Trust and business models will make all the difference
The level of user trust in digital technology and the ability to monetise are the two main variables shaping the development scenarios for the consumer IoT market, and likely to evolve quite rapidly. Trust, which today is relatively weak, is proving a major hurdle for these markets. The collected data are far more sensitive than general web data: piracy could result in loss of control over a connected product, rendering it unusable and possibly dangerous. Trust could be increased by incorporating security solutions and with a more protective (or stringent) regulatory framework. The other main obstacle today is the cost of the connected products, which is still high because most revenue is earned from hardware. The collected data are used chiefly for internal purposes, and services (including third-party ones) are rarely charged for. The switch to a more service-centric business model would help drive more widespread use. But this will only happen if there are solutions that ensure the objects are interoperable, and enable third parties to market services and utilise the data.
Evolution without disruption, thanks to gadgets and premium products
If these two parameters remain unchanged, a scenario of continuity with the status quo would be one of a world of gadgets (most of them eventually coming from China), viewed as accessories to smartphones, offering relatively basic features and free services via apps. Another continuity scenario would involve the rare situations where trust levels are rather high, thanks to strong security, often reinforced by the creation of a proprietary technical environment, albeit without achieving a high level of monetisation of the services. This would thus involve premium connected products, akin to Apple’s model for smartphones.
Disruption through human services, or automation and interconnection
|Low trust in digital||High trust in Digital|
Smartphone adjunct and/or gadget
(e.g.: iPhone, NetAtmo)
e.g.: sports room)
(e.g.: Amazon Alexa)