IoT Rewriting Rules: Next Generation of Sharing Economy
Wish to start a bike or car sharing business but worried about the safety of your assets? Want to register as host on Airbnb but unable to as you live in a different city? Answers to these questions can be changed to yes thanks to the advent of connected IoT devices that will help businesses and individuals to be part of the next generation of decentralized shared economy applications.
Shared economy applications like Uber and Airbnb are well-known applications but there are many opportunities to share in the digital economy. With the recent interest in the Internet of Things and blockchain, the opportunity exists to create myriad of sharing applications. While many of the shared economy scenarios are proliferating, there are very few of them who have leveraged IoT as technology to build applications.
Addressing the know-how?
By utilizing IoT, we can facilitate the sharing of our existing devices, vehicles, buildings, etc.. by embedding sensors and network connectivity that enable our things to collect and exchange data. By integrating technology, we can keep complete transaction details of the shared asset while monitoring and controlling the asset remotely, hence minimizing the threat of theft.
IoT makes it possible to rent connected cars, spaces, goods etc of the sharing economy by:
- Handling secure direct payments
- Removing all forms 3rd party lock-ins
- Supporting almost any object including cars, lockers, apartments, sheds, office space, etc.
Less human involvement
One of the challenges that sharing economy faces is scalability due to operational expenses. With IoT devices and M2M connectivity, there’s less human involvement and thus, reducing operational cost and providing more flexibility to customers. Further, such automation like self-driving car and drone deliveries will also help on-demand businesses to reduces their cost and increase efficiency. All of this will only be made possible with connected devices.
This new wave of connectivity is going beyond laptops and smartphones, it’s going towards connected cars, smart homes, connected wearables, smart cities, and connected healthcare. Basically a connected life. According to a Gartner report, by 2020 connected devices across all technologies will reach 20.6 billion!
Usage models for car sharing have become increasingly sophisticated, progressing from the round trip, where drivers must pick up and return cars at the same location, to free-floating, which allows drivers to pick up and return anywhere within a given geographical area. To compete effectively, car sharing companies need to provide maximum convenience for customers which can be enabled by IoT devices that help companies to remotely track (GPS trackers) and control their vehicle (lock and unlock using beacons).
Mobike is a smart bike sharing service from China which is using an IoT SIM that is embedded in the smart lock of each bike, allowing it to be shipped and activated anywhere in the world. Mobike users download a dedicated app and use it to find and unlock a bike in a convenient location and to track their usage statistics. The IoT hardware and software in the smart lock on the bike enables the collection of a vast library of transport data. In the long term, this data could be merged with public transport data to generate a total picture of a city’s transport infrastructure.
Having a connected device means always being able to know where your asset is irrespective of who is currently using it. This can be especially important in home rentals, which on the other hand, have their own challenges – how to transfer the physical key of home from one guest to another. With IoT smart locks, one can unlock home from one’s smartphone app and no need for exchanging physical keys anymore. With smart home devices, the host can rest be assured of the safety of one’s home.
Rental startup FastFox is experimenting with smart locks that can be opened wirelessly through a smartphone or compatible device. A dedicated fastfox agent has to be authorized by the owner to access the house and show it to the customer. This way the owner knows exactly when and for how long was the house was accessed.
While new sensors, mobile, and wireless technologies are driving the evolution of the IoT, the true business value of the IoT lies in analytics.
The biggest benefit of these connected devices is an invaluable insight into how one’s customers are using its services. Analyzing these usage patterns will help grow business by improving and customizing its services and further, remove not-so-popular features. This can also help expand into new markets and services.
After all, why transmit information from a device if you don’t have analytics that is rich enough to extract insights from it or transform it into meaningful consumer experiences.
AGT International a leading player in the emerging IoT analytics market is using IoT generated data in video feeds, consumer product usage analysis, traditional data-mining to detect fraud and enabling a new service for its customers, which appeals both to thrifty and green consumers.
Where does JungleWorks fit in?
Jungleworks is currently a leading technology provider for starting up an on-demand business. With new offerings of connected IoT devices e.g. tracking devices, smart locks etc, integrated with on-demand software suite, Jungleworks will provide complete and an efficient solution for not only enabling shared economy use cases e.g. car sharing, bike sharing but also provide insights into customer usage patterns and behaviors.
By working with Jungleworks, solution providers and car sharing companies can eliminate the need to source multiple devices, agreements, and multiple management platforms. They reduce time-to-market, simplify deployment and maintenance, extend coverage and ultimately, maximize revenues.
Start with Jungleworks to disrupt the market.