In 2008, we reached a tipping point when the number of connected devices surpassed the number of people on the planet. The Internet of Things ecosystem is already vast and expanding every day, and for marketers it's not simply about discovering advertising opportunities -- it's about engaging in a conversation with your consumers in a relevant context, at the best moment, with a targeted message that is mutually beneficial, platform agnostic and hyper-personalized.
Wearable, smart home tech and the Internet of Things are relevant for every brand, and A+E Networks has published a detailed white paper providing insights on the many implications and opportunities for marketers across the IoT ecosystem. (Download A+E Networks' Anticipating What’s Next: Wearables, Smart Homes and the Internet of Things white paper below.)
The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity that enable them to exchange data with other connected devices. The IoT can be found in cars, homes, appliances, clothes or anywhere you can stick a sensor and have that sensor report back to a machine like a computer or smartphone.
There are now almost 25 billion connected devices worldwide. This is conservatively forecast to double in the next five years to around 50 billion. If you multiply that 50 billion by a rapidly growing world and all the associated things that come with it, it may easily become 100 or 200 billion without any stretch of the imagination.
Would you like a shirt with sensors that can simulate a hug? How about some light bulbs for the house that play music, act as intercoms and can sync with one another? What about a refrigerator that can send pictures of its interior so you know what to buy at the store? Wearables, smart homes and the Internet of Things are not ideas far off in the future. They are here, they are now and they are a tremendous opportunity for brands -- all brands -- to hyper-target and deliver customized messaging to consumers.
The market for wearable devices -- which include fitness trackers, body cameras, glasses, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices -- is projected to reach $20.6 billion by 2018. These devices are already being used to share information and offer services in industries as diverse as healthcare, retail, banking, manufacturing and travel. Responding to a customer’s context may no longer simply be about their location, but about their emotional state measured by the minuscule biosensors embedded in wearable tech.
Smart home products used to be a quirky industry that churned out hard to use products, but now it’s finally maturing into a full-blown consumer trend. According to a recent report, sales of home automation systems are estimated to hit $10 billion this year. These devices can collect a lot of data that has never before been available, challenging marketers to develop products that address consumer needs while remaining mindful of the need for privacy.
At this point, it’s obvious that technology and media go hand in hand. Just look at how mobile is changing usage behavior and how brands, buyers and sellers are adapting to that change. Wearables, smart homes and the Internet of Things are what’s next for our industry. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, there is already plenty to take advantage of -- even for a market still in its infancy.
Download A+E Networks' Anticipating What’s Next: Wearables, Smart Homes and the Internet of Things Insights Report below.
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