10 Feb The Shadow in the Cloud
The emergence of the connected you
This week we were treated to an article declaring that consumers are not ready for the Internet of Things. Apparently this is due to the fact that the hardware is more expensive than their non-connected brethren. And yes, when you head down to Home Depot and see a $50 thermostat, that $250 Nest Learning Thermostat can seem pretty damn pricey.
Then again, we are an industry that has always charged into new markets with cool, innovative, and yes, expensive hardware. Didn’t stop laptops, big screen TVs or yeah, that phone in your pocket. Do you still roll up your windows in your car? Manually unlock your car? At some point convenience and utility meet price in the happy middle. The problem I have with the blunt rubric of price is it does not take into account convenience, value, or most importantly the power of identity when buying consumer technology products.
Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t been paying attention. People are connecting with products and services these days not just for what they do, but for what they say about them. Technology is becoming as much about personal identity as it is about hardware and silicon. If you still don’t believe me, then ask yourself why every time you walk down the street do you see someone wearing Beats by Dre headphones? Do you really think all those people did a deep audio review, compared prices, and then came to the best product for price and performance?
They did it because of identity. Because those headphones with the “B” on the side project an image of you to the world around you. Maybe it’s who you want the world to know, or maybe it’s the image you would rather the world see. But make no doubt, that piece of “technology” is actually “identity.” And you ain’t seen nothing yet.
What the emerging world of connected devices is really about is identity. In fact, what ties everything going forward will not be hardware, but the softest software out there: you. It’s great that we are connecting all these devices, and that your car will be able to tell your house to tell your Roomba to clean the bloody house because you are on the way home. But all this fabulous hardware will be centered on you, your data, and your identity.