Businesses expect The Internet of Things will improve customer experiences but that's far from where their current IoT initiatives are today. And when it comes to how they plan to address IoT needs, most companies are looking to do it with internal resources, although fewer than four in 10 rate their level of preparedness in various phases as excellent or very good, based on a new study.
Many major companies are gradually migrating their businesses to The Internet of Things. Some of these are a bit subtle while others are more blatant. And the IoT move is for good reason. With so many connected devices, from smart watches to fitness trackers, smart appliances, connected thermostats, smart lighting and new types of connected objects being introduced on a regular basis, every consumer will be affected.
It seems like almost every day a there's one form or another security issue that arises around The Internet of Things. We've had stories of the Barbie doll with interactive voice in the cloud allowing potential access to a home, a Jeep hacked by researchers as it rode along and smart doorbells, through which an innovative outsider could gain access to the home network. Many of the security breaches, or at least the theory of some of them, often are relayed in somewhat of a vacuum. Now Forrester has taken a stab at putting the issue of security in context, ...
There are smart home devices and then there are the apps that control those devices, and consumers don't seem satisfied with both. It turns out that many consumers are quite happy with their smart devices but when it comes to the way those devices are run, not so much. Based on analyzing about 50,000 smart home device and app reviews over a four-month period, Argus Insights found that consumers are more frustrated by the applications that dictate, manage and schedule each device than with the actual devices themselves.
While many view the idea of connected cars as moving to autonomous or self-driving vehicles, the bigger short-term reality is that it will deal more with communications and entertainment for the people in the car. And there's some significant revenue potential in the messaging that consumers in cars receive. In-vehicle infotainment systems will produce revenues exceeding $600 million within four years, according to a new study from Juniper Research.
Beacons may be the most pervasive connected devices that consumers experience in the near future. A couple of years in the making, beacons are now starting to be rolled out in some serious scale. Last week at the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York, Verifone said that going forward, its point-of-sale terminals would have beacons from Footmarks built in.
If nothing else, Internet of Things technology is starting to get good at tracking things. There are, of course, the IoT gadgets that track activities of people, such as wearables like fitness trackers. And there are things that track people themselves, such as by using beacons or WiFi connectivity in stores. But another tracking need involves actual things, such as inventory in stores.
Vending machines are joining The Internet of Things. And these are hardly traditional snack vending machines, since they come loaded with networked and interactive capabilities. These include targeted advertising, facial recognition, touch screens, data analysis and inventory tracking, all used in the simple process of purchasing a snack.
The Internet of Things is partly about digitizing the physical world. There were plenty of examples of this at CES in Las Vegas and, more recently, at the annual National Retail Federation extravaganza at New York's Javits Center this week. At the start of the show, I sat down with Gimbal CEO Jeff Russakow, who sees part of the beacon-company's mission as just that.
Adapting to The Internet of Things requires a lot of innovation and business leaders seem OK with that. While most business execs see innovation as important, most of them also look to innovation as a way to develop new products or services. A large majority (91%) of business leaders say innovation is a strategic priority for their company and most (66%) of them see it as a way to develop entirely new products or services moving forward, according a new study.