IoT Notes by Mazlan Abbas

For the past many years, I have received similar questions again and again. Finally, I decided to write simple notes (hand-drawn and with the help of some multimedia tool) regarding IoT.

This can be used for lecture notes or as a simple way to understand IoT. Initially, I made this a paid version, but finally, I decided to make it free for all.

Here’s the link to download – https://bit.ly/3p0gR5K

Note: Don’t forget to download the second eBook entitled “Your IoT Journey” which is also available for free.

And I am in the process of writing the third eBook called “IoT Adventure”. Soon to be published if I have enough energy or encouragement to complete. Thanks, guys, for the support!

IoT Notes by Mazlan Abbas

Smart Nation, Smart Cities, and Smart Industries

The fifth session of the World Digital Economy and Technology Summit 2022 (28-29 June 2022) was centered on creating smart nations, smart cities, and smart industries with an eye on sustainability.

Panelists:

Goh Seok Mei, Executive Director, United Cities, Malaysia

Tirupathi Karthik, Chief Executive Officer, Napier Healthcare Solutions Pte Ltd., Singapore

Mark Thomas, Founder & Managing Director, Serviceworks Group Ltd, New Zealand

Prof. M. Nazri Muhd, Founder & Chairman for the AI World Summit / Founder & Group CEO, MyFinB Group, Singapore

Dr. Guo Wanda, Executive Vice President, China Development Institute (CDI), People’s Republic of China

The session is moderated by Dr. Mazlan Abbas, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of FAVORIOT Sdn Bhd, Malaysia.

LinkedIn is the Best Platform to Conduct Technology Survey

LinkedIn is probably one of the best platforms to conduct surveys because most of the users are professionals. Their opinion and feedback are regarded very highly due to their professionalism in that particular area.

I have done several surveys on topics ranging from the Internet of Things and IR 4.0. Below are some of the results after 7 days of polling.

Survey started in Feb. 2022

Contents of IoT Adventure Book

IoT Adventure Book will delve deeper into the business of IoT. It will also share the experience of being an IoT entrepreneur. Some of the topics have been written in the IoT World Blog. Check out the contents below:

IoT Applications

  1. 6 Benefits That Can Transform Your Supply Chain Using IoT
  2. What Exactly is Smart Poultry
  3. What Exactly is Metaverse?
  4. Automatic Plant Monitoring System
  5. What Exactly is IoT Analytics?
  6. What Exactly is Smart Mobility?
  7. 10 Benefits of IoT That Transform Smart Agriculture
  8. Flood Forecasting and Warning System (FFWS) IR 4.0
  9. 8 Immediate Benefits of Smart Manufacturing
  10. How Smart Buildings Could Save Energy and Money
  11. How to Use Drones to Monitor Floods
  12. Why Smart Flood Monitoring System is Essential For Everyone
  13. Everything You Need To Know About The Benefits Of Fleet Management Using IoT
  14. How Digital Transform Agriculture
  15. What is Exactly Parking 4.0?
  16. What is Exactly Construction 4.0?
  17. IoT Detect Potholes
  18. Fleet Management Using IoT
  19. Developing Smart Garbage Collection Solution Using Internet of Things (IoT)
  20. Smart Construction in Era of Internet of Things (IoT)
  21. Which Era is Our Parking System?
  22. Why Do We Monitor Our Cats Using IoT?
  23. Can We Really Use Drones to Carry Parcels?
  24. Seven (7) Key Lessons for Smart Parking Deployment
  25. How IOT Transforms the Connected Car Industry

IoT Tips

  1. How to Select the Best IoT Platform
  2. How To Explain IoT in the Simplest Manner
  3. How-To Make Industry-University Collaboration A Successful Venture
  4. How-To Create Your First IoT Application Using Arduino and FAVORIOT
  5. How IoT Can Solve the Problems of Seven (7) M’s of a Business
  6. How To Create Highly Demand IoT Talents By Becoming a Producer Based Nation
  7. How To Develop Smart Agriculture Solutions
  8. How-To Develop Smart Flood Monitoring System
  9. How-To Develop Smart River Monitoring
  10. How-To Develop a Smart Garbage Collection
  11. How-To Build Smart Cities Using Minimum Viable City (MVC) Approach
  12. How to Embark on IoT Business

