Forecasts for the consumer IoT sector have long promised huge amounts of data coming from new and glitzy smart consumer devices. From smart light bulbs and smart locking systems to our beloved fitness trackers, most of these devices have already become a part of our daily lives. So why hasn't the sector boomed?
Today's IoT: are we creating enough value for consumers?
Let’s take a closer look. Silos still define IoT today in that a provider that wants to enter the IoT market will develop both a device and a corresponding mobile app, even if that provider specializes in only one of these two areas. By decoupling the world of smart devices that generate data and enabling developers and companies to provide applications that will then consume this data, we can create greater value for the consumer.
Hardware manufacturers can concentrate on their core strength: namely, providing high-quality hardware. As more and more applications take in the generated data, manufacturers can obtain deeper insights into user behavior and then utilize them to improve the quality of their hardware.
By decoupling the product components, software companies and individual developers can then publish applications that use data from these diverse sources, creating an influx of new products and business opportunities.
Let’s have a look at what a good example of this would be. Take a user with a Yale smart lock and an Aurora LED panel. Each time the Yale-enabled door is accessed, the Aurora would change its color from Amber (closed and secure) to green (opened by an authorized user) or red (unauthorized access attempt), and would blink red if the door is left open for a predetermined length of time. These are two devices that have no conventional use case as a pair. However, considering them creatively provides an almost limitless array of opportunities for a developer. In this manner, any pair or group of devices can be connected using an app that makes use of all data streams coming from these very devices.
Are we causing more problems for consumers?
Even if the consumer has a wide range of smart things, they are still locked into one-brand silos.
- Trying out a new brand often means having to download yet another app even if you would be happier just using the same app for your smart devices. Just think of your favorite fitness tracker: in today’s world, it simply isn’t possible to use several fitness- and healthcare-related apps with one single device.
- Getting more out of the generated data, for example pairing a device or app with other things, might require extensive hacking or might simply be impossible. For instance, you could use your fitness tracker just with specialized football or skiing apps.
- Saving historical data when changing devices is not always a straightforward task, even if more and more companies now offer the possibility of data downloads. The process of transferring data to new platforms is still a hassle today, presenting a number of data formatting problems and manual work.
- Renting out devices such as smart skis and storing the data produced by them is difficult. Consumers either have to create user accounts with every individual provider or give up on the idea of gathering any data whatsoever.
- Sharing the generated data with friends, family, or even with professionals, such as insurance providers or doctors, is not possible unless the application supports such a feature.Transferring data ownership to consumers
The Geeny consumer account works as a central data aggregator for every end user. Having full control over their data, they can share it with application providers of their choice and further enrich their Geeny experience by adding devices to their account.
The technical aspect, of course, is influenced by legal, infrastructure, and security considerations. Nonetheless, the idea behind it is to give the consumer autonomy of choice regarding the applications and devices they want to use.
This simplifies things for stakeholders involved in IoT, enabling each party to concentrate on their individual field of expertise. Case in point, hardware manufacturers can provide smart hardware without the additional cost of having to create and maintain mobile applications. Software providers can explore these devices and provide value on top of that by creating mobile applications for every need, based on both generated and already-available data.
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