Driverless cars. Health and fitness trackers. Smart lights. Doors that unlock automatically when you approach them. And so on…
In the not so distant future, devices and objects will become intelligent and will be connected to the internet exchanging thousands of gigabytes of data every day and maybe every minute; making our lives, supposedly, more efficient.
What happens when all of this is a reality and why should we care?
The biggest trend of 2016 will be the Internet Of Things, or IoT for short. Many articles and discussions exist as to why it matters from a business point of view (bigger market than smartphones and lots of data, are the main reasons). But from a customer’s point of view, why does it matter? Why do we need everything around us connected?
When pitching the internet of things, the world most tech companies describe goes something like this:
Your smartphone alarm wakes you up in the morning, which triggers your music player, which then tells your TV to the news and display the day’s top headlines. A world where you use your smartwatch to call your car to you from your parking spot. A world where your fitness tracker can talk to your thermostat. A world where sensors can detect certain odors in your home.
But why? All this stuff sounds nice but not radically useful. There’s more to it, right?
Internet connected objects and devices are already here, but beyond making our lives more efficient, frankly, I don’t believe anybody has an interesting point of view about why we need everything around us connected.
I think that we are in the “novelty” stage, where similar to digital assistants, which are powered by software that tracks our activities, it’s all “nice to know” but not radically useful. It’s the age of efficiency, of which I’ve discussed my concerns before, but we have ways to go before it’s fluid as tech companies envision it.
Just look a this article:
"I have five digital ‘personal assistants’ and still can’t get anything done" https://t.co/dtsVYlXzc7
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 2, 2016
I can imagine a similar scenario for when all of our objects and devices start communicating with each other.
The Internet Of Things is the obvious next big platform to come after the smartphone, but to move beyond the novelty phase someone needs to come up with a compelling case as to why we need everything around us connected; for which I don’t have a clear answer either.
I’ll be discussing this topic on a live webinar on the 9th with Arnold Beekes, let me know what you think and let’s chat.
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Intro audio is by Arturo Arriaga, outro audio is Candyland by Guy J.