The Internet of Things has no global boundaries. As a result, the money allocated for IoT deployments by category also varies by market. For example, automotive executives in Europe are allocating 24% of their tech budgets to IoT compared to 19% in the U.S. automotive industry, according to a new study.
If there was any doubt about Samsung's intent to be a force within the Internet of Things, those were put to rest Wednesday. In addition to introducing its long-anticipated Galaxy S8 smartphone, Samsung articulated its intent for the S8 to become the controlling device for all smart things in a home. At the phone introduction at Lincoln Center in New York, the electronics giant also introduced Samsung Connect Home, a small, smart Wi-Fi device to more tightly link all connected devices in a home.
Getting from here to there in the Internet of Connected Things is not going to be easy. A few days ago, Uber suspended its self-driving cars test after a high-impact crash in Arizona, one that knocked the car up onto its side. The self-driving cars were back on the road a short time later, after word came out that it appeared the driver of another car made an illegal turn, for which he was cited.
When Apple introduced Siri several years back, the voice agent was viewed by some as a novelty. The idea that a person could speak to a somewhat artificially intelligent and sometimes flippant digital assistant via a smartphone was, at the least, intriguing. Much has changed since Siri's launch back in 2011.
While most people don't have virtual reality headsets, those who do seem quite happy with them. From VR headsets that work with any smartphone to those that connect to PCs, devices bought during the past holiday season are exceeding the expectations of most of the people who have them, based on a new study.
If nothing else, people who wear smartwatches are using them to track their steps. While the wearable devices can be used to track location, set times, deal with messages, set alarms, monitor heart rates and numerous other things, the most used fitness feature is tracking steps taken. This is among the findings in a study of wearable devices in U.S. broadband households conducted by Parks Associates.
Consumers are comfortable with the idea of using virtual reality to improve their in-store experience and even like the idea of having their grocer suggest a shopping list for their customers. However, there are limits to what consumers feel comfortable accepting. These are among some of the top line results from a survey of 700 consumers by Oracle Retail presented at the Oracle Industry Connect conference in Orlando this week.
There's little doubt about the Internet of Things changing how people buy. Consumers already are learning to order by speaking to voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, such as 'Alexa, order me a coffee from Starbucks.' In cases like that, the consumer knows what is desired, in this case, a specific cup of coffee, likely one previously tried.
The Internet of Things ultimately is about engagement. The whole point of connecting billions and billions of things to the Internet is to make life easier if not better, dramatically increase efficiencies and, in the end, create better customer engagement models. After since it gained fame by winning at Jeopardy, IBM's Watson has been on an extensive learning curve, essentially working to figure out ways to improve customer engagements for brands.
Amazon is displaying a bit of how the Internet of Things will combine with the world of brick and mortar. I recently spent some time in the new physical Amazon bookstore at Legacy Place in Dedham, Massachusetts, one of a handful of stores the online seller opened around the country. Unlike traditional bookstores, Amazon displays books by front covers rather than just by the spine, and each book contains a printed version of an online review, including the number of rating stars. (Curiously, the reviews are on printed paper rather than by a digital display, which could then rotate different …