How IOT Impacts Product Development
Product development has always been an area of research/ innovation for entrepreneurs. Innovators now are using the universal phenomenon of ‘Interconnectedness’ to develop products, which says, a product only becomes meaningful through interaction with, and in relation to others. Thus, IOT is getting great support as an actionable innovation in the area of product development.
Products have evolved above mechanical and electrical components to complex combinations of hardware, sensors, data storage, microprocessors and software- as well as ubiquitous connectivity. Companies/ Sectors that can set the pace with this change, assimilate and evaluate data from multiple resources, would enjoy remarkable success by meeting consumer’s expectations in redefining competition.
Though a lot of brainstorming is required before making such products an indistinguishable part of our lifestyle. Let us understand what exactly is changing with interconnectedness:
Product development mindsets
As companies are moving towards optimum utilization of the Internet of Things, not only product but also product development processes and technologies are evolving. Operational performance feedback is an integral part of product development in the IOT era.But rather than simply reacting to feedback such as warranty claims or product failures, a proactive approach is followed that allows engineers to apply analytics to operational and performance data, deriving meaningful insights to enhance product performance quickly.
Also, continuous engineering is in vogue, as it helps in managing challenges of IOT product development, offering an enterprise capability that speeds delivery of increasingly sophisticated and connected products by helping businesses to adapt to the accelerating pace of business change. It simplifies the complex processes for manufacturers that continuously claim dynamic requirements.
Interconnectedness modifying the form of products and businesses
Today’s products are designed with interconnectivity and interoperability to take advantage of IOT. These products allow real-time analysis and free flow of data to ease machine to machine and user to machine communication, with the knack of adapting to circumstances change. Such interconnection with back-end systems and other smart products transforms objects/ things/ products into the smart grid of systems. However; some big business organizations have deployed complex IOT networks internally and have already seen positive results, for eg.
Valaram, a budding company that focuses on functional monitoring systems, invented that out-dated smartphones can be used as mobile sensors to aid vineyards to spot freezes. This application cuts down the cost to about 1/10th, which help small scale vineyards afford a sensor network.
A huge amount of $2 million is being saved by Coca-cola with improved order accuracy to 99.8% by installing a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system in their facilities.
BC Hydro in Canada installed smart meters and smart grids across its service network, resulting in $554 million savings in meter and self service tool.
To summarize, smart grid of connected products with IOT is an ample opportunity for manufacturers, if they modify and adapt new product development practices to leverage the opportunities and meet the challenges. As already identified by some key IoT-related initiatives, such as Industries 4.0 in Germany, and Industrial Internet of Things(IIOT) initiatives in the United States, the required transformation is to shift product development to a digital platform.