“Speaking” products are coming!

Penny Heyes is the Director of The Digital Agenda on The Internet of Things, she will be speaking at the BIOS Conference and has shared some blog posts to get our delegates thinking about the Internet of things.

With the price and size of microchips both becoming smaller, it is easier to add chips to manufactured products from everyday life. This will allow the products to communicate, via the “internet of things”, with each other and with human beings. Scary sci-fi type talk…but it is happening!

Manufacturers can gather information about how their products are being used by the end consumers. This data, when used properly, will help the manufacturer to develop new products more rapidly and better tailor products for the consumer. They can even, in some circumstances, remotely fix any faults more quickly by means of a software patch or download. Or, and this is even more transformative, actually enhance and add features to existing products.

Where the strength and major benefits of this type of connection and the use of the Internet of Things can be seen and used most effectively is in areas such as stock-keeping and supply-chain management. Andy Hobsbawm, the founder of Evrythng, a provider of technology for connected objects, notes that businesses will be able to follow the progress of their products from factory to shop to end-consumer—and the products will be able to “speak” to whoever handles them.  (Source, The Economist)

Luxury brands will be able to ensure authenticity by embedding chips and software in to the goods which will tell the buyer that they are real and not a fake! Designer fashion products – watches, shoes, handbags “speaking” to their owners, probably via an app on their mobile device.

One of our favourite new industry disruptors, Tesla Cars, recently found that some of its cars had a problem with uphill starts. No major expensive recall for them however… the problem was fixed by transmitting a software update.

Sonos, Bluetooth speaker company, has improved it product post purchase through a software update that has been sent out. This update enables the loudspeakers to tune themselves to the acoustic qualities of the room in which they are placed.

Despite the fact that this technology is here now, only 19% of senior executives recently surveyed, said that they were planning radical changes to harness the potential of smart things; and only 39% had introduced training in digital skills