Editor & Chief Creator of AwesomeExperience Design | Writer | Public Speaker | Industry Analyst I analyse industry trends and report them here for you to learn. I write a lot of other things too, but this blog is a curated list of my technology and marketing related articles.
Living in a Connected Future
The year is 2017 and the industry of connected things continues to evolve, promising opportunities reminiscent of Archie 3000 and The Jetsons reruns.
What is a “connected thing”?
Let’s look at the development of the Internet of Things (IoT, pronounced eyeOH-tee), connected home systems, and their integration with smartphones, tablets, and connected cars.
IoT devices are all around us; in fact, you may be using them more than you realize.
Think of the Apple watch, Fitbits, Walt Disney World’s magic bands, and more. Our utility providers are using smart meters. We track the whereabouts of our children and pets with wearable devices or microchips. You can even see who’s at your door without even being home.
The potential for application is endless. As demonstrated by Adobe’s David Nuescheler during last year’s Summit, cutting edge possibilities in the world of IoT includes this Dunkin Donut drive-through experience simulation.
Beyond Donuts and Fitbits
Connected things extends beyond wearables and fast food self-serve kiosks. Home solutions are becoming increasingly popular and a few platforms are doing this well. SmartThings, WINK, and Insteon allow users to control many aspects of a “connected home” experience including smart lightbulbs, garage doors, alarm systems, and more.
You may be asking yourself “what’s the point?” People have been opening garage doors and turning their own lights on for decades. It’s hard to miss something we’ve never had – and through our naïveté, perhaps generational, we struggle to see the purpose behind all those connected things.
Where I live temperatures dip to -40o in the winter – that’s freeze-your-butt-off weather.
Murphy’s law tends to follow me around and many a time have I dropped my keys in snow, fumbling to find them in the dark (because of course I forgot to turn on the porch light before leaving the house) while consoling a crying (read: wailing) toddler who needs to go pee.
At our old place the parking lot was away from the house, so leaving kids in the car while you unlock the door and bring in the groceries wasn’t an option.
Coming home was sometimes more stressful than leaving.
I’d have to plan my strategy to get all three kids (including two toddlers), the groceries, the diaper bag, and more from the van to the house. It was horrible, but thankfully we live in times where the impossible becomes possible.
Today’s phones, tablets, and cars have increasingly advanced OEMs and combined with technology that seems to evolve daily you now have a powerful tool to control locks, garage doors, lights, thermostats, and more – all from your dashboard or device. Functions can even be automated to coordinate with events such as leaving or coming home.
Imagine leaving the house knowing your thermostat is being lowered as you drive away, your lights are turned off, and all doors are being locked. Imagine the peace of mind of not worrying if you forgot to lock the back door. Imagine the savings on your utility bills knowing you’re not needlessly heating your house while everyone is away.
Just as you’re heading home your thermostat will kick in to greet you with toasty warmth. Your porch lights will turn on as you get into your driveway, providing much needed peace of mind for your kids who will scream all the way to the door if it’s “too dark”. Your doors will unlock allowing you to easily bring in those 10 bags of groceries without fumbling for your keys.
Life, Powered for Greatness
Technology continues to evolve regardless of our thoughts on the matter. Is it time, perhaps, that we embrace this cultural shift? Is life, unconnected, the mile-long barefoot walk in a snow storm of our elders?
Should we persist in ignorance of innovation or is it time we recognize the real power behind IoT is more than bright lights and shiny controls – it’s the experience.
The experience of easy, of peace of mind. The experience of things just working like they should – providing, of course, you’ve remembered to recharge your batteries.