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The IoT Reference Guide for Mobile App Development

The Internet of Things Explosion

Are you following the current explosion of the Internet of Things? Have you seen the forecasted statistics on what the massive size of its market will be in only a few years? Just glance at the charts in this article.

The technology space continues to make leaps into smaller and smaller technology, and faster and faster processing. We went from mainframes to MacBooks, iPhones to FitBits, and are continuing the trend into IoT to include thermostats and smart watches, down to iBeacons, Tiles, and more.

Right now the IoT market is rather chaotic. There’s many major players vying for market share and the buzz seems to jump day-to-day. As a community we’re asking how are all of these devices going to operate? How will they communicate? What will the standards be?

Basically, there’s a lot going on and it’s hard to keep track of it all. As a mobile-first firm, we’ve worked extensively in this space recently and have become quite familiar with the landscape. Therefore, I’m putting together this reference guide to help navigate where the technology stands right now. Below we’ll share some references of where to find current news, major manufacturers, software applications, and cloud platforms.

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What is IoT?

IoT is the Internet of Things. It’s the umbrella term that encompasses any device that can communicate with a network. Some categories include Smart Devices, Wearables, Smartphones, and Computers.

These devices usually communicate via protocols such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, ZigBee, Z-Wave, or RFID. The infographic below illustrates these.

The aggregate power of IoT is in their number, their reach, and communication. These devices are enabling data and communication to previously unreachable areas. Your light switch can now be a trigger to launch another event. Your phone can now be a dashboard to monitor your office, your family, and your health.

Currently billions of devices are online reading, reporting, and communicating. Just imagine what will be possible once we get to trillions. It’s not that far off.

IoT Blogs

Here are some of our favorite blogs for keeping a pulse on IoT news and current events. Some of these are professional organizations which are regulating the current standards and some are our go-to source for new updates.

  1. Web of Things
  2. Internet of Things Consortium 
  3. Wearable Tech Insider
  4. TechWorld Wearables 
  5. The Internet of Things Council 
  6. Bluetooth SIG 
  7. Arduino Blog 
  8. Beekn 

IoT Hardware Manufacturers

Here are some of the most popular device manufacturers. Some of these companies also offer software and services for these devices. The current fragmentation of the market is due to most of thesemanufacturers each having proprietary methods of interacting with their devices and APIs.

Apple Misfit
Aprilaire Mr. Beams
Arduino Nest
August Nike
Automatic Orbit
Basis Parrot
Belkin Pebble
Channel Vision Philips
Cree Quirky
ELK RainMachine
Fitbit Seco-larm
Garmin Simply Automated
GE Sky Link
Global Cache Sonos
Honeywell Switchmate
Insteon Sylvania
Intermatic Tile
iRobot Under Armour
iSmartAlarm Universal Devices
Jackson Systems Visonic
Jawbone Vivint
Leeo WallyHome
Leviton Withings
LG X10
Lutron Xantech

Types of IoT Devices

One of the most impressive things is the wide range of companies producing IoT devices — from traditional hardware and TV manufacturers like Arduino and LG, to fashion and fitness companies, like Nike and Under Armour. This list is also meant to illustrate the range of IoT, from home security to baby monitors.

Here’s a handy list of popular types of IoT devices that you’ll see in the market. Keep these in mind as you’re looking for inspiration or thinking through all the edge cases and possibilities.

Accelerometer Microphones
Air Conditioner Motion sensors
Baby monitors Outlet switches
Beacons Pulse reader
Coffee makers Refrigerators
Door and window sensors Scales
Egg minder Shoes
Fire alarm Slow cookers, Crock Pots
Glasses Smart locks
Hazard detection Smoke Detector
Headphones Speakers
Healthcare devices Sport accessories
Heart rate monitor Thermostats
Lawn sprinkler system Watches
LED Bulbs Water sensors
Light Strips Webcams
Light switches

Here are some software solutions and platforms available in the market that are attempting to standardize and connect the different device manufacturers. Many of these solutions offer a single interface or API which can control a number of different devices.

IoT Apps and Platforms

  1. Yonomi
  2. SingleCue
  3. openHAB
  5. Wink 
  6. Neura
  7. SmartThings 

IoT Mobile Development Tools and SDKs

If you’re developing for IoT, there’s a range of underlying tools available, depending on the platforms and devices you’re targeting.

  1. Apple HomeKit and Apple HomeKit Reference  
  2. Google Project Brillo 
  3. Android Bluetooth 
  4. iOS CoreBluetooth Introduction and iOS CoreBluetooth Framework 
  5. iBeacon for Developers 
  6. Nest Weave 
  7. Allseen Alliance 
  8. Samsung Smart Home 
  9. Thread Group 
  10. SmartThings
  11. Nike Fuel and Nike+ 
  12. Under Armour Connected Fitness 
  13. Gimbal Beacon Platform 
  14. UPnPx for iOS 

IoT Backend Support — MBaaS

Additionally, if you’re developing for IoT, then you’re planning to communicate with some cloud network. These IoT supported backends offer additional functionality for IoT applications.

  1. Amazon IoT 
  2. ClearBlade 
  3. Parse 
  4. PubNub
  5. Kony
  6.  Firebase
  7. Cloudmine
  8.  Kii 
  9. FeedHenry 
  10. Kinvey 

Now go innovate…

These tools and references enable lots of new and powerful functionality. Be sure to share these ideas with your team and evaluate the options to make the best choice for your business. We’re working on some cutting edge technology at Jackrabbit, and we can’t wait to see what the future of IoT holds.

If you found this reference guide useful, please recommend, share with a friend, or leave us feedback. If your business needs mobile or IoT software development, you can learn more about our technology consulting firm here, or reach me at

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