IoT Product Development Step-by-Step Guide

Everything you need to know about IoT product development life cycle and building an IoT solution for your business and a little more

Any events happening worldwide, from crises, wars, bankruptcies, and elections, to technical innovations and scientific discoveries, affect business. Companies that adjust to all the novelties reduce their costs and sometimes even increase their income. The ultimate key to success is the thoughtful and timely introduction of new technologies to your business processes. That leads us to IoT products – a fantastical beast of our era. The Internet of Things is the latest stage of a long and ongoing revolution in the field of computing systems. Its size, diversity, and impact on daily life, commerce, and government eclipse the previous history of technological progress. Understanding the Internet of Things technologies and how IoT products help to solve actual business tasks and product development challenges is the goal of this piece. And remember, IoT product development takes time, so to achieve tangible results – don’t rush it.

What Can IoT Product Development Do For You Today? Latest Economic Forecasts for IoT Impact on Business

oT (or an IoT product) is a term that describes an ever-growing array of interconnected intelligent devices, from household appliances to tiny sensors. The dominant theme is the cloud integration of short-range mobile receivers into various gadgets and everyday objects. This concept has opened up a way for a new form of communication between people and things.

According to Cisco estimates, the net profit of the custom IoT product development economy will be $14.4 trillion over the next decade. According to the company's research, five main driving forces play a role in this:

  • Asset utilization ($2.5 trillion): IoT reduces selling, general and administrative expenses, and the cost of goods sold, optimizing the execution and efficiency of business processes.
  • Labor productivity ($2.5 trillion): IoT increases labor productivity by efficiently using man-hours.
  • Supply chains and logistics ($2.7 trillion): IoT reduces waste and increases process efficiency.
  • Customer satisfaction ($3.7 trillion): IoT increases customer value and market share by adding new customers.
  • Innovation, including reduced time-to-market ($3.0 trillion): IoT product development increases the return on R&D investments, reduces time-to-market, and creates additional revenue streams through new business models and opportunities.

Similarly, a McKinsey Global Institute report states that IoT's projected total economic effect is now $3.9 trillion and will reach $11.1 trillion by 2025. Accuracy in product development in conjunction with proper IoT technology stack use brings success to the business. According to the highest estimate, the volume of this effect - including additional income from consumers - will be equivalent to 11% of the world economy by 2025. We find it an excellent reason to tap into the power of custom IoT product development to maximize the results of today’s business efforts.  IoT product development is a process. Come to terms with the fact that it is better to take things step-by-step. Let’s begin.

IoT Product Development for Beginners

The Internet of Things may seem straightforward. Unfortunately, this image is projected into the media and Internet by simplistic examples of "smart" egg cases sold on Amazon and coffee machines turned on by the timer, but somehow called a part of the "smart home infrastructure." Many business people and Internet of things software developers live with this illusion until the first IoT project they encounter personally. IoT product development is a cautious beast that requires an intricate IoT technology stack. So it is better not to try and skip the vital steps and account for all the key smart devices.

To avoid misconceptions and unforeseen delays, it is prudent to know that.

  • There is a difference between using an IoT technology stack that uses external devices in IoT technical architecture and other projects involving external hardware devices.
  • There is more than one development approach and methodology to creating an IoT for business purposes.

Going through various methods, you would understand that IoT is a system of systems. Therefore, success depends heavily on the collaboration of many disciplines and the precise execution of each component. and never forget - product development requires precision.

Five primary layers of IoT: The Building blocks of a "Perfect Cake"

As with any cake or business project, the first thing that the person responsible should consider is the goal. Next, it is crucial to figure out what kind of system you need, so your cake doesn't turn out to be a failure or a beef stew. To that end, one must understand which components should be involved. Understandably, with an end-to-end IoT solution, compiling each layer is a bit more meticulous than when dealing with a cake. IoT product development requires attention and time – be diligent with every added layer. The Internet of things software developers fuse multiple layers with various components when developing a complete IoT solution. On an industrial or high business level, the abovementioned standards (like Recommendation Y.2060 by the International Telecommunication Union) offer five essential layers as a blueprint for a successful IoT solution.

