[Infographic] Internet Of Things (IoT), Future Tested

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Chic or Geek, are we adequately testing the Wearable Tech

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Is Style winning over Substance, or is Wearable Tech here to bring us flawless experience and ease? Interestingly, Wearable Tech’s relevance and application has today gone beyond mere fashion/sports accessories. Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016, world’s largest and sought after gathering for the mobile industry, showcased some of the hottest trends in the Wearable Tech space.

For instance, at the recently held MWC 2016, some leading tech channels and portals specifically hand-picked a portable device that could fit on a cow’s leg and help farmers to gauge the cattle’s fitness level and address the medical issues before they get chronic. This proved to be a major cost-saver for the farming fraternity, showcasing how technology can empower not just humans, but major sectors at large.

Likewise, Wearable devices are being designed and tested in organizations to help improve sitting postures, concentration, and productivity amongst employees. A research done by Goldsmiths, University of London found that using Wearable devices in office premises could help boost productivity up to 8%..

Alternately, a study that analyzed around 120 employees at a media company for a specified period revealed that using Wearable tech reduced the alertness by 9%, but at the same time the job satisfaction levels increased by 3%.

A smart watch that can give you feedback on you morning jog, a sleep tracker that can help you sleep better, a fitness tracker for your pet dog, or a heartbeat tracker that can determine your overall health, Wearable Tech is engaging on every front.

In a recent episode, BBC Click showcased some chic Wearable gadgets like key rings, phone cases and bracelets with payment chips, a ring wearable that goes with your outfit and syncs in with your iOS or Android device to alert you on calls, messages, emails, or any kind of social media notifications that you might miss if you happen to forget your phone.

As we gauge from these examples and the way the inventions are headed, everything revolves around the intrinsic needs of a human or a living creature. For instance, a dainty looking device designed for women to track stress levels, sleep and overall lifestyle related health issues. This further intensifies the need to strategize and execute a thorough testing effort to ensure flawless experience.

These gadgets are further supposed to sync in with your portable mobile devices to display the required results. Fitbit Alta, is a hot selling fitness band that tracks the steps, the running time, calories burnt, and all titbits related to the body’s fitness. The band has to not just sync in with the jogger’s pulse rate, but also with the Android that you are carrying to display the required results.

The concern is, you have spent a fortune on developing a gadget with all required features and then you realize that it is unable to sync with your Android or iOS. So, testing is not just applicable for the gadgets, but also for the Apps that orchestrate the overall impact.

Is Wearable Tech ready for the marketplace? Is the question to ponder over.

At present, the marketplace for Wearables is all gung-ho and flooded with innovative attempts to make it work with the end users. Considering this scenario, there is nothing streamlining the industry and how it should evolve in terms of performance VS commercial viability.

There are some fundamental questions raised:

  • What will be the behaviour patterns of these devices?
  • What is the data bandwidth required for operating the wearable apps?
  • How will the devices sync with the Apps and function synchronously?
  • How will the device access the Internet and other related devices for data sourcing?
  • Apart from the gadget’s functionality, how will the performance get evaluated?

The solution and the only answer to these popping concerns is Load / Performance testing the applications synchronously with the devices. However, the challenge is that there is no decided or standard platform to test these devices and applications. It is still evolving, as the market evolves.

While established players like Nike+, Jawbone, and other fitness devices like Fitbit continue to provide strong reference points, there is a universe of devices in the market that mandates thorough scrutiny. And this further adds on to the challenges and nightmares of the developers and testers. Let’s check out some key challenges.

  • Bubbling Marketplace: Devices are coming up in the market every day and dying out frequently due to its ineffectiveness in the market. So, there is hardly any strong reference point and any scope of predictions for the future.
  • Absence of a standard platform: Software system implemented for Wearables is varied and not so structured. This requires customized coding and recurring test implementation to gauge the desired outcome.
  • Legacy issues: Wearables at some point of time need to sync with redundant legacy systems that create issues in terms of performance. The major concern is, there is no particular decided approach to resolve this gap.
  • Challenges with Development: Ineffective displays, inadequate data connectivity, poor battery life, ensuring water resistance, building secure interface, and most importantly, designing the right ergonomics are some of the related challenges for developers.

