How businesses are emerging stronger with IoT: A blueprint for post-pandemic innovation

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    Elizabeth Grossenbacher
  • Dec 01, 2020

During the pandemic, we’ve watched businesses take existing IoT solutions and brilliantly pivot them to help meet the challenges created by COVID-19.

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In the early days of the pandemic, the world shut down—and the economy with it. In weeks, we saw uncertainty across industries as workers were furloughed or laid off, companies went out of business, and our lives changed overnight.

But in the midst of that uncertainty, something inspiring happened: leaders, workers, and developers in tech and communications adapted their thinking to this new paradigm, hoping to find solutions that would ease the burden the pandemic had brought on.

My team works closely with companies at the forefront of emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. IoT refers to objects that collect data which can optimize everyday experiences—meaning anything from smart home devices to remote patient monitors.

Before the pandemic, IoT was already poised to change in how we work. The pandemic has only sped up its adoption and shown us how powerful of a tool it can really be.

While some of the most well known IoT solutions are made for consumers, many of the biggest applications for IoT are actually found in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation. This is because IoT data collection can have an incredible impact on things like observing a patient’s vital signs, managing a supply chain, tracking perishable goods, and much more.

During the pandemic, we’ve watched businesses take existing IoT solutions and brilliantly pivot them to help meet the challenges created by COVID-19. What inspires us is not just that these companies use Twilio-enabled tech to face the immediate challenges in front of them—but that they are emerging even stronger through the process of innovation.

IoT implementation can help every business better prepare for the needs of tomorrow’s economy—so we’ve collected some of the IoT that have set a blueprint for post-pandemic innovation.

IoT is helping businesses face new challenges

Regardless of industry or occupation, one of the biggest changes we’re all facing is missing out on group activities, from small gatherings of close friends to the exhilarating energy of watching a game in a packed stadium.

Pixmob had been creating IoT-enabled wearables for events prior to the pandemic’s start—like at the NFL Super Bowl, where they gave attendees a smart wristband that would react based on the halftime show with lights, sounds, and pulses to create a more engaging experience.

Gatherings at this scale are no longer an option—so for Pixmob, the question became how to take IoT solutions and apply them to the problems facing us today.

Instead of waiting for things to go back to how they were, they looked to a new use case: many workers at industrial facilities like factories and meat packing plants were continuing to provide essential labor throughout the pandemic, but because of the close quarters in these environments, there were clear safety risks that needed to be addressed.

So Pixmob developed an IoT wearable that could be used by essential workers to provide an array of safety features, like ensuring you and your coworkers are at a safe distance and collecting data to assist in contract tracing. Their ability to adapt helped keep business operating and workers safe—two invaluable accomplishments in our new paradigm.

This is just one example of how IoT is making workplaces, teams, and consumers safer, but there are more—like AirThinx making critical air quality information accessible to workers and consumers, or SystemOne’s remote diagnosis systems.

IoT is a foundation for evolution

The economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic is unlikely to completely resolve overnight, and much of its impact won’t be clear until it’s behind us. That means it’s crucial to make forward-thinking decisions that can boost efficiency and help prepare for what’s next.

Before the pandemic hit, many companies were already tapping into Twilio Wireless to create seamless, contactless experiences—like how Dwelo developed IoT systems for tenants and property managers that cut down on unnecessary time and communication.

The pandemic increased the need for these kinds of effective alternatives to traditional systems, especially considering real estate is an industry where face-to-face interaction has traditionally been crucial.

Adapting existing IoT tech presented the perfect way to meet the challenge. Brands like SMARTRENT and Rently have used IoT to enable contactless access to units for self-guided tours that are helping to keep the market alive while putting health and safety first during the pandemic. Fascinatingly, the benefits of these tools is likely to outlast the pandemic itself.

Data indicates that self-guided tours increase lease conversions by 86 percent compared to tours with a staff escort—showing IoT solutions aren’t just short term fixes, they’re practical tools that create a strong foundation for your business’s economic future and help you evolve to meet changing demands.

How can IoT impact your business?

We know IoT solutions can make us all safer, more efficient, and better equipped to adapt, so the question now is: what would happen if every business could find such ingenious ways to incorporate IoT technology into their strategies for the coming year and beyond?

Watch the webinar

Learn more about how IoT solutions can help your business thrive in our webinar series, Emerging Stronger With IoT.

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Elizabeth Grossenbacher

Elizabeth is a product marketer who gets excited about using IoT for positive impact. As a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Twilio IoT, Elizabeth works closely with IoT customers to understand and share their impact on the world. Prior to Twilio, Elizabeth launched dozens of products and programs at various high tech organizations, consulted for Fortune 500 companies at Gartner, and served as an IoT subject matter expert for strategy projects.