For most of us the world of technology and data feels like something out of a science fiction movie. Connected devices, wireless integration and iBeacons sound impossible to use and even more difficult to understand. But the truth is that the Internet of Things and big data are already a big part of our lives.
But how are they related to each other and how will the Internet of Things influence the way companies and people experience big data?
The Internet of Things, or IoT as it's known in tech-savvy circles, is a very simple concept. It refers to modern technological devices that have the capability to connect to the internet. What makes it so impressive is that the array of devices has grown exponentially in the last few years.
We've come a long way since we relied on dial-up internet connections. Phones, watches, clocks, cameras, fitness trackers, microwaves, fridges – almost every appliance we own can now be connected to the internet.
Of course, this means that they can also connect to each other – and that's what the Internet of Things is. A network of connected devices and appliances that work together to make our lives easier.
Big Data is Everywhere
Big data is another term that's thrown around marketing and technology circles that sounds complicated, but is really easy to explain. It refers to the abundance of personal information that we put into the world.
From our Facebook profiles to the amount of times we visit certain websites, everything we do is tracked and compiled into quantities of potentially useful information.
The data explosion is closely tied to the tech and internet revolution. Better computers and internet connections make it easier for us to find and exchange information across the world, and the amount of data out there is staggering.
We Live in a Connected World
What the Internet of Things has done is allowed data analysts to get an inside view into the way we live our lives. By connecting a multitude of machines they have new channels of information and insights about what happens behind closed doors.
Let's compare home entertainment packages now to what was available in the past as an example. Not that long ago you had a choice between terrestrial, cable, and satellite TV. Now, thanks to big data and the internet of things, you have an endless selection of entertainment titles to choose from, but what's more, you can record your favorites by pressing a button on your phone.
Furthermore, you can even schedule your washing machine to do a load of laundry while you're relaxing watching a movie on your tablet.
While this undoubtedly makes our lives a lot more convenient, we often take for granted the fact that every action reveals information about who we are and what we're consuming.
What Happens Next?
It's quite difficult to predict what will happen when it comes to the future of big data and how marketers and entertainers will use the information available to them, but it's clear that as the Internet of Things becomes more widespread, so will the variety of information available.
As every device becomes a touchpoint to gather information, it's likely that brands and product developers will start to see new opportunities in the market. Streamlined packages that integrate multiple appliances will become common. Personalization will reach new heights as brands discover more facts about who you are, and we'll all have to be a little more careful about what we share online.
It is exciting and a little scary to try and imagine how all that information is going to be used, but the Internet of Things is already adding a new layer to the big data world.
More Personal, More Relevant
While additional security to protect privacy and counteract cybercrime is clearly going to become more important, the average consumer is likely to experience their world in a new way. By tracking the way we interact with our devices, brands will develop ways to customize the world so that we live each day the way we want to.
From entertainment to ordering groceries, our day-to-day interactions look like they're about to get a whole lot more tailored to each of us. And it's going to happen a lot sooner than we think.