Internet over Things (IoT) is a network of internet-enabled devices, all having an IP address and communicating with each other through a mobile app on a smartphone interface. Home automation systems in “Smart Homes” are the best example of the integration of mobile apps with IoT. Here all major systems like security, lighting, heating, air conditioning and even cooking devices in the house are programmed to receive instructions from the users in the house and behave accordingly.
The global smart home market is expected to grow at a furious rate in the coming years. These homes use cloud-based technology to connect the appliances to the main hub which can be controlled through an app on the users’ smartphone, tablet or smartwatch. Mobile connectivity and in-built sensors in devices strengthen the IoT ecosystem creating a new world of opportunities.
In an IoT-enabled environment, our mobile devices are going to act as the main interface to interact with our IoT-enabled devices. One of the reasons why IoT is fast becoming a mainstream technology is that our mobile devices come fully-loaded with features like geo-location based technology and multiple connectivity options like WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC. These qualities qualify them to be at the core of the IoT ecosystem.
Another interesting technology soon to be integrated with our mobile devices is Bots. Bots may even replace mobile apps at some point in time due to the following reasons:
1) Easy to install: For installing a Bot, you need to simply search for it from within your favorite messaging app and click on it to start chatting. There is no need to download or install the app from a play store.
2) Easy to distribute: You can even share your favorite bot from the messaging app itself. Bots can also be linked to your social media account. A great example is Slack, a bot which when installed by one team member, gets automatically added to other members so that all can use it.
3) Cheaper than mobile apps: High-quality mobile apps are costly to develop, maintain and deploy. As bots are deployed on a messaging app, you can leverage the fact that the messaging app was developed by someone else who bore its cost. A new feature is deployed with continuous integration to the backend alone.
4) Based on messaging apps: Messaging apps are already ubiquitous. They have penetrated the market at all levels. Since this is the base of Bots deployment, you can be sure that they will also infiltrate the market in a similar fashion.
5) Portable and User-friendly: Besides messaging apps, bots can be installed as live chat, personal assistant like Echo or Siri, car audio system, email or push notification. They are, thus, convenient to use and increasingly user-friendly.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Bots are indeed the future of mobile apps. The times to come are sure to be ruled by these technologies.