The Internet of Things (IoT) for Beginners

The Internet of Things (IoT) for Beginners

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept of a connected world where devices like phones, fridges and wearable devices connect to the Internet and to each other. But it’s also much bigger than this and has huge society changing implications. Image a world where everything is connected and rich data is readily available to help us understand and improve how we live and work. Think “smart cities” which can help us reduce waste and improve energy efficiency.

Fender the internet of thingsMarketo have recently published a great infographic all about the “Internet of things” (IoT) for marketers (see below). Like semantic search, latent semantic indexing and other jargon SEO terms its difficult to explain what ‘the Internet of things’ is all about without having your audiences eyes glaze over. Here’s how I’d explain the Internet of Things in plain English.

When I was a youngster

When i was in junior school one of my projects was about what my home would be like in the future. This was in the days when black and white TV’s were all the rage and having a freezer was a serious status symbol (Think Vesta curries and Mash get Smash the iconic advertising slogan in the UK 1970’s).

My youthful vision of the ‘home of the future’ involved a house filled with lots of wires coming out of the ceilings and robots that would do everything from getting you dressed in the morning, brushing your teeth and making your breakfast. The robots in the drawing closely resembled ‘Fender’ from the movie Robots. I got an ‘A’ for the project so perhaps it was a sign of my future interests.

IoT means…

In my view, the Internet of Things is all about my vision of the future *aged 11. It’s about how technology has changed and continues to change everyday life. It’s a really fascinating subject somewhat clouded by flowery terminology and complexity. Is the Internet of Things mass information overload and what about the security issues? Can it be used to make our lives easier, more mindful, more sustainable?

In short, it’s the concept of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet. This includes mobile phones, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything you can think of. Think Hive heating control at work, on the train, from your sofa it puts you in control of your heating from your mobile, tablet or laptop.

The Internet of Things is not about connecting “things” to the Internet but rather connecting you to devices that are designed to make your everyday life run smoother. So… it’s a good thing right?

Examples of the Internet of Things

Apple Watch

Yep, that personal device that’s currently the worlds most wanted gadget. It’s designed to participate in every moment of your day. It intuitively knows when you’re wearing it – spooky. You can talk to it and it will talk back unlike your dog. You know you want one (I want one please Apple).

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Google Now

Another example of the Internet of Things is Google Now – the app that intuitively searches before you think too  – yes really. It’s when you get a message telling you how long it will be before you get home when you are on the bus or reminds you to book train tickets for an upcoming trip. It’s when you ask Siri or Cortana “Does my bum look big in this” and Google returns the search result of how Kim Karashian’s bum broke the internet.

Kim kardashians bum broke the internet

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The Internet of Things also extends to health and personal well-being. Fitbit is an activity tracker that measures your exercise, diet and sleep. It’s your connected personal trainer. Fitbit founders, Eric and James, realised that wireless technology had advanced so much they could bring new experiences to fitness and health. They created a wearable product that would change the way we move. Cool.

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Technopedia have a useful definition and Postscopes have produced a great historic timeline about the Internet of Things. But Marketo have gone even further by creating an Infographic specifically for marketers to use to think about how the Internet of Things will revolutionise online marketing in 2015 and onwards.

The Marketing power of the Internet of Things [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Marketing Power of The Internet Of Things

Brought to you by Marketing Automation Software by Marketo

Conversations about the IoT are happening all over the world as we try to understand how this will impact our future lives. How do you think marketing strategy will change due to the Internet of Things?

Useful links

A Simple Explanation Of ‘The Internet Of Things’ – Jacob Morgan

Internet of things | Technology | The Guardian