Hi Ayla,

What are the IoT issues keeping smart-home product manufacturers up at night?

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We’ve been all over the world this year talking with manufacturers about the Internet of Things and connected-home products. Here are five of the hot topics of 2016:

1) To DIY or Not to DIY

Traditional appliance companies transitioning connected-home products are facing the question, “Do we hire in-house experts and build our own IoT solution? Or do we work with an IoT solution provider?”

While connected products can offer tremendous benefits to both end users and manufacturers, adding connectivity to devices is no easy task. Many manufacturers are not prepared to address all of the complexities involved. Check out this Manufacturers’ Biggest IoT Decision: Build or Buy an IoT Platform? white paper for more information.

2) Making Sense of Analytics

Analytics provides a feedback loop that manufacturers can use to improve processes, improve product development and create new value-added services. Manufacturers can use analytics to see detailed information and generate application-specific and dynamic reports about how customers are using connected products and how those products move through the supply chain. Click for a blog post from Ayla’s President Dave Friedman on The Value is in the Data, Not the Thing.

3) Keeping Data Private

But how do consumers feel about data collection from connected products? Most of us are concerned about privacy. If not addressed, privacy issues could derail growth in the smart home and IoT. There are also government regulations about data gathering to be cognizant of, both domestically, and around the globe. See this blog post An end-to-end approach is needed for IoT device security for more information.

4) Foiling Hackers

No manufacturer wants hackers to use its devices to steal consumer usage data or financial information. If there’s a way into the network, however, hackers will find it. A single mistake along the complex, interconnected pathways of IoT communications and operation could lead to catastrophes ranging from large-scale privacy breaches and identity theft to complete crippling of connected products themselves—and loss of confidence in the entire IoT market. Avoiding security problems must be top of mind for any company involved in making connected products. See this white paper for more information The Security of Things: Mitigating Risk In IoT/ Facing the Challenges of IoT Security.

5) Chasing Changing ‘Standards’

The industry has not standardized on a way for consumers to control connected things. Recently we’ve witnessed the success of voice as product interface, personified by Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant -- exciting, and natural, shifts away from mobile screen-and-keyboard-controlled apps that came before.

With the landscape changing constantly and no clear interface standard in sight, consumer-goods manufacturers need to choose an IoT software platform that allows their products to keep up with new mobile technologies and consumer trends, both during the design phase, and after purchase and installation. Click here to see a video on Ayla IoT Platform Architecture: Focusing on the "Things" and Their Manufacturers.

What do you want to know about the Internet of Things? In our Ask Ayla ongoing blog series, Ayla Networks will answer questions about IoT technology, products, use cases, and trends. Send your IoT questions to prodmarketing@aylanetworks.com, with the subject line: Ask Ayla. Check back often to see the answer to your question, as well as what others have asked.

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