By Ian Lee
Following on from my last roundup, there is another whitepaper from the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by our partners at Salesforce.com, they cite the number one reason companies are investing in connected products is not to boost sales, but to improve their customer engagement. Of the 1,300 executives who took part in this global survey, 55% say their number-one goal was better customer service, 51% said it was to provide a superior customer experience and 45% believed it was a competitive necessity.
The survey also said that over the next three years the percentage of companies using the cloud to connect products and services will almost double. Some 79% of those in our survey said cloud would be their go-to platform.
An article in Adweek last week, suggests that the 'Internet of Things' heralds the arrival of the Jetsons age. The article, prompted by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), goes on to discuss the three technologies that will provide this intelligence to the IoT: sensors that can track temperature, movement or speed; systems that integrate the control of devices; and a shared syntax that allows them to talk to each other. And that we can reach the Jetson age because once these devices can talk to each other through the Internet, they will be able to anticipate what consumers want rather than having to push a button to make something happen.
Another of the many articles to come out from CES 2014, was FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen's remarks about the Internet of Things, and their view on this "next chapter" in consumer privacy and data security. She talks of the FTC’s approach of doing policy R&D to get a good understanding of the technology, educating consumers and businesses about how to maximize its benefits and reduce its risks, and how as Commissioner for the FTC, she is able to encourage the agency to help facilitate the successful proliferation and adoption of these technologies.
An article in Bloomberg by Chris Strohm, continued to discuss the effect of the Internet of Things meeting the government, and how the two may be working at different paces. Strohm interviews several analysts for the article, and Robert Enderle of the Enderle Group says that “If we’re thinking this genie can be put back in the bottle we’re fooling ourselves.” The article discusses various agencies of the US Government from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as the FTC and how they are dealing with the influx of connected devices in their jurisdictions.
Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich also spoke at CES 2014, where his company had a large presence. He shared news about Real-Sense 3-D technology, a souped-up earpiece named Jarvis, and a new circuit board for wearable computing products. Most impressive? Krzanich's pledge that all materials used in Intel microprocessors will be from "conflict free" mines in Africa.
Intel was certainly making the most of the media opportunity, as in a separate article, Matt Warman of The Telegraph, interviewed Intel President Renée James. “The most interesting thing that’s going on at CES is this massive expansion of computing,” says James. “Think about the past three years versus the past decade – there’s the use of electronics in novel and previously unimaginable ways. All the crazy weird stuff is a cycle of invention out of which comes the next wave of computing.”
One of the best overview pieces from CES 2014 was by Tim Bajarin of Time Magazine, where he describes what he saw happening on the 2 million square feet of exhibit space, and how it was hard to find any products that were NOT displaying some form of connectivity. He talks of smart cars, smart beds, smart appliances, smart watches smart crock-pots…the list of smart devices goes on and on. In his summation, Bajarin goes on to say that although we have been talking about connected devices since the mid ’90s, this year was where the Internet of Everything (IoE) finally hit the mainstream. Well… as I noted in a blog last year, whether you call it IoE, IoT, M2M or the industrial Internet, it certainly feels like this industry is picking up steam.