Will The Shift Towards An Internet Of Things Approach By Big Tech Create A Modern Utopia Or Dystopia?

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Betting our future on collaborative Internet of Thing networks

The Internet of Things (IoT), refers to the practice of creating an ecosystem of objects that can communicate via a network, exchanging data, information, and other signals. Having large networks of interconnected devices has huge potential for societies in terms of the service industry, digital retail, cybersecurity, and others.

In this context, Apple, and Amazon have identified the unrealized potential of this, and are in the process of rolling out their own networks which will enable proprietary devices to communicate:

Apple Airtags: Utilizes Apple’s network of 1 billion devices in order to enable Bluetooth-based communication. This ecosystem enables tags to be placed on everyday devices like earbuds, which can then be tracked using other nearby devices.

Amazon Sidewalk: Allows all company devices to be connected, creating a joint network for Echos, Ring Video Doorbells, and Tile Trackers enabling service access even when out of range. This creates entire ‘neighborhoods of connectivity’ ensuring smooth service no matter your geolocation.

How will these types of IoT networks shape our future?

The promise of an interconnected world

Here are some ways in which IoT is currently, and will continue to shape businesses, and consumer experiences:

Multi-dimensional retail experiences

Market trends are increasingly moving towards data-driven Internet of Things (IoT) enabled shopping experiences. In fact, according to a PWC survey retailers have one of the highest IoT integration rates (58%) when compared with the median for other sectors (48%).

Digital retailers have access to a plethora of consumer data, a fact that has left brick, and mortar-based businesses with a large gap to fill. One solution which may enjoy widespread adoption includes radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensors. Since most people are wary of being monitored, this technology tracks products, not individuals. These ‘tags’ are installed on shelves in stores, as is the case with Amazon’s new locations that automatically add/remove items from your cart as you take them off shelves, or return them.

Another example of this is Krogers who have developed interactive shelves that interface with shopper grocery lists, lighting up when a shopper is in proximity of one of their desired items.

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