Commentary

The Laziness In The Internet Of Things

The idea of some of the new connected devices in The Internet of Things seems to be to make life for people a little easier.

At the very least, some look to provide fingertip access to do something without having to get up.

In essence, many are looking to further integrate the physical and digital worlds.

The latest example is the new Nespresso coffeemaker that lets you start the brewing from a mobile app, so you don’t have to leave the chair or bed. Of course, that presumes you pre-loaded the capsule before sitting down or hitting the hay.

The latest approach by Mozilla is to create a technology platform so that you could issue into a device such commands as ‘turn off the lights downstairs.’

At CES earlier this year, Chinese TV maker Hisense showed me their version of smart home appliance integration. While watching TV, a message is sent to the TV letting you know that the washing machine cycle just ended.

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There are many more such examples, but you get the idea.

The irony here is that there are somewhat competing forces in the industry.

The wearables industry is providing for millions of consumers fitness trackers, with software primarily aimed at helping people move more.

Meanwhile, some IoT appliances makers are creating connected home devices aimed at helping people move less.

The people who plan to buy wearables in the foreseeable future are pretty high tech and very much attuned to style, as detailed in an insightful IDC study I wrote about here just yesterday       (Wearable Buyers: 89% Comfortable With Technology, 74% See It As Exciting).

Of course, the appliance activity is mostly information, at least at the moment. For example, you still have to physically go to the coffeemaker to get the coffee and to the washing machine to empty it of the clean clothes, which you had to physically put in at the start.

End game, of course, is for the appliances to actually do things for you. This has already started, such as a washing machine self-ordering supplies or a printer self-ordering ink, when a cartridge is running low.

Before that approach is fully cooked sometime down the road, more devices hitting the market will promote consumers sitting while a machine takes care of something for them.

The Fitbit and Jawbone wearers are likely to go do it manually, for the credit.

The fitness tracker doesn’t need the rest.

4 comments about "The Laziness In The Internet Of Things".
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  1. Pat Dermody from Retale, March 3, 2016 at 10:32 a.m.

    Good call-out, Chuck.  When the robots can go get the coffee from the coffeemaker and bring it to you; or go get the laundy, put it in the dryer, fold it and put it away, the IOT will truly be realized.  And we will be in danger of morphing from couch potato to couch balloons.  

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, March 3, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.

    Thank you, Pat. And yes, the robots are coming.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 3, 2016 at 11:45 a.m.

    Penny wise - dollar foolish. There are chain reactions here.

  4. Patty Ardis from Ardis Media, LLC, March 4, 2016 at 5:19 p.m.

    Hey I think they already made a movie about it called Wall-e!

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