Smart Cities

  1. Smart Cities & IoT – The Opportunities and Challenges Ahead
  2. What Will You Discover in IOT and Smart Cities – “Gold Mines” or “Time Bombs”?
  3. Four (4) New Tips for Successful Smart Cities Implementation
  4. Guide How-To Build Your Smart City
  5. How-To Build Smart Cities Using Minimum Viable City Approach
  6. What Are Your Smart Cities Priorities?
  7. Using IOT to Determine the Health of Your City
  8. Build Smart Cities With These 3 Key Elements
  9. Guide to Monetize Your Smart City’s Data
  10. Who Owns the IoT and Smart City’s Data?
  11. Checking the Pulse of the City
  12. Better City Better World – You Act We React
  13. How to Get the Right Business Model for Smart Cities
  14. Better Citizen Engagement To Build Smarter Cities
  15. What Budget 2017 Meant for Malaysia’s IOT and Smart Cities
  16. Citizen Engagement Can Make a Difference for Your Cities
  17. Tips for City Authorities – How to Avoid Citizen Engagement Pitfalls

IoT Infographics

  1. Six (6) Tips to Build Successful Smart Cities [Infographics]
  2. How IoT Impact 7M of the Business [Infographics]
  3. 7 Best IoT Business Models [Infographics]
  4. 3 Steps to Implement IoT [Infographics]
  5. Starting Your IoT Business [Infographics]
  6. 5 Traits of Generation-IoT [Infographics]

FAVORIOT Products and Services

  1. IoT Specialist Training with IoT Analytics
  2. Advanced IoT Training With FAVORIOT IoT Platform
  3. FAVORIOT – Internet of Things (IoT) Hands-on Training
  4. Redeem Voucher Code for Free 1-Month Beginner Plan
  5. Favoriot IoT Platform Features
  6. Dscover: How-To Redeem a Voucher
  7. Hibiscus Sense – Micropython Source Code for BLYNK & FAVORIOT
  8. Malaysia IoT Board: Hibiscus Sense and FAVORIOT
  9. FAVORIOT IoT Platform – From FREE to PREMIUM Plans
  10. Travel With Dscover
  11. Dr. Mazlan Abbas – An Entrepreneur
  12. This Malaysian IoT Startup Starts from Zero
  13. Updates on IoT Platform Resources (FAVORIOT)
  14. Smart Travel – Split Up and Have Fun
  15. How a Smart Travel App Can Help to Ease the Headache of Managing a Tour Group
  16. The Best Travel Companion App for Hajj or Umrah
  17. COMPLETE TUTORIAL – How To Connect Cytron Uno (Arduino UNO) With FAVORIOT Platform

IoT and IR 4.0 in Malaysia

  1. Top 6 IoT Predictions in 2022 – Malaysia
  2. Malaysia IoT Predictions in 2021
  3. IoT in Malaysia (2019) – A Dream vs A Reality
  4. 2020 Predictions for IoT
  5. IoT in Malaysia – 2019 Predictions
  6. IoT in Malaysia – Things We Learned in 2018
  7. IoT Predictions – Malaysia’s IoT in 2018
  8. IoT – Wishlist for 2018
  9. IoT in Malaysia – 2017 In Review
  10. IoT in Malaysia – 2017 Wishlist
  11. 2017 IOT Predictions in Malaysia
  12. Malaysia’s National IoT Strategic Roadmap – 2016 In Review
  13. 10-10 Malaysia Science, Technology, Innovation and Economy (MYSTIE)
  14. My Top 5 Opinions – Malaysia National 4IR Policy
  15. MIFA – Malaysia Industry Forward Association
  16. 12MP – Twelfth Malaysia Plan (2021-2025)
  17. Malaysia National 4IR Policy
  18. Teroka Tech Musim 2 Episod 6 : Pakar IoT di Malaysia
  19. Digitalisation of Malaysia With MyDigital Economy Blueprint
  20. Growing the IoT Ecosystem in Malaysia
  21. Industry 4WRD Readiness Assessment and Incentives
  22. Why Are We Still at Industrial Revolution 2.7 (IR2.7)?
  23. Propelling IoT in Malaysia
  24. Malaysia Needs 100K IoT Professionals to Complement the Big Data Workforce
  25. IOT in Malaysia – Current & Future Trends
  26. List of Top 3 IoT Applications That “Should” Be in Malaysia​
  27. How Do You Begin Your IoT Journey in Malaysia?
  28. Can Malaysians Avoid Floods Using Internet of Things (IoT)?
  29. IOT Adoption Challenges in Malaysia

