A teenager named Dorothy recently became viral on Twitter when she started tweeting with unusual devices, including her gaming console and smart fridge, after her mom confiscated her phone. Dorothy won thousands of likes and retweets and also started a hashtag #FreeDorothy soon after she tweeted.
The episode gives us a glimpse of the future where it wouldn’t be weird for us to talk to our devices. What was once just a fad and a buzzword has become a reality today; our world is slowly turning into a sci-fi movie that we’ve always fantasized about. The availability of high-speed internet has made it possible for every device to be connected to the internet. From cellphones to washing machines and even to your simple toaster, household items have the ability to become “smart.” Imagine your clock sending a notification to your coffee maker to start brewing coffee as soon as you are up. Around 64 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2025.
The world of smart devices is not only changing every aspect of our lives, but it also spells good news for businesses that are leveraging them to reduce their costs and to improve efficiency. General Electric has developed a software called Predix that uses data from smart machines, combines it with traditional data and then predicts maintenance needs. Rolls Royce has also equipped its engines with intelligent sensors. The data from these sensors is combined with traffic control operations to ensure smoother flight operations.
IoT is also changing marketers’ approaches to businesses as it has equipped them with unprecedented amounts of data that can be utilized to reach their target audience in a more personalized and effective manner
Social Media Companies Investment in IoT
Tech giants are well aware of the potential of IoT in changing the dynamics of social media; hence, they have jumped into the race of investing in IoT. Ahead of the pack is Facebook, which is working on its own virtual assistant to rival the likes of Alexa and Apple’s Siri. The social media giant will likely use this assistant with its Portal video chat smart speakers, Oculus headsets or any other future projects.
Similarly, Life360, a family messaging app is putting its bet on IoT. The messaging app has already partnered with the Duchossois Group to integrate the app into smart home products. The app is also working with auto companies such as BMW and Ford.
Tenscent, the parent company of the famous social messaging app WeChat, is also showing interest in this arena. The company recently announced its open-source platform for developers to work on IoT projects, which will allow the company to perfect its solutions. TenscentOS Tiny, as the operating system is named, is lighter and easier to use. Tenscent hopes that it will encourage developers to work on projects related to smart cities, vehicles, and wearables.
Connecting People With Things
Social media companies were born with the aim of connecting people with people. However, it seems their mission has now changed to connecting people with things. The more devices that are connected to the internet, the more opportunities marketers have to take their brand to their consumers.
Coca Cola has found a very creative hack with smart fridges. The soda giant is testing a new interactive fridge that has social media, facial recognition and augmented reality to share marketing offers and content to specific consumers. Coca Cola can use information from the facial recognition software to push out specific offers based on consumers’ demographics and moods.
Walgreens is also testing “smart” displays. It is developing new technology with sensors, cameras and digital screens. These refrigerators and doors will act as digital in-store billboards that will display customized ads to whoever approach them based on different factors such as age. Around 15 brands, including Nestle and Conagra, have already signed up.
Diaego took IoT advertising to the next level when it connected 100,000 bottles to the internet to send personalized messages to fathers. People who gifted whiskey to their fathers were able to personalize their messages. The results were tremendous, as Diaego saw a 72% jump in sales on Father’s Day.
Tide partnered with Amazon to very creatively increase its sales. It connected Amazon Dash buttons to the Amazon app. So, whenever you are running low on detergent, you can press it and Tide will turn up on your doorstep in a few days.
Marketers Are Catching Up
We ditched TV to escape those annoying commercials, but marketers found new ways to get eyeballs. They crept in social media and started bombarding us with ads on every video we watched. Now, they have sneaked into our homes as well.
However, we do have to give them credit for creativity. With this level of personalization, these ads don’t seem intrusive. They make sure you only see what you are interested in. Perhaps we are headed to a time when we will be more welcoming towards advertisements instead of running away from them.