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IoT and Hyperlocal Food

DZone's Guide to

IoT and Hyperlocal Food

When building an IoT solution for local food supplies, here's how the world will change to accommodate connected devices and supply chains and how you can stay ahead.

· IoT Zone ·
Free Resource

'Hyperlocal' is the favorite buzzword wannabe entrepreneurs never grow tired of chanting —be it in the app description, the website's 'About' page, or even investor meeting. The modern definition of 'hyperlocal' revolves around the combined use of applications on mobile devices and GPS technology.

However, the postmodern definition has added another technology to benefit: the Internet of Things. Together, these technologies are disrupting industries that are offering their services and products through on demand delivery method.

An on-demand delivery app has typically four sets of users: the demanders including end users, the facilitators — including agencies or merchants, deliverers — including delivery people or the service provider, and the app publisher, who makes money every time an end user demands a service via the app.

However, the on-demand delivery model is highly uncertain and has been a source of numerous start-ups' closures. In India alone, 100+ such start-ups shut down in the past three years.

One of the foremost reasons behind those failures was the uncertainty of the so-called facilitators. The restaurant business was conceptualized around dining customers and insisted on taste, quality, ambience, and in-restaurant service over speed. On demand delivery apps need quality and speed at the same time.

A greater implication of IoT devices in the existing restaurant infrastructure will make kitchens smarter and delivery mechanisms more efficient. They will adapt better to the epic delivery apps of today. The question is 'how?' Grocery delivery is yet another facet of hyperlocal on-demand delivery services. What about them? What about end users? Are they anywhere in the spectrum of benefit? What are the benefits of IoT app development?

1. Smart, Connected Kitchen

A "kitchen platform" is a generic name for a cloud-based smart kitchen platform that not only connects with smart kitchen appliances and utensils, but also lets them 'talk' to each other. A fridge with image recognition software interfaced to an AI platform can liaise with a recipe app and tell what ingredients are available for a particular recipe. A smart oven can work over a range of temperature depending on the information obtained from the recipe app.

A smart coffee maker can brew coffee based on the mood of its owner. A light pre-bed coffee or a strong afternoon coffee: Your coffee maker decides.

If bringing smart devices into the kitchen was a natural progression for the IoT, diners using their smartphones to control a smart tandoor griller placed inside the restaurant's kitchen is a revolution. Their cars are controlling Nest thermostats and Philips Lighting, so it's a pretty natural for them to expect the same out of their favorite restaurants.

Above all, smart kitchens are efficient and they can ensure quality food at a speed customers expect out of on-delivery apps. I mean nobody wants to wait two hours for a plate of fondue with cheddar.

2. Fresh Food Dispatched; Fresh Food Received

A problem with food delivery services is this that the delivered food often loses its quality in terms of moisture content or optimum temperature during transit. People often complain about delivered taco rolls being too dry or paste arrabbiata being too thick or cold.

IoT solution architecture can pass tracking information, data from various sensors and other devices, to the kitchen platform. The AI engine built into the platform will empower it to take simple decisions without the need of a human operator.

The IoT-powered Food Delivery app Solution can be delivered in the form of temperature sensors equipped delivery boxes that warn the delivery person and the restaurant management system placed inside the restaurant if the temperature inside it drops below the optimum value.

However, that is seldom the case. The smart food dispatch center,  where deliverers collect food parcels to deliver, raises the food temperature to an optimum level. The level is calculated from various parameters: outside temperature, heat isolation of the food box, average speed of the deliverer, and distance from the restaurant. Customers hate food that's too cold or too hot.

The smart food dispatcher gathers information about the food box from the kitchen platform and improves on the feedback received.

3. The Food Delivery Start-Up Not Only Sustains, But Makes Money

Smart kitchens and IoT-powered food delivery solutions enable start-ups to make faster deliveries without compromising on food quality. This leads to happier customers, more efficient food suppliers, and rapid food deliveries.

In an overcrowded food delivery space, start-ups, by bringing the goodness of IoT into their existing kitchen, delivery, and restaurant management system, will not only thrive but attract larger investors' interest and newer restaurant partners.

What About Hyperlocal Grocery Delivery Services?

This may turn out to be quite chaotic. The customer orders grocery items. An ordered item may be unavailable in a store and the deliverer might have to shop at various grocery stores, which may delay the delivery. By bringing the partner grocery merchants onto the same platform and enabling their establishments with IoT devices, the deliverers don't have to visit one store after another.

Rather, they can check the status of nearby stores with a grocery mobility solution in the form of a mobile app connected to the platform to the list of grocery items he has to delivery to the end user.

Topics:
iot ,connected devices ,supply chains ,iot solutions

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