The Internet of Useless Things (and how to avoid it)


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With the rapid growth of technologies the #IoT is upon us. There is a danger though, that many of those objects will be useless. This is an introduction into how to develop a brand IoT strategy and how to avoid the useless things. This is an ongoing project and more slides will be added!

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The Internet of Useless Things (and how to avoid it)

  2. 2. @brillthings MARK BRILL I’ve been working with digital channels for over 21 years. I help brands and advertising agencies developing strategies for innovation (and general brand stuff). When I’m not doing that, I’m a Senior Lecturer in Future Media at BCU. You can follow me on Twitter (@brillthings) or feel free to visit my blog,
  3. 3. >  What is the IoT? >  Understanding the landscape >  Connecting your channels/devices >  Developing your service layer >  Focussing on real problems WHAT  SHOULD  GO  IN  TO  AN  IoT  STRATEGY?
  5. 5. From  thermostats  to  smart   fridges  and  roboDc  vacuum   cleaners THE  TERM  IOT  WAS  FIRST  TOUTED  BY  KEVIN  ASHTON,  IN  1999.  It’s  more  than  just  machine  to   machine  communicaDons.  It’s  about  ecosystems  of  objects  that  form  relevant  connecDons  to  people  and   other  objects.  In  the  last  few  years  big  corporaDons  such  as  Cisco  or  IBM  have  picked  up  on  the  IoT  term   (just  as  MicrosoW  jumped  on  the  Internet).  However,  regardless  of  who  is  trying  to  ‘own’  the  name,  it’s  a   useful  term  to  describe  the  world  of  connected  and  wearable  devices  that’s  emerging.   SMART HOMES Including  smartwatches,   smart  glasses,  smart  fabrics.   We  even  have  smart   headbands  and  caps WEARABLES Driven  by  roboDcs  and  AI,   the  IoT  is  already  having  a   massive  impact  on  industry INDUSTRY Google  are  not  the  only  ones   building  self-­‐driving  cars.  We   also  have  shipping  &  of   course  there  are  the  drones TRANSPORT It’s  not  just  Oculus  RiW,  many   new  displays  and  interaDons   will  be  appearing,  including   gesture  control  and  hapDc   interfaces DISPLAYS Connected  health  is  already   here,  thanks  to  companies   such  as  Withings  and   Scanadu,  but  it  is  an  area  for   massive  growth HEALTH WHAT IS THE INTERNET OF THINGS?
  6. 6. 1980s  Casio  TV   Sound  responsive  T-­‐shirt   Training  Heart  Rate  Monitor   (who  needs  a  Fitbit?)   GPS   Bluetooth  Headset   (popular  with  bouncers  and  taxi  drivers)   TV  Hat  (not  a   computer,  but  it’s   funny)   WE’VE HAD CONNECTED THINGS FOR YEARS … … THE DIFFERENCE IS THIS CONNECTED  OBJECTS  AND  WEARABLE   COMPUTING  HAS  BEEN  AROUND  FOR  A   WHILE.  The  principles  are  not  so  new  but   the  rise  of  cheap  compuDng  has  allowed  our   devices  to  be  come  more  communicaDve.   Why  all  the  hype  about  the  IoT?   The  real  change  is  that  we  have  powerful   pocket  computers  (smartphones)  that  can   connect  all  this  stuff  in  a  more  meaningful   way.  
  7. 7. IT’S NOT JUST RAWCOMPUTING POWER EITHER RAPID PROTOTYPING CHEAP SENSORS LOW COST SCREENS CROWD FUNDING THE  IoT  IS  ALSO  BEING   DRIVEN  BY  sensors,  new   forms  of  rapid  development   (yup,  3D  prinDng)  not  to   menDon  new  crowd  sourcing   and  funding.
