The Future of IoT in The Consumer Space: Design Holds the Key
The development of the IoT industry can be clearly classified into two separate eras. The first one, often referred to as IoT 1.0 saw a massive boom in the use of IoT-enabled devices in the Industrial sector. Building upon the success of the IoT 1.0, we now have the IoT 2.0.
There are high hopes from the latest generation of IoT-enabled devices as research by Gartner predicts that in the next half a decade, i.e., by 2020, an average family would own around 500 network enabled devices.
The numbers by themselves sound a little incredulous right? But they’re backed up by the Ericsson report that claims that there would be 50 billion connected ‘things’ in the world at around the same time period. Now, in order to make these lofty numbers see the light of day, IoT has to expand rapidly into the B2C space, and there are quite a few hurdles in their way.
A Lack Of Communication Between Manufacturers And Customers
As the IoT industry has picked up the pace in the consumer space, there has been a run to occupy space for the virtual land grab. As a result, companies that had till now focussed mainly on the technical aspects of device find themselves serving their products to end users. However, one of the biggest factors for the success of a consumer product is design.
Not only are these products lacking in design, but they are also not providing a unified and simple user experience that the customers are looking towards. One of the primary culprits of this practice has been Revolv, a smart hub that had been the brainchild of Nest, now a Google Company.
Incorporating Design Into The Creative Process
To cross the huge gulf between consumer and enterprise products, the IoT device manufacturers need to keep a few things in mind so that they can deliver a comprehensive user experience rather than just a few technical specifications on one side of the box. We have listed the most important among them down below.
- Construct a team with designers who have a technical skill set to complement the engineers. The Team lead should ideally be a designer who can concentrate on the end user experience of the product.
- The focus should remain on what features the consumer really wants so that the product has a compelling reason to be bought and solves a problem that exists in the modern day world.
- Employ an iterative development process where the team of developers can continuously use the feedback from the consumers to provide a better experience.
The basis of IoT lies not in the initial investment from the consumer but the long term charges of using the services. Without a great design and a seamless experience, this long-term model begins to crumble thus re-enforcing the importance of evolution in IoT companies as they head towards a new future.