Five - layer IoT architecture

#1 Business Layer: All IoT communication models strive to deliver convenience in information consumption to end-users. It is the top layer that is located above the Application layer.

#2 Application Layer: What does the internet of things app development in IoT architecture? It represents all devices that use the IoT devices or systems deployed.

#3 Perception Layer: Also known as the sensor layer, the top layer implies all types of sensors used in IoT devices. They gauge particular parameters. Then, they transform signals from the environment into digital information.

#4 Transport Layer: Also known as “Network Layer” and “Gateway Layer.” It helps establish the logical design of IoT by connecting devices with a platform. The data captured by sensors get transmitted by wires or radio to backend IoT services. The transferred data is secured to prevent unauthorized access. The most popular IoT communication models are the following:

  • Ethernet
  • WiFi
  • N.F.C. (Near Field Communication)
  • Bluetooth.

When all devices are networked (and the IoT technology stack is complete), a messaging protocol has to be configured. According to I.B.M., messaging protocols are rules different devices and computers follow to understand the information and commands they exchange. IoT product development is a labor of collective love, so be sure to consult with a diverse palette of specialists. The most popular protocols used in the second layer of the three layers of IoT technical architecture are the following:

  • D.D.S. (Data Distribution Service);
  • AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol);
  • CoAP (Constrained Application Protocol);
  • MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport).

The network layers are the most important in the Internet of Things architecture because it connects users with devices.

#5 Processing Layer: It is a layer that gathers all the data provided by the perception layers through a network. All the information is stored and analyzed. It is one of the most critical layers of IoT because it makes decisions based on data analysis. Also, the application layer interacts with a user to manage and operate their IoT devices. This layer is placed between Network and Application layers in the logical design of IoT architecture. There are two significant data processing stages of this layer:

  • Data accumulation
  • Data abstraction

It is important to remember that IoT architecture is created just as with the cake to accommodate the client's immediate goals. You can add layers and fillings to your IoT product if you require a tall and festive birthday cake.  IoT product development is a process built in creativity and knowledge, so consider your business needs when planning your cake, and be creative.

For example, Edge Layer, an additional IoT architecture layer, may enhance the architecture that implies five IoT architecture layers.

The demand in this layer has appeared because the amount of data processed by IoT devices has increased significantly. Moreover, it helps build a large-scale IoT reference model. The layer is placed between the Network and Processing layers. This layer uses the Fog computing model, which enhances large-scale IoT systems. It erases the need for all devices in a network to access the central server to make computations. Instead, most calculations are made on devices locally. Also, it helps decrease data storage and transfer because most information is stored locally on devices.

IoT product development process evolved at the same speed the core concept did, so we are lucky to be able to accomplish the current business goals with the available technology.  However, suppose your IoT product is born into the market for a less complicated cake, like a simple three-layer Halloween cake. In that case, it is sometimes much more prudent to use the original three-layered IoT architecture.

Three - layer IoT architecture

It was widely popular and has proven useful and practical at the origins of IoT technology. The three-layered architecture can still be successfully utilized to achieve your business goals. Plus, it can be more fitting to a specific project by saving time and money and is much easier to implement.

The Five Phases of an IoT Product Development

You must’ve assumed that each IoT project differs in goals and scope. Therefore, the framework and the internal processes vary accordingly. However, just as with layers – you should get as many "steps" or "Phases of IoT product development" as your business goal requires. Remember, IoT product development gods don’t take kindly to cheaters. As adaptable the IoT product development process can be, it is better to adhere to the essential list of building blocks. By now, the IoT product development experts have created, let's say, a "mold" that entails five essential steps:

  • Step 1: Build a business strategy
  • Step 2: Tackle the design and create a rapid prototype
  • Step 3: Go for production & development
  • Step 4: Partner up
  • Step 5: Sort out all the certifications & compliance

IoT product development stages aren’t set in stone. However, as we’ve mentioned before, it is always better not to skip the crucial ones.

