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Last week, a couple of our birds flew over the great pond and landed in the Nevada desert to attend CES 2016. More than 150 000 people attended the event but there was definitely only one true star of the show, the phenomenon called the Internet of Things (IoT). What we are talking about is connected cars, wearables, smart kitchens and even laundry machines that will automatically order new laundry detergent from online retailers when your supply is running low. Almost every company had announcements to share about this booming trend.

At Testbirds, we know from our projects how important testing IoT is and the distinct challenges it brings, in terms of both usability and functionality. For a connected car that relies heavily on working software, it is crucial that everything runs smoothly and without any bugs. Extensive testing is therefore hugely important to ensure quality.

But depending on what device or service it is, the test scope will look different and require diversified target groups. For instance, a connected belt that is tracking movement and waist size would benefit from testers between 21 and 35 years old, who are active and do a lot of outdoor sports. While a smart fridge, however, that automatically orders your groceries would rather benefit from a test group of people between age 30 and 40, who are on parental leave. Luckily for Testbirds, we have over 100 000 testers in our crowd and we would be able to cover these different target groups. We offer end-to-end scopes where the target group would test the device or service at their homes, and even though the IoT is still a very young industry, we already have experienced testers in our crowd who have worked on several IoT projects.

A recent example is when we helped one of our clients to test a vacuum cleaner robot. That test group was composed of 40 testers, between 24 and 57 years old. The test scope was both functional and usability, where we tested the cleaner robot and the connected app. Here it was important to ensure the IoT device works the same under real-life conditions, as it does in the lab.

The research company IDC believes the overall IoT industry will grow from 656 billion dollars in 2014, to 1.7 trillion dollars by 2020, and given what we saw at this year’s CES, this is a very fair estimate. Our vision at Testbirds is to continuously improve the world of software applications using crowdtesting and the IoT will definitely be a huge part of the future of software. We are very excited to see where the IoT innovations will go next!

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