Posted by The Marketing Team,
Jul 23, 2014
The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been heavily discussed as it continues to dominate our surroundings.
From objects to animals, the internet is featuring more and more heavily in everyday lives, enhancing our capabilities significantly. The internet has been too long behind a screen, whereby we are seeing growing trends in wearable tech, connected objects such as Nike fuel-bands and even connected plants which can essentially tweet you when they need water (for example through the Flower Power device).
Tech is more linked than ever
Perhaps the most prominent example of the screen, device divide is evident through the robot Keecker (which as the developers agree, looks like a daft punk helmet), essentially a smartphone robot which allows any wall to become a screen, projecting the internet anywhere whilst even learning the layout of your household (click here to learn more). So while all these things are said to enhance our lives by improving our health and safety whilst keeping us connected to those we love, it appears technology is shaping us like never before.
After recently attending a seminar on the IoT at the IAB, it was predicted that by 2020 there will be 13 billion connected devices, others argued it would be closer to 50.1 billion, raising the point that nobody is quite sure of figures, all we do know is that connected devices will only increase, making our world more intricately defined.
According to Forbes magazine, London has an important role to play in this ever increasing connected world, ranking fourth in the world’s top tech capitals, with companies such as Google investing $100 million in European tech start-ups through it’s new venture scheme. In my opinion, the best examples of technology are those that disappear, they become so normal and embedded in physical devices and it becomes so normal when using them in our everyday lives.
Are we ready to be so close to our gadgets?
However, we have not yet fully embraced the Internet of Things (IoT), take for example Google Glass which is now available for sale, yet there is still a large amount of scepticism as to why consumers would need this product, not to mention the amusement when you see someone wearing one. The point is nobody really needs a lot of these products, but we should want them. We should want them because they have the ability to give us back something we often take for granted, Time. By making us more efficient and effective in our everyday lives, we are being given time, we are constantly connected and can receive information in real time, in theory allowing us to react quicker.
From an advertiser’s point of view, this completely transforms the role of brands as they can no longer rely on pushing products alone, instead they must focus more on becoming utilities. To use an obvious example, Apple, who seamlessly integrate all their products into the consumer lifestyle, are able to promote a connected system for people to buy into. A prime example of this is their new product, HomeKit, connecting all apple devices together which are then controlled by Siri, allowing people to power down devices by simply asking them.
The price of data
With all this new and cool technology, there comes a price, not just a monetary one, the price of information. The IoT is built around collecting real time data and infinites amounts of it, whereby consumers will be tracked and monitored like never before.
According to CNET, Facebook alone processes more than 500 terabytes of data daily. However, Twitter is a prime example of how streams of data can be used to benefit audiences, through the use of Dataminr, who identifies patterns across tweets, such that information about earthquakes and explosions have been known to circulate in less than 200 seconds, and in one anecdotal situation, before the earthquake had even occurred.
So, apart from these outlandish success stories, do we really want people knowing even more about ourselves? What about tracking and privacy concerns? These questions raise the important point that monitoring and data regulations will be more important than ever before if people are to fully embrace the IoT, allowing it to thrive and break more unimaginable boundaries.
Written by Jessica Crosse from Total Media
Jess works as a Media Assistant within one of our media teams and loves all media channels, playing sports and eating chocolate!