Step One: Business case development

To develop IoT products, one must have a solid plan. IoT product development in its “planning phase” must account for your business goals. The first out of five phases of IoT product development is the most important one. People rarely pay enough attention to it (maybe because this seems self-explanatory.) It is setting the mentioned business goals and figuring out the actual scope. In other words, your IoT product must facilitate your business agenda. Dealing with different stakeholders, business lines, and end customers can take a significant amount of time and effort. Plus, the challenges of this phase include quantifying operational costs, building a hypothesis of what the business impact should be, and calculating R.O.I.

The Myth of an Instant IoT: The Promise of 2 to 6-Month Project Duration

As we’ve mentioned before - IoT product development process takes time and practical experience with the IoT technology stack. And developers who take their time succeed more often. So don’t be surprised to learn that projects may take much longer than the initial schedule anticipates. The Internet of things development companies that have successfully delivered IoT projects often illustrate how timeline underestimation affects the development process. We know the sprinter IoT project champions went from business case development to commercial rollout in nine months. The current average time-to-market in the U.S. is eighteen to twenty-four months. The reasons for timeline distortions include both:

  • Business-related issues (not having the buy-in from stakeholders)
  • And technical-related product development challenges (not working with an infrastructure that supports scaling).

The only way to avoid such pitfalls is to check and double-check the initial plan (rethink the revenue and cost forecasts and strategy for emergencies and build multiple contingency plans. note that when engineering IoT products, it is best to rely on experts.

Second Horcrux of Project Development - The Effort Estimation

IoT product development stages can vary, depending on your goals, budget, timeline, and even the selection of IoT technology stack. IoT product development process success relies heavily on precise timing, thus estimating timelines, efforts, and costs are the key to immediate success. Effort estimation in particular forecasts how much effort is required to develop or maintain IoT systems or applications. This effort is traditionally measured in the hours IoT software developers work or the money needed to pay for this work. Effort estimation is used to help draft project plans and budgets in the early IoT product development stages of the IoT development life cycle. This practice enables a project manager or IoT product owner to predict the operational costs needed for the project accurately and allocate resources accordingly.

“Build vs. Buy” and The Answer to the Most Important Question

IoT product development services can bring your business not only additional value, and customers but also interdisciplinary recognition. Based on the fact that when executed correctly, IoT development employs a multidisciplinary approach. Developing a new product, especially an IoT hardware product, can be exhilarating (all the mechanical engineering included.) The overwhelming desire to start with a blank slate provides the opportunity to specify the perfect set of requirements that will provide exceptional performance with robust reliability at the lowest possible cost. And then, the harsh realization sets in that the new product’s requirements will be a soul-crushing, iterative exercise of regulatory compliance that, in the end, will only satisfy the essential requirements.

While there are many business costs, IoT product management focuses on unit cost first, and development cost second. Now, ask yourself the most crucial question: "Do you need to design and build a custom device?" or you can choose an IoT technology stack that completes already working devices. For example, suppose you can buy IoT product development services or an IoT device directly from a supplier today that meets most of the requirements. In that case, you should strongly consider this approach to reduce time-to-market risk and substantially lower development costs. However, sourcing an IoT device is not without its risks.

Unless the IoT device is an industry-standard product, you will be highly dependent upon its manufacturer and potentially its distributors and resellers. Therefore, IoT product quality, reliability, service level for support, and warranty claims should be critical factors in your supplier selection criteria. Additionally, if the supplier has limited stock or builds-to-order, long lead times can severely impair your ability to fulfill orders quickly for your customers.

Furthermore, it is essential to understand the supplier's lifecycle policy for the product "End-of-Life," which specifies the period of availability and the subsequent support duration once the supplier has announced the discontinuation of the product. If the supplier does not have such a policy in its standard terms and conditions of sale, the supplier may stop supplying the product at any time and without advance notice which can leave you in a dire situation. So, in the great scheme of things in any case you choose, your IoT development partner selection is a crucial decision, be that a developer, architect, business analyst or hardware device supplier.

