Integrated IoT

Granny Pods are the New Assisted Living Centers

New and innovative IoT (Internet of Things) products are connecting you to your loved ones in many new ways. MedCottages or “Granny Pods," as they are oftentimes affectionately referred to,  are self contained housing units that you can drop into your backyard - adding a second home for your aging loved one.   Being close and accessible to the caregiver and providing state of the art in in-home aging amenities, Granny Pods are an up and coming product of the Internet of Things world.   The American Association of Retired People (AARP)  estimates there are over 23 million Americans that take care of their elderly parents. However, finding the perfect place for them to live in a comfortable, familiar and safe place is difficult  and [often] expensive. On many occasions, children do not  want to leave their parents in an assisted home facility on their own, or sometimes it is not in their financial abilities  to do so either.  In addition, the aging person most often wants to maintain a certain level of independence.  They want to continue their lives in a home where they control their lives.

IoT and the tech industry have come up with new products that will make aging [and life] easier for all families. MEDCottages or “Granny Pods” are tiny homes loaded with safety features and technology.  They are designed by a Blacksburg, VA company with help from Virginia Tech.  Variations of this original design are popping up from other housing manufacturers.   In each case, the mini-homes are designed for the very specific purpose of providing a fast, convenient and safe solution to aging in place.

 

 

The basis of the Granny Pods are small modular  guest houses designed to be installed in a backyard, with all the latest high-tech medical extras. Embedded IoT devices add to the  ease of caregiving and make it accessible for those that want their elders close and taken care of with dignity. The small dwelling is hooked up to the main home’s existing sewer, water and power lines. Some of the standard features include hand railings, defibrillators, first aid supplies, lighted floorboards and a soft floor to minimize damage from falls.  From an IoT perspective devices range from voice assisted lighting, locks  and appliances control to bi-directional hands free communications with caregivers anywhere in the home.   Motion detectors can monitor for falls and send alerts accordingly.

IoT has made its way into the Medical and Health industry and, like always, it is looking for ways to make our lives easier and safer. Granny Pods are allowing elderly family members to live in high-tech backyard cottages for aging in place, assisted living, and caregiving right in their loved one’s backyard.

   Do you have an IoT project you need help with? Bluefin Technology Partners helps companies build amazing connected solutions. We understand the complexity and collaboration required between organizational disciplines in order to deliver an IoT product to market on time and on budget.  We provide the services needed to assess your market, manage your partners, and shepherd your project through successful launch.

Choosing the right Power Solution for your Connected Product

screen_shot_2017-04-14_at_9.52.51_am-300x223.png

By: Jay Cahill of Bluefin Technology Partners Over the years Bluefin has developed a pretty wide and deep set of experiences in developing connected products.  We continue to get requests from the IoT community at large to share some of those experiences. To satisfy this request we are commissioning a series of blogs that focuses in on some key aspects of IoT development; one tidbit of knowledge at a time.

With that in mind, we thought we’d start off the series by sharing some thoughts and  considerations about “Powering your Connected Device.” Here are a few top of mind areas to consider  as you start to layout your Connected Device Power Strategy. 

The Basic Requirements

As you begin, it's critical to get a firm understanding of the Who, Where, What, When, and How of the product as they shape the fundamental principles of your design.   

  • Where will it operate?

  • Who will operate it?

  • What will it do?

  • When will it do it?

  • How will it communicate what it’s doing or has done?

  • Where will it Operate?

Where will the product be deployed and what will be the operating environment?  The answers to these questions inform the decision to use a constantly available  power supply or the  need to design a solution based on battery technology to power it.   

In addition to the  power draw required for normal operations of the device, the accessibility of the device could greatly impact your power designs when you have to consider that these devices may need remote access to update the firmware that runs on them. Remote updates require network accessibility and the transfer of files - meaning modems or wifi or some other radio controls - thus driving requirements for more juice.

  • Who will operate it?

Understanding the intended audience of the product and their ability to manage  the product is extremely important as you need to determine what capabilities they have in assisting in the management of the power for the device. While we should optimally design for autonomous power management in the device, you may have flexibility in your battery requirements if the operator of the device can provide a level of monitoring and metering over that device. Case in point, if the device is for human use, you are more likely to get their participation in managing power consumption versus a pet wearable, where  Rover just doesn’t care about how many bars are left on the battery meter.

  • What will it do?

