While predictions regarding the size of the IoT (Internet of Things) market project an industry that is larger than the gross national product of most countries, it’s often difficult to understand what is actually driving revenue growth for companies contributing to this phenomenon.
The mere act of connecting things ─ to each other, to systems, and to people ─ still feels amorphous, even as we see the skyrocketing growth of consumer products such as Nest, Hue, Fitbit, Flip 2 and Cocoon. Some of the simplest ideas are the most convenient for consumers, including Amazon’s “Dash Button” which enables a consumer to add this small connected device to their washing machine, and press the button when they need detergent shipped to their doorstep.
A few weeks ago at a special event in NYC, T+ink previewed a new way for consumers to become part of the IoT with “one touch” – using our patented Touchcode technology to turn the process of finding an expert in a retail store into a simple act of touching their smartphone to a conductive ink enabled card, essentially transforming an ordinary shopping experience into a personalized shopping experience with live interaction.
We demonstrated to attendees of the Kandymobile NYC gathering at the Lightbox how a consumer in a “Big Box” store could simply tap a product card to their mobile device to reach a live expert in that product category. Touchcode’s technology with Kandy’s real time communications platform, makes getting something done simpler and more satisfying.
Simplicity and convenience are the key visions for the next generation of IoT applications. In the future, consumers will be able to “shop in 3D” with the convenience of being able to get their questions answered quickly and accurately with the new Touchcode instant live expert solution for retail, which was co-developed with Vizicom, a systems integrator also part of the Kandy ecosystem:
- Consumers can reach an expert in seconds based on the products they have selected
- Retailers can provide hundreds of experts from remote locations, and not risk losing customers to online options
- Brands can reach consumers directly when they provide the live expert, as was the case in our demo
Our solution can also integrate with retail POS and e-commerce systems, so that when a consumer is “sold” on the product, the live expert can arrange to have the products available at the check out for “immediate gratification” or delivered overnight to the customer.
Additional benefits include the availability of extremely valuable behavioral data and customer preferences – not only what the customer bought or didn’t buy, but other options the customer looked at, questions they asked, requests for features, etc.
While our demonstration used business card sized cards (which consumers can take with them to trigger future conversations with an expert from their home), we’re working on other form factors, including packages that are printed with our conductive ink, or “printed electronic” signatures so consumers need only to “touch the package” to reach an expert. We’re also developing fixed solutions that integrate into retail display units that customers can interact with.
When the IoT becomes more consumer accessible, we have the opportunity to enhance customer-product intimacy ─ a key value driver for the retail industry.
However, what is necessary for sustainable and scalable growth in the world of IoT is industrial-quality solutions. No IoT solution will result in profitable revenue without an “industrial mindset.” Solutions must support millions of transactions and be able to use that data in innovative ways to improve the customer experience and simultaneously benefit the retailer and the brands.
(Originally posted on the Kandy.io blog)