“Talk” to “Work” Transition: IoT Product Design and Proof of Concept prototyping

Proof of concept is a crucial step when it comes to complex and, therefore, costly projects. It gives a clear idea of ​​whether the concept is feasible and how to implement it. Thus, proof of concept or proof of concept involves the preparation of a specific list of measurable criteria that allows you to evaluate the expected result.

When developing an existing IoT product, there are more risks of encountering unpredictable difficulties. This is why proof of concept on the IoT software product development landscape is standard. However, a proof of concept in IoT development is not precisely what a typical proof of concept is for other products. The essential goal of the "proof of concept" is a crucial phase of IoT product development. It allows businesses to assess the feasibility of your solution quickly. The key here is to focus on a few scenarios that matter most to your business. Once these are validated, additional features can evolve during the pilot phase.

Remember the difference between a proof of concept and a rapid prototype: A proof of concept is there to solidify a complete picture of your product and ensure it is viable and feasible. Usually, you will do multiple exercises for one product, depending on the success of each P.O.C. round. An average timeframe for creating a proof of concept is two to four months. However, moving your idea from P.O.C. to prototype can take up to 12 months.

U.I. for IoT: The Importance of Web & Mobile Apps for IoT

With increasing globalization, connecting various devices to the Internet and managing them with smartphones is no longer surprising. What is the role of mobile applications on the Internet of Things? The IoT market has been snowballing. With the growth of IoT product development technology, the world is getting a wide range of new concepts, such as smart cities, Internet-connected cars, and toys. Mobile applications play an essential role on the Internet of Things. They act as an interface that allows users to interact with physical IoT-enabled connected devices. Therefore, with the growth of this market, the product development of mobile applications is also expanding. Soon, we will likely see a massive transformation of what people are used to in their daily lives. Therefore, manufacturers must consider critical aspects to get the most out of new technology. Once again, a trusted IoT development partner can ease your burden in this instance.

Regarding the IoT already in existence, embedded sensors can improve efficiency and significantly reduce costs in materials production. Right now, mobile apps are primarily used as endpoints for streaming music, entertaining users, or helping them interact with their friends through social networks. However, mobile applications can act as a gateway. Connected devices and mobile applications are inseparable since the latter provides an analysis tool and a user interface for delivering processed data to end users.

IoT Design VS. Typical UX/UI Design

Creating physical designs of IoT apps is generally more complex than creating traditional Internet of things software products. Unlike standard web or mobile apps, IoT digital solutions include extra layers, such as various connected devices and interfaces with varying functionality. This has artificial intelligence (A.I.), input-output data streams, user rights distribution, specialized platforms, and more. Designers must be familiar with every electronic component design of an IoT network to make the system seamless and easy for end-users.

End-users receive only processed results from IoT-connected devices, which share vast amounts of data. As a result, designers must examine the compatibility of various interfaces and how they collect data, link to the Cloud and other platforms, and interact with humans. They must also consider the features of a network, whether it is for autonomous automobile diagnostics, climate management, supply-chain tracking, device management, or any other activity.

Nonstandard interface design approaches have emerged because of IoT networks' rising complexity and distinctiveness. As a result, designers must create unique solutions for specific IoT platforms, which they frequently do through trial and error. In addition, they must create UX/UIs that can accommodate a more significant number of connected devices and data points. As a result, IoT solutions should have adaptable and flexible interfaces that can be easily changed without causing too much disruption to the core functionality.

IoT Hardware Devices: Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics Engineering, Firmware Development, and Industrial Design

Hardware development plays a pivotal role in IoT platform creation. It is an immense yet complex system that supports various aspects of business operations, from inventory management to product delivery. The agendas might look very different and even incompatible in many aspects. However, IoT hardware development is a common factor that integrates all diverse IoT solutions. IoT hardware experts agree about both the development lifecycle and the leading manufacturers of IoT hardware.