The most obvious consideration for power requirement  is sorting out what functions the device will do. Fortunately or unfortunately, not all sensors and their communications mechanisms are made power consumption friendly.  For example, if you wanted to use a connected device to monitor your crops to ensure that they are getting watered properly you could develop a connected device that photographs and forwards hi-resolution photos of the crop to the cloud where they can be analyzed and compared for color and content to affirm proper watering -- Or -- you could develop a connected product with sensors that transmits text-based moisture readings from the soil that can affirm proper watering has taken place.  Same results, very different power and hence battery requirements.

  • When will it do it?

Regardless of task, the regularity of its execution will drive power needs.  In the design of a connected product you often find yourself balancing the frequency of polling the sensor, the size of the information you are capturing and the timing of offloading the data from the device.  Should you do small bite size data transmissions more frequently or larger, longer transmission less frequently?  The timeliness of the information needs to be weighed against the availability of power to supply the updates.

*** Recommendation

Once you have a firm understanding of your requirements and a broad brush on the Who, What, Where and When, invest in developing a Power Budget - a tool that outlines the consumption of power by your most critical components in your IoT design.  (Note: Coursera has a nice overview in Lecture 22).  Armed with a Power Budget you can model expected usage patterns and determine the detailed requirements for powering your IoT device over its intended lifetime.Til next time.

How IoT is Improving the Food and Beverage Industry

What do the food industry and technology have in common? The Internet. Probably one of the most trafficked industries and our most useful technological tool have joined forces to make eating and drinking easier for the rest of us. Developments ranging from using IoT to make food processing smarter and increasing leverage in food manufacturing, to applications in restaurants and food service and finally improvements to food quality and  safety. The food and beverage industry took IoT to their advantage and are finding new ways to improve the market with new technology and innovative automation advances.

An Era of Benefits

Companies have found ways for IoT to manage the food industry in many different ways. The ability to track the ingredients of finished food products and monitor the  expiration dates faster and with more efficiency, our food has become safer to consume. These new innovative creations are particularly important for manufacturers and producers that need to keep track of products cost effectively; without increasing the price of the food to the end consumer.

IoT has found new ways to connect products with software to  make them easier to manage. With products like smart sensors, that are replacing paper used to manage continuous data on food production, manufacture, and transportation food waste has been significantly reduced. IoT can facilitate approaches that will better track ingredients that will lead to appropriate management of inventory and ingredients and hence improve the overall financial returns for the quarter.  

Not only will IoT benefit the food and beverage industry by increasing the quality of the product it can  also boost the manufacturers’ bottom-line  results. IoT contributions to the  speed and ease at which food is tracked and managed in the supply chain trickles down to better management, which in the end leads to better earnings and revenue. Since IoT technologies are relatively new, companies and manufactures that acquire them as early adopters will  have a big advantage over the competition. IoT is quickly creating a technological and economic advantage for those companies that leverage it in food and beverage industries.

A Variety of Products

IoT has made its way into restaurants and the hospitality industry, perfecting the management of small and local businesses in cities and urban communities. Consumers are already using IoT in everyday products, and like QR scanners and barcodes did in the past, IoT can be used to easily find product information or to speed up the checkout process. IoT has lead to new products and machinery like smart refrigerators with optical scanners that will inform owners when products are near expiration, pantries that will inform producers the correct amount of items for proper inventory, and temperature and humidity sensors that allow shippers to keep track of the proper environmental storage conditions of the food.

Do you have an IoT project you need help with? Bluefin Technology Partners helps companies build amazing connected solutions. We understand the complexity and collaboration required between organizational disciplines in order to deliver an IoT product to market on time and on budget.  We provide the services needed to assess your market, manage your partners, and shepherd your project through successful launch.

Uplift Cooperative: IoT and Health Combined

 The Internet of Things (IoT) has made its way to new, innovative, and upcoming industries such as: food and beverage, automobiles, and healthcare. The healthcare industry is the latest achievement in the IoT and Technology world.  The idea of IoT is to make fitness (and healthy lifestyle) more accessible for  any person that has the drive and can use a device as pervasive as a smartphone.

