Apps of Things For All

By | Blog | No Comments

Connected appliances and devices are no longer just for tech startups or massive corporations, small and medium-sized manufacturers are starting to join the consumer IoT game.  Tsiki Naftaly, CEO of Zemingo, discusses the changes and trends in the industry and how Zemingo is working to bring IoT to device-makers around the world.

Interview by Eytan Morgenstein for Website Planet

Tell us about Zemingo, how it was founded

Zemingo was founded in 2008 as a service provider for companies building their mobile apps.  We rode the wave into the height of mobile apps where every company wanted or needed to develop their own app. We were more interested in developing apps that interface with hardware since those were more of a challenge than standalone apps.  That led to our focus on the Apps of Things – as a service provider building apps that are connected to physical devices which includes anything from smart scooters to helmets to kitchen appliances.

Can you discuss the types of businesses that Zemingo works with?

We work primarily with small-medium businesses.  Large companies can afford to spend millions on developing their technology stack in-house, but for many appliance manufacturers, who might have just a few dozen employees, that kind of expense doesn’t make sense.  Think of a coffee machine manufacturer that has been building machines for 10 or 20 years.  They are great at making good machines, but now, for the first time, they are exploring having a connected version.  And that allows them to be in direct contact with their customers who are asking for further services and providing data to the manufacturer to help make smarter business decisions.

How is Zemingo able to provide that service to their clients at a reasonable rate?

We built our own product – Copilot which is the world’s first consumer IoT platform.  It is designed for small to midsized companies and makes communication between devices easy – almost plug-and-play. The coffee machine manufacturer wants to sell capsules and know what customers like, their rate of use, etc. By taking into account shipping times, how many capsules are consumed per day and other data points, a message can be sent at the right time remind customers to order more capsules – or even order them automatically. We obviously help the manufacturer customize the app, but since we are industry agnostic, we are well-prepared for that.

How did you get involved in Consumer IoT technology?

Good strategies are designed in hindsight. I didn’t plan to get in this industry.  I’ve been an engineer my whole life, first as a programmer and later, moving up the food chain. But in 2008, my wife Maya, who is also an engineer started playing with the iPhone and started programming apps. She became quite successful and was asked to develop for another company their app. Things snowballed from there, and shortly thereafter, I joined her. We didn’t have any big plans, but today we have around 100 employees with amazing clients from all over the world – competing for some of the most luxurious contracts in the industry. It came about because we have a passion for what we are doing, enjoy the day-to-day work and hire the right people to work with us.

What are some key trends you see in the IoT industry?

Within consumer IoT, the most interesting conferences are actually non-IoT conferences but rather appliance ones. Today, everyone you talk to is already looking at building a smart product. A few years ago – they would say “yeah, we need an app because everyone has an app.”  But today they are more sophisticated about online consumer communication. They are talking about data, understanding behavioral insights, users in different geographies and the like.  If ten years ago you would sell a toaster or microwave and your primary interest was selling as many units as possible, today, companies are more focused on the lifetime value of a customer.

The online industry has known about and understood the value of consumer data for a long time, but for something like an outdoor appliance manufacturer, until recently, they had no idea about data and user engagement. When you would speak to one of those companies and tell them that the first time they turn on their appliance, the user will get an e-mail automatically – for them that is magical. We are excited to be part of bringing that connected trend to midsized manufacturers in North America and bridging the gap between old-school consumer manufacturing and the new age of online communication-oriented businesses.

How do you approach security in Consumer IoT?

Well, there are really two parts – security and privacy.

For both, there is a threat and a promise.  The security threat is you might be hacked, and you need to have proper security in place. We work with excellent companies that provide security both on the app and in the cloud.  We take ownership and handle cybersecurity liability. For that, we work with third parties that are experts to keep devices we work with safe. The privacy threat is also out there but is being addressed by measures such as GDPR etc.  It is something all parties involved need to improve.

On the other hand, there is also promise.  The manufacturer stands to increase revenue using the IoT technology, the data it gleans, etc.  For the customer, these devices have interoperability which allows for greater automation, efficiency, and use.

20 years ago, when you bought a car, from the moment you bought it, the car started to age.  It got worse and worse until you sold it or junked it.  Now when you buy a Tesla, you expect the software to improve over time (even if parts of the mechanics do get worse). You actually can get features that are better over time as the new software is updated. Likewise, we have a customer that sent a firmware upgrade that to a skateboard to make it do better clocking of the physical motor to get a few more MPH from the same engine.  The promise of buying a device and it working better six months later – that is pretty amazing.

To full article on Website Planet

A Word of Advice To A “Thing” Entrepreneur

By | Blog | No Comments

A word of advice to a “thing” entrepreneur from the Apps of Things company. “Get funded” is probably the single most critical advice for people working in startups. Clear 3 minutes out of your busy schedule and watch this clip by serial entrepreneur Zvi Frank, Executive Chairman at Zemingo Group.

 

b

Apps of Things Are About to Make Our Devices a Lot More Personal

By | Blog | No Comments

Unlike a traditional remote control or the physical buttons used to operate physical objects (things), building an app in the world of AoT (Apps of Things) is as far from one-size-fits-all as you can imagine.

Through apps on mobile devices, you can now have more access to information about your end users, making the process of using your products more personal than ever before. App enabled physical products gives access to your users’ gender, age, location and many other personal properties. Furthermore, you also know their physical locations, current time, the temperature outside and a lot of other environmental properties. In other words, your AoT remote should be highly personalized and change according to your users, their environment, and their context.

b

One more important element to look at is the user’s device. Because iOS and Android users expect different user experiences and user interfaces, you should seriously consider developing an individual app for each platform to meet those expectations.

Consider The Facts

According to Localytics, App users are demanding more personalized app content and marketing messages, tailored to their specific behavior, location and intentions. But let’s dive into that for a moment and find out exactly what type of ‘personalization’ app want most.

