Innovation at the speed of digital: Enabling new products and services through IoT ecosystems

By | 3 minute read | January 6, 2017

leadspace image of las vegas skyline where the CES event is held

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the changes happening in the digital world are self-evident. From VR (virtual reality) to self- driving shuttles, the technology showcased could not have been dreamed up even ten years ago. As connected devices become an integral part of the everyday, it will be harder and harder to keep pace with the changes to come. In partnership with IBM, Sam Salem, Senior Director of Strategic Capabilities, Connected Devices, and IoT of Jabil shares the capabilities the Internet of Things has to transform, grown, and innovate.

Why IBM in collaboration with Jabil

For those that aren’t familiar with Jabil and their expertise, Jabil serves the manufacturing needs of the top 250 brands in the world. With 170,000 employees on average and 101 global plants, they are “a supply chain management and electronic manufacturing partner providing customers with intelligently designed global supply chains”.

In Salem’s presentation, he noted that their are hundreds of submarkets within the 10 disruptive trend categories of the digital age. In order to accomplish their goals of becoming the most technologically advanced manufacturing company, very specific and custom ecosystems need to be provided to sustain their brand. That’s where Watson comes in. With very diverse end markets and millions of devices to be shipped, a personal connection to each and every consumer provides the means to uphold their brand.

From proof of concept to reality

One of the main focuses of Salem’s presentation included some proof of concept ideas that could revolutionize the healthcare and packaging industries. From the auto injector to the feeding tubes, there are opportunities for the Internet of Things to serve our medical needs in ways we could have never imagined. One of the concepts that most spoke to me was the asthma medicine. Growing up with my entire family suffering with asthma, I am no stranger to that little purple administrator. In Jabil’s proof of concept, the asthma device which improved patient compliance. As life gets more and more hectic, remembering to take medication is harder and harder to do. Having a device that not only knew I needed to take more or less, but remind me when to do so would be life changing.

Intelligent packaging was another fascinating proof of concept Jabil has dreamt up. As AI is transforming the user experience with buying essentials, this packaging would notify the consumer of when supply was low and could potentially order more of that product. Companies investing in this would see more brand loyalty and consumers would not have to worry about a lack of laundry detergent.

An IoT ecosystem and how to create it

One of Jabil’s focuses is to create a faster transition between prototype and go to market solutions. With IoT and connected devices, there is a disconnect between creating the device and creating a self sufficient ecosystem. There are several factors involved with building an ecosystem, and demand is increasing every day for IoT devices to continue to simplify. Simplifying the IoT ecosystem is one of their main objectives. Asking “What problem are you solving?” and taking steps to solve them is not as easy as it sounds up front.

All that is needed to be considered in order to provide an end to end solution. “There are a lot of pieces that can go wrong. But if you do them right, there’s a great opportunity for you.” says Salem. “The IoT ecosystem remains a complex puzzle. All of the pieces have to work together seamlessly to be successful.”

Creating a connected experience is a possibility, especially with minds of this day and technology to be developed. Working with Watson can provide that end user delivery: managing and analyzing data to create specific user profiles and organizing your thoughts due to an understanding of natural language.