Health and wellness are vital concerns for everyone. The rising costs of care combined with an aging population and the need to focus on preventive care has put pressure on the  healthcare system. IoT is  becoming the middleman that is bringing users  new and innovative ways to be fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Internet of Things has improved healthcare in innovative ways. The idea of IoT is to bring healthcare and fitness to your fingertips. IoT is developing innovative products, apps, and programs to ease up the process and make healthcare more accessible and entertaining. Here are the latest  accomplishments of IoT in health:

  1. Connected Contact Lenses: Alcon (A Novartis Division) provides innovative products that enhance the quality of life by helping people see better. They have licensed Google’s smart lens technologies, which involves non-invasive sensors embedded within the contact lenses. Novartis is also hoping to develop a smart lens that will help those with presbyopia, helping to restore the eye’s focus.

  2. Ingestible Sensors: Proteus Digital Health Care is the first digital medical service in the world. PDH is comprised of ingestible sensors, a small-wearable patch , an application on a mobile device, and a provider portrait. The chief purpose of this technology is to monitor adherence to a medication schedule. The pill dissolves in the stomach and causes a small voltage that is then picked up by a sensor in the body, which again relays the data to a smartphone app.

  3. Depression Fighting Apps: Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA partnered with Cognition Kit Limited to make a specifically designed App that monitors and assesses cognitive function in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

Now, in come Bluefin Technology Partners and Cantina that have joined forces to bring health and IoT together. This achievement is just the beginning for how IoT has entered the healthcare industry. Uplift Cooperative is elevating health and wellness with connected products.

Uplift Cooperative is the innovative tool that will bring users closer to their fitness and health care objectives. Uplift Cooperative is the partnership for all things IoT and health. The partnership will help companies create life-changing technology experiences for customers by bringing connected devices and services to market. Uplift brings complete solutions, including hardware, software, and experience design.  Do you have an IoT project you need help with? Bluefin Technology Partners helps companies build amazing connected solutions. We understand the complexity and collaboration required between organizational disciplines in order to deliver an IoT product to market on time and on budget.  We provide the services needed to assess your market, manage your partners, and shepherd your project through successful launch.

DogOT: Connect With Your Pet

Internet of Things is focusing on more than smart cities, smart cars, and smart health. Bluefin Technology partnered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) to bring pets and their owners the state-of-the-art smart collar: LINK AKC. The new innovative creation from the IoT and technology world. The unique collar is more than an accessory on your pet’s neck.Link AKC is the one and only curved smart dog collar designed to comfortably fit all dogs. The system allows tracking units to fit on your own collar of choice or the included leader collar. Here are the most important features:

Screen-Shot-2017-03-20-at-1.26.00-PM-300x162.png
  • Location: Powered by AT&T, the collar connects to your phone through GPS technology, tracking services, and the LINK AKC application to find give an exact location of your dog’s whereabouts.

  • Wellness and Care: With activity tracking LINK AKC provides data and insight on your dog’s energy, strength, and well-being.

  • Adventures: The best thing about having a pet is going on adventures. LINK AKC records the best parts of your endeavours with your pet. Record, save and share all special occasions with your pet. More importantly, with just the touch of a button you can manage all the information and pictures to create an album for future reference.

  • Training: The best way to train your dog is through sounds, patience, and persistence. LINK AKC tracks and makes training accessible through the application for faster and more efficient training functions.

LINK AKC is easier to understand than you’d think. The data is transmitted to a cellular network (similar to a cell phone) which allows you to know your dog’s location, activity levels, and environment temperatures. The focus is to create a stronger, easier, and closer connection between dogs and their owners. LINK AKC connects you favorite things together and makes it easier to take care of your loved one.

The best feature of LINK AKC is its set up! After you have placed and received your order. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Go to: www.linkakc.com/start. Download the LINK AKC App, now available on the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace,  and follow the instructions. LINK AKC is now shipping to its pre-order customers and available at online retailers. Get yours today and connect with your pet!

Do you have an IoT project you need help with? Bluefin Technology Partners helps companies build amazing connected solutions. We understand the complexity and collaboration required between organizational disciplines in order to deliver an IoT product to market on time and on budget.  We provide the services needed to assess your market, manage your partners, and shepherd your project through successful launch.

3 Key Insights From The MIT Enterprise Forum: Connected Things 2017

WRITTEN BY: Michael Po, Bluefin Technology Partners and Sam Margolis, Cantina

MIT recently hosted their annual enterprise forum, with a focus on the Internet of Things and connected products at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA.  A sold-out crowd heard from many industry leaders and companies who are paving the way in IoT and creating innovation at scale.  Here are 3 key takeaways, all relevant to our mission to elevate health and wellness through connected products.

