IoT Usefulness

April 06, 2016

Ok so why haven’t all my geek friends put smart lighting everywhere in their houses? I think it comes down to usefulness or bang for the buck.

For the purposes of this discussion, let’s define IoT as connecting a physical thing that hasn’t traditionally been connected in the past.

Ok, so after talking with Harlan about IoT in general(he’s speaking next Wednesday on it), we came up with the following four categories of IoT usefulness:

  1. saves me time
  2. saves me money
  3. entertains me
  4. makes me healthier

The Internet of Things “The Internet of Things” by wilgengebroed is licensed under CC BY 2.0

An IoT product must provide benefit in one or more of the four categories above otherwise, it won’t sell. Here are some examples:

I am specifically excluding media devices from the IoT space(TV, radio, speakers) since those have been traditionally connected for a while now.

Aside: Amazon Echo isn’t an IoT device, but instead a new interface(voice instead of screen) to any services(IoT or non-IoT) that a screen would traditionally control. Does combining voice interface with some IoT product suddenly make that IoT product useful in one of the four categories where it wasn’t before?

Regarding the unified dashboard idea, how does pulling together the disparate sources of IoT data make those IoT products hit the threshold in one of the categories?

Anyway, I think a framework like this is useful for discussion. Is the framework presented the right way of thinking about IoT?