Friday, February 17, 2017

Internet of Things Public Relations

Most of us have heard of the Internet of Things, but few have considered the role of IoT in PR.

In 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things defined IoT as "the infrastructure of the information society. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in 'improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention.'

When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.

Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.

We recognise IoT in simple devices like Alexa or Google Home and Virtual Reality Headsets. A simple credit card sized device like Trackr turns your phone into a detective to find your car or handbag.

Padma Warrior is the CTO and Chief Strategist of Cisco, quoted a Cisco study placing the value of IoT as a $19 trillion opportunity for her company. It struck me that the PR industry should be investing some of its thinking about the future into IoE too.

So how can we have such a thing as IoT PR?

Really it's simple. We have to think about IoT devices as media. For Example, it is possible to offer information or services that can be integrated into Alexa or Google Home and they can be delivered with cloud-based infrastructure.

My Android phone has the 'OK Google' facility provided by Chrome. In an instant, my phone is a powerful computer that can book appointments and phone my wife. It sets up alarms and tracks my car (no more hunting around in big car parks).  The service has a wide range of capabilities. The exciting thing is that you can design services for mobile phones that can sit on a phone or intelligent companion as an app or service.

Messages, lists of products, pictures and video can all become an instant service on a mobile or computer.

Other IoT devices

The health of elderly relatives can be difficult to track, but it’s even more difficult when they live on their own. Fortunately, you can now rely on IoT devices like Lively to help. It is just the sort of device a Pharma company might like to sponsor. Where you are and what you are doing can be monitored by the clothes you wear or can be offered to help busy mum's track their children and the dog  (what a great way to deliver safety messages). When you start looking there are all sorts of opportunities

It comes down to thinking of IoT devices as media in their own right. Seeing what IoT devices are out there and then working on how they can deliver enhanced relationships with the client requires a creative mind but the impact can be huge. 

The evolution of the Internet of Things into more advanced application in the Internet of Everything is the next step. But more of that later.

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