Plugging Into Usage Data from Connected Devices

Ayla Networks' Insight service aims to enlighten product manufacturers on how their customers are using their products.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Sep 15, 2015

For manufacturers of connected devices, one important benefit of linking products into the Internet of Things is the ability to better understand how those products are being used in the wild. Connectivity makes obtaining this usage data—which ranges from knowing when a product is first brought online to tracking usage patterns over time to evaluating how a firmware update impacts usage—far easier to obtain and more reliable, since a manufacturer must no longer rely on things like customer surveys to obtain this information.

Ayla Networks, which works with device manufacturers to connect their products to the IoT, is releasing a new service called Insights that will provide product-usage data to manufacturers that employ Ayla's IoT platform. Most of Ayla's customers manufacture heating and air conditioning systems, smoke detectors, home appliances and lighting fixtures. Better understanding how these products are used can help manufacturers better design products with their customers' interests in mind, explains Vish Pai, the product manager for Ayla Networks' IoT platform.

Ayla Networks' Vish Pai
"In the past, manufacturers made things but didn't know how they were used," Pai says. "Ayla's Insight gives real-time visibility into when the ordered product shipped, when the user connected it, how often it's used and from where. And then the manufacturers can take actions based on what they see from the data."

Ayla's Insight service creates a lifecycle dataset for each device, starting with its point of manufacture and shipping information. When a user registers and begins utilizing the product, that manufacturing and shipping data is married with the information that the user shared during registration. The dataset grows as the user selects settings; for a heating or cooling system, for example, this would include temperature settings, zone temperatures or programmed settings.

Being able to access both real-time usage data and usage data collected over time, Pai says, would allow manufacturers to better understand how usage patterns correlate with maintenance issues.

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