IoT (Internet of Things) has already established itself in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and transportation, improving efficiencies, reducing risk and increasing productivity. These industries are replete with embedded systems making it easy to integrate an IoT Framework.
With the influx of cloud computing, big data, and IPv6 protocol technologies, data connectivity has become essential. With IoT at the center, these utilities can be successfully implemented to create smart systems. Unlike M2M interactions that were limited to remote connectivity, IoT provides a platform for identification, tracking, monitoring, metering, automation and actuation on a global scale. IoT is the key to enabling digital businesses.
Virtual banking enabled by IoT
Retail banking is replacing traditional bank models with digital ones. With electronic money and online payment portals like Paypal, digital wallets like Apple’s Passbook and digital currencies like Bitcoin already in consumers’ ecosystems, it is only a matter of time before banking goes completely online. IoT facilitates the globalization of these technologies allowing for peer-to-peer transactions without third party involvement. Virtual banking allows for a seamless transaction process and ease of access. With big data, issuing loans becomes easier for the customer and safer for banks themselves. It is like Bill Gates once said, “Banking is essential but banks are not.”
Insurance improving people’s lives
Insurance agencies will be able to create personalized solutions for people who are willing to be monitored by IoT devices. Data such as heartbeats, drug levels, protein quantities and blood pressure will constantly be fed to insurance agencies enabling them to respond to dangerous changes in the customer’s health statistics. Insurance agencies can amend annual premiums accordingly, thereby also ensuring that people are less inclined to participate in activities that increase risk. This will lead to a rise in people leading healthier and safer lifestyles and more optimum processes around premium calculation and payouts by insurance agencies.
Hospitality experience enriched
While the realization of smart homes for everybody might be a few decades away, IoT can be successfully integrated into the hospitality industry. People can experience smart system enabled comfort and luxury during their vacations. Services like temperature adjustment, tour guides, room service, will be arranged solely through your smartphone. Each room will become personalized for its users and will lead to an enriched user experience. The Plaza hotel stay includes an in-room i-Pad that controls all features of the room. Taking this a level further, IoT-enabled hotels will allow the customer’s smartphone to control these features, and databases will record these settings for the customer’s next stay.
E-commerce services improved
IoT will make the logistics management, delivery tracking and inventory management of e-commerce industries more efficient. It will incentivize repeat sales through customized discounts and offers to customers. After sales service component of e-commerce will intuitively ascertain the user’s needs and provide solutions accordingly. For example, GPS-enabled cab services like Uber will be able to track customers who turn on their apps, anticipate potential customers and get vehicles moving to receive them even before the transaction has begun.
Marketing products that people need
The scale of processed data brought in by IoT will enable businesses to focus their marketing efforts on product quality and design. Production of goods will be in tune with market demand, preventing losses. A ton of new products will be introduced; tailor made for niche markets. Social media marketing will no longer spam the user with irrelevant product information but rather with information that will enable the customer to make intelligent choices. Rather than being sales focused, marketing will become a consultant for customers.
Supermarket experience refined
Supermarkets can digitally tag their products to monitor buyer activity on each aisle. With data provided, they can rearrange their products in such as manner that regulates buyer movement efficiently. They can place their unpopular products strategically to procure maximum visibility. This reduces time spent by the buyer and is an effective marketing strategy. Data provided by such customer habits can refine the supermarket experience and keep them in step with their e-commerce competitors. While large retail stores are already doing this in some ways, the full potential of customer movement and buying data within a store is yet to be fully realized.
We are at the far end of a spectrum that diverges into a broad range of possibilities. With augmented reality systems coming into play, customer interaction will be the future of digital possibilities. Customers will play a key role in every aspect of product design, bringing us closer to the reality of youtility.
About the Author
Naveen Joshi has extensive experience in customizing open source products. Currently, he is working on IoT solutions with Big Data Analytics.