What is IoT and why is it the future?
Internet of Things or, as it is widely known, IoT, is an interconnecting network of vehicles, devices, home appliances, medical equipment and much more with the help of embedded microchips. This not only enables you to bring multiple systems under one umbrella but also lets you control them remotely. With the internet now becoming a regularly used resource across the world, it is only natural that this is how things will be in the future. We can already see baby-steps being taken towards this grand scheme of things.
We now have several appliances in our homes that we can control remotely with just one device. Right from light bulbs to a home security camera, we can control all of them with ease by sitting at just one place. Wearables like smartwatches, fitness trackers and pacemakers connected to your smartphone are some of the other examples.
IoT has been put to use in infrastructure and development as well and the biggest benefactor of this innovation is the healthcare industry. Doctors can now monitor patients and offer treatment and assistance remotely. This not only saves the cost of travelling but can become a matter of life and death in emergency situations. With the addition of AI and ML, IoT will surely change the way we operate different devices and appliances around us.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that as IoT is such a complex network of systems, it needs efficient and robust testing. If it is not tested the right way and on a regular basis, it can turn out to be a disaster as even a single technical glitch can crash the whole system in some cases. This is why you need to hire professional software testers who are well-versed with the technicalities of IoT and managing huge networks.
Here, we have listed some of the common problems IoT systems face if testing is not done properly.
Not having a robust software-hardware mesh
One of the biggest issues faced by an IoT system is not having a functioning structure of software and hardware. An IoT system consists of multiple software, hardware, sensors, communication gateways and many more aspects. Naturally, this requires testing at a higher level and therefore becomes quite time consuming as well.
Here, the usual functional testing performed on regular applications would not help as there is so much dependency on other environments. As a result, even more care and effort has to be put in while testing IoT systems.
Devices not interacting the way it should
If the devices in the system do not interact in real time or near real time, then the whole point of IoT fails. Integration testing has to be done to see if the devices are compatible enough to run as a cohesive unit. Other than this, backward compatibility and security testing too becomes incredibly important in such cases. If all this is not tested properly, then the whole system will only work in a haphazard manner.
Issues with real-time data testing
Systems such as IoT require pilot/regulatory testing before they are launched to check if the devices are able to manage data and function the way they were intended to. It is also called regulatory compliance testing as it tests each and every step involved in the system to see if it complies with its intended purpose. Collecting data points can get quite tough, which is exactly why the process requires a lot of time and skilled professionals.
As we know, IoT is spread across various operating systems like Windows, Android, iOS and Linux to name a few. However, the challenging part is that there are thousands of devices that are run using these OS. Naturally, the UI behaving correctly on every device becomes quite an impossible feat to achieve. However, the only way to get as close to a perfect system is to run thousands of simulations and test cases on a diverse set of devices. For this, crowd-sourced testing is the best way to go ahead.
Availability of a wide network
Since the whole point of IoT is to form a wide network that operates on the internet, speed tests have to be performed to check the efficiency of the different networks on which you will work. The complete IoT architecture must be tested in various environments and under different loads. Moreover, real-time data can get unpredictable, resulting in bottlenecks in the system when used in the long run. This is why it is important to runs tests continuously even after the IoT system has been launched in the market. You can always make it better through timely updates.
All the above points reiterate the fact that no IoT system can run efficiently without going through a series of tests. The important thing to note here is that the testing has to be performed properly without any errors as the whole system is much more complex than a regular application or software.
Such complex systems rely on highly skilled testers creating robust test cases in different environments to truly test the products to their limit. This is how a software testing company like TestUnity can help you, thanks to the team of experienced and proficient testers who have a good understanding of how IoT works. Get in touch with us to know more!