Internet of things – from data to value


Internet of Things (IoT) is booming, and more things are online today than there are humans on Earth. In a few years most of our possessions will be online, which open the possibilities of new ways to consume, develop services, and products.

The large potential in IoT is far from realized. One reason is that good business models don’t follow as a natural cause of the vastly increased amount of data. Data has been labeled the currency of our time and the companies who have been able to utilize data most effectively have disrupted markets and changed the world at unprecedented pace – just look at Google and Facebook as prime examples. Generating more and better data is essential for IoT – and so is the utilization of data from different sources.

Focus area

The first wave of IoT has focused on what generates data – and which other sources data can be linked with. The next wave, which we are now witnessing, starts with the users’ perceived needs, and tries to meet these starting with data. This focus on the utilization of data is dependent on a solid data foundation and a cross sectoral approach to the market, as several different skills must be put into play in order to succeed. Before IoT can fulfil its potential, the data generation and data utilization must be connected with feasible business models.

IoT – Data Generation:

An improved data generation provides a better data foundation on which to build products and services. Therefore, it is a condition for value creation in IoT that the data foundation is continuously quantified and qualified. Interesting focus areas could be:

  • The development of new data sources to follow, for instance, the use of medical equipment in private households or the development in the learning curve connected to specific learning tools.
  • New utilization of existing data sources, i.e. Gehl Architects who uses Instagram-feeds to analyze the use of city space.
  • Safe local storage of data in areas without a safe access to the internet.
  • Safe distribution of data has proved to be a challenge which often makes IoT-devices easy targets for hackers.
  • Securing consumers privacy, as our whole lives are digitalized.


IoT – Data Utilization:

Data is not valuable until it is being used. When data is generated in IoT, the next pivotal step is to utilize data in a way that creates value to the users. If we take a random set of data it can be hard to determine what value it can create to a given user. If we on the other hand start with a challenge to the users it is easier to spot the solutions in the variety of data sets.

Examples of user challenges could be:

  • Within the area of health and fitness, activity-trackers guide the individual to a more active lifestyle.
  • Circular economy within textiles where a mail order service automatically sends you a new pair of your favorite jeans based on the level of wear from your old jeans – with a return label so that you can return your worn jeans.
  • The services of banks and insurance companies can be tailored to your specific needs at a given time, based on your real life consumer patterns, in turn giving you a more precise premium.


Our challenge to you

The large potential in IoT cannot be realized until the development of business is based on user needs rather than the data foundation. The first wave of IoT has been focused on where we can get data – the next wave, which we see now, is based on the perceived needs of the users and tries to solve these with the use of data. Sometimes we have the necessary data, sometimes we have to be creative and sometimes we have to invent new data sources.

Pick a specific user needs challenge and draft a concept that based in data solves the challenge.


The best cure against a number of lifestyle diseases is basic movement. The society however has become so comfortably designed, that we as individuals have lost our motivation to lead an active life. Endomondo and a number of activity-trackers give us an incentive to lead an active life thru visualizing our activity based on data.


In a few years we will experience a shortage of resources which will force us to alter our patterns of consumption and for instance utilize our clothing better. Data can play a part in the industry development of enzymes that clean the clothes without wearing it out, but it can also measure the wear of the clothes and through a mailorder service ship a new pair of jeans when the old ones are worn out. The old jeans are then returned and recycled for new pants or rags.


Roaming the streets is not always without risk. Traffic accidents and assaults is a common threat in many neighborhoods during the dark hours. Intelligent clothes can reduce some of the risk by scanning the surroundings and adapt according to them. The jacket worn by a pedestrian on a dark road becomes fluorescent and the clothes of an assault victim automatically triggers and alarm.

In your solutions you must pay attention to the following:

  • Pick a specific type of consumer that you want to address – and pick a specific challenge to solve.
  • You are encouraged to dive into aspects of either data generating or the utilization of data, but we also encourage you to combine the two in a sustainable business model.
  • You are encouraged to be creative in the use of data sources – or invent your own if the utilization of data demands it.

Furthermore, you have to be aware of the points below:

  • Given the exponential development of technology the IoT is developing at immense speed, and concepts like biohack and AI will become of our everyday lives within few years. You therefore need to consider the near future in your description of solutions.
  • How can you ensure that the ordinary consumer with no particular interest in ICT is part of your solution in the long term? Which barriers are there to use your solution?

Be creative, original and out-of-box!

Evaluation Criteria

When we evaluate your solutions we will consider the following criteria:

  • We are focused on originality.
  • We are focused on a clear focus on challenge and business area.
  • Consider who is customer vis-a-vis user of the solution and what benefits they have from buying/using the solution respectively.
  • If you can produce materials (i.e. statements from users/professionals, potential customers, municipalities, reports, statistics, observations), which support your solution it will be evaluated positively.