Most of you have probably heard about the impending Internet of Things (“IOT”); but, for those of you who have not, the IOT is the next big thing that promises to have our everyday gadgets and wares communicating with us through our personal overlords (read: our mobile phones). And, this could be a wide range of items, the microwave, the oven, the fridge: anything where chips and mini motherboards can be inserted is fair game. If this does not sound appealing to you, I get it. After all, I already practice a sort of slavish adherence to the needs of my iPhone, why would I also want my fridge instructing me to remove the food that is no longer best. But, this is what is next: smart technology that is loaded with sensors and ready to communicate or caution us about the needs of our items. The upside is, we can communicate with items, too, and create real-time environments.
The social media hook in this is that networks will become more intelligent and receive data directly shared by a surrounding collective. One of the best examples of this is the app Waze. Waze allows users to enter information on the road as they observe it and share what they observed with others. I will present on this topic in a few months, but suffice it to state that Waze helps drivers optimize their trips.
One can also envision tourist guides being enhanced to include a more social experience. When I studied abroad in England, I would have loved an interactive, real-time app that connected me with others who were also on such a journey. Instead, I traveled those parts of the world with a Lonely Planet and considering what is coming, that experience was initially lonely (until I had a few pints, then the friends came).
And, of course all the data generated by people means that the government and other corporate entities will feast on the data generated by we habitual creatures, but this is great news! As long as you work in analytics, which I’m told we all will anyway.
In short, as an increasing amount of items are added to the digital ecosystem, we will see our ability to communicate with those items increase. Those items, will also communicate with us. And, in some cases, our communication will be shared with others and allow for real-time information sharing and informative environments. This means sensors all over your homes, healthcare applications, even smart toothbrushes. I trust that it will be value-added, because it will be here to stay, not unlike the internet and social media.