Connectivity and interoperability across devices is a major area of focus, as most of the Wearable Tech depends on Internet connection or a shared Wi-Fi connection to give the desired results. So, during the development of the application and device, requirements related to data connectivity should be considered. Additionally, Wearables might also impact the performance of the mobile device. It would be a tricky situation if the mobile device is connected to 5 wearables and is receiving information at the same time from all of them.

Can it really take on the load?

With no definite way, what are the most effective ways of Performance Testing the Wearables and while designing specific applications?

  • Test Automation for constant vigilance: There is a constant need to confirm the performance of the devices and the results that are getting generated. The only solution is to automate the tests for continuous testing and get speedy evaluations. This will further optimize the code and ensure Continuous Integration. Furthermore, it will ensure maximum test coverage.
  • Service Virtualization can speed up the process: While Service Virtualization has its own implications and relevance in the software testing space, it holds tremendous benefits in Performance Testing. By emulating the environment, the DevOps teams can leverage virtual services instead of the core production environment. This helps in constant and complete testing with the essential components possibly present in the real environment. Moreover, it helps test the interoperability of complex applications in the development process and reduces defects that could hinder the Application/products time-to-market.
  • Load Testing with an Agile approach: While experimenting with new applications and devices, enterprises are looking at cost-effective approaches. The Agile process helps develop higher quality software within stringent timelines and at lowered costs. The objective is to test performance during the development process, while ensuring functional excellence at the same time. If these tests are conducted in the post-production phase, it is bound to incur high costs and kill more time.

With over 10,500 athletes from 206 countries and numerous medals to grab, Rio Olympics 2016 saw many athletes using non-conventional means to build efficiency. Tech portals reported that some Olympic athletes were considering a new wearable called Halo Sports, a pair of headphones to boost their efficiency. Wearable Tech can be found across any or every category and are coming up every day without serious monitoring and vigilance, thus, reinforcing the need for testing performance.

Gallop’s Performance Center of Excellence (PCoE) provides end-to-end performance testing solutions to help our clients launch future proof applications with high responsiveness, availability, and scalability. We have worked with global innovators to build path-breaking devices and applications.

Connect with us for a robust test strategy and gain faster time-to-market.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Testing Machine to Machine interactions in IOT World

Testing Machine to Machine interactions in IOT World

 

M2M or Machine to Machine interactions have been around for quite some time now and with IoT getting into mainstream, the machine to machine interactions are at the forefront again.

So what makes IoT and M2M so interesting?

As per GSMA Intelligence, there are now more than 7.82 billion devices, including M2M devices, which is way above the number of humans pegged at 7.4bn. We are working in a world where the importance of connected devices is getting more relevant and with the amount of automation happening, we are going to see a huge jump in the connected machines by next decade. As per Cisco, “the Internet of Things (IoT) will have up to 50 billion things (or devices) that will be connected to the Internet by 2020; or, the equivalent of 6 devices for every person on the planet.”

Though M2M has been there since 1930s, when the British military first invented radar to detect aircraft, it is getting into every household these days. M2M is at the heart of Internet of Things and with connected devices getting so common, in future, it might be at every corner of your house. IoT is all about connected devices communicating with each other in form of data which is being analyzed and action being taken in real-time with/without human intervention. Given the current pace of things, human intervention is going to get less every year.

As more and more devices start taking decisions without human intervention, testing and certifying such devices will become more critical for the organizations. Some of the factors which needs to be considered are:

  • Skill set:

This is going to be the most important factor for testing M2M/IoT applications as the resources are supposed to have domain knowledge as well as systems engineering understanding. Having the right resources with good skillset is going to be critical for success of IoT projects.

