Two cents blog

The Internet of Things

by Dave Mooney on 27 July 2017

Imagine this, “Hey Home, I’m going overseas for two months – if the house floods make sure you call the authorities and tell them to move my TV upstairs.”

One of the most interesting talking points from last Friday’s Interactive Minds Digital Summit was a session run by Michael Rosemann, Executive Director, Corporate Engagement for QUT. One takeaway from his talk was his prediction that in the future we will be putting trust in things, objects, vehicles or dwellings and delegating tasks to them.

The examples Rosemann gave were much more practical and realistic than the one at the opening of this blog, but what they did was open up a world where delegating tasks to objects is not only the norm but can also provide peace of mind, comfort and could even allow for increased productivity.

Another example provided was along the lines of, “Hey car, if I’m in an accident talk to me. If I’m responsive contact a tow truck, if I’m not, contact the ambulance and let them know my location.”

The emphasis in these scenarios actually shifts from user initiated ‘search’ to business prompted ‘find’. The idea that digital behaviour moves away from people searching for what they need, when they need it, to the products and services finding people based on delegated tasks or triggers identified by the ‘things’ around us.

In some cases, we’re already seeing this in action. Think of the Tesla autopilot systems which detect and avoid crashes before the human eye can even detect something is wrong. This is a technology which is already finding its way into many of the new cars heading out on our roads and has a very real impact on people’s lives.

 

Another automotive example provided at the Digital Summit was that of driverless cars. It’s estimated that the average Aussie spends roughly 400hours/year commuting to work in a car. That doesn’t include any other time spent driving on weekends or holidays. The idea of delegating the task of driving to the car opens up opportunity to have a screen in front of you, read a book, be more productive, cram for that exam, face-time a friend, catch up on sleep… you get the picture.

Time is a very valuable thing. If you look at time as a currency, then delegating tasks to ‘things’ can earn us more time, which as we move forward will become increasingly valuable.

The point made by Rosemann was that as we progress further into ‘the internet of things’ it should be less about understanding technology and more about understanding what you can do with technology.

Do you have any predictions about how or when IoT might change lives? Let us know in the comments below.

Dave Mooney is a Digital Strategist at BCM

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