The IoT at the Consumer Electronics Show

It’s that time again. CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, undoubtedly the biggest technology showcase in the world will no doubt deliver the latest and greatest innovations soon to be unleashed onto tech hungry consumers.

During the last few years the IoT  (Internet of things) has gone from whispered rumor to be the buzz word around the whole show, but what has it delivered so far apart from hype and excitement? Some would say not a lot, and the reason why is very simple. It’s not about the technology which already exists it’s about the use case which identifies what a connected device should deliver.

For example, a connected oven sounds convenient, being able to adjust cooking temperature whilst at the local bar sipping a cocktail, but someone has to put the food in the oven to begin with. Most of us that cook understand that there is more to it than timing and temperature to produce truly great food. How can you do this remotely? What master chef would risk leaving the Sunday lunch in the hands of an app that just manages the temperature of the oven?

It’s no doubt very cutting edge showing friends your latest oven app but what value does it really deliver? A simple temperature adjustment or on/off switch is not a strong enough use case. Today all ovens have on/off timers so no real new value  is delivered by a consumer having this on an app.

Until product developers and marketers are clear on the use case, otherwise known as value proposition then technology alone will not fly…. Even the big boys don’t always get this right.. Sorry google glass!

At the heart of commercial success, is understanding, what problem technology can solve for the user. Until such time that this happens and real value can be delivered to the consumers,  a simple IoT connected oven through an app, really won’t set the world alight or deliver global mass market penetration of IoT devices.

Maybe add more value to this solution by allowing the app to control more things or be part of a totally connected kitchen? Then we might be getting closer to mass market adoption but even adding a chain of appliances whilst making the product offering broader does not always add more value. At the heart of the success is understanding the answer to the simple question of what problem will/can this solution solve that is relevant i.e. needs to be solved for the consumer? Unless there is a compelling answer then technology will simply remain technology. Answering this question at nexo has been at the heart or our IoT development.

Let’s see what progress has been made at CES this year. Happy New Year