The Secret to a Killer Connected Product

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December 5, 2012
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December 19, 2012
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Building a “connected product” superhighway is only half the battle. To have a winning product, you also need a great onramp.

As we all know, the single biggest challenge facing connected product manufacturers and retailers is cost. If we can make our connected products a low-cost, point-of-purchase decision for our customers, we can dominate the connected product market.

Unfortunately, many companies that are building connected products don’t seem to realize that cost is the biggest obstacle to their success. Take home security and home automation for example. These are great products, but market penetration for home security has been stuck at 20 percent for years now, and home automation has never been more than a niche market. Why? Major upfront costs and recurring charges.

We call this the onramp problem. These companies have great connected product superhighways (by “connected product superhighways” we mean fully-featured productive applications that make life better), but the major upfront costs and recurring charges act as expensive tollbooths and speedbumps that deter customers from getting on the road. To have a winning product, you need a great highway AND a great onramp.

Arrayent is changing all of that. Everything we do revolves around solving the onramp problem. When our partners bring their connected products to market, there are no $100 gateways, no $10 monthly fees to put customers off. By pushing complexity into the cloud, we can support Wi-Fi and 5$ BOM gateway designs, and can scale to support millions of devices. You get all of the perks of a connected device, with none of the extra overhead and unnecessary complexity.

For example, take Hunter Fan’s new Universal Internet Thermostat, powered by Arrayent. For $150, customers get the thermostat, a free smartphone app to monitor and control the thermostat, and lifetime access to the app. No major upfront costs, no recurring charges. At that price range, the thermostat is a direct competitor to non-connected thermostats, which helps Hunter Fan achieve genuine product differentiation.

We’re convinced that the companies that nail the onramp problem (like our partner Hunter Fan) are the ones that are really going to win their respective connected product markets. So, if you’re trying to drive down costs on your connected product initiatives, remember that nobody builds a reliable, low-cost onramp like Arrayent.

By Kayce Basques