IoT Challenges

  1. A List of Skills Required For Internet Of Things (IoT) Talent
  2. Solving IoT Project Issues in the Universities
  3. Nine (9) IoT Challenges of IoT Adoption
  4. Which IoT Market Makes Money? B2B or B2C?
  5. Four (4) Reasons for Technology Trial
  6. IOT: Moving Beyond to the Digital Future
  7. Realizing Society 5.0 in Relation To Industry 4.0
  8. IoT & IR 4.0 – A Disruptive Era of Transformation
  9. IoT – The Building Block for IR 4.0
  10. IoT & IR 4 0 – Get Ready for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet
  11. Harnessing the Power of IoT
  12. IR 4.0 – Embrace or Become Obsolete
  13. IoT in The New Norm
  14. To IoTise Every Business
  15. The Entrepreneurship Journey of Pre and Post Covid 19 – Lessons Learned
  16. IoT – The Core Technology for IR 4.0 and How It Benefits SMEs
  17. Use Case: Detecting Power Interruption Using IoT
  18. IR 4.0 and IoT – The New Frontier
  19. The Easiest Way to Understand IoT via 7 Layers of OSI
  20. The Best Way to Develop IoT Solutions in the Universities
  21. IoT Middleware – The Critical Missing Component in the IoT Value Chain
  22. IoT is the Core Technology for IR 4.0
  23. Will IoT and IR 4.0 Really Gonna Take Our Jobs?
  24. Overcoming the Challenges of Becoming IR 4.0
  25. Abusing the Word “Internet of Things” (IoT)
  26. Data Convergence – Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0 and Emerging Tech
  27. What’s the Big Deal About IoT?
  28. Can You Really Trust IoT?
  29. IoT in the Universities
  30. IoT Platform vs IoT Ecosystem
  31. Do You Really Need 5G for IoT?
  32. Why Developing an IoT Solution is Not That Straightforward
  33. IoT as a Business – Where Do We Start
  34. Avoid These 9 Common Pitfalls That Hinder IoT Value
  35. How an IoT Platform Can Ease Your IoT Project
  36. IoTise Your Business
  37. The Early Adopters of IoT
  38. 10 Reasons Why You Need An IoT Platform
  39. Four (4) Steps for Building an IoT Product
  40. We IoTised For You
  41. The Benefits of Deploying IoT Platform for Enterprise (On-Premise) or on Private Cloud.
  42. HOW-TO – Check Your Own IR 4.0 Readiness
  43. Tips – How to Successfully Deploy IoT Solutions or Services
  44. How-To Solve the Issues in University Campuses Efficiently
  45. Your IoT Journey Starts Here
  46. How-To Create IoT Ecosystem for Universities
  47. How-To Complete Your IoT Projects On Schedule
  48. What’s Disruption 4.0?
  49. Crowdsensing Platform to Build Better Cities and Communities
  50. Journey Towards Industry 4.0 With IoT
  51. Challenges of Making IoT a Ubiquitous Service
  52. Generation-IOT That Will Disrupt The World
  53. Monetizing Digital Services: Where’s the Profit?
  54. We Need CIO with IOT Skills for 2017
  55. IoT – Build Once, Use Many Times
  56. DO NOT Let “Transparency” Stop You From Implementing IOT
  57. The Not-So-Secret Formula to be a Successful IoT Player
  58. IOT – Four (4) Levels of Maturity
  59. Will IoT Create or Kill Jobs?
  60. Critical Success Factors for IOT
  61. ​IoT is Here: Where do Service Providers Stand in the Age of IoT?
  62. How IOT Detect Corruption
  63. Are You Embracing IoT The Right Way? The Top 10 DO’s and DON’Ts
  64. Four (4) Compelling Reasons Not To Be Left Behind In The IOT Race
  65. Will IOT Make You More Efficient or Lazy?
  66. Facebook of Things – IOT Meets Social Media
  67. Monetising IOT Data and Become Commercial Sensor Service Provider
  68. “Sensing-as-a-Service” – New IoT Cloud Service is in Town
  69. How to Convert Raw Data Into Knowledge With Internet of Things (IoT)
  70. 4 Reasons Why Internet of Things (IOT) Adoption Will Not Be As Slow as IPv6
  71. Sensing-As-A-Service – An IOT Cloud Service
  72. The 4 Main Challenges to Become An Internet of Things (IOT) Service Provider
  73. Internet of Things (IOT) Target Market – Consumer (B2C) or Enterprise (B2B)?