IoT Hardware includes many devices such as routing, bridges, sensors, etc. With the ever-rising practicality and popularity of the IoT market, firmware development, which helps set IoT devices in motion, has become a highly demanded project effort. The one that requires a knowledgeable, expertise-driven approach. Firmware development is a complex process that brings advanced results. These IoT devices manage critical tasks and functions such as system activation, security, action specifications, communication, and detection of support-specific goals and actions. IoT Hardware components can vary from low-power boards to single-board processors (such as G.P.S., light and heat sensors, or interactive displays).

Regarding contractors and subcontractors, you can consider hiring an expert manufacturing team to help with manufacturing support. Manufacturing team members are employees who are part of the group or department that fulfills the manufacturing needs, including manufacturing support of the company or the client. They are trained workers who are familiar with the needs of the organization. Manufacturing team members work within manufacturing deadlines and support to ensure that products are made within the agreed timeline.

The environment for embedded firmware development differs significantly from test and production environments. Firmware development engineers can use specialized software stacks, chip architectures, and operating systems to provide manufacturing support on all stages of development. In addition, the embedded system greatly facilitates circuitry and reduces project costs and hardware size. In a nutshell, embedded firmware development is not so different from developing “standard” software.

A programmer specifies a board’s input and output, then creates a circuit design to illustrate the interaction of these inputs and outputs. Another well-known IoT platform is Raspberry Pi 2, a very affordable and tiny computer that can incorporate an entire web server. Just in case you need to equip your hardware with a firmware development team to enable its operation and control it, we have just the specialists for you.

Building Blocks of IoT Hardware

Here, we will discuss some internet of Things Hardware:

  • Thing: “Thing” in IoT is the asset you want to control, monitor, or measure, that is, observe closely.
  • Data Acquisition Module: The data acquisition module focuses on acquiring physical signals from the thing being observed or monitored and converting them into digital signals that can be manipulated or interpreted by a computer. Data generated with this hardware electronic component design of an IoT system contains all the sensors that help acquire real-world signals such as temperature, pressure, density, motion, light, vibration, etc. The type and number of sensors you need depend on your application. This module also includes the hardware to convert the incoming sensor signal into digital information for the computer. This includes incoming conditioning signals, removing noise, analog-to-digital conversion, interpretation, and scaling.
  • Data Processing Module: The third building block of the IoT device is the data processing module. This is the actual "computer" and the central unit that processes the data generated by the collection process, performs local analytics, stores data locally, and performs other computing operations.
  • Communication Module: The last building block of IoT hardware is the communications module. This part enables communications with your Cloud Platform and with 3rd party embedded systems either locally or in the Cloud.
  • IoT Sensors (The most critical IoT hardware might be its sensors. These devices consist of a variety of modules such as energy modules, R.F. modules, power management modules, and sensing modules.)
  • Wearable Electronic Devices (Wearable electronic devices are small devices worn on the head, neck, arms, torso, and feet.)
  • Primary Devices (The daily devices we use, such as desktops, cellphones, and tablets, remain integral parts of the IoT system. The desktop gives the user a very high level of control over the embedded systems and its settings. The tablet acts as a remote and provides access to the critical features of the system. Cellphone allows remote functionality and some essential settings modifications)

Other critical connected devices include standard network devices like routers and switches.

IoT Architecture and Backend to enable business logic

Over the years, the Internet of things has become one of our most critical yet exciting technologies. With IoT devices, we can connect to everyday objects ranging from cars, kitchen appliances, and baby monitors to thermostats and more with embedded devices. Thanks to the Internet, seamless communication between processes, people, and things has become possible. With the help of low-cost computing, big data, analytics, cloud computing, and advanced mobile technologies, physical objects can exchange data and connect them with minimal human intervention.

