By: Jennifer Buonarosa
The Internet of Things is one of the hottest topics in 2016 and is being referred to has the 4th Industrial Revolution, the convergence of digital, human, and physical domains. These internet of things are changing the way we go about our business in our everyday lives.
We can now adjust the heat in our homes from an app on our smartphones, or if we forgot to set the alarm before we left, not a problem – we can set it from our phone. This interconnectivity between things and wireless networks are providing endless options for what we will be able to control remotely. Connectivity today focuses a lot on home, health and most recently transportation, but analysts are predicting buildings and cities to enter the market as well.
Marketers are loving this new technology, as it is unlocking endless resources regarding their consumers’ purchasing habits. Marketers are able to monitor consumer behaviors more closely than ever before. They can now see what, when, how, where, and – most importantly now – why we as consumers are purchasing goods and services. Marketers can detect, sooner rather than later, when a product isn’t doing well and can make smarter decisions as to whether to continue with the product. With this technology, they can also tell if we are looking into a product and if we did not purchase, they can send a notification to our smartphone making recommendations as to why we should proceed with our purchase. They can even go as far as sending us a coupon or promotion about the item to entice us to buy. This technology is definitely a plus for marketers, but also comes with its challenges. How are these devices tracked and monitored? Just about anything these days can be connected to the internet. Analysts are suggesting that by 2020 there could be 20 to 75 billion things or devices connected. Today it is estimated that there are ten billion connected devices. How do we prevent this technology from being hijacked and losing all connectivity? There are also privacy issues as well. All of these connected devices are gathering information about us: how do we ensure that all this information is safe?
As consumers, we may love the fact that we don’t have to worry about running out of certain items because our apps will advise us when we are running low and reorder them for us with a click of a button on our phones. We can start or lock/unlock our vehicles from an app on our phone. The Apple watch and other fitness devices can calculate our every step and monitor our heart rate and transfer that information to the app on your phone and allow you to track your history. Nest is a Wi-Fi connected thermostat for your home and we can control the temperature of our home from a remote location. These are a few examples of internet of things that make our lives just a little bit easier everyday.
Are you as a consumer comfortable with all of this technology? Are you ok with all this information being collected about your daily habits? There are great convenient applications here that definitely make our lives easier, but do they come with a high price for us as consumers?