Much like “cloud” before it, “IoT” (Internet of Things) has become a nebulous buzzword. As a result, marketers for retail and tech companies, in an endless pursuit to speak the language of consumers, will use such phrases on devices that may not always warrant such monikers.
But the customer is king. If they’ll spend more based on slightly erroneous marketing language, organizations will play the game.
Here are a few assumptions consumers get wrong when it comes to IoT:
Assumption 1: If it's connected, it's "smart" and "IoT"
Think of your loud, obnoxious dial-up modem from 1996. Was it connected? Yes. Was it smart like an IoT-enabled Tesla or Amazon Echo? Not even close. (You were even forced to log off from your beloved Netscape If somebody had to make a call.)
Fast-forward to today. Even a sophisticated, fully connected environment doesn’t necessarily use IoT technology. For example, a modernized junkyard can capture detailed vehicle data, simply by placing cars on scales, and automatically send advanced analytics to its headquarters. However, if the computer is onsite and hard-wired to the scale, IoT doesn’t even play a role.
Assumption 2: IoT gadgets are mainly "nerd in the basement" inventions
More like “rich nerds working for global corporations.” Perhaps Americans have trouble looking past celebrated birthed-in-a-college-dorm stories like those of Mark Zuckerberg or Sean Parker. Although mom-and-pop entrepreneurs certainly represent a percentage of IoT inventors, resource-rich organizations like Google, Tesla and Amazon staff droves of employees who sit in labs researching, coding, prototyping, hacking, beta-testing and, ultimately, presenting to the corporate brass. A handful of those inventions become the next intelligent personal assistant, smart light solution or self-driving vehicle application.
Assumption 3: All IoT devices pretty much connect in the same way
We’ll keep this short. IoT-enabled devices can leverage any of the following connections: Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth, SIM, satellite and more. It all depends on the use case.
Assumption 4: You can't make dumb objects smart
If you call an object “dumb” enough times, will it start to believe it? In all seriousness, IoT is making it possible for thousands of everyday objects, infrastructures and devices to increase their levels of tech intelligence. Think of it as the other side of the coin from #1 in this blog.
Look no further than your front door. You don’t have to replace it for it to become IoT-enabled. Digital door locks enable you to remotely lock and unlock it and create virtual keys for guests. There’s nothing dumb about doing it all from your smartphone—or asking your personal assistant device to do it for you.
Crave more IoT talk? View the smart city infographic.
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