In today's hyper-entangled world, these systems can track, correct, and record every interaction with connected things. Backend as a Service, also known as BaaS, is a cloud service that runs as middleware. BaaS platforms provide Internet of things software developers with more straightforward, efficient, and effective ways to connect their mobile and web applications to cloud services using APIs (Application Programming Interface) and SDKs (Internet of things software Development Library Sets). H3: Connectivity to ensure interoperability

The connectivity of the above builds can be classified into user backend and device end. While User-backend connectivity can be done using REST APIs or MQTT, the device-end may be connected through:

  • WiFi
  • RFID/NFC
  • GSM/GPRS
  • Bluetooth
  • Low-Power Wide-Area Networks such as LoRA
  • Low-Power Cellular Networks such as NBIoT
  1. WiFi: Best suited for indoor or closed-range facilities such as homes, private compounds, offices, etc.
  2. RFID/NFC: Card-based access control instruments. The most common example includes selective entry to offices.
  3. GSM/GPRS: Best suited for standalone outdoor devices, such as sensors in gateway entries, traffic lights, speed breakers, etc.
  4. Bluetooth: Most used for wearables or other devices that can be monitored from mobiles such as phones and pads. Some instances can also be used for WiFi provisioning or setting up a mesh for multiple devices.
  5. LoRaWAN: Best suited for industrial setups or public infrastructure such as within 3-5 km range communication. This can create a network with gateways over a larger spread area.
  6. NB-IoT: A cellular technology specially designed to power communications between low-power devices.

Although LoRa provides tremendous possibilities for a broader range, it is an expensive setup and not recommended for higher data speeds. Instead, an alternative cellular network can be used, ensuring bulk transfer at standard rates and across a wider spread. In general, IoT devices currently rule the world of technology. And IoT Baas solutions are designed to make the IoT development process more straightforward, convenient, and faster. However, you can choose any of the above BaaS solutions according to your need for enhanced benefits.

Messaging Communication Protocols

Next, the messaging communication protocols between the IoT devices and the cloud systems occur through the following:

  • HTTP: Most ideal for single requests. This is a non-continuous communication protocol. However, it is synchronous and has lots of overhead.
  • HTTP WebSockets: Based on HTTP, this messaging protocol supports continuous communication and has lots of overhead.
  • MQTT: MQTT is the most popular messaging protocol for IoT. It is highly flexible, based on the subscription model, is lightweight, and thus causes no unnecessary footprint. AMQP: This one is an open-source message orientation, queuing, and routing message protocol that supports a point-to-point and publish-subscribe model.

Connectivity or interoperability of all software components

Interoperability The PoC phase should assess your IoT solution’s interoperability capabilities. IoT interoperability largely depends on the communication protocols and standardization level. When evaluating a vendor's level of interoperability, keep the traditional O.S.I. or TCP/IP models in mind. Think about the following 3 layers (from the bottom up) and focus on the protocols applicable to your IoT solution:

  • Physical layer – how bits are transmitted or received over the medium. What radio technologies are supported? For example, Bluetooth, WiFi, 802.15.4, Cellular, variations of LPWAN, or Ethernet.
  • Networking layer – how the data packets are securely transported from the device to the cloud. What technologies are required to route data through your networks? For example, traditional I.T. systems based on IPv4 are now shifting towards IPv6. Most O.T. systems typically use proprietary protocols such as Modbus or Profibus (or open protocols such as OPC-UA) with T.L.S.-based authentication.
    Application layer – how the data is taken in and used in your applications. Which open lightweight protocols are supported? For example, MQTT, AMQP, CoAP, Restful HTML, D.D.S., or web sockets optimized for bursts of small amounts of data.

Pilot Rollout or Production Design and Product Development

Once the concept is proven, it's time to evolve the scenarios and ensure the IoT solution can be integrated into the broader organization. A big challenge at this stage involves training employees to use the system and preparing for any organizational changes the new process will require. The average duration of the full Pilot Rollout in the U.S. varies between four and six months. It includes but is certainly not limited to such milestones as:

  • U.I. application development following SDLC
  • Wireless Communication Protocols
  • Third-party integrations
  • Backend system development
  • Cloud Integration testing
  • Cloud Development

The Final Countdown: IoT Commercial Deployment

When the IoT solution is deployed to thousands of devices, the manageability and scalability of the overall systems become a vital aspect of the overall success. In addition, seamless organizational change and implementation of new processes are essential to get system users to buy into the solution's benefits.

