In this second installment of the hedgehog lab ‘What If’ series‚ we’re looking at the opportunities for digital improvement in power tools. Our mobile and UX teams have come up with a concept to promote better security through the use of IoT.
There are many household names for both domestic and trade customers. Our second ‘What If’ entry looks at the latter – examining how ioT can help tradespersons keep track of their tools.
Why Power Tools?
Our developers have spotted a gap in the market for tool security. Many brands have entered this space with CCTV Security Manager apps‚ but there is room for more focus on tools. We have chosen this in response to eye-opening statistics: in 2020‚ almost £57‚000 of tools were stolen every day.
hedgehog lab’ proposed functionality‚ which could act as a standalone app or as a bolt-on to existing device management apps‚ would give tradespersons more visibility and control over their tools.
This app would benefit store owners‚ tradespersons and police. While the police can use in-app data to return stolen items to stores‚ tradespersons can also transfer ownership safely. Each tool would be loaded with a unique product ID – a timestamped‚ immutable record including data such as:
- Purchase date
- Owner ID
Likewise‚ owners will benefit from stats on runtime and overall usage – ideal for buying and selling. With a user-friendly interface‚ tradespersons can scan‚ locate‚ inspect and upgrade their tools.
When opening the app for the first time‚ users would fill in their account details. This would include contact information‚ details of any other owned or registered tools‚ warranty information where appropriate‚ and service logs.
Next‚ they would scan their tool using the QR code or NFC. Power tools feature embedded chips‚ which can pair with the app via Bluetooth.
This section brings up the ‘tool found’ page‚ confirming the tool matches the description. Here‚ users can assign a tool to themselves‚ or re-assign when the tool is sold.
‘My tools’ dashboard
On the ‘My tools’ feature‚ users have a full breakdown of all their connected‚ purchased items. They can then examine specific tools on the dashboard‚ looking at stats such as run time‚ location and settings. Full remote functionality allows users to adjust settings‚ such as ‘trigger ramp up’.
Find my tool
Arguably the most important element of the app‚ ‘find my tool’ uses the tool’s Bluetooth chip to find its last seen location. Users can notify police in one click‚ noting the tool’s last known location‚ date and time.
Service and upgrade
Manufacturers can also leverage the app’s marketing tools‚ from creating communities to pushing product upgrades. Specifically‚ the app will note the purchase dates of various tools and send timed push notifications‚ alerting users to service‚ upgrade‚ or replace parts.
Users prompts would include:
- Push notifications to buy new blades‚ brushes‚ drill bits or pads
- Alerts about new product releases
- Alerts about new battery technology.
Tradespersons can also sign up to notifications for local trade show invitations‚ product demos and free training programmes. From a simple battery recharge to building networks‚ everything is connected in one user-friendly interface.
By leveraging hardware such as Bluetooth and data tracking‚ users can connect tools‚ enjoy better uptime visibility‚ and build communities. In the long term‚ this will improve user safety‚ cut costs and promote better standards throughout the trades.
This product benefits all stakeholders – from the tradespersons to marketing teams‚ and the end-users themselves. Better user retention‚ security and overall quality will secure a forward-thinking‚ sustainable future for the manufacturer.
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