Just three short decades ago, the research and development team at Motorola created the first cell phone. Now, 6 billion people own mobile handsets all over the world, but even this huge shift in communication is nothing compared to the estimated 25 billion devices communicating with each other by 2015. This figure is expected to double just a few years afterwards.
Right now, there are several organisations considering the ramifications of the Internet of Things (IoT) to try and better understand the huge changes through which our businesses and our lives are about to go. The outcome of a recent conference of industry leaders pointed towards the necessity of preparation if your business is to avoid falling behind.
The Future of Wireless Conference is a not-for-profit forum put together by Cambridge Wireless and this year’s meeting was held at the Muller Centre in Cambridge, UK. Keynote speakers included the likes of Bill McFarland, the Vice President of Technology for Qualcomm Atheros, Prof Christopher Bishop, a Scientist from Microsoft Research, Ronan Dunne, the CEO of O2/Telefonica UK and many more.
Do You Have a Plan for IoT?
Vice president of Telefonica Europe, Mike Short stated that if companies wanted to remain competitive as we shift into a world of connected devices, a switch-over plan would be critical. Factors such as supply chain management, logistics and sales distribution will play big roles and this will be especially true if we see a widespread adoption of driver-less vehicles earlier than expected.
The companies that make such plans will be the ones to pull ahead. Other considerations include social media, customer care and communicating ideas, information and data analysis.
Low-Power Energy Harvesting Devices
For many electronic devices of all types to be constantly connected to the Internet, they’ll need to be switched on. Not all devices typically plug into the mains, so battery power will play a key role. Power consumption for integrated circuits continues on a down trend and energy efficiency is improving in general, but is that enough?
Warren East, CEO of ARM believes that super low-power devices are the way forward and many will utilise energy harvesting technology of some kind. East stated in the conference that he felt energy efficiency will be one key to success in deploying billions of connected and communicating devices.
A Post-transaction Model of Sales
A final noteworthy point was made by a tech specialist from PwC, Rolf Meakin. With so much automation and intercommunication, a shift will be seen in the relationships businesses have with their customers. A transaction will no longer be about merely buying a product or service, but about businesses helping the customer to achieve the goals they bought that product or service for.
It’s proven that people are willing to pay more for good customer care and the shift in digital marketing in the past few years has increasingly put emphasis on businesses leading with value. The Internet of Things will mean these things get taken to a whole new level. The time to make that switch-over plan is now upon us.