IoT Leaders
IoT Leaders

Episode · 1 year ago

3 IoT Predictions for 2021 & Beyond w/ Nick Earle

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, we interview Nick Earle, CEO at Eseye, about three of the top 10 predictions for IoT in 2021 and beyond.

What we talked about:

  • A story of data possibilities featuring a smart vending machine
  • Why hardware skills will be even more important in the near future
  • Experience is enabled by data
  • How the 3 predictions are interrelated

Check out this resource we mentioned during the podcast:

If you have ideas for future episodes, input, or questions, email IoTLeaders@eseye.com or connect with Nick on LinkedIn.

This discussion with Nick Earle was taken from our show IoT Leaders. If you want to hear more episodes like this one, check us out on Apple Podcasts.

If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, you can find every episode here.

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You're listening to Iot leaders, a podcast from Si that shares real IOT stories from the field about digital transformation, swings and Mrs Lessons Learned in Innovation Strategies that work. In each episode, you'll hear our conversations with top digitization leaders on how Iot is changing the world for the better. Let iot leaders be your guide to Ioti, digital transformation and innovation. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the ITO leaders podcast with me, your host David Lankton, and the today's episode we're going to do something a little different. So the main podcast host, Nikil a Cosi, has jumped into the guest hot seat today. Hi Nick, good to see you. Thanks for joining us. Hello, dare, you good to see you. Glad to be here right. So, Nick, I remember sitting down at the end of two thousand and nineteen with you to talk about the what was going to be the innaugural predictions report for Iot that we published. Now, no one could have predicted what was going to happen in the world last year. Suddenly Been An interesting twelve months, but you know, it's fair to say I think some of the predictions were you know, we certainly saw them playing out during the cod is experience and the whole situation. So I thought, you know, it's obviously we just recently published the latest report on predictions for two thousand and twenty one and beyond, and although the ten of the predictions that to go through is a lot to go through, I was very keen to see if we can drill down on some of the key traductions that you think people should be watching out for in the next twelve, eighteen months. So perhaps with that you can kick off with the first of those three predictions make yeah, thanks, David, and, as you say, it has proved very popular. Predictions is a difficult business to be in and we certainly don't claim to know all the answers and we certainly didn't predict covid, but we are seeing an acceleration of some of those predictions as a result of covid. So I'm what...

I'm going to do perhaps is pick three of them, and all ten are interconnected to some extent. Each one is inconnected to the other one. But the first one that I want to talk about is the what is going to be possible in the world of data and, as we all know, I mean the whole reason for doing Iot is to get data. Data, as they say, is the oil of the new economy. Nobody wants to smart device. They want the data from the device. But other than just say, you know they'll there's going to be a lot more of it. I mean, we all know that's true. And data itself is going to be cheaper. We also know that's true. I think the way to look at this is to go deeper and say what is the data doing to value chains? And the bottom line is what we're seeing is a significant disruption of value chains via a transfer of power to the end user, with an associated dissipation or weakening of the power of the brands of large companies. Now there's a lot there, so let's try and unpack it. With Iot, it's all about creating a new experience for your user, your customer, of you're a business, or it's about creating a new business model that wasn't possible previously. And what we're seeing is some areas where this is really, really accelerating and it's having a fundamental effect, as I said, on these valley chains. So let me make it real and talk about the first of the two, which is in a vending machines. Now. vendy machines have been around for ages, but what's happening now is you're getting smart vending machines. Smart vending machines are being built around a personalized experience. So on one of the PODCASTS will be a coster cusser express, custer express with their vending machines. They call it a Barista without a beard. Now it's not just a snazzy marketing phrase. What they're really trying to describe is a personalized experience to every individual customer, delivered through a machine. And so what's happening is that they're recreating...

