October 23, 2015

The Expanding Internet of Things: Creating a Killer IoT-Enabled Product

The Internet of Things (IoT) isn’t just part of our high-tech future anymore. It’s here and it’s poised to be very lucrative . People already use IoT-enabled products in their offices and workplace. Unfamiliar with the Internet of Things? Here’s a simple definition: the IoT describes identifiable objects—like toasters, microwaves or clocks—that have a virtual component. It’s less complicated than it seems. You already use the first wave of IoT: our cell phones, for example, contain GPS and Bluetooth sensors that help us navigate our world. Here, we’ll discuss five amazing innovations in IoT—and how you can use elements of these objects to create your own IoT products.


1. Make your IoT products accessible by smartphone.

IoT products are often designed for smartphones, so clients can monitor conditions in their homes. For example, Nest by Google takes the age-old, in-home smoke detector to the next level by letting users receive smartphone notifications. In addition, the product offers a hands-free silencer and voice controls. IoT users want to be able to know that they will get notifications about what’s important to them on devices they will carry wherever they go.


2. Create products that make your clients’ lives safer.

IoT products aren’t just funky appliances that you can brag about to your friends. Instead, at their most sophisticated level, IoT objects can make our lives that much less prone to danger and hazards. SmartThings , for example, monitors who is coming in and out of your home by applying sensors to doors and windows.The product can also monitor water leaks, using the same technology. Offering clients a way to have peace-of-mind with minimal attention creates a win-win situation for all parties involved.


3. Build features that can help personalize clients’ experiences.

The road to exceptional IoT is lined with products that make client experiences more personal. For example, the international hotel chain Hilton is already rolling out smartphone-based check-ins and room key functions. In the future, it seems likely that hotels like Hilton will remember guests’ individual preferences—like bed firmness, lighting design, and custom heating, for example—and will replicate these preferences whenever a client checks in.


4. Think about products that are seamlessly integrated into clients’ lives.

Cities around the world are already outfitting their public amenities with IoT-capable appliances that make people’s lives easier. For example, the Spanish city of Santander is outfitted with IoT things like regularly-updated subway timetables, traffic conditions, and air quality. Take a page from this city’s book and create IoT products that take the guesswork out of your clients’ daily routines.


5. Design IoT objects that help mediate client forgetfulness.

People these days already have too much on their minds. IoT products can help monitor things in their lives. For example, Business Insider imagines a scenario in which an individual is at a grocery store. Their IoT-equipped refrigerator lets them know that they’re out of milk, sending a signal to the IoT-capable shopping card to alert that person to pick up a gallon. In designing your IoT product, do your part to help clients remember what they forgot.