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Is Internet of Things testing coming home?

Internet of Things testing is challenging enough, but now you're going to have to try it at home.

There are many examples of IoT in the home, and that means there are going to be many opportunities for Internet of Things testing. The obvious IoT devices are for our entertainment, such as TV and video game consoles. We also think of security systems. However, the most important advancement in the Internet of Things at home is the smart home.

The smart home is a collection of devices within a home used to monitor, provide information and make changes to electricity usage. It is part of the electrical smart grid, which provides electricity based on two-way communication between a home and the utility company.

An important feature of smart home technology is the advanced metering infrastructure, the devices through which communication happens. This is usually called a home area network (HAN). The HAN provides homeowners with real-time information regarding their electricity consumption and allows them to adjust consumption not only while at home but also while away from home, using their laptops, tablets or smartphones. The devices usually included in the HAN are a smart meter, load control devices which can be operated remotely, one or more programmable thermostats and an in-home display.

Testing the HAN involves testing not only the operation of the devices themselves but also the 360-degree communication between the devices and the utility company. Devices should be tested for accuracy, reliability, and usability and include destructive testing. The communication code must also be tested for accuracy and reliability, including calculations for time periods when devices go offline. Negative Internet of Things testing is important, especially to validate that offline devices accurately rejoin the HAN.

Most importantly, Internet of Things testing involves an appreciation that the application and device are intertwined, and that it is difficult to tell where the hardware ends and the software begins.

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