Finding the Right Problem: Building an IoT Solution


Whether you are interested in IoT as a hobbyist or a business owner, the first step to any project is having an idea which will add value to your life or business.

Have a clear problem in mind before selecting IoT hardware and a platform. Think about the type of data you need to make informed decisions. You may want to monitor foot traffic and track lighting levels or temperatures in a retail environment. You may want to build a soil moisture monitor for your dorm room. You may want to monitor how often a fridge door is opened, or be alerted when temperatures begin to climb or fall. You may want to use IoT as an employee monitoring system, as a quality assurance solution, or to automate your production line. You may want to create location-aware, targeted marketing campaigns within a physical box store.

IoT often seems daunting because a well-realized application requires expertise across a range of disciplines. The hardware and configurations for these protocols must also be custom configured to your infrastructure.

So many businesses struggle to graduate from the proof of concept phase. In fact, according to CISCO, two-thirds of IoT projects fail in the proof of concept phase and just one-quarter of companies reported their endeavour a success.

Luckily, there is now an established track record of use-cases and tutorials to help you model your solution on a functioning system. Hackster.io, Hackaday, and Instructables offer detailed instructions for would-be IoT DIY-ers. And for businesses looking for industrial solutions, the news is peppered with the exploits of businesses profiting from data-informed decisions.

What type of data do you need to make informed decisions?

Concerned with energy consumption in your office building? What type of data do you need to make informed decisions regarding heating and cooling automation? What type of data could help you automate lighting? Or in a retail environment, which data would help inform the layout of the store? Sensors of all types are available for nearly any budget and ready to be paired with a variety of internet-equipped IoT devices.

Choose your hardware – and stay ahead of innovations.

Every year, hardware becomes more discrete and capable. Stay abreast of new capabilities so that you can build a long-term solution. Pick an IoT device with the range of communication that suits your use case. After picking your hardware components, and doing some basic connections between your sensors and Arduino or Raspberry Pi, you’ll need to pick a platform to view your data.

Research Your Platform Provider

Find a free dashboard that is perfect for your dorm soil monitor or find a paid service which will save your business time and money by being able to accomodate thousands of devices. Your Platform will determine your options for viewing your data.

What’s your use-case?

Do you have a clear problem in mind? Are you ready to start small and scale up? Get in touch and get informed with the solution providers which know your industry.