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Iot Connected Products and Services

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Examples of Connected Solutions, Products and Ecosystems

Companies are strategically implementing IoT access into its product base to meet a growing consumer demand and remain competitive in the marketplace. Products in all market segments are being ‘connected’ to improve customer accessibility, efficiency, and satisfaction. Additionally, companies can leverage these smart products to gather insight on product usage to improve its attributes and ultimately, increase sales. As technology continues to develop and connected products become more prevalent and integrated, examples can be seen from a business to consumer perspective, business to business and in terms of a connected ecosystem.

An example of a connected consumer product (B2C) is the Whirlpool Smart Front Control Range. Foremost, Whirlpool's new Smart Front Control Range is integrated with Yummly recipe application to incorporate finding recipes with cooking functionality. Consumers can select from a database of recipes and send the cooking instructions directly to the appliance including timing, pre-heating instructions and step-by-step recipe instructions. The range also includes voice control capabilities with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.  The Scan-to-Cook technology will help ensure the right settings every time as consumers can scan the UPC barcode on select frozen food packages in the Whirlpool mobile app and the appliance will cook accordingly. The range includes multi-step cooking capabilities and remote start functionality allowing users to begin cook settings using a smartphone or tablet.  The primary value add of this connected product is to optimize the user’s efficiency by removing routine steps and ultimately, making mealtime faster and easier. The concept behind this product is to reimagine mealtime with technology that helps families navigate unexpected moments that arise while cooking. Additionally, consumers can prepare meals in advance and have the oven pre-heated from their device so that it is ready once they arrive home. In an unconnected world, cooking is possible and recipes are still accessible. However, this range combines the two applications and makes it easier and more efficient for busy consumers. In an unconnected world, you cannot pre-heat the oven until you arrive home, pushing mealtime out further and reducing efficiency. Additionally, cooking recipes are not prompted by the oven itself and the consumer has to manually ensure the recipe is followed.

Additionally, an example of a connected enterprise product or service (B2B) is Samsara, a company focusing on logistical solutions through its connected products and services. With over 5,000 customers worldwide and over 450 employees, the company bases runs its operations in San Francisco, San Jose and London. Samsara applications are utilized in various industries, including: construction, transportation, government, schools, passenger transit, and food and beverage. This start-up company creates GPS trackers and sensors and transmits data to fleet managers to ensure operations are running effectively and efficiently. The Samsara IoT data platform provides assistance with energy monitoring, asset utilization, and vehicle tracking. Additionally, Samsara offers remote and power monitoring and other features like dash cam, GPS tracking, temperature sensors for cold chain and trailer tracking. These sensors enable fleet management companies to know where their drivers are at all times, route times, fuel efficiency and reports unsafe driving. Currently, Samsara focuses on transportation and fleet services, however these sensors could also be used in factories for tracking real-world data to improve efficiency. Samsara also plans on collaborating with companies like Flexport that track inventory through its logistical chain by providing the IoT and sensor products to support the tracking application. Samsara is combating its sensor rivals by  providing a more comprehensive integration of products that wraps into a single layer of software. The Samsara product also acts as a wifi hotspot to enable drivers to connect to their work device. Ultimately, the added value of the connected sensors and its associated software is to improve the safety, efficiency, and quality of customers’ operations. For example, a company can track various aspects of a vehicle during its transportation route to preemptively identify problems in the vehicle. In an unconnected world, companies were unable to track where their fleet vehicles were in the field, driver safety and efficiency and easily identify problems in the vehicle.  Additionally, utilization and efficiency reports were manual and could be to an extent manipulated by the driver. Without the Samsara software, the dispatcher had to manually contact the driver and determine the best route as customer demands and inventory requests rapidly change. The Samsara software takes into account live traffic patterns and notifies the driver through their tablet of the optimal route and new dispatches.  



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