Have you been hearing about the "internet of things?"
It's not a new concept, just a new brand. A bucket concept for all those "things" you can't imagine would need an IP address or a webpage, but they do. At least that's the promise. Your new fridge is going to warn you when you're low on eggs or your milk is about to go south. And your coffee pot can issue your wakeup text when it's finished brewing. Oh boy, here comes the Jetsons-age.
Well, not quite.
The smart home, even more hyped and underdelivered than "mobile" is still a long ways from becoming mainstream, much less an essential part of our everyday lives. Sure iPod integration with your car is cool, but that fancy toaster with internet connectivity… Well, leave me out.
What I think we need to focus on, more than "things" is "interactions." And don't think that every interaction is commerce. There are several ways the internet can help your business via interaction. And ultimately the win in internet performance is usually measured in cost savings or sales. There are no other meta-objectives. If you can draw in your customer via the web, then you have the potential to earn their business, or keep their business when something doesn't work out perfectly.
It's easy to understand why a company like ARM has an entire marketing group focused on the "Internet of Things." They are dependant on frequent innovations and ideas that might make use of their novel and agile processor design software. More things means more chips needed means more business. And I'm sure all the microprocessor manufacturers, hardware designers, and marketers are happy to fill the pipe with more things.
What we need is more efficient things, and things that reduce our dependency on the web. DE-CONNECTION is my new mantra. I don't want my phone controlling my AC. I don't want to be able to check my thermostat from a business meeting.
And if you are connected, and you are on the web, we need to be able to get our jobs done more efficiently. So rather than things let's talk about beings. How can we make the internet a more humanized place? How can we get to the conversation before the conversion pitch? How can we maintain that conversation over the complete course of the sales cycle, and not just focus on sales? We need the web to be better designed. And then we can get back to the things and how we want to control them. I don't think it's via the internet of things, but the internet of beings.
- Internet of Things – wikipedia entry
- ARM – The Internet of Things
- Sure Disaster: How Not to Do the Internet of Things – Infoworld