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The connected experience economy by Rudy De Waele

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Cheaper hardware, better network connectivity and software platforms are boosting the IoT to become the foundation layer for the future experience economy

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Project Provenance, a London-based startup, is revolutionising supply chain transparency enabling consumers to make informed purchases

In the future, advanced smart factories will automate workflows and optimise production systems quasi without human intervention

The connected experience economy by Rudy De Waele

“From a system designed to provide material satisfaction, we are rapidly creating an economy geared to the provision of psychic gratification.”

 

Confirming the visionary quote from Alvin Toffler in Future Shock (1970), we are now moving from a service to an experience economy. Infrastructure businesses around the world are preparing for this new paradigm to deliver better experiences for their workers and customers.

 

Cheaper hardware, better network connectivity and software platforms are boosting the Internet of Things (IoT) ahead to become the foundation layer for the experience economy of the future.

 

From buildings to energy or transport, any sector in the infrastructure area will change dramatically the coming years due to these connected objects collecting and exchanging valuable data between businesses, organisations, workers and consumers.

 

Connecting buildings with technology is about making office spaces more efficient and greener for the companies, not to mention more pleasant for the people working in them.

 

The Edge in Amsterdam, named the ‘smartest building in the world’, is an example of how we’ll work in the future in a connected building. Every employee working in the building uses an app that finds your desk, because at the Edge no one has one. Workspaces are based on the worker’s schedule: sitting desk, standing desk, work booth, meeting room, balcony seat, or ‘concentration room’. Hot desking used by the 2,500 Deloitte workers in the building, is supposed to encourage new relationships, chance interactions, and, efficient use of space.

 

Wherever you go, the app knows your preferences for light and temperature, and it tweaks the environment accordingly. On the other hand, through the app, the employer knows where you live, what car you drive, knows who you’re meeting with today and how much sugar you take in your coffee.

 

Retailers are currently experimenting to create the next generation shopping experiences using IoT. RFID technologies can improve the precision of inventory tracking and data visualisation technologies make it easier for employees to track products across the supply chain.

 

Project Provenance, a London-based startup, is revolutionising supply chain transparency enabling consumers to make informed purchases by providing them with a platform to learn more about where products come from, using RFID, NFC and the Blockchain.

 

Being able to track and control our heating and cooling systems gives us a better understanding of what we consume in energy and gives us a better sense of how we can contribute to a greener planet.

 

The Energy Internet quoted by Jeremy Rifkin wants to connect every privately owned micro power plant producing green electricity (solar panels on the roof, vertical wind on the property, geothermal pumps for energy underneath the ground, bio converters to convert garbage to biomass energy in the kitchens, etc.) and distribute this positive output energy efficiently to anyone, anywhere. His vision of the digital age would allow such a system to be decentralised, efficient and reliable.

 

The real-time information triggered from connected trucks will give fleet managers an edge for better efficiency and productivity. Transfix, a NY-based startup and labelled the ‘Uber for trucks’, is trying to reduce 22 per cent of transport’s greenhouse gases by matching customers needing interstate freight shipping with truck drivers needing to make deliveries, cutting out wasted travel.

 

According to a recent Vodafone report 82 per cent of automotive leaders believe that most cars will be connected by 2020. The benefits are obvious for business: less cars, a better managed car fleet, safer roads, automated parking management, toll roads, smarter street and traffic lights, security and first aid drones…

 

As drivers, we’ll need to get used to a different travel experience as we’re moving from owning cars to different options of being transported.

And what about the insurance industry when no driver will be left responsible to cover, as the manufacturers will take responsibility of the few accidents that may happen in the future?

 

One of the few areas with no human experiences left is connected manufacturing as nearly everything is automated. Collected sensor data from the machines and factory floors can be communicated to all stakeholders, floor workers, plant managers, software systems and many aspects of supply chain to ensure visibility across the entire production process, enabling centralised control.

 

In the future, advanced smart factories will automate workflows and optimise production systems quasi without human intervention. Robot-operated factories are already in use or being build By Adidas, Nike, Tesla and Amazon for example.

 

User control on privacy will be essential for companies to develop and respect as the experience economy of the future will be value-driven, meaning your organisation needs to stand with clear and solid values reflecting the values of the users, as if not respected the users will turn away from your brand and products.

 

Get ready for the connected experience economy.

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