What the ‘Internet of Things’ Means for Product Innovation

A Verizon lineman grips the strands contained in a fiber optic cable. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
A Verizon lineman grips the strands contained in a fiber optic cable. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
A Verizon lineman grips the strands contained in a fiber optic cable. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

(BRW) – A new era of product innovation is under way as more and more items are designed to connect to the “internet of things”.

With the internet of things, no product is an island. Any device can be assigned an IP (internet protocol) address that allows it to connect and talk with other “things”.

International Data Corporation predicts that 30 billion things will be connected to the internet by 2020 and that revenue from the internet of things will reach $US8.9 trillion ($9.54 trillion) the same year. We are already seeing excitement and adoption in retail, transportation, and insurance applications, as well as expansion into other areas such as manufacturing, utilities, government, banking, and health care.

As the internet of things becomes more widespread, how will it affect not just the types of products being made, but also the larger product development ecosystem? And what changes will manufacturers need to make to seize the opportunities that the technology creates?

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