Internet of Things for end-consumer products:

Telefónica NEXT enters the next phase with "Geeny"

Telefónica NEXT introduced its Internet of Things platform "Geeny" to interested developers and companies at a technology conference in San Francisco. They can now use the alpha version of the platform to develop intelligently networked consumer products and services together. Geeny is intended to achieve an open ecosystem that allows different devices and applications to be combined, with the user having constant control of their data. In a subsequent step, the platform is also to be made available to end consumers. The Internet of Things is opening up numerous potential applications in the consumer sector, such as intelligent skis that become a skiing instructor, or smart home appliances that allow elderly people to live longer in their own home. Experts predict that over 183 million everyday objects in Germany will be connected with each other by 2020.

High potential of smart products

Jeff Katz, Senior Practice Lead IT/Engineering at Telefónica NEXT presented Geeny at the Wearable Technologies Konferenz in Silicon Valley, Photo:
All of these networked devices must be developed and controlled. This requires expertise in a wide range of disciplines, such as industrial design, hardware, software, data analysis and connectivity – complex processes and requirements that pose major challenges for providers in the end-customer sector in particular. However, manufacturers of existing smart applications also need to evolve. According to a study by Ericsson , over 20% of customers for wearables (e.g. fitness bracelet) abandon them because they have limited functionality and usefulness. A further 23% are unhappy with the lack of installed connectivity. "Fitness-tracker manufacturers are already working with the food industry to develop diet plans for their customers on the basis of training data, for instance. In this sector alone, the cooperation opportunities are endless. But so far, there hasn't been an open marketplace where these users can engage with each other. Geeny is that marketplace", says Jeff Katz, Senior Practice Lead IT/Engineering at Telefónica NEXT. He presented the IoT platform to a wide and international community of developers this week at the Wearable Technologies Conference in Silicon Valley.

Geeny creates a partner ecosystem

The Geeny ecosystem brings different partners and skills together, including developers, manufacturers of end-consumer products, and design and production partners. This will enable IoT products for end customers to be launched more quickly and cost-efficiently in the future. In addition, companies on the Geeny platform have the opportunity to make their existing products more attractive and useful to their customers. Therefore, devices, applications (e.g. mobile apps) and data can be combined, networked and supplemented by further applications in any way across various manufacturers. For example, company A could use a smart ski boot from manufacturer B to put on an intelligent running trainer for better posture while skiing. Expansions and cooperations like these are of interest both to large companies with mature products and, in particular, to start-ups, as whole new product areas and target groups can be tapped into in this way. Photo: CC0 1.0, pixabay / mcmurryjulie

One algorithm – countless applications

On its platform, Geeny offers preconfigured services such as intelligent algorithms. Once programmed, they can be used again and again for different IoT products and services. Developers and other companies can now offer these types of algorithms on the platform, thus tapping into a new sales channel. Geeny supports this with a test application including instructions and detailed documentation for developers.

Aligning data ownership with data use

In all these applications, making sure that customers and users retain control over their data is always a top priority for Telefónica NEXT. For this reason, all end users of Geeny will have the opportunity to independently manage their personal data that is generated by the smart devices. They will be able to decide for themselves what data they send, where they send it, and which companies may use it for statistical analyses and product improvements. Interested developers can set up a Geeny account now and test the possibilities of the platform on the basis of example applications.