The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, Connected Products and Why You Should Care
The buzz is in the air and we’re not talking about the buzz of bees busy pollinating for the spring. The buzz we’re talking about is around connected products, and unfortunately, your competition. If you stop for just a moment you’ll hear it. The buzz on the latest and greatest connected product is constant. If you stop again and look around your office, you’ll see the rush and the frantic faces trying to get something… anything…out on the market before the next guy.
There’s one big issue with that process–products hurried out the door often don’t hold real value. Our current world is overflowing with glorified pedometers, data visualization of the “quantified self” and rushed products that serve no other purpose than collecting dust because they do not hold long-term value or fulfill a user’s actual needs. This methodology is leading most companies to a dead end.
Why You Should Care
In two years time, it is suspected that the Internet of Things will surpass both computer and mobile markets combined and 82% of companies will have Internet of Things functionality in their digital products as a part of their business. In five years we can expect 90% of cars to be connected to the Internet and 212 billion connected devices. Now here’s the part you’ll care about… 94% of businesses see a return on investment from machine-to-machine communication. Enough said.
Our Connected Products Connect
The trick with connected products and the Internet of Things is that they have to connect not to things, but to people. When a client requests us to make them a smashing product, we start by asking a couple of questions: why we are making this product? What is the value or improvement they provide? AND, an answer to the big question—will it actually be used?
Once we have our answers, the smashing magic happens. After working with companies specializing in bringing physical products to the market, we have developed a unique point of view of the strategic and technical advances in the digital world. Our strategy of Motivational UX™, lean and agile approaches, combined with rigorous development, creates products that deliver an unparalleled connected experience.
The Missing Piece
No matter what process you follow, at the end of the road there is always one last thing that brings everything together to create success. In this case, it’s the people. It is each and every person who picks up your product and becomes the user. At the end of the day, the product is created to fulfill the strategic user experience they not only crave, but also demand. The they in that sentence can be the user, the consumer, the customer, or your bottom line. Whoever or whatever your they may be, remembering that they are your most valued business component—not a big pile of big data analytics—is key.
Relationships don’t develop out of heartless statistics. The relationship you need to create between your product and your user only happens when you tap into the emotional quotient of an experience. When technology is humanized your easy and intuitive product seamlessly fades into the background and turns into a relationship your user can’t imagine their lives—whether it be personal or professional—without. To put it in numbers, companies that humanize their brand see an average of 27% increase in stock value.
When your company is ready to dive into the world of connected products, don’t forget the most important ingredients of the recipe. Every successful connected product has a human centered design, uses strategic design elements such as metaphors and POV, and has actionable data that can be easily developed into tactile insights. Once you have all of that figured out, you’re ready to get connected.