Connectivity as a service to be pivotal for manufacturers

Posted on 26 Feb 2018 by Jonny Williamson

CEO at consumer electronics manufacturer Pure International, Paul Smith, speaks to The Manufacturer about connectivity as a service in the entertainment industries and why the UK banks are too risk aversive.

Connectivity as a service is to become pivotal for the entertainment industry – image courtesy Sophjs.

Hertfordshire-based manufacturer of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) and DAB+ radios, Pure International, has first fully embraced the digital technology in 1999.

In the meanwhile, the British company has become with over 5 million devices sold worldwide one of the world’s leading digital radio manufacturers.

The Manufacturer has spoken with Pure’s CEO, Paul Smith, about data connectivity and motives why the company has outsourced its factories to China.

Smith said: “Connectivity – as a service for the customer – will be pivotal for the entertainment industry overall and for Pure International as a business; over 90% of Pure’s products, for example, already have Bluetooth as standard.

“A growing proportion of radios has internet connectivity and the first voice-controlled products will start to come through this year.”

Connectivity, consumer needs and R&D

Pure International is manufacturing its radios solely outside of the UK. Therefore, connectivity and cloud services play in the UK a major role only in R&D and as an additional service for the consumer.

Smith explained: “We currently offer some cloud-based services, but they are very modest as it can be costly. And we offer a tagging service on some of our radios where it drops them into the customer’s music service playlist, which is proving popular.”

Pure developed a plug and play in-car digital radio adapters which are designed to sit seamlessly on any dashboard. The adapters give drivers instant access to the world of digital radio, control of Spotify and much more.

With built in Bluetooth, according to Pure, users can also stream music services, initiate mobile personal assistant and use an in-built tagging service provided by ACRCloud to create a music discovery playlist.

The difficulty of being an R&D company 

The fact that the British company has outsourced its production sites to China, has not only had an impact on the company’s business model; it has also affected the company’s financial strategies, as Smith underlined.

“We are a manufacturing business, which has outsourced to factories in China due to the electronics supply chain being far superior. As a UK based R&D company, we struggle to get UK based finance and typically have to look overseas for this due to the UK being too risk averse”, Smith said.

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