Smart Products and Software-Enabled Innovation

Software is changing the way we connect, interact and conduct business; and it’s changing on a global scale. Embedded software has existed for some time, but with the emergence of smart, connected products, manufacturers are having to reshape their business models to take advantage of new opportunities.

Products today are no longer just physical or mechanical; they often have sensors and mechanisms connected to the Internet and other smart devices. These smart products continually provide feedback and data into the cloud, giving manufacturers fresh insight so they can make improvements to next-generation product and fine-tune operations and service.

It is predicted that we’ll have 1 trillion connected devices by 2025. We have cell phones that are connected to home thermostats, implantable medical devices that help to monitor a person’s health, and sensors in vehicles warning us if we get too close to another car or obstacle. More connectivity enables greater product functionality, and future possibilities are endless.

A recent survey conducted on behalf of Wi-Fi Alliance shows that there is a surge of consumer interest in smart devices. Ninety-three percent of respondents said controlling the home remotely will have a positive impact on the quality of their daily lives. Seventy-seven percent believed Wi-Fi connectivity will be an important purchase consideration when replacing household items, and 63 percent expected that within 10 years the majority of devices or appliances they purchase will include smart technology.

According to Juniper Research, by 2018, the ‘smart home’ market will double in size reaching $71B – up from $33 billion in 2013 and $25 billion in 2012.

The demand for smarter products has created an explosion of smart connected software and networks. With all this “smartness” happening around us, what will the future look like for both manufacturer and consumer?

Check out this by-the-numbers infographic charting the journey of software-enabled innovation.

Stay tuned for part two of this three-part series in which I’ll outline the progression of technology and how the explosion of software has affected the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT).

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