IoT Testing: An Intelligent Approach to Create Smart Homes

Kanika Vatsyayan
IoT Testing
Illustration: © IoT For All

Over the years, the rapid and progressive growth of the IT sector has offered so many gifts to humankind. Especially, the introduction of concepts like IoT has driven the future, making the technology intervene in our day-to-day lives. A quick idea of the IoT impact could be easily measured from Gartner’s reports on IoT that predicted 21 billion connected devices to be in use by the end of the year 2021, while the number will reach 30.9 billion in 2025. 

And since we are talking about the proliferation of IoT, how can we skip the most important and most popular concepts associated with IoT? Yes, we are talking about smart homes. Believe it or not, the smart home market is expected to touch $151.4 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR percentage of 12.02%.  

Thus, it could be clearly inferred from the above data that a consistent evolution of technology is progressing from smartphones to smart homes. If you wonder what comprises the smart home systems, the solutions like motion sensors, leak detectors, doorbells, cameras, dimmers, smart plugs, smart switches, thermostats, and so many other things make our life easier.  

Considering this ever-increasing growth of the smart home market, there is a need to embrace the challenges and plan a strategy that can help prevent the collapse of the smart ecosystem. So, let us quickly dive into the process of understanding the intelligent approach to IoT implementation, making way for robust and intact smart homes. 

The Dynamics Of The Smart Home Automation System 

One of the most exciting yet vulnerable features of smart home automation systems is virtual digital assistants. Though virtual assistants are all about facilitating routine activities using digital brains, the security vulnerability bothers the home automation system engineers the most.  

Usually, a typical home automation system involves smart controls related to ambiance, appliance control, entertainment, lighting, and systems. Besides, the home automation system needs to be aligned with features related to access control systems, safety, and alarms. 

Nevertheless, IoT-based smart systems at home pose so many challenges related to data security, access management, compliance, hardware, and integrations. Also, smart systems’ quality and performance factor is a major area of consideration and, therefore, should offer end-to-end functionality for diverse platforms. 

For instance, if an intrusion occurs, the alarm system should be designed to respond to the attack. The response can be a notification on your smartphone and even an alert sent to the nearest police facility. Similarly, the system should be tested for any fire or smoke emergency that needs to be notified to the nearest fire department facility. Any kind of hacking attempt made to the system should be immediately blocked and reported.  

Identifying Complexities

Smart homes made using IoT technology are usually built using multiple devices controlled through connected and standalone systems. Since these systems involve many self-learning mechanisms and AI implementations, specifying and achieving the desired functionality need advanced technology validation.  

This process starts right from triggering the device for activation, followed by the response of the associated devices, network, and overall digital environment. However, the validation aspect could be divided into three major aspects: interconnectivity, interoperability, and the surrounding environment.  

The interoperability factor refers to the communication between different software and devices, which, if not validated, could lead to system failures or security compromises. Secondly, the interconnectivity factor defines the quality of communication within the systems necessary for the devices’ controlled behavior. The interconnectivity checks on the system help drive the smart home system’s overall performance and thus need to be essentially checked. 

Last but not least, the environment factor is about a system through which devices connect and trigger into action. Thus, a well-defined smart home system should have an efficient and informed check on system performance testing and software testing to help draw the technological landscape of the smart home systems. 

Layer-by-Layer Testing of IoT Smart Home System 

An IoT system is an advanced connected environment built over several interconnected components: Application, Device, Data Processing, Data Ingestion, and Transformation.  

When in sync, all these layers help the smart home operate by converting data into information and response. However, these layers often make an IoT system convert into a complex architecture that needs extensive testing support.   

Therefore, each IoT smart home system layer has to undergo essential protocol and interoperability testing through security testing, network testing, performance testing, real-time testing, and usability testing.  

In short, working on diverse testing procedures is vital to avoid any errors or usability issues with an IoT system. Moreover, a validated and secure environment is the basic operational need of creating a smart home system. 

Smart Homes: Convenience, Data Protection, and Role of IT 

The entire purpose behind the idea of creating smart homes is to make lives simple and more convenient. And IoT has proved its capabilities to a great extent by making half of the US citizens save 30 minutes of their time in routine through smart products. Moreover, there has been rapid use of smart security systems based on IoT concepts that are likely to push the security market much ahead in the GDP game. However, the idea of creating a smart environment using IoT devices and connected networks can only be made successful if it is validated over connectivity, efficiency, and functionality. 

Especially when a large amount of sensitive data is generated by the applications attached to the IoT network, any compromises made to the information could lead to extensive loss. This is why the making of IoT systems involves critical checks on data privacy and network reliability through testing of various system nodes. The data protection process usually involves implementing firewalls that are meant to resist different vulnerabilities related to security and network reliability. 

IoT Testing in Smart Homes: The Future 

Smart homes are all about the merger of technology with business processes. However, pairing these two concepts to create a system that can offer a reliable and secure user experience is all about yielding quality testing services. Especially when the whole IoT smart home technology makers are looking for some profits by creating a perfect user experience, quality assurance becomes a prime aspect of fostering. 

Also, IoT implementation done to create intelligent transformations in routine operations at homes needs a secure and effective exchange of data. This means every device on the smart home network to be tested for functionality, performance, security, and of course, scalability.  

Above all, the growing needs for automation and improving the process require a rapid extension of the test coverage procedures. And therefore, it needs an effective collaboration of quality engineering and digital assurance along with the adoption of IoT testing methods to cope with change.