IoT (Internet of Things) is considered an exponential technology. Exponential technologies are those that in a very short time, its price and complexity decreases while its potential increases exponentially. Additionally, they are applied in a multitude of sectors and contribute to facilitate or improve the functioning of business processes as we knew them until now.
The concept of IoT has recently gained strength both because of the importance of connectivity in the creation of products and services and the growing satisfaction among customers and consumers. IoT has emerged as an evolution from the physical world to the digital world in the Internet era. Every physical device can be represented as a digital device, from the most basic temperature sensors to cell phones or any of the so-called “wearable” devices.
IoT is having much relevance in the manufacturing industry, which we call Industry 4.0, a term coined in 2011 that aims to implement a smart factory with all that it implies, and that is to digitize their manufacturing processes and have a vision of all of them computerized.
Another example where IoT is being used is for smart cities, or Smart Cities. With the aim of having sustainable cities, socially, economically and environmentally, all available data is collected through sensorization, and with IoT as a key element to manage these cities more efficiently. One of the latest trends related to IoT is IoB.
But what is IoB? IoB (internet of behavior). This refers to the collection of data from these devices, which provides important value in understanding user behavior as well as their preferences and interests. Gartner cites it as one of the growing, people-centric technologies, along with user experience and privacy enhancement.
An example could be carrying speed meters in the car or how many times the brakes are stepped on, in exchange for cheaper insurance premiums, in principle IoB is going to collect the digital footprint of users and use that knowledge for the benefit of businesses and consumers. In Europe, the extent of implementation will depend on the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
But IoB is not just technology, many point to the beginning of IoB around 2012, when a psychology professor Gothe Nyman describes the possibility of obtaining more detailed data on user behavior when interacting with IoT. This is actually not new, it was already being done with data that did not come from IoT devices, but now the analysis of the information is much more focused on the user experience, and the many devices that are connected.
With a simple cell phone you can detect a person’s movements, geographic position and link this in turn with voice-at-home devices, security cameras and even automatic cleaning robots or home alarms.
IoB technology is going to collect the digital footprint of users and use that knowledge for the benefit of businesses and consumers.
IoB represents additional benefits to better understand how users interact with products, gain greater insight into shopping patterns, provide real-time help, communicate with customers in ways that were not possible before.
In short, with the additional information provided by IoT devices, companies will be able to anticipate customer decisions. Currently IoB is used much more for B2B business, but the increasing use of IoT devices in homes, sensors of any kind and voice assistants, provides a much wider scope of action.
However we cannot forget, that IoB like almost any technology can also have its risks, such as leakage of sensitive data or additional security risks. As far as cybersecurity is concerned, with the huge growth in the number of devices and interconnection between them, it provides hackers with a bigger opportunity.
Imagine the case of a smart home where raising a garage door automatically disables the home alarm, very convenient for the homeowner, but a potential entry point from a cybersecurity standpoint. As always the use of new technologies makes people’s daily lives easier, in their work or personal lives, but there always has to be an appropriate balance between the benefits gained and the risks.
Currently there are billions of IoT devices already connected, and it is expected to reach 75 billion in 2025, according to Cisco, this will provide us with new capabilities and in turn new challenges. As Paco Bree commented:
Human skills combined with the power of exponential technologies may be the formula to solve the great global challenges.