Last week, craft ai team attended to the Connected Conference, in Paris May, 25th-27th.
This is not the first time craft ai participated to a conference about the Internet of Things (IoT), and this is definitely not the last one. There’s so much effervescence, even euphoria about connected objects that this can not stop now, it will continue to grow for many years...IoT still is a newborn.
The promises are so wide that this little young child will become a really important grown guy! This phenomenon will probably bring new opportunities thanks to the combination of hardware/software/services/communication…
Like the following chart, from Barbara Belvisi (Hardware Club) speech, shows we are still at the beginning!
Why is IoT all the rage?
New business models
The new objects involve new ways of making things. Thanks to the 3D conception tools, like those ones powered by Autodesk (principal sponsor of the Connected Conference) and 3D printing, it has never been easier to build prototypes before a large production. This new business segment will generate new revenues without altering the conventional production business.
In this context, cloud services make sense. To be accessible from the end user, the data must come from a place which is secured, scalable, etc. You will probably ask: Why does data/communication not come directly from objects? The answer is simple: it’s cheaper and safer to use cloud systems… although for sure it leads to more complex and less reactive routing.
Last but not least: Marketing! With all these data coming from the end user, “personal marketing” has never been made so easy and you surely know that this kind of marketing is extremely valuable!
End user appetite
Connected objects will give the user a brand new experiences and the feeling that he enters a new era where he can control almost everything. Even interactions with objects promise to be smoother with simple and useful UI and NLP/NLU (Natural Language Processing / Understanding) using for example wit.ai There are already extremely valuable use cases:
- Energy savings thanks to intelligent objects like the learning thermostat provide by Nest,
- Healthcare (monitoring, prevention, remote assistance…) with, for example, Withings,
- Lot of potential day to day assistants (using different data coming from web services). Finally there is a “Personal thing” effect. With such personal data and thanks to beautiful designs in connected objects, the relation with users will be “exclusive”.
As you can see the connected word is not overrated. IoT connects more than just objects to internet and services, it will connect people to services, services to objects and objects to people. Will it help connect people to people?
This virtuous cycle involves so many different synergies that we could even argue that this convergence was predictable (as in a lot of science fiction movies), logical (computer/software evolution) and expectable (based on use cases and needs). So everyone will adopt IoT!
For the moment, there are still some bumps on the road to these tremendous goals. The market needs to mature regarding:
- Objects themselves (design, autonomy, production…),
- Services (security, accessibility…),
- Use cases and value propositions.
That’s why conferences and meetups as well as accelerators and incubators are more and more successful. Protagonists need to learn from each other and collaborate. But only a few of them have a full vertical approach to solve customers needs/problems. Lionel Paillet’s, General Manager Europe at Nest Labs, speech about this vertical approach was insightful! This ex-Apple guy has a clear vision about making connected objects. According to him, a connected object is not just a sensor, a communication tool etc. The whole workflow needs to fit to users expectations and needs. In this case, the goal was to save energy with a learning thermostat. Nest (acquired by Google) designs services and objects to reach this goal. They know the importance of having a developers community to make their services even more robust, secured and complete. We can clearly see the Apple way of thinking which is, in my opinion, the only one which can make most of contributors/customers happy.
Let’s be pragmatic now and take a look back at technology history. Early adopters are technologists, the general public need more time to adopt high tech things. The current challenge: like NEST, IoT actors need to listen carefully to end users and to design for them, so masses can fully experience IoT.
PS. craft ai event!
We are presenting craft ai in a meetup at the Usine IO, hope we can meet you there.