GOOD NEWS: CONNECTED PRODUCTS JUST GOT CHEAPER
We were pleased to announce a few days ago our support of low-cost, low-power Wi-Fi chips by Espressif Systems. The highly integrated low-power Espressif ESP8266EX Wi-Fi chip was specifically engineered to make connected products economically feasible in mobile devices, wearable electronics and other lower priced IoT applications. In collaboration with our systems integration partner in China, Axalent Solutions, we’re delighted to be rolling out the Arrayent/Espressif solution in our first customer implementations later this year in China. (see our news release).
With this addition to our platform support, as our CEO Cyril Brignone pointed out we are striving to give our customers the flexibility they need to choose the embedded components that best suit their cost requirements for mass-market consumer home product across every price range. It’s actually great news that lower cost connectivity components are becoming more and more available, enabling Arrayent customers to bring new user experiences via IoT connectivity to lower cost “Things” where it was previously not commercially feasible.
AS THE COST COMES DOWN, THE BAR IS BEING RAISED
At the same time, it’s worth pointing out that even though the costs of creating connected products are coming down, the need for better connected products—with new compelling user experiences and product value—is only increasing
Although many consumer product companies have become a lot savvier about the transformational value of connected products, it’s still not unusual for us to still receive calls from CIOs who are being implored to implement an IoT project ASAP, but with no real business goals or customer benefits in mind.
We counsel our customers that just because you can connect a “Thing”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. It only makes sense to pursue a connected product project if that product becomes better for the user, better for the company, and on a roadmap that helps move the business towards its goals.
IS YOUR COMPANY READY FOR A CONNECTED PRODUCT WORLD?
With an Internet-connected product, companies can remotely monitor performance, usage and health. The acquired data can enable companies to detect potential problems, alert users, and ultimately improve their quality of the service. But companies should ask themselves whether they are ready for a world that creates an ongoing relationship with the customer. Here are a few of the questions we ask our customers to answer before they start an connected product program:
1. Why do you want to create a connected product?
2. What makes this connected product better for the user?
3. What makes a connected product better for the company?
4. Do you believe this connected product is more valuable than an unconnected one? If so, will it cost more? Or if it is not more valuable, why connect it?
5. As a manufacturer of products, are you ready for the ongoing relationship with the end user that a connected product implies? How will you leverage that relationship to create business value?
There are many opportunities for improved value for end-users and businesses that can be created by connected products. Arrayent produces an IoT Business Transformation Workshop™ that helps consumer products brands navigate the above questions, and many more. These workshops help crystallize project goals, align stakeholders, and ultimately define a connected product project that is truly greater than one that is not.
If you work at a consumer products brand and wish to know more about how we can help you accelerate your connected products program while reducing business risk, contact us. We’ll share with you the best practices we have developed and why Arrayent has been chosen by the world’s most trusted brands—like Whirlpool, OSRAM/Sylvania, Chamberlain, Maytag, and many more—to help them create their connected products.