WhatsApp is the most ubiquitous messaging app out there. What we like the best about it is captured in the following 3is:
One customer feedback that we were grappling with some of our smart devices was that some customers missed important alerts because they were sent over email and the other that SMS was now so filled with spam that an alert sent over SMS too was liable to be lost or ignored or much worse, blocked, due to some factor beyond our control.
Sure, Alexa and Siri et al, have sort-of become the de-facto interface for interacting with smart devices for the home environment. But not everyone (especially in our initial market) had access to one of those, especially not at work and not for business! Also, while they were intuitive, there was still a tiny educate-the-customer barrier with those interfaces. We are not giving up on them, just that for us we have ruled them out as a priority interface, for now.
Our temperature sensing TempBees are now installed in a few hospital pharmacies for monitoring their medicine/ vaccine refrigerators and often, the personnel in-charge of monitoring them may usually not be in-front of a computer to be able to log-in and access their devices nor are they comfortable in depending on some app installed on their phone. WhatsApp on the other hand, seems to be a comfortable interface for them, readily accessible (remember the 3 ‘i’ s we mentioned earlier?), especially because they are in complete control over it, with opt-in/ opt-out options anytime!
That’s why we decided to make WhatsApp our prime-channel for interacting with smart devices on our platform.
So, how does this work?
In the first phase, it is a simple middle-ware API based interface that transforms Alerts and simple requests for Status between an end-customer and our platform. We call it our conversation broker module.
But the journey starts with setting some stuff up on our SenseSight dashboard and opting-in. One could set up a WhatsApp alert in a few clicks as follows:
That’s it. And if and when the temperature (as set in the alert example above), goes above 30 degrees C, the customer gets an instant alert on WhatsApp. Something similar to the following:
That is not all, you could use simple keywords for now, like status to get the conversation broker to try and give you the appropriate response from the server, from right within the WhatsApp chat interface.
In the next phase, we will be showing sensor reading graphs, adding the ability to send commands to devices (eg: command device 30 turn relay off) to enable more interactive features.
Ultimately, we will transform the conversation broker into an more intelligent parser using NLP and AI.
The idea is to ensure zero friction for our end-users while accessing smart insights from our sensors. This is probably the first ever WhatsApp IoT integration on a platform level. Because at Tinkerbee, we are designing a stack of hardware, software and interfaces that #maximizeYourLife
If you have to monitor multiple cold-chain sites/ refrigerators as a part of your business, or wish to employ our smart dashboard and interactivity, please do reach out to us now on WhatsApp by just clicking here
Your information and insights are now just a chat away 🙂