What is the Internet of Things (IoT) Lifecycle?


The Internet of Things is a new and advanced way of technology. It is a blessing to the industrial sector, making almost everything smarter day by day. However, the irony is no matter how easier IoT devices make our lives; they are more challenging to build.

In other words, developing IoT solutions is not a piece of cake and requires a smart approach. IoT products go through a sophisticated lifecycle to fulfill the needs and demands of the manufacturers of the particular product. Hence, here we have simplified each step of IoT product development so you can know better.

What are the Components of IoT?

IoT has mainly two components, IoT hardware, and IoT software. The hardware component consists of devices, such as sensors, servers, a gateway or an edge, and microcontrollers. On the other hand, the software component comprises the software and applications associated with the web or mobile.

The software component works towards data collection and analysis, device integration, application of data into the device, and process extension. The various components of hardware and software further break down as follows −

  • Sensors − sensors are the soul of the Internet of Things. These are the hardware components that sense data by interacting with the environment. Some examples of sensors are thermostats, microphones, etc.

  • Actuators − Actuators are also hardware components meant to transform energy into motion. An electric motor is an example of an actuator in IoT.

  • Gateway − A gateway is a software component meant to connect the various components of IoT devices to interact and share information.

  • Data Analysis is another essential software component for handling and analyzing data. The sensors' data may need to be more understandable and interpretable. Hence, data analytics transforms incoming data into an easily processable format.

  • Artificial Intelligence − IoT devices also leverage the perks of Artificial intelligence to understand the system well. It allows the developers to control the various aspects of IoT devices and make the best out of them.

  • Cloud computing − Cloud computing allows us to handle the data collected by sensors in an advanced way. It stores a large amount of incoming data on the cloud, an online data hub, to process it more conveniently.

  • Interface − Finally comes the user interface. It is the medium through which the users can access and control the working of IoT devices.

The IoT Lifecycle

Now that you know how various components of an IoT device work, let us dive into how you can develop one. Here is the IoT lifecycle starting from scratch to achieving the milestone expected by the manufacturers.

Data collection

The first step to developing an IoT solution is understanding the needs and demands of the manufacturer. Hence, the developers collect as much information as possible from the client regarding the expectations from the project.

It mainly consists of the details of the power and size requirements of the product. The developers analyze the information provided, arrive at an idea, and plan to depend on the functionality of the IoT device.

Design

After the customer brainstorms the requirements of the product, here comes some engineering. The engineers convert the idea into a prototype by developing a circuit design for the product.

Designing a circuit requires various software knowledge and algorithms to arrive at an appropriate solution for the product based on the real-world market. Some important factors in the process are range, battery life, and product cost.

The best solution based on the cost and performance ratio is selected and implemented in the final project for the IoT device.

Review

Once the most appropriate circuit design is formulated, the developers must continuously make necessary changes. It is possible by reviewing the circuit design and functionality throughout the project.

The developers can make changes to the layout, schematics, algorithms, or infrastructure of the project to arrive at a reliable solution with the highest performance and cost efficiency.

Prototyping

Here comes the stage where the circuit design implementation is carried out. The developers come forward with a proof of concept for the IoT solution by building the actual product by combining the hardware and software components.

Considering the cost/performance ratio and form factor required by the customer, the developers test the various components, such as sensors, simulators, embedded boards, modules, etc. Minimizing the error at the end of prototyping is the main aim of this step.

Validation

Testing and validating the final prototype are essential steps of the IoT lifecycle. Here the hardware component of the prototype is tested under different parameters, such as amplitude, magnitude, voltage, power consumption, temperature, etc. Once validated, the product is all set to be manufactured.

Manufacturing and Maintenance

The final prototype is forwarded to the manufacturer. The manufacturing step involves the assembly of the various components of the circuit design and gives life to the initial idea. Once the product is manufactured, it requires maintenance from time to time to stay in touch with technological developments. Hence, the engineers keep upgrading it to newer versions from time to time.

Conclusion

IoT solutions are not built in a day. They require a full-proof plan to bring into action the customers' requirements. Hence, IoT products go through a lifecycle including several steps to get the best solution into the market. It is a lifecycle that instills the best of technology in our lives.

Updated on: 14-Feb-2023

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