Consider your user for a moment. Think about the main use cases that you want to address. What are the main pain points your mobile app should solve? These factors will determine your app’s features, functions and user interface, not the other way around.

Let’s Get Real Personal

Manufacturers have invested considerable thought in creating traditional physical interfaces and remote controls, because of the limitation of providing a one-size-fits-all product. You also should invest a considerable amount of thought, but for the exact opposite reason: you should cater to each user individually! The challenge lies in the fact that a mobile device provides virtually endless possibilities for building an interface.

Bottom line: If you’re in the physical product industry, or working on any type of ‘connected device’ mobile apps have become central to your business’ growth plans, now’s the time to figure out how to get a whole lot more personal with your users.

Need practical guidelines

  • How to app enable your consumer facing product?
  • In the process of planning your app development roadmap?
  • Looking for a mobile app development agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing, and execution?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, Contact Us today. We’d love to talk.

Apps of Incredible Things

By | Blog | No Comments

We here at Zemingo take great pride in thinking about, and developing valuable ways of merging the digital (mobile) world with the physical world, hence the name Apps of Things (AoT). But every now and then, a creative idea comes along that just leaves us truly impressed.

In this post, we wanted to highlight a few of the most innovative and unique Apps of Things that truly mesh physical with digital, without compromising on usability. After all, an idea is only great if your intended users actually benefit from it.

SRAYPRINTER

Richard Murutar, who named his invention SprayPrinter, started off by trying to paint a life-sized unicorn on his daughter’s bedroom wall, and after discovering his artistic skills leave a lot to wish for, he reached for a combination of hardware and software to create the freestyle spray paint printer.

SprayPrinter’s technology consists of a wireless Bluetooth attachment that fits over a standard spray paint can and controls the flow of paint from the spray nozzle with a back facing LED light that tells the connected mobile device where exactly the paint head is located on the painted surface. The connected mobile device is mounted on a tripod facing the surface and ensures that layers of paint are sprayed only in the right places.

FITCH AUTONOMOUS CASTING DRONE

(Disclosure Fitch is a client of Zemingo) Fitch allows you to use your smartphone to drop a finishing line beyond any casting stroke where bigger fish are schooling. Rise above limitations like rough surf, shallow water, and headwinds while overcoming extreme distances.

SNAPCHAT’S SPECTACLES

If you’ve been spending any time online, especially on social networks, chances are you’ve seen Snapchat’s Spectacles. In case you haven’t, the social-powered app sunglasses cost about $130 a pair and come equipped with a camera inside, which takes snaps of the world without ever removing them from your face. Snapchat has even gotten creative about how they’re selling the smart glasses, by strategically placing pop-up vending machines.

To record a snap (picture or video), you’ll tap a button the top left-hand corner of the sunglasses. It will automatically stop recording after 10 seconds, but you can tap again to add another 10-second increment (you can record up to 30 seconds at a time). You’ll see an inward-facing light when you’re snapping, while an outward facing light to show others when you’re recording and they’re in your field of view.

VUE: YOUR EVERYDAY SMART GLASSES

Since we’re on the topic of smart glasses, take a look at Vue, the ‘next’ big promise of smart glasses that have yet to prove themselves beyond their current Kickstarter phase. Vue, are everyday smart glasses that ‘will’ come in prescription, plano, and sunglasses styles.

At a basic level, Vue functions as glasses, meaning you will be able to order the lenses you depend on, whether they are prescription, non-corrective (plano), or sunglasses.
Vue frames come with integrated technology, so your glasses will be able to do more than meets the eye.

GULULU

Parents know that one of their biggest concerns is making sure their children stay hydrated enough. Gululu helps kids stay healthy and build great habits that will last for a lifetime. This bottle does both of these things by measuring and rewarding healthy hydration habits. In other words, Gululu turns drinking water into a Tamagotchi-like game for kids.

The pets in Gululu motivate kids to develop healthy habits on their own. When your child drinks from Gululu Interactive Bottle, the pet grows happier and evolves. Pets also respond to multiple physical interactions that stimulate engagement. This constant interaction both entertains and encourages beneficial habit formation.

BACK OVER TO YOU

Need practical guidelines on…

  • How to app enable your consumer facing product?
  • In the process of planning your app development roadmap?
  • Looking for a mobile app development agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing, and execution?

App Design: Sketch vs. Photoshop Part II

By | Blog | No Comments

In response to our previous post, “Why We Stopped Designing Apps with Photoshop (And Saved Our Client’s Money)” I received quite a few comments; Some raised very interesting and specific questions, so I thought it would be important to dig deeper into the issues and differences that people raised, which led me to write a follow up post focusing on some of the main concerns.

For those who missed the previous post, in it I explained how for almost a decade our main user experience and interface design tool was primarily Photoshop. However, six months ago, we made a decision to adopt Sketch. You can read the full post here, and then come back to this one, which will hopefully answer any follow up questions you might have.

True, we never (really) designed UX with Photoshop

Until we started using Sketch, we primarily designed apps using photoshop, but mostly designing the initial stage (flows and wireframes) in Illustrator. It’s true that there are other, more dedicated tools for that purpose, such as ‘axure’, ‘balsamiq’ and more. But for us the choice of using Illustrator was a simple one. As designers, we are very experienced in the Adobe suite, and being able to easily jump from one app to another was very convenient. That being said, we now design both wireframes and full UI using Sketch, as it certainly eases the overall work process and is great for both.

Relax, the change didn’t happen yesterday. We made the shift almost a year ago

I know (now) that the transition from Photoshop to Sketch is relatively simple but it’s important to remember that we are not a couple of freelancers. Switching over a studio of more than 12 designers, working with dozens of developers, with large scale clients, active projects and hundreds of raw Photoshop files, isn’t a simple task at any time. Though it was still a risk we felt we needed to take. Keep in mind that many of our clients have in-house studios, with design teams creating their marketing materials for them as well. This made our transition even more tricky as everything had to work well together, not only with our internal design team, but with our client’s teams (who absolutely need materials in the worst formats you can imagine). I’ll admit that this task hasn’t been fully solved as of yet and is an ongoing process.