Sourcing is one of the most critical factors impacting the seamless mass production of IoT products. There's a long line-up of electronic devices such as sensors, controllers, P.C. boards, L.E.D.s, display units, etc. Therefore, we suggest finalizing upon a reputed IoT sourcing provider with a proven record in providing on-demand commodities.

Prerequisites to go for mass production include –

  1. Research for a sourcing partner who provides procurement assistance for the full-stack IoT build. Prefer professional companies with proven experience in IoT product development.
  2. An engineering partner – one or more reputed engineering firms with proven experience designing and developing IoT-related electronic components and embedded systems.
  3. A production partner – A reputed manufacturer with proven experience in manufacturing, assembly, testing, and packaging IoT products.
  4. Thoroughly tested the compliance of firmware systems with the P.C. boards.

IoT Product Certification and Regulatory Compliance

Some aspects of IoT device certification can become one of the product development challenges. But the procedures themselves are well-defined. The Internet of things device developers need to be aware of and follow specific rules and regulations and remember that all wireless devices must comply with regulations and standards for safe and reliable operation and interoperability. Unfortunately, most newly developed IoT devices still do not pass certification on the first try, significantly increasing operational costs and time to market.
Regulators have developed specific test scenarios to double-check the accuracy of mechanical engineering and software mapping.  That ensures interoperability and network friendliness for wireless technologies operating in the same frequency band. For example, Bluetooth, WiFi, and ZigBee operate on the same 2.4GHz I.S.M. band. In addition, certification procedures for a specific group of technologies conforming to R.F. characteristics and protocols, such as 3GPP or Bluetooth SIG, ensure interoperability and high performance. Operators sometimes request additional tests to authorize IoT devices on their networks.

IoT product certification and regulatory compliance

Preliminary and final qualification tests

Qualification tests required by regulations and standards must be carried out in approved testing laboratories. It is highly recommended that most significant testing be performed early during the product development phase, i.e., prequalification testing, which allows you to get to the market on time and not spend money on re-certification, mechanical engineering troubleshooting, and equipment rework. Considering the requirements of regulations and standards from the beginning of the IoT hardware and Internet of things software development process is beneficial.

Regulatory compliance certifications include:

  • CCC
  • FCC
  • RED
  • EMC
  • NAL

CE/RED Compliance and FCC/ISED certifications for the European and U.S./Canadian market are good starting points since they form a base to access many other countries. For instance, C.E. is accepted in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Similarly, F.C.C. Certification is accepted in many Central and South American countries. In addition, many South American and African countries also accept C.E. or F.C.C. Certifications.

China and Japan are huge markets. Thus it is essential to mention that these three big markets have their certification process.

CCC, SRRC, and N.A.L. are the radio product passwords for China. Therefore, CCC (China Compulsory Certificate) is an essential requirement. It could be compared to C.E. in the E.U.

SRRC by State Radio Monitoring and Testing Center is required for all products having radio transmitters.

The N.A.L. certification is also required if the product is telecommunication equipment. It is issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

In Japan, radio products are approved by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications M.I.C.

Radio products are tested and certified according to the Japan Radio Law. Furthermore, if the product is telecommunication equipment (wireless or wired), it must also comply with the Japanese Telecommunication Business Law. "N.A.L." is a "Network Access License" and is required for cell phones and mobile wireless devices to connect to the China telecom network.

