The Internet of Things has ignited a frenzy in the tech and design worlds. As devices are engineered to be smaller and become increasingly embedded in our clothing and appliances, the capacity for connectivity is growing. It's not just the tech elite who have access to these functions; as engineers are taking a hands-on approach to IoT design, the phenomenon is propelling them forward.
Whether we are looking at a web-enabled thermostat, a tweeting toaster, or (in the case of an element14 design challenge) a device connecting our cars to Google Maps, the Internet of Things is coming of age. As the technology becomes even more democratized, supply and distribution professionals have the opportunity to become leaders in the IoT industry. Adopting the right approach will be essential in determining who comes out a winner.
Suppliers should apply "blue sky thinking" to act as a conduit to the engineering and maker communities. Using gamification tactics, suppliers can access a full realm of IoT ideas that exist among the maker movement. Granted, the task is not an easy one.
At element14, we have a 220,000-member community, which we can tap for new and innovative IoT ideas. Our role as a distributor is to help these ideas fit into the ever-changing environments. Our members tell us things like, "We want a more connected home. We want a smarter home." We work to provide the tools and resources to turn those ideas into groundbreaking solutions.
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