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The internet of things market is expected to grow to a staggering $1.1 trillion by 2026, with an average growth rate of over 24 percent. While this signals green grass for the sector, it also highlights the ever-increasing competition within the space. Since there will be opportunities for newer companies to rise and become household names, we at Hyprcubd thought we should do our part to aid your success by sharing some of the less-covered trends in the industry. We hope this helps those building IoT companies in 2021 have their best chance at success.

With no further ado, here are the factors we believe IoT companies should be aware of in 2021.

What data will your user want and need

It can sometimes be tempting to think of yourself as a technology company that makes life easier for your user by solving a problem. In the grander scheme of things, this is true, however, it is important to realize that there is likely a manual (that is to say, a non-technical) solution for many of the problems you will be solving. It may be inconvenient, expensive, or impractical to implement, but if the desire was there, it could be done. Your customer could hire a dispatcher to call the fleet every hour to check-in, they could learn how to take their own pulse when running, send a picture of the inside of their refrigerator to a dietician to tell them the caloric values, or have their staff hit buttons every time they enter or leave different rooms.

What will make your IoT device highly appealing is not merely that it solves a problem, but that it gives those using it a dearth of data that they may not have known was possible, but now can’t live without. It is now your responsibility to think creatively about what extra data you can provide to them, and how they can use it to make their business or quality of life better than they thought possible. Now that IoT adoption is soaring, the masses are getting more comfortable with IoT and what it can do. This is great because it reduces the hurdles needed to get your product in the warehouse or on people’s wrists, but also makes them more discerning.

In 2021 many will no longer ask what an IoT device “can do.” Given their new comfort with the sector, the consumers’ minds will instead focus on “what else can it do.” Your response will determine your future prospects.

Misreads and incorrect data will be a non-starter

When someone purchases or adopts your product, you are entering into a delicate new relationship. You are asking them to fully integrate you into their organization or their lives, give you access to their private data, and trust that you are tracking what is important to them. They are giving up a form of control, and instead relying on you for the information they need. They, in return, ask that you use their data ethically, and that the data you provide them back is as accurate, or more accurate, than what they could have collected themselves. This means that if your readings are inaccurate, or at intervals that do not give them the full understanding they are relying on you for, then you have broken the trust they bestowed on you when entering into your new relationship. It is very difficult to come back from this, so design your products with quality, do not cut corners, and ensure that the product will give your users the accurate information they will need to make the decisions that impact their lives and businesses.

The users will expect you to facilitate new conclusions

The gift and the curse of IoT’s rising popularity means that with the societal embrace of the sector, and the solutions it can bring, there will also come more competition. The way new IoT companies can distinguish themselves moving forward will not be by simply doing what the customer already expects. To stand out, you will have to find new and unique ways to make your customer’s life easier. This may be achieved by pioneering a new offering, giving additional measurements or insights, finding a better way of analyzing collected data, or perhaps you implement another way to help them make better decisions with more convenient outcomes.

The point is that in 2021 the customer will start expecting you to provide them with new ways to do business that gives them an edge and makes their life easier. Either you begin designing your product with this in mind, or you risk falling behind the upcoming competitors and copycats.

No tricky tricky

Within these past five years, public trust has fallen to an all-time low. The Pew Research Center found that public trust in government is at its lowest level since they began tracking it in 1958. Meanwhile, according to an Oxford study with Our World in Data, the percentage of Americans who felt that “most people can be trusted” was already at a historically low 30.78% before the increased political divisions and civil strife we have seen sweep across our nation this past year.

The numbers tell us what we likely already knew – as we enter 2021, distrust is at an all-time high. It really does not matter which side people are on, or what their issues are, there is a high likelihood that they actively do not trust a large group of people. Maybe that’s the government, or perhaps the media, corporations, scientists, big banks, elected officials, each other – the list goes on. So what does that mean for IoT companies in 2021?

In this new year where people hold dearly those they love, and burn the earth underneath those they hate, departures from honesty will be met with swift and mighty condemnation. Even the hint of not being fully transparent is enough to inspire a long-term ban from the public’s trust. In this upcoming year, one of the most important things you can do is not run from transparency but embrace it. Make it clear how you use the information to make their service better. Let them know who sees it, and (what many will cherish and love you for) who does not see it. If you’re on the fence about taking the high road with people’s data, we suggest you check in on how Whatsapp is doing in the current climate.

In looking forward to the new year, it helps to look back. An examination of tipping points where new technologies became normalized yields winners who continued to capitalize on (and in fact lead) what then became possible, and losers who solved the immediate problem without the foresight to solve the next problem as well. For every emerging technology there will be a Netflix and a Redbox. If you want to be successful, figure out who you need to be next year, and create the infrastructure to support it.

If you want to brainstorm or architect what that futureproofing looks like, contact us! The Hyprcubd team loves strategizing IoT almost as much as we love good coffee.