03 Aug 2015

The M2M Smart Revolution

Smart homes and appliances are the new generation of future technology. Mike Rigby, Managing Director or MRA Marketing, discusses the impact the Smart Revolution will have on society, and explains how these new technologies will shape our industries. 

Smart technologies are revolutionising the way we live. Driverless cars, fridges that alert you when you’re running low on milk, home energy management systems that adjust to your behaviour. The list is endless. Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group predicts there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020. What impact will this have on society? How are these new technologies shaping industries? What are the implications?

Channel 4’s much-promoted new drama, ‘Humans’ just hit our screens. For weeks, the channel ran spoof TV ads from ‘Persona Synthetics’ promoting their creepily realistic domestic robots, which it claims are ‘closer to humans than ever before’. And there is truth in this. Advances in ‘next-generation robotics’ are creating machines that are more connected to human thinking, having the capacity to react without pre-programming. While these machines are limited to factory use at present, popular imagination has long foreseen a world in which robots take over our everyday mundane tasks. But would it really be a good thing to put our trust in machines that are getting closer to imitating human behaviour, or reacting like humans?

Smart technology has fundamentally altered our lives. From how we communicate, to the way we go about our daily chores. Mobile Internet has changed the way we consume information and connect, with over 94 per cent of British adults now owning a mobile device. The smartphone has become a tradesman’s most valuable tool. But the new revolution is machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. From smart phones to smart homes, the Internet of Things (IoT) connects us more closely with our houses, home appliances, and even our cars. We have long been able to programme our heating and lights to come on at the exact time we want them to. Now we can control this from our smartphone or tablet.

Global tech company, Apple, is forever coming out with new software and updates. It’s hard to keep up. Hardcore Apple fans queue for days prior to the release of the newest iPhone. The latest to hit the market is the new Apple Siri ‘HomeKit’ that enables an iPhone or iPad to control smart appliances, lights, locks and more around the home. Each device can be paired securely, but also grouped or linked to specific ‘scenes’ that can be activated for certain events, like getting home from work or getting ready for bed. A system installed in your house detects you are 15 minutes away from home and automatically turns on your lighting and heating to ensure you are entering into comfortable surroundings. Other systems respond to individuals and their preferences and habits within the household.

Smart homes and appliances are the new generation of future technology, and the idea of connected sensors or smart devices making decisions without our direct input will inevitably continue. But what happens when an M2M device goes wrong? Recently BMW fixed a security flaw that left more than 2.2m cars vulnerable to hackers unlocking car doors. In July, Fiat Crysler recalled 1.4m vehicles over a vulnerability that would allow hackers to take control of cars in use. It followed an article in Wired magazine detailing how hackers used the radio of a Jeep Cherokee to disable its transmission from 10 miles away as it drove on a highway near St Louis. The actual attack involved a wide range of safety-critical vehicle systems.

The IoT, the M2M Revolution is here now. It’s not tomorrow’s technology, it’s today’s, and we can expect many more teething problems. But the benefits and possibilities are far greater. Collaboration with machines is becoming an everyday reality, and if your business and your marketing aren’t keeping up with these changes, it will be hard to catch up with competitors who learn how it works and adapt their business and their marketing to compete more effectively. But how and when should your marketing begin to engage? Expect the unexpected. This year will be key for the start of growing smart home platforms. Are you prepared for the opportunities and the inevitable changes within the industry?

Do you need help with your business model? Need help integrating and synchronising your marketing to make it more effective? Tweet @MRAMarketing, visit www.mra-marketing.com, or email Business Development Manager Tom Rigby at tom@mra-marketing.com


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