What is the Internet of Things?

IoT, or Internet of Things, refers to physical devices that are connected to the internet. Thanks to technological advancement, anything can now be a part of the IoT bandwagon including your watch, television and even your refrigerator. But everybody is talking about IoT for more reasons than its omnipresence. From personal assistance to business opportunities, IoT means data collection and sharing anywhere, anytime.

Why is everybody talking IoT?

1. Smart Products

Products are getting smarter, your phone is no longer a device you use to make calls, thanks to the internet, it does a lot more than that. Once a device is connected to the internet, an array of possibilities open up. Internet lends them intelligence and makes them smart. Your refrigerator can now send alerts to your phone and prepare your grocery list for you. It can also automatically place online orders. As the concept of IoT catches the wind, it will be very interesting to see what the internet-enabled future will look like.

2. Smart Businesses

IoT also enables devices to collect and process real-time data, helping businesses make smart operational decisions. Sensors are placed in the production line and sometimes even in the finished products to monitor product performance. Real-time data on product breakdown and the possible cause can help companies improve their product, install preventive maintenance and set up automatic updates. Sensors placed on the production line help identify production bottlenecks and can trigger automatic supply orders based on the trends analysed around the raw material usage. IoT is definitely facilitating growth and innovation, provided that the businesses are using it right.

3. Smart Customer Service

IoT is revolutionizing customer service and how. Product failures can now be predicted even before they take place, presenting businesses with an opportunity to fix the product or service before the actual breakdown. Thus paving way for exceptional customer satisfaction. This constant product monitoring has been possible because of the ever-connected ecosystem of sensors, devices and data processing systems. For example, some airports are using computer vision and machine learning to improve customer experience. These smart sensors can identify rush hours, broken escalators, waiting room traffic and other inconveniences thus help airports respond quickly and resolve these problems.

What’s the bottom line?

IoT is here to stay, with equal advantages for consumers and businesses alike. The IoT wave is rising quickly and businesses across industries are now presented with a plethora of opportunities to be innovative especially with their customer service. The opportunity cost of IoT is huge and businesses can choose to either use it or lose it.