  • The instrumentation of the physical world will lead to insights we’d never expect

Harel Kodesh, VP, Predix and CTO of GE Digital drew an unlikely conclusion:  By integrating America’s rail system and trains with sensors and drones, we’ll be able to better understand environmental conditions that will impact local farmers and land that surrounds the nation’s rail system, which could someday improve the quality of our food supply chain.

  • The commoditization of storage will accelerate mass adoption of connected devices

David Friend, a pioneer in both technology and music shared plans for his new cloud storage company, BlueArchive.  BlueArchive will soon introduce high performance cloud storage that is designed to handle the volume of data that connected products generate (we’re talking zetabytes here).  Couple that with a pricing model that scales at volume and we’ll have a new paradigm in cloud storage that will become a catalyst for growth in the world of connected products.  

  • IoT allows for the possibility of “in-home hospital care”

Partners Healthcare, one of the country's largest operator of hospitals is piloting IoT technology that will allow for in-home care of hospital patients.  They are working toward the goal of reducing in-hospital admitted patient care but more importantly are striving to deliver the “the right care, to the right people at the right time”.  This reduces overcrowding in urban hospitals where emergency room patients wait a day or more for a hospital room to open up.  It also greatly reduces the costs of care for the hospital and of course the insurance companies.  No one “wants” to be in a hospital so why not send a patient home where they are more comfortable if the physicians can provide the same level of care that they can in the hospital …. All thanks to IoT innovations in health care.

The Industrial Internet of Things

The Opportunities in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Just like the consumer IoT, the true value for brands and companies is in the data that the devices and beacons produce. The consumer IoT tracks product usage and sends that data back to brands so they can fine tune their products to maximize consumer use and happiness. The industrial Internet of Things is not much different. The implementation of IIoT will bring in a major influx of data, it is how these industries and corporations implement the data that will bring a company into Industry 4.0.

The industrial internet of things is essentially the implementation of IoT across broad ranges of industries. History tells us that the early adopters of new tech are typically consumer facing product companies. However, the IoT is not just limited to consumer goods. IIoT will make it's way into all facets of industry both internally facing (B2B, operations, sales etc..) and consumer facing.

Industrial Internet of Things Timeline

Industrial Internet of Things Timeline

The World Economic Forum sites Four logical next steps and opportunities for the Industrial Internet of Things in their 2015 Industry Report.

  1. Operational EfficiencyAs mentioned before, this value is created and anchored by the capturing of data of various degrees. Up until now, operations managers in major manufacturing corporations have had to measure employee success by two simple formulas; Utilization and Efficiency of both the system and of the employee. However, now with the massive amount of data that can be obtained by the various sensors that will be implemented amongst the manufacturing process, more than just efficiency and utilization can be tracked. Individual machines can now be tracked. This will drastically decrease overhead by being able to track the use of a machine and know when maintenance will be needed before a potential breakdown as well as allow managers to track use and activity of employees on the manufacturing floor.

  2. New Products and ServicesThe implementation of the industrial internet of things will allow for a whole new subset of products and services previously not thought of in the industrial space. Similar to the outcome, where consumers are allowed to pay-per-outcome. In opportunity, consumers are able to pay-per-use of the product. The most common application of this in today consumer IoT world is to pay a subscription fee on top of the initial purchase price of a good. However, in the industrial internet of things, the same model can be applied to manufacturing machines, parts, analysis tools, etc…

  3. Outcome EconomyThe “Outcome Economy” is essentially the idea that instead of a company charging for the initial purchase of a device, piece of equipment, or application, they will be able to pay-per the outcome of use of the purchase. For example, if you were to purchase a piece of equipment that promised a value of doubling the production speed of x previous piece of equipment, however, in practice the product does nothing of the sort, consumers will be able pay less for their underperforming products.

  4. Autonomous, Pull EconomyThe World Economic forum specs that in the long term, there will be an autonomous revolution which will create a pull economy. This Industrial revolution will coincide with autonomous revolution happening in the consumer space with the products such as the autonomous car that Google (and others) are developing. This “pull economy” will result in continuous demand-sensing. Which will allow for automatic updates, improvements, alerts etc… in much better timing than current standards. This will result in resource optimization and waste reduction as well as the possibility of end-to-end automation.

Of course the implications of IIoT go far beyond this article and the report it sites. As the Internet of things matures and grows, IIoT will follow along. The improvements and implications that are due to stem from the data gathered in Industry 4.0 are going to be incredibly exciting. Industry leaders must assess their manufacturing process and decide that now is the time to put the investment forward to implement IoT in their processes.

