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The era of smart, intelligent, and futuristic products

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Smart Intelligent Products: Driving Business Impact, Operational Excellence and Consumer Delight

Over the last decade, the world is witnessing a trend of products evolvingfrom being physical products to smart, connected, intelligent and digital products. Products that once comprised solely of mechanical and electrical parts have become complex systems that combine hardware, sensors, data storage, microprocessors, software,and connectivity. This has opened up a plethora of new opportunities for enterprises that transcend traditional boundaries by helping them to create new revenue streams, enableentry into new markets, advanceoperational excellence,and drive customer delight and experience.

Role of Engineering, R&D in Smart Intelligent Products

The rise of smart intelligent next gen products has been enabled by proliferation of new technologies such IoT, data analytics, cybersecurity. The increased adoption of these technologies has been made possible by a confluence of technology advances. Theyinclude vast improvements in processing power, component miniaturization, energy efficiency of sensors and batteries, lower costofcomputing power and the rise of 5G technologies.

Smart and Intelligent Products Across Industry Verticals

The smart and intelligent products are becoming ubiquitous in every industry owing to the new possibilities that it creates.The biggest transformation is visible in thelegacyindustries which have been in operation from longbefore the commencementof the digital age.In the automotive industry, with the vehicle becoming computer on wheels, every component is being digitally remastered to drivenew possibilities. For example, the airbags now transcend their original functionofservingas a passivesafety feature to now function as intelligent crash impact detection solution that can determine extend of impact and injury to enable quick dispatch of emergency services.In industries such as oil and gas, energy and utilities and other discrete and process manufacturing industries, digital solutions are being adopted to drive increased productivity, enhanced worker safety and overall equipment effectiveness.In agricultural space, companies are not only connecting farm machinery but also irrigation systems and soil and nutrient sources with information on weather, crop prices, and commodity futures to optimize overall farm performance.

Role of Indian ER&D ecosystemin Driving Smart and Intelligent Products

The smart connected intelligent products have the potential to change the trajectory of the enterprises. However, it requires companies to act aggressively and decisively to make the best of this opportunity.

The Indian ER&D Ecosystem has been playing a critical role in both creation of next gen digital products and transformation of physical products into smart and intelligent products to meet theneeds ofglobal enterprise and retail customers.

The IndianER&D organizationshave made critical bets on new age technologies. With significant proportion of next generation thinking and development now being driven from India, GCCs and ESPs are now playing a central role in charting out the global enterprise strategy centered on digital transformation. Building and supporting the technology stack requires skills across software development, systems engineering, data analytics, and online security expertise—that are rarely found in the traditional manufacturing companies. India based GCCs and ESPs are helping address the talent gaps through skilled and scalable talent base.One such example ofnext gen product innovation is of Continental Technical Center Indiawhichhas been at the forefront of developing the transparent hoodsolution for automobiles. The “transparent hood” solutionis the first to be released on the market worldwide. It makes the area under the hood visible and allows the driver to see terrain and obstacles that would otherwise not be visible. This ground-breaking solution has been implemented in Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicles worldwide and also won the CES 2020 Innovation Award. The technology related to processing data from the camera and the radar was built by the team in India.

While the sales of physical products like printers is stagnating, global enterprises like Xerox are looking at a new paradigm by document management as a service. The India Center of Xerox is playing a strategic role and enabling a shift in business model by leveraging new-age technology such as analytics, cloud computing and automation to develop and incubate cutting-edge solutions for document management as service which would open up new avenues for the enterprise.

India’s large talent pool has been the driving force for the new innovations which are reshaping the future. Cisco’s Silicon One,their latest product line developed to power the internet of the future,had a significant contribution from Cisco India Center, theirbiggest R&D center outside of the US. Similarly, Western Digital’s 1TB Xtreme MicroSD cards,which are the world’s fastest memory cardsdesigned forcapturing large volumesof dataexpected to begeneratedin the future such as high quality 4k videos,were developed by their R&D center in India.

The influence of this culture of innovationhasextended itselfoutside of thesphere ofER&D organizations as well. It has now given rise to the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. One of the startups which has arisenout of this ecosystem has been Flutura Solutions.Their Cerebra Industrial IoT platform is helping global manufacturing companies to optimize their operations through predictive analytics.

Rationale for the Award

The smart digital products revolution has just begun. As the technologies such as advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence mature, smart products will embed themselves at the center of our digital lives in the future.

Global enterprises are increasingly looking at India to build the digital future. The Next Gen ER&D Product Award seeks to recognize best in class new age products that have been designed and engineered in India by GCCs, startups, ESPs and Indian manufacturing companies.

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