All the hype around quirky gadgets for the smart home may be grabbing headlines, but it’s not where the real value lies.
That’s according to Daniel Obodovski, an industry leader in the wireless and high-tech sector and author of The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things.
Obodoviski was a keynote speaker at the Product Innovation Congress in San Diego late last month, which highlighted how the Internet of Things and smart, connected products could influence PLM strategy.
Obodovski hit some familiar talking points during his keynote. Over the next decade we’ll see billions of connected products in the form of wearable tech, self-driving cars, and so on. But it was Obodovski’s take on smart homes that audibly resonated with the audience.
A home responding intuitive to our needs suggests a zenith of human achievement, but in racing to jump aboard the IoT bandwagon, we risk missing its true promise: improving product performance. For home users, the real IoT-advantage will be longer lasting, better performing products, according to Obodovski.
Consider the smart connected refrigerator. We’re being sold on that fridge’s potential ability to detect what foods are inside, how old that food is, and then draw us up a grocery order. This is the perfect example of a product that promises quirky innovation, while missing the real opportunity.
Instead of focusing on these features, Obodovski spoke to the true value in a smart, connected fridge: connected operational sensors that transform performance. This technology is already being used in industrial settings, and soon manufacturers and service providers will be able to track usage and performance data.
Trends and predictive intelligence will enable software and service based responses to prevent failure. From defrosting to triggering a motor repair, these invisible features will dramatically extend the life of a smart fridge, while reducing power consumption and operating cost.
These are the types of innovations that will transform our appliances and homes. In fact, as preventative maintenance and operational improvements continue, we will likely transform to a leased service model, where operational capacity is monetized, rather than ownership of goods. We’ll pay annual fees for “refrigeration” and “clothes washing.”
This, in turn, will spark additional competition to provide the best performing services and capacities at a competitive price. That’s good news for consumers, and represents an area of IoT that will have a much bigger impact than having a fridge that can order more orange juice.