About this articleThis article looks briefly at what the Internet of Things (IoT) is, giving examples of how it could be used to provide better customer experience.
Getting closer to customers with IoT
The Internet of Things, or IoT, market is one of eye-watering dimensions. Whilst reports from different industry analysts cite a range of numbers, the market is expected to range from the high tens of billions to even hundreds of billions of things connected to the internet. Given this, the market valuation is also somewhat staggering, with Intel suggesting it could be worth up to $6 trillion
Watches and pacemakers
So what is an IoT thing? Again, the definition varies depending on who you talk to, with nuances between things with IP-addresses and things without, some analyst exclude mobile phones and put them in their own categories, some include them. But to help wrap you head around it, here’s a few things you might be able to relate to:
- Smart watches
- Smart speakers (like Amazon Echo, or Google Home)
- Traffic information signs above motorways
- Security cameras
Things you might not associate with IoT:
- Industrial valves
- Traffic lights
- Cows. Yes, cows, and to that point, cats, dogs, seagulls and many other creatures.
Well, that’s smashing. What does this have to do with glass?
Speaking with a large manufacturer of glass, I learned about their desire to embed IoT sensors in panes of glass to help improve safety and deliver a better experience to their customers.
Imagine a large modern office block, housing tower, or public building adorned glass panes as far as the eye can see, check out. Now imagine one of those panes of glass develops a fault. It might be some time until the tenant notices the damage, it will take some time for them to report it to the landlord, and then some time for the landlord to engage a supplier to fix or repair it.
In this time the fault could have worsened, causing inconvenience or danger for the tenants or passers-by. But if the fault could have already been detected and communicated directly to the manufacturer, a replacement pane of glass could have already been specified, manufactured and loaded on to a truck and dispatched.
In this scenario, an automated detection but the IoT device initiated a proactive response from the supply chain, minimising further impacts or risks and helping the supplier develop a stronger, more valuable relationship with their client.
Does this Ring true?
It might sound a little far fetched, but a consumer equivalent is already in the market place.
Ring (now owned by Amazon) offers window sensors as part of their recently launched and very disruptive home-alarm package.
This is already an incredibly disruptive proposition that Ring has brought to market, significantly undermining existing market leaders like ADT, and it is all possible through the combination of IoT, Cloud and A.I technologies.
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