Once an Internet-connected object reaches mass scale, it’s likely to stay there for some time.
The smartphone is there now. It took a number of years for the masses to move from feature phones, but now that time has arrived.
Well over a billion smartphones will be shipped this year, according to the latest tracking data from Canalys.
In the Internet of Things, it’s not so much about the adoption of technology as it is about adopting new behaviors, many of which simply make life easier.
The smartphone allowed consumers to be online anywhere, anytime. Good or bad, it facilitated around-the-clock access to email and allowed people to be always on as part of the network.
Billions of smart objects outside of smartphones are coming online and they will experience the same phenomenon as the smartphone.
Just as everyone didn’t immediately ditch their Blackberries when the iPhone and then the Android wave arrived, connected objects will become part of the mainstream over time.
The technology itself already is being imbedded in many items, such as appliances and around-the-house gadgetry. Consumers in general many not know it’s coming, but a connected universe is on the way.
The same is happening with car connections, with half of all new cars sold in Europe having some level of connectivity within four years, according to estimates by Bosch.
These IoT technologies are going to be less about consumers consciously deciding they need a smart thing, but more about the things they buy will have smarts built in. Anything that can have a switch will have a switch. And if it can be switched, it likely will be on the network.
Marketing and advertising will be an integral part of this new universe, though the messaging will look different than it does today.