Using voice commands to make things happen in the Internet of Things still has some distance to go. In its coming upgrade, Apple is expected to improve Siri so that it can control some third-party apps. This would be a step forward, along with anything else Apple does to improve the voice capabilities of the sometimes infuriating voice agent.
The idea of creating a smart home is working its way through the entire value chain. There are smart things consumers can buy and take home, such as a WeMo home automation switch that allows anything plugged into it to be turned on or off via smartphone. Smart light bulbs from companies including GE and Osram Sylvania allow consumers to take control of lighting remotely, so lights can be dimmed and color adjusted remotely, modifying the entire behavior of getting up to turn a light on or off.
While a lot of behavioral change will come with the Internet of Things, some people are attempting to cause a bit of that change right away. In a push to help shoppers save money, a company has created a programmable handbag with built-in robotics that causes the bag to vibrate, flash and self-lock when the shopper enters a 'danger spending zone.' The iBag2 (yes, there was an earlier version, which launched in Australia a while back), is the brainchild of the personal finance website finder.com in the U.K.
If nothing else, the Internet of Things is a global phenomenon. When the commercial Web came along, people around the world had to become part of the network, one person at a time. It took a number of years for the masses of businesses and consumers to get online.
In the Internet of Things, anything that can be connected will be connected That now even holds true for bottles of rum. Absolut Vodka, which ships around 100 million bottles a year, was experimenting with connecting bottles last year, as I wrote about here at the time.
There could be trouble in wearables land. Plenty of wearables are being made and shipped into the market and plenty of consumers have bought them. Trouble is, the number of consumers who use one has declined from 21% last year to 14% this year, according to a new study.
To one degree or another, connected cars are coming. Bur more than all that connectivity, consumers want safety. In a scoring of the top technology categories in cars, safety rated a full point ahead of connectivity, according to the annual Auto Techcast report by Nielsen, comprising a survey of 12,000 U.S. consumers.
Beacons have been a big deal in retail, and it looks like they may become an even bigger deal elsewhere. New research says that the Bluetooth Low Energy devices are going to grow significantly around personal tracking. Market leader Tile already has shipped more than 6 million BLE beacons alone.
Millennials are gravitating to the Internet of Things, at least compared to other demographic groups. As might be expected, most (87%) millennials have a smartphone, the same as those older than 35, according to a new survey. However, when it comes to smartwatches, almost two times more millennials than non-millennials have one, based on a survey of 1,800 millennials and 1,200 non-millennials.
Virtual reality and augmented reality may be traveling in the same basic direction but for agencies and brands, they're on different roads. The SapientNitro display at the annual eTail East conference in Boston this week was dominated by a show of virtual reality featuring a digital apartment where information on items shown could be displayed simply by looking at the object. That particular display, also used at previous shows, was sort of an augmented reality experience inside a virtual reality headset.