There’s a lot of media attention about the security of IoT devices these days, mainly because the security of some products has turned out to be dreadfully bad. There is, for instance, a case with a device for controlling the infusion of medicine (Hospira Symbiq infusion systems). Outsiders were able to hack into the device and got access to information about the dosing and administration of the drug.
Therefore, the development of an IoT product should always involve a careful risk assessment. You can start by answering these questions:
- How is the device connected and to what?
- What kind of data is at risk of exposure?
It is costlier to develop a product with – than without IoT functionality, but the extent to which it increases the development cost, of course, depends on the type of product.
You will definitely need to do the following:
A cost benefit analysis:
For some product types IoT is the basic idea: for instance, put sensors in the office plants, and they will report humidity levels to a server. The data can be used for optimization of the watering routines, and without IoT this product would be worthless. See example at Spiio.com.
Other products are fully functional without an internet connection. You could for instance add an IoT device to a chair and record the use of it. But in most cases it would hardly be worth the effort, because for normal functionality Internet connection is unnecessary.
Consideration of the future functionality of the user interface:
Always remember that you don’t just add a sensor to the product. You are also going to need the necessary infrastructure and services to handle, analyze and present the data:
- A server to receive and store the data
- Applications for processing the data
- A web site or an app showing the results (a high quality app can cost up to 140.000 euro)
Notice that once it’s up and running, your contribution isn’t over. Apps and web sites will for instance need updates every time a browser or operating system is brought up to date.
All this means that your services are needed far beyond the phase of development and production. But it can be worth the effort.
Do you want to read more about IoT? The these two articles might be interesting for you as well: Benefits from products connected to the Internet (according to our IoT-expert) / How to distinguish worthless from valuable IoT solutions