Shoppers are warming to beacons and virtual reality. The majority of consumers are open to location-based technology as long as it improves their shopping experience, according to a new study. In the no-surprise department, coupons are viewed as the biggest incentive, based on a survey of 1,400 U.S. consumers focused on shopping habits and emerging retail technology.
Airlines are jumping aboard the Internet of Things train. Even though challenged by upfront costs, the number of airlines now involved in major IoT initiative has almost doubled since last year. Mobile activity also is high, with nearly 80% of airlines planning major investments in passenger services via smartphone over the next three years, according to a new airline industry report.
The Internet of Things is going to expand the concept of target marketing. By a lot. The promise of one-to-one arrived in various forms over the years. Mobile certainly pushed that along. But much of the targeting has been based on normal and rational things, such as where a person is, where they have recently been and maybe a little of what they purchased along the way.
The Internet of Things comprises many, many things that are smart. This really just means that the devices can do at least a little something, such as being turned on or off remotely or automatically at any given moment. There are smart things at all scales, such as smart watches, smart appliances, smart homes, smart buildings and smart cities.
Some serious marketing dollars may have to be spent just to get consumers aware of smart home products and how to go about getting one. Most consumers don't know where to turn to buy smart home products or services, that is, if they even know about them. The reality is that smart home devices are relatively new and not likely to be on the average person's radar until they need or want a particular new or replacement device for their home.
Among other things, there are large dollar amounts involved in the Internet of Things. Aside from the various projections of 20 billion or more Internet-connected devices coming, the investment from businesses is even more noteworthy. U.S. organizations will invest more than $232 billion in Internet of Things hardware, software, services and connectivity this year, based on the latest worldwide spending forecast from the International Data Corp. (IDC).
Some big guns are starting to flex their muscles to push the Internet of Things along. For some time, there have been various standards groups aiming to help sort out and guide the details behind the idea of connected devices actually working together. Keeping in mind that plug and play took years to actually be functional in the PC world, even for a PC to recognize what printer just got turned on in a home network, this is no small feat.
Some of the impact of the Internet of Things will start small and grow from there. A good example of this is the new feature coming next week in the form of an update to a fitness tracker. In addition to tracking steps taken, floors climbed, calories burned and resting heartrate, Fitbit will tell wearers when it's time to go to bed. Wrist wearables have been known for haptic feedback, this just takes it to a next level.
Virtual reality is graduating from the gaming world and finally going into areas like travel, movies and live events. And based on current consumer interests, gaming is actually at the bottom of the list. Internet-connected headsets are expanding in the IoT world as technology finally catches up with the promise of virtual reality, which has been kicking around for years.
There's an ever widening gap in those who buy into the Internet of Things and those who don't. This is not to say that marketing and business execs don't see the import of the transformational change coming, but rather the pace of consumer adoption may not be keeping up. The latest IDC report on the numbers around the state of the wearables market is but one example.