Back in the old days, we bought devices to do a certain something. That doing something was usually singular. The benefit was usually singular too. Things were simple.
For example, a record player device played music – there wasn’t much more a record player could do. The benefit we derived from the record player was 'listening to music' – there weren’t really any other benefits. Video players played video and nothing else – the benefit was being able to watch movies. A printer printed; a washing machine washed clothes; and a camera took photographs.
The Internet of Things(IoT) means that our devices can now deliver multiple ‘doing somethings’, otherwise known as features. And most importantly IoT means our devices can now deliver 'multiple benefits'.
IoT means we still call the device whatever it was originally called, but now add the word ‘smart’ in front. And when you make a device smart it means adding things such as an internet connection, sensors, other devices, software, apps, big data analytics, AI, interfaces, robotics and more.
The classic IoT example is the electricity meter. With IoT we now call it, a 'smart electricity meter'. Before IoT the electricity meter’s feature was singular – that was to record how much electricity you were using. And the benefit was not to you, but to the electricity company. The benefit was that the electricity company knew how much to charge you for how much electricity you used.
Below is a features and benefits table of the electricity meter before and after IoT.
Another example of a device that used to have one feature and one benefit before IoT came along, is the lock. After IoT the feature and benefit list of the lock becomes significantly greater. See the table below of the lock before and after IoT (with an accommodation/hotel use case).
Lock - Before IoT
Lock After IoT