Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Internet of Things (IoT) apps in production today are generating real revenue, according to a global survey of 675 application developers by Harbor Research and Progress Software.
The surveyed developers also expect this figure to rise to 80 percent by 2018. The industries currently leading in IoT development include smart homes, wearables, automotive and sports and fitness.
"IoT is a very large space and the revenue varies with the industry," Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart, vice president of technology for Progress Software, told eWEEK. "As our survey indicates, the largest opportunities today are around wearables, fitness and smart homes.” For example, in the space of fitness, the revenue comes from selling the bundle of hardware and software--on the device and on the cloud--that provides the experience to the consumer.
"In the industrial space, the revenue comes from an improved understanding of the business, operational, and service efficiencies," he explained. "For example, additional information about the conditions of vehicles can reduce maintenance costs."
Of those surveyed, 45 percent are developing IoT apps, with U.S. developers creating the highest number of IoT apps (58 percent), followed by The Netherlands (50 percent) and Germany (43 percent).
When asked which industries are key to IoT app development, research respondents listed smart homes (19 percent), wearables (13 percent), automotive (11 percent) and sports/fitness (11 percent) as the primary markets.
Developers cited Android as the best operating system (OS) for building apps for IoT devices (29 percent), followed by Windows (24 percent), Linux (21 percent) and iOS (16 percent).
Java proved the most popular platform/language used to collect and integrate data from the server side (55 percent), followed by PHP (17 percent) and Node.js (12 percent).
While 77 percent of respondents consider the IoT opportunity exciting, many still feel they are lacking the necessary technology, skills or tools. Half of the developers surveyed said they don’t have, or are unsure if they have the necessary technology today to deliver on IoT expectations.
"Some areas of IoT, like wearables and fitness, are likely to get a boost from devices like Apple Watch and Google Wear," Pelegri-Llopart said. "Home automation is a similar example. Others will take a bit more time to ramp up. I think that smart cities will gain substantial interest as we are faced with improving the citizen’s experience while managing limited resources like water and energy usage."