The real reason why mobile app development with IoT apps is such a hot topic right now

In 1999, Professor of Sociology Neil Goss, made the statement that “in the next century, planet earth would don an electric skin” by using “the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations”. A more astute statement could not have been made and we are now living in that skin.

In 1999, Professor of Sociology Neil Goss, made the statement that “in the next century, planet earth would don an electric skin” by using “the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations”. A  more astute statement could not have been made and we are now living in that skin.

With over a decade of app/IoT development, the questions surrounding the “electric skin” and all its consequences has always been central to our conversations around app development in the IoT field. It is why we have recently co-founded  a data analytics company. Although awareness of the collection and use of data collection has become public since the debate of social media’s responsibility in challenging contexts such as elections and Brexit, it is one that people working within this space have been and are engaged in.

It is one that we at Polymorph take seriously. IoT not only enters your home, but app development has allowed an understanding of your finances in Fintech or your health and children’s health in MedTech. Thus, a private and sensitive space. We have respected that space and have made the point of data collection and it’s use, a topic that we clearly engaged in with each company we work with.

That said, every company we take on has been one in which we have agreed that the betterment of the user’s life is at the heart of what we do. It is in this way that we engage with the client and the user in a way that ensures the client meets the needs of the user in a way that is beneficial to the user. From this position, it is easy to move forward in a way that is respectful of the user and is of maximum benefit to the user’s life.

I believe it is vital that we understand this skin and how it services our needs, protects and heals our loved ones and creates solutions never before dreamed of. Working with a company such as Snuza has allowed us into the lives of babies to help monitor their breathing rate, body temperature and sleeping position. A small IoT device clipped to the newborn’s nappy feeds back data to a parent that can alert the parent that the child is in danger of a SIDS event. The aim of the device is to alleviate the fears of parents with the safe knowledge that their child is protected with great technological advancements which we constantly improve upon.

It is not just enough to give data to people using apps and IoT, it must be usable and of benefit. As an engineer, I place a high value on the quality of the devices we work with and on the code we create. Each piece of code becomes a part of that “electric skin” in which we all live. It surrounds us and thus must be meaningful to those who live in it. But, more than that, it must be a skin we can navigate without engineering degrees, it must be a skin that adds to our lives and contributes to the greater health of the planet.

Accessibility is at the heart of every app and IoT development we work with. This is why we have a team dedicated to the design and ensuring that the user experience (UX) is one that centers the user and their needs. Every app is researched from the user standpoint and designed from a user centric model. When we design an app to protect a newborn, we design it from the point of a parent in love with their child. When we design an app for checking in on your bank account, we design it with the knowledge that all of us have had anxious moments relating to our finances. We seek to free data from coding, mathematics and algorithms to place it in your hands as wisdom.  

That is the value of IoT, not the 1 and 0’s, but the wisdom we can gain to ensure that our electric skin services our needs, protects you and creates the world we want to raise our children in.

For an introduction to the Internet of Things, please read my previous articles: What is the Internet of Things?, An Introduction to the IoT Stack Part 1, An Introduction to the IoT Stack Part 2.

About the Author
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Richard Barry

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CEO of Polymorph

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