It’s time to fall out of love with your smartphone…
Forget the Internet of Things – it’s a bubble. The majority of products currently claiming to be IoT devices are just the same, vertical M2M products we’ve always had, but taking the opportunity to benefit from a rebrand. Most of the rest of the IoT is the wet dream of Venture Capitalists and Makers who think that by overfunding and stimulating each other’s egos in a frenzy of technical masturbation, they can create a consumer market for the Internet of Things. As the IoT slips slowly backwards into the foothills of Gartner’s Hype curve you need to look elsewhere to find the real Internet device opportunity, which is only just emerging. It’s the IoV, or the Internet of Voice.
The problem that the current IoT paradigm has is that it’s mostly about collecting data and then applying algorithms to extract value from the data. That’s a difficult job. You need to make the devices, work out how to connect them and then hope you can find something valuable within the data to engage the customer. The problem is that all of that takes time, not least the time to get a critical mass of products out into the field. The Catch 22 which most business plans ignore is that you need to deploy tens of thousands of devices to accumulate enough data before you can even see if there’s anything of value in it. But without an upfront value, people are loath to buy the devices. Everyone, from wearables manufacturers to smart cities are discovering that it’s not a very compelling business case, not least because it needs fairly technical consumers to install everything in the first place.
The Internet of Voice takes a different route. Instead of expecting users to know anything about the IoT, they just get to ask questions and then get answers. No more buttons, no more keyboards, no more coding, just ask. But it has the power to control everything we come into contact with. It could mark the end of our love affair with smartphones and is probably the biggest threat that Apple faces today. Continue →