Pic Credit: motocms.com

Not perfect for collaborative work

Yes, Sketch does have some downsides, and one of the challenges we have faced is sharing internally between designers. There’s the Craft plugin from InVision and a few other solutions but they are still far from perfect and none is at the same level of Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries.

Take a deep breath, we still use Photoshop

Of course we do, we just don’t use it for designing mobile apps or anything that needs to be developed. Both Uri and I (the founders of Yellowtale), have mentored young designers at the Adobe Design Achievement Awards’ program for years, and have trained more than a few designers using some of their amazing tools, so we obviously still have a great appreciation of Photoshop. It’s a wonderful tool for creating and enhancing every designer’s photos, creating new visuals that would otherwise be impossible to make, etc. And yes, there are more interesting new tools that we can use to design UX and UI such as Principle, Flinto or Adobe XD. But you have to admit that it’s been too long since small companies has managed to disrupt an entire industry and for us designers, It’s doing a whole lot of good.

NEED PRACTICAL GUIDELINES

  • How to app enable your consumer facing product?
  • In the process of planning your app development or design roadmap?
  • Looking for a world class app design studio?
  • Looking for a mobile app development and design agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing and execution?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, Contact Us today. We’d love to talk.

Why We Stopped Designing Apps With Photoshop (And Saved Our Client’s Money)

By | Blog | No Comments

For almost a decade our main user experience and interface design tool were strictly Photoshop. But not anymore. Six months ago, we made a hard decision to adopt a new software, one that’s been generating a lot of buzz in the digital design world and has received a fair amount of praise through the community in general – Sketch.

Before we dive into why we decided to make this major shift in our primary design tool, it’s important to give you a little of context about our studio.

Yellowtale is a creative studio, specializing in brand and digital experience, predominantly for the tech-industry. We are a subsidiary of Zemingo, a group of companies focused on the design, development, and marketing of mobile applications and digital interfaces, so we live and breathe apps daily.

IMG_20161020_115546-1.jpg

When we first started considering Sketch, we naturally had a few considerable concerns, mostly due to the fact that our design team was trained and experienced with the Adobe Creative Suite, which has no doubted made significant strides to adjust to digital design (i.e. working with style guides, etc.) . To learn an entirely new design platform would take a considerable amount of time, and could potentially reduce the high design standards we work hard to maintain during that process. Luckily, we were proved wrong very quickly, as we discovered that the learning curve was much faster than we originally anticipated. How fast? Well, it took two entire work days for the studio (roughly), but on the third, Sketch already helped us raise our designs and workflow to a whole new level! So what are the specific benefits we discovered?

TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED

Obviously, Photoshop is an incredible software, with a million different editing options that I don’t need to go into here for you to agree with me. It’s great, except it can be very taxing on your computer. Anyone who worked on a file with more than 10 screens knows just how heavy and slow it tends to get. It also tends to be a little clumsy at times, especially when working with texts. Sketch on the other hand gives you only the tools you really need to create stunning user experience designs (vector over pixel layout, iOS and Google Material templates, etc.), and if you’re missing anything, no problem, there’s are countless plug-ins for anything you could possibly need, with more coming out every day.

DYNAMIC AND RESPONSIVE

Sketch supports buttons/regions dynamically. In other words, designers can now design for a specific screen size and change the size while maintaining the correct proportions and responsiveness. This is a dramatic time-saving feature for designers. By not having to match their work for different screen sizes as well as reducing customer design costs.

DESIGN USING REAL CONTENT

Sketch has many tools and plugins which allow you to create designs using real content (Check out Craft by InVision!). No more ‘Lorem ipsum’. No more scrambling to write different user names of find profile photos. It’s all automatically generated content, giving you a real sense of what the completed design will look like, with just a few clicks.

TOOLS THAT ARE BUILT FOR SPEED

One of the best things about Sketch is its toolkits. Allowing for a quick start on design projects (grids, native templates, screen sizes, Material color pallets, and much more). It’s also extremely easy to export materials according to screen sizes and device screen resolutions.

WORKING WITH DEVELOPERS

Design can now truly support the development team! Using the Zeplin plug-in (among others), we are now able to provide our developers with everything they need, easily and efficiently, helping the process stay smooth, fast and cost-efficient. Some studios have even claimed that Zeplin reduced their workload by up to 30%(!), as they didn’t have to create any specs for developers. This is a major advantage to clients and can’t be understated.

WHAT ARE THERE DISATVANTAGES?

Sketch is not cross-platform, so you will need a Mac to run it. Thankfully, like other processional studios, we work in an All-Mac environment, therefore this didn’t cause any setbacks for us.

Sketch is a fairly new software, so you might run into a few bugs. That being said, the Sketch team, Bohemian Coding, is very attentive to their community, and provide quick repairs and consistent updates. As Sketch popularity grows you can see more and more resources appear and rely on the community around it, which is made of quality designers who help each other grow with Sketch. Sketch has a few support routes. One is via twitter, the other in a Facebook group, and the third is by their online support page and feedback form.

The bottom line is that Sketch is a combination of all that’s good in Illustrator, and Photoshop, with a distinct digital orientation and a very short learning curve. If there’s one thing I would recommend you do, it will be to make the move sooner rather than later, and later is better than never! We at YellowTale are very glad we did.

NEED PRACTICAL GUIDELINES

  • How to app enable your consumer facing product?
  • In the process of planning your app development or design roadmap?
  • Looking for a mobile app development and design agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing and execution?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, Contact Us today. We’d love to talk.

