IoT enables everyday objects to speak to each other: from the digital thermostat in a smart home to a sports armband or even an electric toothbrush, the interconnection of the world around us makes life easier. IoT is the perfect place for innovation because the principle is so easy and the connection between technology and the advantages of this is immediately obvious. But how can you come up with a good idea?
At the start, there is curiosity: what would happen if our product could not only be used as a commodity but could also actively support the customer in their work environment? An exciting question that quickly led to a very concrete idea for glass manufacturer Rastal – the intelligent beer glass. Equipped with a chip for near field communication (NFC), the glass can transmit information on the type and amount of drinks purchased to a nearby scanner. The barkeeper can then look at the prepared consumer data through the IoT platform from Deutsche Telekom on their computer or another device. A simple idea that can be applied to many use cases. For example, the concept is now going into its next iteration with our connected coffee mug. This means that the NFC chips can not only transmit consumer data to an IoT platform, but also circulate messages between customers. It just takes a smartphone scan for curious users to receive information on promotions or special offers.
Simple yet effective innovations like connected coffee mugs seem very obvious once we get our hands on a prototype. But the realization of such an idea is usually far from a sure-fire success. Tight schedules, lack of freedom, and fear of failure inhibit creativity and the willingness to experiment in the day-to-day life of many companies. In a current study from the FOM University of Applied Sciences, 69 percent of participants said that time constraints impede innovations in their companies. According to an study by Deloitte, culturally-specific resistance against changes also stands in the way of new ideas in many companies. One thing is clear: innovations don’t come out of thin air – progressive approaches can only thrive in a creative and inspiring environment. Companies need to afford the right amount of freedom for this.