A study from Strategy Analytics found that there will be 33 billion devices connected to the internet by the end of the decade. Gartner has predicted that by 2020, there will be four connected devices for every person.
The unprecedented rise in internet-connected devices is partly fuelled by the growth of wearable technology and IoT devices; items attached to the Internet of Things currently account for 40 per cent of connections. According to a Lowe’s study 70 percent of Americans want to be able to control something via their mobile devices at home without leaving bed.
Samsung recently revealed their plans for connected home domination at the Consumer Electronics Show (#CES2015) where chief executive BK Yoon promised that they would invest $100 million to make every single Samsung product connected to the IoT by 2020; from TV’s and smartphones to fridges and washing machines.
Samsung acquired smart-home start up SmartThings in August to help with its plans. SmartThings’ technology helps consumers to control their appliances from their smartphones, smartwatches and other devices, and has been viewed as the key to Samsung’s IoT strategy – in a similar way to Google Smart Home and Apple HomeKit.
“IoT is about delivering experiences that change our lives for the better, and the developers that come up with the ideas will change our lives,” said Yoon.
Rob King, vice president of consumer electronics for Samsung UK and Ireland said “We are already seeing greater connectivity between devices within the home, but that transition is going to be very fast, and the key is to keep it relevant to customers. We think that the only way the internet of things can really be accessed is through an open approach – that’s what’s going to make it easy for consumers to get on board.” He added that the IoT will “drive growth in the broader consumer electronics market for the next several years as the number and range of connected devices exponentially increases”.
It’s clear that consumer expectations are rapidly shifting, and today’s consumer demands an integrated digital experience throughout their everyday lives. The IoT promises to automate everyday activities based on an understanding of the device’s environment, its location, the time of day, the users’ requirements and even their sleep and exercise pattern. The development of connected devices will be of great interest to those businesses looking to enhance their customer service offering, with recent studies demonstrating that the range of contact channels continues to expand and diversify.
One issue that the IoT of things has already come up against is consumer concerns over data privacy. Yoon, CEO of Samsung, has urged caution for the emerging devices: “IoT must be secure – security must be baked into hardware and software at every level. Our whole industry must work closely together to make that happen.” Businesses will now have more opportunity to sell services and goods through personal devices in the home and the IoT seems inevitable in one form or another, whether users want it or not.
The technology has huge implications for those in customer service, allowing organisations to reduce operational costs through automation by reducing the need for individuals to report an issue or complaint. numero believes this highlights the need for organisations who are thinking of adopting connected devices to pursue a multi-channel CiM strategy.