Connecting People to Products: 6 Keys to Success

By | Blog | No Comments

The world us is quickly advancing due to the power of mobile devices, as they nudge us towards an ever increasing “connected world” with mobile apps being at the forefront of this major shift. IoT solutions, wearable devices, micro controllers, beacons and smart sensors are also each playing a fundamental role in creating a world that’s more connected than ever before.

We here at Zemingo are at the forefront of mobile app development for connected devices, by developing some of the most intuitive & well connected mobile apps across all operating systems.

WHAT ARE CONNECTED PRODUCTS

Over the past few years, the phrase Internet of Things, or (IoT) has arisen to reflect the growing number of smart, connected products, connected to a larger scale framework, or the web in general. However, IoT is not very helpful in understanding the phenomenon of people connecting with physical products.

What makes smart, connected products fundamentally different is not the internet, but the changing nature of the “things.” It is the expanded capabilities of smart, connected products and the data they generate that are ushering in a new era of both opportunities and competition.

Smart, connected products raise a new set of strategic opportunities related to how value is created, as organizations can now shift their sales cycle from a ‘revenue per unit sold’ approach, to a longer-term ‘lifetime value’ approach, as companies now have more access to real-time user data, instead of waiting for information to the delay of having information relayed back from 3rd party vendors opening up now potential monetization streams.

6 KEY IDEAS FOR APPS OF CONNECTED PRODUCTS

In our previous post, we shared a 10 Point App Development Checklist for Connected Devices. If you haven’t downloaded the free guide yet, go ahead and get it. The fact remains that not every mobile app is a good app; however, there are principles that if put into proper use will go long ways in helping a business get the most out of their mobile app. To help give you the upper hand, here are 6 key ideas that you and your team should absolutely consider towards helping you build a successful mobile app enabling a connected device.

1 – ESTABLISH A TIMELINE

Creating a well-defined app development and launch cycle will take time, it’s essential to start at the top by putting a deadline on the launch of your consumer facing app. When would you like to launch your app? If you’re starting from scratch, the development process can take 3 to 6 months (at least). Set milestones for developers to keep the project on track. Document missed deadlines and calculate delays. If you’re not tracking the progress and deadlines, you’re leaving room for error, and that’s something no organization can afford. As a side note, it’s essential that your team sets scheduled meetings and calls with project management teams, who’s primary goal is to ensure your project is progressing smoothly.

2 – WIREFRAME AND USER FLOW

Typically, before development can begin, your app development team will need to see a comprehensive set of wireframes. Wireframes are product schematics or blueprints that detail each screen within your application and the general flow users will follow while using your app. Creating these design elements are critical during your discovery phase as they layout the what, why and how’s of your products key features.

3 – CONSIDER PRIVACY AND SECURITY

Privacy and security could not be overstated, this is a big issue that often gets overlooked. Will your app deal with sensitive information? If so, you’ll need to make sure that user data is protected. More importantly, the information your app collects need to be clearly relayed back to your end users, in order to stay as transparent as possible, Talk to your developer about potential security issues and solutions.

4 – TESTING FUNCTIONALITY

If your application requires the use of the following hardware features, you will need to thoroughly test for each use case.

HARDWARE KEYS – Ex. Camera application using a dedicated camera button, Task/Event Manager applications using hardware buttons to snooze a reminder, media players using volume and other keys etc. Some applications also use the power button to provide additional functionality / shortcuts to application behavior.

ACCELEROMETER – Applications that make use of accelerometer require testing to ensure that the readings are being recorded accurately and utilized correctly within the applications. This test case might be relevant to applications like Star Maps, Pedometers, Jump trackers, Games, 3D visualization applications etc.

GPS – How will your Navigation applications respond if the GPS is disabled or turned off abruptly during operation?

ANY OTHER SENSOR – If your app depends on additional sensors for temperature, luminosity or any accessory that provides additional functionality, then you need to ensure that you have tested for conditions when they are not available or do not function accurately.

5 – PLAN FOR SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE

Almost all apps need version upgrades, regular maintenance, and other support. Handling these updates should never be left as an afterthought. Don’t wait until after launch to ask your developers about supporting bug fixes and minor improvements. Failing to plan for your upcoming features and improvements can set you back in terms of timing, budget and relevance amongst your intended user base.

6 – SET KEY METRICS

As mentioned at the top of this post, creating a mobile app centered around a physical product opens up a whole new world of data never before possible. This requires you think out of the box about the type of information you need to collect. As a general rule, if the data doesn’t help you improve your product, user behavior, or maximize revenue potential, there’s no reason to track the information. The last thing you and your team need is to be overloaded by analysis paralysis. If It doesn’t help move the needle, focus on the data that does.

TURNING IT BACK OVER TO YOU

Need practical guidelines on how to…

  • App enable your consumer facing product?
  • Plan and execute your app development roadmap?
  • Looking for a mobile app development agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing and execution?

Smart Connected Devices; What’s in it for Your Business

By | Blog | No Comments

In the not so distant past, products were composed primarily of plastic, mechanical and electrical parts, more often than not, physical consumer products offered a very little link to the connected world around us.

Fast forward to today; Smart devices have become complex systems that are defined by having a few distinct characteristics. They combine hardware, like microprocessors, sensors as well as the parts that make up the device itself. Some of the products we use on a daily basis also have data storage and transition capabilities. This data can be transformed into actionable analytics and intelligence, that fact alone opens up opportunities organizations that manufacture smart products should not take for granted.

Digging Deeper into Data

Communication components such as ports, antennae, and protocols, for wired and wireless connections, allow the device to send/receive data, and, be “social”, i.e, allowing exchanging information between the product and its operating environment, its maker, its users, and other products and systems, which adds context, meaning, and, well, value for manufacturers.

Eventually, all these powers combined define and redefine who you are as a business, the value you bring to the market, and who your competitors are.

What’s in it for Your Business

To better understand what smart connected devices mean for your business, we should go back to how the internet changed our social interactions. The internet allowed us to better connect both with one another, and with information around us. Taking it one step further, the internet, combined with the miniaturization of technology, allow (smart connected) devices to communicate with other connected things, with us, mainly through mobile (iOS / Android) apps, as well as with other sources of information in the cloud.

