I often hear that Internet of Things, IoT devices and other amazing technologies will soon change our lifes and make them better.
This is why I mention the post “Internet of things devices meant to simplify our lives may end up ruling them instead” from Andy Tattersal, as a voice trying to highlight a potential risk of IoT for the users. That we become “slaves” of dumb devices that we have to micromanage.
A patch for the fridge, the new release for the washing machine. Many posts about IoT focus on privacy and security issues, but from a consumer perspective, if we will be asked to “change passwords regularly, back up content to the cloud and install the latest software updates” for all the IoT devices, our life will become a nightmare. This is clearly about the balance between what technology is adding to our life in terms of quality and time saved and what is lost in terms of additional complexity and time we have to actively dedicate to it. Honestly, I don’t think it will be more different than other developments we have seen in the past (from home computers to smartphones); it will be just more pervasive, when IoT goes mainstream, it will be difficult to opt out or simply resist to the temptation.
What quality of life means. When IoT gurus and journalists emphasize it will change our life, they sometimes use the words not properly. I still agree with the old Maslow’s scheme, what really improves the quality of life is what helps to move up to the “self-actualization” level of the needs. I agree IoT devices, robots and AI will help us to manage our homes with some domotic, will clean them in autonomy, help us to save energy, probably save our life through great health care services and many many other solutions, but I’m still skeptical such things will really satisfy any “self-actualization” or even “esteem” needs (unless you’re a bit narcisistic).
A great business opportunity anyway. This “consumer experience” potential issue, generated by IoT devices, is anyway an opportunity for some players. For those who design an IoT based service, it will be strategically differential to build “plug and play” solutions. Others may take advantage of technology failures by helping consumers; if your digital wallet doesn’t work and you cannot pay the restaurant, maybe somebody will show up with physical notes and coins and pay on your behalf, plus a small service fee.
Newsletter: because there’s much more than IoT devices here!
I invite you to subscribe the Futurist Hub Newsletter. All recent posts, once per month, free of spam. And with a free ebook as a bonus.