IoT projects and applications are quickly going from cutting edge to common place. Switchbox has built a team capable of handling these types of projects. There are three main parts of any IoT project. The device, the network and the end user application. Each of these three primary pieces is critical in launching a successful application. Many companies are capable of working in a single area but Switchbox has experience navigating all three for companies local to Columbus, Ohio and even outside the state.
The device is the physical piece of hardware that collects information and sends it back to the main application. Examples can be the Nest Thermostat that physically sits in your home or even an internet connected thermometer inside a vending machine. It doesn't matter how simple or sophisticated the device is, so long as it collects and sends information back to the application layer. If you think getting into the hardware space is expensive you couldn't be more wrong. Verizon has an amazing platform of pre-certified IoT devices you can purchase and configure through their online platform. These devices let you either test your idea or actually get into the market space quickly.
The network is a critical but often overlooked area for IoT. Sometimes the network is simply a public WiFi connection at your office or warehouse. In some instances it might be through a 4G or 3G carrier like Sprint or Verizon. Some devices are capable of using both depending on the requirements of the project. Our personal preference is start with a standard WiFi connection for testing and build in the ability for a national carrier if the device is mission critical or needs to be mobile with real time data reporting. In some instances you can build a data cache on the device even if it is mobile so that it can do a burst transmission when it gets to an area with a WiFi connection.
The application layer is where all the magic comes together. Imagine you have 1,000 IoT devices reporting the temperature of pharmacy lockers in mobile delivery trucks . Each device is telling you every minute how hot or cold it is. How do you deal with 1,000 pieces of information every minute? What device needs your attention? Are any devices not reporting? Which trucks need special attention? A good dashboard will help you quickly filter that information. Even better an application can email or text you when there is a problem. The application layer is ultimately where you get to choose how you interact with your devices and how they interact with you
If you are considering launching an IoT project give us a call.