Here are 5 points that will better clarify what smart connected devices (and IoT) mean for your business.

Data Management – Information and insights that smart connected devices can produce are virtually limitless and easy to customize, which ultimately deliver new monetization opportunities, as information is relayed directly back to the organization, without the middleman.

Time and Money – Instead of manual reviews, many businesses use tagging and sensors to determine what their current inventories happen to be, which again can help save time and money.

Automation – Automation is a huge part of this story as well, as it allows you to save valuable time by automating processes such as ordering, inventory tracking, security, and monitoring.

Affordability – If IoT and smart connected devices make the organization less dependent on manual labor, than production costs decrease, thus, making the production of (things) more affordable for the consumers and still profitable for you as a business.

Smart personalized advertising – Information stemming from smart connected devices can be turned into personalized advertising. Which regards to Apps of Things (AoT) or smart connected devices, opening up new advertising channels is a major opportunity that wasn’t possible just a few short years ago.

Smart Mobile Apps Will Transform Home Appliances, Here’s How

By | Blog | No Comments

These are the 5 main categories that will take over the ‘Smart Home’ in the months ahead. If you’re in the manufacturing business, specifically in home appliances, one of the main questions you should be asking yourself is, how can you keep your product line a cut above the rest.

Appliances

  • Smart kettle and smart coffee maker
  • Smart air conditioner
  • Smart refrigerator
  • Smart washing machine
  • Robot vacuum cleaner

Entertainment & connectivity

  • Streaming multi room audio & video
  • Smart TV  Smart set top box
  • Smart Tuner/Amplifier/Receivers
  • Home Plugs
  • Routers
  • Repeaters
  • W-LAN sticks

Energy & lighting

  • Smart thermostat
  • Energy manager
  • Smart control radiator
  • Smart meter (energy meter)
  • Monitoring of boiler at a distance
  • Smart lighting (smart lamps)
  • Smart light control

Health

  • Personal scale
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Fitness and activity tracker
  • Smart Baby monitors
  • Medication monitor

Security and Control

  • Smart blinds or shutters
  • Alarm systems
  • Motion sensors for doors and windows
  • Smart detectors
  • IP cameras
  • Access control (digital keys, wearables)
  • Smart Doorbells
  • Smoke alarm & air quality sensor

Find out more about hot Apps of Things can drastically transform your business.

Security for the Smart Home, Don’t Neglect These 9 Tips

By | Blog | No Comments

More and more individuals are purchasing ‘smart devices’ and are increasingly improving their homes to be smarter by way of connected devices and appliances. From the door and doorbell, to windows, the AC, the fridge, the water heater, and everything in between; if it’s a part of your home, chances are that there’s a smart device version available for purchase.

When all is connected around you, security is something you simply cannot fail to neglect. The last thing you want is for someone to take control over your precious things at home, and your privacy.

Security.jpg

Think we’re exaggerating? The fact is that the largest attack of 2016 saw hundreds of thousands of devices being used simultaneously in what became known as the Mirai botnet, mounting what was a frighteningly simple attack. To help circumvent such attacks in the future, and keep your smart devices safe from vicious attacks, we’ve put together 9 tips you should keep in mind:

9 Security Tips for Connected Devices

  1. Create two different Wi-Fi networks at home- If you use a dual band wifi router, create one network that will take care of all your home IoT and another network that will work with all your other screen devices, such as mobile, tablet and PCs.
  2. Using unsecure network at home? That’s not gonna work for you anymore if you value your privacy and security at home. Turn on secure networks like WPA2 in the settings web page of your router.
  3. Give your networks bizarre names. Networks with your name and identity on them obviously make it ridiculously easy to connect the dots and attack and hack your home. Don’t use your name and words like “home”, “kitchen”, “garage”, “living room” etc.
  4. Passwords – Use complex passwords with a long string of random numbers, letters, and symbols. And make it long, 15-20 letters long. Go wild with the complexity, there are great free password managers out there.
  5. Get alerts if someone is trying to log in to your network more than x times with the wrong password. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a super nifty way of setting up all sorts of alerts and social hacks for your smart device.
  6. Firewall yourself and your devices. Firewall permits and restricts access to your network. Once you’ve permitted access to  your IoT devices, be sure them and just them are accounted for in accessing your network. You can Google firewalls and get something for your home network.
  7. Update your connected devices’ firmware on a regular basis. Firmware updates keep your devices protected against exploits and potential vulnerabilities, and of course, give you the latest and coolest updates over the air.
  8. Choose a reputable brand- Buy products from companies that are committed to security and privacy as much as they are committed to their own brand. Buy something familiar that you trust won’t disappear in a year. Also, ask your friends and the internets about them and if they are happy with their customer support.
  9. Be prepared for an attack – limit any personal information stored in your home IoT device. If your network was hacked, change all the passwords to everything, contact your bank, credit card, internet provider and IoT companies, and document everything. Once the extent of the cyber-attack has been determined, file a police report as an official record to help combat identity theft.

Mobile Apps and The Internet of Things [Q&A] Robert Priscu

By | Blog | No Comments

The phrase “internet of things” has arisen to reflect the growing number of smart, connected products and highlight the new opportunities they can represent. Yet this phrase is far from perfect in understanding the phenomenon or its implications.

The internet, whether involving people or things, is simply a mechanism for transmitting information. What makes smart, connected products or Apps of Things (AoT) fundamentally different is not the internet, but the changing nature of the “things.” It is the expanded capabilities of smart, connected products and the data they generate that are ushering in a new era of competition.

To drill down into how mobile apps and the internet of things are merging into one solid offering for end users and its implications on organizations, I sat down with Robert Priscu, VP of the Zemingo Group.

What are some of some of the biggest advantages for organizations to include a mobile app to their product offering?

