The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept where products can be controlled through the Internet using well-known technologies such as smart phones, pads and computers. Soon, Internet of Things will offer users the ability to interact with nearly every product, equipment and devices they interact with.
For example, your refrigerator will let you know when you are running low on eggs, or the expiration date of milk. It then adds eggs and milk to grocery list on your phone, or send this information to your grocery store.
Those existing wristbands that monitor heart rate will be smarter. They will monitor blood pressure, body temperature, sugar levels and more. All of that data will stored in your personal medical chart and constantly analyzed to detect out of norm conditions. That data can be sent to your doctor for analysis. Yes, these bands will even tell time.
Industries are stepping up their investments Internet of Things. Connected global supply chains let manufacturers submit customer orders to automatically trigger production assets, control inventories and ships the order out the door. Within the plant, various sensors continually monitor equipment to prevent breakdowns and downtime. It all adds up to lowering costs, increasing profitability and building customer satisfaction.
How Internet of Things Works
We are seeing elements of the Internet of Things in the marketplace already, like an application (App) used to close the garage door while you away from the home. In a more comprehensive way, Internet of Things transforms real-world objects. For example, a smart kitchen will have the ability to scan for food usage, age and replenishment. That data is sent to the Internet-based Cloud data for storage and access. Cloud data can be programmed, configured, controlled and monitored via your smartphone, pad or computer.
The Internet of Things has emerged as a leading factor in the future state of the Internet. Its significance can be described in terms of providing a different lens on how to link the Internet with the real world’s objects. The truth is, the value of the Internet of Things only comes from the astounding mass of data it is bound to produce.
Once millions of home appliances are connected to the Internet of Things, there is a real opportunity for monetization of consumer behavior through analyzing smart object behavior. For example: How often and when you wash your clothes, iron your shirts, make toast, milk usage, heat up meals, etc. This will lead to businesses suddenly realizing the money that can be made from applying predictive analysis with it. Using your refrigerator data as an example, marketers will send you special offers, coupons and recipes based on the foods and products you use.
Some estimates for worldwide market for Internet of Things solutions will grow to $7.1 trillion in 2020. These predictions do not seem over-exaggerated. When you take a deeper look, the Internet of Things can be used in many future scenarios. Consumer goods, manufacturing, distribution, financial intuitions, environment, government, sports, entertainment, education, security, communications, medical and more will all be a focus of Internet of Things.
Security and Privacy Concerns
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with the Internet of Things. Challenges with a global Internet of Things include government regulation with regards to spectrum allocation, costs and privacy. Security, standards and overburdening the network with big data are three requirements that need attention and focus before they can be implemented for mass adoption into modern life.
The utmost care needs to be taken when deploying data collection devices regarding their lifecycle, data collection mechanisms and overall security protocols. It is crucial that information security, privacy and data protection be addressed comprehensively at the design phase.
Yes, there will be collecting of data that benefits society, but those who collect the data need to know how to scrub it first from individual identifying information that invades our privacy. The next step for large tech companies involved in the Internet of Things deployment in particular, is to engage more with the end users concerning privacy. If we neglect this measure, it may soon be too late to put the genie back in the bottle.
In future issues of Marketing Insider eNewsletter, I will focus on applications for Internet of Things such as marketing, sales, manufacturing, medical and other industries.
Roy Harry is the creative director for Media II, Inc. The company serves the marketing communications needs of B2B clients with strategic communications planning and development of tactics.
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