In recent years, the term ‘The Internet of Things’ has been popping up more and more in technology circles. It is used to make reference to the marvel that is complete connectivity. It is the embodiment of technological advances like a refrigerator that monitors expiry dates or alerts you of when you might need to pick up butter, or the popular home automation devices that monitor room climate or brew coffee just as you pull in the laneway.

What do these advances in technology and the way we connect have to do with enterprise mobility and app development? More than you think!

Devices In The Internet Of Things

A growing number of everyday devices are already equipped with the technology needed to deliver information and transmit data to the developer and the end-user about how the device is being used. There is value in knowing this data.

Consider the sheer volume of data that could be extrapolated if every product in today’s market was continually mining and sharing data about its geography, use, or even the specific behaviour of its user, with the product manufacturer. Light bulbs, cars, thermostats, even washing machines have all begun to harness ‘smart’ technology and more developments happen by the day.

Experts agree that manufacturers and app developers should immediately begin to consider how they can make use of this technology. In recent studies, leading research firm, Gartner, forecasted that people worldwide have downloaded mobile apps more than 268 billion times. Keep in mind, however, that this number does not only include smartphone or tablet apps – but also wearables, appliances and other products in the Internet of Things.

By 2020, it is estimated that apps will no longer be confined to the handheld device world and that homes, cars and appliances will adopt this technology at a steady pace.

The mobile apps developed for these products will carry out the function of collecting and sharing data – all without the need for human intervention.

While this is not to suggest that every company needs to run out and start creating apps for appliances and cars just yet, there is merit in beginning to strategize the best way to leverage this change in dynamic and to explore how it would best benefit your company. What type of smart product, or automation technology, would be useful for your business? What types of things would your app need to do? How would you use the product (or the data retrieved) to enhance your overall goal?