...a personise experience that's much better than, for instance, getting a name written on the side of a cup. But it's not just that. They're also delivering it without having to have shops. The the cost express machines are not found in cost of shops. They found in other people's premises. And what they're doing is their data mining your or experience, your what you're doing, the choices that you're making on the types of coffee, the additives you put in the coffee, when you have the coffee. Is that a small coffee, a large coffee, etc? Etc. Their data mining that and actually then using it to proactively offering you differentiated services of the machine, the screen reconfigures itself, or they send you messages. They linked to you via the the APP that gives you your loyalty points, so they know who you are. So if you think about that as an example, not only are we now saying well, we you've got the person who makes the coffee interacting directly with the consumer without, in this case, one intermediary step, which is the retailer, but secondly what you've got is you are actually applying the principles of Internet, one dotto to Iot, because if you think about it, in when the Internet first came out in the S, it was first of all talked about as a set of technology is. It was all about html and and web browsers and and things like that. But then we pretty after about two or three years, we said, oh no, what is actually doing? It is enabling you to buy your own airline ticket, it's enabling you to buy a book online, to book a hotel online. So they became this dip, massive disruption of business models and collapsing a value chains, connecting the person with the product more closely to the person who wants to consume or buy that product. But all we were doing is really data mining one element of our are our behavior, which is our as consumers, interaction with a digital service, in that case amazoncom or AIRBNB or United Airlines. What we're now seeing is the opportunity to data mine our interaction as human beings with...

...billions of physical things, not digital sites. So as more and more physical things become connected, we actually now can see an exponentially large capability to use that data to create new, disruptive business models, to disintermediate supply chains and deliver previously UNDREAMT of experiences. Now let me try and bring that together with my second example, which is what's happening in healthcare, and this is definitely been accelerated by COVID. So, you know, the traditional value chain, or supply chain if you like, in the health industry is this. You know, I don't feel very well, I self diagnose myself. Maybe it's a few days and I suddenly realize, you know, I've not been feeling great for a few days. Our phone up my doctor, I wait to get an appointment. Okay, now I can get it over over the phone or of a video, where as previously I had to go to the doctor, but if I want to go and see a specialist, the doctor has to approve it. He or she has to recommend the specialist. I need that recommendation in order to then phone up the the other party, which is the insurance company, because it's it been have you been referred to by a doctor? I go and see especialist. Yes, you definitely look ill. I'm going to do some test. Got The test, sendy to the clinic. The clinic there's some tests and let's say I get to the end of that, I feel better, I go home and then it's up to me. If I then start having no symptoms, I have to start the process again. Now we all know about that and it's different in different parts of the world, but essentially it's the same process. What we're seeing now with IOT is people producing this new phrase of healthcare wearables. These are very advanced pieces of specialized hardware that interact with our skin and what's happening in our body and also other devices that are in the home, and the data doesn't go to your GP. The data goes to a company that you've never heard of. It's a company that actually uses artificial intelligence to actually analyze what might be...

...going on in your body, and they're accessing data from institutions at the far end of the body chain, like the Mayo Clinic or, like you know, university teaching hospitals. A good example of this is a company called bioformis, who are doing exactly this and their goal is to actually prevent disease from happening in the first place. And they're not just actually cut completely disintermediating the traditional supply chain of healthcare and offering you choice as a consumer, but what they're doing is they're they're actually then working with the pharmaceutical companies so they can actually create drugs for the conditions that they're seeing happening real to time. Now, obviously this has huge implications on the current environment, but covid and things like that, where you know you were awareable and you could get advanced notification of symptoms, especially given that one in three people can be asymptomatic. So what I'm trying to say in the prediction, David, is that it's not just that data will explode, and you know PEDA bytes and Zeta bytes, we know all that, but actually the data is going to completely change the competitive landscape for companies and and that's really where we, as a IOT company with two thousand customers, say to customers, you should really start first of all by thinking can I be disintermediated, or what is the experience to the consumer I'd like to deliver, or can I use this as an opportunity to collapse the value chain? Start there, think about what needs to be done and then from their decide what data you need to measure. Don't just captured data for data's sake. And this disruption, the ability to Mine Physical People's interactions with physical objects rather than digital websites, is going to be a much bigger disruptive catalyst than the first way that the Internet was starting off in the early S, because now we're talking about fifty billion things, not just a...

