I have created in my house what is called a smart home, and when I was installing one of the smart locks, in which now I have the ability to check in my smart phone, if it is open or close and also I can open and close the lock from anywhere that I might be with internet or mobile data access; I notice something that got me wondering and researching more about what that might represent for the future and for marketeers. The lock through my mobile phone asked me for my wi-fi network and started to updating to the latest software version. Once installed the lock got access to my wi.-fi network and now is connected 24/7 to the internet and exchanges data. The same is happened to security cameras, smart TV, doorbell, lights, light switch, printer, inter-phones communication, projector to mention some of the items that have that technology. However, now you can have refrigerators, coffee machines, garage doors, drones, watches, phones, personal assistant devices, speakers, etc with these characteristics.
What does all these mean? The IoT is the network (and here network is important), of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, responsiveness, and connectivity which enables these things to connect and exchange data. In fact this creates opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, resulting in efficiency improvements, economic benefits, and reduced human exertions. IoT devices are a part of a broader and larger concept of home automation, which can include lighting, heating and air conditioning, media and security systems. Long term benefits could include energy savings by automatically ensuring lights and electronics are turned off. However, if we take that concept we can extrapolate it to multiple industries such as infrastructure (bridges, roads, buildings, etc), manufacturing (digital controls, predictive maintenance, industry big data, etc), agriculture (temperature collection, humidity, wind, etc), energy management (demand and power generation, consumption, etc), environmental (water quality, tsunamis, habitats, wildlife changes) and medical devices (emergency notifications, elderly monitoring, health predictions, etc), you can start getting a sense of the potential there is on it.
Considering all these uses. Can you imagine now the potential?. There are many potential benefits out of all these. To start, In 2015 there were already 83 million smart devices in people`s homes. This number is about to grow up to 193 million devices in 2020 and will for sure go on growing in the near future. Moreover, human beings in surveyed urban environments are each surrounded by 1000 to 5000 traceable objects. If we combine with other technologies such as artificial intelligence, you can take all that information and benefit humans, save energy, predict usage, assess better consumption, just to mention some alternatives. In fact, that will enhance the experience and humans will become use to having a seamless experience in the daily life and demand better treatments in a traditional service that will impact the behaviors even further, challenge current process and companies will require to evolve. Probably one reason why many brands like Nest, Ring, Smarthings, Roomba, etc are being bought by big companies such as Google, Amazon, Samsung, etc. because the data collection and opportunities to incorporate marketing solutions. For example, if you have a Nest camera in your living room or you have a Roomba vacuum cleaner; Your vacuum cleaner will digitize distance length, layout, furniture location, etc., and they sell that information to Google or Amazon, you could start receiving options for you to buy a specific table that could fit your room, or a remodeling opportunity to maximize space, etc.
One of the key drivers of the IoT is data. The success of the idea of connecting devices to make them more efficient is dependent upon access to and storage & processing of data. For this purpose, companies working on IoT collect data from multiple sources and store it in their cloud network for further processing. This leaves the door wide open for privacy and security dangers and single point vulnerability of multiple systems. Here is where the Government would have a big task to regulate what can be share and could not. Therefore, we will face a big dilema on what privacy again. Many technologies are moving faster that Government agencies can understand and if they do understand it, by that time the technology must probably has evolve and will no longer by able to regulate it. There are enormous benefits with technology and there are some potential risk associated. What would be the right balance is something that we need to find soon.
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