The Importance of Marrying IoT to Consumer Products for Ease of Life
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With the number of connected things poised to cross the 125-billion mark by 2030 from nearly 27 billion in 2017, the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on consumer products has moved from hype to reality now. While smartphones continue to rule the roost as ultimate IoT devices, a variety of smart home devices such as Google Nest and personal fitness devices like Fitbit bands have captured people’s attention all over the globe. More and more IoT-enabled home appliances, sensors, and network devices are being launched every day which intend to bring a certain ‘ease of life’ to consumers. According to a report by Gartner, the consumer sector is the largest user of connected things, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the overall applications in use. Going ahead, rapid innovations in the IoT space will continue to revolutionise consumer products and electronic devices and improve the health and lifestyle of consumers.
Internet of Things
As the Internet of Things devices become mainstream, consumers are increasingly looking for IoT experiences that help ease their day-to-day lives through personalization, updates with new features and usage monitoring. This way, IoT can significantly enhance energy efficiency, security, health, education and many other aspects of a customer’s life. Even as companies are leveraging IoT to create new products and service offerings, customers expect these devices and services to adjust and refine their capabilities based on real-world context and specific use cases. Moreover, with most IoT devices able to connect with relevant locations and customer support in an instant, it brings a certain peace of mind to the customer. Businesses are also gathering usage data and patterns from their IoT products to analyze service efficiency and improve customer experiences.
The Indian Perspective
While India was a little late to join the IoT bandwagon when compared to other developed economies of the world, the government aims to create an IoT industry in the country of $15 billion by 2020. The IoT revolution is set to sweep all sectors of Indian business, with its impact already showing tangible benefits in several cases. Take, for example, the facilitation of card payments for small retailers and at customer’s premises through a portable card payment processor. To enable this, a leading network service provider used its IoT SIMs to help establish nationwide reach. This payment solution centres on a piece of hardware which can accept the card and its password, and is linked to a smartphone through Bluetooth. Retailers can download the payment solution’s application on their smartphones, and when the cards are swiped the point of purchase, payment details are sent via the IoT SIM. This not only brings the convenience of e-payments to customer’s home but also enables businesses to expand their reach to underserviced areas.
IoT is not just bringing the ease of life to the customer’s home - it is also helping them become comfortable and connected when they are travelling. Connected devices are helping travellers find the nearest bus stop or parking lot, optimize their routes and locate the must-visit places during their visits. Some IoT devices are also helping solve the problems with connectivity when travelling abroad by providing virtual WiFi hotspots wherever they are. Such innovations imbibe the spirit of IoT as they facilitate the solution of a problem faced by a substantial consumer-base through seamless connectivity and security.
IoT allows companies to interact with their customers in a way which was not imaginable only a few years ago. With consumer product market being the most susceptible to external factors, where trends and preferences change in the blink of an eye, businesses are taking advantage of IoT to gain a better insight of user behaviour through data to deliver unparalleled customer experiences. With further innovations in IoT forthcoming, there is little doubt that consumers will be the biggest beneficiaries of the ease-of-life they bring.