  8. 8. THIS  IS  A  SIMPLE  SOLUTION  FROM   THE  IoT  ACCADEMY.  It  uses  sensors  in   child  buggies  to  monitor  the  air  quality  in   ciDes.  By  crowd  sourcing  the  data,  it  can   idenDfy  areas  with  higher  levels  of   poluDon  such  as  parDculates  or  Nitrogen   Dioxide.  GPS  tracking  sensors  and  a   connecDon  to  smartphones  would  upload   the  data  to  an  app.  It  allows  both   individuals  to  avoid  areas  of  poor  quality   air  and  also  provide  data  to  local   authoriDes  to  manage  the  problem.   [hcp://]   EXAMPLE: USING SENSORS BUGGY AIR
  10. 10. A WORLD OF USELESS OBJECTS? 50% OF FITNESS TRACKERS ARE NOT USED 50% OF FITNESS BANDS ARE NO LONGER USED*. These are not central computing devices, so there’s a risk that even the Apple Watch will only been worn for the first few months. I compare this to the sandwich toaster. How many people have one that they used for a while then put it in a cupboard and forgot about it? That could be the future for many IoT devices. [] [*]
  11. 11. A SOLUTION LOOKING FOR A BUT  THE  INTERNET  FRIDGE  IS  TYPICAL   OF  WHERE  THE  IoT  IS  GOING  WRONG.   What  problems  does  it  actually  solve?  I  have   an  iPad  for  recipes  and  knowing  how  much   milk  I  have  is  not  really  a  life-­‐changing   essenDal  uDlity.     A PROBLEM?
  13. 13. LarryDowns’TheLawsofDisruption Change Time Technology Government Business Society Moore’s  Law  (technically  not  a  law,  but  a   guide),  suggests  that  COMPUTING  POWER   grows  exponenDally.  The  problem  is  that   humans  find  it  hard  to  grasp  the  concept  of   exponenDal.  The  technology  grows  faster   that  society,  even  faster  than  business  and   much  much  faster  than  governments.     How  do  we  close  that  gap?  Downs  talked   about  ‘The  Killer  App’,  but  the  thing  that   allows  society  and  business  to  manage   technological  change  is  INNOVATION  (more   on  that  later).     [Downes  L.,  Harnessing  the  New  Forces  that   Govern  Life  and  Business  in  the  Digital  Age,   2009]   TECH IS MOVING FASTER THAN PEOPLE
  14. 14. AND THERE’S ALOT OF HYPE It’s important to remember that there’s a lot of hype around this stuff. Don’t be scared by people saying the IoT, Big Data, wearables or AI are ‘the next big thing’. They probably have no idea really. GARTNER HYPE CYCLE:
  15. 15. BUT NO ONE KNOWS HOW BIG THE IoT WILL BE HOW  BIG?  PredicDons  suggest   anywhere  from  20bn-­‐100bn   connected  objects.  Two  things   are  certain  –  there’s  going  to  be   many  connected  things  and  no   one  knows  how  many  things   there  will  be.
  16. 16. BillBuxton’sLongNoseofInnovation REAL INNOVATION TAKES TIME INNOVATION  IS  A  PROCESS.  Bill  Buxton  from   MicrosoW  talked  about  THE  LONG  NOSE  OF   INNOVATION.  Here’s  the  point  …  it’s  like  the  disrupDon   curve.  InnovaDon  takes  Dme.  It  requires  development,   tesDng  and  honing.  There  isn’t  a  light  bulb  moment.   Take  the  mouse  (the  computer  mouse,  that  is).  It  was   first  invented  in  the  1960s  by  Douglas  Engelbart  at  SRI.   Xerox  then  got  hold  of  the  concept  and  worked  on  it  at   PARC.  Then  Apple  got  their  mits  on  it  in  the  80s,  and  not   long  aWer  than,  created  the  Mac.  Then  it  got  tracDon   and  everything  had  a  mouse.   [hcp://­‐01-­‐02/ the-­‐long-­‐nose-­‐of-­‐innovaDonbusinessweek-­‐business-­‐ news-­‐stock-­‐market-­‐and-­‐financial-­‐advice]
  17. 17. HERE’S A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THE LONG NOSE OF INNOVATION ‘APPLE  DIDN’T  INVENT  ANYTHING’.  Puong  aside  the  1000s  of  patents  that   they  have,  Apple  don’t  actually  invent  new  things.  The  iPhone  is  a  great  example   of  how  the  company  pulled  many  exisDng  innovaDons  together  -­‐  mobile   compuDng,  accelerometers  and  touch  screens.  Nokia  were  playing  with  touch   screens  over  a  decade  earlier  but  the  innovaDon  never  took  off.  Before  the   iPhone,  we  sDll  had  bucons  on  phones.  Blackberry  had  them.  So  did  the  Google   G1.  Then  Apple  showed  how  it  could  be  done  by  delivering  it  in  one  well-­‐ designed  package.  Try  finding  a  smartphone  with  bucons  these  days.
