The Internet of Things (IoT) is such a hot topic of discussion these days that if you make any kind of device you’re quite possibly thinking you should stick a port on it and figure out what to do with it later. (Don’t do that.)
ReadWriteWeb provided a great primer recently on the four types of data IoT devices can leverage. Here’s what you should be thinking about when determining if IoT connectivity can make your stuff more useful:
Status: Sometimes you just need to check a device’s pulse. Is the device on? Is it operating properly? Is it in use or available?
Location: “Where” it is should be obvious, but think more granular than GPS. Is it currently stocked on the shelf of your store? Is it in your house, in the cabinet, meaning you shouldn’t buy another one?
Personalization: The core, and the most fun, perhaps. Your device doesn’t need to know someone’s name, rank and serial number but it should be able to learn, or chat with other devices, to learn what time they like their coffee, what temperature they like a room, their preferred level of lighting at various times of day, etc.
Action: And don’t forget all this data should be actionable, whether the devices are learning when to re-order paper towels or making helpful suggestions, like, your plants in the conservatory would be a lot happier if you’d give them some additional light in December.
Oh. And while you’re at it, be sure you do a security check before you ship these devices out to ensure your systems and your customers are the only ones with access to the above. That’s just a little public service announcement from us to you. We’ll probably expound in a later post.