...few million websites. We're not just talking about money sizing your search behavior. So big, big changes are coming and the smart companies are starting their thinking here on Iot, not but not just thinking how do I get connectivity into a device or how do I collect data and then decide what to do with it? Well, that's a pretty good start. So with all of this data, you know and you know we talked about big data. So I remember so it ten years ago this. Sure he's going to be going into the realms of potential of massive data, I mean with an amount of dat it's going to be creative from all of these devices and product all around the world. So I'm sure this has implications on a wide range of data processing, data analytics and other technology applications. But you know what's also the implications for the IOT devices themselves? Well, it does have massive implications for the ITT devices because if if you take that approach to say actually, it's about creating a new disruptive business model or a defensive business model against a disruption if you're the incumbent, or delivering a previously unimagined human experience, and I would argue that Netflix is was a previously unimagined human experience. If had a told you about it in one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight, you then say, well, what does the device look like? And you suddenly realize well, it almost certainly doesn't like an look like an off theeself Iot device. There are millions of IOT devices. You can buy trackers, medical devices that off the shelf put a Sim card in it and you're connected, right, but that delivers a generic consumer experience. It's not a differentiated consumer experience. So what we find the leading companies doing is that is that when they actually start off with imagining the art of the possible, of what they could create, they then say, okay, well, what type of hardware would I need to do that? And remember we're talking about really edge aggregation devices that...

...not only have logic in them, their programmable, they have logic, but also they communicate with multiple sensors, like the healthcare device that I was talking about. So what you very rapidly realize is the device is actually a unique to the use case. I mean the cost of express coffee machine I talked about. People think it's a coffee machine and of course it is, but that personalized experience that you get the Barista without a beard is enabled by ninety sensors inside the machine and it's been custom designed to deliver that experience and it's got a an edge aggregation device and in this case provided by us. So when that light goes on, you then start thinking, okay, so truly great IOT requires custom hardware, and at that point the blood starts to drain out of people's faces because, if you think about it, I'll go back to my you know, late counties and Mark Andreason brilliantly what he was doing at the time. But it he's become famous since they're for a whole variety of things, and one of them is a phrase that everyone repeats, which is our software each hardware. You know, it's not about hardware sold fashion and it's you don't get it. It's all about the cloud, it's all about Sass, but actually, when the when it comes to Iot, it's the other way around. It's actually all about hardware. As I say, we've got, as you know, two thousand customers. Eighty percent of those customers came to us because they had a failed iot project and they by far and away in excessive eighty percent of that was to do with hardware that didn't do what they they meant it to do, because it's called hardware for a reason. It's really hard. I mean the people don't even want to know what the questions are, never mind the answers. You know, how did you get the firmware settings into the modem so that the battery doesn't get drained? If, in case, the tower is further away, because did you know it pings the tower seven or eight times if it's further away than if...

...you're right next to the tower? People don't want to even think about those questions. How do you actually design the sensors in such a way that you only collect a certain amount of data, and which data do you back Hale and and how'd you get your devices certified onto mobile network operators? Oh and by the way, it works different in the US that it does in Brazil than it does in Europe. And people say, I didn't want to get into hardware design. So if the hardware are really is fundamental delivering the experience, the big question is who creates the hardware? Who Designs the hardware? And right now it's a massively fragmented ecosystem. There's lots of small boutique hardware design companies and some really big ones that make things like mobile phones and whatever, but those mobile phones have millions of dollars being spent on them to deliver that incredible tightly coupled harder and software experience. So when people are considering as enterprises IOT projects, one of the questions they have to ask themselves is how do I get my hardware designed around the use case, because if I get it wrong and it doesn't work, I'm going to go have to go back to the beginning and then my business outcome collapses and I probably won't get a chance of the second bite for the project the second time around. That's one of the reasons why, as SI, and we're not the only company that does this, but but there are very few that do. That's one of the reasons why we actually spend a lot of time doing hardware design as well as connectivity. And you know, we work with our customers and people who we hope to be customers in the future, to actually say what experience are you trying to deliver? Let me make you a prototype of the hardware in order to show you the art of the possible with regard to the experience. And, as I say, there are a lot of companies out there, but but we really push the fact that you do need to think about hardware. It's not a catch twenty two, because it doesn't mean you have to be hardware experts. But when you start your iot project, step one,...