  18. 18. ANYONE CAN BUILD IoT DEVICES OttoPetSystems:fitnessbandsforcatsanddogs THERE  ARE  MANY  EXAMPLES  OF  HOW  START-­‐UPS  HAVE  BUILT  DEVICES,  FROM  PEBBLE  SMARTWATCHES   TO  OCULUS  RIFT.  This  example  shows  how  simple  it  is.  The  fitness  band  for  pets  came  from  a  problem  –  many   dogs  and  cats  are  overweight  because  they  are  fed  too  much.  By  monitoring  them  against  their  size  and  breed,  the   fitness  band  can  deliver  the  right  feeding  programme  via  an  app.  It  was  developed  by  sourcing  the  accelerometer   etc  from  China,  3D  prinDng  a  case  and  then  puong  the  concept  on  Indiegogo.  The  proposal  won  enough  money  to   take  it  to  prototype  stage  and  as  a  demonstraDon  to  VCs  of  the  product’s  viability.
  19. 19. WITH  THE  PROLIFERATION  OF  DEVICES,  INDIVIDUALS  WILL  HAVE  THEIR  OWN  PERSONAL  TECHNOLOGY   ECOSYSTEM.  It  means  that  we  can  understand  the  audience  based  on  their  unique  set  of  devices.  For  example,   Nest  owners  might  be  young  families  with  environmental  concerns,  Oculus  RiW  users  could  be  gamers,  those  using   smart  glasses  are  likely  to  be  in  technical  roles.  [These  are  just  examples  and  not  real  personas].  By  mapping  out   these  ecosystems  we  can  understand  each  users  needs  and  aspiraDons. BUSINESSES NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE USER
  21. 21. THE TWETTLEA TWEETING KETTLE HELLO CUBETHE TWEETING SCULPTURE THE PIANOTHAT TWEETS CAT SELFIEMACHINE WHY  TWITTER?  Since  the  earliest  days  of  the  channel,  innovators  have  seen  the  potenDal  of  connecDng  objects  to  140  character  message.   It  is  a  simple  way  to  create  engagement  The  Twecle  concept,  for  example  was  developed  in  2010  There  are  simple  APIs  that  let  the   machines  broadcast  themselves  and  it  anyone,  anywhere  can  respond.  It  takes  objects  beyond  the  confines  of  their  physical  space  into   another  dimension. A  good  example  of  art,  meets  engagement.  Hellicar   and  Lewis  bult  this  sculpture  for  the  Turbine  Hall  in   The  Tate  Modern.  hcp:// A  silly  idea  with  a  serious  intent.  Cats  take  their  own   picture  which  is  Tweeted  on  a  #catselfie  tag.  It’s  a   fun  way  to  show  cats  aviailable  for  adopDon. This  was  a  concept  from  a  few  years  ago.  Pointless?  A   licle,  but  the  idea  was  to  tell  a  whole  office  that  it  had   boiled,  thus  saving  Dme  and  energy   An  interesDng  art  project.  You  make  and  send   messages  on  Twicer  by  playing  the  piano!     hcps:// TWITTER CONNECTS THE IoT
  22. 22. PERSONALITY ALSO CREATES ENGAGEMENT BRITISH  developer  TOM  COATES  is   based  in  the  US  and  has  created  a   TweaDng  house  @houseofcoates  .  Things   such  as  lights,  plants  and  rooms  will   Tweet  depending  on  what  happens.   People  even  have  conversaDons  with  the   house.  Weird?  Not  really.  As  humans  we   like  to  anthropomorphize  things.  Robots   are  increasingly  used  by  the  military.  The   soldiers  can  get  so  acached  to  them  that   they’ll  even  risk  their  lives  for  them.   THE IoT NEEDS A PERSONALITY!