Generation-IoT

  1. Who Are the New Generation-IoT
  2. How To Build Your Own IoT Ecosystem
  3. Expert Advice for Generation-IoT
  4. Generation-IoT is Set to Become a Global Movement
  5. Who Are The Early Adopters of Internet of Things (IoT)?
  6. The Enablers, Engagers, and Enhancers of IoT
  7. The 10 Most Inspiring CEOs to Watch in 2021
  8. Top Seven IoT Influencers to Follow in 2021
  9. Ups and Downs of an IoT Entrepreneur

Things About IoT

  1. System Integration in the Era IR 4.0
  2. Who and What is FAVORIOT
  3. The DNA of Internet of Things (IoT)
  4. Seven (7) IoT Business Models That Can Create New Revenue Streams
  5. Three (3) Best YouTube Channels on Technology Tips
  6. FREE IoT eBooks for Download!
  7. Dscover – Family Organizer Mobile App for 2021
  8. Three (3) Things You Need to Know About Robots
  9. Benefits of Data Blending
  10. OTT – A Disruptive and Killer Service to SMS and MMS combined
  11. Why I Simply Love IoT
  12. Wearables – Your New IoT Teacher
  13. Five (5) Main Reasons Telcos Not Interested in Internet of Things (IoT) Business
  14. Building a “Waze”-Like Citizen Engagement Solution
  15. Internet of Things (IOT) – Will It Really Fly?

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IoT – How We Learned 7 Mistakes and Turned into Traction

How do we gain traction and what do we learn from our early mistakes?

When I was with MIMOS, an R&D Agency under MOSTI, my role was developing wireless technologies, one of which was the Internet of Things, especially in developing new 6LoWPAN standards.

Later, we created new IoT applications but did not think about selling the applications. What are the business models, and who will be the paying customers?

However, when I left the organization and ventured into the telco world, the IoT business became challenging. We cannot apply all theories to the real world.

7 Mistakes That We Did Not Realize

In the early days of Favoriot, we were very optimistic about the IoT market, and we thought customers were ready to jump into this as soon as they got the opportunity. But nothing is as easy as we thought! We were mesmerized by the number of IoT devices by 2020 and how the organizations will adopt Iot applications. 

Here’re our 7 early mistakes and things that we overlooked:

  1. There is not enough talent in the industry to develop IoT solutions. When we launched our IoT platform in 2017, we thought people would subscribe to it and use it in the IoT deployment. Unfortunately, the take-up is very slow. People are not aware of how to use them or connect any sensors.
  2. Talent is still the Universities. If the industry doesn’t have enough talent, most likely they should still be in the Colleges or Universities. But even in 2017, IoT is still very new to many educational institutions. Not many of their current courses embed with complete elements of IoT, which means learning IoT applications and their benefits, but the ability to have hands-on IoT projects and learn all the four aspects of IoT such as Sensors, Connectivity, Middleware, and Analytics.
  3. Not enough knowledge to train Favoriot platform. Letting users learn using the IoT middleware via YouTube videos is also a big mistake because many still prefer a formal course rather than self-training. Proper training is mandatory, and YouTube resources should be supplementary resources.
  4. Customers don’t know how to start their IoT journey. Many are still trying to grasp how IoT impacts their business. And what it takes to start transforming their organizations with intelligent solutions.
  5. IoT Budget was not in place. Too many stakeholders make the decision process slower, and they are late in justifying their ioT budget. Organizations can’t comprehend how much it cost to deploy an IoT solution. Where should it start, and who should manage this?
  6. There is no catalyst to create their IoT projects. Before Covid-19 happened in 2020, the digital transformation process in many businesses was prolonged.
  7. We did not take the IoT training opportunity. Many opportunities arise, but we neglect that opportunity simply because we thought we should focus on building our IoT platform and marketing them. 
Favoriot Team in 2019

