Effectively utilizing IoT (Internet of Things) is swiftly becoming a necessity for most organizations. We’ve previously discussed how IoT functions as wearables, in the beauty industry, and within the home. Despite IoT growing in many areas, it comes with a major challenge: development time and complexity. It turns out, though, that low-code can be the solution.
IoT solutions are complex. In order for IoT solutions to function properly, many different technologies from different layers need to come together and function as one. Imagine a mix of endpoints, sensors, processors, back-end systems, front-end systems, middleware, apps, data sources, machine learning, and on and on and on. Most of these technologies individually require specialist skills, but a good IoT system needs all of them in order to function. This often leads to increased friction and high costs.
Low-code platforms tend to be used by developers with some programming experience and technical knowledge, but most of the heavy lifting is carried out by the platform itself. Low-code is centered on a drag-and-drop interface where programmers can link together different pre-set pieces of code and add in their own. It’s flexible and fast. However, most low-code platforms don’t go very deep into AI or IoT integrations.
Interplay, our Low-code platform simplifies the process by providing easy integration with major IoT platforms and quicker connection of the disparate variables. In short, it’s just faster, cutting down on the time spent on development. Some processes can also be easily automated. When it comes to IoT, integration of all of the different technologies and functions is the largest challenge. Interplay solves this challenge.
Low-code development also reduces cost. As mentioned before, with traditional development techniques, IoT requires many, many unique skill sets. When low-code is utilized, less engineering effort is required, therefore significantly lowering development costs, but more importantly, accelerating the go-to-market timeline by 10x or more.
Another advantage of low-code in IoT is quick, easy data parsing. With raw IoT data, it can be difficult for even skilled programmers to parse through and make sense of it. With a low-code automated parser (like we have in Interplay), this process takes no time at all. This is especially important when it comes to IoT, since this area is rapidly expanding and changing, and businesses need to be able to analyze what’s going on to keep up.
We’ve developed several projects that leverage our low-code platform and complex IoT environments.
We used Interplay, our low-code platform, to enable touchless gas pumps during a global pandemic. This was completed in under three weeks. Typically, when stopping to get gasoline, people must touch the screen, the PIN keypad, and the gas pump, leading to a significant risk of germ spread. In our solution, we used cameras to read the customer’s license plate to get their phone number, then pinged their phone to ask what grade of gasoline they wanted. The system then unlocked the pump using an IoT connection. Finally, the customer could complete the payment transaction through their mobile device. This system mitigated over half of the possible risk from the gasoline process, and it was all done using low-code.
In our Pay-by-Plate solution, we wanted to streamline payments with AI. A national chain of oil changing stations wanted to offer customers a smooth experience of never having to leave their car, but the credit card transaction portion of the service took up 1.5 minutes of the 10 minute total. We implemented a system where cameras in each oil changing bay read the customer’s license plate upon entry, then automatically pinged the customer’s phone to suggest services, upsell, and confirm payment. The mobile app then showed specific status updates with every step of the change, streamlining the entire process. This was all done using Interplay, Iterate’s low-code platform.
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