Thursday, 28 January 2016

What exactly is the ‘Internet of Things’?

For the last few years there has been a new phrase buzzing around the offices of many marketing departments. This phrase ‘Internet of Things’ is perhaps bigger than anyone yet dreams or realises. Last year it was reported that 51 per cent of marketing executives anticipate that the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) will revolutionise marketing practices by the year 2020. So what exactly is the IoT?

Dr John Barrett describes the ‘Internet of Things’ as a place where the web and the physical world meet. This is where the planet and everything on it will become part of the ‘Internet of Things’. Everything will one day become part of the IoT from objects, machines, appliances, buildings, vehicles, animals, people and even plants. This is much more than simply just a webpage about those things, but those ‘things’ having an actual presence on the web.

There really is no limit to what could one day become part of the IoT. Anything that can be given a unique identity, sensors to read its environment and the ability to communicate could one day become part of this evolution of the Internet. The only limits we have are our own imagination in how these ‘things’ can be integrated and used to enhance our daily lives.

The IoT will allow us to connect and interact with ‘things’ in new ways and will allow us to monitor them in unprecedented new levels of detail. This will allow us to manage and plan better in all aspects of life. The IoT will also allow us to better control the environment we live and how we relate to everything that surrounds us. Gone are the days where you may loose your car keys, as you will soon be able to ask Google to just locate them for you.

The IoT is going to have a tremendous impact on both our lives and society. We have seen data play an ever-increasing importance in marketing practices over the last ten years. This trend is inevitably set to continue with the rich data that the IoT will soon provide. Individual marketing has the possibility to become even more targeted as people interact with these new ‘things’. It is estimated that by 2032 people will be in daily contact with between 3,000-5,000 new ‘things’ on the IoT.

I believe we are already living in the ‘Internet of Things’, however we are only at the very beginning of its evolution. The one thing we can be certain of is that the ‘Internet of Things’ is inevitably going to change life and the world as we know it forever.

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