  23. 23. AN OS FOR THE IoT ESSENTIALLY  THE  IoT  IS  ABOUT  CONNECTIONS.   One  area  that  is  likely  to  become  a  bacle  ground  are   IoT  operaDng  systems.  Unlike  mobile,  where  a   proprietary  OS  is  straight  forward,  the  job  of  an  IoT   OS  is  to  connect  a  fragmented  landscape.     Google’s  Brillo  is  one  of  the  major  challengers,  but   IoT.  but  there  are  big  players  including  Samsung,   MicrosoW,  Cisco  and  mobile  chip  manufacturer,   ARM.  There  are  also  a  growing  number  of  start-­‐ups   and  open  source  projects  such  as  ConDki,  Riot,  or  Thing  Worx.   A superb example of that is IFTTT. Many people will be familiar with this service layer app for cross posting. But it does much more than that. IFTTT can also connect across devices such as Nest or Fitbit without the need for complicated programming. []
  24. 24. WE CAN CONNECT AN IoT FOR COWS THE ‘BOVINE WEB’ IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF WHERE THE IoT IS GOING. Cows are given heat sensors and connected via a GSM device. When the cow is ready for insemination it can notify the farmer with their location. It has increased calf production by 66%. I call it ‘The Bovine Web’. [ cloud-help-farmers-get-their-cows-pregnant-1499220]
  25. 25. TESLA CONNECTS THE IoT CONNECTED  VEHICLES  IS  ONE  EXAMPLE   OF  THE  IoT.  It’s  not  just  about  Google  Maps   in  cars.  When  Tesla  found  a  soWware  fault   with  their  vehicle  rather  than  an  expensive   and  PR  damaging  recall,  they  simply   updated  the  car’s  operaDng  system  over  the   air.   [hcp://­‐ air-­‐fix-­‐best-­‐example-­‐yet-­‐internet-­‐things/]
  27. 27. Change Time Technology Government Business Society Back  to  The  Law  of  DisrupDon  …  Larry   Downs  suggests  that  the  gap  created  by   the  laws  of  disrupDon  can  be  solved  by   finding  the  KILLER  APPLICATION.  Not   necessarily  one  for  an  iPhone  or  Apple   Watch,  but  funcDons  and  uses  that   become  indespensible. THE KILLER APP? -­‐  -­‐-­‐ Innovation
  28. 28. SO HOW WILL BRANDS DEAL WITH IT? LET’S MAKE AN APPLE WATCH APP YAYY! THERE’S  A  DANGER  THAT  BRANDS   WILL  PUT  TECHNOLOGY  FIRST.  If   brands  only  see  the  IoT  as  a  markeDng   opportunity  then  we’ll  end  up  with   useless  Apple  Watch  Apps.  It’ll  be  just   like  the  ‘me  too’  days  of  the  early   iPhone  apps.   There’s  a  great  paper  from  Tim  Dunn  on   how  brands  should  do  the  Apple  Watch   (see  the  reference  secDon  at  the  end).  
  29. 29. MANY  EARLY  SMARTWATCH  APPS  SIMPLY  COPY  THE   SMARTPHONE  VERSION.  Just  downsizing  for  a  smaller  screen  isn’t   enough.  Geong  my  phone  out  my  pocket  is  not  a  major  problem  in   my  life.  With  other  smart  devices  use  and  context  are  very   different. DON’T JUST REPLICATE THE MOBILE EXPERIENCE
  30. 30. THE UBER FOR … MOST  SUCCESFUL  SMARTPHONE  APPS  COME  FROM   STARTUPS.  Whilst  we  first  marvelled  at  popping  bubble  wrap  on  an   iPhone,  we’ve  moved  way  beyond  that.  It’s  not  even  about  UX.  It’s   about  an  app  as  part  of  a  service  that  connects  the  world  around  us.   AirBnB  books  more  rooms  than  the  Hilton  Group.  Waze  is  used  in   Brazil  to  avoid  police  roadblocks.  Depop  is  revoluDonising  the  way   we  buy  and  sell  vintage  items.  And  then  there’s  Uber.  Like  it  or  not   (and  many  don’t),  Uber  is  successfully  connecDng  us  the  physical   world  through  their  app.  That’s  the  IoT.
