Land of Opportunity in IoT
We live in a digitally conditioned world. Consumer electronics has taken such a leap since Y2K that any computer device you may find around you is equipped with internet access. What just used to be an innovation has also become a hobby in pop culture; and thereby a business too for the investors.
We think things, and it happens. When we apply the concept of design thinking to internet of things, we get different results. An engineer sitting at home might just strike an interesting idea of integrating his doorbell with the internet which he might as well pitch to investors. If this becomes the basis of product innovation in the IoT space, soon enough objects around us will change and become far more useful in terms of functionality. As natural innovators, mankind designs tools with a sense of methodology, and that is what design thinking essentially is. Another analogy by which we can visualise this concept is to picture a room full of IoT devices. Instead of having a computer at your home, perhaps your room would become a computer in itself with all the technology that is running back-end. An air conditioner might operate autonomously to the temperature which by itself is monitored by another device programmed to forecast the weather. Ultimately, what matters is the capacity to make every-day tasks easier.
If Internet of Things takes a full-fledged implementation, cities will undergo a change in favour of data-driven capitalism. Businesses will design their products around this ecosystem. Manufacturers in machinery, infrastructure, and electronics, to name a few, would have by now pondered over the concept in investing in this opportunity. In such a hypothesis, we should not forget the consequences of rushing into unexplored avenues. After all, we design what we think.
How can we tap into this land of opportunity?
1) The biggest game changer is Machine-to-Machine communication. Each device is sophisticatedly designed to house tiny sensors that can store data to the cloud. Imagine thousands of vending machines, billboards, electrical switches, printers, air-conditioners, refrigerators and other devices sharing data.
2) Right from product ideation, to empathizing with the consumer and finally testing the prototype, innovators will thrive on this dual concept. It is important to approach ideas in a stage-wise method. If we take that thought further, we can design every-day objects that can solve problems on their own. Like a wall frame that changes its image according to the weather. This helps in identifying flaws and naturally coming up with feasible solutions.
3) It is all about efficiency. Any business is conducive only if there is efficiency. Automation can help reduce operating costs of daily functions starting from day one. Interconnected devices that operate without the intervention of a human operator can save a considerable amount of time and money. Furthermore, advancements like cloud make it possible to crunch numbers and store data on a never-seen-before scale, again reducing the footprint of expenses on physical assets.
4) Innovation is the fuel to ideas. It is the harbinger of change. If we cease to innovate, we limit ourselves with the opportunities that we derive out of technology. Not only will hardware business soar, but information systems will witness a whole new level of automation that can serve the good of enterprise and domestic-level utility. When we apply the power of methodical visualisation, we are able to design the right products for the right purposes.