Commentary

Consumers Can Get In The Way Of Internet Of Things Advances

Sometimes the assumptions made by creators and marketers of products in the world of the Internet of Things can be a little off.

I’m reminded of a business exec I was speaking to some time ago who was complaining about his company’s customers. They just weren’t seeming smart enough to buy this company’s products.

He wanted to get new customers, some that really got what he was providing. I suggested he might consider what he was providing was not what customers wanted, which was the furthest thought from his mind. Anyway.

There are some connected products here and coming along that will be looking for customers.

One of the most visible is the self-driving car, which requires that the person in the car essentially be the backup system to the car’s technology.

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While marketers may be awaiting that free time of a former driver to market to as the car zips along on its own, researchers are suggesting that humans have a tough time continually monitoring systems that rarely fail.

The current state of autonomous vehicles is that automakers are looking for drivers to stay somewhat involved in the automated driving. Things like taking control of the wheel when the technology encounters something it is not yet equipped to deal with.

There are other examples, such as household appliances that are starting to come with smarts built in. Some of these will be landing in households that never got around to figuring how to change the clock on a VCR (video cassette recorder, just in case).

The potential gap in the Internet of Things is still about selling vs. buying.

There is what a company plans to market and sell and then there is what consumers are looking to buy.

Though a relatively large number, there are only so many customers. Many of them will give something only one shot.

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Samsung, UnderArmour, Microsoft and Philips Lighting presenting at the MediaPost IoT Marketing Forum Aug. 3 in New York. Check out the agenda here.

3 comments about "Consumers Can Get In The Way Of Internet Of Things Advances ".
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  1. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, July 20, 2016 at 10:10 a.m.

    That was kind of the point.

  2. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, July 20, 2016 at 4:50 p.m.

    I find so much of the IoT world are classic examples of "technology in search of a reason to exist". It's a big problem for them.

    Reminds us that while Silicon Valley loves Apple's big profits, few understand that Jobs' brilliance was integration - not engineering. If you weill, he proved that integrating technology into devices that are incredibly useful to consumers is the way to make the most money. 

    All else is simply instances of technology searching for meaning.

  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, July 20, 2016 at 5:11 p.m.

    Well said, Doug. The good news is that the market will sort itself out.

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