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The world we live in is getting filled with intelligent, instrumented and most importantly interconnected devices. The era of Internet of Things is going to lead to a riot sort of scenario. Retailers, along with other Industries need to embrace and face the surge of information in (Retail Internet of Things) RIoT era.
As we know, there are already intelligent store shelves, integrated magic memory mirrors, interconnected electronic shelf labels, washing machines and printers enabled to trigger service calls and many more, we know all this is just the start and the biggest challenges would be to make sense of the enormous data generated from these interconnected device.
Interestingly, when we look back, the concept of smart devices came up decades ago in 1982, with a modified Coke machine at Carnegie Melon University, this vending machine was enabled to report inventory and temperature. However, the concept of IoT became popular only with Kevin Ashton’s Auto-ID labs in 1999 used RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification), use of electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects.
This concept with Auto-ID tags with the MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) protocol is being very actively leveraged for M2M connectivity. One of the emerging trends which is getting replicated into the consumer industry and private label manufacturers is the very way auto-manufacturers and auto retailers, focussed to increase brand loyalty and reduce costs are using the combination of PMQ (Predictive Maintenance and Quality), Maximo and Analytics Solutions with IOT platform to drive brand loyalty, enhanced customer experience and business benefits.
Most of the new cars today have sensors embedded in them, which feedback diagnostic data directly from the ECU (Electronic Control Unit), through a dongle in the OBD (On-board Diagnostics) port. Messages are sent through secure channels using MQTT from the vehicle to the auto-manufacturer. If the diagnostics predict an issue, the manufacturer is able to recommend and even book a service slot with franchise dealer. Details of appointment are being sent to vehicle owner via MQTT either to the in-dash app, or to the owner’s mobile. API (Application Programming Interface)are also built to provide franchise dealers with access to the auto-manufacturers integrated systems.
Scania has effectively implemented IoT offerings to improve communications between vehicle drivers and fleet owners. This has enabled fuel savings and most importantly contributing to supply chain transparency, the benefits of these have been very well received by customers.
Similarly, the Photon Star LED group has developed a wireless lighting system which provides optimized lighting based on the time of day and lighting requirements. This need-based lighting not only help optimize power usage but also integrate with the consumer lifestyle and gather data on electricity and lifestyle requirements.
The examples give a quick view on how IoT is already being leveraged towards enhancing brand loyalty, customer experience, enable supply chain transparency and drive operational efficiencies.
There are currently more than nine billion IoT devices already up and running. This number is growing at a phenomenal pace and will test the limits of programmable computing leading lead to a true “RIOT”.This gives organizations a great opportunityto “Outthink” and be the first to exploit this opportunity and information resource by leveraging Cognitive Solutions.
IBM’s focused approach on developing smart systems, industry specificcognitive solutions smart systems coupled with strategic acquisitions such as the The Weather Company is geared to help clients work with ecosystem partners to create opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into the digital world.
While the power ofIoT has yet to be recognized and tapped to its full potential, some leading organizations are enabling themselves with implementing cognitive solutions to make sense of the enormous surge of data and put systems and solutions to deliver relevant and timely business value, these forward thinking organizations, will boldly face the RIOT and emerge as champions.