s like running and texting at the same time. We’ve been there, done that, failed, learned, and we’re constantly working on improvements. Today, we’re going to share the lessons we learned with all the people crazy enough to start a hardware (the Smart Stone Bluetooth device) and software (the Spaceti website and mobile app) company at the same time.
So what challenges did we face? Well, one of the biggest was posed by the lack of GPS service inside buildings and the need for a useful and functional combination of hardware and a mobile app. So what is the difference between software (mobile app, web dashboard) and hardware development? What are the lessons to learn?
1. One does not download HW tools from the internet…
Hammers, screwdrivers, wires, screws. Need a new tool for product development? Well, you can’t just download it. You need to drive to the nearest home improvement store and get the tools you need.
2. Prototype, prototype, prototype…
You can easily change the code in your program and refresh it, again and again. But have you tried changing connections on a printed circuit board? Again and again and again? That’s not how it works, unfortunately.
Oh yeah, a 3D printer is a must for a hardware development, but not production.
3. Do you deliver on weekends too?
To install the latest software version, you only need a good connection and reinstall if you have to, but hardware supplies and components are limited by their stock and delivery dates, not to mention public holidays.
Wifi, FM Radio, GSM signal, Bluetooth LE, Sensor fusion, etc. These were our options for solving connectivity issues for the device and the mobile app. After some testing in both Android and iOS, we decided to go with Bluetooth technology.
5. Encrypt it all
According to a Gartner forecast, there will be 20 billion various devices connected to the internet by 2020. Data privacy has become the most discussed topic in IoT after botnet attacks and breaches impacted millions of homes around the world in recent years. Therefore, never underestimate securing all parts of the IoT system. Don’t lockdown every window in your house while leaving the front door open.
So that’s a summary of our IoT lessons learned. And here is the final hardware product : the Smart Stone, a Bluetooth device with built-in sensors that is part of Spaceti’s indoor location solution.
We hope you enjoyed the article. Any lessons of your own? Interested in working with us? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.And stay tuned. We will be sharing more about the Smart Stone next week!