Building IoT Community for Commercialisation

It has been very challenging to promote the usage of our Favoriot IoT because we are new to the market, and most people are aware of other alternatives.

Thus, we set up a strategy to create awareness by promoting the Generation-IoT community to quickly help users start their IoT journey. We take this opportunity to create IoT training courses using the Favoriot IoT platform and bundling with an IoT ecosystem package to the educational institutions.

We went back to the Universities, Colleges, and Polytechnics and help them to refresh their IoT syllabus which suits the industry needs.

Since then, we have managed to groom many trainers, lecturers, and individuals with IoT knowledge and hands-on using Favoriot IoT platform.

It has become the beginning of our traction from education to the platform’s commercialization. The platform proves to become a better alternative to the existing IoT platforms in the market. We have gained the trust of the industry to become one of the IoT platforms of choice.

The local support and expertise give us a massive advantage to enter into IoT projects. We also teach them how to select the best IoT platform without evaluating hundreds of products in the market.

We regret not taking the education path 3 to 4 years earlier. Otherwise, the IoT landscape would be very different today.

But then, no one expects to connect the dots this way without learning the mistakes we are going through.

Dr. Mazlan Abbas

“Mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before.”

Anonymous

This is part of the real stories about IoT entrepreneurship. Subscribe to IoT Adventure book when it’s available in the future. Read the archive here.

6 Great Challenges Building an IoT Solution for Hajj

This article is the first part of our Raqib journey. The experience that we have learned building such a solution is priceless. We must always be prepared to overcome the technical challenges and go-to-market strategy.

RAQIB is the first IoT product we built when we launched our Startup in 2017. The initial target market was Senior Citizens. However, we pivoted (or expanded) our customer segment to cater to people going for their Hajj.

Target Hajj Market

Based on our market research, we saw Hajj market is very suitable for Raqib as per the following reasons:

  1. More than 2.3 Million perform Hajj per year (about 30,000 pilgrims are from Malaysia)
  2. Different languages and cultures make communication very difficult during an emergency.
  3. Many pilgrims went missing because of the crowded nature and unfamiliar with foreign places.
  4. People can easily fall sick or faint due to heat and dust. The need to call help immediately is a challenge.
  5. Constant care and monitoring are required to have peace of mind when performing Hajj, especially when traveling with a spouse that is elderly.
  6. The hajj peak period is between 5-6 days with crowded people in small areas. Thus, it’s a challenge to find a missing person, especially almost all wearing similar robes and clothes.
  7. When staying at Mina, the tents are very similar, and thus finding a way home can be a significant challenge.
  8. Crowded places include Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah, and Tawaf at Kaaba.
During 2019 Umrah
6 Great Challenges Building an IoT Solution for Hajj Click To Tweet

Challenges of Building an IoT Solution (Raqib) for Hajj

We noticed that pivoting to a different market segment is not as straightforward as expected. The challenges are:

