The ‘internet of things’
Wearables and the integration of internet in our daily lives are quickly becoming so common that it no longer shocks us. Our increasing reliance on the ‘internet of things’ is now expected from consumers. They also expect to be able to find, afford and, use technologies of this calibre. Even though Google Glass may (or may not) have taken its last breath, wearables are here to stay. Watches are the most immediate example, but as technology starts to become more and more innovative, we will see it popping up in places we never thought possible. “From smart-lighting to smart-cars, consumers are obsessed by controlling everything from their armchairs through being connected to devices and smart phones” (Flannery 2015).
As time goes by and we find ourselves deeper and deeper within the Digital Age, we are consumed with interactive experiences and information. We’re learning how to alter technology to serve us in completely new ways. It’s exciting but, also a little scary. Admittedly not all of this ‘smart-technology’ will necessarily be used for smart purposes, but of course this will depend on the consumer. I’ve already seen GPS cat collars marketed to the cat lovers out there, purely because the owner is curious to see where their cats venture off to.
Recently the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was launched in Las Vegas. If you’re after the latest innovation in the world of consumer technology, this is the place to be, or at least the place to be watching. What was taken away from the show wasn’t so much focused on the technology itself, but more so concerned with the experiences consumers were able to take away after their interactions with the devices. A successful connected device will be one that delivers a complete experience for the user.
Our phones can read our identity at the touch of a finger, but imagine how else this technology could be used. Instead of keys to open your front door you’ll simply need to press your finger on the lock; no one will ever have to worry about losing their keys ever again! Our phones recognise our voice commands too. Imagine your home appliances with this kind of technology. And this technology isn’t just ‘communicating’ with you; they’re communicating and working with each other. Your voice commands in your car will communicate with your air conditioner back home, so on that hot summer day; you can walk into a beautifully cool and tranquil home. It means a whole new meaning for the word connected. Yes, it’s real; it is happening and, our dependence on the World Wide Web and the ‘internet of things’ is not slowing down.