What can we do to increase the value of IoT?
We are living in the era of Internet of Things (IoT). Almost every field of industries is doing business related to IoT, including smart bracelets and even smart refrigerator! People connect everything to the concept of IoT. But to create an IoT business is harder than we expect. It takes a lot of effort for industries to incorporate the daily life into the Internet, and, imaginably, it is even harder for hardware companies to break barriers into the industry of IoT.
The Creation of API for the Improvements of Smart Devices Connections
IoT has been the most hyped business since 2014, and the cloud platform Kii Cloud has be cooperating with many IoT teams in China, United States and Taiwan. For example, BeLuvv and Rooti are two of Taiwan’s smart device teams that share lots of information in this industry together with Kii. From past experiences, Kii discovered a common problem existing in IoT industry: the collections of data are in fact hardly be applied and used. The Chief Business Officer of Kii in Greater China region, Tang Ying quai, raised a problem that may also be questioned by many people in Taiwan. “Do you believe that the single kind of popular smart bracelet, which collects around 10 thousand personal information, can really represent consumers’ habits and preferences in the whole market?”
Kii learned a lesson from this concern: the data sharing and the interactive connections of various instruments are the current trends of IoT market, but in Taiwan, as IoT market is still in the developing stage, we have much room for improvement. “In the past, it would take two companies more than half year to incorporate the different format data together in order to connect their equipment together via the Internet. So we thought of a standard platform, known as Application Programming Interface (API), to enable all kinds of equipment to achieve the real interactions and connections.” Said by Tang.
With the idea, Kii and BrightStar Corp., a subsidiary of Japanese Softbank Company, launched SPACE, an IoT ecosystem alliance, together in May this year. SPACE offers API for hardware companies to incorporate and communicate with clients or to share data together. It also provides useful functions such as cloud client managements and data analysis. So far, lots of companies including Toshiba, Yankon and Rooti are all members of SPACE.
The platform not only opens API to hardware industries, including conventional and electronic equipment industries, helping them into the IoT market, but also promote various IoT products. Tang also mentioned that lots of start-ups own great and creative ideas, but due to lack of resources, they face relatively difficulties on sales of IoT products. Therefore, SPACE has built nearly 50 thousands various marketing accesses from traditional channels to e-commerce platforms in order to broadly promote start-ups’ innovative products into the market.
“The next leaders of IoT will most likely be in Asic-Pacific Area,” Tang said, “after decades of efforts, we have strong and solid experiences in OEM, ODM and R&D and also the skills on the hardware manufacturing. With those advantages in IoT industry, the next step to work on is educating consumers and promoting the service.” As one of the members in IoT industry, he noticed that almost everyone has certain understanding about IoT, and the first users of IoT products (e.g. sponsors of Kickstarter) are into information collections and also willing to try something new. But for most people, IoT is still the whole new field, and therefore, SPACE would like to deliver IoT products to the public through familiar methods including traditional channels and cellular operators.
The Next Goal: Data Sharing
In the current market, we can find that products are becoming IoT, such as door lockers and refrigerators – it is a good start that the public can learn the concept of IoT from their daily life. However, most vendors are still in the process of collecting data but unable to make an effective decision from the data analysis. For example, smart bracelets are able to remind users to exercise, to calculate the consumption of calories and to measure blood pressure, etc. But as the bracelet are worn for the purpose of “reminding”, it cannot in fact have the real impact on changing users’ behavior or to motivate people.
“If different equipment can interactively connected, for instance, the smart bracelet I am wearing receives the record of my today’s exercise and my water bottle, which receives data from the bracelet, then reminds me to drink more water. Furthermore, the collected data will be sent to the weight scale to evaluate my current body condition. By this connections of different devices, users can received more hidden information, smart devices would become more useful”, said by Tang.
To solve the current challenge of IoT, the next goal is to build data sharing. “After the development of Big Data, we must focus on “interoperability”, mentioned by Vice Business Director of Kii in Greater China region, Tu yi chung, in this year’s IDEAS show. By sharing the data together, manufacturers and designers are able to better analyze consumers’ preferences and create the IoT products that can better satisfy the needs of users. “We believe that the idea of data sharing will provide consumers a better experience on smart devices,” said by SPACE’s team.
Besides IoT products implemented in household and health-related field, IT Robotics Lab has tried to launch smart greenhouse box that collects the data of the plant’s optimized growth environment. IoT can provide different uses for us. Understanding the need of creative ideas in the industrial transformation, SPACE team hope that their efforts on API standardization and data sharing can assist different industries to have easier accesses to the IoT market.
中文版連結photo credit : Space