The internet of things (IoT) is one of the most sought-after technologies in the world today. Considering the fact that companies all around are increasingly looking to adopt digital solutions to stay relevant and provide superior customer experiences, a technology that makes their products “smarter”, by learning from users, analysing data to generate actionable insights and providing newer ways for manufacturers to reach out to their customers, will be a big deal. A great customer experience is a major differentiator between brands that command great loyalty and those that fizzle out. Therefore, products these days should not just serve a specific purpose but also have the capability to learn, evolve and provide more value to become integral parts of their users’ daily routines, making themselves indispensable.
There’s been major progress in consumer IoT over the past few years. From 22 billion devices in 2018, we are looking at almost 39 billion in 2025. By the end of 2019, spending on smart home systems in the US was around 103 billion dollars, with a projected spending of 157 billion US dollars by 2023. A majority of these IoT solutions include lighting systems, voice assistants, smart speakers and more. Additionally, a segment that’s also riding on the enterprise IoT wave to produce increasingly innovative products is toys.
Smart toys do not sound as common as smart lights or smart televisions, but make no mistake, they are here and they are growing. The market is expected to register a CAGR of 28% over the next 5 years. Considering the rise in work from home where lessons have moved from schools to living rooms, smart toys have emerged as engaging means for children to learn. Some popular smart toys include:
Generally, they differ from traditional toys in two major ways. They learn from the way children interact with them and communicate accordingly, thus staying relevant for long and becoming more of a companion than something that would only hold a child’s fancy for a brief period and secondly, they help parents train as well as monitor their children. Owing to their enhanced appeal, research is on as to how IoT can help improve them further and help parents and kids do more. However, a major concern has also gripped this development and that’s something common to all smart devices. A concern that still keeps a bunch of business leaders on the fence when it comes to IoT adoption in spite of them being aware of its obvious benefits.
That concern is cybersecurity, and in case of toys, since it’s kids we are talking about, the risks are even greater.
We began the article with how important it is for brands to craft great customer experiences and how data garnered from users help companies know their customers better and devise tailored experiences. Well, with data being so vital, gathering it also comes with the risk of it getting stolen. Which is why, along with the race for adopting new technologies, organisations are also looking to strengthen cybersecurity. So if you are a business leader at a IoT development company looking to get into the creative and burgeoning segment of smart toys, here’s how your product could pose significant risks:
Similar to many traditional electronic goods, there are many ways toys stand to benefit from IoT innovation. However, just as the benefits, the risks are real, though not unsurmountable. When IoT is integrated into a product, it should not be just an add-on, but at the core around which the entire product needs to be reimagined, for getting the maximum value. At every stage of the development plan, features and security need to go hand in hand, for the end result to be truly exciting, as well as safe. Once released, plan on supporting the product with regular updates through which the latest security measures would be provided so it remains relevant and protected against attacks for a long time. Have questions or problems you need to solve around IoT or looking for internet of things services? Get in touch and we would love to have a chat.