How Location Is Improving Brand & Consumer Experiences with IoT
September 26, 2017 | Contributed by: Nick Knellinger
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow and 45 billion connected devices are expected by 2023. With the Location of Things market predicted to be worth $71.6 billion by 2025, there’s no doubt that location data plays a key role in IoT. While the use cases of IoT are endless, here are four use cases where location can greatly impact IoT devices.
Connected home appliances are becoming increasingly popular in the consumer marketplace. Appliances such as fridges, ovens and washing machines are all becoming connected more than ever. But what is a smart appliance?
A smart washing machine for example, is Wi-Fi enabled and connects to an app that lets you control the machine remotely. The app allows owners to turn the machine on, monitor how much time is left in a wash cycle, and be notified when it’s done. Additionally, owners can receive notifications when the machine needs maintenance.
So where does location come in? Adding location to the app or machine itself makes the user experience seamless. For instance, when you need maintenance on a machine the company will know where the machine is located without having to make a phone call. Or if you move and take the machine with you, your location settings will update automatically within the company’s system.
In order to optimize for repairs and warranty information that is often not submitted, manufacturers have also found it valuable to append this location information to other sensor data to detect patterns and reduce costs. One example is an appliance manufacturer who spent millions trying to determine what was causing a part to malfunction. When they enabled anonymous location, they were able to determine patterns and discover that the fault was specifically impacted by altitude.
Asset tracking is another common use case for location. As shown in this video, location plays a crucial role in asset tracking. You can see where your assets are at all times, optimize routes to save time, reduce theft or loss and provide status updates to those expecting the asset whenever needed. Location allows you to actively manage your assets as opposed to passively managing them, giving you full control and knowledge of every step of the tracking journey.
The healthcare industry is poised to experience a monumental shift as a result of IoT in the coming years. According to Aruba Networks, 87 percent of healthcare organizations will adopt IoT technology by 2019. One area being impacted by IoT is preventative medicine. Devices created to monitor patient medicine intake – such as smart inhalers that measure dosage and frequency – aim to reduce acute care visits. While still in its infant stages, doctors using these devices can control a “feedback loop” and use the data to improve a patient’s health.
John Hancock offers a healthcare and insurance program that is redefining policies by introducing wearable data into policy considerations. The program requires policyholders to take a fitness test in order to achieve tailored health goals. These goals can be attained by easily logging activities using online and automated tools that are integrated into wearable devices. In fact, John Hancock gives every new customer a free Fitbit as an easy way to track their progress, marrying consumer and enterprise IoT data together.
While the future of the wearables industry has come into question, don’t mistake it for dead. Wearables is an evolving market and the wants and needs of consumers are changing. New takes on personal safety are coming from the wearables market, which are driven by location data. Take Occly, hereO or Athena, who all rely on location to send accurate information at a time when it matters the most.
In addition to the safety function, location adds another layer of context and user experience. In devices such as Garmin or TomToM, location not only lets you track where you’ve gone but also provides relevant information to make informed decisions about health or fitness goals. Location plays a key role and continues to be a necessary function.
As Karen Lewis of IBM puts it, location is a key element of a comprehensive IoT solution, one that can enable companies to both increase revenue and decrease costs. Adding location data as another data point for input into data analysis enables an organization to derive valuable insights which can lead to more informed decision making. As the Internet of Things continues to grow, so will the need for location to add an even better user experience.