...do the imagineering that I talked about in the data the disintermediation of the supply chain, the delivery of a previously UNDREAMT of consumer experience. Number two then think about how can you actually create the hardware to deliver the experience, and unfortunately that probably means some degree of custom work. But the work that you do up front in the hardware design phase actually pays for itself many, many times over when it comes to the delivery of the business outcome and the speed at which you can deploy the devices. And so that's it. Is One of the biggest factors why a lot of surveys out there say between seventy and eighty percent of all iot projects fail, because often they fail on the thing that everybody thinks is the easiest of all, which is well, it's just the device. I. There's loads of them, thousands of I can just buy them, but actually it's not as simple as that. It's not like the cell phone. And and so the second prediction is all about the fact that the those with hardware skills and those that can design the business case around the experience will actually rise rise to prominence as we go forward, simply because there is no alternative than to design the device around the experience. That's a great point. I think if you say think something we've heard a lot many times is perception here is key, isn't it? About the device ice in? You know, we've heard customers so many times about well, isn't it just so easy as put a Sim in the vice and it will just work? Well, I think you just highlighted they can know it's not that straightforward. It's much more complicated than that. Well, it comes back to the pack the millions of dollars that are spent by the Samsons and apple, fact the hundreds of millions of dollars. You know, when you're designing your own Iot device, you don't have that budget or those skills, and so know it is it is. It is a very difficult area. Unfortunately, one day it won't be as difficulty. It will be will be shrink down to silicon, and we'll talk about that and in other predictions. Intimately this will all be features of silicon, but right now it isn't, which is why...

...this area is is so important. And so that's the second day. So moving on to the final prediction. Perhaps you can give all listeners an example of where these two things might come together in the future. So fusing the data and the hardware and what you know where that might lead us. We know what sort of examples might we see in the future of what area's might be going to be big. Yeah, so this third area is one that I think is going to play out over in niche a little bit in two thousand and twenty one, but a lot in two thousand and twenty two and two thousand and twenty three. Will all look back and say, Oh, it's so obvious, I always knew that was going to happen. But and I'm actually going to approach it in a strange way. I'm going to approach it by talking about the difference between linear and exponential models, and the basic premise is that as humans, we're programmed to just not understand an exponential trend. And let me give you a simple, as too simple, examples. If I said to you, David, a man walks sixteen steps and each step is a meter in length, the question is, David, how far away is even when he's done sixteen steps? So how far aways? And Dad, sixty meters. Well, you're a smart man. Well done. Okay, a man walks sixteen exponential steps. One, two, forty eight. How far away is he from you after sixteen steps? Quite testing me now, and you don't pay. I'm yes, and you don't know, and nobody does and I don't either. But the answer is he's Circum negregated the world several times at the point about it is that it disruption is inherently invisible when it first starts. And let me give you a practical example of that, because a lot of technology advances exponentially, more's law, whereas progress in traditional business models advances linearly, because what we do is we try and take five percent of cost out per year, but seen as a success. So the best example, very very well known, is Kodak, invented the Digital Camera and the Digital Camera Killed Kodak. The digital camera when it first came out, was, I don't know, it's fifty, sixty pounds in weight. It was as big as a desk in a small fridge. It...

...had like, you know, I don't know, an eighth of the eighth of a Pixel and it was it seemed like a really stupid idea and after a couple of years codak killed it because they they were in everything. They were vertically integrated from chemicals to film, the processing, the cameras and everything else the KODAC moment. Of course, in retrospect we can now see that if you look at every single component of that digital camera, it was following more's law, you know, exponential curve, and so eventually it would kill the thing. That was the accepted knowledge at the time. And so what's The relevance of that in terms of the third prediction? Well, the third prediction is to do with disposable it it that Io Iot device is actually disposal IOT devices that cost just a few dollars. You use them and you throw them away, and it's if you could do that, if you could create a disposable, almost print an Iot device, then what you could do is start applying this to some major, major problems that today are huge issues for the world. But I've just been impervious to this, which such as food distribution. So let's take food distribution, or you could say covid vaccine distribution. It's chilled food, you know. But let's take food, food that goes off over time. Thirty percentable food is thrown away and that's a very, very complicated problem. Multiple reasons why, but one of them is lack of supply chain visibility. You don't know when the food is going out of temperature range and also it can be in the supply chain for too long, so it's compast its cell by date. We've tried to solve this as society. This this huge problem over production of food at one end, which has issues to do with carbon gas production, especially if it's meat, and the farming through to not in a food or the consumer end, or people throwing things away in their fridge because they just bought but too much. So what is happening is that people are saying, well, hang on a second,...

