Why IoT is a Really (Really) Big Deal for Us and for Samsung
If you are like most people not living under a rock, you’ve heard a lot about the Internet of Things, and even if you have no idea what it is, you’re already tired of the buzzwords. Today I’ll explain why it’s such a big deal for all of us, and why out of all companies Samsung is champing at the bit hardest over it.
Beyond wearables (with the most attention going to the the Apple Watch) it’s all people seem able to talk about. Hell, Samsung is jumping into IoT with both feet in hopes of pulling out of their tailspin decline in profits. So why should you care? Why is your toothbrush having an IP address a big deal and how on earth will that improve anything in your life? (Arms crossed. Foot tapping.)
Excellent question. First of all IoT it not for everything. As sci-fi and interesting as it may seem, I don’t see a use case for a IoT toaster but, hey, you never know. The whole idea (and the resulting excitement) around IoT is that ordinary products will now be connected not only to the Internet, but to other IoT devices, wearables and, of course, smartphones. It is precisely this interconnectivity that will improve upon and find new jobs for devices that have previously become just good enough.
Let’s take that toothbrush I mentioned. The invention of the SoniCare seems like the last leap forward with this tool. And one may ask, “what possible benefit could a connected toothbrush provide me?” After all, it’s just brushing my teeth. I have my SoniCare. I brush for the full (not really) 2 minutes. Done. That’s the job I am hiring my toothbrush to do: To brush my teeth for the requisite 2 minutes. “How will connectivity help?”
Just ask any of us when we are getting our twice annual dental cleaning. There are so many more jobs we really need our toothbrush to do that it’s not doing because it can’t on its own. But a connected toothbrush could be far better at communicating not only how long I have left to brush but how to improve my brushing. Even if I’m brushing for the requisite 2 minutes (which I don’t) I know I’m not cleaning every tooth correctly or even spending remotely the same time on each tooth. How do I know? My dentist tells me every six months in painful detail all the ways I’m failing. But that’s one abstract conversation twice a year for 5 minutes. For me, that’s no where near enough support to help me break years of bad habits. And those bad habits lead to real issues that lead to longer cleanings, cavities, gum recession, etc.
Let’s imagine an IoT SoniCare. Pushing too hard? I get a taptic nudge on my Apple Watch and push notify to my iPhone. With a few sensors I know if I’m bushing equally or skipping quickly over sections. Oh man, has it been 3 months already? Alright, I’ll accept the suggestion to add replacement heads to my Amazon cart? And of course there’s gamification with leaderboards, achievements and customized tips. Yep, all this and a lot more from a toothbrush.
This is precisely why Samsung is so excited by IoT. Samsung manufactures a lot of different products, many of which will likely get connected in the coming years. Unlike Apple whose product can all fit on a kitchen table, Samsung is uniquely equipped to adapt their large and existing ecosystem of products into a massive IoT line.
Further, much of their experience with Android could be applied to IoT since open source Android (not iOS) will be the operating system of choice for IoT manufacturers. This is especially exciting for Samsung which is simultaneously losing their most profitable high and low end smartphone market share to Apple and Xiaomi. As IoT opens the door to new and improved jobs to be done for countless products it is Samsung that is poised to rule IoT.