  1. Device – What are the main parameters that we should monitor? Is it health vital signs or safety (tracking locations)? For some, measuring the blood pressure level is more important, whereas others want to know the whereabouts of their spouse. 
  2. Network and Roaming – The model we offered only supports 2G networks and voice capability. Not many M2M sim cards provided by telcos have the roaming capability, and the cost can be high too due to the data roaming charges. Since we are bundling Raqib only for simple monitoring, we only limit data usage for wearable purposes and not for web browsing (users can detach the sim card and misuse it for other purposes). Enabling the right APNs of the device for different network operators in Saudi is also a challenge.
  3. Trial Period – Since Hajj is seasonal (once a year), we must find a way to trial at the Hajj site itself. The first option, we gave the device to our partners and customers who are performing their Umrah. We received a lot of issues during this trial, but we overcame it when we offered to our Saudi partner and our Malaysian trial customers to test during the 2018 Hajj. I also have personally tested Raqib during my Umrah in early 2019.
  4. User Behavior – It is also one of the biggest challenges because a user must always wear the Raqib watch to work as expected. If a person leaves the Raqib watch at their hotel, then the data on the Raqib app will not be accurate or consistent. The device must also be robust enough to withstand water during wudhu or bath. The user needs to charge the battery consistently, which is very challenging when the source of power is scarce in places like Arafat and Mina.
  5. Go-to-Market Strategy – Who will buy or subscribe to Raqib? Do we sell this to the Hajj authorities, or should we sell this to Hajj Travel Agencies? Or should we sell directly to the end-users? What’s the business model? It’s pretty challenging to sell as a CAPEX-based model because the Raqib requires sim cards, and the data need to be activated. Since this is a Hajj solution and it only happens once a year, what happens when a user returns home – do they want to continue using them. Or should it be a rental model for the travel agents – they can re-use the device for another group of Umrah pilgrims. Unfortunately, this rental doesn’t work because of the tedious logistics process – collecting the devices, cleaning them, and managing the stocks.
  6. Going Beyond Malaysian Market – For Raqib to be successful, it must capture a global market because the Hajj market is small and seasonal. However, to do this, we need to test the roaming capability of the sim cards – and we have done it successfully in Saudi Arabia, India, Maldives, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

This article is the first part of our Raqib journey. The experience that we have learned from building such a solution is priceless. We must always be prepared to overcome the technical challenges and go-to-market strategy. 

Have you encountered any IoT solutions similar to Raqib? Please leave your comments below.

RAQIB Crowdfunding – Launchgood

Articles worth reading:

  1. TaqwaTech – RAQIB for Hajj
  2. Raqib Is The Companion You Need During Your Hajj & Umrah
  3. Raqib – Solution to Care and “Watch” The Pilgrims During Hajj and Umrah
  4. RAQIB Raising Donation Campaign With LaunchGood – Peace of Mind for Hajj Pilgrims in 2019

How We Build a New Generation-IoT Movement

How do we build enough momentum to accelerate the growth of IoT talents? One of them is to develop a movement called “Generation-IoT”. This is the story.

The original article of the blog was posted here.

I am not sure, but maybe it’s always in my blood or DNA to share knowledge, build talent, or teach others. I started my journey in IoT as early as in the Year 2001. At that time, the telco was called M2M (or Machine-to-Machine). The data are kept in silos; systems are called Telemetry, and Scada is a common name. Applications are limited to remote meter reading and vehicle tracking.

We can rarely see any fancy IoT applications because technology is in infancy stage. Cloud services are not available, devices are still expensive, no smartwatches, no open API IoT applications and many other missing components.

The Early Days of IoT

LinkedIn is my main channel to communicate with friends from overseas. And when I fully embarked on IoT in 2014, I couldn’t even find enough friends to exchange ideas. You can barely see any jobs with the title “IoT” at that period (unlike today, “IoT” is ubiquitous in many job positions).

I was part of the team that developed the Malaysia National IoT Strategic Framework, and one of the missions was to create an IoT ecosystem. We don’t see this materialize a couple of years down the road. Very frustrating after the hard work.

The Beginning of Generation-IoT

Thus, we offered our FAVORIOT platform as an IoT ecosystem for Malaysia and created a Generation-IoT movement. And …oh boy! It was a lonely journey. And very tiring too. No one believed in the mission to become a ProducerNation by building our IoT products. Talents are lacking.

Luckily, I was invited by many local Universities to be part of many Industrial Advisory Panels. For four years, we re-look back at the University’s contents and syllabus to include IoT and make it more structured. We hoped to have more IoT talents in the market with this refreshed syllabus.

