How brands will leverage IoT and mobile apps to create more connected user experiences in 2022
Internet of Things (IoT) technology and devices have been changing the nature of the user experience for some time, as consumers increasingly adopt mobile app-controlled technologies such as smart lighting, thermostats connected, home security systems and doorbell alerts. We expect to see this trend accelerating through 2022 and possibly even accelerating into the second half of 2023, so as to provide consumers and business users with more options for connected experiences that continue to reduce the gap between the physical and digital worlds.
Why is this acceleration happening now and what does it mean for customer experience (CX)? The confluence of technology infrastructure upgrades, rising expectations for digital experiences, and the evaporation of public perception of the physical-digital divide are all factors. Here’s what we’re seeing right now and what it means for brands.
5G rollout in the US creates a better environment for connected devices
5G technology has been in the news lately because the US rollout has been delayed around some airports, but overall the rollout is now progressing after years of anticipation. People with 5G-enabled devices living and working in areas with active 5G wireless spectrum will benefit from faster mobile and connected experiences.
Forrester predicts that as 5G coverage expands, investment in smart infrastructure will increase by 40% this year. This growth will include new investments in industrial emission reduction devices and utility management tools such as smart meters, as well as smart thermostats that adjust customer settings to optimize comfort and energy savings by depending on weather conditions and network demands, making the customer experience even more connected. and seamless. These experiences, along with 5G-driven speed improvements, can drive adoption of more IoT devices as consumers derive greater benefit from them.
More customers will adopt connected experiences
Along with better technology support for connected experiences, users are more likely to adopt mobile IoT experiences as their attitudes change. Forrester predicts that this year, “about 80% of consumers will view the world as fully digital, with no distinction” between online experiences and experiences in the physical world.
As people become familiar with a unified digital-physical environment, we can expect to see more adoption of Appliances and IoT devices that reinforce the merging of physical and digital, from homeowners adjusting their smart thermostat while on vacation to mobile push notifications that alert users when a load of laundry is finished in the dryer downstairs.
On the B2B side, the costs of Industrial IoT (IIoT) equipment are expected to decline. This will enable more companies to adopt or improve connected monitoring devices that report in real time on the status of production line equipment, lighting and HVAC systems that adapt to building usage patterns and product monitoring devices installed by manufacturers that monitor equipment in the field to alert customers. when this equipment needs preventive maintenance or repair. In each of these use cases, the devices can relay alerts through a mobile device to plant managers, repair technicians, and other key employees, transforming the employee experience.
More refinements to existing connected experiences
Smart home devices were one of the first use cases for consumers IoT, but the proliferation of competing platforms has made it difficult for customers to find and use the best devices for their needs. Now, these top tech brands are working together on a unified smart home standard that will lower the barriers to connectivity between brands. The goal is to make it easier for consumers to integrate the devices they already own into a single system and easily add other devices without worrying about compatibility.
Their new standard is designed to allow users to control devices through the mobile smart home apps they already use, even controlling the same smart home device with more than one app. When this new platform debuts, possibly as early as mid-year, it could give more consumers the confidence to add IoT devices to their home networks or to start using smart home devices.
Standardization of Mobile-IoT connected experiences
For many companies, this year is a time to explore new ways to let their customers interact with their product. For example, buying a vending machine was a hands-on experience. Now, connected vending machines allow users to pay on their mobile device and get their product without having to touch the machine, handle change or insert their card into the machine. This will eventually be the new normal.
Due to improvements in technology and compatibility as well as the growing adoption of connected experiences, 2022 could see major leaps towards a world where the Internet of Things and connected experiences are seen as just things and experiences. The IoT context opens up an array of possibilities for connecting users to an eternal real-world system – a real-world analog to the online metaverse.
Even more interesting is the possibility that the connected experience trend will pick up further momentum in late 2023. That’s when Forrester predicts an end to the current chip shortage that will limit IoT growth by up to 15% this year. When the chip floodgates finally open, we may see even more opportunities to create connected experiences, and even more demand for those experiences as customer and employee expectations continue to evolve.
Michael Martin is an Enterprise Architect for Capgemini Americas specializing in mobile development and implementation of solutions for multiple industries. He was the lead architect for many major e-commerce projects in the period 2000-2010 and over the past 12 years has led solutions in the mobile ecosystem.