Internet of Things & Customer Engagement: Exploring the Synergies
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Nowadays, I am somewhat amused by my experiences on the Internet. If I visit a website to check out some Spiderman comics for my kid, I invariably find kiddies merchandise being exhibited to me for the next week or so. Machine learning techniques are developing fast and with huge data pools being created, we are staring at the cusp of an age where the first crude forms of machine or artificial intelligence are starting to take shape.
Today, when I am able to speak to my phone and it searches out information on the web and talks back to me; today, when my refrigerator is able to talk to my online grocer for a refill of daily use items; today, when my car talks to me and gives me instructions on roads to take, when to refill, my kind of music, etc., I cannot but believe that we are waking up to a new world where Ironman and Jarvis are possibilities that I should start believing in.
The world that our children will inherit will be a completely different place, a connected world of devices and systems that deliver utilities and services even before we realize and ask for them.
The dawn of the age of IoT and Big Data has arrived. Smart and connected cars (ask Google, Apple or Tesla) and space travel (Space X or Virgin Galactic) are no longer science fiction. Homes, hospitals, schools, etc - everything is now smart and intelligent. Products themselves are starting to become tools for personalized engagement and engineers are designing features and functionalities around“experience architecture”.
It will probably take a decade to reach a stage wherein the multiple advantages of intelligent connected devices start to kick into the consumer psyche. In the meantime, mobility, cloud and social media are changing the way we think and act. The mobile technology market is already headed towards hyper-personalization.
With over a billion users worldwide, mobile smartphones are integral to our daily lives. This with the advent of 4G, cloud connectivity and analytics frameworks will define the future intelligent environments.
Within the context of IoT, products and services can continue to work for brands even after they have already been sold. These would open up new channels of proactive engagement, allowing us to redefine customer engagement completely.
Like any groundbreaking new technology, IoT can potentially improve our personal lives drastically and make our workplaces highly efficient with enhanced capabilities. However, like any good thing, this also has tremendous scope of misuse. Always being connected would open up privacy risks of more surveillance, potential frauds, scams and other vicious hacking and cyber attacks.
And just think, what a field day advertisers would have!! Governments and economies around the world are already opening up to these new challenges and hopefully regulations will be able to keep pace with innovation happening rapidly around IoT.