It seems that we read about a new IoT product company almost every day. However, unless you attended Xperience 2015, here is one you may have not heard of — Concaria.
Here’s the thing — Concaria is a made-up company. So why would anyone make up a company? Well for us it was the best way we could think of to help companies understand the lifecycle of going from standard product company to connected product company. While Concaria itself isn’t real, the journey they go through to create a connected certainly product is.
At Xperience, alongside examples of real companies we built IoT solutions for including Sureflap, SATO, Symmons and Lutron, we introduced the world to the Concaria AirSoClean3000 — a connected air filter. In order to bring this reference (i.e. made up) example to life, we built a prototype of the AirSoClean3000 which runs via a free app for iOS, Android, and the web. The connected purifier not only allows for control of the device through the app, but also adds a host of other features that give “customers” real time information about the air quality around them. The combination of connectivity and new information has allowed Concaria to hit on what we believe to be the 3 main reasons to build a connected product:
- Feature Enablement
- Sales Enablement
- Service enablement
So taking the example of Concaria a bit further, let’s first talk about feature enablement. Let’s assume that Concaria’s customers are very sensitive to the air quality around them – that’s why they are in the market for an air purifier in the first place. Adding sensors to the purifier will allow these customers to better manage their allergies or disease. The combination of integrated sensors, public air quality data, and remote control means that customers can easily turn on their purifier or increase the fan speed while they are away if they notice particularly bad air quality in their area. This technology gives Concaria the ability to offer new features and capabilities to their customers which no other air purifier has.
Now let’s talk about sales enablement. Like traditional air purifiers, the AirSoClean 3000 has a replaceable filter. Along with environmental sensors, we added a sensor which accurately predicts remaining filter life which lets Concaria easily send customers an in app notification for when they should replace the filter.
This creates a huge sales opportunity by providing customers the ability to configure drop shipments so that when there are 7 days remaining on the filter life, a shipment will automatically be triggered, the customers credit card charged, and a new filter will arrive just in time for replacement. If customers don’t have drop shipments setup, the company can still use this data to trigger a marketing email with a coupon for a new filter.
Finally, let’s talk support enablement. When the user replaces the filter in their AirSoClean 3000, it is logged as an event related to that specific air filter. The logging of many contextual events like this helps companies, in this case Concaria, gain more insight into the history and lifecycle of a specific device and the specific customer using that device. That information helps add extra level of support for products and customers. In the example of Concaria, if a customer had a fan efficiency issue, their support rep could look at the event history and see how recently the filter had been changed. Additionally, Concaria can use the device data logs to shape how they build future products that will better fit consumers’ habits and needs.
As I mentioned earlier, the team at Xively created Concaria as an example to help businesses see a start to finish IoT journey and better understand how connecting their product can help them drive top and bottom line revenues. But that isn’t the only reason.
Concaria’s AirSoClean300 and My AirSoClean are built entirely on Xively to show companies technically how to build their connected product using Xively. Concaria will give developers a solid starting point as it will be used as example data in our documentation, quick start guides, and trial accounts. Eventually we will be releasing the Concaria applications as reference applications which will be distributed as open source with our Xively libraries.
So yes, in a nutshell, that’s why we made up Concaria. While you’ll never be able to buy the AirSoClean 3000 on Amazon, hopefully it will lead real companies to create new connected products that get to market faster, easier, and cheaper.