IOT Testing and its Challenges

What is IOT?

As per Wikipedia “The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.”

The Internet of Things allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.

Internet of things or IOT covers all those device which are connected to the internet like automobile, washing machine, watch etc. All of these tools were available before. We are simply adding the internet to old things.
The smart watch is a good example of an IoT device. People are using it to track not only distance of run but uses GPS and wireless connection to upload the data to the internet. These information can be used later for analysis. Similarly you can control your home/office lights through internet. Most of you might already be using Smart TV. IOT devices have already started creeping in our day to day activities.

What is IOT testing?

IOT testing involves testing across wide variety of devices with different hardware/software combinations, across different types of network connectivity etc.

Challenges in IOT esting

1. Wide variety of devices – There are thousands or more different internet connected products now. All of them are collecting and sending and displaying data all the time. Testing on all this devices is not feasible for companies developing software’s for it.
2. Connectivity issue – Internet connectivity is what makes this network of things possible, but in many cases that network is intermittent or unreliable. It is important to know that data will be saved and stored correctly if you unexpectedly lose a connection, and is delivered correctly when your connection is restored. You can simulate this by using airplane mode or temporarily disabling the internet connection on the device. Even better than simulation is taking a walk in and out of wifi connections and seeing what really happens when you really lose a connection.

3. Different types and bandwidth of connectivity – There are so much variety of connectivity that testing all possible cases is a challenge

4. Security concerns – With the increase in connectivity the inherent problem of internet will boil down to IOT as well. According to some study, approximately 70 percent of devices in the Internet of Things are vulnerable to security problems — missing data encryption, minimal password requirements, and access to the user interface without passwords.

IOT testing Expectation –

IOT testing is more closely related to how user interact with the devices. Testing scope should also include human experience. “Human Experience” testing has the following components of human interaction with the device.

  1. It should include all physical things, including size, shape and gender of the users.
  2. All sensory reactions including sight, sound, and touch.
  3. Orientation, or the interaction with human movement

Other than that we must also plan for testing in various geographical locations, different weather conditions and contexts.  Finally we must also consider value and test thoroughly in terms of the users perceptions, mind sets, biases and emotions when interacting with the device.

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