  32. 32. INNOVATION? FIRST IDENTIFY THE REAL PROBLEM TAKE  THE  CONNECTED  WASHING  MACHINE.  TexDng  me  to   tell  me  the  spin  cycle  has  finished  is  useful.  But  what  I’d  really   like  is  a  washing  machine  that  can  dry,  iron,  fold  the  clothes  and   put  them  away  in  the  wardrobe.     BUT  THAT’S  NOT  THE  REAL  PROBLEM.  The  challenge  is   washing  our  clothes.  Why  don’t  we  have  materials  that  don’t   need  washing?  Perhaps  we  could  just  shake  them  and  the  dirt   and  the  smells  just  disappear?     [In  other  words,  the  IoT  doesn’t  solve  everything].
  33. 33. EXAMPLE: MEET BRAD THE TOASTER BRAND  LOOKS  LIKE  AN  ORDINARY   TOASTER.  But  he’s  an  IoT  toaster  (and   a  very  anthropomorphic  one,  at  that).  It   was  an  art  school  project.  Rather  than   TweeDng  to  tell  us  the  toast  is  ready,   he  does  something  far  more  useful.  If   he  isn’t  used  for  a  while  he  simply  puts   himself  up  for  sale  on  eBay  –  that’s  one   way  around  The  Internet  of  Useless   Things.  It  also  highlights  how  licle  we   use  the  products  we  own.     [hcp:// archive/2014-­‐03/18/addicted-­‐toaster}  
  34. 34. DEVELOP THE IDEA IoT FOR CLOTHES BRAD  SHOWS  HOW  MANY  THINGS   WE  DON’T  USE.  Here’s  a  problem.  We   all  have  far  too  many  clothes.  We  don’t   wear  them  enough  (and  clothing   manufacturing  is  a  massive  drain  on   resources).  What  if  our  unworn  clothes   could  offer  themselves  for  sale,   automaDcally?  Maybe  we  could  have   ‘smarthangers’.  If  we  didn’t  take  them   out  the  cupboard  for  a  while  they  would   contact  a  charity  who  would  send  a  bag   to  return  the  list  of  unwanted  clothes?
  35. 35. Nivea Protection Wristband SOME BRANDS GET IT NIVEA’S  CONNECTED  WRIST  BAND   IS  A  GOOD  EXAMPLE  OF  BRANDS   DVELOPING  FOR  THE  IoT.  This  simple   device  was  a  paper  wrist  band   (distributed  via  print  ads)  that   contained  a  beacon  device.  Parents   could  put  it  on  their  children’s  wrists   and  using  an  app,  they  could  see  where   they  were  on  the  beach.  If  the  child   strayed  out  of  range  (around  40m)  it   set  off  an  alarm  on  the  phone.  
  36. 36. Disney Magic Band EXAMPLE: A COMPLETE IoT EXPERIENCE DISNEY’S  MAGIC  BAND  IS  A   $1BN  INVESTMENT  IN  A   FRICTIONLESS  EXPERIENCE.   The  band  arrives  before  the   park  visit  and  does  everything   from  accessing  rides  to  paying   in  restaurants.  It  also  has  the   user  locaDon,  so  aWer   ordering  food,  the  server   knows  where  they  are  siong.   And  of  course,  there’s  no  bill   to  wait  for  as  payment  is   automaDcally  made  via  the   band.
  37. 37. DATA, DATA EVERYWHERE THE  SIGNIFICANT  IMPACT  OF   ALL  THESE  CONNECTED   DEVICES  IS  DATA.  It’s  not   enough  to  think  of  the  IoT  as  a   series  of  devices  that  can  talk  to   each  other,  or  people.  The   opportunity  is  understanding   how  we  can  use  the  vast  amount   of  data  being  generated.  Brands   might  think  it’s  about  customer   informaDon,  but  the  key  here  are   the  anonomysied  data  points.   The  big  data  (if  you  prefer  that   term).
