It was around 2013 when Koombea was hired by Samsung to help develop an interface that would allow users to connect their mobile devices to their TVs. It was one of our earliest IoT projects and very innovative at the time. Today, I look back at this experience and I can’t help thinking how much IoT has evolved.
Back then, being able to use your TV as the frontend of an app was a big deal. Since then, IoT has become more sophisticated. More devices are now able to connect to each other, creating networks of information and allowing new functionalities to be deployed. However, due to its rapid adoption, IoT has been a victim of its own success. Lots of people see it as something ordinary when in reality it should be seen as a game-changer technology. This has somehow slowed its innovations.
In this article, I would like to share with you some thoughts on how the IoT industry has changed, where it is right now, and where it seems to be heading. To use it properly, it is important to understand its real potential without trivializing it. Only by doing so, your company will be able to adopt IoT adequately into its strategy. Failing to understand it properly and integrate into your strategy may lead you to lose some great opportunities to innovate.
I know first-hand that many companies struggle to understand how this technology will evolve and how it can be implemented into their processes. If this rings a bell, then read on, and also check out our articles on how enterprises and innovative brands are using IoT for inspiration
The Early Days: From IoT TV to IoT Wearables
Connecting your mobile phone to a TV was like living in the future, although it is now seen as something trivial. As this technology became massified, it also became normalized within our culture. Just think of wearable tech.
When early wearable IoT devices came out, the world saw a new opportunity on how everyday objects could be used in revolutionary ways. Industries like MedTech and HiTech were some of the early believers. Now, we just take it as a given.
Take for example Footbeat, a MedTech product for which Koombea developed its mobile app. Through its scientifically designed and thoroughly researched insoles, Footbeat helps its users reduce foot pain, whether it comes from practicing a sport or from a medical condition. Users can monitor key biometrics using Footbeats together with their mobile devices thanks to a UX friendly app.
Another great example of IoT wearable technology that we take for granted is the Apple Watch. At Koombea we’ve had the chance to work on some apps for the Apple Watch, like our award-winning Flight Logger app. An excellent IoT app Koombea has developed for the Apple Watch is its Access digital key. It allows the Koombea Team to open doors, access the parking lot, and turn on certain devices like the elevator in Koombea HQ by using the app from an Apple watch or any mobile device. This has contributed to a secure and easy to move around work environment.
Although all these different devices and innovations seem normal to us now, we can’t forget that they have been developed in just a few years span. More importantly, we can’t lose track of how they will evolve in the coming years. Failing to do so might restrain the possibilities to implement IoT in innovative ways within your company.
The Present: IoT Infrastructure
Thanks to tools like ‘massive and critical beacons’, IoT can directly interact with all sorts of infrastructure. This allows us to control our surroundings in many ways. The most popular example of how IoT has evolved to interact with infrastructure is smart homes. Users can control many aspects of their homes directly from their mobile devices. However, this is not even close to this technology’s potential.
Many industries have started using IoT for complex tasks like optimizing and controlling their processes, from supply chain management to operations. One example is True-Access, a software developed by Koombea to give access and track individuals’ movements within medical facilities. With it, patients and medical staff can move freely towards their destination without having to register or request permission. This tool has helped medical staff increase productivity and solve security issues while complying with HIPAA and PCI rules.
However, more innovations like this have been slowed down because IoT is usually seen as something of its own. Infrastructure is seen as a component that works next to, rather than integrated with IoT. At Koombea we think the former is a wrong approach because it sees infrastructure and technology as two different things. The right approach towards IoT should consider it as an element of a larger system rather than as a system of its own.
As companies start approaching IoT as a key element embedded within the world, they will unwrap new opportunities. For this to occur, the IoT mentality must shift. This will be the defining characteristic of the future of IoT.
What’s coming: The Reinvention of IoT
We need to imagine what the future will look like and what it can offer rather than just sit and wait for it to arrive. It would be nice to say that we just need things to improve. However, we are at a historical moment where technology allows us to build a better world, improving that which does not work, and inventing that which does not yet exist. IoT will play a major role throughout this process.
Companies can’t just think about IoT as something that would be nice to have. On the contrary, there is a need to think of it as a strategic asset. Rethinking how it works needs to be at the core of every company’s strategy. IoT needs to be at the center of the changes we want in our near future, and it should not be trivialized. Businesses that are able to understand this will be the ones that outpace their competitors.
Build Great Things Using IoT
IoT has seen a great deal of innovation throughout its few years of existence. There is no question about its success or its potential, and yet, there seems to be uncertainty as to where it is heading. Uncertainties aside, we can be sure that the future belongs to IoT. More and more business processes will require it to operate at an optimal level and in new ways. This will require multidisciplinary knowledge and a great deal of creativity.
At Koombea we know that thinking about the future is a hard task. Luckily, our team is prepared to help you confront this challenge. Not only do we have the technical skills to implement IoT technologies within a wide range of industries. Thanks to our ideation process, we also have the capabilities to help you think about how your company can benefit from IoT in the long term. That’s why our clients think of us as a strategic partner rather than just a third-party outsourcing for software.
Our team of developers and designers is fully equipped to solve the problems that your company might face in the future. The important thing is that you don’t take for granted IoT. Let us help you build great things. Contact us to start building the future.