Competition at Home - A Look at the Connected Home Market

This week marks Apples now infamous World Wide Developer Conference. Amongst other announcements, Apple announced their push into consumer products for the connected home. This came in the form of their connected home platform HomeKit’s, own iOS application. This application will allow users access to control any compatible devices. Currently this list includes many major IoT product manufacturers such as; ConnectSense, NanoLeaf, and Phillips with many more partnerships announced this week and at various conferences (see: DigitalTrends).

This announcement coincides with the news that Apple is allowing accessibility to Siri’s features for application developers via an API. This will not only unleash the full functionality of the iPhone to developers but will also allow Apple to push into a space largely dominated by Amazon’s Echo suite of products. All of this new functionality will be released with iOS 10, some time in September.

Now, many people knew this knew this news was coming, including their fierce rivals in the space, Google and Amazon. Each with their own platforms, Home and Echo, respectively. Amazon was able to be first to market, which has its advantages, and disadvantages. The Echo has been on the market for over a year now and has seen consistent growth, seen through the gradual eating up of the wi-fi connected speaker market previously dominated by Bose and Sonos  (actual sales figures are not public). This has allowed them to garner the attention of the early adopters in the IoT world. However, the majority of consumers still associate Amazon with being an Ecommerce platform. What will happen when the two major US tech companies come out with their own home-unifying platform?

Google’s soft launch date of their device is November, around the same time that iOS 10 will be released. Keep an eye out in the Fall, as more and more devices go to market, the connected home space will become a crowded market. There is the need of a unifying force. With so many connected devices being offered, each with their own applications, a central platform has to be created. Without this platform the IoT will not be fully adopted in the home, as more and more devices are connected, confusion will rise and eventually lead to a decrease in sales for connected products. The competition between Google, Apple, and Amazon in this space will drive the best possible consumer experience and allow for flexibility in developer platforms.

The true question is, will one of these platforms come out on top? Or will we have a situation like the video game vertical, where Microsoft and Sony split market share 50/50. The idea of platform exclusivity is very much a reality (see: Google’s Purchase of Nest Labs for over $3 Billion) so will we see people purchasing more than one home-unifying device for access to certain product? And how will that affect voice commands, the devices consumer value proposition?

A gym near you might be Sporting some new IoT Machines

Major Fitness equipment producer Life Fitness is beginning to create a whole new connected experience at the gym. Life Fitness started this whole transformation in 2012 with the creation of it’s LF Connect software that allows you to track what you did on certain machines by entering an ID code when you start to use them. However, now they are taking that same fitness tracking software and making it possible for your fitness machines to relay that same information directly to your smart device or fitness tracker. As of right now LF Connect is compatible with Google Fit, the Apple watch, and Fitbits.

Fitness tracker Users get even more data:

This new update is great for users, now you no longer need to create a life fitness account and wait to get home to check it, because all that information will be relayed directly to the fitness tracker you’re using while at the gym. However they plan on taking this new smart device connectivity software and adding a few features, such as alerts to your device letting you know when you walk by a piece of equipment or a machine that could help you reach a certain fitness goal. This new feature could help people become more knowledgeable about their fitness routines by giving a new incite into how each machine works for them by comparing the information the machine sends to you and the data your smart device is already collecting for you.

These machines can help the Gym management as well:

From the gym owner side, these new machines are going to help out big time. Now with the new connectedness of these machines having one break or be out of Service will be far less likely to happen. These new connected machines will send alerts to the gym staff informing them when a certain machine shall need maintenance and on what part. This will hopefully allow the gym staff to plan out that maintenance so the machine is never off the floor while people are trying to use it.  It therefore also helps the gym goer again because their gym experience is not interrupted by the lack of gym equipment.

We have a few thoughts of our own on Life Fitness and what they're doing:

Here at Bluefin Technology Partners we always get excited to see companies implement IoT into their products for the purpose of creating a more connected and enjoyable user experience for the consumer. Our Founder Jay Cahill even had this to say about what Life Fitness is trying to do.

“Through this integration of IoT, it now allows them to see what their customers are doing with their machines and from that information they can then offer their customers helpful information about how to better their workout. That new relationship between  producer and consumer without the middle man or retailer is a business model I’d like to see more of.” -Jay Cahill

If you want to read more about what direction Life Fitness is taking with their Life Connected systems then you should go check out Sporttechie Article on it, it has a lot of insight from someone directly involved with the development of the life fitness equipment.

