Fun fact. The Portobello mushroom, a popular meat substitute, was originally considered an inedible byproduct crop and thrown away. Then in the 1980s, American farmers launched a marketing campaign touting the fungus as a hamburger substitute. Today, the mushroom is one of the biggest selling fungi varieties in the world, with annual sales in the billions.
Getting started in the Internet of Things (IoT) can be a daunting task for any company, but it doesn’t have to be. We all have heard about the numbers of connected devices, today and in the future. We understand that the world is moving towards the connected everything. The issue for many is how do I start? What are the challenges? What tools are necessary for IoT solutions? While it’s tempting to take a ‘wait and see’ attitude, the reality is the market is simply moving too fast to sit on the sidelines.
Here, we cover some of the issues. More in-depth analysis can be found in our recent webinar (link here) or at our Neo site (link here).
Security always should be top of mind when launching any IoT initiative, and we posted a blog in late 2016 specifically about this topic. What about practices outside of security? IoT is so new and moving at such a rapid pace that knowing the right approach is crucial to your success. One need only look at the graveyard of failed dot com companies to see the risk of jumping into a new tech sector without a solid strategy or understanding. Here are some tips to get you started thinking:
The wearables market—activity trackers, smart watches, smart glasses, and embedded sensors in clothing—is exploding, and nowhere is that more evident than in the workplace. What was once viewed as more of a novelty now is becoming an integral part of both enterprises and smaller businesses. Why the newfound interest in business wearables, primarily smart glasses? For the same reasons IoT is taking over every sector—efficiency, enhanced productivity, safety, and significant cost savings. According to analysts, smart glasses have enabled the field services industry alone to achieve more than $1 billion in annual cost savings, propelling the market to $6 billion in sales in 2016.
In the old days, especially if you were travelling by car, finding a good hotel or restaurant was a hit or miss affair. That all changed in the 1950s with the likes of Holiday Inn and McDonald’s, as travelers preferred (and continue to prefer) a known experience to taking a chance on something new. Staying overnight in a room (or even eating at a restaurant) generally is not a primary reason for travelling, so folks want something familiar and as hassle free as possible.
While the majority of beer consumed in America continues to be made by mass-market companies, Americans also have enjoyed a love affair with microbreweries for roughly the last thirty years. But fickle consumer tastes, intrusion into the craft beer market by multinational breweries, and other factors have made independent microbreweries a challenging business. Luckily, IoT is redefining the economics of small-scale brewing, bringing all new levels of efficiency and control that empower microbreweries to thrive in unstable business climates.
The lawn care market—which includes everything from private residences to condo/apartment complexes and golf courses—has gone through significant changes over the years. Concerns over the use of toxic pesticides/fertilizers, water consumption, and the need to have green grass have shifted the industry from its ‘green at all costs’ roots. Even the image-conscious Playboy Mansion let all its lawns go brown during one severe California drought, and the Playboy organization clearly had the resources to pay for any amount of water. Plus, millennials (who ultimately will represent the largest spending group) simply aren’t interested in ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ when it comes to lawn care.
Seemingly endless building projects—and jokes about construction cranes being the official bird of any given city—would lead you to believe the building industry works as a well-oiled machine. Reality is quite different, unfortunately. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, large construction projects typically are 80% over budget and take 20% more time to complete than planned. In fact, productivity even has declined in some markets, and even in healthy ones contractors face highly volatile financial returns. Given the majority of new buildings and houses are essentially customized, not prefabricated, there is a lot of room for waste and error, especially when it comes to ‘little’ things like tools.
The light bulb revolutionized the American home life, bringing all-new levels of safety (no need for dangerous candles), security, and usability. While there have been advances over the years (energy-efficient bulbs, motion sensor lighting, timers), not much has significantly changed since home lighting became widespread. Now IoT promises to create another revolution in lighting, bringing previously impossible efficiencies and capabilities to every home, apartment, and commercial building.
While there has been an ongoing ‘battle for the living room’ among media companies (essentially who will dominate consumer content), there is an even greater competition to outfit the smart home. Advances in IoT technology have created a lucrative scenario where any appliance, even electric toothbrushes, is fair game for smart enablement. And the low barriers to entry and massive, untapped home/apartment marketplace mean tremendous opportunities for providers, large and small.
In this blog we’ll look at the most mundane of chores, getting clothes clean, and how IoT is redefining how people do laundry.