Arena Blog

Read Our Blog for the
Latest Trends and Insights

At CES, Internet of Things Creates Real Excitement and Endless Possibilities

Internet of ThingsThe International Consumer Electronics Show is the King Kong of trade shows. Held in Las Vegas, this consumer electronics gathering attracts more than 150,000 visitors. It occupies 35 football fields of exhibition space where more than 3,500 companies come to proudly showcase their goods. 

Despite the event’s high profile status, for the last few years, the trendy show has lacked some pizzazz. What’s even worse — it’s lacked substance. But this year, CES was buzzing with possibilities of the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

If you’ve been confused about what exactly the term “Internet of Things” means and why you should care, you’re hardly alone. Nearly half (43%) of the manufacturing executives polled recently by LNS Research said they don’t know anything about the IoT. What’s more, only 10% say they’ve started to invest in IoT technologies.

Basically, IoT refers to the concept of a world full of connected devices controlled through a consumer-friendly hub, like a smartphone app.

“Things”, in the IoT, can also refer to a wide variety of electronic devices, such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, automobiles with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue. Current market examples include smart thermostat systems and washer/dryers that utilize Wifi for remote monitoring. (Click here to read more about what IT users should be aware of with regards to IoT.)

According to a forecast by Gartner, the “Internet of Things” is expected to swell to as many as 26 billion devices by 2020. Security experts agree that the IoT could become the year’s biggest security concern: All the new connected devices give hackers potential entry points to break into home products such as security systems, monitoring cameras, smart TVs, and even connected baby monitors.

Perhaps the spookiest example of a security breach of a personal nature was last year when a Russian website posted live streams of unsecured webcams in more than 100 countries online for anyone to watch. The site showed everything from babies sleeping and people relaxing in their living rooms to closed-circuit cameras of the houses.

Read more about this in my new horror book titled, “When Strangers Skype.”

Manufacturers roaming the floor of CES may feel overwhelmed by the fascinating disruptive change happening in the consumer technology space — certainly more so this year than in the past decade. Many innovative product companies may question how they will be able to speed their “next big thing” fast enough to market.

The secret?

Innovative product companies need smart manufacturing and supply chain tools to corral change and shift directions quickly. It’s an open secret that many of the top companies at CES, ranging from Fitbit to Square to Ecobee, rely on Arena to respond to disruptive technology changes, reduce ECO cycles and accelerate time to market.

Arena’s family of PLM solutions includes Arena BOMControl — a way to manage your bill of materials and change management processes. With BOMControl, you can dramatically reduce engineering change order cycle time with a multi-stage voting scheme that shows changes to approved supply chain team members.

Arena Change Management allows suppliers anywhere in the world to approve engineering change requests (ECR) and engineering change orders (ECO). Revisions that include swapping in new parts and components are quick and easy when everyone is on the same page.

To deliver new disruptive products and ensure first-mover advantage in the highly competitive industry, more and more consumer electronics companies depend on Arena’s cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) solution to innovate. Request a demo today and see how Arena PLM can help you reach your 2015 NPI goals.