A product managers guide to the Internet of Things

14th January 2014

If you’re a product manager, it’s not always easy researching and designing the next big thing for your company. There are numerous factors you have to consider. Who is the intended demographic? What are your competitors offering? How well does your product fit with your companies overall business model? Today we’re exploring the Internet of Things (IoT) and what it could mean for product managers.

The Internet of Things is a scenario in which people, animals or everyday objects are provided with sensors or unique identifiers, enabling data to be seamlessly transferred across a network with no human-to human or human-to-computer interaction. As an example, a thing could be an individual with a heart monitor or a pet dog with a geo location chip. It could be fridge that intelligently understands when your milk has run out and reminds you to stock up via your smartphone when you’re out getting groceries. Connectivity is now moving beyond mobile devices and staring to interact with and power billions of everyday devices and objects from fridges to home thermostats and parking meters.

From an operational and tactical perspective, the Internet of things (IoT) will account for a rapidly growing number of connected devices. There are currently 1.9 billion devices globally and this number is set to grow to a staggering 9 billion devices by 2018. This encapsulates all devices including smart TV’s, smartphones, tablets, desktop pc and wearable tech. The IoT will provide a new layer of sensors that enable richer interaction between devices that will eventually power government industries and B2C/B2B markets.

The IoT is represents a fundamental shift away from seemingly inert objects towards intelligent devices that include sensors equipped to interact with existing mobile tech such as smartphones and tablets. Many objects are already making this transition including home and kitchen appliances, heating products and lighting. Tomorrow we’re going to be looking at IoT in greater detail, covering things like intelligent marketing, connected traffic management systems and other practical ways in which the technology will affect your job as a product manager.

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