It's Services, not Devices, that Make the IoT Cool

New tech devices may get headlines, but it’s the solutions they provide that grant real benefit. Wearables and The Internet of Things (IoT) work the same way. While new devices may be cutting edge and cool to play with, their true value is in the end result. That’s easier to recognize when the product itself stinks like, for example, a smart trash can. It’s business may be garbage but the service it provides certainly isn’t.

This smart can, integrated with sensors, is able to alert city workers when it’s ready to be emptied. That doesn’t sound as impressive as some of the IoT Award winners in 2015/16, but for cities that are strapped for cash, (and, let’s be honest, how many cities can afford to not be cost conscious these days?) it’s a technology that has massive potential.

By communicating with utility services, garbage pickups are able to avoid unnecessary stops. This in turn reduces fuel costs. In an interview with TechCrunch, Tim Wolf, the Global Director of Marketing for Smart Grid Solutions at Itron, discussed the product’s benefits.

“The garbage app reduces energy costs by 50% to 60%. That’s not pie-in-the-sky — those are real savings for real cities that can make them even more livable and enjoyable for residents,”

In the same TechCrunch article, the author goes on to discuss how going green is no longer about things like solar energy or electric cars, but about connected devices that are allowing consumers to save energy through efficiency. Nobody cares about a smart trash can, but saving money is something we can all take satisfaction in. If efficiency can be found in trash pickup it can be found almost anywhere.

We spoke about one such example on the blog a few months ago with regards to emergency rooms and big data, but hospitals are also using IoT technology to save money on energy costs and ensure they have the needed supplies on hand whenever they may be needed. Again, these are examples of substance over style and how the IoT is more about the service provided than the device that’s used.

It’s why an innovative touchscreen would be irrelevant without a powerful service platform that’s driving it. It’s why we at Dickson think of ourselves as a SaaS provider more than a device manufacturer. It’s also the reason why we’re always keeping an eye on the future. What we learn together today could bring the next best temperature monitoring solution for you tomorrow. That’s a stink free future we can all look forward to.