The Internet of Things Ecosystem

I’ve talked about this a few times at recent events and it comes up time and time again. It’s an important next step in the connected world so I wanted to quickly look at what’s coming in this arena.

Over the last few years many of us have started to add IoT devices to our homes, allowing us to control our music, heating and many other services from our smart phones. Many of these devices will also make decisions for us based on our behaviours.

There is one flaw however. The more of these devices we have, the more work is involved in managing them. We need to have multiple apps and remember how to use and optimise each. We need to think about how we manually synchronise them. In effect, these time saving devices are fine on their own but together they actually make our lives harder. What we need is an ecosystem.

What that means is to create a hub (physical or virtual) where these devices can talk to each other. To put this in perspective imagine coming home one evening and you’re running late. Your heating system along may monitor where you are through GPS and delay turning on until you get close to home. Great. But why doesn’t the same system also tell the kettle to boil when you get close, tell the TV to start recording your favourite show as you’re going to miss it and schedule that package that’s due to be delivered today to arrive shortly.

Another example could be that when your fridge sees you’re low on food it automatically books your order and then it turns the alarm off and opens the door when the delivery guy arrives turning it back on when he leaves.

Apple recently released iOS 10 and it includes the Home app. It doesn’t get the devices talking, it simply brings the controllers togwther. It’s also pretty limited on what it syncs with and in fact syncs with nothing in my house. It is however clearly a first step towards bringing these devices together. Mark Zuckerberg talks about his connected smart home and many will want to emulate that.

This present opportunities for us as digital marketers. New tech is always cool but more importantly it shifts behaviours and opens new opportunities. Consider this in your 2017-19 planning.

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