...you can actually now, due to advancements in multiple areas of technology, like the ability to print a battery are you can print a circuit, you can print senses, because the senses is a is a circuit. Now you can't quite print a modem, but the cost of the modems is coming down very, very significantly and they're getting really slim, like a small scrabble piece. So now we're into what you're starting to see is the emergence of the first generation of food labels, food labels that can be attached to every box. We're not talking the Mars bar wrapper yet, but let's just say every box of crabs leggs or whatever might be twenty boxes of grabs legs in a large box. A attach a food label to a box. If that food label was five or six dollars, which might be the target price, we can see within six months you could then do real time tracking of the box, both location and temperature, and either intercept the box or just basically have visibility of your supply chain. So the idea is the you print the label when you create the box, you put the label on the box, you monitor it. I'm not talking about some of the early versions that use things like Laura, which which actually required specialist hardware and you can only measure things when the box won't past the hardware. I'm talking about ubiquitous global cellulars or hundred percent coverage of cellular by cross multiple countries, which, of course, is one of our key value propositions. But but it's some other components of this technology. They're important as well as the particular the printing side. And then what you can actually do is that if the box gets too warm or whatever, you intercept it and you know where it is. If once the box gets to its destination by opening the box, you break the circuit. By breaking the circuit, you throw the tag away. Then what we've got to do still is is get more advancements on the issue of not creating too much waste as a result of this, which is the recycling issue of these principal decises. So we need devices that compose, if you like, over a...

...period of time, and the technology is still Latin in that area. That's why I think it's going to be a twenty twenty, two, twenty three thing, but it is there are multiple developments happening in all elements of what I've just talked about and I think the first devices are really going to be in the market in two, twenty one. Now, when you do that, you then start addressing some major major societal issues, like eliminating up to thirty percent of food in the global food supply chair in so now what we're seeing is iot moves beyond traditional Iot, where we've predicted for years there's going to be fifty billion things by two thousand and twenty. Course we miss that that prediction as an industry. That's another subject we cover in a podcast. But we now go into what's been called massive iote and massive IOT is the five hundred billion things. And and food tag tracking or vaccine tracking or whatever you want to call it, is one of those, as all the price and of course, the data has another element. The data pricings are coming to everything's coming down. It's the Kodak principle right, that everything is coming down. So it will be possible, just not quite yet, but we're getting very close. And then what that? You then get sing over. Well, that's amazing, but we're not going to stop there, because then what will happen is ultimately you might get down to fifty cents, and it's not crazy to think that in this decade you get down to fifty cents or forty cents or something, and then you can start thinking about putting it on a product, an actual product, chocolate bar or or the actual individual box of food, food itself. Then you're into I don't know what we'll call it, massively, massively. I have tea infinite iote. So the point about about the third prediction is it's different to the first two in that we'll start to see the first pilots of this in two thousand and twenty one. They won't be ideal because we've still got some major technical issues to deal with.

But actually what that will do, if I link it to the first two predictions, is that it will it will give rise to some new super aggregators. So, to finish it off, it's not just a technology prediction. When the first way that the Internet happened, and I know from my experience, I was over in Silicon Valley at the time and we didn't really understand. You know, Amazon was a bookseller in it's I say one of the PODCASTS. As you're aware, I was lucky enough to actually spend time with the Jeff bezos in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine. I wish I've been smart enough. I would have would have bought a lot of stock. I didn't, but you know, I asked Jeff Bees ask the question what's next for Amazon, and he said I'm going to be the biggest retailer in the world, and I just thought he was a nut job because he was, you know, he was a bookseller. He was just going into DVD's, right, digital products. You know, he said no everything. I just thought, I mean the iphone was eight years away. Still Right, but he became a super aggregator of what he is now. But the other thing that he's done is he has this incredible track and trace facility. What I know when my Amazon parcels going to be delivered? It's Amazon prime. You're possibly delivered in the next, next minute. And then if you look at Uber, never thought Huber would happen. Aggregated, a disaggregator of attritional supply chain, but that little APP which shows you know where the Uber Car is and if it's a black car, as it shows black and it's a red car, little red car. In the UK our food delivery here of delivery is exploded in popularity, but I can see the little motorbike and where it is. I can open the front door as the delivery person is walking up the steps, and so the ability to offer real time information about where products is is actually a massive differentiator in your choice of that product. The experience is more valuable than the product itself. The experiences is enabled by the data. So as we get into massive iot there's going to be the...