The answer to this is twofold; from the end user’s perspective, smart devices offer the opportunity of increased functionality, sharing of data, personalization and so on. From an organization’s perspective, new types of ‘smart products’ alter industry structure and the nature of competition, exposing companies to new competitive opportunities as this creates a shift from thinking about revenue per unit sold, to a longer-term lifetime value structure.

Add a little bit of from the end-user’s perspective, smart devices offer the opportunity of increased functionality, sharing of data, personalization and text.png

Are there any risks or concerns organizations should be aware of prior to connecting physical products with mobile apps?

When it comes to mobile apps for connected devices, IoT security is one of the most crucial elements that should be taken into consideration. Keep in mind that the largest attack of 2016 saw hundreds of thousands of devices being used simultaneously in what was known as the Mirai botnet, mounting what was, in fact, a simple yet meticulous attack. I would definitely rank security as a number one concern any organization should put a lot of focus on.

The second concern we always bring to the attention of our clients is the impact of a mobile app on a customer’s user experience. In other words, if clients decide to upgrade their products offering or add value via a mobile app, the user’s interaction should remain seamless and organic, and should never feel forced.

Can an organization develop their own mobile app solution in-house for their physical products?

The short answer is yes, it absolutely can be done, however with so many mobile devices, operating systems, development challenges and so on, the question shouldn’t be can they do it, but SHOULD organizations develop their mobile solutions in-house.

Mobile development requires unique skills and significant investments. Apps of things, such as physical products present their own challenges when it comes to management, security, UI/UX and so on. Various hybrid approaches have also emerged to help businesses deploy customized apps with their existing resources, however, this usually does not deliver the holistic results that most end users expect to receive.

To put it simply, deciding whether to an enterprise should outsource their mobile app development doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision, at the Zemingo group, we offer UI/UX, Development, and Marketing solutions, so we’re able to assist with all phases of mobile related projects.

What are some of the advantages most brands or organizations fail to consider when it comes to ‘Apps of Things’?

The biggest issue we see time and time again are that organizations see mobile apps as remote control accessories to their products. We’ve seen this occur with Smart TVs, Air Conditioners, and dozens of other home appliances. However what most organizations fail to consider is the world of opportunities that a mobile device can offer their customers, such as personalization, social sharing, weather updates, location awareness and time of the day, just to name of few.

By understanding the context of customers, organizations are much more empowered towards producing better and more competitive value added products.

What is the average cost of developing a mobile app connected to physical products?

We have a saying here in the office; The cost of developing a bad app can be a few hundred thousand dollars, however developing a great app is an ongoing project as there are continues version updates and improvements to be made through its lifecycle. Without a thorough assessment, it’s irresponsible to put a price tag on an app development project.

In your opinion, where is the Apps of Things, and Internet of Things industry headed in the 5 years to come?

Emerging technologies are revolutionizing the concepts of how devices are defined and used. The shift from technical infrastructure to ecosystem-enabling platforms is laying the foundations for entirely new business models that are forming the bridge between people and things. That is exactly where Zemingo will be focusing our efforts in the months ahead.

How to Sell the Idea of Connected Products to Your Boss

By | Blog | No Comments

One of the toughest challenges that creative people face, or even those working in business units such as R&D, design, or marketing for that matter — is how to win top management’s support for their ideas. This is especially true for individuals working the physical products space, where every minor product decision can greatly impact a device’s lifecycle.

If you’re in this particular predicament, the main solution to this problem is to have your boss on board in the earliest stages of your product production process. Top executives who successfully promote innovation hardly invest in unexpected breakthroughs. They are the ones who are actively involved upfront from the get-go, express their ideas and are able to bring others onboard.

That being said, we thought it would be a good idea to dive into tips you can use towards selling the benefits of a ‘Smart Connected Product’ to your boss, or within your organization.

FOCUS ON THE VALUE

The absolute best starting point is to begin by breaking down the intended value your product. At its core, how does your product enhance or facilitate your customer’s life? Once you’ve answered that very basic question, build up to the next step from there. For example, upgrading your physical product with mobile connectivity, or a mobile app may add even more value to your product due to the fact that mobile devices are full of useful sensors, such as; GPS, accelerometer, microphones, cameras, and more that aren’t always physically possible to produce in consumer products.

By making use of one or more of these features, there are countless ways almost any physical product can be made ‘smarter’.

A few crucial questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Who can help us do this?
  • At what cost?
  • What’s the timeline?
  • What will they need from us?
  • Who will manage the process?
  • How will this impact our product line?

Takeaway: Focus down on the added value your product can offer by utilizing a mobile app, and help set your organization’s product line apart from the competitors.

TRANSLATE VALUE INTO MONEY

When you start breaking down the value your product delivers, you can start thinking about how each new feature can generate more money for the organization, or possibly a whole new line of business. Upgrading your product with mobile connectivity gives your organization the potential to understand your customer’s usage data in real time and at a much deeper level.

With better data, your organization is able to make much smarter business decisions, or open new monetization streams such as personalized offers, customized features, or location based insights.

Takeaway: Selling the idea of a connected product to your boss or management is all about showing them where the money is, and there is always money in value.

FIND OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN YOUR INDUSTRY

Looking at each of your competitors, you should be able to determine what segment of the marketplace they are targeting and what type of customers or clients they are looking to attract. Through reasonable deduction, you can find new opportunities and untapped markets for your product or service. In many cases, it’s best to look at your product line from the ground-up in order to think of valuable ways where mobile connectivity can enhance your products, setting yourself apart from your competitors. If you haven’t done so yet, we highly recommend you download our 8 step guide through the world of Apps of Things.

DON’T MAKE COST THE ISSUE

We’ve all done it before when pitching a new idea within an organization we have a tendency to avoid the question of pricing. However, when the question of ‘How much will a mobile app cost’ arises, it’s crucial not to undersell both the price nor scope of the project.

