Sunday, May 04, 2014

Enterprise IoT: Connected Product User Communities

A key hurdle point for any newtech’s becoming truly mainstream is adoption by the enterprise market. The newtech innovates its way into a variety of business applications geared to improve efficiency and save time and money. This is not just internally to the enterprise, but as a widespread feature of products and services offered. Some examples are the Internet, email, video conferencing, IP telephony, virtual worlds, and wikis.

One big shift is towards making all products connected. This means actually connected via sensors, not just a website to look up for product information and customer services. This is revolutionary to businesses because immediately, every product can be transformed from a one-off shelf purchase to an ongoing service that is part of social community.
Every product can be a relationship with the consumer. 
Connected products can phone home with continuous information about product usage and failure (most ethically with customer opt-in).

Just like the ability to interact with content on websites and engage in social networking with other users became an expectation with web properties, product user communities have already been evolving to be more interactive with product web sites, Facebook pages and likes, Twitter accounts, and sometimes fan fiction. Connected product user communities is the next step and it could be giant. If the requisite infrastructure is in place, connected products could deploy quickly because of the more intimate relationship vendors perceive as attainable with consumers from the high-resolution continuous information exchange.

IoT ecology design is crucial. IoT sensors must operate in concert with other communications networks, but their low power requirements could draw from the existing infrastructure of the user’s wearable ecosystem (smartphone, smartwatch, wearable display (Glass), wifi, cloud), smarthome (Nest, Hive, Tado, etc.), automotive data networks, and other IoT tracking infrastructure. With IoT sensors, the 10:1 ratio of person to connected devices could quickly exponentiate to 100:1. The IoT ecosystem requires an architecture that is quite different from the Internet’s packets, redundancy, lookups, and TCPIP switching, a design that can accommodate higher bursts in traffic, data input from sensor clouds (a sensor landscape acting like a school of fish), and more kinds and types of data transmission, but can also power share, massively distribute, and intercommunicate.

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