  38. 38. WHAT IF WE HARNESS DATA FOR GOOD? WHAT  IF  WE  HARNESS  THAT   DATA  FOR  GOOD?  One  example   is  with  the  spread  of  infecDous   diseases,  such  as  Ebola.  The   diseases  spread  as  people  travel.   What  if  we  can  track  the   movement  of  mobile  phones?   Then  we  can  see  where  the   disease  will  next  appear.  It  could   also  be  used  in  disaster  areas  –  by   knowing  how  many  phones  were   in  the  area  before  and  how  many   have  leW,  then  rescue  services  will   no  the  number  of  people  they  are   looking  for.
  39. 39. Examples   BUGGY  AIR  -­‐  hcp://   IOT  ACADEMY  -­‐  hcp://   TELSA  -­‐  hcp://­‐air-­‐fix-­‐best-­‐example-­‐yet-­‐internet-­‐things/   BOVINE  WEB  -­‐  hcp://­‐cacle-­‐how-­‐wearables-­‐cloud-­‐help-­‐farmers-­‐get-­‐their-­‐cows-­‐pregnant-­‐1499220   CONNECTED  COWS  -­‐  hcp://­‐connected-­‐through-­‐cows.html   BRAD  THE  TOASTER  -­‐  hcp://­‐03/18/addicted-­‐toaster   HELLO  CUBE  -­‐­‐comment/blogs/hello-­‐cube-­‐tate-­‐modern   THE  TWEETING  PIANO  –  hcps://   DISNEY  MAGIC  BAND  -­‐  hcp://­‐magicband/   NIVEA  WRIST  BAND  -­‐  hcp://­‐magazine-­‐ad-­‐really-­‐protects-­‐removable-­‐bracelet-­‐tracks-­‐your-­‐child-­‐beach-­‐157490     Research   THE  GARTNER  HYPE  CYCLE  -­‐  hcp://   INDUSTRY  ESTIMATES  FOR  DEVICE  ADOPTION  -­‐  hcp://­‐things-­‐market-­‐staDsDcs-­‐2015/ #.VTEavZTF9kB   UNUSED  FITNESS  BANDS  -­‐  hcp://­‐have-­‐a-­‐dirty-­‐licle-­‐secret-­‐most-­‐people-­‐lose-­‐interest/   FITNESS  BANDS  HAVE  PEAKED  -­‐  hcps://­‐smartwatch-­‐ownership-­‐rises-­‐at-­‐a-­‐quick-­‐pace/   SOLDIERS  BECOME  ATTACHED  TO  THEIR  ROBOTS:     hcp://­‐acachment-­‐to-­‐robots-­‐could-­‐affect-­‐outcome-­‐on-­‐baclefield/       REFERENCES #1
  40. 40. Ideas  &  Concepts   THE  LONG  NOSE  OF  INNOVATION  –     hcp://­‐01-­‐02/the-­‐long-­‐nose-­‐of-­‐innovaDonbusinessweek-­‐business-­‐news-­‐stock-­‐market-­‐and-­‐financial-­‐advice   LAWS  OF  DISRUPTION  -­‐  hcp://­‐laws-­‐of-­‐disrupDon/   PREDICTING  THE  FUTURE  OF  THINGS  -­‐  hcp://­‐zogbi-­‐20140109.html   SMARTWATCHES  -­‐  hcp://­‐smartwatches-­‐the-­‐new-­‐sandwich-­‐toaster/   APPLE  WATCH  STRATEGY  -­‐  hcp://­‐watch-­‐will-­‐change-­‐human-­‐behavior-­‐2015/   THE  INTERNET  FRIDGE  -­‐  hcp://   MAKER  MONDAY  -­‐  hcp://     Connec>ng  the  IoT   IFTT  –   THINGWORX  -­‐  hcp://   CONTIKI  -­‐  hcp://www.conDki-­‐   ONION.IO  -­‐  hcps://   RIOT  -­‐  hcp://www.riot-­‐   POSTSCAPES  -­‐  hcp://­‐of-­‐things-­‐soWware-­‐guide   EMBED  -­‐  hcp://       REFERENCES #2