The fact is, developing a mobile app for B2B or B2C products isn’t a straightforward process. In most cases, the process is much more complex than developing a standalone customer facing mobile app due to the implications of seamlessly connecting with a physical product. The Zemingo group sees every mobile product through from the initial planning stages, to design, development, marketing, and growth. As stated above, each of these stages can greatly impact your business line in ways your team never thought possible.

Takeaway: Development of a mobile app for physical products requires a lengthy planning process in order to be done right. This should never be understated or undersold internally within your organization.

Connecting the Unconnected; The Impact of Apps on Your Business Model

By | Blog | No Comments

Leveraging Apps of Things (AoT) can have a huge impact on your line of business. That being said, successful ‘smart connected products’ are the ones that create a perfect balance between your product, a mobile app and your end user. For that to occur, you and your team must have an in-depth understanding of the mobile world. It’s not just about developing a client side app, but rather developing a mobile platform that will fully support your users, your service, or any other 3rd party service you may need to connect to.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

Applications of things can open new opportunities for your organization, by better understand your customer’s usage behavior, their potential pain points, ideas on how to solve them, as well as creating personalization options. Moreover, it’s important to think about the added value your customers receive once your product and app connect on their smartphone. One important factor to keep in mind is, your user’s mobile phone is one of the most private and intimate devices they own, so it’s essential that you get it right.

The beauty of IoT (Internet of Things) is in that it allows companies that could once only communicate with their clients at the point of sale, or through customer service, can now be in continuous contact and engaged with their end users through a proprietary app for their product. Moreover, apps for connected devices allows you to know a lot more than just personal or preferred operating modes of your product. It allows you to connect with your customers in ways that were once unimaginable, specifically user trends and behaviors.

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT

Imagine that your mobile app controls the AC or any other home appliance. One of the advantages that AoT (Apps of Things) allows is for it to be customizable for various layouts or skins tailored differently for women, men, girls and boys. Beyond the different themes, it could also ‘feel’ different for various end users, by offering a whole different user experience. It may allow parents to better monitor the power consumption of their children, to include user permissions, or alternatively, to leverage this information to sell additional services.

 

 

Another good example comes in the form of home security solutions where the bread and butter are video intercoms, spatial cameras, sensors, etc… Since we’re in 2017 you’ve already connected all these to a specialized app. Now it’s time to think bigger. Seeing you app as merely a remote control with notifications will lead you to missed opportunities for growth, such as offering added storage services, social monitoring, sharing of data, and much more.

When you factor in all of the value that apps of things can produce, like segmentation (Age, sex, location), customization, monetization opportunities, and many more, you can then start thinking about how all of this value translates to more money for the company.

TAKEAWAY

Our key takeaway for you is to challenge the your business development division to find new partnerships and leverage this info to generate more business.

READ MORE

How to Sell the Idea of Connected Products to Your Boss

Mobile Apps and The Internet of Things [Q&A]

Smart Mobile Apps Will Transform Home Appliances, Here’s How

 

9 Must Have Elements for Successful Mobile Apps of Things

By | Blog | No Comments

Mobile Apps of Things (AoT) need to be laser focused and completely relevant with both your business model and business strategy. We’ve already talked about the importance of thinking outside the box when it comes to connecting your hardware device with mobile capabilities, but to take it up a notch we thought now would be a good time to elaborate on the topic. This post will dive into 9 Must Have Elements for Successful Apps of Things (AoT).

1 Usability First

Compelling Apps of Things (AoT) must feature an interface that focuses heavily usability. A great way of hacking usability is to learn from industry leaders whether on social networks or other services you use on your mobile device such as transportation, content sharing, business apps or any go-to apps you use on a daily basis. And yes, beauty does count as it will give you an extra bonus in the eyes of your clients and your industry.

2 KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid

It’s easy to fall in the trap of going overboard when planning your mobile app. Figure out the few absolute necessary features your users will benefit from, build upon those only, and nothing else.

Don’t get tempted to add a gazillion “cool” features. People would rather have one very useful feature than 15 ‘additional features’ they may never use.

3 Browser to Mobile: Don’t change!

If you’re moving from a browser-based dashboard to a mobile app, don’t exclude or hide any features, however ‘small’ they may seem. It’s frustrating not to find that one key feature that you always use on the browser version. That being said, it is essential that the overall user experience be optimized for mobile devices. Need clarification on this? See the tip above. KISS.

4 Gamify Whenever Possible

People will come back to your mobile app again and again if it provides some kind of value and fun. Gamification makes people better interact with the app while having fun. This can come in the form of customization, in-app upgrades, downloadable extras, location-based elements or social sharing. Mobile users are, as the name suggests, users on the go, so give them a reason to interact with other like-minded users whenever possible.

5 Prioritize Speed

It’s very important to make sure the app isn’t slow. People despise slow mobile apps and will uninstall them immediately, and that’s the good news. The bad news is that if your app is slow, they may also post negative feedback on the app store and on social media deterring others from potentially downloading your app as well. It is crucial that your app doesn’t make people wait. If you take away anything from this post, it’s speed, speed, speed.

6 Customize and Secure

Make sure the settings area in your app, i.e, the settings button and menu are crystal clear for your users: colors, font sizes and privacy settings. People appreciate apps that let them tailor the app to their own taste and needs. As our lives become increasingly mobile and open, app users are taking their security concerns very seriously. If you haven’t done so yet, discuss with your mobile development team all potential security threats and measures you can take towards securing them.

Security for the Smart Home, Don’t Neglect These 9 TipsRead More…

7 Include Analytics

The old saying ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it’ is absolutely true. Analytics needs to be enabled in your mobile app from day one. Small businesses must be able to track and identify their user’s experience and actions. The data gathered will only help encourage smarter updates and overall usage of your app. There certainly isn’t any lack of mobile analytics tools such as:

  • Google Analytics
  • Segment.io.
  • MixPanel
  • Flurry
  • Localytics
  • WebTrends
  • AppSee
  • Countly

8 Offline Friendly

Can you add content or interactivity that doesn’t rely on a wireless signal to your app? Then consider adding it, as it’s frustrating for users when an app they need right now is unusable just because they are offline. It’ll give you extra points in positive user experience while your users are offline.

