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How to Harness IoT Capabilities for Next-Gen Efficiency

Seven inspiring trends showcasing how to leverage IoT to take business operations to the next level

The world is more connected than ever thanks to IoT-driven technology—and it shows no sign of slowing. Future-forward businesses across verticals are tapping into the powerful connected technology to maximize opportunities, streamlining their processes and enhancing efficiency to surpass their competition as well as consumers' expectations for seamless service. Drawn from PSFK's research, here are seven trending implementations of IoT in operations ranging from employee safety to POS capabilities.

Predictive Prevention — Ensuring a bright future for consumers and business alike, brands are tapping into sensor and AI technology to stay ahead of potential problems. The precautionary measures actively protect and prevent issues from occurring by leveraging data to anticipate incidents. For homeowners insured by startup Luko, for example, this means putting a stop to home accidents. The home insurance company is using machine-powered tracking to keep an eye on items like water pipes, front doors and electricity meters to notify owners of any unusual activities, as well as allow customers to monitor their homes remotely through the app.

Synced Living — Transforming everyday appliances into IoT-enabled devices, innovators are linking them together to form an all-in-one ecosystem that can manage all key aspects of day-to-day life. To further connect the home to consumers when out and about, ecommerce retailer Tmall and automaker Volkswagen partnered to help drivers monitor and control their home from their car display, bridging smart homes with vehicles.

Resumed Control — As employees slowly return to work in the changed COVID-19 landscape, employers are finding inventive tools to keep them secure and safe as they resume their jobs. This means implementing measures to provide both peace of mind and assurance so that workers can complete their tasks in a safe environment. UK-based telecom provider Vodafone ensures workers' wellbeing and health through an IoT-powered thermal camera capable of monitoring approximately 100 workers each minute to measure their temperatures and assist in informing those who are potentially unwell.

Life-Enhancing Through Tracking & Rewards — In an effort to improve shoppers' health, companies are stepping up to put the wellbeing of their consumers on the forefront, rewarding them for healthy lifestyles. To encourage wellness-promoting behavior, consumers are challenged to meet specified health goals such as activity levels or sleep routines, using connected devices to help them track and manage. In addition, some brands offer personalized discounts and reward points to consumers after meeting an established target. Take Beam Dental, for instance. The company encourages oral hygiene in corporate employees in return for discounts on dental insurance premiums. Corporate groups are equipped with a connected toothbrush to track their brushing and are given a score based upon how well the group did collectively.

Dynamic Label — In-store transactions are a timely process, and waiting in line to check out can easily increase cart abandonment and loss of sale rates. To simplify the in-store experience, businesses are designing an all-in-one transaction with IoT-driven retail tags. Concentrating the entire transactional process in the digital tag allows consumers to check out on the spot, using capabilities like what Rapitag offers. The tech company created tags that keep products secure until a consumer pays for them with a mobile phone scan, upon which they unlock and are ready to be taken home.

Associate Assistance — Today it is more important than ever to keep employees in the know. In order to stay safe, brands are integrating wearable IoT devices to enhance both job performance and safety measures for workers. The hands-free devices adjust to the employee to offer guidance and feedback based upon the sensor's analytics. Tech company Rombit designed the COVID-19 digital bracelet Romware Covid Radias to maintain a safe social distance radius in the workplace. The bracelet notifies workers in real-time if they break the six-foot rule.

Contactless Delivery — Focusing on reducing interactions, many businesses are investing in contactless delivery solutions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Automation and IoT group Techbase utilizes IoT to create a smart delivery system dubbed #CoronaIot, where customers are alerted upon delivery and can customize their individual collection time.

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