Is it possible to imagine a smart home today without a smart home app? On the verge of science fiction, modern smart home automation systems are able to surprise even the most sophisticated smart home owner. The necessary home security and convenience of the home can be provided by equipping it with intelligent IoT systems. According to the latest statistics, the IoT smart home monitoring and security segment will reach $ 244 million by 2022, with a CAGR of 26% between 2018 and 2022.
However, smart home apps developers should always remember that this task is not only profitable, but also quite difficult. Let’s take a closer look at this!
What Smart Home Technology Is?
If you want simplicity of household management while significantly saving your time on everyday tasks, such an “ecosystem” as a smart home has been created just for you. The main components of smart home automation systems are a hub, sensors and actuators, as well as a communication protocol providing data exchange, which also allows users to control devices remotely.
The hub, as the main controller, manages all communications between smart home devices, with the subsequent processing of their data. In other words, the hub is a mobile application that consists of a backend and a client application for smart home automation. With its help, the user can control all devices manually, as well as configure the automatic actions of the system for specific cases – for example, adjusting the intensity of lighting in a room depending on the weather, mood, etc.
Smart Home App and Automation Solutions
Typically, smart home development can be done in two ways. For starters, you can consider the possibility of one targeted solution which implies the control of only one device or, for example, lighting means. This type of application does not require large financial investments and time expenditures. However, it is a difficult product to promote in sales due to its narrowly focused specifics. It is quite rare that home automation is done by installing only one smart device, let alone using a large number of applications for many devices.
Having considered all of the above it becomes clear that it is most correct to bet on the universality of the application. Multipurpose applications are the most efficient because they combine many devices into one system. Well, users, in turn, receive complete freedom of choice and ease of use of devices from different manufacturers. This type of application is quite difficult to develop, but it has a very high return on investment.
Smart Home Development Strategy
So, you have already finally decided what your smart home automation application should be. Now you need to think about how to implement it. A nice and pleasant thing is that there are not so many options for implementation. There are only two of them: using a standard platform or developing an application from scratch. Today, the IoT market is able to offer a lot of ready-made platforms that developers use as a basis for creating their smart home apps.
To develop an application, you will need:
- IoT devices
- Availability of infrastructure that is responsible for managing and updating firmware for these devices
- Complete analytics for organizing and processing data from devices
- An application through which users get access to the IoT system.
When developing applications using standard platforms, the first two items from the list are on the side of IoT manufacturers and their platforms. All you have to do is to develop the application, install the architecture and set the business logic. Then, using the API and SDK of the manufacturers, connect the devices to the system.
The most popular platforms for smart home technology adoption:
- Microsoft Azure IoT Package
- Amazon Web Services
- IBM Watson
- Oracle IoT
- Kaa IoT
- Google Cloud IoT
- Xiaomi Mi Home
Your own smart home app design
Creation of your own application, as a rule, pursues the goals of uniqueness, originality, ease of customization and use. But in this case, a significant investment of time and money cannot be avoided. By choosing a reliable IoT platform and hiring professional developers from Sirin Software, you are unlikely to encounter compatibility, performance or UI issues. It is better to create at least an MVP based on a ready-made platform. This will give you the opportunity to test your idea in the market before investing in a custom application.
User scenarios as the best practice
The sequence of actions that a user takes to achieve a goal is called a custom scenario. With the help of a script, you can more accurately and precisely determine what functions should be provided in your application. Only by empathizing with your users can you develop the user experience of your application at the proper level.
Your smart home app is worthy of promotion if it has the following functions:
- Registration. This is not a simple application, therefore, registration should be more reliable. It is recommended to register users by phone number while backing it up with an email address.
- Adaptation. It is very important to provide users with guidance on how to use your application, especially if it is multitasking and capable of interacting with multiple smart home devices at once.
- User profile and role. You can create two types of user roles: Administrator and Simple User. Thus, clients will be able to manage the house by distributing rights between family members or between employees, in the case of a company.
- Device screen. It should display a list of smart home devices and sensors that are connected to the system. From this screen, the user should be able to control devices manually, as well as open individual screens of devices in the system to read information about these devices.
- Distribution of devices to rooms. Allow users to create groups of devices by rooms and manage these devices in a group manner.
- Custom scripts. Provide a feature for the user to be able to create their own script when developing the application. For example, the user can set up an evening scenario when the house “goes to sleep” with the owner: the lights are turned off or dimmed, entertainment devices are turned off, or quiet music for sleeping is turned on.
- Notifications and warnings. It is very important that the user can always receive automatic messages from your application and be aware of all events in the house. Notifications about changes in the microclimate in the house, lighting, warnings about emergency gas or water leaks, the presence of smoke, etc.
- Analytics. The user should be aware of how he uses different devices. Therefore, it is recommended to implement visual analytics that will allow you to get an idea of things like energy consumption.
In addition to these features, your application should be intuitive and visually rich. Make sure you provide all the information and that your application looks pleasing. Animation is also important for smart home automation applications. It improves user experience and emphasizes the individuality of the application.
Smart home technology certainly has a promising future. It is not only private homes that need automation of security and day-to-day routines. Various organizations can quite effectively customize smart home automation systems for the needs of the office of their company.
The very process of creating IoT systems is quite complicated since it combines several tasks at once related to home security, technology and user interaction. Successful system development requires careful analysis from the platform that you will use as the basis for your application to the architecture and security itself.
Sirin Software has an excellent track record of building multitasking applications from scratch and has a wealth of information on the most sought after and efficient application development platforms. Do not even doubt! Our partnership with you in the development of a smart home app will bring the desired results and even more.