10 Companies Still Thriving with Google Glass

In early 2015 Google ended consumer based operations for their Google Glass product. For a variety of reasons, Google decided to overhaul their push into augmented reality. For Google’s initial target user, the product all but disappeared. However, all along Google, as it always does, has a backup plan. This plan came in the form of enterprise applications of the Google Glass platform. Right now there is a thriving market for Google Glass at work and there are 10 companies partnering with Google to make this a reality. These companies are referenced in Google’s Glass at Work Page. These companies are doing amazing, innovative things with a wearable device that many thought was completely down-for-the-count. With Augmedix’s recent $17 Million Round of funding there is no better time to take a look at Google’s often forgotten venture.  

AMA

AMA

1.  Advanced Medical Applications (Link)

"AMA specializes in the medical field with solutions in telemedicine, live-surgery demonstrations, and remote medical training. AMA’s vision is to seamlessly connect doctors-to-doctors and doctors-to-patients remotely through the use of Glass from all corners of the globe." - Google

Advanced medical applications is hoping to bring wearable tech into the medical sphere. They have created an application for Google Glass that brings expert doctors to any operating room. For example, if someone enters an emergency room with an extremely unique medical case, as a patient you want someone who is an expert at treating this case in the room with you. However, that isn't the case, and it is unrealistic to think that there are experts in all fields in all hospitals. AMA solves this problem by bringing real time telemedicine and live-surgery demonstrations.

APX

APX

2. APX Labs (Link)

"APX Labs makes Skylight, the leading business software for Glass. It provides workers with hands-free, real-time access to enterprise data and the expertise they need to do their job. Skylight is used by Fortune 500 companies spanning multiple industries." - Google

APX labs have created an amazing enterprise application for Google Glass. They have created an enterprise platform that is customizable across industries. Currently their platform is used in aerospace, oil and gas, utilities, automotive and telecommunications. Companies use their application to reduce workplace errors, increase timeliness of manufacturing, implement expert guidance, and real time guides.

augmate

augmate

3. Augmate (link)

“Augmate's mission is to build a world where everyone can work without friction. To accomplish this they've created the Wearable Environment (WE) Manage platform - the leading enterprise solution that empowers IT administrators to quickly and securely scale thousands of wearable devices across their workforce.” - Google

Augmate at it’s core is an enterprise application that helps customers use and deploy their smart glasses and wearable devices. They create a unique experience for companies to be able to track, monitor, and maintain all wearable devices across their company.

Augmedix

Augmedix

4. Augmedix (link)

“Doctors spend over a third of their day pushing and pulling information to and from the Electronic Health Record. Augmedix provides a service for doctors that allows them to reclaim this time and refocus it on what matters most: patient care.” -Google

Augmedix just announced a new $17 Million funding round on April 24th that valued them at an unknown amount. The switch to electronic health records have forced doctors to spend hours behind the computer and much less time seeing patients. Augmedix’s Google Glass application brings real time transcription of medical records instead of having doctors transcribe and chart themselves.

CrowdOptic

CrowdOptic

5. CrowdOptic (link)

“CrowdOptic's middleware for wearables allows enterprises to manage wearable devices in the field from asingle platform. CrowdOptic's enterprise console and device-side connectors enable a range of wearable computing applications, from live streaming to context-aware computing.”  -Google

CrowdOptic provides a live streaming solution for wearables. They modify Google Glass’ user interface and allow streaming to be easy and accessible to anyone who puts on Google Glass.

Untitled-1

Untitled-1

6. GuidiGo (link)

“Our mission is to inspire people to connect with art and culture through a compelling mobile storytelling experience. Glass brings us closer to that vision, and by partnering with museums and cultural institutions this becomes accessible to everyone.” -Google

GuidiGo is unique to the other companies on this list as they are the only company using Google Glass for entertainment. They create unique, tailored tours for museums. With image recognition, and maps built into the user experience they create an non-intrusive Google Glass experience and bring it to mainstream consumers, not just industrial workers.

interapt

interapt

7. Interapt (link)

“Interapt develops solutions that enrich customer and employee engagement, solve operational challenges, and secure new opportunities across a wide variety of industries. Interapt creates and delivers complete packaged solutions including proprietary apps, analytics, and platforms.” -Google

Interapt is an all-in-one wearable workplace solution. However, they implement their use of Google Glass to create training and streaming solutions. They reduce operational costs by implementing glass and offer real-time collaboration at any time using glass streaming.

