I am subtitling this post, ‘products become services, services become transparent’.
Econsultancy researcher Andrew Warren-Payne sent me a list of internet of things developments, products that have emerged over the past year and are now available.
He knows I’m interested in internet enabled things as I’ve written a few posts before about what to expect and about why everyone is so fascinated by the IoT.
I’ve tried to keep the discussion rooted to what marketers need to know about IoT. It’s easy to get carried away talking about fridges that know when you’ve run out of milk but realistically there’s no demand for that. It won’t be happening any time soon.
But what will be happening is the gradual transition from one-off purchases where the customer is never to be seen again. This will transition to services, where a customer’s purchase ‘talks’ to the store or manufacturer and a relationship is established throughout the product lifecycle.
Whether it be refills, repairs or upgrades, the seller can keep in touch to potentially make you a more loyal and valuable customer.
Additionally, customers will be able to demand accuracy and transparency from many service providers, as internet enabled devices afford greater data analysis, or life-logging. Cost-saving could be a major benefit, for consumers and suppliers.
So what are these emerging products Andrew has spotted?
Microsoft recently announced its newly branded Lab of Things. It describes this as ‘a flexible platform for experimental research that uses connected devices in homes.’
I thought I’d use this opportunity to look again at the rise of the connected device, and the future of the so-called internet of things, or IoT. Below you’ll see 10 things that you, the consumer, should expect over the next few years.