9 Ruthlessly Eliminate Taps

Be obsessed with eliminating every possible click, tap, or swipe, starting from the design phase. Conversion and user retention rates fall sharply when extra work is required to sign up, and if they have a bad experience, chances are your users won’t waste their time again. Eliminate any confusion or unnecessary work on their behalf.

BACK OVER TO YOU

Need practical guidelines on…

  • How to app enable your consumer facing product?
  • Planning your app development roadmap?
  • Looking for a mobile app development agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing, and execution?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, Contact Us today. We’d love to talk.

Apps of Things In 2017 – Food for Thought

By | Blog | No Comments

Analysts at Markets and Markets predict that IoT will grow to 661.74$ billion by 2021. It’s expected that Software solutions will dominate the IoT market during the forecast period. This will directly impact the development of smart mobile apps of things, since after all, IoT devices are for the most part controlled by smart phones.

Internet of Things Continues to Grow

This expected growth is driven by the increase in adoption of connected devices and smart technologies.

Data management solutions is another area that is expected to dominate the IoT software solutions segment during the forecast period due to the generation of huge data through various devices from various locations. Additionally Security solutions are  expected to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period as the security of devices, applications, and the network is one of the major challenges that organizations are facing these days.”

We’ve Become Mobile Dependent

Adults from the age of 25 use their phone about 264 times a day, while people aged 15-24 touch their phone 387 times a day. If we consider an average person sleeps 8 hours a day, and is awake for 16 (960 minutes a day on average), this means that when we are awake,  we touch our phones every 3 minutes (when we’re 25 and above) and 2 minutes when we’re younger, sounds crazy right? But those are the facts. Hence, use of our mobile and mobile apps is not going to get reduced, just the opposite. If we feel that we need our mobile phones today to get things done, it will be close to impossible to go through our daily lives without the use of our mobile devices.

Consumer-Driven Experiences and Interactions

In 2017, the thin line separating between B2B and B2C continues to grow thinner, as a new phrase, “B2H” or “H2H” (B=Business / H=Human) will continue its penetration to the industry. Businesses will eventually look at their customers as humans, whether they are selling enterprise software or consumer electronics, which will change their overall approach to the business itself- marketing, product and all.

We can already see this in business apps, as employees continue to shy away from using clunky enterprise software in favor of more simple business apps. According to TechRepublic, “Employees expect the ability to complete simple tasks through micro apps, that enable one-click task completion from anywhere. Similar to social media apps, these simple apps will alert employees when something requires their immediate attention through notifications and a personalized feed of actionable activities.” If you need some examples of this, just think about (1) the rise of the chatbots (both for businesses and consumers), (2) how the smart home is and will be controlled by both mobile apps and voice interaction and (3) the new rivalry between “Facebook Workspace” and “Microsoft Teams”.

TL;DR

  1. Both the internet of things and use of our mobile phones will increase respectively in 2017.
  2. Business models for IoT will deepen and diversify
  3. Consumer-driven experiences will rule

BACK OVER TO YOU

Need practical guidelines on…

  • How to app enable your consumer facing product?
  • Planning your app development roadmap?
  • Looking for a mobile app development agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing, and execution?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, Contact Us today. We’d love to talk.

Zemingo Group: A Look Into Our Company CultureZemingo Group: A Look Into Our Company Culture

By | Blog

Founded in 2008, Zemingo Group is a leading global provider of mobile solutions, covering design, development and growth in the field of Apps of Things (AoT) – all under one roof.

THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN THE MOBILE INDUSTRY

With over 120 mobile industry professionals, Zemingo Group has brought to market more than 500 mobile applications in all leading categories including: connected devices, video, security, social networks, health, games and utilities. We’ve since expanded with offices in Tel Aviv and NYC.

8J9A5133.jpg

PET & BIKE FRIENDLY

One of the immediate things most visitors to Zemingo notice is our vast and inviting open space. We’re especially welcoming of employees with (well trained) dogs. Our dog-friendly environment invites people to bring their furry friends to work with them, and for the record, Kaya (shown below) is one big sweet puppy!

IMG_2316.jpg

BRANDING & DESIGN

Yellowtale, part of the Zemingo Group is our in-house creative studio, specializing in brand and digital experience, predominantly for the tech-industry.

IMG_2356.jpg

DEVELOPMENT

We build apps that are as smart on the inside as they are beautiful on the outside. This includes all the technical specifications that make a great app: client, server, infrastructure, communications, and security.

IMG_2341.jpg

BI & GROWTH

PandaPepper, part of the Zemingo Group is a mobile-first digital marketing and analytics company, serving as a trusted advisor to global brands. Their clients, both corporations and startups are in the business of digital products. PandaPepper holds themselves accountable for their clients’ success.

IMG_2326-2.jpg

FOOD FOR THE MIND, BODY AND SOUL

Spend time at Zemingo and you’re sure never to go hungry. Our meals consist of breakfast, lunches and Happy Hours on Thursday afternoon! Oh, and did I mention the free beer on tap?

IMG_2390.jpg

Quality assurance (QA)

Quality Assurance? Yup, we’ve got that too! QA is a critical part of the process when creating and maintaining successful mobile apps for hundreds of millions of app consumers. No leaving anything to chance around here!

IMG_2431-1.jpg

READY TO WORK WITH YOU

IMG_2332.jpg

Need practical guidelines on…

  • How to app enable your consumer facing product?
  • Planning your app development road map?
  • Looking for a mobile app development agency that offers end-to-end strategy, design, development, marketing and execution?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, Contact Us today. We’d love to talk.