Meeting Global Certification Forum (GCF) and P.C.S. Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) requirements for devices used in your IoT product development process ensures the result is as efficient and cost-effective as possible. They also provide global reach, which enables your system to qualify for most markets. Telecom Industry Certifications  include:

● GCF

● PCTRB

In addition to the above, sector-specific certifications are needed to seek clearance on the grounds of operational standards. Since IoT has a broader scope in all sectors, getting licenses from the authorized body in a particular region is imperative. For example,

  1. Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPPA) Certification for Healthcare
  2. Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) Certification for power
  3. North American Electric Reliability Commission (NERC) Certification for power
  4. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) Certification for Automobile
  5. Verizon, Deutsche Telecom, or AT& T certifications for Telecom

Forecasts & Conclusions: “What is,” “What could be,” and “What should be” the future of IoT Development for Business.

Successful product development offers multiple benefits to both, the developers and the end-user. Plus, in its current state, IoT is a magnificent tech that promises to bring advancement and add value to businesses and end users. But in its today's form, it is quite a task to tackle. Thus, the experts advise business entities to partner with proficient Internet of things product development companies and even teams of experienced tech wizards to get to the next level.

The "Overview of the Internet of Things" from the Communications Standards Division of the International Telecommunication Union forecasts that shortly, disparate "islands" of solutions will most likely outpace the deployment of IoT solutions based on functionally compatible standards. This is how things go with any new technology at its development and growth IoT product development stages. For example, the two characteristics of networked IoT devices that cause the most product development challenges are low-power devices (designed to operate for months and years without recharging) and the frequent exchange of data over networks with packet loss.

Current standard Internet protocols are suboptimal under these conditions. In a broader sense, there is an imbalance between the massive number of devices generating data at breakneck speed in different locations and the use of network technologies and cloud systems that store vast amounts of data in a small number of sites at a relatively low data update rate. Integrating these two classes of systems to meet user needs requires specific capabilities from network protocols throughout the network and protocol architecture, from the physical layer to the application layer. Several organizations and standardization forums are working to address these issues, seeking to extend or adapt Internet protocols for IoT devices.

To create a unified structure and classify the necessary functions according to their place in the protocol stack, a number of these groups also deal with the issue of formal architecture for IoT. While existing standards and the Internet have made the IoT possible, it is unlikely that a stack of new standards will emerge soon that will complement or modify the existing ones for the IoT domain. Like many advances made possible by the Internet, the IoT will evolve spontaneously and undergo natural selection processes for some time until viable technologies and protocol mechanisms gradually emerge. In this article, we will consider two areas of work to create common concepts that can be useful in the standardization process.

Given the complexity of IoT, it makes sense to create an architecture that would specify the main components and their relationship. An IoT architecture can provide the following benefits:

  • Give the network administrator or I.T. manager a helpful checklist for evaluating the functionality and completeness of offers from different providers;
  • Serve as a guide for the Internet of things software product development in terms of what features are needed in IoT and how they interact;
  • Serve as a basis for standardization, driving interoperability and cost reduction.

The ITU-T IoT reference model is described in Recommendation Y.2060. However, unlike most other reference and architectural models offer, the MSE-T model is aimed at building complete IoT ecosystems rather than "island solutions." This is useful because it highlights the elements of the IoT ecosystem that must be connected, integrated, managed, and delivered to applications. IoT application development and engineering teams must tackle the nuances of IoT technology in the development planning and design phases, including IoT security vulnerabilities and compatibility. Internal IoT application development gives development and engineering teams more granular control than prebuilt options or hiring a third-party provider. Control over every aspect of the process can lead to higher overall quality. As IoT application development grows with adoption, organizations might find it more challenging to hire external developers with enough experience to do the job within the needed time frame.

Every development project comes with technology-specific considerations. For IoT application development, many challenges stem from the differences between IoT and traditional technologies, such as PCs and smartphones, that use the web or mobile apps. For example, IoT devices have less in-device computing power and storage than these other technologies. IoT application developers must consider these limitations and how they influence the interaction between applications and IoT devices. For example, latency may increase because data takes more time to transfer from a remote device to the cloud and then undergo processing.  Plus, a detailed ecosystem specification addresses the requirements for all IoT potential capabilities.

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