There has been a lot of noise in the channels lately about the Internet of Things. Many journalists have used the term to put a handle on the concept of smart, interconnected appliances, installed in even smarter homes.
Televisions, refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, thermostats, washers, dryers and even cameras are being outfitted with communication software and Internet capabilities that report the product’s heartbeat and current status back to the mothership.
According to Wikipedia the Internet of Things refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure. The term Internet of Things (IoT) was proposed by Kevin Ashton in 1999.
Ashton is a British technology pioneer who cofounded the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which created a global standard system for RFID and other sensors.
There are as many variations on this as there are communication protocols. The marketplace has both proprietary and open standards, but several major manufacturers are starting to integrate the more well-known protocols into their line of goods.
Some of the more sophisticated products have Artificial Intelligence (AI) built in so they can not only report, but can also learn your schedule and habits, governing themselves accordingly.
Smart homes that have been outfitted with an interconnected infrastructure can save you time, money; making your life less stressful and more fluid. The Internet of Things will surely change what we spend our time doing while at home.
In the future, the appliances will take over, doing the heavy lifting while we enjoy our families, friends with our increased free time.
But some innovative new companies are taking things one step beyond and are now socializing consumer electronics. Yesterday I read a press release touting the world’s first social headphones; allowing wearers to share the music they are listening to in real-time with their social networking friends.
The firm refers to the device’s sharing capability as "Social Smartware" a term the company trademarked for its mission of creating wearable technology that makes it easier for people to stay connected with friends.
Trust me, the sharing capability in these headphones is just the tip of the iceberg, societal sharing is not just another passing fad. Social media is becoming interspersed into everything we see, do and eventually everything we own.
Once an object becomes social, it takes on an identity all its own. Many think about this concept and shudder when they remember Hal, the ship’s computer from 2001 a Space Odyssey.
The computer known as Hal 9000 became more and more human as it learned human syntax and language. Eventually Hal becoming conversational, then turned combative, locking the astronaut out of the spaceship. But that was just a screenplay, we should have no anxiety about our microwave becoming a turncoat, and forcing us out of our residence.
Think about how we use appliances socially now. In many families the refrigerator is the centerpiece of the home. Reminder notes, photos, magnets and finger-paintings festoon the front of many a fridge around the world.
Now imagine these iceboxes having controls and sensors that interact with social networks. Those who are preparing dinner could apprise the family of what’s being served, and request an e-RSVP and cook accordingly.
You could invite friends and neighbors for dinner, by sharing the awesome sushi rolling technique you recently mastered. Of course it would be integrated with Facebook, Twitter and other networks to share the kid’s artwork, or post a reminder.
The Socialization of Things (SoT) is coming – and much faster than you think. We’ve only just begun to focus on this space and the opportunity is rapidly burgeoning. How would you inject social media into the things you own?
Cars, electronics, and appliances are all in the process of being outfitted with Internet capabilities. It’s only a matter of time before these machines and devices are supercharged with social media providing new ways to interact with others.
At mize we're leading the charge with embedded product registration and warranty tracking proficiencies. We are connecting; consumers, products, brands and devices together - creating cohesion with smarter customer engagement services and social capabilities.