Untitled-1eyesight

Untitled-1eyesight

8.Pristine (link)

“Pristine created EyeSight, a secure video communication platform for Glass used by healthcare providers, medical device companies, and large enterprises to support front-line staff with the expert help they need--instantly, on demand, and hands-free.”  -Google

Pristine is similar to the previously mentioned Augmedix. They have developed a product “EyeSight” that implements Google Glass to bring off site experts into the view of an employee. It gives the opportunity to workers to use either their smartphone or Google Glass to livestream their issue, and have an expert at the other end provide immediate visual input to solve the problem.

sera

sera

9. Wearable Intelligence

“Wearable Intelligence creates Glassware for energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and more. Our workflow, communications, training, and data access products are in the field at some of the world's best known companies.”  -Google

Wearable Intelligence is listed as a Google partner, however they have since pivoted and are now Parsable. They have switched from hardware development (Google Glass). To software development and are now building an application “Sera” that aims to replace paper & walkie-talkies.

Ubimax

Ubimax

10. UbiMax (link)

“Ubimax is a full-service provider focused on creating Glass solutions for order picking, manufacturing, quality assurance, health care and more. Ubimax offers custom development services as well as standardized applications.”  -Google

Ubimax proved integrated computing solutions. They are an all-in-one solution for wearable tech at work. They provide consulting, software dev, and application supports. They break down their product offering into a few separate entities that are available, pick, make, inspect, assist, care, and build. They also offer a custom option where a customer can have UbiMax build a new application from scratch for a specific, unique industry.

The Keys to IoT Product Success

The Keys to IoT Product Success

Putting the Customer Need First

As Matt Roseff in Business Insider reports, a recent survey from consulting firm Accenture shows that consumer interest in IoT products like wearables and connected devices has flatlined since last year.

Why?

According to the survey results, 62% of consumers view such products as too pricey, or viewed another way, they don’t fully grasp the value proposition of the IoT products being marketed to them.  

Additionally, the survey revealed that 23% of respondents didn’t know what device would be useful to them and 17% found IoT devices to generally be confusing.

Are these artifacts of an early market being pushed by Technology companies trying to build products instead of traditional Product companies incorporating  technology?   

As product developers for brands look ahead in 2016 and beyond and consider how -- and if -- to include connected technology in their roadmaps, this kind of information should be kept top of mind along with a few basic business principles the industry should go back to.

 

What Consumers Care About

What does the customer want? There is nothing more important than this, and it should be the foundation of any product development plan -- regardless of whether or not connected technology is included.

As one survey from Affinova revealed, 92 percent of consumers say that it’s very difficult to pinpoint what they’d want from smart objects, but they’ll know it when they see it. They’ll know when the product solves a problem they have or not. Novelty products may generate near-term publicity and showcase your business as innovative, but unless the product hits a consumer pain point, companies may struggle to generate a ROI.

Another opportunity lies in data. Today’s wearables and consumer-focused IoT devices can amass endless amounts of data.  It’s key to convert data to information with actionable insights that influence positive behavior modifications. Ideally, these would be behavior modifications it’s common for people to want to make (ie, increasing exercise). Then, the new product will create trusted relationships with consumers.

 

How to Integrate IoT Into Your Strategy

When we work with clients on ideas for new products, we always touch on these points during the concepting phase of the project:

    1. Identify the consumer problem first. We encourage clients to get practical. Start with a consumer problem first, then think of ways to solve it with connected tech if it makes sense to do so.

    2. Use IoT to deepen the relationship with customer. Ralph Lauren, for example, doesn’t have as deep of a connection directly to consumers since so many of their products are sold by third party retailers (Macy’s). Unique product integrations with mobile apps, like Ralph Lauren’s “polo tech” shirt deepen the customer’s relationship to brand and introduce the brand to new consumers who are actively looking for tech-enabled apparel.

Connected tech is not the only way

 Connected technology is a pretty, new color in your crayon box, but it’s not the only way to draw a picture. In other words, connected technology is a cool, new, technology -- yes. But it’s not the only way to do these things. Proceed accordingly.

When thinking through your product roadmap for 2016, keep your eye on the future, yes, and certainly take connected technology into consideration. But more importantly, keep your eye on the customer.