How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition


Once composed solely of mechanical and electrical parts, products have become complex systems that combine hardware, sensors, data storage, microprocessors, software, and connectivity in myriad ways. These “smart, connected products”—made possible by vast improvements in processing power and device miniaturization and by the network benefits of ubiquitous wireless connectivity—have unleashed a new era of competition.

Great comprehensive overview of economic competition in the age of smart, connected products.

What can these products do?

  • Monitoring: product’s condition, operation, and external environment. How the product is actually used.
  • Control: respond to specified changes in its condition or environment. Remote or embedded algorithms.
  • Optimization: improve output, utilization, and efficiency.
  • Autonomy: learn about their environment, self-diagnose their own service needs, and adapt to users’ preferences. Act in coordination with other products and systems.