If you’ve ever tried to think about the world today without the internet, you know it’s certainly a difficult feat. With the transformation that the internet has had on connecting humans together, it’s hard to imagine backtracking and it’s only in its mid-twenties! When the Internet of Things came drafting behind (coined in 1999), we started seeing a similar dependency forming; we will soon be in a world where it is commonplace for devices to communicate with one another, just as it is intrinsic for humans to do so today.
Given its increasingly understood benefits to efficiency between “things”, it would only be natural then that IoT would creep into the business world. Devices that are minimal and cost-effective have already been shown to give business tremendous growth and agility. Thinking simply about Square and how its technology changed retail forever is an easy hallmark of this day and age of IoT in the workplace.
So how is it changing the business landscape these days? With the birth and development that technology ‘hybrid’ companies like an Amazon, Cisco, even Bosch (appliances) have been demonstrating, it’s clear that their products, logistics, offices, efficiencies (and on..) are getting boosts from IoT on a daily basis.
IoT Consumer Electronics Change the Landscape
As IoT begins to grow, businesses that stick to the old way of doing things will surely be falling behind to those that adapt. As a great example, Bike Lane, a bustling Houston bike shop, has started integrating RFID into their workflow; this helps them achieve more efficient tracking of inventory and managing of repairs. This, in effect, has boosted sales and immensely saved on labor costs.
Behind each contactless credit card transaction, pet tracking collar, and electronic toll payment is RFID. With the ability to track the (local) whereabouts of each RFID chip, it becomes a no brainer to hear that so many are implementing this system into large and small businesses alike.
IoT will assist business further than just RFID. The following areas are good examples of what could be impacted:
Staffing: Automated office environments, customer service, and resource management are just a few items that will impact the way HR allocates business in the future.
Data: Flowing out of every pore of each device we implement, we’ll have exponentially more data on products, services, and interactions. This will give key insights into how to more efficiently move from point to point.
Inventory: Such as the example above, IoT devices will assist in logistics, inventory management, maintenance, and fulfillment.
Customer Facing: We’re already seeing products that notify us that they are in need of repair long before we would have known; check out Tesla’s over the air repairs. This will slowly become the expectation from customers, will your product know when it needs to be repaired?
Increasing Office or retail efficiency can not only assist in your business’ efficiency, but also the experience of the customer.
Office or Retail Efficiency
IoT devices help in more than just your physical product or service, they can greatly impact your office or retail environment efficiency nearly immediately.
Amazon Dash Buttons: Although still in its infancy, dash buttons could save your office manager time and effort in the event that they find themselves constantly ordering batteries, snacks, drinks, and more.
Nest Thermostat: Another immediate boost to office efficiency could come in the form of smart thermostats. With the ability to know when folks are coming and going, you’ll no longer need to worry about the added costs of inefficient heating.
Smart Light Bulbs: Along the same lines as smart thermostats come smart light bulbs. These come in a similar fashion with their ability to be programmed to turn on and off based on when people are around or have left for the day. Again, these will potentially save business tons in operating costs.
These are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come. Any office items you can think of that could use an IoT lift is almost guaranteed to be in development as we speak.
Customers who can access more data about your products or services will be more confident when making purchasing decisions.
Due to the fact that nearly everyone on the planet has a smartphone nowadays, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the ability to connect customers to real-time promotions, inventory, and even customer service is already here and going to stick around.
As a result of this drastically connected customer base, expectations of these customers are changing as well. Folks now expect to have access to any and all product-related information from the touch of a button. The businesses that don’t offer this amount of connectivity will surely be surpassed by those who do.
Additionally, the service industry will be impacted by these expectations. An on-site auto repair company may employ tracking features that allow folks to see ETA’s of their repairman; similar to what Uber’s platform gives customers. The more data the customer has access to the more informed they will be, and the more comfortable they will feel in making a purchasing decision.
Understanding that the world of business is changing rapidly and with great momentum should be a wakeup call for the businesses falling behind the curve. ‘Adapt or die’ is becoming more and more of a true statement with the changes.
As we’ve seen with the ‘Internet of Humans’, this technology will become more and more rooted in our society and people will soon simply expect connectivity to be present in each ‘thing’ they interact with.
However, no matter how complex the technology seems to be coming along, implementation has never been easier. Either purchasing a reasonably priced device or designing a new device based on reference designs of those who have paved the way, you can easily catch yourself up to speed when entering the world of IoT.
Understanding the role that PCB design software can have in IoT consumer electronics enables smarter design choices and product management. With OrCAD PCB Designer, you’ll have the layout tools you need to design, place, and optimize a circuit board for the IoT architecture you’re working on.
If you’re looking to learn more about how Cadence has the solution for you, talk to us and our team of experts.