Article

Jillian MacNulty
Jillian MacNulty 13 September 2016

The Era of the Smart Machine is Upon Us

The Internet of Things is changing the game for customer experience and providing a springboard into an automated future, smart machines and all.

One of my favorite commercials on TV at the moment is the one where Hollywood power couple Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell, through a series of birthday party-related crises, show off their “smart fridge”. Yes, you read that right. The “smart fridge” does it all, from wirelessly sending a picture of its contents to Dax’s smart phone as he’s running errands to displaying a hand-written message from Dax’s phone on its large fridge-front screen. 
Full disclosure: I never thought I would need a fridge that had more capabilities than simply keeping my groceries cold, but after seeing this commercial I’m fairly certain it’s a necessity.Screen-Shot-2016-09-07-at-1-54-48-PM.png

If you, like me, think the idea of this “smart fridge” seems a little futuristic…then consider us on the fast track to the future. Technological advances are allowing for huge strides toward “smart” machinery taking over the market. But what’s the driving force behind it? Enter: the Internet of Things (IoT).

What is this IoT business?

Put simply, IoT refers to the ability of machines to talk with each other, their users, and makers. In other words, IoT enables us to bring web connectivity to everyday products—anything from household items like Dax and Kristen’s “smart fridge” to heavy machinery out in the field.

Implementation of IoT runs the gamut; At its most basic level, it could mean simply tagging product packaging with a scannable code that opens a mobile-friendly webpage. Or, as a more advanced example, a smart phone wirelessly sending messages to the “smart fridge”.

In any case, an IoT-enabled device doesn’t have to be physically connected to the Internet. Instead, it can simply use an Auto-ID technology (like the smart label on a package), short-range radio (like Bluetooth) or a local Wi-Fi connection.

So what’s driving this? We've got a few ideas, and some research to back it up. To read more about the benefits of IoT and how you can begin taking strides toward implementing it in your business, visit the Lumavate blog.

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