Innovation Platforms: IOT Platforms

Innovation Platforms: IOT Platforms

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5457-8.ch004

Abstract

This chapter reports on a study of the taxonomy of innovations for the internet of things (IoT) products and services. The analysis and discussion lead to a multidimensional framework of innovations, with a particular emphasis on a technology stack, business models, products, services, and platform innovations. The authors argue that a multi-sided platform might possibly be a successful business model for the adoption of IOT products and services. They develop IOT business-model pattern and the general definition of a IOT multi-sided platform. The research contains guidelines to help practitioners and policy makers develop platform-enabled IoT innovation strategies through the consideration of various levels of business models and MSP strategy. It offers a relevant source of ideas and guidance for anyone interested in research and practice related to rethinking IoT, product, and service innovation.
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Introduction

The IoT device mesh is dynamic and pervasive. Gartner (2014) forecasts that the IoT will reach 26 billion units by 2020, up from 0.9 billion in 2009, and will impact the information available to supply-chain partners and how the supply chain operates. All these billions of things connected with businesses and 3 billion people with smartphones, smart watches, etc. generate vast amounts of rich data, and what companies do with that data – how they turn it into proprietary algorithms and business value – will determine how well they maximize the opportunity presented by digital business. In order to unlock the potential of IoT, organizations have to master new business models, technology architectures, operating systems, tools, methodologies, databases, networks, middleware and sourcing partners. Manufacturers can now begin to define their target manufacturing model and then plan the IoT transformation roadmap.

The Internet of Things has been defined as “a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies” (Y.2060 2012). These physical and virtual things or smart things could include any object or smart device, such as clothes, a watch, a suitcase, an animal, or even a person. Wearable technology devices, or simply wearables, refer to smart things that are designed to be comfortably worn on the human body. LexInnova (2015) defines: “Wearable technology tends to provide sensory and scanning capability, such as bio-feedback and tracking of physiological function. Wearables also have communication capability which allows humans to access data in real-time using another connected device or medium. Rapidly evolving examples of wearable devices include smart watches, intelligent eyewear, bio-sensing contact lenses, e-clothing and smart jewelry, such as rings, bracelets, as well as hearing aid-like devices that are designed to look like ear rings. In some cases, wearable devices may also be implanted into the human body.”

Wearable devices and their supportive complementary services have been undergoing anticipation, hype and speculation mostly during the last decade (Gartner 2015, 2016a, b, c). IoT has the potential to transform the fashion industry and the way we live and work (Gartner 2015). The wearable smart-devices industry is booming and is being promulgated by the market recently as an alternative to the post-smart-phone industry. It also has unique characteristics of an industrial ecosystem different from the ecosystem of the smart-phone industry.

We analyze the characteristics of wearable applications for IoT scenarios of smart wearables and related products like e-textile, smartwatches (e.g., Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, Pebble Watch and Qualcomm’s TOQ), wristbands (Polar Loop, Nike Fuel band), wearable bio-monitors, etc. Long-term engagement and consumer adoption in the wearable-technology (henceforth, WT) industry are not yet entirely established. Additionally, several companies strive to understand this field of technology in order to create strategic competitive advantage and innovative business models, as well as sustainable and unique value. Much attention is drawn to the efforts by large companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, GE, Bosch and government initiatives like Industry 4.0 in Germany (IBM 2015; Microsoft 2015; Google 2015; Cisco 2015; Bosch 2015; Industrie 2013).

IoT platforms belong to Innovation platform type group (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Innovation platforms

978-1-5225-5457-8.ch004.f01

Our goal is to conceptualize the innovation IoT platforms and wearable-products technology stack with a particular emphasis on business models, products, services and platform innovations. We illustrate, analyze and classify such conceptualization by means of ontologies, in particular lightweight ontologies –taxonomies (Poli et al. 2010; Yablonsky 2014, 2016a, b).

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