BBVA API Market
Those who are fully involved in the technological world know that connecting objects remotely and interacting with them is not entirely new. Internet of Things is the latest buzzword, even though this phenomenon actually arises from the evolution of the so-called machine-to-machine (or M2M) communication, and from the combination of several factors, such as the emergence of sensors and increasingly smaller and low-cost processors, wireless connectivity and the development of cloud computing.
Companies are increasingly using this technology to add intelligence to their products, allowing everyday objects to interact with the environment. Thus, they are not only launching more and more sophisticated products that are capable of generating M2M communication (such as road sensors that turn signals on when cars are detected), but also products that send information to its users, either through the product itself or the web, as it happens for example with wearable technology. ‘The Internet of Things’ study highlights the wide variety of products that are already able to send information to devices to communicate electronically with the world around us.
Before starting, you should take into account a few things:
User Experience. The main difference between the devices sold today and those marketed in the past is their ease of use. In this sense, the so-called UX or User Experience Design is becoming an increasingly popular term. It’s a design philosophy that aims to create products that meet the specific needs of their end users, obtaining more satisfaction and the best possible user experience with minimal effort. In order to do this, a series of multidisciplinary techniques are used, and every decision taken is based on the needs, objectives, expectations, motivations and capabilities of the users.
Scale design to the users, the data and the size of the device.
You must take into account reliability, privacy and control by the user.
Try to create something whose main feature is durability. Maximize the user experience through the duration of the battery, and platforms and protocols able to adapt to market changes.
Keep interoperability in mind. For devices to be able to communicate and work together at home, for example, interoperability must be achieved not only between the different networks, but also between the different applications and the service layer, which is where network and devices connect, according to Tom Kerber, director and researcher at Home Controls & Energy.
Actually, there’s a manifesto which includes these and other useful guidelines to start creating products for the Internet of Things, and where you can also include your suggestions.
The technology behind
Virtually anything connected to the Internet falls directly under the umbrella of the Internet of Things, so establishing a methodology and defining specific technologies to develop a product within this category doesn't seem to be feasible. However, there are some technologies that are more used than others.
To help you take the first steps in this area a good idea might be to acquire some devices for prototyping. There are some quite affordable products out there, like Arduino or Raspberry Pi, and many developers use them to start in the Internet of Things world.
Arduino is a programmable electronic board, meaning that it has a chip where you can install a programme with the functions you want. Besides, it has been created with open source hardware and software, so you can modify it to your liking. It's intended for artists, designers and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. On the other hand, Raspeberry Pi is also a generic computing device, capable of performing complex processes, which can be used to create almost any kind of prototype.
The good thing about both devices is that they have large communities of users, where you can ask for advice, solve any questions and share everything you do, as it happens in this Raspberry Pi page or in the home automation project OpenDomo, based on Linux and where developers work with Arduinos.
Once you've created the prototype, the next step is to turn it into a real product, which is something hardware developers usually take care of. When this last phase is completed, your project is basically ready to become a marketable product.
In a connected world, APIs are the glue that keeps all the parts that form our day-to-day lives in place. The same way the power of glue depends on the material it is used on and the knowledge of its properties, APIs are only as useful as their documentation allows for.
App users must be aware that a button... is in fact a clickable button. Therefore, app buttons must be designed in such a way that users should feel invited to interact with the interface and actually click on it.
Slack, the communication platform for companies, integrates different services into a single messaging application, all thanks to its API. Any developer can use it to create a bot that responds to the user’s requests by means of a chat. It already has an army of these small programs and the family continues to grow.