...rise of super aggregators in the same way as here in the UK companies, like a Cardo said, I can give you an Amazon type warehouse experience why you trying to do it yourself? Outsource it all to me and I'll do that whole warehouse thing for you because you're not good at it. I am so business process outsourcing. I think the logistics tracking area, real time tracking of physical product as it moves around the world, doesn't have to be food anything, is going to give rise to a series of super aggregators who are who sell information about where acids are to their customers as opposed to selling physical products. In fact, it'll be more profitable to give the products away for free and sell the information about where the products are, especially be doing B to b then it. Then it will just to sell the the physical product, and so large companies will, as always, try and do it themselves. But there will be the rise of these super aggregators using real time track and trace to outsource supply chain management, and that's definitely starting now, but it's going to explode as we follow most law down and as we see massive Iot and who knows what will happen when we start talking about trillions of devices in the future. Your brain hurts just a mini that. Yeah, yeah, just to think about what happens when these things become you know, tiny, tiny and they're in clothing or whatever. So I think that's what we're going to see and it's linked to the first two because it's all to do with the product, designing the product for the use case and it's to do with the value of data and the relative value of data to the physical product, in this case to either eliminate waste or to sell the information to business customers about where their products are, because you know more about where their products are, they know where about where their products are. So very, very exciting. As always in the world of Iot, a lot of predictions all...

...interconnected and that was a just an overview of three of the three of the ones that we know of prood popular from the number of downloads that we've had off the site. That's great neck and yeah, it's it's quite as the same mind going to work out or trying to for see where's is goal going to go. I'm sure it's going to have some twisting turns along the way. There's these things always do. But yeah, very excited to see how it all plays out in the next twelve, twenty four months and I'm sure of our listeners will be eagerly trying to look for this report to download and just so I can point them in the right direction. So where you need to go to download is at SICOM forward slash two thousand and twenty one predictions, or you can also email as an iot leaders at SICOM, that's e seyecom, and we can get a copy straight over to you. So, yeah, it's going to be a big year for Iot, a big couple of years coming up. Who knows what's going to happen. But you know, I'm sure all will be tracking this and following this closely as we go. I'm sure they'll be lots of podcasts coming up in the next few months and coming years nick on this. Yeah, we will, and that's a good point to finish with. David. Yeah, the people, the guests that were inviting on two shows and as always, we always say if you think of anyone that you think would be good to interview on these shows, then please let us know by that it was contact details, but we're interviewing people about their thoughts of where this will all go and what the best practice is that they see and perhaps what not to do, what's working what's not. We're trying to just be a guide for people in around this world, which is what everyone says. Please domistify it, make it less complex, give me some advice. So that's the gap we hope we're filling. And and each podcast deals with one little element of all of this and goes deep, and so I hope people enjoy them. Certainly we've enjoyed making the ones that we've made so far. Absolutely yeah. So for more insights, for for our listeners, please do subscribe to the it this podcast and we look forward to you tuning into a future episode. Is it's just accluded to lots...

...of exciting things to come to hear about all the exciting things, interesting things happening in the world of Iot from all these leaders and disruptors, you know, who are really pushing for the boundaries around digitization. So thanks nick. We look forward to hearing from you soon on another podcast when you're back in this seat. Okay, we'll do thanks, David. Thanks everyone for listening. Thanks for tuning in to iote leaders, a podcast brought to you by SI. Our team delivers innovative Global Iot cellular connectivity solutions that just work, hoping our customers deploy differentiated experiences and disrupt their markets learn more at SICOM. You've been listening to Iot leaders featuring digitization leadership on the front lines of Iot. Our Vision for this podcast is to be your guide to Iot and digital disruption, helping you to plot the right route to success. We hope today's lessons, stories, strategies and insights have changed your vision of Iot. Let us know how we're doing by subscribing, rating, reviewing and recommending us. Thanks for listening. Until next time,.

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