Tackling the Usability Issue in the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most rapidly evolving sectors in the tech industry. By 2020, there’s expected to be almost 25 billion working devices throughout the world. Data from coast to coast being transmitted constantly between one another, analysed, broken down, and acted upon. It’s no surprise that this rapid growth has left a little to be desired when it comes to usability. Luckily, some companies are tackling that issue head on.

Integration

“There’s an app for that” is a saying that’s grown in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. Chances are, whatever you’re looking for, you likely could find an app for it. Need to find your phone? There’s an app for that. Need a good, local restaurant? What about food delivered? You need it, your phone’s got it. The same is likely to be true for many IoT-enabled devices.

Without a way to interact with your device on an instantaneous level, you’re severely hindered. Imagine you’ve got a smart home. You’ve got smart lights and a smart clock installed in it. For these items to be useful, you’ve got to have a way to interact with and change certain settings. For instance, what wattage you’d like your lights at in each room, the brightness, etc. The same is true for your clock. If you’re out for most of the day, it can rest during those hours.

Creating a ‘hub’

Having one place where you can do everything is just as important. Companies are starting to focus more on “one-stop-shopping” and for you, and the IoT, that’s a great thing. The more the IoT grows, the bigger an issue this becomes. After all, I wouldn’t want to have to go through a dozen different apps or portals to make changes to my clock, lights, car, and everything else.

By putting all of these different apps in one place, you get a fast, reliable, singular place to tend to all your needs at once. Just look at our phones. Twenty years ago, they were simply made to make calls. Ten years and they were for calls and texts. Now, they’re a multimedia device for anything from journals to searching the web to playing games. The same, in time, will be true of the Internet of Things.

Creating new partnerships between companies

Creating that hub discussed above has a big impact on companies, too. By having to collaborate between each other, two companies which might’ve never needed to interact before could very well form a strategic partnership. How does the consumer?

For one, costs will go down. If a company has less work to do thanks to this partnership, they can decrease their prices. Less time spent developing also gives more time to other issues like improvements, bug-fixing, and user-friendliness.

It can also lead even further to new technologies all together. When companies begin sharing information and working together, huge strides can be made. Just look at the space industry if you don’t believe me. Boeing, Lockheed, Orbital ATK, and SpaceX are sharing knowledge and other resources to all reach a common goal.

The more the Internet of Things grows, the more crucial each of these points become. With 2020 just around the corner, there’s no signs of the IoT slowing down. Consumer-focused devices are an important step in the right direction.

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