Internet of Things (IoT) – We’ve seen the future, and the future is IoT Product Development

Imagine getting a text from your equipment in the field telling you there’s been a problem. Not too far of a stretch, right? Well, let’s take the situation a bit further.  What if you get an unsolicited thank-you email from your customer who was excited about how fast their last service call went since the service rep had the right parts for the particular problem on the machine.  That’s because the cloud-based machine monitoring system had automated communications between the equipment, the supply chain, the service reps truck inventory and the recent training the rep had completed for just this situation.  Even further, once on site, the rep pointed an iPad at the equipment and the video displayed an augmented reality video of the machine with overlaid graphics showing both the internal geometry and streaming sensor data indicating the problem and highlighting failing parts. Here’s the kicker — when the rep clicked on the screen to see the details of the issue, a ‘how-to’ video popped up on the screen to step the rep through the repair. By the way, did I mention that the issue was predicted by a different cloud computer monitoring huge stores of data and ‘learning’ while it’s predicting issues?

Ok, so I’m not much of a science writer, but it doesn’t matter because this isn’t ‘the sci-fi of the future.’ This is today. This is what the Internet of Things looks like, and it’s both growing and accelerating. Last week, I attended LiveWorx ’15 with 2500 other like-minded professionals. This PTC Internet of Things conference had another 5000 in attendance virtually as the Boston venue had sold out locally. It was pretty obvious that the buzz continues to grow around this topic and that we’re all interested in growing and accelerating business and product development leveraging these technologies.

While some of the technology and science behind cloud computing is ground-breaking and game-changing, it’s not just about the technology. That’s why having both a business and product development strategy are just as important as integrating the technology into the products. At EAC, we’ve been developing products and helping others do the same for the last 20 years. We’re especially excited about helping companies build and execute their IoT strategy since the opportunity and impact are only limited by the imagination. We’re talking about deeper engagement with customers, reducing operating and service cost, new revenue streams, even products that tell product managers and engineers what customers want in additional functionality or how they’re using your product today. If you’re considering developing or leveraging smart and connected products as a part of your product development and business strategy, we’d love to hear from you and partner with you along the way. If you’re not planning out an IoT strategy, we should talk.

EAC Product Development Solutions is a Minnesota based company providing engineering and product development software, service and consulting to the discrete manufacturing industry. Rob is currently leading the EAC business effort related to product development for the Internet of Things. You can reach out to us and contact Rob at