  • Test environment management:

Having the right test environment for testing the devices, applications around it, communication between machines is going to be difficult as the number of devices rises. Once the devices with different versions and upgrades emerge, mimicking and simulating the test environment will be a challenge.

  • Test data management:

Here comes the real challenge. M2M usually generates terabytes of data for different processes, and which may also be behaviorally different. And given that there will be different types of devices which will be communicating and generating different types of data, getting it right becomes even more important.

  • Security testing:

Data privacy and application security are the non-avoidable types of testing, given that there will be lot of loopholes when multiple devices interact over multiple channels. This becomes even more important because m2m devices usually don’t have specific identities (currently), and testing thus them for vulnerabilities is must because the amount of data which gets exposed.

  • Compatibility testing:

IoT has given rise to different operating systems, devices and messaging protocols. Making sure that different devices communicate properly while maintaining the standards is key to success of the IoT.

  • Performance testing:

Performance becomes critical in the case of IoT as the response time between machines is critical to the success of the business scenarios which run over these devices. At the same time, measuring the vital statistics of devices like power usage, memory usage, endurance testing, disaster recovery testing is also important.

  • Accessibility testing:

Testing for accessibility is going to grow as we see more interconnected devices around us. With smart cars talking to smart buildings and in turn passing the information to smart wearables, this is going to be compulsory type of testing to be considered.

  • Regulatory compliance testing:

We are going to see standards, protocols and compliances emerging in the IoT space and making sure that regulatory requirements are adhered to will be crucial.

These are few of types of testing which we feel are important. But there will be many more types of testing which needs to be considered to cover the end-to-end functionality of the IoT devices.

It is going to be interesting to see how this space evolves and if any new standards, tools and, processes becomes part of the IoT software delivery pipeline. Whatever it will be, we will keep you updated with the latest in IoT testing world.

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

The Need for Testing the Internet of Things

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Kevin Ashton, co-founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, which created a global standard system for RFID and other sensors, coined the phrase “Internet of Things” in 1999. IoT encompasses a world where living and inanimate things are connected wirelessly and serve the purpose of machine-to-machine communication.

“The IoT demands an extensive range of new technologies and skills that many organizations have yet to master,” said Nick Jones, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “A recurring theme in the IoT space is the immaturity of technologies and services and of the vendors providing them. Architecting for this immaturity and managing the risk it creates will be a key challenge for organizations exploiting the IoT. In many technology areas, lack of skills will also pose significant challenges.”

The above statement very clearly lays down the need, an importance of testing all things IoT. It is obvious that while IoT will have a strong, positive impact on making our lives easier, on the flip side, it will need the organizations providing such services pay a lot more attention to security, risk, designing, and the basic architecture of their products.

With the recent focus on IoT-enabled devices, there’s a huge surge in the products related to household, healthcare, utilities, cars, etc. on a Year-on-year basis. Additionally, enterprises the world over are also rapidly migrating, developing, or rolling out newer IoT-enabled products into the market.

As listed very accurately in a PR by Gartner, following will be the business-critical areas that most organizations will need to pay a very strong attention to in the coming years:

  • IoT Security
  • IoT Analytics
  • IoT Device (Thing) Management
  • Low-Power, Short-Range IoT Networks
  • Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks
  • IoT Processors
  • IoT Operating Systems
  • Event Stream Processing
  • IoT Platforms
  • IoT Standards and Ecosystems

Testing software and systems for IoT also involves physical, sensory and emotional interactions because today’s digital devices not only work based on keystrokes, but also respond to our touch, motion, and voice. This makes “Human Experience” testing also a very crucial part of testing IoT.

Testing IoT also will need to involve testing all possible devices for all possible permutations and combinations of OSs and software supported. Emulators and simulators will need to be used in a large scale to test all such products end-to-end. This will require making the use of all-encompassing Test Labs.

Internet of Things, thus, is all pervading. Each and every aspect related to the production of an IoT product needs to be thoroughly tested and verified before being launched for public consumption. Not doing so can lead to severe and serious repercussions.

