Why the IoT Has to Make Sharing Data Worthwhile

Insights gained from the Internet of Things can put an end to hit-and-miss direct marketing—but only if companies investing in the technology ensure that security is embedded in their content-management system.
By Christopher Justice
Mar 13, 2015

Even while businesses start to incorporate products and services that leverage the Internet of Things into their strategies, they still think it belongs to the technology department. What most people don't yet realize is that we are on the verge of a sociological shift in perspective about the transformative power of the Internet of Things—and that shift means the IoT is vital to marketers as well.

The IoT is no longer just about smart cups or refrigerators with attached touchscreens. Sure, people are interested in the latest trends, but the real power of the IoT is in how it can respond to the needs of businesses and individuals, and transform our lives in the same way that mobile computing has. In other words, it's a marketer's dream: actionable information, at a most granular and human level.

IoT Gives Real-time Perspective to Marketing

From a business standpoint, this is a huge advantage, as companies can gain real-time perspective from consumers, enabling them to better tailor their offerings. Consumers then get the products and services they want, where and when they want them. The resultant customization will put an end to hit-and-miss direct marketing.

It's not just marketers who benefit, either. From product design to logistics and sales, every part of the company takes a piece of the cake—but only when consumers are ready to buy into the concept of the Internet of Things. In fact, it is foolish to believe that any consumer product or service will not have some level of focus on the IoT.

Apple Is Not Selling a Watch
For example, the Apple Watch is not at all what you believe it is, nor what we think it should be. History marks our ignorant mockery of Apple's seminal products, from the first-generation iPhone all the way back to 1993 and its Newton personal digital assistant. The clues are already out there. Read the patent history and the upcoming patent registrations. And read about the personal passions of the leaders at Apple. Think different.

The Apple Watch is an early-stage product, but it isn't for the geek, nerd or techy. Neither is it about fashion or luxury.

The Apple Watch is about sensors and data collection that our Newtons, Nanos or iPhones could not accomplish. Apple needs to have direct contact with our skin to bring to light a whole new dimension of IoT data. The company's move—this so-called "watch"—addresses an $83 billion diabetes market (though honestly, that number seems a bit conservative). For decades, finding a viable, painless technique to monitor glucose levels has been a Holy Grail in this lucrative market, as this article verifies. Apple's new watch does not eliminate the need for diabetics to inject insulin, but it can help them better manage their insulin levels by displaying blood sugar data from continuous glucose monitoring devices—sensors implanted under the skin—right on the watch.

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