Coffee in Bed
“I love cooking, but don’t have enough time tonight.”
“I’m in the library, but I should start my laundry.”
“I’m lying in bed and want my coffee ready when I walk into the kitchen.”
These still may seem like (first-world) daily problems for most of us, luckily thanks to Miele they no longer need to be. Like many companies, such as Philips with its “Hue” campaign, this German company is on the forefront of The Internet of Things for our home.
In order to make this a reality, Miele has announced a collaboration with Microsoft Azure early this year to usher in the next generation of smart appliances.
The first step will be remote programme control and status quires for a range of appliances, what Miele is calling MobileControl. This will become crucial for the demographic buying these devices. The appliances are often associated with chores around the household and the real added value of the internet of things is to alleviate the burden of completing these tasks.
How does this benefit Miele from an information systems and information strategy point of view?
In the past when a machine was sold the company had limited to no information on the usage, now there is an entirely new stream of after-sales data they can take advantage of. The platform would allow for status reports, remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance. This allows the company to improve their customer service by more precisely identifying maintenance problems and on a ‘big data’ level allow them to see trending issues from aggregate status reports and remote diagnostics. Rather than the customer reporting a problem to the company, your appliance has already done this for you. A notification giving advice on how to deal with the issue or a forward to a technician is completed before the consumer is even aware the problem existed.
I look forward to the day I can hopefully own one of these products, but perhaps there are potential downsides I am not seeing in my excitement. If so what could they be?