After looking at a variety of products throughout this blog, we can identify some common trends among the Internet of Things products.
1) Many do not fill a need
Just because it’s cool, doesn’t mean it’s necessary. For a product to be necessary, the market has to have a need for it; meaning there is a problem with no other solution. If an Internet of Things product can be that solution, can fill that need, it creates a demand. This is great, but doesn’t seem common within the current market. Most non smart appliances work just fine. The majority of us don’t have the need or desire to research, purchase, install, and learn how to use one of these new devices.
2) Still only for the upper class
Very few of these devices are affordable for the lower, working, or middle class family. The companies making these products may profit from sales from the upper class, but these devices will not become mainstream until the items become a realistic purchase for the majority of the country, or world.
3) Many still need to be perfected
Since all of these devices cost so much, consumers demand a perfect and fail-proof product before they commit a large sum of money. Since the technology is still developing, and since many of these companies are startups, some kinks in these products still need to be worked out. Also, there is a implication that electronic devices break, are more sensitive, or become obsolete much quicker than non smart items. An example, is that kitchen appliances have a long shelf life, while an Internet connected device comes with updates, wifi failures. etc.
Although these products are supposed to simplify and streamline our lives, there are worries that they only complicate them more. What’s this new thing I have to learn? If everything is connected, everything might fail simultaneously, right?
I still have problems with my wifi connecting to my laptop; I would be apprehensive to have everything relying on the Internet. And what about hackers? Or viruses? There’s a whole list of worries that comes along with a greater reliance on technology. What if the robots take over like in a sci-fi movie?
But there a huge number of problems and annoyances that can be solved by connected devices like these. Even if the average person doesn’t use a product, the devices can assist those with different needs or abilities. Making our world more accessible is a great result of using technology in new ways. These products are also very appealing; we like the idea of living in the Jetson’s house. We are happy to welcome products into our lives that save us time, money, or just a hassle.
The main question to be asked about these products is: Will they still be around 10 years ago? That’s what no one can really predict. Yes, technology is always developing and adapting, but some trends just don’t catch on. Some of these products may become mainstream, but some may be too difficult to sell to a wide audience. We know that many of these products need to lower their costs and create a higher demand to gain a wider consumer audience.
Keep an eye on the Internet of Things and see which products fade out of fashion and which ones stick around.