IoT Design Considerations: Security

Building a secure IoT-enabled device comes at a cost. As the IoT continues to grow, there is an increasing focus on its security and how safe the claims of end-to-end solutions really are. While security threats in the news have scared away some manufacturers and consumers from entering the IoT space, others view it as an opportunity for added value to their products. Implementing high-cost security into every product a company has is ideal, however not very economical. Manufacturers must find proper security for each of their IoT solutions while keeping costs low.

This process must start at the time of a product’s conception. Proper due-diligence is required from each manufacturer to find a way to secure their devices, protect their consumer and ultimately, the rest of the IoT world as well.

To download the complete Internet of Things Design Considerations White Paper, click here.

IoT Design Considerations: User Interface

Today’s consumers and business owners expect to access and control the world around them. How are your buyers going to interface with your product? Options range from using a smart home panel or gateway to an on-product display that can be paired with LEDs or push buttons. In addition, apps that monitor and control connected devices can be available for on-the-go consumers with smart phones. The type of product and its possible use-cases are important considerations when designing a product that can communicate information to its user.

Wi-Fi-enabled IoT devices have the ability to act as a soft access point (soft AP) which allows a user to “join” its network locally with a smartphone, laptop or tablet. Soft APs make product LED/LCD displays unnecessary since the screen of the connected device will serve the same purpose.

Using a soft AP does not preclude the module from connecting to the Internet and cloud-based services. This dual-mode is very attractive because the user can access the product remotely and locally, depending on the features of the product.

To download the complete Internet of Things Design Considerations White Paper, click here.

IoT Design Considerations: Features

The IoT allows companies to add features to their product that were never possible before. These features have a wide range of benefits and functions including automatic software updates (over-the-air), smart home and office connectivity, reminders for maintenance, special offers, recall notices and upgrades, remote or local access and control. It is also important that designers work with their marketing team to be sure the features desired are not limited by the hardware and networking technologies selected.

These features extend new benefits to manufacturers as well. The features that consumers use can provide manufacturers with valuable insight about the application of their products. For example, a washing machine may have 20 different functions on it, but because it is connected to the IoT, the manufacturer can learn which functions the consumer uses and improve the washer’s product design. This same connected washing machine can also contact its owner when a part is starting to fail and needs to be fixed. These new features also open the manufacturer to additional revenue streams presented by the data collected from the smart device. A company that sells a connected washing machine can sell data on detergent use to the companies that carry those products.

To download the complete Internet of Things Design Considerations White Paper, click here.

Every single home appliance that works with Apple HomeKit

Announced alongside iOS 8 at last year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple's HomeKit software aims to put its own spin on home automation. Using HomeKit as a framework, developers can link up iOS products to communicate with home appliances, such as thermostats, light bulbs and garage openers. 

While the initial framework of HomeKit was unveiled alongside the release of iOS in September 2014, manufacturers have been waiting to bring out HomeKit-enabled products to consumers over the course of this spring. 

Not sure what home appliances will be compatible with your iPhone, iPad or, one day, the Apple Watch? Fear not, as we've rounded up a list of upcoming (and a few already-released) products expected - or are already confirmed - to bring Apple connectivity to a home near you.

Read more and see all of the products, including the ConnectSense Smart Outlet, at TechRadar.