Who are the Generation-IoT?
How We Build a New Generation-IoT Movement Click To Tweet

Bearing Fruits and Skepticism

Now we are seeing the fruits of the labor; there are many courses in IoT, Masters in IoT (UTHM), Diploma in IoT (KKTMPJ), and even a Certificate in IoT (Kolej Komuniti Seberang Jaya).

But I also received many comments from people who mocked me, saying why am I helping the local Universities because they are not giving you any projects or becoming your primary revenue streams. Well, that’s another story for me to tell another day. Actually, as of today, education is my second highest revenue contributor.

I am happy to say that I have helped build a Generation-IoT that will become the future technology leaders of IoT.

Slideshare

Articles worth reading:

  1. Generation-IoT is Set to Become a Global Movement
  2. Who Are the New Generation-IoT
  3. Expert Advice for Generation-IoT
  4. Generation-IOT That Will Disrupt The World
Source: 5 Traits of Generation-IoT

How We Build Our Fourth IoT Product

Why did we build another IoT product? Why can’t we maintain the three IoT products developed earlier. Here’s the story.

When we launched the first IoT product called Raqib commercially in 2018, we received a lot of feedback from users and potential customers.

We have to decide to enhance the current product or spawn into a new product altogether.

Meanwhile, there are two more IoT products that we are still building and enhancing – the second product called Favorsense and the third product called Favoriot IoT platform.

Finally, we decided to follow our gut feeling and start building our fourth IoT product called Dscover (formerly named D’scover – we will reveal the reason for changing the spelling later).

How We Build Our Fourth IoT Product Click To Tweet

The Problem Statement

When we introduced Raqib as a single device solution for tracking (instead of using a Bluetooth smartwatch and a smartphone), we received much feedback that they don’t need the features of monitoring vital health signs.

But in which market is tracking the best suit for this product? Why the need for monitoring an individual in the first place?

In our early customer development process, tracking an individual is critical for safety – especially during travel.

If a person travels in a tour group, he wants to have some freedom on his own. But he also needs to be constantly connected with the group or his tour bus.

In the case of a tour guide responsible for the group, he must ensure the group’s safety, and the travel itinerary must be adhered to and to ensure no one is late or left behind.

If that person is lost, the easiest way is to locate through the mobile app. The app should also have a travel planner feature to organize and share among the tour members.

How Big is the Market

Initially, we targeted the Travel and Tourism market, which was vast and active before the Covid-19 strikes in early 2020.

Below are the statistics of the world’s and Malaysia’s No. of arrivals.

Travel and Tourism Market

However, when travel and tourism were severely affected in 2020 and 2021 by restricted movement orders and banned in traveling, we pivoted our market to a family and friends app.

The IoT Solution

We chose a mobile app as the solution because of the following reasons:

  • Cheaper because this “IoT” solution uses the individual’s device, i.e., smartphone. GPS is the only sensor needed. The user has paid their connectivity charges (mobile data). The user only needs to download the app and pay for premium features.
  • Easier to deploy and manage the users (only via the Google Store and App Store)
Dscover

Go-to-Market

The biggest challenge for such a product is that it has become a B2C model whereby the channel to market can be very challenging.

The most accessible marketing channel to reach the users is via Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

To conduct targeted ads, we need to identify the users’ demographics – in this case, the family members and friends.

Earlier, we named the product D’scover, but it is complicated for a user to search the app in the App Store because of the unique spelling. Finally, we decided to change the name to Dscover.

In the travel and tourism market earlier, we have a B2B model approaching Travel Agencies and Government, but unfortunately, Covid-19 has a significant impact in this sector.

We have even expanded the market segment to solve the issues of monitoring quarantined patients. However, for some unforeseen reasons, this solution did not get the buy-in from the authorities.

Time to Stop Developing New IoT Products

We asked ourselves, have we done enough marketing and sales before moving into another product? Building a new product can be long and tiring.

All four IoT products have their strengths and weaknesses – which I will be able to share in other Blog articles. It is only the beginning of my IoT Adventure – you may subscribe to the newsletter or the RSS feed.

Dscover Resources

Articles worth reading:

  1. How We Build Our First IoT Product
  2. How We Build Our Second IoT Product
  3. How We Build Our Third IoT Product
  4. How We Build Our Fourth IoT Product