In order to master and implement IoT, organizations need to work closely with mature vendors to overcome key hurdles. Testing IoT in addressing data management, security and privacy concerns helps in offering trusted products. Gallop experts provide in-depth skills to identify potential bugs and failures avoiding disastrous failure of products. Testing often and testing continuously will prove to be a crucial factor in identifying and fixing the discrepancies of the IoT products.

Gallop Solutions has a decade of expertise as an independent testing services provider. Contact Gallop’s team of testing experts for your testing requirements.

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The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.

Why is it Critical to Ensure Optimum Quality in the Era of IoT and Wearables?

Why is it Critical to Ensure Optimum Quality in the Era of IoT and Wearables?

Apples, for quite some time now, are no more just eatables – as much as Jawbone is not just a physical structure, nor is a Pebble just another stone.

There are wearables – and many other smarter, interconnected devices that use the very complicated mesh known as the Internet of Things (IoT). With the demand rising in unthought-of numbers earlier, and a very huge impact visible across organizations – these smart devices are well on the way to change the course of the IT world.

With machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies joining in the foray to support communication in businesses related to transportation, green-buildings, and manufacturers of instruments that control quality with use of embedded sensors, tags, and actuators, we can now see, hear, and feel, the world in a very different manner than earlier.

Per one of the reports from HP, the number of connected devices has increased from a meagre 0.3 million devices in 1990 to almost 9 billion in 2013. The number is set to touch 1 trillion devices by the year 2025. To add on to this, here’s a sample of the volume of data that can be generated – while the radio telescope ensemble, Square Kilometer Array (SKA), can alone produce several exabytes per day, as it senses the changes and behaviors of objects in the universe, a single Boeing aircraft can generate 20 TB of data per hour!

But why is Quality so Critical?

While the above statistics go on to prove beyond doubt that ours is a world that uses smart apps to perform all and any kind of activities – be they related to work, play, shopping, entertainment, knowledge exploration, and communication – on the flip side, this also means that a big chunk of all our personal data and information is shared in a manner which, if not secured properly, will lead to a big crises the world over.

In this blended physical and digital world having intelligent household items such as cars, washing machines, microwaves, security locks, smart street lights etc., unless complete care is taken of Quality in terms of performance, security, reliability, scalability, functionality, etc. – everything around us can pose a potential hazard whether in form of identity theft to a more physical accidental hazard. The data for all such so-called smart devices must be collected and analyzed for all sort of advancements and testing.

With IoT all set to transform the world of business and aide revenue generation, it becomes imperative that the quality of these devices is given utmost business-critical like importance for further improving customer relationship – and database.

With Credit Suisse expecting the total market value of wearables to increase ten-fold – from $3.0-5.0 billion to $30.0-50.0 billion – over the next three to five years – it is just not personal assets and information at stake here, but even a small dent in the quality of these devices may create a huge hole in the pockets of the related organizations as well.

IoT is not just making our personal lives easy – it is also providing new, disruptive models that businesses can use to ideate and generate new lines of revenue, as also thinking out of the box solutions for reducing costs and increasing savings that may be even up to the tune of $ 1 Billion – if the industry happens to be Airlines, or $ 8 million pa, in case of the mining industry.

According to Cisco, IoT growth will generate $14.4 trillion in value – across all industries – over the next decade. McKinsey sums it up well that the IoT is one of the most disruptive technology trends of the next decade, with comprehensive ramifications for businesses and policymakers.

In essence, not paying complete attention to quality in the world of IoT and wearables is to ensure that you are treading a path of losses and failure.

To cover all the bases and ensure that Quality is no more a concern, a third-party organization with the right expertise can prove to be your best bet. At Gallop, Quality is at the heart of everything we do. Our focus is to keep your app secure and your customers happy. Our tool agnostic test automation frameworks ensure accelerated testing so that you get higher productivity and an enviable time to market. Reach out to us today!

The opinions expressed in this blog are author's and don't necessarily represent Gallop's positions, strategies or opinions.