Earlier this month, I learned about the concept called “the Internet of Things,” or IoT. It sounds like something out of science fiction, but in layman’s terms they are physical objects — including large vehicles and buildings — that have embedded electronics and software that collect data. Probably the best way that I can explain the concept is by showing this video by MIT Media Lab scientist and author David Rose:
Rose refers to these physical objects with embedded electronics as “enchanted objects.” The concept is that the objects would be part of an interconnected network that integrates computer-based systems into everyday use. Examples of IoT applications include thermostats that automatically control heating or appliances that use Wi-Fi for remote monitoring. IoT also involves wearable devices, such as sports watches that measure body mass index and heart rates. The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be more 26 billion IoT devices (Morgan, para. 4).
(COURTESY OF MARIO MORALES, IDC)
From a marketing perspective, Io T could be not only a predictor of consumer actions, but enacting consumer actions. For example, ideas such as an intelligent shopping system could monitor purchasing habits or smart home applications that monitor heat, electricity or energy management can promote lower costs and increased efficiency. Merging Big Data and the IoT could allow media companies to show display advertising based on relevant interests.
The Internet of Things could have a lot of personal conveniences, such as adding a grocery item to an online retailer’s shopping basket or an app reminder to take medication. Because of more efficient marketing and advertising practices, the IoT could allow businesses to improve their return on investment quickly.
IoT describes a world where just about anything can be connected and communicate in an intelligent fashion. So it is possible that we are on the cusp of the physical world is becoming one big information system.
Beo Bot (2014, July 24). “The Internet of Things.” [YouTube: Video file]. Retrieved February 20, 2016, from https://youtu.be/teEZMLUXnSk
Morgan, J. (2014, May 13). “A simple explanation of ‘the Internet of Things.’ Forbes. Retrieved February 19, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/05/13/simple-explanation-internet-things-that-anyone-can-understand/#5836d19e6828