Future Electronics – The IoT: the three reasons it is now at a tipping point


Amar Abid-Ali
Vertical Segment Manager (EMEA) Future Connectivity Solutions

If customers of Future Electronics are representative of the electronics industry at large, then the Internet of Things (IoT) is at or very close to the tipping point at which mass adoption will begin. Everywhere I go, customers are looking for help with the challenges of making their products into connected devices with the capability to interact with cloud servers.

This is no accident: three big trends are pushing OEMs to embrace the demands of the IoT.

First, consumers want ever more convenience. We expect everything to be controlled and available at a glance from our wrists or mobile devices. Led by the examples of Apple’s Siri® and Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition software, consumers now expect to be able to talk naturally to their devices and to use the voice to, for instance, turn on the lights, play a music track or place an online shopping order. This call for natural-speech voice control requires cloud connectivity as well as an increased level of sensor content.

Second, OEMs are looking for ever greater efficiency and reliability. Product quality is one of the most important attributes of a trusted brand, and the key to quality is continual improvement. OEMs are looking for the numerous small enhancements which will extend mean time before failure and improve reliability.

This in turn is driving interest in predictive maintenance, the practice of monitoring the operation of devices remotely, analysing patterns across a large population and gaining insights into the warning signs of imminent failure, and the underlying causes of it. To acquire this information from products in the field, OEMs need them to be connected, and equipped with a plethora of sensors measuring every critical function.

Third, markets are looking at new ways to monetise manufactured products. When a device is smart and connected, there is increased scope for generating revenue from it. This can result from improved operational efficiency, from the addition of support for new applications, or from the analysis of business intelligence about or from a large installed base of devices. For instance, smart connected streetlights equipped with environmental and other sensors can earn revenue from entities which are willing to pay for real-time, granular information about phenomena such as air quality, or density and flow of pedestrian traffic.

Put together, these three forces are creating a world marked by the ‘Intelligence of Things’, an emerging ecosystem in which data gathering, data analysis and other forms of machine intelligence proliferate everywhere.

Future Electronics, through its specialist Future Connectivity Solutions division, is able to help OEMs profit from this new Intelligence of Things. Through our partnerships with component and module vendors for wireless, sensor and security devices, with design houses and consultants, and with cloud service providers, we can help customers to commission a complete ecosystem to enable them to get to market quickly and with a minimum of risk.

Contact Future Connectivity Solutions through your local branch of Future Electronics to find out more.