Innovating Independent Living

Business Models for Internet of Things in Ambient Assisted Living

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Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the use of sensors, actuators and data communication technologies built into physical objects that enable these objects to be tracked, coordinated or controlled across a data network or the Internet. There is gap in identifying the critical business model design issues that should be considered for the domain of IoT. Also IoT applications are very specific to industry verticals and empirical insight into IoT driven business models in the AAL vertical is very scarce. In an attempt to address this crucial gap in academic literature, this master thesis project aims to investigate into the design of business models that can capture the value creating capabilities of IoT in the AAL vertical. This research was conducted in the form of a case study with the startup, Distributed Organisms. B.V. (DoBots). This study analyzes business models for IoT through the lens of the Service, Technology, Organization and Finance (STOF) model framework. This study operates in the design space of the STOF model. The IoT platform in this study adheres to the academic definition of a "service platform." The study further draws insights from the theoretical concept of "platform openness" for the service platform. Further, academic literature that emphasize design variables specific to the domain of IoT were investigated to derive the IoT specific characteristics that should be taken into consideration while designing business models. The analysis of interviews led to the specification of a framework that captures the critical business model issues to be considered for the design of IoT business models. This framework is called the i-STOFp framework as it is derived from related works in IoT literature (i), the STOF model and platform (p) theory. Inputs from the i-STOFp framework led to three business model scenarios for DoBots to commercialize its IoT service platform in the current Dutch elderly care market. The three scenarios mentioned above are conceptual services that are new to the market and as such offer "Innovative ways of living independently" for the elderly.