In the innovative field of Internet of Things (IoT), healthcare related applications will be most sought after by the consumer market, according to Taiwan-based IoT solution company Full Enterprise Corp., which forecast demand will surge between the third and fourth quarter of 2017.
Speaking about the IoT, most countries in the world have not fully grasped the smart concept. Awareness grew from like 1 percent last year to 3 percent this year, according to James Yih, General Manager of Full Enterprise Corp.
For this reason, companies are advised to enter the IoT market or the smart home industry from a different vantage point. “I don’t talk about smart home, but smart life, which encompasses every aspects of life – food, clothing, housing, transportation, education, entertainment and health care,” Yih said in an interview at SMAhome Expo 2017.
Smart home is not a necessity, but smart life is, especially senior home care, he said. Founded 33 years ago, Full Enterprise initially focused on shipping hardware accessories used in telecom, LAN, media and computer sectors, but has lately shifted focus to IoT and smart solutions.
The company aims to establish a comprehensive system platform that includes hardware, software and backend systems, instead of focusing on hardware production. “How can you solve problems with just a few hardware devices?” Yih said.
Full Enterprise has chosen to cultivate the healthcare niche. The company’s baby monitoring system, for example, measures infant health, body temperature, breathing, etc. to gauge babies’ overall health in the back-end system. All the data can be passed to a mother’s smartphone.
The company also supply wearable devices to prevent old people’s accidental falling, which could be fatal or resulted in serious injuries. The devices, which can check the wearer’s state of health and location, are embedded in the clothes or shoes.
The devices also includes a SOS button which senior citizens may use to get help in an emergency. As mobile phones might not be always accessible, the devices provide one additional layer of protection, Yih said.
China’s Emerging Market Has the Greatest Potential
Internet has facilitated the spread of smart home knowledge across the world. And the adoption is currently determined by a key factor – the state of the economy. It’s usually people with deep pockets that can afford the new technology.
In fact, some in Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia are very aware of the smart home concept and can also afford it. “But most importantly, they need it,” Yih said.
The European market has stalled thanks to the recession and the migrant crisis it is experiencing right now. Parts of the Asian market looks promising. Full Enterprise’s booth received many potential buyers from Vietnam and Thailand, Yih noted.
But the largest market is still China, given its population size and Beijing’s clear intent to launch smart facilities and senior care services across the country, Yih stressed, adding that the government has written the policy into laws to ensure its realization.
Government policy and leadership play critical roles. The government of Taiwan has been advocating IoT development, while in China, the government’s push is even more obvious, especially in the field of senior care.
“The government must have clear rules, so as to encourage R&D investment, innovation and transformation by the private sector.” When the government provides direction and sets the right policies, many companies will join in this endeavor, Yih added.
The IoT discussion has been around for 3-5 years. Humans have been seeking better life since the dawn of time, and ‘smart life’ is bound to be the new trend, Yih said. Many research institutes predicted the market will pick up in 2019-2020. For Full Enterprise, the demand could surge earlier, between the third and fourth quarter of 2017, Yih predicted.