The Internet of Things has arrived—and not a moment too soon.
Recent results from the Accenture Digital Consumer Tech Survey confirmed that consumers are craving more devices. However, the research shows that consumers are not just looking for ‘more’ devices, but rather ‘smarter devices’—including fitness monitors, smart watches, and wearable digital glasses—that actually improve everyday lives.
Consumers expect their devices to enhance their daily routines by simplifying menial tasks, thereby helping them achieve the coveted ‘quantified self’ persona. This phenomenon makes The Internet of Things—a scenario where all objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data through the Internet—indispensable. Without a sophisticated digitally connected network of people, things, and data, these prized smart devices would not be able to deliver on their full potential.
For example, French startup Kolibree SAS unveiled its Connected Toothbrush at the International CES 2014 show last month. The new brush utilizes a smart digital sensor to detect tartar amounts being removed throughout each brushing session. The accompanying smartphone app also records total brushing activity allowing consumers to improve their oral hygiene habits one stroke at a time.
Further evidence of the arrival of The Internet of Things came from Belkin International, Inc., also at International CES 2014. Traditionally a manufacturer of consumer electronics specializing in connectivity devices such as routers and modems, Belkin hailed it’s their collaboration with Crock-Pot to unveil their WeMo Slow Cooker. Belkin released their WeMo technology back in 2012 to offer affordable home automation, but their announcement this year further shows that the Internet will indeed be full of new ‘things’. Consumers can now control their crockpot remotely from their smartphone, ensuring that dinner will be ready on time even when the diners run late.
Finally, more proof that The Internet of Things is not only here but will be an integral part of our lives was revealed by Google Inc.’s acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest. Google is betting big on home automation and consumers’ need to keep their devices under control ‘remote control’ that is.
We can only imagine where The Internet of Things will take us in the near future. A science fiction-inspired refrigerator that texts us a shopping list on demand won’t be such a far-fetched idea after all. The Internet of Things is open for business.