Pretend you’re at the grocery store. You’d like to prepare spaghetti for dinner, but you can’t remember if you have any more tomato sauce left in the refrigerator. No one is home for you to call and check. But if you have the LG SmartThinq refrigerator, a smart IoT connected fridge, it will automatically update a shopping list on your phone and notify when you’ve run out of an item. It also acts as a hub for you and your family, allowing you to connect your smartphone and Google calendars to use the refrigerator’s 8-inch LED as an organized, electronic notice board for your household.

It has been predicted that 26 billion units will be connected to the IoT by 2020. And thanks to people’s desire for real-time information and connectivity, field service companies are finding ways to offer real-time service when there’s a problem with a machine. Mobile devices enabled with field service software allow technicians to fix equipment even when offline. Using devices connected to the IoT lets companies help their customers even faster than ever, by utilizing sensors to push data to connected apps to notify them of problems.

To discuss how different companies are using IoT for everything from service to smart homes, the Internet of Things conference took place on the 18-19 November in London, UK. The annual forum featured speakers from leading companies such as Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, and Google with David Parker, Global VP, IoT at SAP giving the keynote address.

Attendees heard talks on “How the Internet of Things is Creating New Businesses and Services Globally,” “How IoT and Wearables Will Take Healthcare to the Next Level,” and “How to Monetize the New Digital Economy with IoT.”  

As companies look for ways to incorporate IoT into their business plans, topics like the cloud, analytics, Big Data, and telecoms were discussed as well.

During a panel on global IoT trends, Chris Newton, CMO of RedKnee, a billing software provider that is using IoT to bolster real-time monetization and subscriber management, said, “How IoT applications are developed is different, I believe, depending on whether it’s a consumer or enterprise approach. Enterprises are looking for more help in packaging these solutions because there is a risk perceived in adopting this technology. They are looking to work with larger companies who will bring their vertical knowledge to help them build these solutions.”

On that same panel, when asked about the Internet of Things potential, David Parker, Global Vice President of SAP said, “Businesses have a sense of devices and sensors, but not the value that can be derived from them, and once they connect these devices how to then monetize and analyze that data.” It’s all about acting now in order to see monetization realized next year or the following year. Companies such as Phillips have monetized IoT with their connected bulb that users pay a one-time fee to download an app that lets them control the light bulbs from their phone or computer. And car manufacturer Audi offers customers Audi Connect, a 4G/LTE hotspot navigation service as a subscription.

With healthcare shaping up to be a big market for the IoT, the sensor company Arm showed attendees the prerequisites to consider when using data from sensors in healthcare. These prerequisites include security, privacy, accuracy, integrity, and latency.  

As value shifts from physical devices to software and apps for users, the conference speakers showed that companies are building new business models around IoT. The IoT World Forum 2015 is the world’s leading IoT conference that focuses on IoT companies, applications, and solutions for all verticals. 

Image: IoT World Forum - YouTube 


Topics: Field Service

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