What Does the Internet of Things Mean for Today’s Culture?

Image: adafruit

Today we are living the era of ‘permanent revolution’ thanks to the configuration of new media, entertainment and culture. Without a doubt, the technological developments that are setting up in record time are creating a new ecosystem, where leading Internet-connected devices is changing the way consumers’ access content.

Smartphones, tablets, e-readers, personal navigation devices, wireless products and gaming units are among the driving factors for creating new applications, products and services that can improve people’s daily lives.

Internet of Things

The rapid transition to new content experiences online through the latest generation of devices has been given by several factors, among which are, access to mobile broadband, increased investment in data centers and cloud computing, innovation in data-mining software, high use of social networking sites and intuitive interfaces on Smart TV’s, tablets and game consoles that have brought innovations to the audience.

Though global demand for Smart TV’s is scarce today, the demand is growing. It’s expected that over 45 percent of people will have a connected TV by 2014.  At the same time, the total market of connected devices could grow another 60 percent in the same period.

Devices that can access the Internet have gained wide acceptance among users. Connected devices — smartphones and tablets, but also cars and refrigerators — will grow more than fourfold in 2020. In addition, increased use of video will be assumed that the total Internet traffic quadruple in 2014, according to latest Cisco report.

Furthermore, the concept of “Internet of Things” is leading to connect other gadgets, machine-to-machine (M2M) and even appliances or vehicles.

For example, S-class Mercedes have nearly as many embedded computers as an Airbus A380 to make driving a more pleasant experience. Ford Sync, one of the most popular systems in its class, provides access to the climate control and entertainment functions with voice commands in the form of natural speech for car drivers. MyFord Mobile for iPhone is another mobile app offering from Ford Motors that link up cars via an embedded AT&T wireless module for remote communication.

Then, there is Siri-Car integration. Apple’s voice control system will drive the next generation of cars in near future. General Motors is not far behind: the company is developing a series of apps that will transform the way we drive.

Future Connected Devices

A new startup, Evrythng, is exploring unique online profiles for products and other objects to make them part of the Web, so that every physical thing can be digitally connected.

“We’re looking to solve a problem that manufacturers didn’t think there was a solution to. How do I get closer to my customers when I don’t know who most of them are?” says Andy Hobsbawm, Evrythng’s co-founder and chief marketing officer.

Every product can be packaged using a unique identifying tag like simple QR codes or NFC. Evrythng will then scan or swipe the product using smartphones to instantly connect to Internet, creating personalized online services for customers.

Other services like AirBnB and the US private car sharing/rental company Relay Rides, are already taking advantage of connected devices. Relay Rides provides private cars rent to travelers on a journey-by-journey basis. The company is now using online network that allows same car to effectively share among different owners. This can lead to better planning, monitoring, parking, maintaining service history, seat positions as well as catering to individual needs.

“The web of things has been coming for a long time and people have been talking about products having a presence online,” notes Hobsbawm. “Now you’re entering a zone where the cost per unit of tagging a unit is becoming affordable for scale and where bandwidth is continuing to fall.”

New categories of connected devices seem to be continually added to the M2M device mix. According to Berg Insight, shipped consumer M2M devices with cellular connectivity grew to 7.1 million worldwide in 2011, up from 6.4 million in the previous year.

The report says, “This relatively new breed of connected devices – neither classified as handsets, PCs, tablets nor traditional M2M devices, includes E-readers and personal navigation devices. Handheld gaming consoles, personal tracking devices and wellness devices are promising categories as well.”

This will ensure consumers are always connected and, therefore, be more and more accessible to information, which will affect the ability to compare products and services to make decisions in a more thoughtful and to influence other consumers.

About Saroj Kar

Saroj is a Staff Writer at SiliconANGLE covering DevOps, social, mobile and gaming news. If you have a story idea or tip, send it to @SiliconAngle on Twitter.