The Internet of Things (or IoT) describes how interconnected devices work together over a shared network to deliver a predicted function.
IoT is a viable platform for delivering products and joining mobile, desktop, wearables, and conversational user interfaces (CUI).
Myplanet, our software studio company, successfully deploys these platforms in both employee/workplace solutions and in marketing/e-commerce solutions. These deployments have proven the location-agnostic nature of IoT makes it increasingly valuable for businesses.
Consider a home security system. The security system connects the Internet via the homeowner’s WiFi. Sensors connect the door jambs and window sills that have the smoke and CO2 detectors attached. Since the internet connects all these different devices, this security system would be part of the Internet of Things.
Before internet connectivity, this system ran on a local network with a limited range that communicated through the homeowner’s phone line. When a window or door opened, the break in contact sent a signal to the control panel which, if enabled, emitted a chirp or “door open” voice alert.
In more dire circumstances when the system was armed, the same door opening set off an alarm and triggered a phone call to the monitoring center and then to the police or security service.
With internet connectivity, each sensor has its own IP address and can relay information to an authenticated user.
In the home security example, for instance, there are some significant improvements as a result of this. A homeowner can now see the status of each individual door and window, whether it’s open or closed. As well, the homeowner knows which smoke alarm is going off and why.
The IoT system creates an easy-to-use process of checking multiple devices from one platform.
Internet of Options
Many Wi-Fi enabled devices now offer other security insights and remote home control.
Ring, an IoT doorbell, lets people see and talk to visitors on their front porch without opening the door.
The Nest thermostat gives homeowners remote access to heating and air conditioning, allowing them to raise or lower the temperature, set a vacation schedule, or turn the system completely off.
Several other devices also offer control of home lighting or security cameras through smartphones and watches. These tools have been carefully made to provide seamless service, with user journeys meticulously mapped out to ensure users have a holistic experience.
It’s important to write down the stages to clearly demonstrate how the devices will connect.
Most of this increased functionality is done through complimentary mobile apps, which enables an omnichannel experience across smart devices. IoT has literally put control in the homeowner’s hands.
Not only used in homes, these applications are also increasingly prevalent in business contexts as well.
IoT is a crucial waypoint in what Myplanet calls our “Scale of Smart.” Think of the “Scale of Smart” as a progression of cleverness that starts with a solution that’s intuitive (something elegant and easy to use), moves to a solution that’s assistive or even agentive (something that increasingly acts on the users behalf with their guidance), to finally a solution that is autonomous (something that acts on the users behalf but without their guidance).
Internet of Everywhere
IoT gathers meaningful insights and brings greater value to customers and businesses alike. Think of any scenario where people, content, and a specific place and time come together.
Retail is a perfect example: The people are shoppers, the content is the display, and the place and time are where and when a retailer is having a sale.
A simple IoT application can make an enormous difference in potential value by gathering data and insights for businesses about not only who they’re speaking to, but where, when, how much, and in what way.
IoT can deliver intelligence to business teams that have a stake in how engaged visitors are with shows, attractions, or merchandise. In a museum, analyzing headcounts per room, counting return visits, and measuring dwell time can help curators and marketers work together to streamline space allocation in the museum. These updates can help grow revenue by creating a more appealing and enjoyable experience for visitors.
By knowing more about a visitor, this data can then be cross-referenced against addresses, interests, and demographic details to provide granular insights for personalized content directives.
For example, data could answer how many people from a certain postal code visited a specific store display on Saturday for more than 5 minutes. The answer would provide in-depth information about potential clients and leads.
Heat maps or custom portals with sorted data per location, person, or thing could all be available in near-real time.
All the information companies value so highly in web-only experiences can also be available with the right application of IoT.
Drawing on data from the IoT devices, businesses can begin to see patterns and more directly connect value to customers. These patterns help customers better understand their usage through simple-to-understand dashboards with meaningful information displays.
A dashboard style data synthesis can also be useful from a content perspective since data from IoT devices can give digital marketing teams new ways to target customers. Marketers can have a person’s location trigger a display of content via a mobile app.
For example, if NASCAR fans stand close to a picture of a car on a sponsored stand, their location would trigger the app to show a video of that car racing.
By knowing more about a visitor via data gathered through registration, we can customize the customer experience, thus delivering targeted content to a person’s profile.
Internet of Everything
IoT is already prominent in many industries. Location-based analytics and content delivery is the natural next step, moving businesses forward toward a more personalized and customizable customer experience. If you are interested in implementing IoT into your business, discuss your options with one of these knowledgeable IoT companies.
We’re excited to see clients interested in IoT as a platform, especially because IoT can drive content and analytics as part of a suite of practical, location-based, offerings.
About the Author
Michael Younder works as a partner specialist at Myplanet. He manages and builds relationships with digital content management and commerce companies such as Acquia with a focus on the introduction of digital personalization and omnichannel journey products to clients in the US, Europe, and Canada.