connected home

Why won’t internet fridges go away?

Every year at CES, internet fridges delight the masses (of journalists) who scurry off to write arch pieces on the internet of things.

I didn’t attend CES, but nevertheless I’d like my oportunity to shout into the wind.

Please. I need this.

Hive: A startup culture in a corporate behemoth

The team at Hive have an interesting story to tell.

Iterating a new product in a nascent part of an old industry, doing this within an enormous organisation like British Gas, while maintaining an independent, startup culture.

There’s a lesson in there for anybody.

Here’s what I learnt about Hive by listening to Tom Guy, product and commercial director, at #canvasconf, organised by 383.

Seven big industries Google could disrupt

Google is making many companies nervous. Anything bought online that involves the collection of information naturally falls into Google’s path.

Even outside of this large niche, Google is getting stuck into larger engineering projects like the self-driving car.

Let’s take a look at industries ripe for disruption by Google.

If you could know one thing about your customers, what would it be?

This question – what would you like to know about your customers? – is the simple challenge from Andrew Warren-Payne as he takes to the stage and bemoans previous hype around the tweeting fridge.

By the way, that header image is Colin Farrell in the 2012 reboot of Total Recall, reading a lovely message on his ‘screen fridge’.

Andrew’s point is that the internet of things is not about smart fridges (you would still run out of toilet roll, unless you kept it in the fridge) or a kettle you can turn on with your smartphone. The IoT is more a forthcoming reality for expanding data collection and communication, allowing brands to find out more about customers and how they interact with products and services.

The internet of things: five new products changing the market now

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?

Why is the internet of things so compelling?

Welcome to the interweb. Regular readers may know this ‘column’ as a compendium of enjoyable rubbish from across the web, to enjoy with your coffee.

Well, I’ve decided to change it up and make it marginally more relevant/less childish. So this week I’m offering a light-hearted take on why one hot topic in digital, the ‘internet of things’ (IoT), is so compelling.

Why do smart devices fascinate us? What is the root of our obsession with fridges that know when we have run out of milk?

Here’s my take on the IoT.