Every day we hear of new devices that are born into the Internet of Things. While some will come and go, we think there are some that stand out in the crowd. That will stand the test of time. Because they’re SMART, smart products with valuable solutions. Here are a few of our recent favorites: Amazon Echo: Meet Alexa. She’s the new Siri, but for your home. Using compatible devices and the Alexa Voice Service, you can play music, place Amazon Prime orders, and control […]

Pop quiz: when developing your first connected device for the Internet of Things, do you build a product that speaks to other products through: a) a home automation hub; b) the cloud; or c) a telephone landline so every time you connect it, you hear this: Back in 2014, the answer was a. That’s when Nest bought Revolv, which had created an expensive, but good, scalable, smart home hub for consumers. At $299 each, Revolv was the answer to home automation with a major selling […]

While connecting toasters, dog collars, and grills to the Internet of Things (IoT) has a lot to do with hardware, much of the IoT  is built around services. This means that brands get to level up their relationships with customers. Here are a few benefits of IoT that allow companies to make happy customers even happier with connected products: Remote access: with the ability to check the status of connected products, companies are able to fix issues without service calls or even returning the product […]

People are buzzing about the Internet of Things, and it’s hard to tell who’s bringing value to the conversation. It’s ok. We’ll tell you: Vala Afshar recently tweeted a helpful chart of recent Forrester research on IoT, and his oldie but goodie intro to IoT is still relevant. Michael Wolf is an industry analyst and creator of the Smart Kitchen Summit. And he knows a lot of people. Brad Russell at Parks Associates is monitoring IoT privacy and security like a boss. Chuck Martin regularly […]

It seems like everyone’s telling you what you should do to build your smart device, huh? Well, we are tired of that. Here are some things you SHOULDN’T do, besides the obvious—like build a smart jar for your whole-wheat flour. Oh wait. Somebody did. 1. Don’t just get new hardware. Sensors are great. As are meters, displays, and memory. But in order to make a connected device, you’ll need to think beyond those. Think of this mighty trio: hardware, software, and service. Instead of just […]

With the wave of newly connected devices, the industry is already seeing a huge increase in the need for support services. And you’ll win big if you do it right (we heart this scenario of some excellent IoT support!). A top-notch support program will decrease your time spent on issues that arise, reduce overall support costs, and automate support processes. This doesn’t mean it’ll take over human-to-human interaction—it enhances it. Lee Gruenfield at Support.com has a great explanation of how costs for support services can […]

What To Ask On the First Date (with potential IoT partners)

It’s official: your brand is ready to jump into the IoT (Internet of Things). You’ve run the numbers, you’ve set a clear business goal for your IoT solution, and now you’ve started researching who will effectively partner with you to meet these goals. Like all new business partners, you need to shop around. See who the players are and decide who will be the right fit for you. But how will you know who the right fit is when you hardly speak the IoT language? […]

3 Lessons For Brands From the Smart Kitchen Summit

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an arms race focused on disrupting incumbents and brands grabbing their share of a multi-trillion-dollar pie. If you’re an existing appliance manufacturer out to “win”  – or even stake a claim – in the IoT, you’ll need to reimagine your brand and seize the strategic advantages you have over late entrants and “disruptors” in your category (more on disruptors here).  For your brand to be successful in the IoT, you’ll need to 1) Build products people love AND have […]

3 Questions To Ask About Process Automation With IoT

The smart home is certainly a hot topic, yet the unsung—arguably geeky—hero behind it all is process automation. This is the actual programming within devices that allows user input to automatically spur an action within the device. (You can find a great explanation of the differences between IoT, connected devices, and automation here.) In order to make smart devices more mainstream, developers need to keep the excitement strong and hold the consumer’s attention by using automated processes, including automated updates and troubleshooting. Customers will demand […]

The Connected Kitchen: Reimagining Your Brand With IoT

Every day, it seems that there are dozens of new “smart” devices being announced for the kitchen—everything from grills to slow-cookers to coffee makers. So how does a known brand shift into this burgeoning space? The way we see it, there are three major hurdles to jump over: Showing customers how connected features will make their lives easier. Adding value beyond the interaction. Making sure the technology delivers. Major retailers are already investing a lot of money to get the IoT message across. Demos, videos, […]