The past few weeks, this blog has focused on defining and providing examples of IoT. This week, we’ll turn our attention to IoT Ecosystem Design.
What is an IoT Ecosystem?
As we discussed last week, we’re entering a new era in which once everyday, silent things (like faucets and watches) are now able to communicate and collaborate. These things are the hardware of IoT– the most visible component – but they are hardly the whole story. In fact, these things are supported by a complex, hierarchical, multi-layered ecosystem that transmits, interprets, and acts upon data that hardware gathers.
The image below provides an example of an IoT ecosystem in action:
Here you can see how IoT sensors act as a capture mechanism, collecting data and sending it to the Cloud. From there, the data can be integrated into software for aggregation and analysis, and then into a machine learning engine that can synthesize the data and output a specific action based on the data.
IoT and the Law of the Jungle
It turns out that IoT ecosystems act a lot like naturally occurring ecosystems. Members share and compete for resources, they collaborate together, and each plays a role in the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem. They’re also both subject to the law of the jungle. In IoT, as in nature, only the strong will survive.
One of the most important considerations for building strong IoT ecosystems is the User Experience (UX). Developers creating IoT ecosystems have to account for thousands of other things collaborating, communicating, and competing for user attention. That’s why, instead of a conventional approach where development is the ruling element, IoT ecosystem design needs to lead with empathic design. This puts the end user and all stakeholders first. It is the powerful driving element which determines and gives meaning to technical and project-specific objectives, and which shapes overall success. Excellent UX design will ultimately mark the difference between those that survive and those that go extinct.
If you'd like to discuss how we can design an IoT ecosystem for your business, reach out or contact us directly for more information:
Join us back here next week as we talk about the next frontier of Voice Integration Services.
UI/UX Designer at DVmobile, Men-at-Work fan, and 3D printing guru.