After years of niche applications and highly specialized use cases, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) is on the verge of becoming one of the most impactful emerging technologies that promise to open up new economic sectors of activity. It will leave an indelible mark on nearly every vertical industry, creating new ways for products and services—at both consumer and industrial levels—to interact with individuals, the cloud environment, and potentially thousands of applications. It will turn many products into services while extending the value and use cases of many offerings.
The Evolution of IoT
Several trends are converging to launch IoT into the mainstream of our digital lives. Advances in processing power, automation technologies, and intelligence have evolved tremendously over the past decade. In addition, the cost of sensors has come down while the ability to connect multiple devices to centralized hubs—particularly in the cloud—is transforming our world. The average price of IoT sensors declined from $1.30 in 2004 to $0.44 in 2018. Notwithstanding the current supply chain issues affecting the market today, this trend is expected to continue as we move through the rest of the decade.
The growing momentum behind IoT speaks to the power of standards—and the internet protocol in particular—as a force for integration that creates opportunities for brand new value propositions to emerge.
"The biggest difference between where we are today and where we were five years ago is that IoT is increasingly seen as a mainstream technology that is accepted as an important part of the fabric that defines our digital lives," says Girish Naganathan, chief technology officer with Technicolor Connected Home. "As a result, we are seeing many applications emerge in areas like building management, energy efficiency, industrial IoT, and connected spaces."
According to Naganathan, it is important to understand the two conceptual areas of potential growth—brownfield and greenfield development—as different players in the rapidly evolving IoT ecosystem enter the market.
"Brownfield development refers to any form of software created on top of legacy systems to coexist with other software that is already in use. These products have been in production for decades. It offers the ability for IoT sensors to be bolted on to existing areas of economic activity to create new incremental streams of value, generating new revenue or improving customer satisfaction. We see this in applications that integrate IoT capabilities into legacy operational technologies (OT) to alert users and manufacturers that a system is about to fail and proactively trigger a service call," he says.
A good example of brownfield development in IoT-enhanced durable goods—like air conditioners, refrigerators, and automobiles—which are high-value, high-cost products that have been the bread and butter of the global manufacturing economy. The mainstreaming of digitization and service-enablement is transforming these major consumer investments.
"Greenfield development, on the other hand, refers to IoT applications that are created from scratch in totally new environments," explains Naganathan.
"Without the constraints of legacy technologies, entirely new product lines, and even markets, are being designed with internet connectivity as a central element in the value proposition. This area of IoT activity is fundamentally changing user experiences. Connected appliances—like thermostats, smart locks, and TVs—are clear examples of greenfield IoT projects."
Both categories of development offer opportunities to serve current and emerging consumer needs, which is why, according to Naganathan, companies, like Technicolor, are positioning themselves to develop intelligent devices for new and existing applications in homes and places of work.
Leveraging IoT in the Connected Home
Connected home applications have been among the first environments in which IoT has been leveraged to create new revenue streams and differentiation. IoT is playing a central role in transforming home gateways and set-top boxes that capture and manage broadband traffic for in-home consumption. These devices are evolving from supporting proprietary single-function applications devices to platforms that manage a wide array of complex services within the home. It is unleashing new economic activity that is being enhanced by new innovative services in the cloud.
As industry verticals begin to expand operations to include IoT applications and services, companies with the experience of supporting IoT connections in the home will be among leading innovators for emerging opportunities in the enterprise and industrial sectors. For other enterprises, leveraging IoT applications requires that enterprises understand the purpose of IoT and have a clear grasp of their own unique objectives—such as improving operational efficiencies, providing value-added services, creating new business models or expanding warranty services and support.
"IoT opens up a whole world of new business models, technologies, and services to create integrated experiences that are intuitive and secure. In this sense, IoT is a team sport, no single enterprise can deliver the full promise of IoT on their own.That is why it will be so important to forge and nurture long-term IoT relationships that integrate complex technologies and go-to-market strategies over the months and years to come. It will be the key to creating the frictionless experiences that business and consumers increasingly expect and demand," Naganathan concludes.
For an interview with Technicolor Connected Home’s CTO, Girish Naganathan, discussing emerging trends in enterprise IoT applications visit:
To attend an upcoming discussion on December 1 at 12:35 pm EST when Girish Naganathan will be talking about IoT and connected spaces visit: