Designing an Application Store for the Internet of Things: Requirements and Challenges
Although things in the Internet of Things contain considerable amounts of software, developers of such software have no standardized means of maintaining, improving and sharing this software as they can do, e.g., with applications on a smart phone. This limitation can hamper user-driven innovation. In this paper we evaluate the usefulness of the “app store” metaphor as a means of sharing and deploying Internet of Things software among makers. We did a set of interviews and a questionnaire-based survey with a sample of makers in various maker communities. We used this data to extract requirements for an application store, using the common “app store” metaphor as a starting point. The app store concept was developed as a proof of concept implementation, and evaluated through feasibility evaluation and focus group evaluation methods. Our findings show that although the app store metaphor is familiar and easy to grasp, there are some fundamental challenges when adapting the metaphor: (1) The difficulty of supporting the diversity in the software and hardware vendor market, (2) The tension between context awareness and the need for pre-configuration and pre-packaging, and (3) usability challenges related to the number of devices and apps.
KeywordsInternet of things IoT App store Application repository App installation App deployment App sharing Ambient intelligence Ubiquitous computing Pervasive computing
This research was funded by the European FP7 projects OPTET (317631) and CoSSMic (608806). We thank AmI 2015 reviewers for constructive comments to the draft of the paper.
- 3.Broy, M.: Challenges in automotive software engineering. In: Proceedings of 28th International Conference Software Engineering, pp. 33–42 (2006)Google Scholar
- 4.Shih, W.C.: Does hardware even matter anymore? Harv. Bus. Rev. (2015). https://hbr.org/2015/06/does-hardware-even-matter-anymore.
- 7.Kortuem, G., Kawsar, F.: Market-based user innovation in the Internet of Things. In: 2010 Internet Things, pp. 1–8 (2010)Google Scholar
- 9.Cramer, H., Rost, M., Belloni, N., et al.: Research in the large. using app stores, markets, and other wide distribution channels in Ubicomp research. In: Proceedings of 12th ACM International Conference on Adjunct Papers on Ubiquitous Computing - Ubicomp 2010, p 511. ACM Press, New York, USA (2010)Google Scholar
- 10.Lindtner, S., Hertz, G.D., Dourish, P.: Emerging sites of HCI innovation: hackerspaces, hardware startups and incubators. In: Proceedings of SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors Computing Systems, pp. 439–448 (2014)Google Scholar
- 11.Rogers, E.M.: Diffusion of Innovations. Simon and Schuster, New York (2010)Google Scholar
- 12.Hevner, A.R., March, Salvatore T., Park, J., Ram, S.: Design science in information systems research. MIS Q. 28, 75–105 (2004)Google Scholar
- 13.Hevner, A.R.: A three cycle view of design science research. Scand. J. Inf. Syst. 19, 87–92 (2007)Google Scholar
- 14.Stastny, S.: UbiBazaar - app store for the Internet of Things. Student thesis, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (2014)Google Scholar
- 16.Parrend, P., Frenot, S.: Supporting the secure deployment of OSGi bundles. In: 2007 IEEE International Symposium on a World Wireless, Mobile Multimedia Networks, vol. 33, pp. 1–6 (2007)Google Scholar
- 17.Munjin, D., Morin, J.-H.: Toward Internet of Things application markets. In: 2012 IEEE International Conference on Green Computing and Communications, pp. 156–162 (2012)Google Scholar
- 18.Svendsen, R.M., Castejon, H.N., Berg, E., Zoric, J.: Towards an integrated solution to Internet of Things - a technical and economical proposal. In: 2011 15th International Conference on Intelligence Next Generation Networks, pp 46–51. IEEE (2011)Google Scholar
- 20.Medvidovic, N., Malek, S.: Software deployment architecture and quality-of-service in pervasive environments. In: International Workshop on Engineering of Software Services, pp 47–51. ACM Press, New York, USA (2007)Google Scholar
- 22.Zheng, D., Wang, J., Han, W., et al.: Towards a context-aware middleware for deploying component-based applications in pervasive computing. In: 2006 Fifth International Conference on Grid and Cooperative Computing, pp 454–457. IEEE (2006)Google Scholar
- 26.Paternò, F., Tetteroo, D., Markopoulos, P., et al.: End-user development in the Internet of Things Era. In: CHI 2015 Extended Abstract (2015)Google Scholar
- 27.Eriksen, J., et al.: mC Software store. Student report, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (2013)Google Scholar
- 28.Eie, A.B., et al.: oSNAP- Open Social Network Arduino Platform. Student report, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (2012)Google Scholar
- 31.Andersson, J.: A deployment system for pervasive computing. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Maintenance ICSM-94, pp. 262–270. IEEE Computer Society Press (2000)Google Scholar
- 32.Eaton, B., Elaluf-Calderwood, S., et al.: Distributed tuning of boundary resources: the case of apple’s iOS service system. MIS Q. 39, 217–243 (2015)Google Scholar
- 33.Bellotti, V., Back, M., Edwards, W.K., et al.: Making sense of sensing systems: five questions for designers and researchers. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors Computing System. Changing Our World Changing ourselves CHI 2002, pp 415–422 (2002)Google Scholar