Using Crowdsourcing to Innovate in Wearable Technology and the Internet of Things

January 29, 2014 Appirio

By Clinton Bonner (@ClintonBon)

You don’t want to be late to the future

crowdsourcing google glass

No, this isn’t some fictional advice Doc Emmett Brown shouts at Marty as he accelerates towards 88 mph… though it could have been. If you read the Appirio and Topcoder blog(s), you recognize that we’ve been beating the wearable technology and Internet of Things drum for quite some time. We’ve been cognisant to avoid generic speak and instead, we’ve been focused on discussing applications, APIs and new user experiences that will shape the 3.0 and the wearable technology revolution.

Here are a few, select articles you may enjoy on these topics:

Now is the time to be experimenting feverishly with wearable technologies and gaining tremendous insights and understandings of how the hyper-connected 3.0 will encroach and impact all aspects of our lives. These technologies and movements will touch nearly every product and service created, and therefore to succeed, you must emerge as an innovative leader who is focused on creating new human experiences that eradicate current frictions (digital or physical) through the purposeful use of technology.

You Want to Be Creating the Future

              “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” – Winston Churchill

Experimenting in wearable technology applications and utilizing the neo-connectivity Internet of Things open APIs are granting you may seem like a harrowing task with no clear ‘begin here!’ in sight. A great example of a company not only experimenting, but leading the way in the Internet of Things space by boldly creating new APIs and Google Glass applications is Brivo Labs.

Not only is Brivo Labs creating new experiences like the one shown below, but they are accomplishing this through their team’s harnessing of crowdsourcing and open innovation challenges. More on that after the video of their new Google Glass app – OKDoor.

So why use crowdsourcing for something so new? Lee Odess, General Manager at Brivo Labs, offers us his common sense approach to using crowdsourcing to accelerate their innovation funnel and product delivery.

“How would we have been able to develop it (properly) in the amount of time we did –  months, not years – if we didn’t have the power of the crowd? We wouldn’t have. We’d probably be in the process of figuring it out still. The crowd gives us speed, technical skills, and is a fantastic compliment to the internal development team we have; all while being very cost effective. By using crowdsourcing we were able to get right to writing the arch and spec needs instead of learning as we went. The Topcoder community had technically capable members who could help us drive this digital vision forward immediately.”

Crowdsourcing is Vision + Velocity

Whether you are creating brand new user experiences with fringe technologies or working in much more traditional technology stacks, crowdsourcing can help you amplify your domain in order to produce better digital assets, driving your innovation strategy forward faster. Many see crowdsourcing as a way to lower costs and do ‘trivial’ tasks (aka micro-tasks) more efficiently – while that may be true; the real innovators are embracing crowdsourcing and open innovation to fuel top-line revenue growth by creating new digital experiences users didn’t even know they needed, until they couldn’t live without them.

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