Jan 23 2014

What Does the Internet of Things Mean to the Average Person?

For many people, defining and understanding the latest buzzword in technology remains a bit fuzzy.

People in technology are fired up and ready to go when it comes to the Internet of Things. Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers gave a rousing pep rally for the concept at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“This will be bigger than anything that’s ever been done in high tech in a decade,” he said.

The Internet of Things might be the next big thing, but it’s got a long way to go in terms of educating the market. According to a survey by the Wi-Fi Alliance, only 11 percent of the 1,000 smartphone and tablet users surveyed correctly defined the Internet of Things. Furthermore, 59 percent of respondents said they were unfamiliar with the Internet of Things concept.

So there’s quite a bit of ground to be covered in bringing everyone up to speed. But the good news is that when they’re given examples of how the Internet of Things could improve their lives, people are for the most part enthusiastic about the idea.

When asked if having the ability to remotely control their home would improve their quality of life, 93 percent said it would have a positive impact. And when asked if they’d be more likely to purchase smart products that can sync with their Wi-Fi network, 91 percent said they’d be more likely.

This speaks to the inherent value people see in the idea of inanimate objects coming to life, so to speak. People are dreaming of a future where they can text their refrigerators, call orders in to their coffee machines and broadcast their weight loss on social media.

So people want the Internet of Things, they’re just grappling with knowing what to call it. Perhaps an awareness campaign with support from tech-friendly celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, P. Diddy and Lady Gaga would help.