How many non-human things in your home talk to one another? I saw a commercial where a man, busy with laundry, asked Alexa to tell the Delta faucet to fill the dog bowl. Oh the convenience! Smart technology saves energy. This can be our time spent performing tasks, money and resources or electrical, water and gas waste. People are spending more time at home and less time interacting with other humans. The number of IoT devices will soon surpass the human population. As we prefer to have less human-to-human contact these days in order to stay safe, how many things in our lives can the internet control?
What is IoT?
Internet of Things (IoT) devices support the expansion of internet connection beyond the usual standard devices like computers, laptops, smartphones, etc. These IoT devices are purely integrated with high definition technology to communicate or interact over the internet. Types of IoT devices can include wireless sensors, software, actuators, and computer devices. Plus, they can be embedded into mobile devices, industrial equipment, environmental sensors, medical devices, and more. A sensor does not make a product or technology part of the “Internet of Things”, it’s all about creating a holistic experience for the end-user.
The Internet of Things acts as a key component to the daily operations of companies in several industries, such as fitness, agriculture, and fashion. Inventors have even begun using AI to analyze metrics about farmers’ crops and even weather patterns to make predictions. The fashion world is also getting into the IoT game. Nike allows you to design your own shoe before ordering. Another service, Trunk Club behaves like a personal fashion assistant, a luxury typically reserved for the rich and famous that’s becoming available to all thanks to the IoT.
Smart Home Devices
Smart appliances provide user-friendly technology and improve overall efficiency in our everyday lives. Security devices, like the Nuki smart lock or the Ring doorbell, can give homeowners peace of mind. You can check the camera in your refrigerator while grocery shopping or raise the thermostat from under the covers of your bed. Or the washing machine can text you to move your clothes to the dryer. If you want to enhance your cooking skills, there is a smart gadget for you. A lack of imagination may be the only limit.
Fitbit has been around since 2007 and the Garmin wearables before that. We have moved beyond these personal devices to other exercise equipment that bring the workouts to our home.
Fitbit has been around since 2007 and the Garmin wearables before that. We have moved beyond these personal devices to other exercise equipment that bring the workouts to our home. Mirror brings certified trainers from the country’s top fitness studios to provide motivation and live feedback right into your living room. The Peloton Bike comes with a screen that allows you to connect to real-life classes hosted by fitness trainers. Therefore, sales during the pandemic have skyrocketed with gyms closing nationwide.
Small Business IoT Devices
Smart business owners can take advantage of the opportunity to improve their costs, sales, and customer service by introducing IoT. Smart tech can help save the planet , as well as, save on labor costs. Your printer can order ink and toner when low without an admin. Chatbots for customer service, smart lighting to save on utility costs, and digital assistants are a few examples of tech trends for the business sector.
Digitally connected IoT products can improve the unique customer experience of each business. We are in a new age of contactless service at an increasing rate. Thus, the user experience must be geared at empowering the customer. The ease of use is important when shopping for products through an app or using your phone to pay at the register. Products can be engineered to address health and safety, new revenue opportunities, or analyze customer behaviors, among other focuses.
Designing for Smart Technology
It is possible to integrate tech without sacrificing design but it can be difficult. You must build with the context in mind and the user who will be experiencing the product. Design Engine trains in SOLIDWORKS and other CAD packages to both designers and engineers to communicate with one another for a successful end product. More often than not, the design is determined by mechanics and electronics within the IoT device. After all, we want it to look cool too.